Hello! Another week has passed, and I have a hefty amount of writing. This week’s theme was the combination of forms in words. As far as I know, I don’t receive words on the weekends, so I use that as a break period.
Discovery in Danube
Magic Word: Hippology
‘Why am I doing this, I’ve learned everything I can from a horse.’ I thought as I watched the behavior of Danube Delta horses for a research paper. A team of horses drank the cold, calm waters as I scrawled notes down. The beautifully bent trees provided myself as well as the residents of the area with shade. As I completed my notes for the team, a flicker in the corner of my eye caught my attention. I looked towards the northern sky, and a chestnut colored spot drifted across the sky. It didn’t appear to be a bird that I have seen in this habitat, so I quickly reached for my binoculars, and directed them towards the mystery. A shiver ran down my spine as I realized what it was; a Pegasus exists! I felt excitement that I haven’t felt since I first learned about equine creatures, and quickly noted it’s features: The wings had hints of feathers, but were mostly thick and leathery. It kept its legs tucked under the body as its mane and tail fluttered in the wind. ‘This shouldn’t be possible, where is it going?’ I pondered as I desperately considered how to learn more. Suddenly, a pang of frustration hit me; I forgot my camera, how could I forget my camera at the camp! The Pegasus would vanish before I could return with it. However, I didn’t feel defeat, but a sense of invigoration overwhelmed me once more. I grabbed my notepad once more and jotted down the details of what I saw. I knew that the others wouldn’t believe me, but this was my journey, and I was content with that.
Remembrance in the Abyss
Magic Word: Hypogeal
The crisp, blue waters of the Mediterranean caressed the boat of our research vessel as we readied the submersible robot to explore the bottom of the sea. “Easy, we want this thing to last a while.” Said Captain Mitchell as they lowered the robot into the water. Beauty faded to black for the crew as they observed the sea through the camera. The fish of the Mediterranean gazed at the stranger as it drifted towards its destination. The scientists at the surface noted recorded every detail as they scanned the hidden surface. The team took notice of a cave, which they directed the robot into in hopes of finding an undiscovered creature. Their luck appeared to be against them today, but they pressed on. Eventually, the fish stopped attracting their attention in favor of what appeared to be glass and turquoise rocks with intricate patterns. The captain impulsively reached for the camera function to keep a record. The pieces of the puzzle eventually grew into stairs, and statues above that. To the crew, this wasn’t a marine biology trip anymore. Their shock and awe continued as they saw the ruins of an ancient city, carved from the same material as the rock earlier. The houses were dome-shaped, and appeared to have mechanisms on the doors. As the team took pictures and notes, they were startled as the doors whirred open, and a human shaped structure guarded the other side. The beings were headless and worn from the ocean’s erosion, but they were intact nonetheless. Captain Mitchell positioned the robot towards the nearest machine, and noted it was made of a material of a bronze coloring. The robot closed in as the machines emitted a glowing yellow pattern across their bodies, similar to the pattern of blood vessels on the human bodies. The team watched curiously as the machine seemed to face the robot, emit a knife made of the same light as before from its arm, and quickly punctured the submersible robot until the camera feed was lost. Captain Mitchell cursed and sighed relief at the minor loss for the extravagant gain. However, as he commanded the crew to prepare for Crete, the vibrations of what felt like a dozen sharks hammered the hull of the ship. One of the machines leapt from the water to the ship, it’s rusted brass shell glistening in the sun as it appeared to emit a sound that resembled ancient Greek, but not familiar enough for the crew to recognize. The Captain attempted to tell it that they meant no harm, but this wasn’t enough for the automaton. The machine knelt down like a track runner and bolted towards the Captain, who suffered the same fate as the submersible, as well as the crew. The Captain’s last words were curses at the hypogeal hell he had unleashed.
Aethera: The Dust Devil Job
Magic Word: Xerophilic
The dry, rocky Jeralla Desert breathed harshly on anyone who dared even come near it. Aedan the phoenix felt indifferent to the dry air while Alister the cat appeared to sweat out his vital organs as they traversed to the cactus and shrub laden landscape. “This wrap is useless! All it does is soak up all the sweat and make things worse!” Alister moaned as he avoided catching his clothes in a cactus. “Take it off, then. We’re hired to hunt a sandworm and you’re worried about being uncomfortable.” Aedan retorted, with only a mild hint of irritation in his voice. The cave which the beast dwelled was barely visible in the distance, and the sight of shade reinvigorated Alister for the hunt.
The xerophilic beast had bored holes sporadically throughout the landscape for an occasional bask in the sun, careful to avoid damaging the plants in the area, as they provide nutrients for the beast to survive. In order to keep balance, however, the number of worms in a given area is low. Often, there is only a single sandworm for dozens of miles, only journeying to seek each other out to breed. For Aedan and Alister, it is also valuable for it’s tough hide, designed to bore through the dense earth. For the sake of saving energy, the beast is also nocturnal.
The cave’s darkness didn’t help much for the heat. Alister sipped some water from his canteen as they descended into the abyss. The torches were useless, as Aedan’s feathers emitted a faint crimson glow which was just enough to light the way. After what appeared to be an eternity, they finally entered a large room which was covered with holes in all directions. Alister was more focused on the heaving sound from the other end of the room. “Is th-“Alister attempted to ask Aedan as he place a hand over Alister’s mouth to quiet him. Aedan pointed at the bottle on Alister’s hip, which contained a blue, gelatinous fluid. Alister nodded and pulled the cork from the bottle, which the fluid rose from the opening on its own. As Alister grabbed it, the fluid reformed and condensed into a bow and arrow, which was infused with ice by Alister’s magic. The shot was fired, and the roar from the colossal beast let everything outside the cavern know as well. The speed of the creature shocked them both as it almost crushed them both, if Aedan’s reflexes with a mace didn’t make the creature reel back. Alister formed a shield with the amorphous fluid as the tail of the sandworm swung its tail towards him. “Damn, even with the protection, I almost broke a bone.” Alister swore as he reformed his weapon to a sword and tried to puncture a joint in the worm’s skin. The beast tried to flatten Alister, but his reflexes saved him and allowed Aedan to hammer the worm’s jaw, which broke several jagged teeth. Aedan felt a surge of energy from the first sign of damage to their prey. “Al, finish this thing!” Aedan commanded as Alister nodded and prepared a fireball spell. The worm prepared to flatten him, but an explosive burst of flame inside the beast’s gaping maw cooked it from the inside.
“Let’s head back to town, we’ll need some help skinning our friend here. Whoever decided that the traditional garb of the place had to be made from a sandworm hide needs to hang.” Alister noted as the smoldering remains looked despairingly at them. “As long as we’re paid properly, they can wear sharkskin from the other side of the continent.” Aedan replied as he offered Alister some ointment. They left the cave, almost forgetting the heat outside. The traveling life wasn’t an easy one, but it never gets old.
Steganography of Love
Magic Word: Steganography
I never wanted this puzzle, but at the same time, I want to solve it to be done with it. Perhaps there’s something good hidden in its pieces. It’s taken a while to piece together what little I’ve had, but it pains me to be unaware of whether or not I’ll ever finish it. Is it even worth finishing? Will I be pained once I’ve solved this steganography? I’ve tried leaving it, but it somehow finds its way back to me, to haunt me until an ultimatum is reached. I’ve begged my friends for help to solve it, but most simply stared at me, or told me “You’ll finish it someday!”, and God appears to be deaf as usual on the matter. I go through hell in the hopes of a picture of heaven someday.
Minotaur Child Rearing
Magic Word: nidicolous
Minotaur calves are born with the ability to walk, and rightfully so, as they need to begin learning to defend themselves and their territory from an early age. The food the mother brings for the young must be fought over for first eating rights. If the weaker young do not develop more strength, they will die. They will also survive if they learn to hunt their own prey at an early age. the Minotaur is not nidicolous, as they are usually strong enough to fend for themselves once they’ve reached maturity. Their rite to passage involves them either finding their own cavern or labyrinth to inhabit, or to kill another minotaur and take theirs.