by Trinni Mellosius, student
This is my second attempt to graduate by spending a year someplace I’ve never been before.
Thank goodness I’m not afraid of heights!
The last time I went “abroad” for a year, I ended up in Pillars of Flame. It was not a successful trip. My teacher asked me to repeat the assignment and this time, leave out stuff about my hair and my boyfriends.
So that’s the last time I’m going to mention either of those subjects!
I couldn’t decide where to go this time. Fortunately (I guess), I stumbled across an interesting transportation device and learned how to use it to reach the sky.
At first I thought I’d made a wrong turn somewhere along the way and had ended up in the Feerrott.
Then I noticed that we were floating in the sky. I ran over to the edge of the most enormous waterfall I’d ever seen in my life and peeked over the side.
All I’ve got to say is that it’s a good thing I have a head for heights. The island I was on happened to be a perched over another one, but all around us was blue sky dotted with other islands.
There are a number of interesting things about this area, besides it being an island in the sky.
There are quite a few creatures that I’ve never seen before, such as the upright lizard-like folks that say they’re droags. They consider themselves more akin to dragons than to lizards. I don’t blame them.
There are also really big insecty things called Vornerius. Vernonous, Vornerus, something like that. They’re ravasects.
Travel between the islands is pretty easy and rather fun! There are various transport platforms from which you can whistle up a poufy cloud to take you somewhere else. Pretty spiffy!
There are also these spires that look like some of the broken-down ones you could find, in Thundering Steppes. Only these are in good working condition.
If you use these, they can take you to other islands in the sky that are way different from the ones in Tenebrous Tangle (which is where I started out in).
One of the different places is a group of sky islands collectively known as the “Barren Sky”. It certainly is.
Instead of a nice, jungle-like place, it’s dry like the Desert of Ro, which brought back a lot of bad memories which I won’t mention again because I promised I wouldn’t
The primary inhabitants of the Barren Sky’s islands are aviaks.
There are three types of aviaks up here, at least as far as I could see. There are Windgazers, Strifewings and Blacktalons.
The Windgazers can turn their heads almost all the way! It’s kind of creepy. The strifewings are pretty mean, while the Blacktalons are very regimented.
They don’t seem to get along with one another.
That’s one thing I’ve noticed in my travels: folks don’t get along no matter where you go. It makes me sad.
I’m used to being ignored or talked about because I’m a half-elf. Somehow, though, I keep thinking that I’ll find a place where all the folks are friendly with each other as well as with folks like me.
Maybe I just need to get out more.
Anyway, these three types of aviaks are very protective of their own kind, but they’re pretty mean to others.
I took a guided tour with one of the Windgazers and was appalled to see some of the conditions these poor things live in. A couple of pillows and very little water constitute their nests.
They keep there chicks well-hidden, too, since they’re constantly concerned about the Strifewings coming over to raid.
The last group of islands I visited were really weird. They where purple!
In addition to the ground being purple, the water is very vivid blue. It’s like walking around in a nightmare.
This group is called the Bonemire because it’s got lots of dragon bones scattered all across the landscape. Some of them are amazingly huge! There are lots of droags and their ilk out there.
I’m not sure that I was supposed to notice this, but there’s something funny going on up there.
It’s hard to put my finger on exactly. I talked with some of these guys and they were very smart but not so friendly. Still, I got the feeling that even when they were grinning at me, they were thinking of ways to slice me to ribbons.
It was pretty uncomfortable, so I left as quickly as was polite.
There’s definitely something weird with the water on all these islands. I was warned repeatedly not to drink from any of the obvious sources, even when it wasn’t nightmare blue.
I’m not sure how I could’ve gotten by if I hadn’t met up with a traveling warden (a wood elf) who could rustle us up some food and drink when we needed it.
I highly recommend that you take along someone who can summon water! It made me wonder whether I had perhaps should have gone the warden route myself.
I have to say that the place I felt most comfortable at was in Tenebrous Tangle. Sure, there were bugs and all, but it seemed the most familiar to me.
Maybe what I’ve really learned on all these expeditions is that I’m not the traveling kind of half-elf I thought I would be. I miss the Willow Wood where I’ve been gone for too long.
My recommendations for folk traveling out of the sky islands: pack lightly, take lots of water (or a priestly type) and be polite.
Those inter-island clouds are pretty wispy and if you decide you need something from your backpack at the wrong moment, it’s a long drop. You can’t drink the local water, so bring your own source. And these guys don’t like each other much, so don’t get them mad at you too.
That’s my report on my (second) year abroad. The End.
Teacher’s Note: Miss Mellosius, I am surprisingly impressed.
You managed to not only keep your personal opinions blessedly short, but they were also more relevant to the topic at hand than in your previous assignments.
I am pleased to give you a passing grade. Good luck in your future travels.