User:Stelio/Calm Breeze

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The Journal of Calm Breeze: Year of the Parrot

Elsewaday, 19 Vendémiaire

Today I set out from my home on a great pilgrimage. My teacher has tasked me with visiting each of the four great cities that form the 'Kingdom. This is a momentous occasion for me as I am finally old enough to venture out on my own. I look forward to seeing the many sights that I have been told about. I long to learn more about our world, but through my own experience rather than the second-hand knowledge I have been taught. The time is at last upon me. I am a man and I go to seek my fate.

Malcolm, 21 Vendémiaire

It is so late at night that it is now early in the morning, and my feet hurt. I have visited all four cities, marching around the entire 'Kingdom, and I am so very tired now. I saw many interesting things though: creatures that I have read about, and various folk. I was too shy to talk to the latter, especially considering how many were lofty Dukes. I am much too low of station to possibly approach such nobility.

When I reached Fire City, I took my teacher's advice and broke the talisman he gave me to return home. I felt a twinge of sadness at having to break something that he had given me, but he was right (of course): I was caught up in a gust of wind and appeared back in the Shrine. It is good to be home. I walked up to the Temple and having completed the pilgrimage, they admitted me into the Brotherhood of the Wind! This is so exciting! But although I'm feeling energised, I really need to rest now. I will talk with the other Brothers in the morning and share my experiences.

Harveday, 22 Vendémiaire

Brother Alselmus at the Temple mentioned that a lot of hunting goes on in the 'Kingdom, and that many nobles enjoy the challenge of killing other creatures. This seems a horrific barbarity to me, and I volunteered to help in any way I could. Brother Alselmus told me of a survey that I could complete that the Brotherhood use to track population sizes. It will take me some time, but I agreed to do my part for the good of the ecology.

Many of nature's denizens are territorial though, and I knew that if I were to run around in the wilderness, likely I would be attacked by a wild beast. Naturally it would probably be more scared of me than I of it, but I wouldn't wish to court such antogonism. I decided to wander down the (now familiar) road to Earth City and stop by the market. As luck would have it, I found something very useful: a clock that purports to hide me from view. Such an arcane device would be ideal for my purposes (if it works; it was very cheap, so I have my doubts). Whilst there I picked up a few bargains that I just couldn't resist, so to avoid any further temptation I quickly left.

Now to travel into the wilderness to see what I can find. But in which direction to head? Some time ago I read about some Shrines. This would be the perfect excuse for me to visit them, I think. The Shrine of Light is the closest to me I believe, so I will endeavour to head in that direction. I have great hopes for this journey. It feels like I am about to start an adventure!

Ignaday, 24 Vendémiaire

The survey progresses well. In the two days it has taken me to trek to the Shrine of Light, I have already had the pleasure of studying more than half of the creatures on my list. Looking through what is required of me though, I wonder if this survey may get progressively more difficult to complete though; whilst I have seen many of the more common beasties, I haven't even heard of some of these outlandish beings.

Regardless, I will struggle on. I am finding it very time-consuming to work my way across the wilderness. This clock is working marvellously, although I can't help but wince every hour when the cuckoo merrily hoots the time. Thus far I have not been attacked though; the cuckoo sounds natural enough to blend into the general sounds of the plains and forests.

I have now also worshipped at the Shrine of Light. It seemed the appropriate thing to do in such a holy place, and my heart is at peace for doing so. I am sure that it would serve me well to visit the other shrines too, so I am heading in their direction.

Ruthveday, 30 Vendémiaire

As I suspected, the progress on the survey has slowed down. I am beginning to think that I will have to venture into the more dangerous interior of the 'Kingdom in order to find some of the more elusive creatures on my list. Before I do that though, I should travel to the Festival where I have read that I might find both stoners and hippies. As I understand it, these are gentle creatures interested in peace and love. It will make a change from the fairly violent nature of most of the denizens of the wilderness. At least I have had no trouble from the sparrows or eagles, or the sylphs now that I think about it.

There would be an additional reason to visit the Festival, for that is where the Stone Circle is found. I have now visited the other three shrines. The Nightfall Shrine did intimidate me rather, and I waited to see how others faired there before worshipping myself, but the Night Shrine was rather beautiful. I wonder if the Stone Circle will truly encompass the mystery and splendour of the rising sun. I look forward to seeing for myself in a few days' time. It will be a long trek and I have high expectations. I only hope that they will be met.

Harveday, 5 Brumaire

What a beautiful day this is! I greeted the dawn in the company of bearded men and beaded ladies, and am now feeling utterly at peace with the world. Whatever was in those pipes certainly smelt good. I feel in tune with the universe and more ready than ever to continue in my journey. My quest goes well, in that I have but a handful of creatures yet to spot. I was very surprised by the Hippes and Stoners that I saw at the Festival though. Where was their vision of peace, love, and understanding? They looked most violent to me, when I approached them.

Well, I have turned in the opposite direction from them and am heading North. With my trusty clock by my side, I am working my way through the wilderness, manoeuvring around the crags and lakes in my way. I have grown quite fond of my clock, and it has served me well. I may however trade it in for a more effective cloak at some point. I saw these at the markets when last I was there, and they certainly seemed to work very efficiently.

In order to procure funding, I have put any weapons of war that I have acquired onto the markets. I will find no use for them myself. Though I despair that others will employ these tools only for destruction, I do not want to hang onto them myself for I find them distasteful. I find solace in thinking of the good that I can put the money towards if they do sell.

Pontefract, 10 Brumaire

The struggle through the wilderness in my search for creatures is slow and arduous. Although I am deeply indebted to my magical clock in order to travel at all through these dangerous lands, as the days pass I become more frustrated by the amount of time it is taking me to traverse the landscape.

I heard on my travels that a group of villainous blackguards may be responsible for the distinct lack of Piñatas that I have seen. The claims that this is a dangerous creature do not in my mind merit a wholesale slaughter. Why can some people not learn to live in harmony with nature and accept that these creatures should be allowed to live in their own habitat? It is these murderers that are invading the territory of others and committing atrocities.

In the hopes that there are still some of these beings left alive, I have been asking around to see if anyone else has seen one. Perhaps in following any leads gleaned from the locals, I might actually be able to find a living example. Or maybe my search is in vain and they are already extinct. My hopes lie with the former.

Ruthveday, 13 Brumaire

Today I was summoned by Smith Rockefellow to witness one of nature's little miracles: the Piñata in its native habitat. It was a glorious sight, and I was glad to be able to report on its actions for my survey. Indeed, the survey is nearly complete as I only have to find a small golem made of papier-mâché in order to have fulfilled the Brotherhood's requirement.

I thanked the good Master Smith for his assistance, and I will return his Summoning Stone to him when we next cross paths. For now I am in the lands North of the Royal Palace. Perhaps if I work my way South I will bear witness to a golem. I should also return to the markets at some point as I have received word that my traded goods have all been bought. If this has gone successfully, I may be tempted to devote more time to a mercantile career. We shall see.

Ignaday, 21 Brumaire

Finally! I had circumvented the 'King's Palace, and given up on ever seeing a small papier-mâché golem, and so had decided to head back to the South Market in order to collect my earnings from trade. After picking up some magic beans (in order to facilitate my usefulness in further trades) I headed out into a bit of coutryside to start growing, and there I found my elusive quarry!

It was a wonderful sight to see: the golem in its native habitat, ambling over the meadow (avoiding the sharper blades of grass). It was with great pleasure that I made a firm and final tick in my survey book, along with my annotations on the creature's ecology. I hardly thought of what I was doing as I broke my last talisman to return home.

Brother Borakov welcomed me into the Temple with a wide smile and open arms, congratulating me on my success in my task. For the gift of knowledge that I have granted the Temple, the Brotherhood have offered me training in mind, body, and soul. It is during a brief break in this training that I write these words now. Already I feel faster and hardier in my legs, and I am learning of the arcane symbolism inherent in the ancient standing stones found in the Interior, but most of all I have a peace in my heart that moves me more than anything.

Elsewaday, 23 Brumaire

Some delightful fellows from the Brotherhood of the Dirt engaged me in conversation today, as I was passing through Earth City. They invited me to visit their temple where they are to hold a party. It sounds very interesting to me, and it will be great to get to know more of the good people of the land. On their recommendation, I'll take a few bottles of wine with me to drink. I think they preferred their ale, but I enjoy more the fruit of the grape. The Crown looks a bit unkempt, but I'm sure the quality of its vintage drink is unimpeachable.

Malcolm, 25 Brumaire

I feel most frightfully embarrassed. I ended up drinking rather a lot at that party and I think I may have made somewhat of a fool of myself with a lady called Gloria. I woke up half-naked on the road, with the remains of a splitting headache, and to find that I had scrawled something incoherent in my journal. Well, that's a page that I've torn out. Some lovely folks seem to have patched me up though, which was very good of them. Another fine gentleman woke me from my sleep with a cheery greeting. Would that I had the good grace to have been compos mentis enough to reply.

But since that ignominious start to the day, I have made my way northwards, picked up a significant amount of earnings from the markets, and arrived at Water City. I found the best way to get over my previous shame was with some personal development and earnest prayer. And so it was that I enrolled in the Water School and learned how to swim. This was initially liberating (both psychologically and also fiscally) but I found myself surrounded by a crowd of angry toads and ducks. I needed to slip my new cloak on to get out of their home territory safely (not the easiest of manoeuvres whilst just learning to tread water).

The same cloak then helped me to sneak past the waterfowl and amphibians guarding the Temple of Water itself. How they ignored the great displacement in the water caused by my body, I don't know. But then again they are of course simple animals. I was welcomed in to the Temple by Initiate Colin who showed me around, made me feel at home, and offered to teach me first aid. This is a very kind offer by him, and so it is that I now find myself learning the basics of medicine. In thanks I will spend some time here in dutiful prayer. The Brotherhood of the Drip is full of good, kind fellows and I have a lot of respect for them.

Ruthveday, 4 Frimaire

I have been using my newly learnt medical skills in order to patch up those poor souls that have dared to brave the wilderness without adequate protection or care. I think that they would do better if they did not antagonise the wild beasts that they meet. But the intrepid explorers that we rely on for both our extended knowledge and extensive trade network must at times journey to dangerous places. I am happy to know that I am helping in my own meagre way.

My efforts have been noticed though. The Water Hospital called me in and offered to give me some additional training in order to hone my skills. Their advice has been invaluable. Not only do I find that I am able to more efficiently heal folks, but following an eye examination Doctor Meringue MD noticed that I am somewhat short-sighted. The contact lenses they have given me have helped a lot. I can see a lot more clearly now.

I asked how I could repay all of this kindness, but I was just told to help the Hospital by helping the injured. So I have gone on call and will continue their work. To celebrate all of this good news, I have joined a party. And just as well! Some of the nobles here have terrible wounds. It will take some time in order to help them all, but I should really start with the party's organiser (whose voice sounds oddly familiar).

Yendoday, 6 Frimaire

The festivities continue in a whirl of dancing and drinking. Sertularian is in the thick of it, performing a merry jig with some rather lovely young ladies. For a fellow of his experience, he certainly seems sprightly.

I have been rubbing shoulders with many of the most noble characters of the 'Kingdom, and (whilst patching their wounds as best I can) I have been observing how they carry themselves. It would appear that the 'King rewards those who are daring and bold, those who can have a good time and shrug off any difficulties. I will strive to be more noble in this way, and the kind gifts of some cocktails from both Sertularian and Spugmistress will be invaluable in my efforts. A toast! To the future!

Pontefract, 15 Frimaire

The party was a wonderful gathering of the great and the good, and I enjoyed myself immensely. It also gave me a lot to think about, and in particular made me wonder what direction I want to take my life in.

I dropped in to see my esteemed colleagues at the Hospital for some advice, but unexpectedly I found that they had organised a surprise party for me! After a rousing few speeches (Doctor Barracuda's was particularly funny) they presented me with a monogrammed waterskin. It was all very touching and we all enjoyed a few celebratory drinks afterwards. But it hadn't helped me with my decision. They had praised my skill, and told me that I'd learnt everything they could teach. I will continue to help the needy, but I am somewhat on my own now.

I turned to the obvious answer to my questions: prayer and meditation. The serenity of St. Johns is a surprising oasis of tranquility in the bustle of Water City, and my time there was spent in helping the monks with their gardening and cooking. It was here that I met some of the 'Kingdom's nobles who had also decided to help out and their humility was evident regardless of their bearing. I learnt from a Duke Stelio (another qualified doctor I was gratified to find out) that status can actually be earnt rather than granted through familial relationships.

So I am resolved to find out more about the nobles and how one joins their hallowed leagues. I am journeying now to see the 'King himself.

Harveday, 17 Frimaire

Yesterday was an auspicious day for me. I made it to the Royal Palace, and was admitted by the guards into the hallowed presence of 'King Elseware himself. It was a humbling moment, and I was very surprised when he said that he had heard of my exploits. I was even more shocked when he ordered me to kneel in front of him to have a knighthood bestowed upon me! I had hoped only to find out the mechanisms of how one ascends to nobility; I had not expected to have the honour given to me without question.

My noble elevation has had some interesting consequences: the guards that used to poke me now salute me smartly. Further, the notoriously snooty Brotherhood of the Flame have deigned to admit me into their exclusive club; Brother Devlin taught me the introductory lessons of their mysteries and presented me with a ceremonial box of matches. Knighthood has many useful benefits.

I have learnt many skills since first leaving home two months ago. In that time I have also gained respect and accolade (and perhaps my patients will learn that my name is not "Clam Breeze"). I will put these skills to good use now, taking the time to carefully craft items of quality that the average adventurer is too busy to make themselves. Soon I will return to the markets.

Malcolm, 23 Frimaire

I have received my first commission. A lovely lady by the name of Spugmistress paid me (in beans) to grow her some olives. Well, I was very pleased to take on this job; horticulture is something I find relaxing and enjoyable in and of itself. To be paid to grow plants is fantastic! Sadly I don't have the talents for self-promotion, so I'm not sure how to go about advertising my services. I think I'll stick to trading on the markets for the meantime.

But before I bend my back to some good old-fashioned honest labouring, there are celebrations to enjoy! I stumbled across a Christmas party on the outskirts of Windy City and passed some time there, dancing and merry-making and healing the injured (as is my wont). And then some rather drunk fellows invited us all to a musical evening at the Fiddling Wizard. I'm not much of a musician, but I did have a fun time singing and dancing and healing the injured.

It's been a bit of a whirlwind these past few months, and to be honest I'm somewhat tired of all this partying. I think that I should regain some inner peace by contemplating the true meaning of Christmas. And what better way to do that then by spending some time with my adopted family at St. Matthew's. Brothers Earnest and Felix will hardly believe the tales I bring back to them! It will be especially good to see my teacher again.

Pontefract, 29 Frimaire

It has been most enjoyable having a break from the road and seeing my friends again. This has been for me a time for quiet reflection and has given me the opportunity to feel peaceful.

But ultimately I could not resist the lure of the local festive party. And with parties comes the heavy burden on my heart at seeing so many injured nobles. I have been doing my part as best I can by patching folks up, but there are (as always) too many for my meagre talents to help everyone. I fear that if I keep this up, I will grow old early, having never seen the wider world. I must make the effort to see more and do more.

The Journal of Sir Calm Breeze MD: Year of the Snark

Yendoday, 3 Nivôse

Great Lord Yendor himself came to see me after the knees up at the Fiddling Wizard! He has taught me a stirring tune that I've been practising on my harmonica. He also gave me some interesting looking biscuits and bottles. I think that I'll save them up for when the weather turns cold, as they look as though they'll keep me warm.

I am currently exploring some ruins outside of Water City. I was told as a child to stay away from this place because it was dangerous. I can see why I was warned: the timbers have mostly rotted, leaving parts of the building too close to collapse for comfort. The local wildlife have moved in as well, since humans left it to decay, so one must watch out for beasts jumping out suddenly to protect their territory. I've been left alone though, which I can only attribute to my peaceful nature; the animals must see that I'm not a threat to them.

But although I haven't found hostility here, I have found a few salvageable goods. Whilst picking my way carefully through the rubble, looking for wildflowers, I came across some rusted remnants of former habitation. I reckon that with a bit of cleaning up, I could probably sell these on. Well, polishing and cleaning is good honest work, so I shall return to it now.

Elsewaday, 11 Nivôse

Having spent quite some time gathering the beans grown by the local wildflowers, I have started to indulge in a spot of horticulture. The fruits of my labours have grown strong and true, and I can now continue with my plan of trading. I've taken my produce to the Southern Market (it seems to get the most traffic) along with various items that I found in the ruins and cleaned up. I have already had one customer for my tasty plums, which is pleasing.

Whilst in the vicinity, I popped in to have a drink with my friends in the Crystal Cave. Brother Gonzo told my about a bit of fun they were trying to advertise: apparently they have an ongoing treasure hunt. If you can complete their list of items then they'll teach you the intimate arts of involving yourself with rockfaces. It sounded intriguing so I asked them what I needed. It turns out that I'm only missing a few items: a stone from each of the Four Cities (which certainly seems appropriate) and a glass sword.

Now I've read about glass swords. As I recall, they are legendary items that are incredibly expensive to buy because the process of making them is so difficult. I hope that my experiences so far have taught me a few things, and that I'm not as naïve as I may have been when first leaving home. It strikes me that this sounds rather like an elaborate scam: send someone on a merry chase before taking a precious glass sword from them. I have already fallen foul of the Brotherhood of the Dirt's antics once. To play to their whims again rankles me somewhat.

I'll go along with it for now. I'll have to visit each of the Cities to get these stones anyway, so I'll also take the opportunity to ask around and see if this "treasure hunt" is above board or not. Hmmm.

Ruthveday, 29 Nivôse

The wise men of the 'Kingdom spoke, and their general opinion was that it would be churlish of me to spurn the attentions of the Brotherhood of the Dirt. They are a well-respected and honourable group, admittedly rather more prone to ceremonial libations than other religious orders, but they have been instrumental in the rise to power of many local luminaries. I humbly completed my pilgrimage and presented them with a pristine sword made of pure glass that I had paid an enormous sum for at the markets. The brethren immediately offered me a smile and a drink.

And so it was that I have spent more time with them, and cemented the friendship that they continue to hold me in. They are fine fellows, and though my head may be a little sore still, I hold them in my esteem. Sister Hestia has spent quite some time with me, showing me the fine arts of how to ascend to lofty heights and then how to delve into the depths in order to find the riches of the Earth. She showed me a few other things too, but those mysteries deserve to be coveted rather than laid out in writing.

And now that I have set my foot to the road again, I have decided to put my training to good use. Whereas I have previously gained quite some experience in digging the land in order to make things grow, now I am digging the land in order to take from it shining treasures of ore. I have yet to think too much about the use I will put them to though. But I believe there is plenty of time to think whilst you are high up in the hills and mountains, birds soaring amongst the cliffs below, with a spade in one's hand and a vein at your feet.

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