Adventures in Yonderland

A log of my adventures, both real and imagined.

Archive for the category “C.M. Pine”

Diary, C.M. Pine

24 October 2012

The Governor is quickly growing angry with Peter’s smiths and Clara and I have told him it would be dangerous to try to continue delay tactics with them. He is not listening. He is confident in the Governor’s dependence upon them, but I think that is the reason to fear. He will stand less and less these delays. And who knows what he will do to stop them.

In the meantime Clara and I have been working on a plan to try and stop the Governor, but it is much more difficult than even I imagined. The Governor has had who knows how long to plan his move and we have days. Perhaps less.

Still, we have finally come up with a plan. It is risky. And very stupid. But if we survive it I think we just might be able to weaken the Governor enough to stop him. And if we’re really lucky, maybe we could free these poor people of the tyrant. But I dare not describe our plan until it is through. This journal is, after all, quite readable (though safe).

Perhaps fortunately communication with Ellen has been difficult. It would be easier to have someone close and familiar here with me, but I suppose the life I have chosen will be full of these moments. At least for now.

Quick as this entry has been, I must go. I spend all my time at school or thinking. Or sleeping, which I must off to now. God help us in the coming days.

Diary, C.M. Pine

20 October 2012

We have gone into town to meet with the resistance. It was an annoying and dangerous task. Each of us had to go in at intervals so it took nearly three hours to be together inside. Clara went in first since they had already met her, then I went, then Peter. When I finally got in they had already started explaining to Clara about the situation. They had intelligence that the Governor was going to make a move very soon. Within a week. No one was ready. Not the city members, nor the villagers. That is, of course, what the Governor wants, but there must be a way to delay him.

Peter finally arrived and we filled him in on what was going on.

“So we need a delay?” he said, “I’ve got just the thing.”

We were amazed that Peter would have something so ready, especially given that Peter isn’t known for being “the planner” (not to say he isn’t a leader or intelligent, it’s just the way it is). He quickly explained.

“I’ve been working with the smiths mostly at school, that’s what I decided to specialize in. The Governor’s plan relies on a special order I haven’t been informed about, but I could probably put a few chinks in their work plan all the same. Might buy us a week at least.”

“That would help,” said Raymond, the leader of the resistance, “but we will need something to distract them for longer.”

“I’ll take care of it,” I said, “One way or another. If nothing else, it’ll buy us time to come up with another distraction.”

“You are sure you can come up with something?”

“Absolutely. In the meantime, there will be members of our school here to help prepare you all. Even if we can buy some time, it won’t be much.”

“Very well. I will trust you.”

We talked more about supplies they needed. Mostly food and weapons, but they are all much more easily acquired than time.

And time is the most precious of all.

Diary, C.M. Pine

Insert, Journal of Clara Nobray:

17 October 2012

Cedric and Peter tasked me with going into town to discover more about the resistance and the governor. I don’t think any of us thought that this fox hole would go so deep. But I should be precise if we are to help anyone here. And lord knows there are many here in need of it.
I started on the Road of the Old Chaplain and set out north-west to some of the back-alleys. There was a man there selling food for cheap. He was obviously not of the “upper” class (there are so few of them anyway), so I decided to ask him about the resistance. At first he denied that he knew anything about it, but there was something in his eyes. A little flash of something. I pressed him about it and finally he told me that “Every fox finds a hole under a church.” I thanked him for the sandwich and moved on to the cathedral just down the road. Perhaps I should have started there in the first place. It is a center for beggars and people in need. Just the kind of people who would know about the resistance.

Just as I thought, the first woman I talked to gave me the information about what I wanted to know. She told me that one of the holy men in the church, the one clothed in red, was running the resistance center under the church in the old catacombs. They’ve been officially closed for decades due to “unsound walls” or something, but it now seems more likely that the church has been keeping them in secret to help those in need. In any case, I thanked the woman and gave her some money.

I found the churchman she was talking about easily. It was the priest himself. He was burning incense and walking around the circumference of the cathedral and praying. I tried to approach him as casually as possible, falling in step as penitently as I could manage.

“First pew, five minutes,” he said before I even said anything. I nodded, though I was a bit shocked, and did as instructed. I didn’t want to seem out of place, so I began to pray. Good cover and, well, I was in a church. It seemed like a good idea.

Just as he said, the priest came to retrieve me and we walked to the back of the church. He motioned to a confession box and I entered.

“What brings you here, my child?”

“Concerns about the governor, father. And the people.”

“Do not fret about such matters child, you are young yet.”

“I am young, father, but I am a member of the Heroes University.”

There came no response from the box next to me. Instead, the panel behind me gave way, revealing a dimly lit hallway and the priest with a candle.

“What you have come for is down this way,” he said. I nodded and walked down the dark hallway which quickly turned into stairs. These I took down into the catacombs themselves.

It was incredible. People were everywhere. The catacombs were not so much small hallways as I expected, but a large cavern. I then realized that the “catacombs” had been converted into this space, that they no longer existed. I found a teenage boy to talk to who seemed to have a good idea of what was going on. It was incredible what he said.

“This is the resistance,” he said. Secretly hidden under the vary nose of the governor. At least, the city branch. Most of the people there were wanted for one reason or another by the governor. Mostly for petty crimes or criticisms. But, most surprising of all, they were learning to fight. It was clumsy, the stuff of beginners and pampered city folk, but the fact that they were even trying was striking. They asked me if I could get word to the resistance members outside of town because they had such difficulty with sending news. Of course I agreed.

What have we stumbled on? I never dreamed we would come to this country to help them overthrow someone, but it seems that such may be the case. And perhaps even we will be helping goblins too. It’s all so strange. So, so strange. I will have to talk with the others about what we are to do.

Diary, C.M. Pine

17 October 2012

Since we discovered the governor working with the goblins, we have not known what to do. Certainly something must be done. The man is a tyrant to begin with, but the people here are not fighters and the small group of adventure students at university would never been enough. So our group has decided to investigate. It is dangerous work, but we have already learned much.

There is a resistance based outside the city in a town called Aving. It’s a beautiful little town full of old buildings and very close to the agricultural community. So much less attached to the city life. The governor of course knows about this little group and that’s where all the trouble is. The people around the city have been gaining in power. So much so that soon they will be able to resist the governor and form some kind of autonomy. Obviously, the governor doesn’t want that.

From what I’ve been told, the governor plans to help the goblins raid the towns and weaken their numbers and supplies. The goblins, poor beasts, don’t see what he’ll do to them after. Clara is coming with her report. Peter and I will have to listen to it now and find more about this situation.

Diary, C.M. Pine

11 October 2012

Today was quite an adventure. I cannot say that I knew exactly what I was getting into before coming here, to this country. But I can see now what my purpose is here. There is so much to learn, even though I have been here for a month already. The culture I have acclimated to, but there is so much more! To learn! To discover! It is incredible and I never thought that there could be so much the same and different at the same time. Even the goblins are different here. They’re rudimentary culture. The customs and traditions are not quite the same.

I have made friends with some of the other adventurers here, which will help with our task. It is no easy thing to help another people defend themselves against the evil of the world and I will need all the help I can get. Today was an excellent example.

We went out on an exploratory hike to learn a little more about the goblins. It was a simple enough operation and we didn’t expect to run into any major trouble. Of course, this is not at all what happened.

When we arrived at the goblin camp, we found it empty. Entirely empty. We waited and searched, but there was no sign of the goblins anywhere. I decided to go and investigate the town. My fellows tried to dissuade me, but in the end we agreed that it was safe enough so long as they took the position of lookout for me.

I am truly glad they did. The camp was deserted. Not long deserted either. And things were not strewn about in a manner that suggested they weren’t coming back either. So where were they? I quickly rushed to my companions and told them. We decided that perhaps they were mounting an attack and had best run back to town.

On our way back we heard the sounds of a large procession, so we hid. But then we also heard horses. We were confused because goblins do not ride horses, but we waited. Soon we saw who was coming. Goblins.

And the Governor, flanked by his personal guards. The goblins were carrying items with them. Everything from weapons to food to treasures. The leader talked as amicably as a goblin can with the Governor. We waited until they passed and then shared our observations.

We are sure the Governor is planning something with the Goblins. But we do not know what. What is certain, however, is that something must be done.

Perhaps the Hôtel de Ville has something to offer.

Diary, C.M. Pine

August 25, 2012

The streets of this city are strange to me. Not simply because I have never seen them before, but because they are nothing like what I have seen before. This city has been lived in for 2000 years and you can feel it. Even the relatively new façade of the stone houses speaks with the voice of the aged.

It is strange to walk in such a place. People the same, but different. Places the same, but different, food even. The same, but different. It is the way I find myself feeling. The same, but different. There is something strange. Something strange within myself that I cannot seem to put down as fatigue or wonder or fresh experience. No. I suspect there is a touch of homesickness. But not for a place. For Professor Garrel, my family, Ellen even.

Still, such things do not come in the way of adventure, and this I must tell. I was exploring the town with my fellow adventurers (looking for food actually) when we came to a beautifully decorated building. It was made of old stone, the statues of a style not seen in prevalence for two hundred years at least. It was a thing of beauty. We asked some of the locals about it. Apparently this is the home of Lord LeNoir. From the tone and looks of the people we spoke with, he is not a man to be trifled with. And neither a man that they much like. Of course, we asked them about the man. Apparently he is a tyrant.

For now, I do not believe there is anything for us to do. However, there is a feeling within me that says he will have much more to do with our experiences here.

Diary, C.M. Pine

August 22, 2012

The day has come. The day when the adventure truly begins. When the travel is over and I am where I have never been before.

The goblins were defeated and the town mostly rebuilt. I have been working very hard with both the refugees and with my studies. I have been working hard to try and prepare for whatever may await me here. Especially the language. I can speak it very well, but there is always a question. It is not, and never will be, my maternal language. Still, it is beautiful.

The children left weeks ago now and it seems like a distant dream. However, it is good that they are home once more. It took a fierce battle to give them back what they needed and hard-won. I was tired for weeks after they were gone it seems.

I can hardly think. My mind seems to skip across dates and places. I am distracted, perhaps even more so because I have arrived. The journey by winged horse went well. The Pegasuses were beautiful creatures, though a mite uncomfortable to ride upon for so long. Still, all in the name of adventure. I only wish not to sit down for a while…

I said goodbye to Ellen and Professor Garrel. I will miss them profusely. Especially Ellen, however I think she will be nearer rather than farther. She has been sent elsewhere to adventure. I only hope she does not encounter any more giant spiders, for I will not be there to help!

And my family. I already miss them. But I am here. And I am ready. Who knows what adventures or creatures I will come across in my days here. But come what may, I am ready. Yes. I. Am. Ready.

Diary, C.M. Pine

July 21, 2012

Two nights ago we decided to spice life up a bit for the children. They have been here so long without their parents, and it is beginning to wear on them terribly. So, to take their minds off the cares of being alone for a little while longer, some of the other students and I decided to have us all raid the kitchen.

This was a much greater ordeal and adventure than I had planned, but one I am well glad we completed. It began after the sun had long set. It is typical for us to tell the kids stories before they sleep. Some of us tell stories we knew as children. I tell stories of adventure of my own making. I love to tell them. To hold so many minds in rapture, away from the world is truly a wonderous experience. However, I begin to come off the subject.

After the story and the lights out, I whispered to the children our plan. The sudden burst of excitement was only barely contained enough to preserve the secrecy we needed not to alert any of the professors. After that, we had only to remind them of our “danger” to get them silent.

We moved quickly, dodging through the least used corridors I could think of to gain access to the kitchen. We were nearly caught by Professor Angle, but I managed to stay far enough ahead of the group to stop us before disaster struck. We waited patiently in the dark for what seemed like an eternity, but was perhaps no more than half a minute, before Professor Angle finished his journey up a nearby set of stairs. After that we proceeded with even more caution.

The real trouble began at the kitchen itself. We expected it to be entirely empty, however we found that the cook and her assistants were still inside, doing I have not the slightest clue what. We then had to develop a secondary plan on the spot. This involved a great deal more sneaking around than we had anticipated. It was decided that I and Paul, one of the other students helping in the endeavor, would sneak carefully into the kitchen and take as much food out as we could until each child had a portion. Several times I was nearly caught myself and had to keep from laughing at just how ridiculous the little project had become.

Just when all the kids had begun to eat the snack we had brought them, Professor Garrel came up to the group. We froze. He gazed at us all, children with food half-way to their mouths, “Any left for me?” he said, eyes twinkling with the childish naughtiness so many of us have forgotten. We of course, gave him a portion of our fare and ate with smiles all the more wide. We managed to sneak back to the sleeping area without incident and sleep with bellies full and minds full of our adventure. I pray to God that it will be enough to get them through the next week. From what I have heard, they will be free to return home then. God willing.

Diary, C.M. Pine

July, 10 2012

The Goblins have come in close to the school. We are unsure what to do. The children have been sent to Elder Hall and the rest of us are making plans for the defense of the school. It is frightening. And yet, exhilarating.

Strangely though, I find myself focused, untouched. I acknowledge my fears, my doubts, even my excitement. But I do not hold them. I am at peace. I feel as though, somehow I am ready for this. As though these creatures from the dark, of my childhood nightmares, have suddenly become less frightening. Less the shadow, less a threat, than an obstacle. We are called to the walls and I am off.

(Later)

It is late. Very much so, but we have done it! We have beaten back the Goblins. I do now know how hurt they are, but this night is ours! They began their attack soon after the setting of the sun. Just when the children had fallen asleep. It is just like them, the nastly little things, to terrorize them when they are most vulnerable. Still, we were ready. The first line of defense was to simply pelt them with bows and crossbows. Then, they began to climb the walls. They lost about half their number before they made it to the battlements, but even then there were many more of them than us. Still, we fought with our swords, spears and axes. Eventually we cut their numbers in half again.

Then their leader came forth. I had the misfortune of meeting him on the battlefield. He wielded a massive broadsword and was nearly twice the height of the other Goblins. I met him with that strange peace instilled in my heart and began a battle that was, most assuredly, for my life. He swung with all the power of a blacksmith’s hammer and it rattled my hand in every case. I could hardly believe the force with which that creature could strike, nor the speed at which he swung his great weapon.

Still, I parried as best as I could and watched for an opening. It came quickly, to my relief and salvation. The Goblin cocked back his arm just a hair too far and I struck with my own, lighter sword more quickly than he could react to. In an instant, he was killed. His eyes rolled up in his head and he fell. With his death, the remaining Goblins dashed off in a panic over our low walls and back into the forest from whence they had come.

And now I sleep. Left with victory and a strange unease. I wonder what this “adventuring” has in store for me. What is to be my life?

Diary, C.M. Pine

July 8, 2012

I have been outrageously busy, and thus have neglected this poor diary of mine. However, I hope that this will soon be remedied. There have been many memories with the children who have been staying here at the University and I could never hope to tell them all. Let us just say that it has been wonderful and that I will no doubt carry the experiences with me. Perhaps they have even better prepared me for the adventures I plan for.

There is one particular memory I do wish to share. Ever since my encounter with the Hermit, I have wondered about what he had said. It has largely worked and I am glad of the success. However, it has set me to thinking. I was picking blackberries outside. Despite the heat and drought, there has been just enough rain to produce a few. I was alone until Ellen, the girl attacked by the giant spiders, came to join me. It was nice. We sat and chatted. It has been a while since I was able to do so with someone. You see, Ellen has been gone for some weeks now and only recently returned. Life is so strange. Gone, our friends and family seem a distance ache; we could live without them, but we still feel it there. But present. When you sit and pick blackberries, have lunch, dinner, whatever with friends and family there is the need for them there. It is like shelter. We can survive living in a hut or a tent, but there is something about living in a house that runs far above the others.

We quit picking early. The heat was monstrous, though I have already begun to become accustomed to it. Others, however, have not and I would never go so far as to say that I was comfortable either. Still. There is the desire to stay. Because now I must remember the words of the hermit. And after living in a house, it is all the more difficult to return to my one-room sod-house. Glorious experiences or no.

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