Notes from D'ni

This is a journal of my exploration of the D'ni city and ages.

The best thing would be to write down events from day to day. Keep a diary to see clearly–let none of the nuances or small happenings escape even though they might seem to mean nothing. And above all, classify them. I must tell how I see this table, this street, the people, . . . since those are the things which have changed. I must determine the exact extent and nature of this change.

--Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre

Watching Movements in the Water

Standing along the rail at the Ferry Terminal looking out over the lake, I find that I am amazed by the sheer amount of water that must be in the system of caverns where the D'ni built their city.

After stone, water must have been something important to the D'ni. Water can be used to shape stone into something different. Water cools that which is hot. The water in the cavern's of the D'ni lights the darkness.

Standing at the rail, I watch the movement of this water. A body of water this big is always in movement. It washes over the rock at the edges of the cavern, continuing to shape the cavern to this day. The water moves against the rock, till the rock gives way.

The dynamic movement of water against the static strength of the stone.

Closing my eyes, I can form a picture of what the smallest building block of the lake looks like, a single molecule of water.

Water can be a fascinating and beautiful thing.

I have wondered about the currents in the water. The great fans of the D'ni circulate the air in the cavern. How does this affect the movement of the water. The passage between the surface and the cavern passes through volcanic vents. Does the heat of the earth lend additional movement to the water, warming one current ever so slightly?

And what of the life that makes a home in the water? From the microscopic organisms that light the cavern to the reports of fish, and maybe things larger, what lives in the water of the cavern, missing up the water while going through the motions of their lives.

All of these forces mixing in the water of the lake; various currents moving together, with and against one another, each affecting how each other flows, altering each other, forever.

Water is important for the health of the new tree. Fresh water feeds the roots, allowing the new tree to grow larger and stronger. Water is important to the life of the lake. Without the water, the lake would be nothing more than a large empty cavern, dry and lifeless.

I also image what secrets exist in this water. After ten thousand years of living beside, on and around this water, what secrets are hidden beneath the waves, held tight by the currents?

Watching the waves break against the bulkhead of the Ferry Terminal, watching the waves ebb and flow. Small eddies form and divert the water, lasting but a second, but changing the path of individual molecules. Yet on the whole, the water does not change much over time.

Behind me there are other members of the Explorer community, both here in the cavern or in the Ages. Each is a molecule of the Explorer community. Always there are movements in the community. Currents of activity and thought, drawing us together and tearing us apart. Alone and together, we have shaped the rock of the cavern and the ages. Alone and together, we have left some mark, altered each other ever so slightly, forever.

Somewhere else, either in the cavern or in the Ages, are the members of the DRC and their employees. What secrets do they keep? I am sure there are secrets there, much as I am sure there are secrets in the water. What secrets have they yet to discover? Lost to the ages, locked in a manuscript still waiting to be translated? What dangers or evils do they hide from our community?

There are rumors, some would say there are facts, that soon we will be able to affect the light from the water. Some secret about the health of the microbes soon to be released. The Explorers will have something to do with the health of the organisms in the water. We we make it brighter? Do we make it darker? Do we keep it the same?

Water can be an awesome and powerful force.

There are eddies in our community, times and places when the combination of forces seem to draw us together. For better or for worse. Alone or together.

In the darkness, beneath the desert. In the light a distant Ages.

Is the new tree healthy?

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Between all the activity on the surface, dealing with changes and patches at work, and everyone at home being sick, I was finally able to spend enough time in the cavern to start working things out.
And, finally, there I was, standing in Dereno, staring at the portal that others had reported seeing as it drew itself in the air of the pod.
The effort had not been difficult, but how did others figure it out so quickly?
Maybe I am still thinking as if I am on the surface.
Maybe that is the secret to understanding the Ages, changing the way of thinking, and a little dumb luck.
Another piece of the puzzle falls into place, but I haven't a clue at the end what surprise we will find.

The implications of the existence of the D'ni are astounding. Their ability to create the links between places using the Art. Predicting the possibility of the existence of a specific place, through the art of specific description, and then having a portal to that place become created by the intersection of the description and the right materials. That is just astounding. So many pieces, more than any one person can keep in their head all at once.

There have been gaps in our understanding of each Age. The D'ni wrote their Ages with a purpose. Teledahn to feed them. Gahreesen to protect them. The Eder ages for rest and relaxation. Kadish Tolesa to flatter one of them with his own vanity.
An idea forms in the mind of a writer either from need, desire or vanity. Ink binds the idea to the pages of a book, translating the prediction from pure thought and burning a portal across all of Possibility.
The book's construction is a mystery. The making of the ink a secret. The results are sometimes, at least in part, in the end, a surprise.
Yeesha and the Bahro have taken the Ages and changed them. Each still a link to someplace ancient, but purposed anew to teach her lessons. Lessons of the Fall of D'ni. Do these lessons still have meaning. Are we becoming too much like the Proud?
The community is getting larger, the number of people handling the pieces of each puzzle increasing. Something happens–the DRC walks through the cavern letting something slip in conversation, some small clue from either Yeesha or the Bahro or other forces, unknown and unseen, is revealed–and the community begins trying to process it.
We talk alone to ourselves, we talk to each other. We find pieces of the puzzle buried in the embrace of stone and water and fire. We find pieces hanging on the walls, fragments along the Journey, marking the way.
So many pieces. Each Explorer bringing with them another way of understanding, a different perspective. Seeing the whole picture all at once, with so many disjointed pieces, impossible.
When viewed from the surface, the pieces seem to want to move away from one another, or collide in a jumble of messages, their meaning lost in the chatter of the voices on the surface, out of the cavern. Voices that demand to be heard.
When viewed from another angle, parts of a message seem to push out from the backdrop of D'ni history, the first failed Restoration, the family of Explorers struggling in D'ni. The messages scrawled on the walls, on an imager, in the KI-mail.
Maybe that is the secret to understanding the information, changing the way of thinking, and a little dumb luck.

Slowly the pieces of the puzzle seem to come together, changing ever so slightly as each Explorer handles the pieces, holds the pieces, passes them on. The lessons of the D'ni, the writings of the DRC, the experience of those called to explore. In the darkness of the Cavern, by the light of the lake, a New Tree grows.

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It is raining again in my Relto

I was almost surprised by it when I linked back after seeing the library. Rain. The way the place mirrors my thoughts, things I have not yet told others, it still freaks me out a little.

This storm is not the normally gentle rain I have become accustomed to here in Relto, but rumbles and rolls, the water driving into my face as I sit here on the bench thinking.

I cannot tell why, but the butterflies are gathered into three different groups. I don't know what I find stranger: the butterflies flitting about in groups or the fact that they seem oblivious to this rain.

They make me think about the community inside the cavern.

Of course the groups there are doing more than just flitting around the cavern.

I linked into the library early today, before linking home and heading to work. I was surprised to find a group already gathered in courtyard area, talking. After listening to a little of what they had to say, I made my way back towards Ferry. The library had not yet been opened.

I was surprised again to find a group gathered in the Hall of Kings, again talking, and it seems they were talking about the same thing as the group near the library. Only each group was talking as if they were on somewhat different sides of whatever conversation.

Making my way down the stairs, there was a third group, this one talking about the other two, only they sounded like bored commentators watching a game.

I am thinking a little bit about how this time will read when the story of the Restoration finally becomes something we teach children in schools on the surface. How will right now seem in the narrative of this history? This feels like the calm before the storm, or is this the storm itself?

And here I sit, in my own personal storm, thinking about it, and watching butterflies flutter about in their groups, never seeming to tire from the activity, or the storm.

Will today be recorded as only the day the library was open, or is today the day that the first lines are drawn? And what side of the triangle am I on?


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The Restoration Continues

It appears that the DRC has started hitting milestones again. A few more part of Au'gura have reopened. A suggestion of the begining of a timeline was announced, a new age to be released on 15 Feb. And now the DRC website, , has come back after a redesign.

Part of the redesign is a listing of the ages currently in process of being restored and prepared for exploration. But I did notice something interesting about the list.

I first got into the list around 17:30 EST, and there were a number of ages listed but not named, not even unknown. wrote:
Pento Suspended Vote 4-0 for Suspension. Will reasses at later date. 9.30.06
------ ----- Removed from list. 1.22.07
Pirahnay Suspended Vote 4-0 for Suspension. Will reasses at later date. 9.30.06
Rahtevnee Two Phase One tentative approval... 10.28.06
Rebek Suspended Vote 3-1 against Suspension but need manpower to unsuspend. Will reasses at later date. 9.30.06
------ ----- Removed from list. 1.22.07
------ ----- Removed from list. 1.22.07
Teledahn II One Where's Sharper now? I vote for Suspension. Dr. K. 10.19.06

I went back a little later, around 19:20 EST, and the table had been changed, the 'removed' rows were now missing: wrote:
Pento Suspended Vote 4-0 for Suspension. Will reasses at later date. 9.30.06
Pirahnay Suspended Vote 4-0 for Suspension. Will reasses at later date. 9.30.06
Rahtevnee Two Phase One tentative approval... 10.28.06
Rebek Suspended Vote 3-1 against Suspension but need manpower to unsuspend. Will reasses at later date. 9.30.06
Teledahn II One Where's Sharper now? I vote for Suspension. Dr. K. 10.19.06

I did go into Au'gura tonight and was lucky enough to run into Cate Alexander already talking with a group of Explorers in the UO Bevin. I asked about the removed ages:

(02/03 00:13:01) Butch: Ms. Alexander, There are 3 ages flagged removed from list. 1.22.07. why were those ages 'removed'? (02/03 00:13:31) Cate Alexander: We felt it better to not have them on the public list.

I think I am going to start making an effort to monitor the restoration status page a little more closely.

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It has been busy recently

Last time I was able to write, I was talking about the open Explorer meeting I had put together. Of course, by now, that meeting feels like such old news and almost not relevant a week later. Especially when part of the meeting was spent talking about the now defunct DRC Liaisons. Hopefully, that part of the meeting will be helpful for anyone looking at how to engage Explorers,

If anything the meeting showed that the community really does want to be a community, we just seem to disagree about how to go about it.

In conversations after the meeting, I summed up the meeting as a desire of Trust, Consensus and Respect.

Communication seems to be at the center of achieving Trust, Consensus or Respect. And the number of community news groups that have tried to start up suggest that it's very much something that a lot of people are thinking of doing something about. And some are ready to start doing something about it.

The rest of the time has been spent reviewing the Ages, after Explorers reported finding a new anomaly in Gahreesen, kind of mobile sparkle that interacted with the Relto book.

I'm going to finish going back through the ages to see if there are other things that we have not found yet. I know that other people are doing the same thing, but I just want to see for myself.

And Gnataly has decided to start trying to figure out why I am spending so much of my time in the cavern.

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