7 Geyani, 3425
We finally arrived after months of preparations. My first expedition is a fact! Uncle was so excited he called me on deck at the first glimpse of dawn. We could barely make out any details in the twilight, but as we stood there defying the cold chill in the air, the sun started to peek over the horizon. I stared in awe as the ruins of Serralon were slowly revealed to us. No book or manuscript could have prepared me. The sheer size of the decrepit buildings is dazzling. Some towers still stand, others have fallen and lay in crumbles on the streets of old. I can not wait to see it all up close. In the background looms Mystwood. I feel unease when looking at the towering trees. Back in Mehrula I heard tales about this ancient forest. I try not to think of them. It’s just a wall of greenery embracing the old ruins. As if it were trying to keep Serralon safe from the outside world. To the west is an old overgrown road, flanked by the sea on one side and Mystwood on the other. It lays unused however, for Aeol knows how long. Traveling here by ship was the best and safest way to set up a well supplied base camp. So we did.
8 Geyani, 3425
Today I had the first opportunity to walk through the ruins. We had soldiers with us, but there are no Inflicted here. They get nowhere near Mystwood, so they certainly won’t travel down the road to reach Serralon. I wish I could have seen the city when it was still intact. When people still walked the streets and visited the markets. It is so large it will take us weeks or even months to search through everything. One of our archeologist’s found a vase which must be thousands of years old. It is still intact and has the most beautiful painted scenery on it. I can not wait to visit the ruins again. Perhaps I will make a discovery of my own! The forest itself has been quiet. We saw no signs of haunting or whatever people claim is going on in there. Perhaps the tales are just fables after all. Still, everyone seemed relieved this morning we survived the night. This evening brings a lot more laughter than yesterday's. The smell of dinner hangs in the air and the sun hangs low above the horizon. There is nothing more perfect than that.
10 Geyani, 3425
The last two days have been very productive. Uncle and his team have made a schedule that tells us the buildings we work through each day. We found so many artifacts. Vases, plates, toys, tools and much more. Most buildings were homes, but there was one that is believed to have been a tavern. I want to get deeper into the city. Find some important buildings. Maybe even a palace!
14 Geyani, 3425
Uncle is furious. At me. I don’t know what he thought would happen to me in these ruins. They are deserted. Atleast Kahra, one of our interpreters, backed me up. Yes, I did ignore the warning not to go off on my own, but I was perfectly safe. And I made the most important discovery of this entire expedition! He should be thankful. Walking through Serralon all alone was indescribable. The joyful chirps of fluttering birds accompanied me. They had the brightest colors I ever saw. When I found a large road, I followed it deeper into the old city. The road was in remarkable good condition. I saw many buildings, but one really caught my attention. It was in better shape than the surrounding ones. And different. I could not contain my curiosity and walked up the stairs to the entrance. It did not look as if it was about to collapse so I risked going inside. It is there that I made my discovery. A map room. The others are going back tomorrow. I must remain in our camp. I really want to see that map again though. It was like a miniature of the world. The entire world as it was before The Pulse. I don’t know how they built this map but it even had sand for the beaches and blue glass that depicts the seas. And Mystwood was still Mistwood back then. It really took up most of West Eghea. How sad is it that nearly all of it is gone.
21 Geyani, 3425
I have been doing chores ever since I found that map. It’s not like I mind helping to maintain the camp but seven days of chores is more than I deserved. The end is near though. Tomorrow uncle heads into Mystwood, and I am allowed to come along. We are also bringing eight soldiers, a scout and some scientists. Kahra will be joining us too. I’m glad she is coming. She never treats me like a child. Our first trip into Mystwood will be short. Two or three hours at the most. But a lot can be discovered in that time.
23 Geyani, 3425
Uncle does not want to admit it, but I think I can safely say we are lost. I was so excited yesterday when we finally stepped into Mystwood. It was the strangest feeling. Like ice running through my veins. It quickly faded however. I was not the only one to experience this though. Then, after a few steps, I looked back and saw nothing but a wall of green, everywhere. Our botanist immediately wanted to turn back, but uncle held up his compass. We were not going to get lost in these woods he said. Well, apparently he was wrong.
24 Geyani, 3425
We figured out why we can’t find our way out of this cursed forest. Uncle’s compass is not working as it should. He lay it down on a flat rock, and as we were watching the needle supposedly pointing north for at least ten minutes, it suddenly moved to a different direction. The compass is not always pointing north! In fact, we have no idea if it ever points north here in Mystwood. Our scout had already mentioned before that there are none of the usual signs, like moss growing on the north side of trees, to help us navigate. We don’t even know how far in we are. The sky is invisible thanks to the gigantic trees. We are doomed. How can we ever find our way out of here?
27 Geyani, 3425
Today we lost Kahra. She was walking in front of me, and when I looked away for a few heartbeats she was gone. Vanished without a trace. Nobody saw or heard a thing. At first we feared she fell into a gap. But we searched the area thoroughly and found nothing. We called out to her but got no response. Uncle decided to set up camp close by. I think we all hope she returns somehow. We are all devastated. I miss her.
29 Geyani, 3425
We had an encounter this morning. When we were walking through a thick patch of giant ferns, we heard hooves on the mossy soil. It sounded heavy and was heading our way. As if one man we all crouched. Then it broke through the undergrowth. A deer-like animal the size of a three-story building. It is by far the most magnificent animal I have ever seen. It’s fur as white as snow. Glowing lines tracing its antlers. When it lowered its head to graze, it looked at me for a moment. Those eyes. So dark and full of life. I wonder how many of these animals are left. It must be a species that originally lived in Mistwood. We waited until it had moved out of hearing range before we started walking again. It is then I noticed we were missing two of our soldiers. No one saw where they went. Did they abandon us in the futile hope they could find the way out all by themselves?
1 Dehrani, 3425
It is hard to see how much time has passed in these woods. The night’s are significantly darker though so I know when a day has ended and a new one begins. Luckily some of these strange plants give light, so it is never fully dark. Our archeologist disappeared yesterday. That was shortly before we got attacked by a gigantic panther. It killed four of our soldiers before we could take it down. We are all carrying makeshift spears now. I doubt they can do much against such a huge beast, but it is better than nothing. Another soldier got hurt so bad he died early this morning. I can never forget the sound of him slowly dying during the night.
2 Dehrani, 3425
This morning uncle was gone. I can not describe how much this hurts. But I have no time to grief. There are only four of us left now. Our scout thinks we are currently in a part of Mystwood we traveled through the day we went in. He believes he can find a way out! I hope he is right.
3 Dehrani, 3425
They are gone. Everyone. All around me these blueish wisps are floating around. They make soft noises, as if they are whispering in some ancient language. Am I still sane?
5 Dehrani, 3425
Last night Kahra visited me. She brought food and water. But she was sad. I think she wants me to come with her.
7 Dehrani, 3425
I know what happened to them. But it is all right. I am all right.
This is a great article i would say! For a first timer, its certainly better than mine! I would offer some tips for improving though. Mainly just expand upon the article. Why was it written? What impact did it have? What was its legacy? Still congratulations and keep up the great work!
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
Thank you so much for the feedback. I'm close to the word count for the challenge. But once it is all over I want to add more. Thanks to your tips I know what to add.
I love your use of a letter to introduce the journal. It makes the whole article flow really nicely together.
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
Thank you so much for your comment!
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
And for the like. It means a lot to me.
Wowzers, what a powerful ending to the document. I am so curious what the wisps were, if they were the family or some sort of other entity. I wonder what happened to make her okay with her situation? You leave a lot of fantastic mysteries here, though I am curious if it had any implications to the world at large. Great entry Rynn!
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
Thank you so much. I really struggle with finding a balance between giving away spoilers for my novel and leaving too much unexplained. The wisps are actually wild magic. They are sentient and are naturally drawn to sad or lonely people. The boy who wrote the journal discovered that even though he can never leave Mystwood, he is not alone and he has a whole new life a head of him. The implications to the world are big spoilers I'm afraid. Mystwood will actually play a part in my novel and the mystery behind it will be revealed to the reader.
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
Ooo, so interesting and mysterious. I love the letter that introduces the document and the document itself. <3 Thanks for answering a few questions I had - though now I have more! :D
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
Thank you. It is the fate of my readers I'm afraid. I love mysteries. :D