Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Omnia Mutantur

Armed to the teeth! Alarmed as all hell!
Things are crazy... things are crazy!

I don't know if... I can describe...

It's been so long. I was so good, and then I got caught up in other work... and then I got lost. I've died several times! This doesn't undo my actual progress, but if I have not established a bed in a new realm, I resurrect at my last point of origin, no matter how many miles or islands—or continents!—away. Much more than annoying, this has been a nightmare.

And yet so many things have changed! When did they change? It's impossible to say. Some changes, you may understand, creep up on you, or perhaps there are changes to standards of land and life that you are, of yet, largely ignorant. How can you know what you don't know? All these changes are going on without your wherewithal, so that when you do finally encounter them, you can't know the new conditions from whatever or however they presented in earlier iterations.

I hope this is obvious. It should not bear explaining.

But then, there were other changes (and these changes gave me to imagine the aforementioned conditions—for if things are changing within my ambit, why should they not be shifting and evolving everywhere else?) that greeted me one morning, abruptly, unanticipated.

I've broken two quills in the penning of this entry. This is not good, yet I find my mind in such disarray, my spirit so wildly hysterical, it's impossible to calm down and focus upon my task. I've one more quill, and I must complete this entry.

You can see I have new armor. I've donned the full set of iron plate, as is my habit most of the time (except when posing for photos), but I've the sword in my right hand, and my left forearm is strapped to a buckler! I never imagined that a shield should be possible, and why not? Yet when I attempted to strap on additional armor... I don't know, it never worked. It never functioned properly, it only fell apart or slipped off or otherwise failed to perform as expected.

And then one day it did! Why? It is not ours to know!

Even the weapons in my arsenal behave differently: they are slower to draw. I make them just the same, I forge the iron and cure the oak, yet they rise to my guard as though moving through blackstrap molasses. But then the sword swipes in a new form of attack, and the ax comes down with a crushing blow... all new. Between the addition of the shield and novel attacks with discrete arms, I have much to learn about combat in this new dawn.

There are new beings about, too. I've never seen them, but I've heard them. It is deuced alarming, to the extreme. I've heard the hissing and skittering of the large spiders; I've heard the bony clatter of the archer-skeletons (who now dodge my attacks and reposition themselves for a new volley! A most unwelcome development!); I've heard the click and sputter of the Explodicons; and the groaning and gurgling of the ACMs haunts my dreams, on those uncommon occasions in which I'm permitted to sleep. Even the guttural glurk-glurk of the elonated and ebony humanoids, who move blocks around on some unknowable agenda, who teleport when alarmed and come screaming at you from all sides, I'm well familiar with that horror.

Then one day recently, I was carving out new channels into the stone in my "fanning" technique, effectively scouring every meter for coal or minerals, and then I heard laughter. It was not mine, and no creature within my acquaintance has ever made such a noise. I froze, white-knuckling my pickax, scrupling not to breathe for over a minute, and there it was again: "hrr-hrr-hrrm!" A wry and amused chuckle, echoing through the stony walls. I was entirely unable to echo-locate its source, and even if I could... I'm not certain I should care to come up against such a beast, if it could laugh, or such a human as lurks about in unlit caverns and chortles to itself.

I fled, immediately. The laughter chased me up the stairs, but whoso emitted this noise never showed. I did not sleep this night, parked against the furthest corner of my cabin, yet fully suited in iron and clutching my sword and shield, staring at the entrance to my mines as though my life depended on it, no matter how it threatened my sanity.

That was a while ago. I've since fled the premises—which are not any realm I have shared with you, but a domicile in my narrative hiatus—and got lost in the mountains. I was able to feed upon pork and mutton, some I brought with me, some I found en route, and then I tumbled from the looming karsts into the swamp. And I heard the laughter again.

It was not behind me, but seemed to drift from the trees in the morass. Yet the sun was falling behind the sea and I knew that soon would come the spluttering Explodicons, the clattering archer-skeletons with their newfound evasion techniques, and the ACMs in new armor and clothing. So my iron boots slogged and splashed through the fetid pools and in a network of trees I found a solitary hut, dark and weathered. Despite my better knowledge, I charged upon it and spun into the doorway, raring to fight whatever I might find.

Yet there was nothing alive. There was a workbench and a cauldron, and in the window a potted plant, long since dead and moldered. I spent a long moment, shocked and mistrusting, but then formed a crude but effective door of such lumber as I carried on me, sealed up the swampy hut and stuck a torch between the beams.

And here I await the beams of day to crest the mountains behind me and shower the land in its healing, cleansing rays. Only a few more hours, and until then I distract myself with this entry...

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