Assignation with a Vampire


It is with the greatest excitement that I once again write in these pages!  I have discovered civilization on the mainland!  Their form and customs may be a bit different from ours, but they observe manners, courtesy, and all manner of polite formalities; this despite their scantily-clad nature.  There is much to write about, but first I must introduce my gracious hostess.

I was met by Lady Mystra of the Phoenix Clan soon after I arrived in No.  It seems I had committed a rather severe breach of local etiquette, in entering one of their temples without first removing my boots; I was greeted politely once I had redressed this error.


I explained about Caledon and about my appointment to explore The Mainland.  Lady Mystra gave me the grand tour of her Clan's Estate, a parcel of land comprising a quarter of the sim of No.


Lady Mystra explained that her people are vampires; and then she explained at length the differences between her Clan's way of life and the notions of vampirism that you or I might conjure from our shared fictions.  The Vampires of The Phoenix Clan are a benevolent and outgoing people, welcoming visitors from the surrounding countryside.  In point of fact, they protect all mortals who enter their lands, and they pride themselves on civility and mutual respect. 


Numerous sources have all given me the same information: that the occasional pool or fountain of blood on their property is derived only from their own vampiric veins; the Phoenix Clan consider their blood to be too precious to dilute it with the blood of mortals, and they vehemently condemn the practices of any Vampires which might hunt humans and drink of their blood.  (When I asked Mystra how her body was able to produce such a vast amount of liquid, she light-heartedly replied that she enjoys green tea; she also mentioned something called "bloodstones".  I do not know the details, but I gather that they play a role in the sustenance of our hosts.)



I requested and was granted an audience with the Queen, an imposing figure to be sure, who wore even less than Mystra and seemed possessed of twice again her vigor and strength of character.  But when she spoke, her manners were as genteel as the Duchess of ___, with the added bonus that the Queen possessed a sense of humour.


I was permitted to shop at a little boutique wherein the Princess of the Clan displayed her wares.  All of their art was exquisitely detailed, and possessed of an ethereal, otherworldly beauty.  I purchased some of the less risqué textile prints; these compliment the body of Vampire literature given to me by Lady Mystra.  I am considering using one of my few precious flares to signal Seven of Seven to come collect them immediately. 



It is my considered opinion that Fair Caledon should pursue relations with these fine people.  Their manners are refined and their tongues are gentle.  I have put forth my recommendation to Mr. Desmond Shang and Duke Lucifer Baphomet that we consider an alliance with these fine folk, including trade, diplomacy, and a mutual sharing of culture.


I quite recommend No to the intrepid Caledonian who desires a thrilling taste of the exotic Mainland, without truly leaving civilization behind.  No pith helmet is necessary, as the grounds are quite well-maintained and free of all vermin.  Come as you are in your Victorian finery, and be ready to enjoy a brisk constitutional, awe-inspiring architecture, and civil discourse.  (One must excuse the constant exposed skin and the somewhat hemocentric nature of the local decorum as a striking but ultimately harmless local affectation.) 


One day I look forward to the possibilities of teas and ballroom dances, but first we must meet our neighbors to the north.

Addendum- It seems the King has seen fit to include Caledon as a destination upon their conveyance platform (depicted herein.)  Although I do not understand the science behind this mode of travel, I can personally attest to its safety, comfort, and great expediency.

Addendum- The Vampires of the Phoenix Clan have vanished overnight from the sim of No, their grand temples and castles gone as if they had never existed.  What remains of their proud kingdom is nothing but the vulgar calamity of the typical mainland sprawl.  I have heard that they may have purchased an island in which to make their new home, which would explain their sudden disappearence.  I shall endeavor to keep Caledon informed of the status of the Phoenix Clan, should they resurface, as my opinion of them remians quite high.
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I fear that I have reached the end of my journey, both across the mainland, and upon this mortal Earth.  As I scrawl these words onto my knapsack with my right hand, I pray that when my remains are found, these words may serve as a warning to those who will come after me.


As I stumbled and flew through the chaos and bedlam of the ever-disorganized cities of The Mainland, I suddenly found myself in a fairly wide area that seemed to share a uniform purpose.  There was plenty of space between the buildings here, which all seemed to loosely share a theme.  I sought shelter within a temple reminiscent of the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.


I awoke to the outraged cry of a scantily-clad native, who even now stands over me, her torso bare from her neck to her waist, her legs completely naked, even down to the bottoms of her feet.  She stands between me and the exit, brazen and defiant, her eyes shining in the firelight.  She demands to know why I have desecrated her Goddess's temple.



My time is up… she demands that I answer her… 
tell Miss Momiji…
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Temple of Dance

As an explorer into these uncharted realms, I find that I must record what I see before me, no matter how depraved or obscene the sight may be.  Only through awareness of what goes on in the mainland can we ever hope to bring civilization to its inhabitants.  Therefore, I find myself reluctantly recording the events of this day, though I feel I must issue the following disclaimer:

~ Let it be known that this report should not be read by Gentlemen of an aged or failing condition, or weak constitution, who might find themselves struck by a heart attack or stroke, and so become dead due to shock! ~

~ Let it be known that this report generally should not be read by Ladies of any caliber, for it may well induce the vapours, or cause an upset in the delicate balance of the body's vital fluids! ~

~ Let it be known that this report should never be read by or to children, lest it corrupt their young minds with unscrupulous mores and thoughts of wild abandon! ~

As ordered by the Author,
Caledonian Explorer Justy Reymont,
A Gentleman.

On my explorer's intuition, I followed the boardwalk down to the shore of a nearby lake and entered a sort of building.  It was quite plain on the outside, but once I crossed its threshold, I discovered what could only be described as a sort of a temple.  It was dimly lit by coloured lights, which moved about in the air like an enclosed lantern tossed abour in a windstorm.  

Every surface was garishly painted with bold, stark colors, and decorated with lithographic prints depicting tableus of the most unseemly excess and vice.  Reclining in a number of immodest and seemingly uncomfortable poses, these caricatures smiled at us, oblivious to our shock and distaste.

As my eyes adjusted, I was astonished to discover that there were people in the room with me!  Two... no, three female natives stood before me, each perched atop a raised dias.  If there had once been any doubt in my mind as to the scantily-clad nature of the natives, it was now dispelled forever.  

These mysterious and exotic creatures, undoubtedly shamans of whatever native cult had built this temple, were prime specimines of their native stock.  Sleek, powerful, and unquestionably savage, they gyrated beneath the ever-changing lights, each moving in unison, dancing to the cacophony that bled through the walls around us.

But everything that I have recorded thus far, pales in comparison to what they did when my comrade and I finally mustered our courage, and announced our presence...




They just continued to dance, their eyes fixed straight ahead, as if my colleague and I were not there.  They ignored all attempts at communication, and showed no awareness of their environment, even when I threw a pebble at one of them.  Bewildered and slightly unsettled, we made our away from this nightmarish temple.

We later met some natives who spoke English, at a large gathering of natives who did not.  We didn't learn much, other than that it's a jungle out there, we should not trust everything we hear, and that many of their fellow natives have "an I.Q. less than zero."  Whatever that means.

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A Red-Letter Day

This was where we encountered our first true hazard.  I was walking towards my partner through the empty city, when I suddenly was flung off my feet, and knocked backwards several paces.  I was unscathed, but shaken.  And then I could see it.  Ethereal printed letters hung in the air, unnatural and red, like the glowing copy from Satan's own press.


It was this foul curtain which had flummoxed me!  And now a voice from above called out at me, announcing that I was not allowed to enter the tenement of its master, never mind the fact that he and his neighbors appeared to have no interest in actually occupying their city.
And as we proceeded through several sims of this jumbled, garish city, I saw more of the foul red screens.  In some places, the air was so thick with them that the only way ahead was by flying over the whole mess.  I could see now why the local people liked to fly so much.  It was the only way to get around in such an unkempt sprawl.


We made great progress today, crossing great stone roads that were marked with yellow and white patterns.  My colleague found them "pretty."  Personally, I prefer our own cobblestone and rail.
To our alarm, at one point we found ourselves up to our waist, then up to our necks, in the ground... and then mysteriously back on top of it again.  It was almost as if the firmament itself had malfunctioned.  At first we thought it was caused by the road, but later we discovered that it made no difference, over grass or over pavement.  Finally, the realization came that it only seemed to happen while crossing from one territory into the next.  I have termed this queer phenomena "Border Quicksand."


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Signs of Things to Come

Heading north through several acres of woods, we discovered another strange structure.  It is unattended, and appears to serve no useful function.  We can only assume it is primitive art, perhaps holding some religious significance.

Our first glimpse of the mysterious, ineffable monoliths that dot the landscape here.

Further north, we spotted our first native!  She had dark skin and brightly colored garments.  She floated in the air, and so we did the same.  She did not respond to our greetings, and seemed to show no awareness of her environment.  After taking a snapshot, we moved on.

Just around the corner, we found yet another strange monument.  This was perhaps the strangest one of all.  I can offer no explanation for it whatsoever, as it is unlike anything I have ever encountered before.  I leave it depicted here for the reader to interpret.

Around us, lay a strange and desolate city.  Every building was different, as if jumbled together quite randomly from prims of every size, shape and color.  I could discern no unifying language, style, or architectural theme.  Every so often, a lot lay barren, deserted, save for one of the unexplained native monuments.
More striking than the eclectic clash of this city, though, was its desolation.  There was not a soul in sight.  Nothing moved, save for parts of the city that were designed to move.  They did their jobs continuously, spinning and whirling, oblivious to the fact that no one was around to see it.  Oddly enough, at the time I did not see a parallel to the spinning brass clockworks of Caledon.  Instead, I could think only of the Moors.

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Into The Woods

I set out from Base Camp with Miss Zoey AllStar; my plan was to do a quick scout of the surrounding area and report back to my friends at Base Camp.  Mr. Shang laughed at this strategy, but allowed us to split off as we would.  Miss Nympheas Nogah accompanied us.

Just east of Base Camp, we discovered the strange monument depicted herein.  Cast in Red, a crude effigy of a person, with two arms, two legs, and a body.  It floated there, held aloft by the branches of the trees.  Alone.  Abandoned?  We decided to press on, lest the branches give way over us.

At this point, Miss Nogah had to return to Base Camp for more suitable clothing, so I dallied for a bit with Miss AllStar.  Seeing as how we were alone in the wilderness, there were no mutual friends around to introduce us, so we were forced to introduce ourselves.  I learned that my comrade was originally from London, her mother from India, and she learned as little about my origins as possible.  

(No doubt this would be the first of many such unfortunate but unavoidable breaches of protocol.  This is perhaps the saddest part of being out of touch with civilization, such forced familiarity, but hopefully we will find some way to keep our spirits up.)

By the time we had circled around to the north, we saw from a high spot that Base Camp had already been abandoned, and so instead of finishing our initial search, we struck out North.  No doubt many Dangers await in this strange new land.  Yet onward we must trek.  



For the Glory of Free Caledon!

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