To the Surface

Gone to the surface, not sure for how long.

Norapod Brandy

After my meeting with Jilen and sampling some of his home-made wine I had been entertaining the idea of experimenting with something similar, perhaps using the Norapods from Fahets.

With Rob’s help I was able to acquire some equipment to add to Sul so that I could start my experiments, Sul has the best source of heat needed for the process so it seemed logical that I should set up the gear there.

Took us a day or so to get the equipment set up and the heat right. But we eventually got the Norapods processing. Given my fondness for harder alcohol like whiskey and brandy, I figured I’d try with a Norapod Brandy, fruit brandies are not unheard of after all.
The first attempt was a disaster, I’m still not exactly sure what happened, but the result was a mess and tasted highly unpleasant.
It took us a few more tries, experimenting as we went to get a formula that worked right.

Last night, we celebrated the success by testing the first bottle of 40% Norapod brandy that doesn’t taste like something served up in the depths of hell. The bitter after taste of the Norapod seems to be a little more pronounced in the brandy, I think I may have to look into finding a way to scale that back if possible, but it’s not a bad taste, I if mixing it would help.
I was fully prepared that the Norapods wouldn’t be suitable for the process, little surprised they worked.

Once some extra fine tuning is complete I think I shall process some bottles for aging and see how those taste in the future. I need to send a bottle off to Blake to try to see if he wants some for the pub he’s restoring.

Tosholek

I’ve been following the restoration of Tosholek closely, Whilyam has been talking about it frequently, along with the troublesome issues that arose during the restoration cycle.

It was only this morning that I had a chance to check it out. I sat at my desk drinking my morning cup of tea looking at the Book he had left me. So I decided I should go take a look finally, I had been anticipating venturing into the area.

I linked into a long walkway which sat above the D’ni lake water, and was enclosed by cliffs. I noticed the water here was a lot brighter than elsewhere in the cavern and wondered if Whil had been experimenting with pellets there. But that wasn’t the only thing I noticed.

As I had Linked right in behind Diafero and Blake.

Tosholek

Not long after I arrived a young lady Linked in, Ri’ana, who was Blake’s fiancé.

Tosholek

We wondered around for a bit, looking over the work Whil had done, checking out the damaged areas. The walkway leads up some stairs to a balcony, which contains a notebook regarding Sholek and the location we were in. The balcony lead off in two directions, one of which was blocked off the other lead to an auditorium. In the auditorium was a balcony, which I am guessing is where Sholek spoke from to his followers (that or played Julliet).

Tosholek

I spoke to Diafero for a while as I read the notebook, Blake and Ri’ana wandered off to explore the lower levels, eventually ‘Fero left me to go join them.
I was half way through the book when I could hear laughter coming from below, I glanced over the balcony wondering if I could see the others, when I noticed they had all decided to go for a dip in the Lake.

Tosholek

I figured I could leave the book for now, I plan to come back and transcribe it for the Archive anyway. So I decided to go down and join them, it’s been a while since I last ended up in the lake (thanks to a damaged Linking Book).

Wonder if I can get this glow out of my clothes…

Photo: Whilyam in Fahets

Fahets

Ahryeeto: Meeting Jilen

Moving the boulder was impossible, 200 odd years of it being set in place has pretty much fixed it there in mud and fallen leaves.
So Steven and I sought an alternative way out of the well by scaling the rock.

A short walk from the well we found the living area for Fehnir’en and Nalen, a small area like the one situated in the well, containing a bedroom and small study. It seems they would head down to the well to eat with the others. Not to surprising really, even members of a close knit family still want their moments of privacy and peace.

There were no paths leading off into the forest, if there were they have long since grown over. So Steven and I headed into the nearest gap in the trees to explore.

We wandered around for about 2 hours before we found Jilen’s camp. A large boulder sat in the middle of a clearing. Sections of it had been carved out, and a wooden structure attached. Wooden steps lead across to a stream of fresh water. The first thought that hit me was that it was all very neat and tidy, for a location that has been around 200 years I expected it to be overgrown. The problem with this line of reasoning was that I assumed Jilen was no more, this reason was quickly changed when a figured stepped out from the house as we approached it.

Unsurprisingly he was weary, the man has been in solitude for 200 years, and it is very apparent we are not D’ni, a fact that Jilen himself acknowledged and muttered as we approached. So it came to a surprised to him (and an amusing one at that) when both Steven and I waved, said shorah and introduced ourselves.

He ushered us inside and motioned to sit before pouring us all a drink which he later mentioned was a wine he had made from some of the fruit that can be found in the forest, interesting idea, I should try doing that with the Norapods in Fahets some time.
We sat for a few hours talking, Steven doing most of it on our side as his D’ni is better than mine. He asked who we were? Why we came to Ahryeeto? What happened to the plague? And many more questions. We explained how D’ni had fallen, many fled to the Ages like he had, then 200 odd years later humans discovered the Cavern and had started restoring and living in D’ni. How Atrus had gathered survivors and moved to a new home called Releeshahn. He took a lot of interest in the news about Releeshahn, not sure what he made of humans being in D’ni though.

A lot of what Jilen had to say we already knew from his journal. He had sealed the well up after Laia died and kept an eye from a distance over all that time in case people returned. Which is why he was expecting us, he had been watching our efforts in the well since we stepped through.

Dusk fell on Ahryeeto and we parted company, Jilen wanted to rest and think over what had been talked about, especially the part about Releeshahn and joining the others. I asked him if he would mind us stopping by again sometime and speak to him more. As an Archivist he would be an excellent source of information regarding D’ni history, he said he will come find us in time.

Before we left however, he noted the Books on our hips, I asked him if wanted to take a look at Relto, but he said maybe later. He watched in awe and confusion as Steven Linked out first, the Book going with him instead of falling to the ground. Looking to me for an explanation, I told him that it was written by a D’ni descendant who was very good with the Art, with that I bid him goodnight and left myself.

At first I was hesitant about continuing the restoration process on Ahryeeto after discovering Jilen was still living there, I explained to him that more may find their way to his house if we release the Age, but he didn’t seem troubled by that, he was keen for others to see it. I guess it’s the archivist in him, Ahryeeto is now a page in history that others can witness.