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 Post subject: Saturday Nature Walk
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:31 pm 
Legend

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The Red Faction will be leading a hike each Saturday to highlight the natural beauty of across Skytopia. This Saturday's will be on Isla di Pisa, from 12 pm to 2 pm, Eastern Time. I've prepared extensive notes on the flora, fauna, and geology of this sublime Skyland, and would love to share this natural treasure on the RP channel with anyone who'd like to join me on a nice Saturday afternoon hike.


Last edited by Zabrak! on Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:52 pm 

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Much as I've enjoyed these enlightening and enjoyable walks in the past, prior commitments will prevent me from attending. Please let me know when Arcadia is scheduled for a walk as I would not miss that one for anything, well, almost anything.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:56 pm 

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Sounds like fun. Count me in.

Wait, you're not talking about influence bombing are ya? Cause IdP is on the wrong side of the line. I can't help. Or hurt.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:35 pm 

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Oh no, the code for Inf bombing would be "The ACTORS are getting ready for the THIRD ACT"

This is just a normal mass shoo- err I mean a normal hike! Yes...a hike...

Just kidding it's a peacefull hike. Come join us for a day in the sun and experince the beauty of Skytopia if you like

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:39 pm 

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I have personally always enjoyed hiking and sight-seeing. While I would love to attend, I will be unable to.

If, perhaps, an evening tour could be arranged, I would be most grateful.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:40 pm 

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Sweet. :chatty: I'll bring the fruit roll-ups. And by "fruit roll-ups," I mean "fruit roll-ups."


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:00 pm 

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Pierce N.V. Post wrote:
Sweet. :chatty: I'll bring the fruit roll-ups. And by "fruit roll-ups," I mean "fruit roll-ups."

Just keep those rolled up fruits you keep around the house at home. :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:52 am 

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Saturday Nature Walk = "It's a beautiful day! For the love of God, why don't you people go <i>outside</i>?"


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:39 am 

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Grant wrote:
Saturday Nature Walk = "It's a beautiful day! For the love of God, why don't you people go <i>outside</i>?"


Isn't that what a nature walk is?


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 Post subject: Re: Saturday Nature Walk
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:43 am 
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Zabrak! wrote:
The Red Faction will be leading a hike each Saturday to highlight the natural beauty of across Skytopia.

/em hopes that some of the more interesting flora and fauna will be recorded in the appropriate Skybrary article ( http://skyrates.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Skylands ).


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:24 am 
Legend

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Waiting for the impending server reboot has eaten up my RP time this morning, and so I'd like to postpone the nature walk until tomorrow, same time (12-2, Eastern). Thanks to everyone who's expressed interest, and I hope to see everybody on the trail.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:35 am 

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I must say i certainly found the nature walk very descriptive


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:21 am 
Legend

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Here's the log for those who couldn't make it. I had lot of fun with this, and I hope more people (particularly those interested in seeing Red at its best) will join us next time.


charun: hey there.. heard that there is a nature walk
Zabrak!: Howdy Cha, yes, we'll be getting started in a few minutes
charun: is it free or I'll pay?
Zabrak!: Nature is always free!
Zabrak!: Did you bring plenty of water?
charun: and... any beverages included? Nature turns me hungry
charun: er... no.. but have something else instead
Zabrak!: I brought cookies for everyone
Markus Jarnhann grins lopsidedly and passes charun a canteen.
Knappekat: ((will it be wheelchair accessible? Or will Knappe have to sue under the Skyrates With RP-Induced Disabilities Act of I-Just-Made-It-Up-Right-Now?))
charun smiles and takes the canteen
charun: thanks .. and your name is?
Markus Jarnhann: ((if worse comes to wost, Knappe, I'll carry you.))
Sharktooth: ((Heh. Enjoy your nature walk, guys!))
Markus Jarnhann nods slightly, "'M Markus Jarnhann, an' y'self?"
charun: and I am C. Harun Boke... nice to meet you Markus...
Sharktooth: ((IdP is a sloped skyland, so...))
Knappekat: ((hehe... he's stuck in hospital on the RP Skyland anyway... he'll catch the replay on the Discovery Radio Channel))
Zabrak!: Okay, let's head out - anyone who comes in late can just hustle up the trail
charun: it will be kinda weird to walk instead of flying.. :)
Zabrak!: As everyone can see, we're at the very bottom of the skyland
Sharktooth: ((Heh, Canid and the rest are crashing in at the hospital.))
Markus Jarnhann chuckles at Zabrak's comment, and simply nods. "Walkin's good f'ye, mate."
Zabrak!: We'll walk up the slope, then come out on to the top of the Great Stone for lunch, then come back down the other side
charun: yess!!!,
charun: er... sorry... just that... er... what will be served at lunch? :)
Prince Roy comes running and catches up with the group
Prince Roy: hello people
Zabrak!: Hey Roy
Bushido runs down a few spiral staircases, dives out of the hospital and into his prescariously parked plane, and manages to slam into the lowermost platform on Isla de Pisa without damage to his plane. Despite the fact the entire skylet tipped over abit.
Sharktooth: ((Heh, you guys enjoy your nature walk.))
Zabrak!: Hey Bushi
Bushido: ((Isla de Pisa = Tower of Pisa?))
Sharktooth: ((Sharky's still sleeping at the hospital.))
Zabrak!: The climate here is warm and moist, as we're very close to the sea
Sharktooth: ((And don't wake him up.))
Zabrak!: We see mostly deciduous trees
Prince Roy: It is a rather relaxing scene
Bushido falls out of the cockpit and lands on an even lower platformcavey thing, close to the group.
Zabrak!: And in more windy areas, low lying brush
charun: oh!
Sharktooth: ((Aww, Sharky'd have enjoyed this.))
Bushido: Ow.
charun turns and looks at Bushido "hope he's alive"
Zabrak!: Fortunately, my packmule Markus is carrying a portable radio transmitter, so those folks who couldn't make it can listen in
Markus Jarnhann hefts the massive pack to his shoulders, and whistles a mostly cheerful tune. "Aye, tha's righ'."
Zabrak!: So please, ask plenty of questions so we can keep up the chatter during our hike
Markus Jarnhann: Jus' make sure an' speak nice n' loud.
Bushido: How did I miss the R&P completely?
Prince Roy: What skyland are we exactly in?
charun: 'key
Zabrak!: Isla di Pisa, Roy
Markus Jarnhann: Isla di Pisa, mate.
Zabrak!: The moisture coming up from the sea tends to condense on the Great Stone
Prince Roy: Excelent
Zabrak!: Which ablates most of its heat into the cold upland sky
Zabrak!: And so several good sized creeks form, trickling down here into the downland tip
Bushido escapes to his plane and flies off.
Zabrak!: The flora here is very different - less vines and more mossy growths
Zabrak! wades across a stream, careful to keep her balance on the slippery rocks
Prince Roy looks closely at a map of Isla di Pisa
Prince Roy , unable to decipher the complexity of the cartographic rendering, folds it away and puts it back inyo his backpack
Zabrak!: The red berries here grow only on this skyland, and only here along these downland streams
Bushido yells from his plane. "You're reading the map upside down!"
Zabrak!: Fermenting them is what gives grog from IdP its unique zing
Zabrak! pops a handful into her mouth
Prince Roy: That explains why, according to the map, we are standing upside down
Markus Jarnhann: Y' 'ave t'be careful when y'huntin' berries though. Some o' 'em, not these 'uns, 'll make ye sicker 'en 'ell.
Prince Roy is astonished at the sheer number of apostrophes in the past sentence
Zabrak!: And never eat anything white
Zabrak!: We're coming now to a beautiful waterfall
Zabrak!: Complete with a pool at the base
Zabrak!: The walls behind the falls are covered in moss, fed by the mist
Zabrak!: A number of brave trees eek out a living, clinging to the cliffside
Markus Jarnhann: Aye. They make f'good climbin', too, if y'can use 'em. Also, the moss y'll see is good for stoppin' up wounds an' the like, as it tends t'be fairly absorbant, and pr'vides a mild analgesic effec'.
Zabrak!: The fish who live in this pool are descendants of ones from the Great Upheaval
Zabrak!: Their entire lifecycle is spent in this pool
Prince Roy: As much as I am enjoying this walk, I must leave
Prince Roy: Farewell
Zabrak!: See ya Roy
Zabrak!: We've been pushing for the governor of IdP to protect these natural treasures
Zabrak!: But we keep getting the runaround, something about "freedom to fish" or "scientific takings"
Zabrak!: Okay, the next part of the walk is a little crazy
Zabrak! passes out ponchos
Zabrak!: We're going around the side of the cliff, and behind the waterfall
Markus Jarnhann grins slightly, stooping over for Zabrak to reach the pack on his back.
Zabrak!: The cave behind it slopes up and out onto the cliff above
Zabrak! raises her voice a bit to be heard over the roar of the falls
Zabrak!: Watch your footing, everyone
Zabrak!: Put your backs to the cliff and keep sidestepping
Markus Jarnhann dials the radio's microphone back a bit, sliding his poncho over the pack, front-loading it, and plays follow the leader on the cliff.
Zabrak!: And don't worry about the C.O.U.S.es
Zabrak!: I think they're a myth
Zabrak! braces for the final leap through the spray, and tumbles into the cave
Markus Jarnhann makes a mental note to ask what C.O.U.S.es are, and follows Zabrak through the spray. He turns to wait for the others, on the other side. "Y'all are a quiet lot. "
Zabrak! spots a Crawdad Of Unusual Size up on a ledge inside the cave, but decides not to point it out
Zabrak!: Alright Markus, want to pass out the lanterns?
Markus Jarnhann: Can do.
Markus Jarnhann shrugs the pack off of his shoulders, opening up the large pocket flap, and distributes the lanterns at a two person interval. He lights one, by way of demonstration, and hands it over to Zabrak!
Bouchie Topturner: ((this is nice. I like it :)))
Zabrak!: ((Thanks Bouchie - want to participate?))
Bouchie Topturner: ((unfortunatly, I can't. I must leave now. Will there be a log?))
Zabrak!: ((Of course))
Zabrak!: Okay, has everyone lit up?
Bouchie Topturner: ((Awesome! Have fun!))
Zabrak!: As you can see, the walls and ceiling here are not smooth, but very rough
Zabrak!: We believe that this cave is not formed by water erosion, but is rather a lava tube
Zabrak!: Vulcanism has, of course, ceased in Skytopia
Zabrak!: Since our skylands have no molten core inside them
Markus Jarnhann: Aye, watch y'step. Wouldn' wan' anyone t'fall an injure themselves. I don' feel like packin' anyone back down to t'base.
Markus Jarnhann chuckles.
Zabrak!: But in the ancient world, as lava flowed through this area, the outside of a flow would solidify
Zabrak!: But the inside would stay molten
Zabrak!: When it cleared out, we have this incredible hollowed out tube of solid igneous rock
Markus Jarnhann: Aye. Which means y'won' be likely t'see stalactites and stalagmites, as those are formed from minerals deposted by water.
Zabrak!: That's right - in some lava tubes, cracks in the rock allow moisture to seep in
Zabrak!: But even then, the rock is the wrong type to form stalactites
Markus Jarnhann: Righ'. What t'lady said.
Zabrak!: Those require limestone, a relatively soft rock easily eaten away and deposited by water
Tethran: ((Or gypsum I seem to remember >_>))
Zabrak!: ((Teth, if you'd like to join, we can write you in))
Zabrak!: ((Nice to see you))
Athrawes: ((Where on the skyland are people now?))
Tethran: ((Naw. It's alright. Just a thought.))
Zabrak!: ((We'll come out of this cave at the base of the Great Stone))
Zabrak!: ((Then hike up and around it, onto its top))
Zabrak!: As we move away from the falls, we can feel the moisture in the air drop precipitously
Athrawes: ((Does it make more sense for me to intercept you guys, or to write me in? If either is possible.))
Markus Jarnhann: ((if you'd like, you can post catching up to us.))
Zabrak!: It's very cold and dry in here
Zabrak!: ((You can be waiting for us at the end of this cave, and write yourself in))
Athrawes: ((Cool, thanks.))
Zabrak!: We shouldn't stay long - people have died from exposure inside lava tubes
Markus Jarnhann nods at Zabrak's commentary, and waits for her to lead on.
Zabrak!: Okay, here the tube narrows, so we'll need to crawl up and through the last bit
Zabrak! let's Markus take the lead
Markus Jarnhann chuckles slightly, and steps on ahead; moving up to the crawlspace. He fishes out a tether, and ties it to his pack, dragging it along as he crawls, so it doesn't get hung up.
Zabrak! can see the light coming from around Markus, and is glad to finally be almost out of the cave
Markus Jarnhann slides out, on the top, and glances around, looking to see if anyone had missed the start time, and rushed up ahead to meet them. He glances down, and swings the pack back onto his shoulders, as he stoops to give Zabrak! a hand getting up.
Zabrak! is almost clear when the rock under her feet gives way
Markus Jarnhann extends, then, into a straight *snatch* of her paw, and he extends to his full height, dragging her free and clear.
Zabrak! comes whoosing out of the cave
Zabrak!: Well, that was fun!
Markus Jarnhann chuckles. "Y'gon' t'ave to learn t'be more careful, y'know."
Athrawes strides out of a stand of trees near the cave opening, moving to meet up with the tour members.
Zabrak!: Howdy Ath! Nice to have a Green with us
Athrawes: Greetings Zabrak!, it is good to be here.
Markus Jarnhann tosses a wave and a nod.
Athrawes casually salutes Markus.
Zabrak!: Well, as we can see, quite a difference here
Zabrak! takes a swig from her canteen
Zabrak!: Hot and dry
Zabrak!: We're on the leeward side of the Great Stone
Zabrak!: Plenty of exposure to the sun, but no wind to bring in moisture
Zabrak!: As we move up around the Stone, we'll see a dramatic shift in climate to a High Desert
Zabrak!: Scrub brushes and juniper
Markus Jarnhann: 's a strange, an' fun little Skyland, this 'un.
Zabrak! takes off her outer fleece and ties it around her waist
Markus Jarnhann: ((brb ))
Zabrak!: The soil here doesn't get a lot of renewal from deadfall
Zabrak!: So it remains rocky and sandy
Zabrak!: Plant life here has to be hardy and longlived
Athrawes: Not much erosion either though, right?
Zabrak!: That's right - our footprints will probably remain here for a decade
Athrawes: Shiny.
Zabrak!: Much of the soil here is cinder from the lava flow that formed that cave
Zabrak!: Keep your eyes open for reptiles sunning themselves on the larger rocks
Zabrak! collects some juniper berries from a particularly fertile bush
Zabrak!: For my still, of course
Zabrak! listens to the thrum of the grasshoppers leaping about
Zabrak!: They prefer the windless areas - they can leap incredible distances
Zabrak! plucks one off her blouse, and pops it in her mouth
Zabrak!: Mm, quite tasty
Zabrak!: Care for one, Ath?
Athrawes: THank you.
Zabrak!: Don't have too many, we're going to stop for lunch on top of the Stone
Zabrak!: Okay, now we're clearing the wind and rain shadow of the Stone, and crossing into the treeline again
Zabrak!: It's still relatively dry here, and a bit cooler as we've moved upland
Zabrak!: So instead of the deciduous forest below, these are firs and pines
Zabrak!: The forest here is quite overgrown with bush
Zabrak!: Which it shouldn't be - it prevents young trees from sprouting
Markus Jarnhann: A good fire'll take care o'it. It always does.
Zabrak!: That's right
Zabrak!: Unfortunately, the new governor has implemented overly ambitious fire suppression technologies
Athrawes: Ah, well, Blues.
Athrawes grins jokingly.
Zabrak!: To allow the new settlements from the richer townspeople to go unthreatened by wildfire
Zabrak!: In fact, there are several species of evergreen whose pinecones are coated in a waxy material
Zabrak!: Such that they only can reproduce after a fire, which melts it
Athrawes: Perhaps someone should mention this to the governor at some point?
Zabrak!: Well, we'll have to lobby on another day
Zabrak!: Now we're coming around and out onto the top of the Great Stone
Athrawes: Of course, hiking gear tends to be somewhat frowned upon in halls of politics.
Markus Jarnhann: Righto. I 'spec' you'll be wantin' t'stop for luch shortly?
Zabrak!: Very much so - I'm starving!
Zabrak! walks out to the edge to survey the majestic view
Zabrak! lets the fierce wind off the sea blow through her hair, as she struggles in its face to merely stay upright
Athrawes jumps in the wind and is pushed back several feet.
Markus Jarnhann chuckles, and drops his pack; producing from it's maw sack a big bag of sack lunches, that somehow, seems largely unsquished. He sets it down, as he moves to the edge, not even the least phased by the wind. Bulk has its advantages.
Zabrak! downs her sandwich in one gulp, and moves onto her apple
Zabrak!: So, I admit to being at a loss for the purpose of the Great Stone
Zabrak!: Any theories?
Markus Jarnhann: It's a big bloody rock. Some big bloody rocks don' really 'ave an ec'logical purpose.
Markus Jarnhann: They jus' 'appen t'be there. Much like random mountains an' t'like.
Zabrak!: It does seem to be secured with great cables, though
Zabrak!: We'll have a good look at one as we pass under it on the way out
Athrawes: Well if it fell off the skyland would probably have a bit of a problem.
Zabrak!: Think the lower end would flip up?
Athrawes glances at a timepiece and does an excellent ferret eyebrow raise.
Markus Jarnhann shrugs slightly. "Don' rightly know. Any number o'things c'happen."
Athrawes: It would appear I had less time than I expected. Goodbye, sorry to leave early, but thanks for the tour, it is interesting.
Athrawes waves and walks back down into the trees.
Markus Jarnhann tosses a wave to Athrawes's retreating form.
Zabrak! tosses her apple core at Ath's back
Markus Jarnhann laughs. "Not 'ardly nice o'ye."
Zabrak! laughs back. "Consider it composting."
Athrawes is hit by the apple core and turns around to pick it up. "Hey!" He grins and tosses the core in the general direction of Zabrak!, then disappears for real this time.
Zabrak!: Alright, are we all finished with lunch?
Markus Jarnhann: Near's I c'tell.
Zabrak! stands up and wipes her hands
Zabrak!: Well, let's get moving, then
Markus Jarnhann packs back up, stuffing trash back into the empty bag, so as not to leave litter behind. Remember, kids, Littering is a five hundred gold fine.
Zabrak! waits under the windward cable of the Great Stone
Zabrak!: This thing is incredible
Zabrak!: Although kind of an eyesore
Markus Jarnhann nods a bit. "I 'spose we coul' find out what it's really 'ere for, if y'like. I've got detcord and blasting equipmen' back on m'plane. Though, I 'spec' tha' prob'ly wouldn' please a whole lot o'folks."
Zabrak! taps her chin contemplatively
Zabrak! then resumes the trail without a word
Zabrak! lets a few minutes pass, then fingers some of the fluttering leaves as she passes by them
Zabrak!: We've moved into an Aspen grove
Zabrak!: They're all interconnected at the roots, and prefer the wind
Zabrak!: Reminds me of some friends of mine
Zabrak!: But their bark is very nutrient-rich, and are food for moths
Zabrak! falls into a quiet mood for a while, and the Aspens stretch on for what seems to be eternity
The March Hare: ((when is the garden walk thingamagig starting?))
Bouchie Topturner: ((is it okay to just pretend I've been following all along? I could join in now.))
Nikolai Prokopovich: ((12 to 2pm Eastern Time. i.e. it is going on, I think.))
Nikolai Prokopovich: ((Or, wait, is it over already? 1:05 pm over here Central time, i.e. 2:05 pm Eastern Time.))
Zabrak!: ((Actually, it'll be ending soon))
Zabrak!: ((We're just returning to the planes now))
Bouchie Topturner: ((okay, maybe not. I have to go again))
Zabrak!: Well, here we are, back at the clearing
Zabrak!: Thanks to everyone for coming
Zabrak!: I had a lot of fun, and I hope more folks will join us for the next hike
The March Hare: ((Oh....stupid Central TIme zone))
Markus Jarnhann: Indeed. Maybe we ought t'look at doin' it somewhere closer to t'core nex' time?
Zabrak!: Not a whole lot of nature left in the core
Zabrak!: I think Nero expressed an interest in leading a hike on Arcadia
Markus Jarnhann: Might c'be an interestin' place t'have a look.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:06 am 
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This Saturday in the RP I will be leading a Nature walk through Arcadia starting at 11am West Coast time.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:26 pm 
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This Nature walk was fantastic. Nero really went all out in writing descriptions and planning everything. We learned a lot about Arcadia and the Great Tree, and had a lot of fun.

Here's the log, with a few minor edits for spelling. I hope more folks will join us next time!



Nero Shade steps out of his plane and breaths in the fresh Arcadian air. He gave Borin the week off to go visit with family.
Manik lands the Marauder hapdash into the hangar, an odd aroma of mint and coffee fills the hangar.
Nero Shade sniffs the air and looks towards Manik's hanger.
Zabrak! touches down quietly on the Arcadian airstrip, and sidles up to Nero
Nero Shade: That's not a common smell here.
Manik: Yep. My own special breed of coffee. I have to make a large shipment to Romeo.
Nero Shade: Good day Zabrak. Beautiful day for a hike.
Zabrak!: Always a nice day on Arcadia
Zabrak!: I love how the sunlight comes through the leaves in patches
Manik tends to his plane to make sure nothing fell off, then heads for the tavern, sipping a large mug of coffee.
Nero Shade: I don't suspect you have been either under the tree on its top, have you?
Zabrak!: I haven't had the pleasure
Nero Shade: You will today.
Nero Shade looks to his plane as his wife, Abby climbs down and walks over to him, in a sling wrapped around Abby is a small baby.
Nero Shade: Z! this is my wife Abby, she will be joining us today. She is from this skyland.
Zabrak! nods at Abby
Zabrak!: Nice to meet you
Zabrak!: What's your child's name?
Nero Shade: and that ball of fur is my son Valiant.
Zabrak!: Cute kid
Nero Shade: Thanks. Are we ready to start then?
Kincaid:: A dark blue Mantis circles the skyland before coming in for a landing, taxing into the hanger. A hat wearing bear hops out and heads out, looking for the group of walkers scheduled for the day.
Taricha approaches, looking shy and more than a little out of breath.
Manik pulls on a rope attaching a box to a wing, which falls over and lands on him.
Nero Shade: Ahh good. Thank you for joining us on this beautiful day for the Arcadia nature walk. I am Nero Shade Jr. and I will be your guide. I must ask that while we are on this walk you respect the people and place we see today as it took several weeks for me to gain permission to visit a few of the locations we will see today.
Zabrak!: Have an in with the governor?
Manik fixes the cargo, and decides to join the group.
Nero Shade: No... *Smiles* it's a bit more complicated here.
Nero Shade: We start today at the Arcadia airport. As you can see from the air, it is one of the only buildings on Arcadia built using modern materials and techniques. What you may not know is that it is the only place that flies a flag. This is because native Arcadians care little for factions and governors and in fact have their very own way of government.
Taricha bobs her head. She can respect people and places!
Kincaid nods.
Zabrak!: Not like Isla di Pisa
Nero Shade: Follow me please. *Starts walking down a path that is well worn but a bit off the main trail.*
Nero Shade: Exactly.
Zabrak! adjusts her pack and follows Nero
Taricha raises her hand. "I haven't spent much time on Arcadia. What -do- they do for government?"
Nero Shade: You may wonder why Arcadians don t just shut themselves off from the rest of the world. This is because their core belief is that we are all brothers and sisters, and the earth is our mother. They hope and work for a unifying of the earth once again, and if the people are divided then the earth cannot heal.
Manik sips his coffee with a deep respect.
Nero Shade: *to Taricha* They live in a theocracy here. The heads of the government of this island are the elders of the religion.
Taricha: Hmm.
Nero Shade: Very kind men. I have met with them several times.
Taricha: All men? No women?
Nero Shade: actually there is one woman.
Nero Shade stops at a large set of steps that run up a small hill. They are steep, very old, and very well worn.
Kincaid yawns and stretches, enjoying the cool breeze.
Taricha ducks her head after asking that--oops, didn't mean sound confrontational.
Manik sipping stops at that note. then continues.
Nero Shade: Ah, here we are. These massive stone steps have been dated to be pre upheaval. They lead up to the most popular shrine in all of skytopia. The shrine of Craptacular missions. Some have suggested that the steps are a representation of the hard work one must go through to gain influence in this world. Others have suggested that climbing these are a form of repentance. Please watch your step as we climb.
Taricha: What kind of offerings do they take?
Nero Shade starts heading up the steps.
Nero Shade: Oh, all sorts of things. You will see.
Zabrak! feels the heavy stones under her feet, still strange even after her countless visits here
Kincaid pauses to take a look at the ancient, well worn stone before following up.
Nero Shade: Several of us have been up these steps more then once.
Kincaid: Mmmhmm.
Taricha: It's lovely.
Nero Shade reaches the top and waits for everyone to arrive.
Manik reaches the top and looks around, sipping his coffee slowly.
Nero Shade looks around. The top of the hill is flat and is littered with piles and piles of junk. There are marbles, plane parts, food, plastic jewelry, and more all surrounding and partly hiding a stone pillar that is no higher then Nero s shoulder.
Kincaid shifts his backpack as he reaches the top, pausing to look backwards down the steps.
Taricha takes her time getting there. Walruses aren't really made for climbing.
Manik stares at the trash, frowning.
Zabrak! waits patiently in the shade, eyeing Kinky thoughtfully
Nero Shade: This is worst the hike will be, I promise. everything after this is level of down hill.
Nero Shade: Here at the top we can see all sorts of junk and all kinds of items people leave. The reason for leaving such interesting items is the fact that the stone pillar that makes up the shrine is blank of any readable description as to what exactly is to be left here. In most cases, as you will see later, shrines tell you what must be done to gain the blessing of the shrine. As you can see, in the absence of such a description we can clearly see people leave anything in the hope of the blessing.
Manik smiles realizing the trash isn't trash.
Taricha peers at the odds and ends, rummaging in her knapsack for something suitable to offer.
Zabrak! picks up a doll and wonders about its provenance
Kincaid smirks, picking up a bent coin. He flicks it up in the air before placing it back down, "Still here."
Manik pulls out a small bag, takes out one coffee bean, and places it in the ground.
Nero Shade: And the blessing is the best missions the people of skytopia can you, one that will gain their upmost respect.
Nero Shade: Alright. Let's head back down the steps and we will be heading clockwise around the island.
Zabrak! contemplates sacrificing Kinky here, as it would kill several birds with one stone
Taricha chuckles. "Goodness knows I could use that." She finds a little bag and tucks it carefully next to a stone. There.
Zabrak! reluctantly decides against it
Nero Shade heads down the stairs.
Kincaid fishes out a couple more coins, puts a crease down each one, and places them in a smile pile, shrugging a breath chill down his spine.
Taricha has no idea of the murderous plots surrounding the party!
Nero Shade: *to Abby* is it good to be home again? *Abby nods and smiles* Good.
Kincaid shifts his backpack and turns about, offering Taricha a paw to help down the steps.
Taricha: Oh--thanks!
Taricha takes it, gratefully, smiling.
Manik walks down the steps, wondering if planting a coffee plant was the right choice.
Nero Shade reaches the bottom and heads down another path off the main trail, this time it is not so well worn.
Nero Shade: Is my pacing too fast? I can slow it a bit if you like.
Zabrak!: I'm fine, Nero
Taricha: I'm doin' all right!
Zabrak! takes up the rear
Kincaid smiles and winks, helping Taricha hop down the steps. "I'm good, Nero."
Taricha chuckles a little. "I really need to get out of my plane more."
Nero Shade: Alright. Just be glad Dad isn't here. He would march us to death doing nothing but pointing.
Nero Shade: He used to love hikes here.
Zabrak!: How is your father, Nero?
Nero Shade continues. The trail heads into a small patch of wild flowers. The colors seeming to shift in the wind.
Nero Shade: He is as good as he can be. He will never fly again, so it is unfortunate that he will never see anything out side of the R&P skyland.
Kincaid: He stopped in at the tavern a day or so ago.
Nero Shade stops just outside a fence and gate made of wood. A Badger dressed in plain and humble clothes waits at the gate.
Nero Shade: I know, he said something about a pirate and a pig.
Nero Shade: [to the whole group] Outside in the undergrowth of the Arcadian tree there are many beautiful gardens and groves kept by the people living here.
Nero Shade points to the grove of pine trees behind him that rest inside the gate.
Nero Shade: This particular grove is tended by the Gulietta family
Kincaid nods, gazing up at the trees silently.
Manik stares at them, sipping coffee as quietly as possible.
Nero Shade Nods to a person by the gate, who opens it and lets the party through. The grove of trees is remarkably clean and quiet. There are animals to be seen, but very few and only with fleeting glances. The trees seem to be a bit different.
Taricha: Has it been in the family a long time, do you know?
Nero Shade: It has been tended by the family sense the Upheaval.
Nero Shade slowly walks through the forest.
Taricha nods. She's a fan of old family traditions.
Nero Shade: As can be plainly seen, every tree has been given excellent attention and there are few if any flaws. No tree is cut down, for to do so is to bring evil upon yourself, and it is believed that each tree is connected spiritually with a Gulietta family member.
Kincaid keeps pace, pausing every now and then to inspect a tree or watch a bit of wildlife scamper by with a smile.
Manik stares at the trees, his deep love of botany taking root (pun not intended)
Zabrak!: I'm amazed there's any soil here left at all
Nero Shade: I would not suggest touching the trees, as it is like touching the person it belongs to inappropriately.
Zabrak!: The Great Tree must take up a lot of nutrients
Nero Shade: Oh, the soil of Arcadia is the best in all Skytopia.
Taricha pulls her hand back quickly, before brushing against bark. Oops!
Manik: How do they choose which tree is connected to which member?
Kincaid: Could be as simple as each member plants their own... Or one is planted when they are born...
Nero Shade: When a family member is born, a sapling is searched for. When several are found they take the child and the first one it reaches out for and grabs is its tree.
Kincaid nods, falling silent.
Manik: Amazing...
Nero Shade: speaking of saplings...
Taricha: Aww. That's...a really nice tradition.
Nero Shade: What is most unfortunate is that certain scientists, pardon me, botanists actually came and took a sapling without any permission a couple years back. This was a direct insult to the family and it only recently made it back to the grove, but the harm was done. It is not expected that the tree will grow to be anything close to the others here.
Nero Shade: That, and it will never have a person connected to it.
Manik: Poor little thing, I'm a botanist myself, but I have a respect for other peoples property.
Taricha: Oh, gosh. What would have happened if it had already been someone's tree?
Manik: One war, hold the cream and sugar. *sips coffee*
Nero Shade: The family might have demanded the botanist given over to them for trial.
Nero Shade: punishment would have either been servitude or death.
Zabrak!: It's unfortunate that the faction controlling the skyland allowed that to happen, Nero
Taricha nods. Mental note not to pick any flowers.
Kincaid: Do they allow visitors to see this tree?
Nero Shade: Kincaid, we are lucky enough that they let us walk through the grove.
Nero Shade reaches the end of the grove, the path leading into an opening.
Manik keeps his hands close to his person.
Kincaid chuckles and nods, "Understood."
Nero Shade: Now that we are on the other side of the grove let turn your attention to the home of the Gulietta family. As you can see it is made in the roots of the Arcadian tree.
Alorwin : Rachel trots in the bar with a loud purr and waves around at everyone present
Nero Shade points towards the home. All that is visible is the door and a wall around it.
Kincaid: Nice door.
Manik 's jaw drops.
Nero Shade the rest of the home seems to be under a massive root.
Nero Shade: No cutting on the roots was done to make this home. Most of the roots were formed over time to fit the home, and much of the home is underground. This is typical of the buildings found on the skyland. Everyone is made from the natural environment around it and none of the homes destroy or take from beauty that surrounds it.
Zabrak!: Who lives in this hole in the ground?
Taricha: That must take forever...
Nero Shade: The Gulietta family lives here.
Manik jaw is still wide open.
Kincaid closes Manik's jaw for him.
Zabrak!: In a hole in the ground there lives a family?
Nero Shade: Yes.
Manik: Thanks.
Nero Shade smiles
Nero Shade: And we are about to see more homes in a hole in the ground.
Kincaid nods.
Taricha: A lot of badger families around here?
Nero Shade starts on another path that moves closer to the massive trunk in the tree.
Zabrak!: How are the roots encouraged to grow in this manner, Nero?
Zabrak!: Rocks and spacers, I imagine?
Nero Shade: Exactly Zabrak. With gentle force and some secrets even the Blue Faction has not been able to figure out.
Kincaid smirks and rolls his eyes.
Nero Shade: but mostly, rock and spacers.
Nero Shade stops at a massive arc, one of the few things that can be seen from the air clearly. It is made of polished stone, and almost looks seamless.
Manik stares at the stone while sipping coffee.
Taricha glances over at the coffee. She shoulda picked some up herself.
Zabrak!: This looks very cold, somehow
Zabrak!: Can we touch it?
Nero Shade: This arc was created not long after the tree grew to the height it is now. It is the entrance to the tunnels and caves under the tree. It took several years to finish the arc, and once again it is worthy to note that it is made of materials found here on this skyland and in ways that did minimal harm to the environment around it. If you are claustrophobic you do not need to follow me but I assure you that the passageways are no more cramped then most cockpits.
Nero Shade: You can touch arc, there is no harm in doing so.
Taricha runs a finger along the stone.
Kincaid reaches out, paw brushing against the polished stone.
Manik notices Taricha. Oh you want some? I have quite a bit. *shakes extinguisher-sized thermos on back*
Taricha: You don't mind? Thanks. I was running a little late this morning....
Zabrak! feels that it's smoother than it looks
Manik pulls out a mug and pours some coffee into it, then hands it to Taricha.
Nero Shade walks into the main room for the underground complex.
Taricha: Thanks!
Nero Shade stops at a small stone pedestal. On top is a large stone bowl with many large white crystals in it. The room itself is large, and the party fits in it comfortably.
Manik: Welcome. I have a medical condition, so I need to have this much coffee with me at all times *sips coffee*
Taricha: Hope I'm not depriving you....oops. *scuttles along to catch up to the rest of the group*
Nero Shade: Just inside the main tunnel we find the Shrine of the Underdark. Here small crystals are left in this stone bowl by those leaving the tunnels and taken by those who enter. This is because the crystals give off light in the dark. They are also reported to have healing powers. It is because of this that several greedy merchants have tried to set up shop and sell these crystals, some going to far as to use this shrine as their supply.
Kincaid follows along, taking the pause in the tour to fetch a bottle of water from his backpack.
Nero Shade: However, doing so has become illegal as these are viewed as public property here on this island. I would also suggest you do not take the crystals out of the cave as its considered bad luck and an offense to the spirits. But such mumbo jumbo hasn't seemed to stop many a scientist, who seem to forget to leave what is sacred alone.
Manik: *catches up with the group as well* *whispers to Taricha* this is enough for two weeks of solid awake.
Nero Shade: Please take a crystal.
Zabrak! takes a crystal, appreciating its remarkable luster
Nero Shade takes one for him self and hands another to his wife Abby.
Manik puts on a glove for consideration, and picks up a crystal.
Taricha takes a crystal rather gingerly.
Nero Shade heads deeper into the room, as he does so, the crystal lights up and sheds light in about a ten foot diameter.
Taricha: Dunno if I want to know what makes it glow...
Kincaid takes a sip of his drink before tucking it back into the backpack. He snags a crystal last, holding it up to better see the glow.
Manik foolishly looks at the crystal just as it starts to glow. "Oww!"
Nero Shade enters a tunnel, it is rather open and large enough for three people to walk side by side.
Nero Shade: The underground is full of both manmade and natural caverns, and Arcadia sports the largest cave system in Skytopia. Granted, it is not so large that you will get lost long enough to starve to death, but I wouldn't go wandering where you are not familiar with the passages.
Nero Shade stops at an intersection and looks are three passages that he could take.
Manik: to Taricha: Say. What's your name?
Nero Shade: Now... where from... oh yes.
Zabrak! eyes Nero warily
Taricha looks sheepish. "Taricha--good to meet you. Guess it's a little rude to take someone's coffee before an introduction."
Nero Shade continues to a large wooden door. It has the island of Arcadia carved into it along with many other ornate designs.
Nero Shade: Please keep you voice down in this next cavern, and please don't touch anything, we are entering one of the only natural caverns in Skytopia.
Zabrak! , with a struggle, restrains herself
Kincaid comments dryly, "This can only end well." Before following Nero into the cavern of quiet and notouchy.
Taricha jams her free hand into her pocket and keeps the other tight around the coffee. Mmmhm.
Nero Shade opens the door and lets everyone in. It is a massive room, filled with crystal formations of every type. Some give off light but others only reflect the light of others.
Nero Shade the floor is even and clear, but obviously natural. Nero moves to the middle of the room, as the back has a few people sitting and meditating.
Zabrak! tilts her head up and soaks in the enormity of this space
Nero Shade: This cavern is called the Rainbow room, and for good obvious reasons. Please keep your voice down because many people come here for meditation and healing. It is taught that great energy is focused by the crystals and the flow of our energy can be made to be in tune with the crystals. The result is a state of deep meditation in which you become aware of your whole being. I do not know exactly why this state is reached in this room and no where else.
Kincaid nods, glancing at the various crystals.
Manik sips his coffee and stares at all the crystals, then the one he has.
Taricha too sips coffee now. Quietly.
Nero Shade: I can say that I have experienced it and I hope to be able to do so again soon
Manik: *quietly to Taricha* forgot to mention, my name is Manik DepraSeeve.
Nero Shade: Oh, and for those who wonder why this has not been studied, it was and no one liked the big loud instruments the scientists used. There was also an unfortunate accident where some of the crystals were damaged. To preserve this place, no studies are going to be allowed ever again.
Zabrak! feels a long scar along her shoulder blades start to itch
Nero Shade motions to a patch of dim and damaged crystals by the door.
Taricha: Manik DepraSeeve. Pleased to meet you! *frees up a hand for shaking* *wonders why the name sounds so familiar...like some phrase...eh.*
Taricha: --It's a shame they can't work out some kind of compromise for study.
Manik: Hee. *shakes hand*
Nero Shade then lets the tour soak in the room. His wife is obviously very happy to in the room.
Manik: Scientists should respect what they study, or they're no better than vandals.
Kincaid hmmms softly, so badly wanting to touch one of the glowing crystals, but drawing his paw back with a tsk.
Zabrak! feels questions for Abby bubble up inside her, but stifles them as her scar's itching intensifies
Nero Shade silently motions for the tour to slowly make their way back the way they came.
Taricha trundles along quietly like a good tourist.
Nero Shade moves to and waits by the door, smiling and nodding at everyone who moves by him.
Manik: to Taricha: If you're wondering why my name sounds so odd, my parents used their first names to form my last name.
Kincaid crouches down and draws something in the dirt before he notices the tour moving on. He stands up and brushes the drawing away with a boot before moving along.
Taricha: Ahh. I was, a little. But I didn't want to...you know. You're probably tired of people asking.
Zabrak! squints at Kinky, silently, then moves on
Manik: No. I mostly need to tell people, otherwise they walk away or call the Happy Hotel.
Nero Shade closes the door once everyone is out and leads them a little ways from the door before speaking again.
Taricha: Heh. Here I was, just gonna smile and nod. *grins at him*
Taricha hushes up again so Nero can speak.
Manik: *mouths* thanks.
Nero Shade: I apologize for all the places we have visited where you must restrain yourself, but it is part of the Arcadia belief that self control is one of the top attributes one must develop.
Manik imagines Rachel in a place like this and shivers.
Kincaid nods.
Nero Shade: We only have one more place where I will ask you to restrain yourself and everything after that you may touch and speak freely.
Nero Shade moves down another passage way, his wife Abby helping him when they come to any crossroads.
Taricha: It's a little like your first time in a cockpit as a kid. "You can look but don't you dare press that button."
Kincaid shakes his head. "Left, then right." He murmurs to himself, looking back behind him.
Nero Shade: very much so. *he grins and seems amused.*
Nero Shade: As we move on through the caverns, you probably notice that there are doors or doorways in each corridor. These are homes. In fact we are right now moving through a small community of Moles. Their homes are simple and made of the rock of the earth. There is no longer any mining on Arcadia, but many of these homes were once part of mining operations used to harvest much of the materials used on this skyland for homes and other items.
Nero Shade nods at a passing mole, who smiles and bows at everyone before ducking into one of the homes.
Zabrak! reaches up to put a light hand on Kinky's shoulder
Zabrak!: Put it out of your mind
Nero Shade: Any questions before we reach the next part of this hike?
Kincaid looks at Zabrak! and smiles, "Only tracking our path. Nero seems a bit lost down here."
Nero Shade over hears Kincaid, as the cave seems to carry sound rather well.
Zabrak! feels Kinky's muscles tighten under her hand all the same
Taricha looks over her shoulder at the mini-scene. Hrm.
Nero Shade: Abby is very well familiar with the caves, as she grew up here. If we do get lost because of me, not only will I hear about it latter but I will be told where I made a wrong turn.
Zabrak! smirks and favors Abby with a nod
Kincaid catches Z!'s gaze via crystal light before looking down at her paw on his shoulder. He flicks an ear and looks about at Nero, nodding slightly. "Understood."
Zabrak! takes her hand from Kinky, holding his eye for a moment longer than is comfortable
Nero Shade stops at a set of double doors. They are made of strong, thick wood, and over laid with ornate bronze. The markings are hard to understand, but it seems to show the Tree, Nature, and Life.
Kincaid smirks at her before turning to look at the doors.
Zabrak!: Very impressive scrollwork, here
Nero Shade: Any questions about anything we have seen so far? We are about to enter an area where no talking is permitted at all.
Taricha: Is that writing on the door? Or just pictorial?
Nero Shade: Yes it is. These doors depict a time dreamed of by all Arcadians.
Manik finishes his coffee quickly, clips the mug to his belt, and keeps his mouth closed.
Nero Shade: A time when all of the earth is whole again. When were are no longer bound to small flying islands but have a whole world to walk on.
Zabrak!: What language is this?
Nero Shade: It is pictograms created and used by the monks of this cavern.
Taricha blinks. But flying islands are so...normal!
Nero Shade: Any language could be used in reading it, you just need to understand the pictograms.
Nero Shade: Now, before we enter the next cavern and the cave complex I must ask that you be quiet and listen. These are the Chanting Caves. The monks that abide here chant in low long tones while slowly reciting their prayer. The caves carry the sounds, sometimes the same note will linger for days, and it is thought that the voice of the gods can be heard in these echoes. You not only hear their prayers but also their singing prayer bowls, which I will show you after we move through the first passageway.
Nero Shade: ((think underground Tibetan monk chanting...))
Kincaid fetches his drink, takes a long drink, and replaces it. He shifts his backpack slightly before settling down, nodding that he is ready.
Zabrak! takes a long pull from her canteen, steadies herself, and nods as well
Nero Shade with surprising ease he pulls the doors open. He ushers the people inside to a small room with a smaller door. Already a quiet low chanting can be heard.
Manik: ((oooooooooooooooooooooooompa dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooompa doooooopity doooo.))
Nero Shade quietly, he closes the door once everyone is inside.
Taricha: ((*snrk* ))
Nero Shade: ((Ha! I can't stop laughing....))
Taricha tiptoes.
Kincaid flicks an ear at the chanting, head tilting a bit to the side.
Nero Shade opens the smaller door, the chanting grows in volume, the monotone note complemented by quieter notes of different pitch. Nero motions everyone to follow him and at an easy pace he moves through a honey comb of tunnels, this time very sure of where he is going.
Zabrak! feels her ears prick up at the complex harmony
Manik attempts to make sense of it all.
Kincaid follows along, feeling a sense of calm carried to him by the continuous chanting.
Taricha is reminded of being underwater. It's nice.
Nero Shade as he moves he soaks in the sound. Suddenly, a bell is rung but instead of being even, it seems to pulse between two notes. It continues for a remarkably long time.
Kincaid blinks at the sound of bell, turning to see Nero's reaction.
Zabrak! feels herself begin to sway slightly
Nero Shade What is remarkable is that only a few monks are visible, and all of them are sitting. None of the ones passed seem to be chanting.
Nero Shade is calm as the bell rings. Finally another door is reached and Nero opens it and ushers everyone in.
Taricha realizes she's been holding her breath.
Manik walks into the door as quietly as possible.
Nero Shade closes the door once everyone is inside and nods to a couple old monks. One is a mole, the other is bear.
Nero Shade: We can now talk in low whispers.
Taricha: ((Shoot, I have to get offline sooner than I thought. Pretend Taricha is being good and quiet in the back of the group?))
Nero Shade: ((okay ))
Zabrak! lets out her breath, along with Taricha
Zabrak! is impressed at how quiet Valiant has been through this
Kincaid takes a deep breath.
Nero Shade looks at Abby and Valiant, who is asleep in his sling.
Kincaid nods towards the monks and takes a moment to look about this room.
Zabrak! always feels a bit anxious around people wearing robes - too easy to conceal an arsenal
Nero Shade nods and then bows to the monks, who bow back. Nero then picks up a large metal bowl.
Nero Shade: This is a singing prayer bowl. With the help of a wood mallet you can create a tone that will linger as long as you keep the mallet moving and touching the bowl with the correct pressure. Like this. Each bowl has a tone and each tone is used for a different form of meditation. One last fact, the bowls are made of metals found here on Arcadia and are rare to find outside of the skyland. I wouldn't suggest setting up shop though, each bowl is sacred and trying to sell them is looked at as a taboo.
Nero Shade: ((http://youtube.com/watch?v=5XeIvRuER2o&feature=related ))
Nero Shade: ((that's the type of bowl I am describing.))
Nero Shade: ((http://noteablebowls.com/ ))
Nero Shade: ((and there is a site with more info.))
Zabrak! sits down and takes a bowl and mallet
Zabrak! closes her eyes and starts to hum
Kincaid wanders over to a bowl and mallet, deciding to let Zabrak! offer herself up for example.
Nero Shade smiles and lets Z! do what she likes. The monks smile and bow to her and also let her try the bowl.
Gunnar Matheson (R&P) rolls over in his sleep and cuddles his pillow, muttering something unintelligible.
Zabrak! can feel the eyes on her, as she starts to produce a haunting, reverberating tone from the bowl
Zabrak! stands, the echoes remaining in the hall
Nero Shade Smiles and nods. He motions to another door.
Kincaid watches quietly, "Well done." He murmurs softly to Zabrak! after she finished before heading to the door.
Nero Shade: This way leads back to the entrance.
Nero Shade opens the door, lets everyone through and then softly closes it.
Zabrak! shoots Kinky a look over her shoulder, and purposely does not break stride
Nero Shade opens another set of the double wood and bronze doors and lets everyone through before closing those as well.
Nero Shade: There is one other notable cavern but we will not visit that today as we have neither time nor permission. It is the Root Chamber. Inside, the main room to the Great Tree is visible. That chamber is used as the council room for the elders.
Zabrak! makes a mental note, and taps her chin thoughtfully
Kincaid holds her gaze calmly, a small smile on his features. He nods, taking note of this special room.
Nero Shade walks down a passage way, being sure to keep the party together as he does so. Soon they are back at the Shrine of the Underdark.
Nero Shade puts his crystal back but instead of leaving the cave, he enters a shallow hall where a fox dressed in plain clothes waits by a rail.
Manik takes one last look at the crystal before placing it back
Nero Shade: we can head up to the canopy of the tree this way. Be sure to drop off your crystal as we pass the shrine.
Zabrak! fights a weird impulse to pocket her crystal, then puts it back
Nero Shade waits just a shot bit and then a large wooden elevator car lowers just behind the rail. The fox raises the rail and Nero enters the large elevator car.
Kincaid carefully sets his crystal down into the bowl after thumbing it for a second.
Manik takes the glove he held the crystal with.
Nero Shade: Quickly, The elevator leave soon.
Kincaid steps inside the elevator.
Manik gets on the elevator.
Zabrak! hustles over to the elevator, contemplating hooking a foot through Kinky's legs but dismissing the notion
Nero Shade nods to the fox as the rail is lowered and the elevator lurches up. It moves with surprising speed.
Nero Shade: This Elevator was created after the hollow it resides in was discovered. It leads up to the lowest branches of the tree. It is powered not by electricity but by a mixture of water and wind power. It has one car and it moves every half hour. The other options for reaching the canopy are stairs and rope ladders. I prefer this.
Zabrak! would have enjoyed the climb
Zabrak! taps her toe impatiently in the elevator
Nero Shade: *To Abby* How's he doing?
Nero Shade: [Abby] The chanting put him to sleep.
Nero Shade: Well, I am sure the birds will wake him up.
Kincaid: Birds?
Nero Shade holds a railing as the elevator comes to a stop. He steps out onto a large and open branch. A great deal of the canopy is covered with well made walkways.
Nero Shade: You'll see.
Nero Shade starts along a large and well used walkway.
Nero Shade: Here in lower branches of the tree you can see for you self the many bridges and walkways that will keep you safe in our walk. You can also notice that many people, Squirrels especially, have created homes in these branches. All of the homes are small and well anchored to the tree, but none of them harm or carve into the tree. A few are made out of natural hollows in the tree, but mostly they are external.
Kincaid nods and follows along, taking a second to peer over and down at the ground before looking up at the many branches disappearing upwards.
Zabrak! breathes in deeply the cold, clean air at the heights
Nero Shade leads the party along to a large net wall that spans a great distance in either direction.
Nero Shade: Here we have the Grand Aviary.
Manik pulls out a mug and pours a fresh cup of coffee, which he needs deathly.
Nero Shade leads them into the aviary, moving through double netted doors. There is a walk way that spans the entire perimeter, the interior is mostly branches and leaves. Everywhere there are colorful birds of every kind and type. The most numerous is a large bird with black iridescent body feathers but long and broad tail feathers.
Nero Shade: . This is kept not as a cage or zoo for the birds but as a refuge. You will note the doors in the ceiling are open for the birds to come and go. Here the birds have no predators and no one is allowed to harm them as long as they are in these walls. This became necessary after a good number of them were hunted for their beautiful feathers. Now you can only take the feathers the birds shed, but that has not stopped sneaky poachers from finding ways to get their prize.
Manik pulls his hood over his head. He knows birds all to well.
Kincaid snags a glittering feather as it floats down through the air, turning it over in his paws.
Nero Shade holds out his hand and lets a green bird land on his arm. Valiant indeed wakes up as predicted from the almost deafening bird calls. Abby is able to calm him.
Nero Shade: You can keep that Kincaid.
Kincaid: Hmm. Thanks.
Kincaid ponders tickling Z! with it, but decides to wait.
Zabrak! unclenches her fist
Zabrak!: Are these birds migratory, Nero?
Nero Shade lets the bird fly off.
Nero Shade: Some of them yes.
Nero Shade: But most of them, especially the large black one, are rarely found outside of Arcadia.
Kincaid: You seem... tense, Zabrak!. Bad experiences with birds?
Nero Shade slowly moves along the perimeter walkway and stops at another screen door.
Kincaid looks through his backpack, "Shame, didn't bring anything a bird might find appetizing."
Nero Shade: oh, I almost forgot that there is bird feed in these little sheds here. *motioning to a small shed. There are more of them visible through out the aviary.*
Zabrak!: Bad experience with feathers
Zabrak! glances at Kinky coolly, then takes a handful of feed and tosses it into the air
Nero Shade: But let us move further to the end of the walk and you can come back if you wish when we are finished.
Zabrak! watches as a small flock circles over Kinky, snatching feed out of the air
Kincaid quickly steps out of the feather whirlwind, a couple feathers richer, and moves over to Nero.
Nero Shade walks trough another screen door and up a walkway that slops upward.
Kincaid shakes his hat free of birdseed quickly as the feeding frenzy picks up, brushing some off his shoulders as well. He quickly follows after Nero, waggling a feather at Z!
Zabrak! smirks at a few new stains on Kinky's back, and follows him and Nero both
Nero Shade continues as the walkway wraps around the trunk of the tree, only to break away to some steps that lead up a small platform.
Nero Shade: This is the top of the tree and here we will find the highest shrine of the skyland, the Shrine of the Sky.
Nero Shade motions towards a small stone slab with a deep impression in it. Smoke trails upwards from the impression and the smell of lavender incense fills the air.
Nero Shade looks up, as the sky is visibly clear of the canopy this high. Only a few smaller branches reach higher then this platform.
Nero Shade takes out a few rolls of dry lavender and hands them out to everyone.
Zabrak! accepts one with a genuine smile
Kincaid takes the bit of lavender with a nod.
Nero Shade: At this shrine one leaves a roll of lavender. This is an offering for safety and peace in the skies.
Nero Shade sets his rolls down in the impression softly, so not to stir up any burning embers.
Nero Shade bows to a Squirrel attendant before retreating back peacefully.
Kincaid lets Z! go before him.
Zabrak! lays down her own, and though not religious, feels a sensation of tranquility in the skies wash over her
Kincaid allows Zabrak! all the time she takes, waiting till she retreats before placing his own down and whispering a couple of names before falling back.
Nero Shade: This is the end of the hike. Are there any questions before we part?
Zabrak!: Nero, are there any theories as to how the Great Tree has grown so large?
Nero Shade: Some think it was unobtainum, others believe that it grew to the height it is now because of the massive spiritual energy it has. Other still say that the gods let it grow to such height as a sign that we are not forgotten.
Nero Shade: We really do not know, and there is currently a battle between scientist and Arcadians on the matter of study.
Zabrak!: I know there are a number of revered artifacts throughout Skytopia carved from wood of the Great Tree
Zabrak!: My desk at Islo is one of them
Zabrak!: How is harvesting done here?
Nero Shade: There are. And most of them are from fallen branches.
Kincaid nods
Nero Shade: There were a few instances where part of the tree were cut away for the trees own safety. I am no botanist so I can't really say more.
Kincaid: Are there laws against anyone collecting such fallen pieces?
Nero Shade: Not really. The large chunks, like the one that desk was carved from, are always claimed by the people of Arcadia. However if you can find smaller branches, no one will stop you from taking them.
Kincaid nods.
Nero Shade: In the case of the people here claiming the large chunks, they either use them for their own homes or sell them to merchants. Though the tree is sacred, once something falls off of it, it is considered dead and that's what allows the wood to be sold.
Zabrak! looks around, and finds a small fallen branch about six inches long and an inch wide
Nero Shade looks to see if there are further questions.
Zabrak!: This'll make a nice knife handle - I wonder if it'll bring me luck
Kincaid smiles and nods, likewise finding a branch. He holds it up against one of the feathers and hmms softly, giving Zabrak! a look.
Nero Shade smirks at the exchange.
Kincaid stands and shifts his backpack, pocketing the branch and feather. "So, fun way getting down?"
Zabrak! glares at Kinky, then turns to Nero
Zabrak!: Yes, is there perhaps a rope line?
Nero Shade: Well there are many ways of getting down. One of the quickest and possibly most thrilling is jumping.
Nero Shade: And one can do that with a parachute.
Zabrak!: I think I'll pass on that
Nero Shade: You would be surprised how much that is done here.
Kincaid: Hmm, a zip line would be fun.
Nero Shade: There are zip lines, ropes, rope ladders, the elevator of course, a couple sets of stairs.
Kincaid nods, looking around for a zip line.
Nero Shade: The natives here are very helpful, and would be happy to show you the ways down.
Nero Shade: And now, if you will excuse me, I have to go visit family.
Nero Shade: Thank you for coming along. I hope you enjoyed it.
Kincaid nods and bows to Nero. "It was a great experience. Thank you."
Zabrak! takes Nero's hands, then Abby's
Zabrak!: Yes, thank you so much for a wonderful day
Zabrak!: My blessings to you and your son
Nero Shade bows slightly. Abby smiles shyly and does the same.
Zabrak! smirks one last time at Kinky, then races him to the zip line
Kincaid tucks one of his collected feathers at the foot of the small child's sling, giving both him and his mother a wink, "For luck." He looks around dashes after Zabrak!.
Nero Shade with a wave they leave together, heading back to the lower parts of the tree.
Zabrak! cackles with glee as she screams down the length of the rope
Kincaid follows at Zabrak!, laughing as he zooms along the line.
Zabrak! dismounts with a backflip, flings her arms into the air, and leaps into her TBolt
Zabrak! shouts over the engines as they fire up, "See you in the skies, slowpoke!"
Kincaid smirks as he watches Z! fly off, disappearing into his own plane.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:13 pm 
RP Canoneer

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Thanks for posting that Zabrak! I might work and convert the information for the Arcadia entry in the Skybrary.

When is the next walk and where will it be?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:44 pm 

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How about Jordan? They should have some interesting plant and wildlife over there...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:03 am 

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I suggest an underwater adventure in the depths of Midgard's magnificient lake.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:14 am 
Developer

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I read all of the nature walk here, and most of it while it was going on, and I must say, I was thrilled to see what wonderfully rich worlds you guys were coming up with. It astounds me that you took such a humble starting point and fleshed it out into a living, breathing world.

I especially loved the spiritual connection between newborns and saplings. What was the inspiration for that? It's such a wonderful mental image, and I wish it was real.

-PL-


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:41 am 
RP Canoneer

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I cant really say where that connection came from. I know there are stories and even cultures where children are connected to something at birth, but at this moment I can really give any examples.

I have a deep experience in creating worlds as I have three of my own I have worked on for more then ten years. I do have one culture in my oldest world where a race of beast riders look for an animal that was born the same time their children were. Once found, the animal is linked to the child and they are raised together. Maybe thats where I got the trees from.

I would be honored to lead another walk but my time just got more limited. I am now involved in a play production. Saturdays from 2pm - 4pm will be taken up due to rehearsals until the end of September. I could be available to do another if they end no latter then 1 pm (West Coast time here) Just let me know. My Saturday mornings are usely free.

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