by Kirby Ray
Notes from the desk of the esteemed Professor Maple of Pebble Town of Gamelon.
|Twentieth day of Sune, in the nine hundred and fortieth year of the king:
The world is a beautiful and wonderful place. I have been recognized as a Crypture Professor by the Court of Gamelon; my years of study have finally born fruit. It has been a long, arduous journey, but I was able to win the court's favor with my thesis concerning the existence of a twentieth kin in the Crypture kingdom. Additionally, I proved my knowledge of Crypture biology when I was able to ascertain the root cause of a guard's Ogrand. The poor thing had a terrible fever, no doubt from being forced to weather the elements day in and day out; I recommended it receive plenty of rest in a proper talisman.
But I digress. My dear friend Quercus has invited me to travel with him across Gamelon, that we may continue our education of the Cryptures and what they are capable of. I admit, I am hesitant to travel for who knows how long, but he is right; it will give me a chance to know more about my field. Perhaps it is the eager schoolgirl in me, but I still strive to be the very best, as none has been before.
We leave in a fortnight, once I have made preparations and bid farewell to my family and friends. And no matter where we go, no matter what we do, I will fear no evil, for I have Quercus and my precious Scaldamander with me.
Thirty-first day of Chrisember, in the nine hundred and fiftieth year of the king:
"What is a Crypture?"
Quercus asked me this today, after we had stumbled upon a most frightful sight. Of course, I knew the proper definition (i.e., a creature of unknown origin and potential), but I had no real answer for the true question he posed. What are these beasts that live among us: are they trophies, tools, weapons, or can they be something else entirely?
Today, we were witness to a terrible event. A roving band of pirates appeared on the beaches of Chrysocolla Island, where they were met by the island's guardians. We stayed well within town, Quercus and I, but we could hear the sounds of battle as clear as day; it is hard to miss the sound of thunderous explosions and pounding hail. I feared what would happen, but our gracious host assured us that there was yet the pirate that could match the champions of Chrysocolla.
When the noise finally settled down, I convinced Quercus to join me in examining the field; I wished to see the remnants of this battle. We rushed outside our inn, down the path to the shores, pausing to stop when the guards came through with the pirates. I watched them as they went, and I found all to be worse for the wear (the pirates more than anyone else). I thought it was strange that for such violent sounds, the battle had produced only slightly damaged men. I realized why this was so when I made it to the beach.
There before me was a true battlefield. Countless Cryptures lay broken, beaten, and immobile; there was not so much as a twitch or a rise in the chest. All around me were Sords, Drillahans, Pirrots; Lanses, Coconaughts, and Warreels. These were the tools of war: not men, spears, or swords. Guard and pirate alike had sacrificed their Cryptures for the sake of battle, that they themselves would fare better. It is a thought that leaves me sick to my stomach as I think of it.
What is a Crypture, indeed.
Eleventh day of Mothay, in the nine hundred and sixtieth year of the king:
Life in Pebble Town is so much more peaceful than I could ever have imagined. The people are friendly and warm, the air is pleasant and gentle, and the land is perfect for my facility. The soil is right for almost all kinds of fruits and vegetables, which has been a great help to the Cryptures I study; they also enjoy having so much space to move around in. I knew it was a good idea to settle here.
Taj keeps himself busy most days, either around the facility, the town, or the house. It seems the townsfolk have recognized his skill with his hands, and so they call on him for work when his deftness is needed. I know he is glad to be of service, and that he likes to make his talent known, but I do hope he does not get too distracted; little Daisy would love to have her father home now and then. Then again, she is kept entertained by her Squirat, so perhaps I cannot complain.
Eighteenth day of Falember, in the nine hundred and eighty-sixth year of the king:
What a day for news! Daisy has announced that she is with child, and Quercus wrote to tell me that he has discovered a new kin of Crypture. I have been in Pebble Town so long, studying the growth of Cryptures, that I had all but stopped in my pursuit of new kin; that ambition went away with my wanderlust years ago. It seems that the new kin bears a resemblance to the legends of fae-folk, with a particular affinity toward light and near-mystical abilities. For this reason, he has named them 'faekin', and as I understand it, he will present his findings to the court come next year.
But yes, my grandchild. I was so overjoyed to hear that I woke many a sleeping Cardinave in the trees nearby. Daisy has grown into such a beautiful woman; it is hard to imagine that she was once so small as to be no bigger than a Helmetal. She will make a fine mother, of that I have no doubt. I do hope that she gives him a fine name, if it is a boy at all.
Fifth day of Thanover, in the nine hundred and ninety-ninth year of the king:
I am pleased to find my studies progressing on schedule. The exotic Crypture brought to me by darling Quercus is growing splendidly; it has come so far since its days in its egg. Its hooves are hardening into a sort of material akin to bark, allowing it greater confidence in walking about the facility. The beast's coat has come in fine: it has grown in with the color and feel of fine grass. Added is its horn, which has grown from a small stub to the length of my pen; it too shares in a wooden consistency. Curious still is the tail, which bears a striking resemblance to the branchlet of a willow.
This time I have spent studying it and raising it have been quite pleasant, so it is with sad heart that I must see it off soon. I have a special place in mind for the little beastie; it needs to be with someone who can travel and keep pace with it. Someone who is as eager to explore the world as it is. Perhaps that grandson of mine is ready for a Crypture of his own? I cannot imagine him enjoying one as adorable as this though; he fancies himself to be such a rogue these days.
I will think on that another day. Little Glas Carver will be calling soon for her lessons, and I must get my materials ready. Today, I plan to test her knowledge of the known elements and their effects upon each other. I do hope she remembers the basics: forestkin bests flamekin, bests aquakin, bests forestkin; she is such a forgetful sort sometimes. Someday, when she is ready to travel on her own, these teachings will be all that keep her safe...