Posts Tagged ‘Anticipation’

The Fifth Path (25/30)

November 28, 2016

Anatu’s Diary Entry for Abu 7th

Dear diary, the trip to the island we have been working so hard to reach, the island I described as myth and legend, was really boring. After I managed to get myself a job as security for a vessel, we set out the next day early in the morning. But we sailed a leisurely pace, and when I spoke with the crew, who had seemed reasonably exciting the day before, it soon became apparent that they were all generally not that interesting. Each one seemed interested primarily in the money of the endeavor, which was itself a not so great sign, but in addition, they didn’t even have any particularly great ambitions for what to do with the money. Buy a better house, or buy nicer food, or pay for more nights at the bar. These and more like them were the reasons I heard when I inquired into the motives of my fellow crew members. After having spent my life among the desperate poor, or the nobility, the wants and desires of those somewhere in the middle seemed painfully unimportant. Not that I begrudged these men and women their normal, average sort of wants, needs, and lives, but I became glad indeed that my life had turned out the way it did, that I had been the defender of kings and Baals, and not a simple trader or merchant. I could not imagine such a life being fulfilling. At least for me.

Even the captain, usually the person most interesting on the boats, was but a simple merchant, wanting a safe and easy voyage for a not particularly large profit. A modest reward was sought by all of these people, and in exchange they wanted no risk at all. I became more understanding of my companions interests in the absurd feats of nautical legerdemain that they had sought to and basically succeeded in performing in the days past. While I had never really considered myself a thrill seeker, or one much in favor of risks, the fear and complacence of the crew members here had me wishing we were sailing through another Gap, or heading towards another unknown civilization. I suppose, dear diary, that that last one is true. At least for me. I still know little about the culture of the place we are headed to. Some of the majesty has been lost to me however with the knowledge that men and women such as those aboard this vessel frequent it with little problem however. I wonder if my Baal and Nabua will be disappointed by this place, which has, to some extent, been the ultimate goal of our whole journey. It seems unlikely that a place so casually traveled too shall be quite as exciting or engaging as the mysterious lands of the unpronounceable kingdom or the dangerous depths of the “Green Sea”. It always felt to me like the last place would have to be the ultimate experience in a whole slew of interesting adventures. But it has begun to feel unlikely to me. But I could perhaps be being lured into a false sense of security by the people around me. Maybe they are truly rough and tumble individuals, who face danger, but treat it as just a days work. I guess we’ll see, dear diary.

The other aggravating thing about the journey, apart from the lack of interesting company, and the sheer banality of everyone around me, was the slow pace we set. I was already behind Nabua by a day or two, and it was quite possible my Baal had also managed to set out quickly, wherever he might have washed ashore. I was sure I was losing time however as my ship crept slowly across the water. My worst fear was that I would discover my companions had indeed arrived there, but then left without me. It didn’t seem particularly likely, but the possibility of it added to my general frustration with the ship I was on and the people around me. I was never directly confrontational, but as the days passed, people talked to me less, so I imagine that I was not the easiest to be around in that time. The days passed slowly but steadily. I was bored, and I thought to write to you, dear diary, but I had nothing truly to write about. I sat down to describe my day or days, but nothing came. The idea of filling you with the banality of the lives which surrounded me was not an appealing one. And so I sat around, talked with people I cared not a bit about, and did some exercises to stay in shape, in the unlikely event that my services as a guard would be called upon. Plus, seeing me doing active things seemed to put my crew members in a bad mood, as though the very thought of action or violence was too much. This was and effect I found not entirely undesirable.

At last however, I decided it was time to write to you, dear diary, for we are at last close to the island. My expectation, and hope is that whatever I encounter there will be at the very least, more interesting than what I found on the ride over, and I wanted to get through the boring bit now, so that I could cut right into the exciting bits next time I write to you. There were in fact a few interesting things that occurred at the tale end of the journey as well. I encountered the illusionary effect that had led to the island being considered beyond the edge of the world. It would perhaps have been exciting if my crew mates had not described exactly how it was created, and how it was nothing to be afraid of approximately five hundred times before it even came into view, apparently not wanting to see the unsettling sight of someone even momentarily excited or frightened by something. We did increase our speed a bit in order to crest the gap safely, reaching a speed which would have been barely above average for most vessels, but for this crew was positively startling. I tried to look over the edge, to the consternation of my crew mates, and get a look at the emptiness below, but it was a strange angle, and somewhat late at night, so I could not see far. Still, despite the best efforts of the rest of the ship, it was an exciting sight at least, unlike anything I had seen before, a crack in the ocean, where water fell in a massive waterfall, before continuing almost invisibly a bit past, above a black surface that looked like so much emptiness. I smiled as we passed over.

The island too managed to catch my attention a bit as we approached. In the night the towns lit up more brightly than I really thought possible. I could not imagine what could possibly be causing them to glow with such fervor unless they were on fire, and they lacked the warm red and orange glow of that kind of light. It was interesting, and the crew members had no simple explanation for it. I learned, when I asked, that they had not in fact ever gotten a chance to walk upon the island itself. Always they docked, and goods were transferred while they remained aboard their boat. That the place was at least that mysterious, and that its secrets were not known to people such as these, raised my spirits a good bit. Perhaps this place had the chance of meeting my expectations. In the last few hours, as I have been slowly writing down these events while considering and eating lunch, as we have been traveling the last short distance to the port where we are to dock, there have been a few more signs that have peeked my interest as well. A great deal of smoke became visible rising from a number of inland locations as we got closer. In addition, distant crashes, sounding somewhat like cannons could be heard in the far distance, as well as bright flashes of light here and there. It seemed like there might be something going on on the island of mystery. My fellow ship mates have been pointedly ignoring these signs for the last hours, which has amused me greatly, and as we close in on the dock, I can hardly wait to find out what news we shall discover. In fact I shall not wait, but rather prepare for disembarking. I shall write again soon, dear diary. And this next time I’ll actually have something worth writing about.