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Surviving Fragments of the Ara-Ibal Expedition Journals

The Birth of the Fleshborn Clay

Document Number: ACV - C̅C̅ - V̅CM - I - ●●●●●   Archival details: Fragments of a journal from the failed first expedition to geographical feature located underneath Pinauia known as the "Inverted Mountain". All members presumed lost.   Description: A leather-bound journal, cracked and weathered with saddle stitch binding, issued from lot MCXXI. Pages are made of vellum with embedded pigmentation to forgo the need for ink in writing. It is an estimated 10,000 years old which is approximately the time when the Ara-Ibal Expedition was organized and began exploring the geographical feature known as the Inverted Mountain. Multiple pages/entries missing. Due to the age, condition and location of its discovery, it is uncertain if missing pages are due to wear and tear or intentional removal.   Addendum (C̅C̅ - X̅V̅I̅DLVI): Worthy group known as the Fleshborn Clay claims to be the remnants of the Ara-Ibal Expedition. More information is required.

Purpose

The journal is the personal notes of a researcher later known as Eritrea, the Life-Weaver of the Fleshborn Clay. It chronicles their expedition to explore and survey the geological structure known as the Inverted Mountain.

Document Structure

Publication Status

Only one copy currently in existence.

Historical Details

Background

Recovered ten millennia after the disappearance of the Ara-Ibal Expedition, it was found by a group of fortune hunters on the first level of the Inverted Mountain called the Grand Savannah hidden underneath a menhir.

History

In the year 195,900, the Ivory Tower sponsored an expedition to the Inverted Mountain. Several notable members of the Worthy as well as many mid-level aspirants joined the call. 300 in all. The Tower lost contact soon after they entered the mountain. Over the millennia, legends sprang up about their fate leading to the populace granting them a sort of legendary status which the expedition members desperately wanted in life.
Type
Journal, Personal
Medium
Vellum / Skin
Current Location
Stored within the deep archives within the main Ivory Tower complex under close watch by members of the Alabaster King's Royal guard. Access is only granted by unanimous consent by the Alabaster King, the Lord-Mendicant, the Lord of the Forge as well as the Ivory Tower's Inner Council.   Public Reaction
The discovery of the journal fragments led to a resurgence in the public's interest in the Ivory Tower and the Inverted Mountain itself. Many lower-ranking members of the Worthy created their own expeditions and explorer's clubs focused solely on exploring the Inverted Mountain.   Public retellings of the journal have led to a phenomena called the Call of Mountain. Those afflicted have an urge to go and explore the mountain and rarely come back. Alongside that, there have been multiple documented instances where all those present begin to imitate the calls of deer before initiating autophagia and cannibalism, among other things.   Once word of those incidents reached the High Council, the Lawbringers and the Church were called in to suppress the story and banned any further readings of the journals. Memory modifications were applied to the populace at largeby state-sponsored mind mages and almost all copies of the text were destroyed. The only remaining copy resides under close guard within the archives of the Ivory Tower.   Legacy
The Call of the Mountain has proven to be a persistent infection. All efforts to eradicate it have proven to be unsuccessful. Worthy still continue to journey to the Inverted Mountain and have established a district known as the Ringed City. Renegade readings still pop up from time to time resulting in significant loss of life when they do.

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Comments

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Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
26 May, 2019 16:50

First of, the picture up top is breathtaking. I enjoyed reading your article. Slaying a deer was not a good idea, apparently. You made me curious about these deer and why they behave in such a way.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
27 May, 2019 17:59

Added more entries to the log. Things get a lot worse.

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
28 May, 2019 07:18

I like the added entries. It is easier to follow the journey. I must also add that the screaming deer is terrifying!

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
27 May, 2019 19:22

First reaction: "Birth of Fleshborn Clay" is great. It's weird enough to get my immediate attention.   The first quote box is nice, but I'd think about maybe putting the headers ("description", "details" "archival wootsit") in bold and leave the rest of the text unbolded or italic. That would help separate the chunks of text a bit. If you chose not to, consider adding a linebreak between each chunk at least to make it easier to read.  

The personal notes of a researcher later known as Eritrea, the Life-Weaver of the Fleshborn Clay as it chronicles their expedition to explore and survey the geological structure known as the Inverted Mountain
  Maybe it's just me, but I would have expected this part to begin with something like "This journal is the personal notes of.." or something.   It's also a bit long (at 33 words), so if you rewrote that start, I'd probably put a period at the end of "Clay" and start the other sentence with "It chronicles their expedition to.." and so on.  
Publication Status Only one copy currently in existence. It is stored within the deep archives within the main Ivory Tower complex under close watch by members of the Alabaster King's Royal guard. Access is only granted by unanimous consent by the Alabaster King, the Lord-Mendicant, the Lord of the Forge as well as the Ivory Tower's Inner Council.
  This part is neat, but the entire section gets a little header heavy. I'd consider breaking this part out into the side panel and add some flair to it.   Since the side panel is a little barren, you could break pieces out and expand on them, depending on your wordcount situation. Remove the "location" bit and make it its own little side panel thing, maybe with a link or block link. I can p rovide examples, if you wonder what that might look like.   The side panel would also be a good place for some additional pictures. The fleshclay peep's signature, the archive's stamp, stuff like that.  
Recovered ten millennia after the disappearance of the Ara-Ibal Expedition (inaugural expedition sponsored by the Ivory Tower consisting of 300 Worthy), it was found by a group of fortune hunters on the first level of the Inverted Mountain called the Grand Savannah underneath a pile of rocks positioned in such a way as to indicate a marker of some kind.
  This entire paragraph is a single sentence of 60 words. It's pretty long, and has few things you could polish.
  • It begins passive. Recovered, rather than something like what you say later with "It was found by."
  • "a pile of rocks positioned in such a way as to indicate a marker of some kind" is kind of long and not very evocative. Why not go with something shorter and punchier that gives a more obvious visual? Like a caern, a obelisk, a stone henge.
  • Any reason the Worthy is a tooltip and not linked to an article? Sounds like an interesting bunch.
  • In the year 195,900, the Ivory Tower sponsored an expedition of the recently discovered underground geographic feature known as the Inverted Mountain.
      This kind of repeats information you already gave us just a sentence earlier. I'd put these two parts together and save some words for other things, as well as avoid some redundancies.  
    Several notable members of the Worthy as well as many mid-level aspirants joined the call.
      No tooltip/link for Aspirants?  
    The discovery of the journal fragments led to a resurgence in the public's interest in the Ivory Tower and the Inverted Mountain itself with many lower-ranking members of the Worthy creating their own expeditions and explorer's clubs focused solely on exploring and charting out every single inch of the Inverted Mountain.
      Another really long sentence, at 51 words. Consider splitting it up.  
    Public readings of the journal have led to a phenomena called the Call of Mountain wherein those afflicted have an urge to go and explore the mountain with the urge getting stronger the the nearer you are.
      InfoHazard detected.   Also a little long, at 37. And what do you mean by "public readings"? People reading the books to crowd in public?   You also dip into a different style there at the end "the nearer you are", which I couldn't see elsewhere. Also, there's two the's in row there. :)  
    Alongside that, there have been multiple documented instances where all those present begin to imitate the calls of deer before initiating autophagia and cannibalism, among other things.
      While I happen to know what autophagia is, many might not. It also strikes me as much more technical than the rest of the article. You might want to consider rewriting the part, but that may be a stylistic choice.  
    among other things.
      I like to use vagueness as a way of raising mystery, but I'm not sure it works here. You raise the stakes pretty high with people eating their own feet, and "other things" feels like it doesn't add to it.  
    Once word reached the High Council, the Lawbringers and the Church
      Word of what? I assume you mean of people getting caught up in Mountain Madness, but it might read better if you are specific.   I'm getting definite SCP vibes, although in a "what if the whole world knew" kind of way, almost. I like SCP stuff, so that's a bonus for me!   Onto the journal.   ...Now it's like a mix between SCP and Exalted, two things I really enjoy. :D   I like it a lot, but it feels more like someone describing events as they're happening rather than writing them down afterwards. There are also some confusing elements that might only make sense if you know the setting much better, or with some more narrative attached to them.  
    During my turn as lookout, I counted nearly a million of them standing
      How on earth did he count that? Is that the result of some super-power? If so, that could use with some explaining.  
    watching us with eyes devoid of emotion
      I don't usually associate deers with particularly expressive eyes to begin with, so perhaps something like unblinking or blank might serve your purpose better. But, stylistic choice and all that.  
    the cave.The rock
      Space missing here.  
    The rock at least a league thick
      As with the counting, how can they tell it's a league thick? It might read better if he wrote something like that the geologists told him it was, and probably used magic or something.  
    Their cries lasted for ten days and merged with the constant cries from the deer
      I can guess the purpose of that, but my initial reaction was "wait, they got torn apart but also kept screaming?" - It's a thing that could use with some more text and elaboration. That doesn't seem like the kind of thing you mention off-hand. Something like "But could still hear their screams among the braying deer, long after the slaughter had ended. How is that even possible?" or something like that.  
    than even the gibbering of the degenerate war hosts who revere the Trumpet of Frost.
      Since we don't really know what either a war host or trumpet of frost is at this point, this part feels a little excessive. While it's good to bind in things from other parts of your world, the reference doesn't feel very natural in its inclusion here. If I hadn't slept for how many days because demon deer kept shouting at me, I'd probably keep it more short and terse. Something to consider :)  
    Burdsh was serving as the rearguard and they set upon him just as she was about to enter the tunnel.
      They set upon him, just as she was about to enter - I think you missed a pronoun there. :)  
    Before they tore her apart, she managed to block off the entrance with the last of her strength.
      This also doesn't feel like something you'd write in a journal. Especially "last of her strength". That feels a bit artificial rather than something like "Before she perished, she tore the stone from the ceiling and buried the passage." or something.   It's not entirely clear why the journal is suddenly in dots instead of text. An explanation or something could be good.   Overall, the journal is good but I would say it lacks a cohesive theme or narrative. It focuses on deer with little build up, then the dark trip, then structures before ending with a big shadow that eats worshipers. The ending is a little anti-climatic like that, though I *really* like the inventive cursing he lets loose there.   All in all, I'm very curious about your world now, which is the best possible result from reading an article. It's like an odd mix of Exalted and SCP from this one article, so I'm quite curious what the rest is like.   I hope you found the feedback useful!


    Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: Corporate Mascot Costumes!
    30 May, 2019 18:26

    Thanks for the thorough review! Took a lot of what you suggested and added it to the article. Some of the stuff is currently without any further elaboration but that's partly by design and partly due to the fact that this is my first article and the supporting ones aren't up yet.

    Master Redclaw123
    Elias Redclaw
    28 May, 2019 08:40

    Okay first of all, i just love the SCP vibe and the atmosphere you manage to weave around this article. The combination of morse code, the SCP style entries are just amazing. The formatting is also great i would say! Great usage of BBcode you have there!   My only advice would be a bit more linking around and tooltipping. Who was the alabaster king? Who is the lord mendicant and lord of the forge? Either ways, congratulations and keep up the great work!

    28 May, 2019 08:42

    This is my first article on here so I'll be adding hyperlinks to those when their articles are done.

    28 May, 2019 18:46

    Really love the images you are creating, both with locations and the creatures.
    I have to congratulate you on your ability to build the tension, and days 1 and 10 after lanterns that release some of it only to build it again were amazing.
    Keep on doing great work!

    28 May, 2019 18:51

    Thanks! I plan on expanding this with more log entries after the contest.

    4 Jun, 2019 02:23

    Hmm, this is a very mysterious piece! Very messed up, killer deer, darkenss that swallows people whole... The deer remind me of Spoopys House if you've ever played that game.   Great entry!


    explore-ethnis.png

    Check out my worldbuilding in the Ethnis Universe!
    4 Jun, 2019 09:05

    I haven't really but there are a ton of creepy forest stories if you know where to look. I mainly took inspiration from the SCP series (specifically the deer), Exalted and old urban legends about forests.   If I do expand on this, I'll be adding some stairs in to the mix. Those who are familiar with those stories will get a kick out of that.