Plum Lake: Reconnoiter

Last week, I posted and mentioned a new Linking Book that I'd found.

I apologize for leaving you all hanging like that. I'm sure you understand -- a new Age is intoxicating. I've spent a lot of the past weekend just sitting, trying to take it in.

Lacking any D'ni signposts -- or any sign of D'ni presence at all -- I'm calling the Age "Plum Lake".

More soon.

Where did I find this Book, you ask?

I told you: I found the Book under some rubble in Ae'gura. An instance of Ae'gura (a "fresh" one, off a Bevin I just set up). It was -- okay, fine, it was under the collapsed corner of the Library walkway. Don't feel you have to rush off to look. That area has been ruthlessly picked over by explorers since early 2004, with no result. I have no idea why a Book would show up now, in just one instance. Maybe someone hid it there. Maybe instancing is more variable than we think.

But, like I said, it doesn't have any Yeesha markings or DRC stamp. It's not fixed in place, and it's the wrong size to fit in my Relto shelf slots. And, significantly, the Age isn't programmed into the Lattice. My KI just blinks "riltagamin, riltagamin" like a blitzed VCR when I'm there. (I have no idea how I register to everybody else.)

So I'm not handing this Book over to the DRC just yet, and I'm not opening it up to the public. I'm going to be selfish for a while. Sorry! You want to explore, find your own mysterious secret Book. :)

I will have a more complete report in a few days. I'm still finding my way around. The lake is at the bottom of a broad valley; I can see slopes rising in all directions, most steeply towards that volcano. But beyond the lake shore, the brush gets very thick. (It's a nasty sort of sharp-edged vine. Tough, too. Not thorns, exactly, but you can't just push through them.)

Those footprints? I'm certain they were recent. The lake shore holds prints well, but there's a light rain occasionally, and the prints would have washed out if they were ancient. Annoyingly, the ground is only soft near the lake. My mighty tracking skills petered out thirty feet into the wirevines. There is a trail, sort of, but it's narrow and almost impossible to distinguish from random gaps in the brush.

They were bare feet, by the way. They looked small, but then I have big feet. Could have been anybody. Well, anybody willing to run around the City in bare feet. (Which, by the way, freaks me every time I see it. Don't you people ever stub your toes? As you run across the cracked stone pavement and fallen rocks? Or up the enormous stone steps? Ow ow ow!)

These vines are kicking my ass. You know that thing about a twisty maze of passages, all different? It's like that. You're squeezing along, getting the heck scratched out of your arms and face, and then you realize that you've pushed fifty feet into a dead end and you should have taken the previous gap on the left.

The trail, when I'm on the trail, has gone on too long to be random. I think I'm heading for the top of the nearest hill. It sometimes looks like there's smoke above it -- maybe my barefoot buddy has a campfire. But I have no idea how long it will take me to get there.

I'm going to keep struggling through this over the weekend. But I understand Payiferen is opening up next week, and I'm as curious as the rest of you about that. So I will probably give Plum Lake a break next week. I'll start a new thread if I find anything major.

Yes, I'm making a map. (Tying blazes to the vines, too.)

Something flew overhead this afternoon. (Somewhere between my eighth and ninth wrong turn. Sigh.)

I thought it was a cloud passing over the sun, but the clouds only blow in once a "day", and that was a clear stretch. And none of the volcanic plumes were in that part of the sky. But the shadow... felt like smoke. Distant, ripply, not occluding much light.

When I looked up, I only saw the clear royal-blue sky.

Last updated April 9, 2007.

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