The Tale of Fictilibus

(OOC: this is just an exercise in imagination. I had the idea to create a story when hiking, where I am in a world of fantasy.  All dates will be in Shire Reckoning, every character met on the trail will be an NPC, as I am playing this game alone for now. I hope to create an interesting story of a Quest that is Thru Hiking the Appalachian Trail. Will you join me?)

Seasday, Afteryule, 19th 2016:
I am called Fictilibus, or in the common tongue, EarthTone.  I am a Ranger, but for now, I act as caretaker of an ancient grist mill that now houses many pieces of Quest gear for all to come and see and learn about.  Before that, I served in the King's Sea Guards for thirty winters.  I am in my 53rd winter now, and a Quest calls to me from the woods.

In about fifteen moons, I hope to commence a great Quest with my bride of many years, HumilisCalces, (Commonly LoGear).  We hope to travel afar along the spine of a great mountain chain, having adventures along the way and working our way to a great mountain in the North.  The Greatest Mountain it is called, or Katahdin in the ancient tongue of the people who call that place home.  

So, that is a short introduction.  Now, I must attend to the menial tasks that I am forced to do, as I plan and dream of what is to come.  I shall record my preparations and aspirations as the seasons turn and soon, the Quest will be afoot.  

Be at peace,
Moonsday, Rethe, 12th 2016:
I have heard some tales of our Great Quest.  The whisperings of a powerful god of Katahdin.  His name is Pamola, and without his blessing, all who climb that mountain are dealt with harshly.  Pamola is a storm god and those who travel in his realm without his permission, must face the wind and rain and more.  

I must learn more of this Pamola...

Be at peace,
Seasday, Rethe, 22nd 2016: 
I had a very vivid dream last night.  I was walking along a wooded trail and I see a flash of white light in front of me.  I walk along and further down the trial, I see another flash of white.  It is as if something is moving along the trail ahead of me.  Showing me the way.  Sometimes the white is on a tree, next it is a large rock, but always moving away from me.  Beaconing me on.

I hear a strange calling.  Like that of a moose. Up ahead I see a hiker coming towards me.  As it gets closer, I see its appearance isn't normal.  He has the head of a moose.  Also, I can now see his feet, which appear as great talons of an eagle.  When he is about 15 meters away, I see a flutter of large wings, folded against his back.  He starts to speak to me and I now know, where that strange calling came from as his voice is of the same pitch and timbre.  

"I am Pomola." He said. "The god of storms and protector of The Greatest Mountain.  I have a quest for you."

"You are to follow the Appa Trail.  Called by some the 'Trail to the gods'.  You are to travel by foot, along the spines of the mountains.  You are to come to me at Katahdin, and bring me something."

A awoke then.  My heart thudding in my chest and the call of a moose fading in my memory.  

I wonder what this "something" is?

Be at peace,
Seasday, Rethe, 29th 2016 (Eve of the Equinox): 
Overheard in the Pub:
"Have you heard of Pamola?"
"What's that?"
"Pamola is the god who protects Katahdin."
"A god? Who protects the Greatest Mountain?"
"Yes.  He is a Storm god. A god of thunder.  If you don't appease him, you won't climb Katahdin."
"Those he finds worthy have a nice, easy, summit.  Those he finds wanting, endure the challenges of wind, rain, sleet and pain.  If they can prevail, they are allowed to summit.  Those who defy him, don't summit."
Hevensday, Astron 5th 2016
I know what the "something" is.  

We are going to have to bring an offering to Pamola.  An offering of "fat and oil".  

Legend says, that in order to appease Pamola, you must burn grease when he is present.  

But that grease must be carried along the Appa Trail as you prove yourself to him.  
Sunsday, Astron 9th 2016

I came across this in my research at the Library of Goog:

A very powerful image.

Earthday, Forelithe 3rd 2016
My yearning to start on this Quest is still strong, but my body has to make that yearning painful.  My back has betrayed me, or I have betrayed it.  I'm not sure which.  I have suffered a setback with my ability to heft and carry a load over long distances.  I am making progress to return to a healthy body, but it is taking time.  Thankfully our Quest still is many turnings of the moon away and if my improvement continues in this manner, I should be good to go to start this adventure.

In the meantime, I have discovered several achievements, badges and abilities, that can be unlocked while a pilgrim takes on this Quest.  Here are a few that I have deciphered in the scripts.

Outsider Badge - (several tiers)  To earn the Outsider Badge, one must spend the majority of time in the out-of-doors.  No artificial climate control allowed except fire. Makeshift shelters (tent, lean-to) are ok, as long as they are not artificially climate controlled. 

To reach Tier I (Fledgling), you must spend 2 weeks outside, with no more than three nights indoors. Tier II (Journeyman) is two full cycles of the moon with no more than 12 nights in climate controlled spaces. Tier III (Master) is four full turnings of the Moon with no more than 24 nights in climate controlled spaces.

Long Distance Trekker (LDT) - The LDT achievement is first unlocked after you have completed your 2nd or 3rd resupply and have traveled from 50 to 75 miles.  The exact time of unlocking is determined by Pamola and will require an offering of fat and oil to initiate.  If you are successful, you become a Level 1 LDT.  Each level is achieved after sufficient time and distance and will always be at the approval of that whom you seek, Pamola.    

Level 2 = 200 miles. Level 3 = 500 miles. Level 4 = 1000 miles. Level 5 = 2000 miles.

Camp Cook Badge - Prepare, eat and digest five meals.  Each meal must have at least two different ingredients, but can be either cold or hot.  

Resupply Wizard Ability - Successfully find enough food to last from three to five days, three different times to unlock this ability.  

Funky Hiker Badge - To earn this badge you must accomplish the following tasks:  1. Have a fellow traveler that you meet, mention your smell.  2.  Have another open a window in your presence to find fresh air.  3. Have yourself seated in an "out of the way" area of a restaurant or bar.  

Smell the Roses Blue Blaze Achievement - Take five different blue blazed trails away from the main trail to visit interesting things and spectacular views.  This is above and beyond any blue blaze you take for water or shelter.  

Ride Finder Ability - Successfully secure three rides for yourself or your group.  

Treesday, Afterlithe 10th 2016
My back is much better.  I see a wizard in a couple of weeks, who will cast a spell on my hurting area in the hopes the pain will subside for a number of moons.  I have healed a lot, but my age and the working of my spine have fought the ravages of time and lost.  I will always have some pain.  Avoiding the debilitating kind is the key.  

I have announced to the world our intention to undertake this Quest.  The preparation continues.   More study is needed, but the time passes quickly.
Seasday, Afterlithe 19th 2016
As I continued to search the vast Library of Goog, I found this Oath.  

The Oath of the Outsider

I am an Outsider

I live my life in Nature

Four walls can't surround me

The forest canopy is my roof

I take each day as given

A fire is my warmth

The wind cools my body

All I need, I carry on my back

The outside is my home

I am an Outsider
Be at peace,

Earthday, Halimath 2nd 2016
My back continues to be fine as I continue my preparations for the Quest. The wizard's magic seems to have done the trick and I have been able to get out into the woods with a pack to test my strength and the ability of my back to carry me along. So far so good.

We are actively looking for a new caretaker for the Grist Mill and its artifacts. We have several interested parties, from both near and far, who want to watch over the Quest Items we keep at the Mill. I am confident I will be leaving the place in very capable hands, no matter who is chosen.

Pamola comes to me in my dreams from time to time. He isn't impatient, but he wants to make sure I am ready for this Quest. When I am out traversing the woods, alone, my mind is full of plans and ideas. My excitement builds even as the soreness seeps into my body from exerting itself. I am getting ready... Our tentative date to start the Quest is Starday, the 6th of Thrimidge. Just eight moons away.

Be at peace,

Earthday, Foreyule Yule #1, 2016.  Last day of the year
As this year comes to an end and the nights have grown long.  Preparation for the Quest continues.  I have left my job as the caretaker of the old Mill Adventurer  Museum.  Another who has completed the Quest has taken on the task of keeping the artifacts safe.  Nathaniel of Shanksville is his name.  A Paladin of great skill and might.  He will take good care of the old mill.  

My traveling companion, HumilisCalces and I have found the best gear we could to help us on our Quest.  We have spent a bit of coin, but I think it will be worth it.  We continue to get ready, but we must wait for the snows to come and then go and for the season to turn once more.

I have dreamed again.  The reason this quest starts where it does and goes to where it ends is that I will be required to find things along the way.  A Talisman of great power that is made from something from each Province I pass through on the Quest.  Each item will appear inert and harmless when alone, but when we put them all together, something is going to happen.  I'm not sure how yet, but I will know each item as I find it.  

The excitement, mixed with a little dread and a bit of impatience mingles in my mind as I go through each day.  Hopefully the day will be here soon.

Be at peace,
Seasday, Solmath 24th, 2017.  The Days Grow Longer
This winter has been pretty mild.  Our preparations continue, but we are mostly waiting for the day to travel to the starting point of our Quest in the South.  We have all of our starting gear.  All of mine fits in a +1 Pack of Carrying named "Phobos".  

As I watch the moon fill and wane each passing day, I can't wait until I am seeing it every day from the stance of an Outsider.  I still haven't figured out exactly what my talisman will consist of, but I'm pretty sure that when something is put in front of me that is supposed to become a part of it, I will know.  

The Quest approaches.  We are ready... And willing.

Be at peace,

Starsday, Astron 15th, 2017.  The Moon Shows the Time Left
Yesterday, I was looking up at the waxing moon and thinking about our upcoming Quest.  The moon is heading to its full stage and when it has disappeared from the sky again, our Quest will begin.  The time is approaching fast.

All of our gear is ready.  We are gathering our food to start and have arranged transport to the start of the Trail of our Quest from a dear friend who has settled near the Mountain of the Spring.  

The most wonderful thing is we have arranged with a very powerful wizard to have one if his Dragons fly us down to the start of our Quest.  The dragon is a beautiful blue and orange beast that goes by the name of Meridiem.  I can't wait to meet him.

I keep this tome tucked into the shadows of our virtual library.  Not to hide it exactly, but to make it available for those who seek it out.  Or, in this case, to stumbleupon.

Another dear friend and Adventurer, found it today.  Asked about it and prompted this entry, since I have been neglecting the recording of this adventure here as I prepare for the start of the Journey.  

I have awarded her the Badge of Exploration.  This is what it looks like.
Well done Mons Glacialis.  You found my little secret story. 

Be at Peace,

Skysday, Astron 19, 2017.  The Quest Becomes Clear

Last night, my dreams were full of Pamola and his instructions.  So far, he has hinted at the Quest and left me wondering about the details.  He always said that those details will become clear when they need to.  Some of them are now crystal clear.

In my dream, Pamola told me that I do this Quest for him.  I am his agent in the field.  I was directed to make my way to the southern point of this great Appa Trail, where Spring starts, on the Mountain by that Name.  When I arrive there, I am to start building the Talisman of the Storm.  As we make our way North, we will add to the Talisman.  What we add is still hidden, but all will be revealed in time.  The first piece of the Talisman will be a magical sparkling stone.  The smallest piece I can find that has that quality.  I am to bring a pebble from my home to exchange with the sparkling stone.  From time to time, when we reach special waypoints along the trail, I will add to the Talisman, which will also add to its power.

If we are found worthy, we will one day come to the place where Pamola lives, Katahdin.  There will will offer the Talisman of the Storm to Pamola in all his glory.

He repeated this Quest Oath to me.  I have taken that Oath and will do my best to complete this Quest. 

The Talisman of the Storm (it begins)

The Quest for Pamola is before us
I take it on with an open heart
We will walk the path, through its ups and downs
Through storm and sun and wind and rain
Until we come to Katahdin, where Pamola lives
We will spread Karma as we go, and sometimes we will be the agent of Karma
Fat and Oil will be your sacrifice, the the Talisman of the Storm will be your gift.  
May I be found worthy of your cause.  And see you on the high peaks of Katahdin

First two items. A glass ladybug to symbolize the Grist Mill and a 1D20
Because you always need a 1D20.
The moon is almost at its fullest.  Soon it will start to wane.  And with its last sliver of light, we will begin our Quest.

Be at Peace,

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