Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Diary of Wartha Gormley


Day 2. The Upworld


Dear Diary,


 It’s true what they say about the sky torch or rather, the Sun. That’s what it’s called. It slowly sunk behind the trees and now the world is dark. Not as dark as I’m used to, but at least I can see. As it fell behind the trees the colossal dome that covers the Upworld changed colors. It went from blue to purple. Then it got redder and redder. I worried the trees were going to catch fire, but somehow they didn’t. I guess the Sun is further away than it looks. That will be my goal, I suppose. I’ll hunt down the Sun. It’s hot enough to set the world on fire, I reckon, but as long as I don’t get too close I should be able to bring it down with some well placed arrows. Heck, the dang thing ain’t even got claws. I bet that shadewolf was tougher than some stupid old sky torch.


 Speaking of the wolf. I’m almost out of meat. I took what I could of the pelt, but it ain’t like I got the means of curing it. The head was going to be my trophy, but I don’t want to carry that thing around. So what I did was pop the teeth out and made them into a necklace. The black teeth of a shadewolf are supposed to be good luck for hunters.


----


 So, I managed the climb down the face of the cliff without too much trouble. Now, here I am setting actual foot down on Upworld territory. I don’t see any Updwellers about. I hear tell that they mostly operate when the Sun comes up. Their eyes ain’t natural, see. They need a world flooded in light just so they don’t stumble around blind as a mole. If any do come around I suspect I’ll be able to see and hear them before they get anywhere near me. Between the torches and the big stomping boots they wear Updwellers are hard to miss.


 I’m a dang good climber, but I sure wish I had Drucilla with me. Not just because she makes getting around easier, but also when it comes time to sleep, her big fuzzy hide is as comfy as it gets.


 The floor of the Upworld feels mighty strange, by the way. It’s kind of soft, like walking on top of a giant mushroom. I’m used to the hard rock floor of the caverns. Why do Updwellers wear those big honking boots if the ground is so soft? Maybe they have weak feet.


 Small plants cover the world. They tickle my feet as I strut around in my new home. Most are green but some of them have bright colored bits popping out here and there. A lot of them have a real sweet smell, too. I kind of like the look of them. Can’t put my finger on why. It’s like when you see your first skull bashed in or hold an axe in your hand for the first time, except different. I just get a good feeling in my heart looking at these colorful plant bits. I don’t think there’s a word for the way they look or how it makes you feel. Not in Goblin tongue, anyways.


 When the light from the Sun faded away a bunch more lights came into being. They’re amazing to look at. Countless little pinpricks glowing through the dome above. So many that you could never count them all. And in the middle of it all is a tooth...or maybe a claw. It’s just floating there in the sky. Maybe that’s the Sun’s tooth. I better be careful when I try to kill it. A tooth or a claw that size could probably cut me in half.


 Looking at those little lights gives me a feeling sort of like the colorful plants. Like I could just gaze and gaze forever. I get lost in it. It’s so magnificent. Maybe Updwellers have a word for what I’m feeling. Then again, they probably don’t. They get to see this stuff all the time. They probably don’t even notice it.


 Anyway, I can’t spend all night looking at wonders. I need to figure out what I’ll be filling my belly with.


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 I’m not as good at trapmaking as Pa is, but I caught me a critter. It looks like a dire pika except a lot smaller. It’s got two funny long ears to boot. Not much meat on this thing. I guess I’ll have to catch a lot of them.


 I don’t want to attract attention so I probably shouldn’t start a cook fire. I think I’ll have to eat this thing raw. Goblins have tough stomachs. We can eat stuff that would make an Updweller’s stomach come out his nose. There’s some mushrooms in the cave too. I kind of wish Gurk was here to help me figure out which ones I can eat.


----


 I took a chance and ate the fungus. Guess what? I’m still alive! The critter tasted ok too, but I really miss the flavor of roasted meat. I can’t wait to catch the Sun. I wonder what its meat tastes like. Do you have to cook Sun meat? Or is it already cooked since it’s always on fire. I hope it isn’t too burned up to eat.


 I reckon there must be more than one Sun. It gets loose every day and runs around the sky-dome. Then maybe someone catches it or it just fizzles out. If there was only one Sun  someone would have hunted it down by now for certain.
 
 In the old books I remember it saying that the Sun always comes up on one side of the world and goes down on the other. So I’ll trek over to the side where it comes out. If I’m quick I should be there before it wakes up.


 I’m heading off  now.  I’ll check back in later, Diary.
 
----


 Dear Diary,


 I found my first Updweller settlement. I have been travelling quietly but swiftly through the trees of the Upworld. I came to a clearing.  It’s an odd sensation not having a ceiling over my head, but I’m getting used to it. Those pinholes in the sky and that giant tooth thing shed a lot of light. I don’t need it to see, of course, but it sure is pretty. Everything has a silvery glow cast upon it. I wish Ma could see this. I am trying not to think of the folks back home too much. Ma, Pa, Gurk...even Drucilla must all be worried sick about me. But this is more important than that. I am an explorer now. I guess, I’m an adventurer just like the Updwellers are. I hope they don’t have traps set for me.
 
 The settlement seems pretty small, just two structures. Up here they build caves out of the trees. Sounds like a waste of time to me when caves already exist aplenty and stone is way stronger than wood, but maybe they have their reasons. I guess Updwellers wouldn’t survive too long since their eyes are so terrible. Probably because of that Sun. It must burn their eyes so much that they can’t even see when they come down to the darkness. Maybe they’ll call me a hero when I finally slay it for them. Unless there really is more than one Sun. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.


 The two artificial caves are separate from each other by about thirty bow-lengths. I measure everything by my bow. It’s almost as tall as me and made of Norsu tusk. Pa carved it himself.
 Anyway, I got as close I dared to them. A low fence surrounds most of the clearing where the structures stand. Large, slow-moving critters ramble about and make low noises. They must be foodstock for the updwellers. I reckon the fence keeps them in because it sure wouldn’t keep anything else out. I got half a mind to slice one up and cart the meat off. I’m mighty curious what Updweller food tastes like, but I don’t want to attract any attention right now. It’s probably best if I stick to the outer perimeter of the settlement. Once I kill the Sun for them I can probably have all the food I want from the Updwellers. They might even make me their queen.


 I admit I’m curious to see inside their caves, but I’m being cautious for now.  My shoulder is still sore from that tussle with the shadewolf and I ain’t really looking for trouble. I best keep on toward the Sun and get ready to take that thing by surprise.


----


Dear Diary,


 I’ve been travelling a long ways and I still haven’t seen anywhere near the edge of the world. I reckon that’s how the Sun gets up every morning. It pops up over the edge, right? What if I’m wrong about that? What if it lives in a hole or a cave and just burroughs its way underground in the night time. That can’t be it, though. I would have heard tell about it if that were the case. Goblins see everything that happens in the caverns.


 It must go over the edge and come back up the other side. That’s the only way that makes sense. I just ain’t travelled far enough yet. I’ll get there. No hurry.


 I caught a few more of those long-eared varmints. They’re quick, but tend to stand still real long if they think you might see them. Stupid beasties. Must be used to the blind eyes of the Updwellers. Didn’t count on me. So at least my belly is full. I took a chance and built a small fire this time. I got to admit they taste better cooked. Too bad I’m all out of mushrooms, but it doesn’t look like I’ll go hungry up here.


----


Dear Diary,


 You won’t believe this, but the Sun is coming up. It still looks awful far away. No way I can hit it from here even if I am the best shot around. Looks like I’m going to have to find a place to get some shuteye. I’ll set out again when it’s proper dark out. That dang Sun must have gone all the way around the whole world while I was walking over just a small portion of it. It don’t look like it’s moving that fast, though. Must be some sort of magic involved. I’ll have to use my lucky arrows on it. I keep two in the quiver. They sport flights made of Nightraptor feathers. If they can’t take the Sun down, nothing can.


 I wonder what it’s like on the underbelly of the world when the Sun makes its go-around. It gets bright there when it’s dark here, obviously, but what does the land look like? Is it all weird and green like this place? Or is it nice and cozy with lots of rocks and stalagmites to hide behind? Well, after I conquer this world maybe I’ll head over to the flipside. That would be a true epic journey I bet. For now I just need to keep oriented, though.


 I’m going to make a temporary camp underneath some of those stumpy, low-to-the-ground trees. That should be safe enough for now.


Sleep tight, Diary. I’ll be back soon enough.

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