4th Age Private Records

Tad Kouris: Private Record 1

My strange dreams began after I witnessed the fall of Syrcus Tower. I suppose anyone who survived what I did doesn’t walk away from it perfectly fine. I try not to think too much about what I’ve lost in the middle of all this. My main concern has been survival. So maybe ‘tis all coming out in my dreams.

When I dream, I appear in this void of light and color. Perhaps an aetheric void? I don’t know… I’m not much studied in things of that sort.

When I find myself there, I probably should be afraid. But I’m not. ‘Tis peaceful in that nothingness. ‘Tis like a sense of finding something that I didn’t realize I lost. Even though I don’t know what it is.

‘Tis usually when I catch sight of two things – a massive crystal and a sky threatening to rain down fire. I’m not sure the relevance of these things and how they connect, but they’re almost always elements of my dreams.

Sometimes I hear a voice – I think it comes from the crystal. Though how that can be, I just haven’t worked out. I know she speaks to me, but when I wake up, I’ve forgotten her words. No matter how hard I try, I haven’t been able to recall them. Which is frustrating. I wonder if I could make sense of things if I could just remember…

Sometimes when I wake up, I’m not where I left myself. I don’t know if I sleep walk or what… Thankfully, my supplies seem to come with me wherever I end up, or that would be a real danger.

‘Tis all very troubling and I wonder if others… those who survived… are having strange dreams, too.

Tad Kouris: Private Record 2

I spent far too much time trying to locate the group of people that I ran across in the ruins. I know that I’ve lost days searching for them, only to find no trace of anyone ever having been here. Nothing.

I’ve begun to wonder if I saw… something else. I dunno. My mind playing tricks on me?

I don’t even want to humor the idea of spirits of the dead… though the fact that I know the dead are likely buried, scattered throughout the broken ruins under my feet. Who knows what I’m sleeping above every night.

Yeah. That’s why it’s better not to think about it.

I’m going to be moving on in the morning. If I stay much longer, I’m putting my rations at risk. Wildlife seems abundant, but it’s hard to tell if that’s going to be something I can rely on for the rest of my journey.

I’ll be glad to leave these haunted places behind and finally reach the forests.

Tad Kouris: Private Record 3

I’ve continued my travels to a place that has seemed to survive the fall somewhat better than other locations I’ve seen. Perhaps I’m getting far enough away from Ground Zero now to have more in-tact buildings and structures.

My atlas notes that there was once a pretty sizable settlement based here, used for recreation and vacation. I see the signs of it all around. If there are people here, I’ve been unable to locate them.

I did have what I’d call an incident last night. Usually, I’ve been able to sleep unbothered even in the open due to the overall lack of wildlife and scavengers. When I woke this morning, however, I noticed that the pocket to my supply pack had been pried open and some of my rations were eaten and scattered about.

There were signs of small prints in the soil, though I was not familiar with what sort of creature they belonged to. Not something I’ve seen in the forests, for sure.

It must not have meant me any harm, and was only looking for a meal. It was certainly brave enough to come this close to find something to eat. But this means I need to keep better watch on my packs at night. I’m in no real danger of running too low on rations before I make my way home, but I also can’t be passing it out to whatever creature decides to help itself to my packs!

Tad Kouris: Private Record 4

I finally caught the little bugger! 

I thought that as I made my way out of the territory, the nightly raids by the unseen critter would stop. It seems as if he has targeted me as prime food-carrier because, much to my surprise, the creature chose to follow me! 

Not that I blame him. ‘Tisn’t much in the way of green and growing things in this area. If I knew an easy way to salvage food, I’d be doing the same. 

I wasn’t fully familiar with the type of animal ‘twas. I’ve not seen such in our forest lands. All I can think is that he may have been a specimen that managed to escape a zoo or exhibit during the calamity. 

But thankfully, my node still has basic data and scanning capabilities which were able to pinpoint a bit about what the creature might be. It called him a “lesser panda.” Here’s what the fellow looks like. 

Cute little food thief, isn’t he? 

He wasn’t easy to capture either, so I’m going to guess he’s pretty smart. It took a fairly concealed trap to finally put an end to his thieving ways. 

Don’t worry, I don’t intend to harm him. I’m not sure what to do with him, to be honest. Releasing him will just likely end up with him filching my supplies again. 

And surprisingly, he’s quite person-friendly, once he calmed down and let me interact with him. I get the feeling that he’s been socialized – again, perhaps an exhibit animal – and is quite used to the attention of people. 

For now, I’ve got him on a bit of a leash until I figure out where he belongs. But, you know, it’s somewhat nice not to be out here alone anymore.