Tag Archive: Jade Reefs


I found these pages of my journal, which I wrote on scraps in a café in Bracken a few weeks ago.  Having written in my book since I must stick them here, but when I look back at these words (if I ever do) I will see the date and know where it belongs in my personal, private timeline…

-RSR

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Skeinsday, 16 Vernuz

Earned 37 / Spent 4

Savings 18,338

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Slowly, our plan of action comes together.

After speaking on the brineline our common goals came into synchronization.  The plan was for me to meet Foist in Metrodon, and from there we would travel the whole of Terrene together. 

Some places were high on Foist’s list; these might be lower on mine.  We both made sacrifices.  But the key places, the important places, were the first ones that we agreed.  Now we have a fine plan, and my map is covered in red dots and dashes, arrows and annotations.  We’ve tracked zeppelin routes and primary train lines, marked the border gates where a certain visa, pass or faith is required to cross.  We’ve researched all the recommendations when it comes to bribes or sacrificial offerings (which it often will).  There will need to be other arrangements: tour guides, translators, equipment, and most of all, seeds.

I have fair savings.  So does Foist.  She’s not been slack in saving either, and together we will have just enough to travel on.  Bless her, she’s been giving up her luxuries one by one.  The brineline was the only strictly unnecessary expense she’s made in months.

The itinerary comes together.  Soon we had a plan.  It’s all written there, in the pages of my notebook, on slips in this journal, or in tiny neat letters in the blanks spaces of the map.

I will leave Kernel, waving goodbye to the Den and the muddy thoroughfare and the endless running.  I’ll pass through Becken by stagecoach, then overland some other way to the edge of the jungle.  A sequence of trains will take me, in days, to Metrodon.

From there Foist and I are together again for the rest of the adventure: a zeppelin flight to Tinder, the land of spice, then by rail and longmule to Shangri-La in the mountains.  It will be cold and the next borders are patrolled by militia, closed to all visitors.  There the maréchaussée will be all over the hills and desert, drawing lines from the Umber Plains to the Jade Reefs. 

The varied landscape of the Jade Reefs will be our home for a few weeks as we move to the east coast, then south.  Beyond Embassy is the stretched coastal landscape of the Lower East, Namma, and turning back west through the deeper forests we’ll make our way to the Regency of Golden Statues. 

By then it will be Torp, maybe even Vernuz.  A few weeks later will see us down the continent’s tapering peninsula to the Scattered Isles, where the sun burns the white sand to glass under your bare feet.  We’ll fly to the Redland and, from there, to the Zeauk islands.  Maybe under those dense canopies I’ll begin to miss Kernel, almost a year from now.  Maybe I won’t.  I’ll see Hollystar before I see these vegesaur-infested jungles again.

The trip will see us from Senescence this year right through the winter into late Pollinary.  Those months will be long and rough and dirty, full of stuffy trains and difficult horses, cramped zeppelin cradles and layers of culture shock.  We’ll require jabs from the apothecary and the courier’s Union will need to know that I’m leaving for half a year.  I’ll be saying goodbye to my life for over six months, but it’ll be worth it.

— RSR

Budsday, 25 Vernuz

Earned 40 / Spent 5

Savings 18,578

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I went to the library to check the medical tomes.  I had to pass through a corner of the Den to get to it, where it sits in a glade set deep within the denser jungle.  The freaks of the Den ogled me as I ran between the stilts of the elevated shakes, dipping in and out of the shadows cast by the ramshackle walkways. 

Sometimes I wonder whether I’ll join them one time soon: these poor souls whose person Displacement to Terrene meant total madness, and disassociation from everything we call civilized or sensible.

The library smelled of dusty paper and rot.  You get used to it after a while, but the only other time I came I lingered too long in the stacks, and came out with a weird respiratory anomaly that wouldn’t let up for weeks.  Finally I hacked up a clump of dark, wet fungus.

I flicked through the books until the sun slanted through the mouldy skylight rather than the east-facing windows.  This was for evidence of foreign disease, which I’ll need to be on the look out for once Foist and I leave.  The illustrations in the journals and tomes are sickening livid: Bursting Encephalitis, the Purple Pin plague, thyphilious transmogrification sickness, and other freakish contractions known to the Jade Reefs and nearby regions. 

The locals are immune to some of these – The crabpeople of the reefs are genetically proofed against stinging roids and leaping sun spurs, for example – but they can be distressing, sometimes fatal, for travellers.

I made a list for the apothecary and steeled myself for jabs.  After months of the golden needle though I feel adequately prepared.

And I’ve noted the abatement of the thrashing drakeroot infestation, which now does not react when the Disc is in view, and do not miss chewing the root as my running slows.  Things have been easier – is this because I know that I’ll soon be gone?  Has it been my outlook that affected me so badly these last few months?

If I’ve done it to myself, then I can do the opposite.  With Foist, around the world, we can do anything.

— RSR