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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:25 am 
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Isn't it always the case that just when you are about to leave for an important meeting, the phone rings?

In my case, it was the All Guilds Meeting in Kirel that I missed as a result, though it wasn't so much a phone call but an alert from Paislee on my iPhone cross-world communicator app.

We had previously arranged that when she saw Quin was fully engaged in one of his experiments, she was to contact me urgently.

I decided to use stealth mode to link in (we joke about 'ghost Dot', for I sometimes appear as a small cloud in these circumstances). Paislee said he was working on Curiosity, in the Tower Laboratory she had managed to set up for him.*

I cautiously crossed the wooden bridge to the lab's entrance, hoping it wouldn't creak. Sure enough, there was Quin, muttering away, hunched over the workbench, surrounded by chemicals and fancy glassware -- and mess.

'Just one minute, Miss Dot', he said, not turning round (so much for my intention to catch him unawares). 'Let me finish this stage and then you will have my full attention.' And he continued to add, drop by drop, chemicals from the pippette he was holding to the primeval soup he had bubbling in the flask over the bunsen.

Finally he turned to face me. 'I suppose you have come to berate me over the Keepsafe incident.'

No, that wasn't why I had come. While I might have been furious initially, the length of time (and my own busyness) since the building 'disappeared' had dissipated that anger. Besides, with Neolbah, and with the latest developments in the spheres' source world, I had seen that the Keepsafe was no longer needed. On the other hand, Quin, with his particular way of looking at things, definitely WAS needed.

I explained about Andy's work in restoring an area in the Cavern, and his offer of desk and shelf space for Quin's use.

For once, Quin listened carefully, obviously thinking through the implications. He has always been interested in my descriptions of the Cavern and the associated ages, and has even inspected the odd explorer-written age himself; but he has never really become part of the wider Uru community. He is very much a loner.

'Miss Dot,' he sighed, 'if I must... but it is essential that my work here takes priority.'

I agreed, and suggested that keeping a journal in more than one place might be a sensible precaution anyway, given our shared history. Worlds might come and go, but I wanted to make sure that information -- and stories -- might be preserved.

Showing a rare empathy, Quin nodded his own agreement -- and then immediately broke the mood by saying brusquely, 'Well, since you are here you might as well help me pack some things for moving.'

So the next two hours were spent carefully wrapping structures that were scattered round the base of the Tower, and placing them into large crates... :roll:


* More details are in the journals in the Neolbah office.

====
Edit: There are some photos of the tower laboratory and study on Flickr. Here's one.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:42 am 
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Another busy couple of days...

Sunday saw me in The Meeting Place hood, for the group's regular Funday Meet. J'Kla had been at the All Guilds Meeting the previous day (the one I had inadvertently missed), and had invited the team behind the Public Ages Project to give a presentation.

Tanshin took the floor and explained the aim: 'to have an easier way for people to find each other in the private ages using the invite system'. He and EccentricOne (whose idea this was originally) are working on the project, with OHB providing coding support -- OHBot is also involved (he was at the meeting too!). The team is looking for volunteers to help -- the project's website has more details.

The rest of the time was spent in the usual mix of chat and banter, catching up with each other's news, plus a GoG Tsogahl door run with Christian Walther calling the door (his numbering system is interesting!). Next week (Sunday 22 August, 1 pm KI time) will be Team Trivia, with Ilf as question master.

Monday saw me back at Neolbah, showing Quin around. I suspect he was pleased when I left -- I could see he was itching to look more closely at some of the technology there. I hope he didn't fiddle with anything he shouldn't -- Andy readily admits that his repairs are a little dicey.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:07 pm 
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Linked back in to Neolbah today. Found one of the doors acting up. Swift kick or two seemed to fix it. :shrug:

I wandered over to the door that I've not had time to get working yet. I thought I could hear something. I pressed my ear against the door. Was that a dripping noise I heard? Hard to tell with the water splashing in the fountain and the noise from the imager going on.

I was walking over to my table when Dot linked in. Scared me to death! All these years and I'm still not used to someone suddenly popping into existance in front of me like that! Gah!

The look on Dot's face was very clear to me: "I'm really ticked off right now and want to be alone!" However the look changed quickly into a smile and a wave of hello when she saw me.

Right! I'm glad it wasn't ME that had ticked her off so bad! Whew!

I could tell she wanted to be alone though, and I needed to get going anyways. I've got a new area that I've been looking into that's in the Great Shaft. So giving excuises, and waving goodbye, I quickly used my Relto book to leave. I knew I'd be back later.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:55 pm 
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Gah, sometimes I wish my face wasn't quite so expressive. I could see Andy was rather taken aback the other day. Still, I appreciated his sensitivity in giving me a bit of time to myself. It helped to clear my mind and sort out what needed doing.

Quin is flitting back and forth between Curiosity, Lost Pages and Neolbah. The crates I helped to pack on Saturday have been transported across to his new place on Lost Pages. Apparently they are some sort of engine he hopes to reassemble -- though whether he has all the bits is anyone's guess.

I did ask if he had anything to do with the door Andy had to free up. He ignored the question and started talking instead about his decision to revisit the ERC Age. I suppose that is answer enough. :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:02 pm 
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Well, that was a weekend and a half! After a horrible day on Saturday, Sunday was quite a contrast.

I decided to visit Paislee and Quin, who were working in Lost Pages. Building work there is going well. Towards the top of the hill on the main island is a brick-built workshop, with a crane to lift cargo from any ship below, and equipment for handling heavy items installed within. Quin has already started playing with the engine parts I helped pack last week, and he has what looks like another experiment going with ... ah, not sure I should say about that just yet.

I don't know whether I have mentioned the details of the background to this particular project. But Quin's late Aunt Elspeth left him a sizable amount of money in her will to 'research and restore Lost Pages' -- lost pages being a metaphor for the worlds and ages and areas that may have been destroyed or misplaced, you might say, over time. Paislee's and Quin's home world of Devokan, now destroyed by its own sun, is a case in point.

All the building work going on at the moment is part of that project, which Quin has decided to call the Devokan Trust in memory of his old home. But the buildings are not the only component: there is also a need for personnel, and today Quin asked if I would consider playing a role in it. It will be challenging, but is a wonderful opportunity.

I have therefore resigned from the Guild of Maintainers, and am now officially part of the Devokan Trust, working as an independent freelance.

Nyn and the others in GoMa have been most helpful as ever, and everything has been sorted. Nyn has confirmed that a special area of the GoMa website is available for planning and communication even though the project is strictly independent of the guild. Andy says there is no problem in continuing to use Neolbah as an informal base, and that Quin too is welcome (even with his tendency to fiddle with the mechanisms).

So that is settled -- and it will be good to keep in touch with all my friends.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:06 am 
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Today I rushed back to Neolbah to see if Dot was there. I wanted to tell her what I and my friend Moe found up in the Great Shaft!

Moe is from Down Under, in Carins, Australia. I met him a ways back while playing an online game. We've become fast friends and I had told him all about the Cavern and the D'ni.

Moe was fascinated with what I had described to him. His wife Meg (short for Megumi) and he flew to the states to visit me and Tracey. Of course with him visiting, I just could not resist dragging him down here!

To make a long story short (and by the way, Moe stands at about 6 foot 8 inches....I forgot he'd need a hard hat. He spent a lot of time yelling "OW!" down here), I decided to take Moe down the Great Shaft.

The look of wonder on his face was worth every gripe from him about his sore feet, which he promptly forgot about when he looked down the shaft from the top! Heh.

We made our way down using the series of elevators and walking paths until we got about half way. I'd heard there was a Rest Room right about here (there are several, but this one took some getting to). Once in the Rest Room, I pointed, while bent over breathing hard (I've GOT to loose some weight!).
Moe looked over and said "What? It's just another bloody room that.....look......the.........that door back there is open!"

Still catching my breath, I stood up right and nodded my head. Yep, the door was open on this one!

We moved in and to my astonishment, it looked like some sort of pub or bar! There was a place for people to sit, and even what looked like a small kitchen!
I could tell Moe was getting aggravated with me, as I kept smacking his huge hands yelling "Touch nothing!"

Further investigation revealed what looked like living quarters. That's when I found a book!
That is also when Moe got another smack to his hand.
I remember him looking at me confused saying "Look mate, it's just a book! How is touching it going to-"
He broke off as I was waving my Relto book under his nose.
"Just a book?" I looked at him with raised eyebrows. "So what happens if you open it up and touch it? Nothing? Or maybe a sudden lurching feeling, and existing, where? A tropical island? A dark pit? A place who's atmosphere is poison to us? Do you want to find out the hard way?"
Moe grinned sheepishly at me (well as sheepish as a man his size can look), and shrugged. "Sorry mate. I'm still new to all this."
I held up my finger and drew a pen out of my pocket, one that I had been usig to take notes. I gently lifted the cover of the book over, and saw simply D'ni writing. No linking panel.

"It's safe." I told Moe. "But it's a good find! It might tell us about this place."
"You can read that chicken scratch?" Moe asked me with eyebrows raised (he has a big forehead, so this is really a site to see, heh).
"No." I replied. "But I know people that can."
I pulled a large bag from my back pack and slipped the book into it. Then placed it back in my pack.

It was time to go then. I knew I would be back, but for now I had other places to take Moe.

I left Moe in the good hands of Steve at the Ferry Terminal in Ae'gura. I wanted to get back to Neolbah and tell Dot what I had found. When I left them, they were busy discussing Australian beer, or "Auzzy Beer" as Moe calls it.
I shook my head. Here he was 3 miles down under ground in the ruins of a 10,000 year old civilization, and they were going to discuss beer.......

Dot wasn't in Neolbah. Felt like I had just missed her. Sighing I was about to link out when I thought I heard something. It was from the elevator shaft. The elevator itself was not present.
I walked over and called it up to me, and rode it down to the basement. Walking to the end of the tunnel, I didn't see anyone.
I stared at the two valves that are down there. I keep thinking they do more than just maybe shut off the fountain. That's when my eye caught the book laying on a crate!

Who in the world left this here? When did this happen? I need to get with Dot.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:32 pm 
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On my return from the other world (Quin came with me, too), I found a note from Andy.

I could tell he was excited about something he had found -- but then that is Andy! He was also puzzled about the book down in the basement. It's certainly not one of mine, or of Quin's.

Anyway, while I went back to the office to complete some paperwork, Quin decided to investigate the one door that currently doesn't open, to see if he might get it working again -- he can't resist a challenge like that.

Just as I was carefully totting up a column of figures, an urgent shout of 'Miss Dot, come and see this!' broke my concentration.

Inwardly sighing, I pencil-marked the place I had got to and went out to see what was the matter.

'Do you see that, by the door?' Quin indicated the area of the wall he meant. 'I think there is some carving here, below the surface covering.'

Sure enough, there was some unevenness to the wall at that point. So, taking great care, we removed a little of the covering to reveal...

An inscription in D'ni, chiselled into the wall. Three words on three lines, the first and the third ending with the same letter, with a symmetrical-looking word on the middle line -- was it poetry?

At that point, I thought of Rehn: his patient and enthusiastic teaching of the D'ni language to the Uru diaspora in the other worlds we had settled in. Surely he would be able to translate it. I carefully copied down the letters, making sure to get the hooks and waves of that ancient alphabet in the correct proportion to each other.

I explained to Quin what I intended to do: that I would link back to my cottage in Winterfell Reverie, and from there contact Rehn. Quin decided he would prefer to stay a little longer in Neolbah -- I suspect the challenge of the locked door was too much of a pull.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:57 am 
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I finally caught up with Andy in Neolbah a few days ago. We had quite a bit to talk about.

Rehn had come up trumps with a translation of the inscription: a phrase that turned out to be just what I needed to hear at that time. I was reminded too of the note attached to a package sent to Paislee by Quin's aunt Elspeth's solicitors back in late January, when we were evacuating Devokan.

Endings and beginnings... It's strange how such ideas resonate across aeons and civilisations and worlds...

Anyway, enough of this musing. Andy's news was very exciting, and what was even better is that he took me across to the new area he has found, just off the Great Shaft.

So while he continued working (and to avoid some of the resulting controlled mayhem) I ventured carefully down the spiral pathway -- Andy had warned me that the lift wasn't working at that particular level.

After several complete circuits, I came across another opening. This one was partly blocked by rubble, but there was enough room for me to squeeze through. It was another room, similar in size to the one Andy was working in, but it had an air of abandonment, as though it wasn't being used even before the disaster overtook the Cavern's original inhabitants. It made me think of an attic in one of those grand old country houses -- full of items needing repair or no longer needed.

Fairly close to the entrance, I spotted the pieces of an imager similar to the one in Neolbah. Now that was something we could do with. Since Andy had been able to repair the one already in Neolbah, he might well be able to get this one working again (even though it looked in far worse state).

Taking advantage of the acoustics of the Great Shaft, I shouted up to him to come and see what I had found. After a while he joined me, puffing slightly. Yes, he really does need to get into better shape; and no, he wasn't going to fit through that gap :wink: Fortunately, the imager parts were just about visible from the entrance; I pointed them out and explained what I had in mind.

'Sounds good to me,' said Andy. 'We could use that for any KI shots of the new ages' -- for there is a plan to include in Neolbah first-hand descriptions of explorers' expeditions to some of the new ages, if we can. 'I guess Moe might come and give us a hand in shifting some of this rubble, and then getting the parts up to Neolbah. We will need help with this.'

Moe is a great character -- I liked him, even though I found his Aussie accent a little difficult to follow at times (I have the same problem with Glaswegian). 'No problem!' he said to Andy's request.

So now the imager parts are in Neolbah, awaiting repair and eventual connection.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:48 am 
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Yesterday I spent a little time in the other world, the one where Paislee has made her new home.

Having managed to prise Quin away from whatever it was he was doing in the tower laboratory, we went exploring. He did insist on taking along one of his portable monitors -- I think he might be checking out something in the local environment, though he didn't exactly say what -- that, or he needs an excuse to not work!

I opened up the map, and chose one of the nearby islands: Kamali.

We arrived eventually on a small sky island, a little away apart from the main island. The view was wonderful -- I could see that even Quin was moved.

Image

We managed to get across to the main island -- not as straightforward as you might think, for there was no obvious bridge.

Image

After a while of quietly exploring the area, drinking in its sights and sounds, Quin started checking his monitor. I could see puzzlement in his face, so asked what was the matter.

"Miss Dot, this island -- it has exactly the same 'signature' as the sky island that broke free from the blighted Devokan Touchstone. Could it really be ...?"

Endings... Beginnings...

======
Search for 'kamali' on the OSgrid map. It is one of Mat Mahogany's wonderfully atmospheric regions.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:36 am 
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Over this last week, since that visit to Kamali, Quin has been in a strange mood -- more abstracted than usual. He has been back to Kamali once or twice, on his own, taking different types of equipment each time.

The rest of the time he seems to have spent in the small study Paislee has set up for him in the base of the tower at Curiosity, poring over his aunt's journals and other, ancient-looking, books. No mention of what he was researching, though.

Since there didn't seem much I could do to help, I linked back to the land of Winterfell Reverie, only to find a letter from Quin waiting for me. Undated, unfortunately -- I can't tell exactly when he wrote it -- and the postmark is too smudgy to decipher.

But it confirms that Quin has abandoned his original plans to focus instead on this new world.
Quinquifid wrote:
Dear Miss Dot

So much has happened in this last month, it is difficult to know where to start.

One thing is clear: the plans I had a month ago have been turned on their head by events.

The landslip in Miss Paislee's new home world opened up an underwater entrance to more than just an ancient mine -- but to a future of remarkable machines powered by the fruit of that mine.

What is more, my monitoring equipment in the Lost Pages region of that world suggests that it too might hold similar veins beneath its otherwise unpromising surface.

Various 'coincidences' suggest that the sphere fluxes draw their power from these materials.

I need to focus.

I will therefore dismantle the mechanism in the tower here in Winterfell Reverie. Selenitica may disappear from this world. But by my reckoning, from tapping into the power available in that other world it should be possible to recreate a thousand Seleniticas, should I care to.

Winterfell has been (and is) a good place to be. But it is time for me to move on.

Your friend and colleague
Quinquifid


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:21 am 
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With both Paislee and now Quin deciding to focus their attentions on the other world, it's become rather quiet here in Winterfell Reverie. Don't get me wrong -- the neighbours here are very pleasant, but I miss the relaxed chats Paislee and I used to enjoy at the end of the day in her rooms in the Devokan Inn, or in her seaside cottage on Reverie.

Perhaps it is time for me to close down operations here, and follow them.

I'll still have a base in Neolbah, where I can continue to work on various projects for the Devokan Trust. And I'm sure Paislee will put me up in one of the guest rooms while I sort out something more permanent over there.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:14 am 
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Well, as Quin thought might happen, with the removal of the sphere mechanism, his small re-created Selenitica has now disappeared from the world of Winterfell Reverie. I have dismantled the rather rickety elevator system that previously enabled access to it, just in case anyone might decide to investigate and get dumped in mid air as a result.

I've emptied the cottage and put the furniture into storage. It's made me feel quite melancholic -- the area is lovely, but it is time to move on.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:42 pm 
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I managed to catch up with Quin over the weekend. Although he has mostly been working in Lost Pages and Curiosity, he has spent some time in Neolbah getting his journal up to date.

He also managed to find the missing bit of the imager Andy, Moe and I had brought back to Neolbah from close by the new area Andy has been restoring -- apparently it was well buried under the rubble. Hopefully Andy will be able to get this second imager working now...

==========
By the way, if you would like to visit Neolbah (or other explorer-written ages) for yourself, there are instructions how to on the Guild of Writers or Guild of Maintainers websites. There is a lot more detail to discover in the Neolbah office journals than there is in this thread!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:50 am 
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Yesterday evening was a delight. Having completed the day's work, I linked over to Curiosity to see what Paislee and Quin had been up to.

Quin must have been working in Lost Pages, but soon after I arrived Paislee turned up. We walked up to her Hilltop House, and there she showed me a recent addition: a small, two-person blimp, docked near the bridge over the ravine close by the house.

Once we were safely seated in the blimp's basket, we took off and spent the next half hour or so sailing over Curiosity, enjoying the sights, catching up with each other's news.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:42 am 
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A new tenant was found very quickly for my cottage on Winterfell Reverie (well, it is located at a lovely spot), so it is just as well I had cleared out the furniture earlier.

I had previously managed to prise the keys to the Devokan Flyer from Quin -- he wasn't needing it in Lost Pages. So I have been using that as a base this last week, flying around, trying to think through the different directions and opportunities for the future.

Serendipity played a hand in clarifying the immediate future; yesterday I heard of an island becoming available close to the Age and Country Hotel on Minkarta, where so many Uru and Myst explorers have washed up over the years.

It was rather tricky landing the Flyer there, trying to avoid the cliffs and the trees, to say nothing of the hotel and market itself. But I finally achieved a reasonable touch-down, and have started to set up base there.

The proprietress, Jandai Writer, was most welcoming and helpful. And that evening I was able to welcome my old friends, Ivy, Ilf, Morgon and June, for their regular game of Spades -- albeit in irregular surroundings!


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