I need an outlet for my creativity. So I decided to take up writing. I have never written a creative work other than for school assignments, so I don't expect this to be spectacular right away. But we all have to start somewhere. I've been lurking in the writing section for a while now, and I know that you guys can give suggestions and constructive criticism to help me improve. So anyway, here is Arx Antiqua.
[hide]History is of great importance. It shows where we have been, and allows us to predict where we might be going. But unfortunately, the human mind does not have the capacity to remember it all. Much of our past has been forgotten. Diluted by the generations. Our efforts of preservation have also been in vain. Books have rotted. Stone tablets have eroded away. Artifacts have broken apart. All under the weight of time. Some of the annals threaten to be lost forever.
But not all hope is gone. There is a place where history will remain intact for all of eternity. Historians throughout the ages have searched for this land, but to no avail. Until now. I have discovered this mystical realm, learned it's secrets, and I can only ask: at what cost?[/hide]Chapter 1
[hide]My name is Dr. Isaac Liandri. I am a disciple of history. I have embarked on a journey to find a long lost civilization that supposedly contains detailed records of humanity's entire existence on Terra. This civilization has been the subject of my research for the past thirty years, but that research has been largely theoretical in nature. There is very little information and evidence to go on. I haven't even been able to find a name for this ancient race of people. Only recently did my colleagues and I discover a clue to it's whereabouts. That clue has lead me to this location, deep in wild and savage lands, far from people and society. Due to some complications regarding my fellow associates, I am alone. But I will press onward, and see if I can uncover any of the secrets that have baffled me for the past three decades.
The woman placed the journal, still open, on the ground next to her. Standing up to stretch, she looked at the stars that lit the night sky. She smiled, tracing a constellation with her finger, then sat back down, and put her hands to the fire burning brightly in front of her. The flames danced happily, giving off their warmth and casting shadows across the foliage surrounding the clearing. It had taken her about half an hour to clear the dense woodland brush with her machete, but it had given her plenty of small twigs and branches to kindle a fire. Throwing another branch onto the fire, she watched as sparks fluttered up into the air and dissipated.
“I am a disciple of history.” she said, repeating the words of the journal.
Her voice was met only by the swaying of trees in the calm breeze, and the occasional chirp of crickets. After listening to the sounds of the forest for awhile, she reached over her shoulder and pulled the machete from the holster on her back. After using it to stoke the fire and setting it down next to her, she picked up the journal and resumed reading.
I have been traveling on foot for several days now. The heavy bush has slowed me considerably, preventing optimal movement speed. I estimate to have trekked between twenty and twenty five miles since I began. I have been mapping the territory in the back of this journal, marking specific landmarks for future reference. I suspect that it will be no more than a day and a half before I reach my destination.
The disciple turned the book over. The last few pages had been ripped out, so she did not have the map that Liandri mentioned. But there was another tool at her disposal. Reaching into a bag next to her, she pulled out a compass, and looked at it. The compass needle was fixated in it's bearing. But it was not pointing North. She looked in the direction it pointed. At the moment there was nothing but darkness amongst the trees. But something was out there, and she was going to find it. She had followed the compass this far. There was no going back now.
I have started to notice formations of stone on the ground that don't appear natural. They are few and far between though. Sediments in this area suggest that the valley I am in was once submerged underwater. If so, any stone structures would have been eroded away, or pressed down into the earth. I will collect some samples for further study, and then continue on.
The disciple closed the journal and placed it in her bag. The fatigue from a day's worth of walking was starting to show. She looked at the compass and saw a slight deviation from her current path. Changing direction, her machete continued clearing branches in her path with ease. She was making good time, but the forest didn't look like it was clearing up any time soon.
She vaulted over a fallen tree, but landed unevenly, and fell. The forest echoed from her impact with the ground.
“Damn it.” She swore under her breath.
She rolled over, and surveyed the damage. Her leg was gashed and bruised in multiple places. She touched it tenderly, and winced in pain. It was clearly broken. The medical provisions in her bag would not be enough to treat something like this. She tried to move, but the leg quickly buckled under her weight. Tears began welling in her eyes as she pounded the ground in frustration. Her journey couldn't be over yet. Then, remembering something from the journal…
About a mile from the sediment deposits, I have discovered a river that runs down into the valley. This supports my hypothesis that there was once a larger body of water here. I am noticing an unusual hue to the water. It almost appears to be shining, as if the sun is reflecting off of it, even though it is overcast today. I have also noticed a peculiar effect of consuming the water. It has some sort of rejuvenating property. Upon drinking, all symptoms of fatigue subsided. I don't know if they are being masked or not, but I have collected samples. It is getting late, so I will probably camp here. I don't know how much further I have to go, but I should reach my destination within the next half-day.
“I need to find water.”
She rolled over onto her back, sat up, and tried to concentrate on the sounds around her. Overhead, the trees moved gently. The birds chirped. The descending sun's rays flowed through the canopy, bathing the floor below in a orange glow. In the distance, a wolf howled. And then, the slow hum of a river.
She sighed a breath of relief. If the source could be located, the water's magical properties might be able to cure her. It couldn't be known for sure, because Dr. Liandri only mentioned fatigue, but she had to try something. Her canteen had run out earlier in the day, so finding water was a high priority anyway. After carefully getting to her feet, she started to slowly follow the sound.
After several minutes of slow, painful walking, she came across the river. The water did have a glowing radiance as if it the sun was high above, even though it was actually dusk. With the sun lowering below the horizon, she decided to camp on the bank of the river.
The water slowly ebbed back and forth as the disciple sat down next to it. Taking a handful of it in her hand, she rubbed down her leg, trying not to cause unnecessary agitation. Her leg was then wrapped in medical bandages from her bag. She filled her canteen with some of the water, then took a drink. If it really had healing effects, it would be of great aid to her in the journey. But for now, she would give her leg the night to heal. If the water worked, everything would be fine. If not, there would still be dire problems ahead. She could only wait.[/hide]