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Author Topic: OBSCURE Travel Journal  (Read 3576 times)
Ottens
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« on: March 17, 2007, 04:10:38 pm »

Travel Journal of the OBSCURE


We are delighted to make available to our readers a selection of the field reports and travel documents accrued over a period of almost three hundred years by those Members of the OBSCURE who activities have up until now been contained in a series of files and ledgers distinguished neither by name nor number.

The records of have been here edited together with those notes accumulated by Mr. Ottens, when, as an Elder of the OBSCURE, he roamed the world extensively, adding considerably to the body of social, political and geographic information here contained. For the convenience of the reader, we have here compiled the information found within the various documents into a single commentary that will proceed through various chapters. We shall quote the diverse individuals who have contributed to these accounts in cases where we feel that this may be illuminating or appropriate. It is sincerely hoped the reader will enjoy the mental travels that these notes towards a new cartography allow, and will be provided with fresh inspirations for forthcoming holidays and outings.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 05:20:57 pm by Ottens » Logged
Ottens
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2007, 05:24:19 pm »

CHAPTER I:  Diamonds in Blue Waters


Due to the organisation’s history being shredded in obscurity indeed, we are forced to commence our journal with the earliest records of Mr. Ottens’ travels in northern India, particularly his account of a journey to the Holy City of Benares where he claimed to have received the prophecy that would for so many coming yards guide his judgement in Affairs of Council.

‘Having travelled from Calcutta per elephant for nearly two weeks, I finally arrived in Benares, the luminous city of temples and learning, situated on the banks of the Ganges. The city has been inhabited for centuries and is said to be “older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend” . . . and it looks twice as old as all of them put together. Fortunately I had no intention of losing myself in the unimaginable dwells of this metropolis; my destination was located on the outskirts of the Holy River. There, a golden mystery upheaved itself on the horizon, a beautiful winking wonder that blazed in the sun. Under what new god, thought I, are we irrepressible English sitting now?



‘If my intelligence were correct—and I thanked the Lord that it were, for I wished not to be without purpose in this place of destiny—then this was where I would meet my informer. And here in the depths of glooming obscurity he revealed to me the ancient knowledge I had sought. It were obvious to me that I had no time to waste, thus without further hesitation set I about for Calcutta again where my companions had been awaiting my return for nearly a month. Thrilled and excited I shared with them the secret that I had received, and they agreed that we should discover the truth on our own account.

‘It had rained without cease ever since I had arrived in Calcutta, and forced to wait for our transportation for several more days my companions were by this time asking rancorously why I’d fetched them to his dismal place. When our transportation had finally announced itself on the horizon I invited them to risk the rain by tilting back their heads and gaze upwards. Doing so, they gasped as one for above us, half-masked by the stormy grey from which the pelting downpour fell there hung the product of the great accomplishments of contemporary engineering: two airships, equal in size to a modern-day frigate, would bring us to the place to which I had been directed.

‘As soon as the airships had moored at Calcutta Air Harbour we made our way for the Peril and Spectre, so were the names carried by these grand vessel. Several hours hence the thrilling sound of the turbine engines indicated our departure. For the coming days the weathers were clear and our horizon filled with the brilliant blue of the Indian ocean, its placidity interrupted but occasionally with the fascinating isles of this great sea which shined like diamonds in the tranquil waters. Thus did we pass Mask Island, where the King of Spain some years ago exiled his sister and her husband, the Viceroy of Catalonia, both the lovers cruelly fitted with an irremovable mask, and likewise flew on by Ceylon. Here, I’m told, exists the kingdom of Agartha, veiled divinely from the memory of man, the throne of which is decorated with the figures of two million gods, with its existence central to the very continuity of mankind . . . but I confess that I have quite forgot the point I sought to make, or why I ever thought this place important.



‘Many days passed by during which we spotted no places worth remarking upon. I spent the hours talking with my companions, debating the fitness of subjugated peoples for self-government and the threat of a recently-formed organization counter to our own, and Mr. Fantômas was able to amuse us with a recently-acquired military artefact which he claimed to be of Prussian origin. On the sixth day, our associated on board the other airship, Spectre, contacted us per radio: they had briefly interrupted their journey to observe an island where pork-sausage creatures called andouilles roamed in strings, nourished themselves by supping from the many mustards-streams which coursed there. Thus we they now some hours delayed and we elected to halt near a small isle where we found men and women went naked save for plaques of gold and silver. We resumed our journey as soon as the Spectre had came in sight, and our captain warned that there were now stormy weathers ahead of us.

‘Boiling above the ocean was a dark, bristling wall of cloud, blocking our passage south. Through the tall windows of the observation lounge I watched the horizon slew as the ship struggled to keep steady. The storm was warning us off, but our captain gave no order to change course. Flying into the storm, even its outer edges, appeared unwise to me, for this was no ordinary tempest. Everyone aboard knew what it was: the Devil’s Fist; a near eternal typhoon that migrated about the about the Indian ocean year round. She was infamous, and earned her name by striking airships out of the sky! All around us were the most dreadful clouds I’d ever seen, mottled grey and black, fuming. They appeared so dense it seemed a miracle we had not already shattered against their bulk.

‘We came out of the storm relatively unharmed, and as crew worked to repair broken windows we awaited the Spectre’s emergence from the clouds. For days, the radio was silent, and we found her adrift in open skies a week later. One of her engines had smacked into her stern, and attempting to repair the damage several engineers had gone overboard, presumed lost in the violent waters. We hovered over the seas for two weeks while technicians worked around the clock to make repairs, and eventually found both our airships underway again. So far out of inhabited lands, we could not be far away from our destination. Then we came to the edge of the world, where the ocean poured over into the abyss.



‘Or so it seemed for one insane moment, and even when we realised the truth it made no more sense to us. There was a hole in the sea, where the water flowed downwards as if it were rushing over a waterfall, down until the water was lost in a fog of mist. What happened to it at the bottom, I could not guess. What force could keep the whole ocean from pouring in and filling this hole? What pumps could draw away the ocean as quickly as it flowed in? Near the edge of the hole, we passed an abandoned Sentry City, floating in the sky . . .

‘The balloons lifted us higher as we reached the edge of the large hole in the sea, and soon we found ourselves rising to meet this city. There was a dome like the cap of a mushroom, and under it like a wasp’s nest hung a vertical slab of stone. Or was it the stone that hung in the air like an impossible island, supporting the city that bloomed mushroom-like atop it? The floating city hung over a hole in the sea, using it like a moat. Or perhaps the force that punched the hole in the sea was the same one that held the city in the air.’



To be continued . . .
« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 05:46:40 pm by Ottens » Logged
Ottens
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2007, 05:08:06 pm »

CHAPTER II:  Into An Abyss


"Upon the arrival of the Peril some hour later, we found Mr IceSixxx and Miss Radio Saturday in similar awe of this spectacle of nature and engineering. We elected to investigate this mysterious floating city, thus our company boarded the monstrosity, save for Sir Fantômas, whom for obvious safety concerns voted to stay on board the Spectre.

"The structure was gigantic, spanning many levels, or "decks". We entered through one of the four smaller mushroom-like extensions where our captains were able to moor. From here, we chose to work our way to the top structure which we had observed upon arrival. Here, we assumed, would be located some sort of central, over-seeing institution, and indeed we discovered a grand chamber some thirty yards in height in which was located a round table surrounded with a dozen or so chairs. However to our disappointment this room provided no information whatsoever as to the nature or function of the structure.



"Mr IceSixxx, Miss Radio Saturday and the Professor and their escort vowed to further investigate the levels below, while I returned to the Spectre to report to my comrade. Yet I found myself lost in the unimaginable depths of the city, and for what seemed to be hours I wandered the empty hallways and the brass chambers of this dark realm. And then there came to me, it seemed out of no-where, the voice and silhouette of a graceful lady. Enchanted as I was by here presence and her agreeable parfum, her face was covered, save for one eye, in cloth, and I could not understand what caused my anxiety.

"She spoke in the most charming of voices, all the while her green eye pierced into the depths of my being. She spoke of destiny, and chance, and told a tale so incomprehensible that I cannot recall it. But then she said that I should make her place mine, and I grasped her intention: this strange place, this high orbit in the waters, this floating city on the seas! This great seat upon heaven's tears was to be our domain, our home from which our dominion would reach over the oceans and the lands of this earth. Blessed be thy, I spoke to his angel of prophecy but it appeared she had gone without trace.



"In the most elevated spirits I set about to rejoice with my companions, and without one misstep was I able to reach our airships. It was as if I had known this place for years, and I could be lost no more. My friends inquired whence my long absence, and I tried to explain to them my wonderful experience but I found them incapable of appreciating this unimageble encounter. Thus I concluded my account by stating that this structure would from now on be our home, our realm, and they concurred that this location would be most suitable for an organization as ours.

"Thence Sir Fantômas and I set about to claim this territory ours. On board the Spectre we set course for Singapore, the nearest Imperial settlement, leaving our comrades behind to make arrangements. Journeying up around the east-most tip of Java we passed first by Pathan, where trees grow honey, meal and wine, and where giant reeds with jewels clasped at their roots are used to build both homes and ships. Then before us stretched out the lustrous greenrry of Malaya. It's as clean and as open as wind, and has an intangible bigness to it that is most like that experienced in certain music. The smells have all the texture and the intricacy of a painting. I'm not getting this across at all well, and had best abandon the attempt . . .



"We moored at Singapore's Victoria Air Dock two days later, and immediately were confronted with a larger-than-life marble-white statue of Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, founder of this great settlement. Our arrival naturally attracted great commotion, though fortunately we were able to reach the Governor's residence without much delay from the locals. A most agreeable gentleman of middle age, riped by the sweating in the colonies, the Governor quickly approved of our claim without requiring us to specifiy the nature of our settlement, which Sir Fantômas and I had decided to hold in obscurity.

"Thus we returned to our ship and waited for the return of our servants whom we had sent out to acquire the necessary supplies. Soon we found ourselves under way again, heading with our heads in the wind for our great adventure . . ."



To be continued . . .
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 05:15:45 pm by Ottens » Logged
Ottens
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2007, 05:15:59 pm »

CHAPTER III:  Solace


"Shortly upon our return we discovered that our crew had been insufficiently able to gather all necessary supplies thus we set out for the Free Port City of Salvage where I met the most amiable "Lordship" in charge of said facility who goes by the name "Kral". To my dismay our delightful journey home was interrupted with a telegram about a famine that had apparently struck one of the United Air-States, and since their Federation had recently become an ally of ours we were obliged to offer aid in some form.

"When we had returned, I conferred with my fellow Councillors and though we were not in the possession of the requested surplus crops to offer relief to their shortage of food, we settled to sent medical supplies instead. Not in the most elevated of spirits, I elected to remain at our floating home whilst Sir Fantômas would represent the OBSCURE our our behalf, escorted by the Good Professor who vowed to oversee the transfer to medicine . . ."

At this juncture, where the astute reader will have guessed the account of Ottens to converge with the travel journal of Sir Fantômas, we should perhaps focus our attention upon the writings of the latter . . .
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 03:18:17 pm by Ottens » Logged
Fantômas
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2007, 02:19:29 am »

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From the travel journal Of I.Alexander Fantômas III, Elder OBSCURE High council, treasurer of liberty and Captain Of the Argonautica,
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



"Having volunteered my private craft The Argonautica for the voyage ahead I felt a renewed sense of security and optimism about any possible incursions (which are always a threat). Our supplies and cargo were loaded in a timely manner, though I observed a definite 28 second lag in the response to my orders by several crewman, the sky was such a violent combination of pink mares tails and sun dogs however, that I docked their rations conservatively as not to ruin the mood."



 "The good Dr., Prof. Delphinius Tucker Who I had only just learned would be joining my crew and I , had  as yet  not contacted me, which was not out of the ordinary for such "Last Moment" voyages. Actually I had not even met the the gentleman. A crewman informed me that he was already aboard, but I was in no rush... we would meet once underway."




"The wind whipped on the launching platform and I ordered that her lashes be doubled for she was shifting a bit, anxiously as if anticipating her launch. As evening drew near the heavens took on a sickly green tinge and the air slowed till it was still as the grave, a dusk so refined it could only be appreciated with a good meal, which I would skip for a drink, a smoke, and a -tidemeover-. I retired to my cabin for a Turkish coffee, a cigar and a pleasant bowl of dried seasoned locust, as the launching platform shrunk slowly into the distance. The sounds of crewman manning the Argonautica,the wind beating against her frame, and the automatic player violin stirred my heart once more...as always they do."


to be continued...
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From the travel journal Of I.Alexander Fantômas III :: Elder OBSCURE High council :: treasurer of liberties :: Captain Of the Argonautica.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---on board the Argonautica----free port of salvage.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“As My crew and I left the city of Cumulipolis,  the smell of smoke from the city lingered with an eerie stillness within the confines of the cabin, spirals of dust steam and smoke whirled about beneath the Argonautica in desperation, leaving their striations upon the spots of condensation on the portholes of her cabins.”

“Bring her bout and take her aft!” I shouted and with that I slid her throttle forward. Her frame always shudders at 150 Knots and her engines growl like a hungry tiger.”



“We didn’t simply pass through the upper cloud cover we destroyed it, surfacing above that second sea’s mighty forlorn surface like a demon from below, and the moon bathed everything in it’s unearthly glow.”

“I brought her down a tad low just above the cloud cover for I sailed as a boy and it makes me feel at home. I handed off the till, and  set myself to navigation, which I would always rather do myself than leave it to the chance for error especially with a strong wind abreast no mater how I adore a storm.”

“The Argnautica  sliced a clean trail through bird and cloud alike as always, and by dusk of the day next we were nearly to The free port of salvage. Already I could smell the smoke of her recent disasters, still lingering in the air with a hint of hydrogen and Miasma. It was sad of course and my thoughts turned to wondering if anyone had been injured before returning to finish my small hobby project of re-animating the wing of a pigeon. I was just making some progress with it when I heard the bell and call. “Free port of salvage ahead, look lively, captain to the deck! Free port of salvage below and ahead!” I twisted the fixture a final turn and  the wing moved gracefully up and over and up again; synthetic humors of Élan vital flowing smoothly through it's blood vessels…what a wonder. I stepped up from my project flung on my long coat and setting the glass dome gently on the round base of my finished, winged resurrection, then picked it gently up from where it sat. grasping my auto cane in my left I depressed the catch and it's telescoping mechanism retracted as I  returned it to it’s holster. I was just preparing to head to the deck to enjoy our descent when I heard the second cry “Dear god, what…what is it?!” I already knew... this was the Leviathan, huge imposing and singularly space consuming, she didn’t fit in your salon like most vessels, she didn’t even fit in your city, she was a city in her own right, but I already had suspicions about her operation, and all the faith I had in this Ishmael fit in my breast pocket. It was impressive, anything that blocks out the sun is."

“The free port of salvage was a bit rusty here and there, but it had its charms though helping you keep your uniform clean wasn't one of them. I must admit my excitement lay in the acquisition of materials for the production of a new craft, I had done some small sketches, but found the spirit of the thing lay so far in only a few bits in this one or that, the technology however...I had that squared away, for I'd recently decoded a hidden subtext in the private journals of a certain renown Rosicrucian physicist which would allow this new vessel to accomplish the unheard of, it was one more trick than I needed”

“Take her down I said” and the men moved sure a little slow, but I decided to forgive em today, it’s not ever day you have to land in the shadow of a city. “You can stare when we’ve landed, hurry it up I said, and they jumped alright. There deck man waved us in, and we touched down like a dream…the wind must have been just right for it. even the free port’s deck hand seemed to notice how smooth she settled.”

“The crew lowered the plank then stepped off to second-check the ropes (never trust the deck-men with your ship), and I walked down the plank gradually to present The high chancellor with the reanimated wing which I knew he would appreciate. There ahead he stood, I recognized him at a distance a stern intellect and a proud posture.”

"Ahhh...Salvage.................................

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And now for the sake of continuity's preservation let us turn our attention once more to the Hi chancellor's Journal, for it's significance as we shall see is far reaching.....


« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 06:02:46 am by Fantômas » Logged

" 'I' Is For 'Infamy' "
Ottens
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2007, 02:36:32 pm »

CHAPTER IV:  Salvage From Peril


"So I find myself once more at the Free Port City of Salvage, now with the intent to acquire goods for the construction of an aerial vessel more capable of combat than our present fleet.  Upon arrival I set out to meet one Mr. Sterling Lawson, evidently in charge of merchandise, only to find his Office abandoned and his presence obscure.  Thus I elected to inquire about his whereabouts the next day, only to be interrupted within due time by the crash of an unidentified vessel in distress, inflicting serious harm to nearby ships (fortunately the Peril sustained no damage save for some broken glass) as well as causing a great fire that ravaged about the Dockyards for hours, black smoke blinding our view from said vessel.  Ritraff and thug alike took advantage of the chaos by looting valuable property from unprotected balloons and airships and in the spreading violence and fury my own crew was forced to shoot several burglars in order to prevent them from entering our ship.  Despite the best efforts of Port Authourities the situation was ultimately brought under control by the apparel of "Ishmael" and his Leviathan, which extinguished the fires and ended the commotion on deck. 

"As dusk set in and hues of violet and crimson flowed over the waters, colouring the Port City itself in a glooming shade of blue, lamps brought illumination to the docks and all vessels in the skies brightened as tiny lights all about flared up.  In the glittering radiance I awaited the appearance of the Argonautica and my associate, Fantômas, whom was bound for Salvage and ought to arrive momentarily, all the while reminding myself that I was yet to meet with Mr. Lawson to make arrangements.

"Several hours later, the Argonautica softly landed at an anchor near where the Peril had moored, and I must admit that the unusual contuor of this flying ship continues to amaze me every time that I see her.  It appeared that Fantômas had enjoyed a calm and rather uneventful journey to here and with the payments received in exchange for our supplied medicine to the United Air-State of Cumulipolis we must surely be able to acquire all necessary equipment and materials.  That, however, was a matter for the next morning.  There were more pressing concerns, namely the gloom presence of Leviathan hoovering over us & of course I needed to discuss my requested conference with Ishmael.



To be continued . . .   |   Please also note that I have slightly altered the first Chapter.
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