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Haven’t been down in a while. Surface work seems to always take priority. Found a Maintainer testing bay of some kind a few days ago. Looks like they were working on a newer version of the portable extruder tech we use. Current model is like a sledgehammer, great for discontiguing a wall or coalescing a conference room, but pretty shoddy at making anything fine and intricate like integrated wiring or sequence strings. I still have a lot of work to do to get this up and running but, if/when I can, it’s going to make restoring mechanisms a lot easier. D’ni didn’t exactly make it’s devices with easy-open panel, up until this point I usually had to cut a terminal open manually, fix any of the devices inside, and then seal it back up again. reducing the influence sphere of the extruder means I can do all the internal work from the outside. Also probably means I can put better locks on some of this stuff.
Took an unpleasant tumble exploring an area of the upper city wall, and had to spend entirely too much time abed recovering. On top of that, it broke my KI, so I’m having to putter around rebuilding Nexus links and KI lists and such. Inconvenient, but a good excuse to wander around and get some excercise.
Afelahn again – we used a medium excavator to dig into the rock, in a steep angle downwards into the mountain.
We had to use this steep angle, because over this region the valley begins, and we didn´t want to dig to the outside of the age.
Shane Kennett and his team helped me a lot, unfortunately they also wrecked the staircase to my office – some of the stairs broke under the big weight of the excavator, and some of the other are really scratched and scarred.
Well, I guess, we´ll have to repair them now …
Apart from this minor destructions, all went well. We excavated a corridor downwards, and then a huge room, which will be our “atrium” for the residential wing of the base.
Shane also used a smaller D’ni machine, which is able to cut stairs out of the rock to add an amazing stone staircase downwards to the atrium.
From this place, we will be able to dig deep into the rock and establish all the rooms necessary to live here for a longer time.
The number of expediton members is now equal to before all went down some years ago.
Most members have returned and/or rejoined the expedition now.
Some of those who stay away might have been involved with the destruction of Asheten mansion…
Since nobody on the surface officially knows about the cavern, we can´t really do anything against them – at least not legally. They are at least banned from any age or area we are researching and/or rebuilding – they cost us a lot, not only money, but also time and ressources.
Now, we have to depend on the ressources of D’ni and its ages mostly – we gather food from the ages, use more and more D’ni tools and machines, and many of us have made a home down here in the caverns on a permanent basis.
As I am writing this, Yeeshas words from her last visit at K’veer come into my mind: “Find a way, make a home!”
Well, I guess that´s exactly what we are doing.
Maybe we together, explorers, scientists, visitors – not only of the Forberg expedition, but the whole number of people down here in the caverns and in D’ni can find a solution to the big conflict that might still be going on out there…
Some years ago, in this Blogpost, I wrote about the age we then called “Unknown age 02″ because we hadn´t found any D’ni name for it.
I´ll repost the information I gave back then about this age:
“It seems to have been some kind of submarine science station erected by the old D’ni. It is some kind of pod – but a different one than those we know from “Reziksehv” – with some observation cupolas. The marine life in this age is very different from what we know – there are no fish, but some strange, ribbonlike animals, which are slowly moving through the water.
The temperature seems to be quite hot – the pod is heavily insulated, but there are D’ni scales that show temperatures about 176° Fahrenheit (80° Celsius).
How these creatures can survive this hellish environment, is one of the goals of our research there.
Our interns have dubbed them “Hadesfish”, after the greek underworld.”
Now, some years later, we know the name of the age, because we found some books of commentary about it.
Its writer, a D’ni named Furash, who was well known for having an unique and strange style of writing ages, called it “Pohiresh”.
It wasn´t open to the general public back when D’ni thrived, but only to a few selected guildsmen who did extensive research on the strange creatures of this ages ocean.
These studies have proven very useful for us and helped us understand some of the strange characteristics of the “Hadesfish” and other creatures which are similarily adapted to this hot biotope.
We even managed to bring some of these creatures to Afelahn, where we put them in one of the aquariums we installed some months ago.
The aquarium is constantly kept on 81 ° Celsius and refilled regularly with water from the Pohiresh ocean.
Unfortunately, we couldn´t transfer Hadesfish from the age alive – they died within minutes when put into transport vessels.
But we managed to catch some of the strange, red creatures we call “Red orbs”, which are round with an abrasive, scaly shell. They float around in the oceans, pushed by the currents, and tend to stick together to form huge colonies, literally being adhered to each another.
The D’ni didn´t leave a lot of information about these strange animals, and so they are a target of momentarily intense research by our expedition teams.
Over the last few months, I did a LOT of work in Afelahn, expanding it rather quickly.
I plan on opening the age to the public in 2015, I know, I have announced this a few times already, but this time the age is in a state I can predict to be safe and interesting in only a couple of months, maybe even earlier.
I also will post KI-shots over the next weeks to show you how far the age has developed, and what you can expect to see.
My home base has come a long way. It started with a cavern in the rock, and now has grown to almost 20 rooms.
Looking forward to hear opinions on Afelahn soon!
By the way, the expedition also has almost regrown to its old numbers, most of our former members are back and already working again on various projects.
Yesterday, Shane Kennett, Carla Mastrelli and Keira Bracetty presented their plans of rebuilding at least part of old Asheten mansion, our former headquarters until its destruction in the year 2012.
The next big projects after Afelahn to restore to a level, where the ages can be visited by the general public, will be Ahnoto and Risoahl.
Stay tuned over the next months!
Now, the last three posts I told you, dear readers, what happened over the last years. Now, we have almost arrived at the present.
The following happened in September 2014, in my first age of Afelahn.
Since our last expedition some years ago, we hadn´t went far from the valley where my home base is situated – or better, near the mountain, were the base is in.
But on 20th of september, Clint Spano, Noemi Moots, Alex – who had returned to the cavern only one week earlier – and myself went on a hike up the valley, into the mountain range.
It was almost evening, when we finally came to a small brook, which after some hundred meters disappeared underground.
We took water samples and returned to the base.
Some days later, Alex told me, she wanted to explore the lower side of the valley, to look for the exact spot, where the brook came out of the mountain again.
I had some work to do on another of my projects, and so Noemi went with her.
When they returned, they brought some really good KI-shots with them – they indeed had found the brook again, only now it was a river, more than 5 meters wide and at least 2 meters deep.
When we sat in my office, discussing their findings and examining the pictures on our KIs, I came up with an idea.
I dont know, if you, dear readers, remember my old posts about the so called critters, our small, remote controlled vessels, some on wheels, some flying – and some floating on water.
One of the latter, critter 4, is stable enough to withstand the currents of a fast flowing river – and so we decided, to give it a try and explore the river downwards by letting poor little critter 4 be carried away by the water.
We realized, that we almost certainly wouldn´t be able to retrieve the small vessel, but at least we´d get a lot of interesting shots from the downhill part of the mountain range.
And so we did.
The camera that was built into the critter showed us, that beyond the part of the river that we could see there was a section with dangerous rapids – the critter was flung from one side to the other very fast and violently, but miraculously, it survived the harsh voyage, until it reached calmer, slower currents. It was not until then that we saw the rocks part way to let us watch in astounishment, as we saw a huge, lush forest with big trees, long, green vines and big, almost three meter high ferns. A little bit it reminded me of Yagee Mohts, but it was even cooler, and even more moist.
We hadn´t expected such vegetation after having experienced only the harsh, cool and barren mountain range.
Critter 4 finally came to a halt, when it hit a big root, that grew into the water in a big arch. We tried to get loose, but to no avail.
We decided to shut down Critter 4, to spare some battery power for later.
All these pictures and film material will need some time for examination – we still aren´t done with it five months later!
In the following months, we “played it safe”, stood in ages like Afelahn, Risoahl or in D’ni and continued our research. Numbers still dwindled, to the point, when our group only consisted of four people: Shane Kennett, Jack Rowe, Tom Woods, and myself.
Chances were that in a few weeks nobody would be around any more.
I had big doubts myself about staying down in the caverns, but I had invested so much work and time, that I decided to stay, whatever happened around me.
Then, in march 2014, surface issues forced me to abandon my team for some weeks, spending a lot of time in my home country of Austria to sort things out.
I finally returned to Afelahn in June, only to find the age deserted. Everyone had left. I tried to contact some of the other groups, but no one answered. It was as if D’ni had once again died.
From my previous experience, I was sure, that D’ni finally would revive again, like it had again and again – still, a dark spot of doubt lay on my soul. What if nobody ever would return? What if D’ni was done for good this time?
I lost motivation. Many of my projects came to an abrupt halt. I locked away the books I still had, with the exception of Afelahn, which I visited sporadically.
Then, in september 2014, when I once again browsed some of the explorers forums, I read an announcement by some former team members of the Forberg expedition. Funding had been secured again, scientists, workers and explorers from the former team returned at a fast pace, and projects were restarted, continued and begun.
Euphorically, I packed my stuff, told the surface goodbye once again, and returned to D’ni.
It wasn´t for the first time, but it felt different – hope, and a feeling of determination were stronger and more urgent than ever before.
After the expedition fell apart, we – that is our small team of explorers, scientists and friends – continued to research, explore and write.
Our work was much more difficult – our ressources small, our time sparse.
And finally, even the few people left started to leave for the surface.
I was one of the few who remained – mainly working on my own ages, but sometimes I managed to pay a visit to ages like Risoahl, Resehren or even Yoshonah.
Then came the darkest day of the year 2013. On 20th of September, a small expedition, consisting of Shane Kennett, Alex, Noelle, Jack Rowe and myself, went to Nifehrehn.
We wore our maintainer suits to protect ourselves from the extremely harsh cold of the age.
When we left the abandoned D’ni outpost, we almost immediately got lost due to our compasses spinning around maniacally, which had happened never before in Nifehrehn.
As we were trying to find the way back, one of the apex predators of the age attacked us out of the blue – or rather, out of the white – and quickly locked jaws onto Jacks suit, ripping it open.
It would surely have killed him, if not for Shane, who had a D’ni stun gun with him. He stabbed the thing with the gun, and it shrieked terribly, rearing up and starting to run away. Some 20 meters (approx. 60 feet) away, it collapsed and – as we found out later – died. It seems, these creatures are extremely vulnerable to this kind of stunning device.
Jack lost a lot of blood, and the cold started to take a heavy toll on him. Fortunately, our combined efforts helped us to rescue him just in time, and then leaving quickly with our emergency books that led us back to D’ni.
Jack had to undergo massive medical treatment, but after a few weeks, he fully recovered from his wounds.
We decided not to go out into Nifehrehns dangerous environment until we would be able to protect us better.
After the accident, we played it safe – stayed in a few secure ages mostly, doing a lot of harmless research.
Alex and Noelle decided to leave the cavern shortly after the incident and wouldn´t come back until much later.
All these things happened from July to October in 2013.
This is my first post in my blog for over two years.Rest assured, I´ve had good reasons for my decision not to post updates in the time inbetween – but these reasons are past time now.
Maybe you remember, where my last post stopped – after our escape from the prison age called Panuehr, after the destruction of most of our research and of our homebase at that time, Asheten mansion.
As you may recall, the Forberg expedition continued to work in the caverns, this time from an age I can now give the name of – Yoshonah, a beautiful, lush and peaceful age of green hills and meadows.
From this time on , the expedition started to fracture. More and more of its members left for good, many to form their own smaller expeditions, some to return to the surface.
The core team around B.P. Forberg stayed for the moment, but their fundings and ressources dwindled quickly, until they were limited to a few ages they researched.
I was one of those, who broke away. I always have tended to be a loner, and all this turmoil, chaos and mistrust led me to the conclusion, that I should join one of the smaller groups, particularly one, that did a lot of research on my ages and were kind of friends to each other.
It seemed, that the perpetrators of the previous attacks had been expedition members all along, because when the expedition fractured, the attacks came to a sudden halt.
All of that happened in a time frame approximately from January 2013 to June of the same year.
To be continued…
I left the Cleft as it was and made my way around the area, reconnecting with the Journey cloths. They lit up again as if to welcome me back, although a bit sadly. I wondered if they knew something might be up with the Great Tree.
On my way, I peeked at the empty trailer and lo! Zandi was there again. It looked like a different book, but he was the same smiling guy. I asked him why he was there and he indicated he felt a need to come back for a while to help us – maybe to get reoriented. It was great to see him, but sad again because now I knew something had happened. I just couldn’t tell what. He only nodded slightly when I asked about the Reltos. When I asked about the tunnels collapsing under them, he didn’t respond right away. Then he repeated his well-known, “I’m not really here to give answers…..” But was that another slight nod? I’m going to say it was, which meant the rumors were right. A tunnel did collapse under the residential areas of the Cavern. I said as much, and he cocked his head at me with a pensive look.
I complained just a bit about my pre-fab, temporary Relto, and he rubbed his nose awkwardly. “You’re missing the message,” he said. Now what in the world did that mean?
When it became obvious he wasn’t going to tell me more, I gave him a big hug and made my way to the City. You know, Zandi looked a bit older, and he’s starting to repeat himself. In fact, he sounded almost like a broken record this time. Oh well, the hug was nice.
I felt a little better about putting my cavern life back together, but I’m still concerned about a larger type of damage – to the Great Tree especially. I was able to make my way to the city and connect with a few friends, and that also helped tremendously. A healing event was needed, I decided, and the planning has so far made recovery progress with less pain. It’s going slowly, but it is going, at least.
Some time around September 22 or 23, 2014, the D’ni Cavern experienced a wrenching collapse of the organic substrate surrounding the entry to the Great Tree. For several days the explorer community watched and waited as Maintainers and Engineers worked day and night to clear the rubble.
Finally, on September 25, Explorers were allowed to begin re-entering the Cavern. At first, only a few were allowed in, and then, as the flooring and structures were found to be sound, others followed.
But the worse was soon discovered. Everything explorers had built to the present was wiped out. A prefab Relto was quickly moved into place on my Relto, but I knew, before I saw anything else, that all my work and remodelling had been lost. My records, lab tests, and experiments were gone. The chest was gone, too.
It was so bare. It was all gone. It turned my hair gray.
(I wonder if anyone has found the chest. Would they know where it had been?)
I wandered around for a while, went to pick up my KI. It was a new one, and felt very strange on my hand. And had the KI dispenser grasped my hand more heavily than before?
Finally, I ended up at the door to the Great Tree shaft. Yes. As I suspected. Closed and locked once again. Did Yeesha or the Bahro do this to safeguard the Great Tree? Or maybe something else? I stood there for a long time, not knowing what to say, think, or do.
I began to think of other explorers who may have been down there when the structure collapsed. And what would I find when I went down? I began to make myself crazy with the worry of it all, so instead of speculating I went on to look. I couldn’t bear to check the ages just yet, so I began with the city so I could check on the Great Tree. After all, without that our passage to the Cavern would be blocked completely.
Maybe I’ll find the chest. Maybe no one found it yet. Maybe that worry will be put to rest.
Met her some time ago. She’s very quiet and unassuming. I feel like I know her, but it escapes me. She has a lot of work ahead of her, getting the refuge ready for the elderly ladies who will join her here. I’ve offered to help, but she says this is part of her calling. So many things transitioning in my own life that I can’t very well keep up with much else.
I am certain I know her.
OOC: After a long, looong hiatus because of lacking motivation, reallife and lack of time, I´ve gained a lot of new motivation, especially by reading about the new fan age projects (e.g.: DIRT), so I again will continue this blog from now on!
I hope to at least post once a week, the more the better.
Hopefully, there are some people who will read this blog again
As mentioned at the All-Guild Meeting, Tosholek (Sholek’s Temple) is nearly ready for release. The only things holding it back are water quality tests and strange discolorations on the railings that might preclude structural weakness. I definitely plan to restore more of the area, particularly when Vasaran is closer to release, but for now I’m happy with the location. The final draft of the Sholek historical document is finished and placed in the area. The open pedestal is where (I hope!) to one day place a linking book to Vasaran.
In addition, Fens is nearing a stage when I feel comfortable releasing it. The Age feels so different than when I left. Many improvements have been made and I hope that the area is used as a meeting place and community area. I would love to see some concerts held on the giant shroom. It seems like a natural concert hall, to me. That Age is just waiting on a few pieces of art from Keith and a final catalogue of the plant and animal life there.
Today saw a massive burst in restoration activity. Ishveer tests came back and it is almost out of Phase 2. The Age is quite bizarre and I don’t fully understand how these results are possible, but they say the Age is stable and structurally sound. Just need to conduct some tests on the trees.
In addition, Tharel is progressing. The Age is out of Phase 1 and the rooms are nearly out of Phase 2, with the Island quickly behind it.
Last night I spent a few hours in Kirel with Chloe, Whil, Emor, and Adam attending the All Guilds Meeting. We decided it would be a good idea to give a short talk about what we’re doing, the Ages we are working on and field some questions. During the topic I spoke a little bit about Rebek and figured I should probably actually take a lengthy trip around the Age for myself.
So first thing this morning I Linked through to take stock of what needs doing. From the roughly drawn maps I had seen I knew it was a pretty big Age but much like Kahlo, being there yourself is when you actually appreciate the size. The first thing I noticed were the masses of boulders floating above my head, gently shifting their position. I know the DRC had sighted environmental issues and more specifically magnetism concerns and I can see why. I am more than a little concerned about them falling down upon my head.
I decided to head out of Rebek and return with a hardhat, it isn’t perfect but it affords me a little protection and a greater sense of security.
In regards to the magnetism I did notice it interfering with my KI slightly, especially in a couple of the KIimages I took on the “red side” as I call it.
The Age is kind of split into two. On the one side you have this lush green area that is rich in wildlife, I call this the “green side” and on the other there is barren lava fields spiked with stalagmites and fumaroles. This is the side I have been calling the “red side”. It is clear to see why the D’ni used this Age for hunting slaves, not that I condone the activity mind you, but the land is littered with tunnels, hallways of rock and other such things that make it perfect for hiding in.
There is a considerable amount of work to be done however. The DRC had gotten a fair amount done (some of the machinery is working I noticed) but it is going to take a lot of time to get this Age up and ready for release.
This does raise a question for me though, one of morality I guess. This Age was used for slaves, hunting & killing in the name of sport. Is it really right to release the Age to the public so they can play games of a similar nature? Of course they’d be playing against fellow explorers and there wouldn’t actually be any killing. But I can’t help but feel it would be extremely inappropriate.
Is the Age redeemed if we take its dark past and turn it into something innocent? Is it redeemed if the innocence is based upon said dark past?
In the mean time I’ve posted a few KI images I took of Rebek in the ‘Photos‘ section of Beneath.
Keith and I took a trip to Kahlo the other day. Ever since I came to the cavern, I’ve been interested in Kahlo more than any other Age on the DRC’s project list. Finally setting foot in it was like a dream come true. The Age is incredible, and massive. Larger area open to exploration than any other Age released so far, except Minkata. If I remember my history, the Age served as a kind of arena or race track. There were some kind of strange flying squid creatures that people would ride in the games broadcast from here to the ruined pub by the Great Stairs. I didn’t see a single one on my trip, so I imagine they’re pretty rare. As far as I know, the D’ni domesticated them, so perhaps they’ve flown off to other areas without their old masters. I seem to remember that Chloe or Adam were working with some that they found. From what I’ve read, I’m definitely looking forward to playing this game.
Took my first trip to Kahlo today. I wish I had gotten around to it sooner but the amount of Ages we working on and the size of some of them (Rebek for example is huge) makes it difficult to keep up. Indeed there are many of the Ages that are now on our workload list that I still haven’t had chance to check out.
Today Chloe arranged to give Whil and I a tour of the Age. She has spent a fair amount of time on the Age checking things over. The DRC had done a pretty good job the the restoration process before hand it seems that the Age wasn’t released during their time due to problems with the creatures. Not sure what exactly the problem is but I’m guessing in the two hundred years since the D’ni were around they have “gone wild” again.
Kahlo is simply huge, indeed the previous photos that had been released from the Age doesn’t really do it until you’re down on the ground to appreciate how big everything is.
I would have loved to see this place during the time of D’ni. I wonder if they brought spectators into the Age itself to watch from the cliffside, I know they used to show the races on the imager within the Kahlo Tavern.
I wish the DRC had noted where they found the Book originally though, I’m guessing it was kept in the back room behind the bar in the Kahlo Tavern. I need to go over the documentation I have managed to compile and see if I can find anything that relates to the location of the Book. Unfortunately it seems my notes on Kahlo have gotten muddled up with my notes on Pento, not looking forward to having to sort that mess out.
In the mean time I’ve posted a few KI images I took of Kahlo in the ‘Photos‘ section of Beneath.
Made an interesting discovery last night. Found a few of my old notebooks from some years ago with a lot of my old Age maps and draft translations. I’ve been looking for some of these, particularly the Tharel ones, while working on restoring these places. Working on transcribing them today. A little bittersweet seeing some of my old plans for Toroolbah.