Chapter 1f: Vis Walkabout

The next day dawns misty and damp -- weather that is not much different from that at Fudarus. So Pytheas takes it in stride as he walks out of his boarding house with Morlaer. The former pirate grumbles a bit at the weather and the early hour, but not loud enough that Pytheas feels the need to discipline him.

Taking stock of his surroundings, the Tytalus mage decides to walk inland. Let Japik take care of the coast, he decides. So he heads east and over the rocky formation on which most of the town seems built. Similar formations can be seen that way, with a small irregular valley in between. There doesn't seem to be many houses over there, so this seems a good place to start. And then there's a second but much smaller plateau over a bit further which looks promising.

Leaving his grog to carry most of the provisions that Benarac obtained for them, Pytheas starts walking. Down they go into the small valley. There is a well-tended path going out of town (Meden, the locals call it?) towards what must by the noble's castle straight east, but the dou soon leaves it behind to explore the valley. There is no path there, just some loose rock and sandy ground. Some long grasses grow there, and brush trees. Not much of that, either, although there are signs that some of it has been cut down or stripped of branches. Probably locals using them for cooking fires.

A nice variety of flowers and different plants in some places. Pytheas investigate those for magic, to no avail. He doesn't know much about plants and their uses. But they are pretty enough in an otherwise bleak landscape.

And so he walks around all morning in the small valley, investigating plants and rocks. Not much animal life is in evidence, although he hears the chirp of birds and insects, and once or twice the rustle of something small moving in the grass. But wordless grumbling from Morlaer is the most notable result from the morning's search. After a break for lunch close to a tiny stream running through the valley, Pytheas decides to leave it behind and move north towards higher ground.

((As in other threads, this is a pause to let you provide input into anything specific that Pytheas may be doing along the way. Let me know.))

So it is that, under the afternoon sun, Pytheas and Morlaer find themselves walking around the base of the western plateau. Though nowhere as large or high as the one the locals call Oberland, the smaller plateau is still significant. The stone from which it is make is different, mostly crumbly and white instead of hard and red, so the going is slow and the footing treacherous. There are inclusions of black rock here and there, black strata in the massive rock formation.

But the cliffs are not as steep, so the pair are moving at an angle to the slope and circling west to keep a view of the sea. On the distance, one can barely notice the mainland, although Pytheas wonders if it is just his imagination. Stopping occasionally to test for magic on rocks, plants and unusual formations, but so far without any success.

As they move around a large boulder, they come across a small path that seems to move up the slope. In the distance, they can hear the faint sounds of metal tool striking rock.

After a week spent walking about the island, Pytheas reports to the other that he has discovered no additional vis source.