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Old 09-16-2018, 11:48 AM
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Chapter I: New beginnings on the Black Beach

Laying face down on the beach, Derek feels the surf crawl up his leg and then retreat with each passing wave. Memories were foggy, had it been days or weeks at sea since The Big Adventure had capsized and sunk down into the depths? The nights and days have bled into each other by this point, with periods of unconsciousness the only thing in between.

With a sudden cough, two lungs worth of briny water exit Derek's lungs. It seems that his makeshift raft had capsized on a small reef and he had been spilled into the water. He had spotted the beach and the tips of palm trees from some ways out. It was odd though, upon drifting closer into the bay Derek noticed the sand was a deep, dark black -- as dark as the night sky when the moon was hidden.

Rolling over and sitting up, Derek gets a better picture of the strange land he's found himself in. It's rocky, with sharp jagged chunks of stones pointing out towards the sea. Bits of wreckage from ships -- possibly The Big Adventure or others -- line the shore. Derek spots something familiar on the beach. His pack, caught in the surf, rolls up and down the shore.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:27 PM
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In a daze, Derek lifts his face, surveying his surroundings. Recalling that breathing is kinda important, he hacks up ocean water and roughly coughs and spits a piece of seaweed from where it was caught near the back of his throat.

Shakily, the half-orc rolls over, identifies his right arm and shifts it elbow-first into the sand. He follows this with his left arm, trembling a bit from the recent near-death experience. After an age, or perhaps a few seconds, the weak adventurer manages to find his way to his feet and stumble over to his pack.

Derek climbs the beach away from the water with a slight shiver, dragging his pack behind him, before opening his bag and checking the bedroll, book, letter, and pouches for water damage, and making sure that the corked inkwell and jar of glowworms aren't sullied by the water.

A further glance into the sky would give an indication of the time of day, or night. Finally, Derek picks out a strip of jerky and a handful of nuts from one of his pouches of rations, and absentmindedly chews while pondering the shoreline.

Without recalling how long he'd been on the boat, Derek couldn't say for sure, but the black sand certainly wasn't familiar. When he'd boarded the Big Adventure the sand had definitely been more of a yellow-white colour. Stands to reason, then, that he'd arrived on the other side of the world. After all, the opposite of the start of the journey was the end of the journey, the opposite of the clean, white sand was going to be dirty black sand, and the opposite of going on an adventure was ... being on an adventure?

Derek pauses for a moment, his thoughts having completely gotten away from him, and tries to comprehend what he just put together. Finally, he gives up and instead focuses on the sand. Maybe he'd read about something like this back in the libraries at home?

 
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:22 AM
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Derek searches his memory but comes up short. The sand seems to be tied to geology in some way, but the half-orc can't quite put his finger on it. This may be the first, and only time, someone has regretted not reading the seminal -- but painfully boring -- work of Maester Uandithas: "Rocks & the rolling on of time".

Searching his pack for water damage, Derek can tell that everything is fine despite the beating the contents took from the pounding waves. A little soggy and water logged, the bag itself has held together.

If Derek had to guess, it seems it is late afternoon and the sun overhead is starting to slip behind the tree line. Up ahead on the beach, he can spot what looks to be a small lizard dashing in between rocks and picking at the sand. It's unlike anything he's seen before. It walks on two skinny legs, with a long whip like tail. The creature has small claws, a thin head and a bulging round eye.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:03 AM
GrandMattress GrandMattress is offline
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"Prespidipitator! Serves me right for only reading Maelzor's Sentiments about Sediments." Derek curses, vaguely recalling the name of a spell he'd taken months to master and still couldn't pronounce. The transmutation master had spent most of the class time forcing young Derek to repeat the word to the amusement of the other students, Derek grumpily remembered.

"At least the food isn't bad. And my books are clean, I don't even know if my magic would still work without my notes." Cocking his head for a moment, Derek pondered "Well, I don't know if the masters always had their books around, but-"
Derek spots the strange creature and abruptly quiets.
Could it be, one of those Lizard-people I've read about in books? Surely not, those are supposed to be bigger than me. Maybe smaller? A trogalid...trogalittle...trogididdy...trog-thing, maybe?

Regardless of what the creature is, it doesn't seem dangerous or interested in talking, and the sunlight is starting to wane, so Derek looks to the treeline for any kind of trail, for people or animals, that might lead to shelter.

 
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:03 PM
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After walking up and down the edge of the beach, Derek finds what looks to be a path that someone or something has been using to reach the shoreline. There are imprints that appear to be some sort of claw or bird's foot, but because of the sand they're too hard to make out.

As far as the half-orc can tell, the path cuts across a small marsh land that lies just beyond the beach. Derek can see shallow pools of stagnant water scattered around, reeds cluster along their edges, and dead trees stripped of bark break up the horizon. The sun continues to slip away, and Derek can tell darkness is hours away.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:29 AM
GrandMattress GrandMattress is offline
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Soon, it's going to be dark out. That way looks all sticky, but I think it might lead to people, or maybe a smart animal.
Shifting his weight, Derek shoulders his pack, grips the twisted top of his staff, and begins to trudge into the bog.
Not bothering to light a torch, or fumble his way through casting a spell, Derek simply allows his eyes to adjust to the shadowy light beneath the palms, the way he often did to avoid the attention of bullies in the shadowy corners of the libraries, weighty tome in hand.
I wonder what the people must look like here. Perhaps they're all lizards?


Last edited by GrandMattress; 09-20-2018 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:52 PM
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Derek finds that the path is certainly not the most direct route through the swamp. It seems it sticks to solid ground for the most part, which means it cuts back and fourth, with sudden wild turns that curve around ponds of stagnant water. Here and there the path turns to sticky mud and it slows some of his progress. After 20 minutes or so of walking, the half-orc begins to notice bones scattered along the route. Some of them still whole, but with flesh stripped from them. Other are snapped and crushed.

Darkness has now fallen, and apart from the frenzied glow of fire flies as well as the moon overhead, there's little light.

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Last edited by CactusJack; 09-23-2018 at 02:01 PM.
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