Haven’t been down in a while. Surface work seems to always take priority. Found a Maintainer testing bay of some kind a few days ago. Looks like they were working on a newer version of the portable extruder tech we use. Current model is like a sledgehammer, great for discontiguing a wall or coalescing a conference room, but pretty shoddy at making anything fine and intricate like integrated wiring or sequence strings. I still have a lot of work to do to get this up and running but, if/when I can, it’s going to make restoring mechanisms a lot easier. D’ni didn’t exactly make it’s devices with easy-open panel, up until this point I usually had to cut a terminal open manually, fix any of the devices inside, and then seal it back up again. reducing the influence sphere of the extruder means I can do all the internal work from the outside. Also probably means I can put better locks on some of this stuff.
As mentioned at the All-Guild Meeting, Tosholek (Sholek’s Temple) is nearly ready for release. The only things holding it back are water quality tests and strange discolorations on the railings that might preclude structural weakness. I definitely plan to restore more of the area, particularly when Vasaran is closer to release, but for now I’m happy with the location. The final draft of the Sholek historical document is finished and placed in the area. The open pedestal is where (I hope!) to one day place a linking book to Vasaran.
In addition, Fens is nearing a stage when I feel comfortable releasing it. The Age feels so different than when I left. Many improvements have been made and I hope that the area is used as a meeting place and community area. I would love to see some concerts held on the giant shroom. It seems like a natural concert hall, to me. That Age is just waiting on a few pieces of art from Keith and a final catalogue of the plant and animal life there.
Today saw a massive burst in restoration activity. Ishveer tests came back and it is almost out of Phase 2. The Age is quite bizarre and I don’t fully understand how these results are possible, but they say the Age is stable and structurally sound. Just need to conduct some tests on the trees.
In addition, Tharel is progressing. The Age is out of Phase 1 and the rooms are nearly out of Phase 2, with the Island quickly behind it.
Keith and I took a trip to Kahlo the other day. Ever since I came to the cavern, I’ve been interested in Kahlo more than any other Age on the DRC’s project list. Finally setting foot in it was like a dream come true. The Age is incredible, and massive. Larger area open to exploration than any other Age released so far, except Minkata. If I remember my history, the Age served as a kind of arena or race track. There were some kind of strange flying squid creatures that people would ride in the games broadcast from here to the ruined pub by the Great Stairs. I didn’t see a single one on my trip, so I imagine they’re pretty rare. As far as I know, the D’ni domesticated them, so perhaps they’ve flown off to other areas without their old masters. I seem to remember that Chloe or Adam were working with some that they found. From what I’ve read, I’m definitely looking forward to playing this game.
Made an interesting discovery last night. Found a few of my old notebooks from some years ago with a lot of my old Age maps and draft translations. I’ve been looking for some of these, particularly the Tharel ones, while working on restoring these places. Working on transcribing them today. A little bittersweet seeing some of my old plans for Toroolbah.
Working on Tosholek has been just the thing to get my mind off Fens. Nothing like hard rock and sharp edges to relieve the boredom of dealing with soft swamp and round plant bulbs. The main issue remaining it seems is getting these damn firemarbles to work properly. Thankfully, my work on the Project has yielded me some information on how to get these things working.
Contrary to popular opinion, the D’ni don’t seem to have “powered” firemarbles. They aren’t like lights that one turns on or off with electricity. A marble is usually always on, but it seems the casing is altered in a way similar to polarizing a lens. The light stays on but the casing ceases to be transparent. This is what I think happens in Teledahn and other Ages. When the power comes on, the casing is activated and turns transparent or translucent. The D’ni could use this to create wonderful effects in their Ages and in D’ni itself. By controlling how and where power flowed, I believe they manipulated the lights to give off hard or soft light as desired. By making the casing more translucent than transparent, the light is obscured and softened.
When I first restored Tosholek, I had no understanding of this system and just pushed power in full. This resulted in the strong lighting seen there. This also means there’s no record of what settings Sholek used in this area. Considering it was probably not used much after Sholek’s insanity and later death, it’s very hard to know how to set the power regulators. So, I have to check things, send the power through, and repeat. Kate, Keith, and Adam have all been very good about helping me with this.
Finally, I’ll say it again, it’s astonishing to me how quickly this stuff all comes back to me. I’ve been gone for a good two years but I’ve slipped back into my familiar routines here and, thankfully, much of my work is still here. Once I can get Tosholek and Fens back up to my standards, I’m unsure what to work on next. I’ve been mapping out many of my projects so I have a lot to choose from. If you have one that you think I should work on, let me know in the comments.
I realize I haven’t posted much about the Project lately. After I got access, I did some survey work of some of the areas and talked about it with some of the team. Looks like I was right, it’s going to be a lot of work, but if we can get this stuff going… It’s probably the only stuff capable of pulling me away from my own projects. I worry that I don’t have much to offer, but the team assures me I’ll be needed down the road.
Meanwhile, Jonim seems to be a welcome respite from the swamplands of Fens, considering it’s practically the complete opposite. Got the mapping done today. Looks like I found the “proper” entrance first and only recently found the way the lackeys and D’ni interns were getting in. I’m focusing on restoring the intern’s path, considering the internals of this thing seem sound. Plus, it’ll give people the authentic D’ni experience. Or some nonsense like that. This place is old, and even I’m getting mixed up with all the layers of history. They probably would’ve had to pay you to buy this thing near the end though, I’m sure. Still not sure how it got in this state.
Alright, enough teasing. It is confusing, though. Bottom line is it looks like this Age was written to help combat the Plague. “Now what’s a garden age got to do with the plague” you ask? Funny thing happened on the way. Apparently this wasn’t a garden age to begin with, but something happened and they made it a garden Age. Eder Jonim isn’t its first name, that’s for sure. I’m not sure it even had a name to begin with. The D’ni weren’t exactly keeping meticulous records in the face of extinction. I’ve got some ideas as to what they were doing here, given by the machinery, but I haven’t found any proof yet. If it’s true, it certainly is incredible how this Age survived till now. Should have probably been stripped of the facility and sold off as a mining Age.
I’m pretty sure I’m going to move my supplies and materials to Eder Jonim. I had been using an Age I wrote called the Warehouse for a number of years, but the Age has always had problems. The intensely arid environment has made construction difficult and the storage pods are not keeping the sand out. Secondly, one of Eder Jonim’s features is a large research warehouse which has remained largely intact. This coupled with the Age’s current arid state means I have access to D’ni storage containers designed to contain their books and materials rather than having to construct them myself. Futhermore, since the loss of the office, I haven’t had any place where people can actually visit and read my translations of D’ni parables. If I can set up in the research facility and open the Trench to explorers, it would make a great place to showcase my parables and histories as I translate them.
In terms of other Ages, I have made significant progress on Phase 1 of Ishveer. The Age is clearly going to be a challenge to restore both because of the state of the Age as well as the lack of concrete information on the Age. More than any other Age, Ishveer seems to be “lost to time” the most. I’ve found the parable, a couple of commercial documents, and an alleged diplomatic missive but very little else. So getting an understanding of the Age is going to be the real challenge.
Just a heads up for anyone curious, I’ve updated my projects page with the revised list of D’ni locations. Given that I’m finally starting restoration work in other areas, the list isn’t going to get much love anytime soon, but I need a break from slogging through Fens scum. There are still one or two odd Ages that might show up on that list, or sense might overcome me and some might be shelved indefinitely.
One thing that’s changing is definitely going to be Age complexity. I’ve shied away from getting involved in demanding Ages like Testeegahn, but seeing the success of the new Messenger Pub has got me thinking I can get some help restoring some of these machines to give explorers some fun, safe, entertainment.
In addition, I’m considering taking a second look at Bimevi and Tosholek soon. Again, I need some time to get algae out of my pants. My skills at restoration seem to have only improved with time and the last thing I want to do is leave poorly-restored Ages and areas.
Spent most of the day exploring around in Fens. Brought the inflatable raft so I wouldn’t have to spend the day coated in muck. The basin has changed dramatically in the time I’ve been gone. The climate has gotten wetter; the walls of the basin have gotten noticeably darker as the moisture is constantly condensing out of the haze. The sailbacks and rockshrooms have apparently died out in my absence. In their place, a wide variety of tall grass-like vegetation and at least one species of fungi have emerged. The glowers also have changed, or perhaps they always had a flowering base. It is truly amazing to see the basin as a living place. Boating around made me realize how incredibly difficult it id to traverse this Age. My options at the moment are to either provide this raft and equipment to maintain it, or construct some walkways.
Also, I need to set up an observation post outside the basin. I could have sworn I saw something just now.
Anyhow. Issues for another day. I first need to get some new equipment in here. The water has badly decayed my old crates. I suppose another important note is that the house is gone as well. I spent a lot of time with those support structures, and I even used rockshroom for the roof, but I can’t find a trace of it anymore. I’ll work on replacing the notebook that was in the hut. Maybe include a linking book to the Nexus too. Definitely going someplace on the main island. I don’t want people catching pandimensional cholera or something in these waters. I’ve tested them, but the tests only check for what the D’ni thought of…
Spent the day going through the Ages and areas I salvaged from Toroolbah. Seems I was wrong about some of the D’ni areas. I keep almost all linking books in the Warehouse, but I kept most of the areas I was actively restoring or working on in Toroolbah. As a result, I’ve lost several linking books. The project list has been updated to reflect those Ages or areas lost. Fasek is the biggest one. While possible that other linking books may exist, the likelihood of me recovering another copy are slim.
For now, most Ages are suspended. Haven’t heard the verdict on me yet, so I’m taking it slow. Also, my equipment is still broken. I’m going to need to get another extruder, setter and unifier. For now, I can do some documentation work on the areas I have and I can plan out for Ages for the future.