The Mists of Paoru
Yuting - 20th day of the 10th month, 3458
Void Day, 20th day of the Rooster month, year 3458 of Heavenly Fire
I had been writing my trail logs in one of my empty spell books because my dumb ass can’t tell the difference between tan and camel colors by campfire light. That explains why the text came out so faint and was gone by the next day. I’ve remedied the situation by covering the trail book in mud. I’ll tell the Chancellor it’s a sample.
A quick recap of the trip so far:
- Our wagons are magically protected in several ways. Yun looks good in yellow.
- The burn zone stank worse than Sarjana’s wig.
- We came across a wrecked caravan transporting rare silks. The Chancellor can think again about taking the profits of their sale from Yun and me. Sarjana and Raktim wanted to try finding survivors. Yun and I were happy to let them, but Bai came to their rescue.
- Walking trees hit hard. Their physiology is similar to that of the bloma. Yun didn’t seem affected by the news, but I get the feeling his river runs deep.
- A lot of the vegetation gives off poisonous smoke when burned. Some of the trees aren’t even really trees, but large fungi.
- Some of the hostile plant-life visibly wilts when harmed. Of those, some even shrink to nothing or disintegrate into dust when killed.
- Bog beetles swarmed the campsite the other night. The axebeaks, safe inside the caravan “bubble,” chowed down on them. We collected live and dead specimens, all of which were dead and covered in green, fuzzy fungus by morning. The axebeaks seemed no worse for the wear.
- A colossal plant, having disguised itself as a swampy pond, lured Sarjana and Raktim away from the group and nearly to their deaths. The lure was what appeared to be an 8- or 10-year-old mao child with realistic cries for help. It also demonstrated mind-control abilities. This is even more disturbing to me than blom-like trees. After Yun and I killed it, it dissolved into some floating purple spores, which Yun and I collected in a sample jar.
- The largest of the trees seem traditionally tree-like. I’ve taken some samples of the wood to work with. If it works well, I’ll take some home to the duana to see what they can make of it.
Some thoughts about my companions:
- Bai is a pushy bitch. An intelligent, shrewd, pushy bitch. But she’s got my back. I think.
- Yun could lose the class clown act. The quick wit has been handy in battle more than once, though.
- Eo culture must be very different in the Principalities. Sarjana still looks uncomfortable without her wig, and I haven’t see her go berserk once—not even while fighting.
- Raktim needs to act like a mao, not a mouse. As haughty and entitled as I find mao in the Empire to be, he could take a few lessons from them.
- Because of the pond monster debacle, I’m keeping a close eye on Raktim and Sarjana and watching out for Yun and myself more than I think I should have to. They showed a surprising lack of common sense and tactics that makes me mistrustful.