Author: Gharen Yang

What Lies Beyond the Oceans?

For quite some time now, I have heard some rumors in the saloons about some people planning on going on, “a cross-oceans suicidal mission“. The idea first came to me as unthinkable, as nobody has ever come back from sailing out that far. But this time I soon realized, with the rumors distilling into pristine information, they might actually achieve the impossible…

Determined to seek out the truth, I have joined some of the meetings of the missions’ supporters. In fact, as explorer and reporter myself, I am well informed on the main reason of the failure of previous similar attempts: communication. Indeed, the further they go into the oceans, the more risk they take, therefore they are less likely to return with their discoveries. But this time, they are planning on a completely different approach. What if, Gods forbid, they never plan to return?

Indeed,this is why the supporters call the mission suicidal themselves. Firstly, I thought it is some kind of joke to show off their courage, but I soon understood they actually mean it, and it is exactly why I think they might succeed. No, dear Elyrians, I have not lost my mind, let me tell you the magic word first: telepathic bond. It is known that among the well-born Elyrians, there is often some kind of telepathic bond among the closest family members, allowing them to communicate remotely and without delay. Using this bond, sailors will be able to tell their relatives about their discoveries.

The organizer of this expedition, known by the name of Kirvin, is determined to make this project a reality. I had the opportunity to arrange an interview with him, let’s peek into the mind of this bold explorer.

Gharen Yang: I have heard that you are planning on forming an expedition to explore the oceans, can you tell our readers about your main ideas? And maybe a bit about yourself too?

Kirvin: Really the idea is just to go across the ocean and see if we can find land or the edge of the world if there is one. I just like exploring the open world, you know. Curiosity plays a big role in it. If you’ve read the classic tales, there’s always a whole world full of secrets and when you, for instance, see a cave or island on the map you want to go see what is there. It’s like that I’d say.

GY: “Is it true that you plan to go as far as you could, and will never turn back?”

K: “At least until I hit another continent. I wouldn’t stop at an island but I would stop at a continent to get a base of operations set up for exploring it. Honestly, I am not afraid of dying on my journey. My family is here on the Continent, I have already said farewell and planned every eventuality. Depending on how successful my journey will be, my family might be inspired and consider ocean traveling again, but who knows. Personally, I wouldn’t bother coming back to the Continent. I don’t think I’d really have a reason to.”

GY: “So, how many supporters do you have now? Do you have an estimate of the crew members for the final expedition?”

K: “No idea. I just put up the discussion in the saloons so that it’s much easier to organize when there’s actually something to do. And I don’t really see any reason to have a limit on the amount of people that want to come. I suppose if we run out of boats and supplies and can’t get more we would have to limit it.”

GY: “Now, let’s talk about the organization of the expedition, have you already decided on any specific plans? Do you foresee any major difficulties you will need to handle?”

K: “Nope. We are at a very early stage of the project, there are a lot of unknown about what to come, so there’s no point making any plans yet.”

GY: “And finally, can you share a guess about what you might find beyond the oceans? Or maybe what you expect to find?”

K: “It only depends on what the Destiny and the Gods have planned for us honestly. I suppose I’d expect another continent like ours, but maybe with different spreads of biomes. And who knows what else awaits us. After all, the arch-prophet Caspian said once that the Destiny would eventually bind the Continents…”

During the interview, I have attempted, like a mermaid luring sailors, to raise up different scenarios (discoveries of hidden bounties or ancient relics, mutiny during the expedition…) to test the resolve of Sir Kirvin. Nothing seemed to phase him, his mind is so focused on this one sole goal, exploration. And it seems like this resolve is shared among the missions supporters who accepted to share their thoughts with me:

Amberic: “I chose to go on this expedition because of the sheer audacity of it. It is a terrible risk, but terrible risks can lead to great profit. No mindless creature would purposefully choose to do such a thing. Such ventures are the province of Mann, and by undertaking them, so do we prove ourselves.”

Ragnar Ragnarsson: “I have signed up for this so that I can be one of the first to see the edge of the world. If I die doing so then all I can say is there are far more boring ways to end one’s time in this world.”

Facing this collective display of unshakable determination, I was moved in spite of my usual skepticism and I can not help the growth of this feverous question in my mind : what lies beyond the oceans?

From your faithful reporter,

Knowledge from Information, Wisdom from Knowledge

Gharen of the House Yang

Could Magic be Resurfacing in Elyria?

The origin of Magic has since been lost in the ever shifting sands of time. However, the Astrologists and the Bards have never ceased their fever for the mystery of magic. To the first, individuals born which magical Talents are touched by the hands of Destiny and have the potentials to shape the future of our world. To the seconds, wielders of magic are often present in the most exquisite tales, either as hero or foe. This may be the exact reason why the fascination for magic is so common among Elyrians, even if most of us would not get to experience it first-hand.  This is why your faithful writers of The Elyria Herald have gathered some whispers from far away lands to pleasure your appetite for tales of magic.

First and foremost, the only thing we know for certain is that magic has existed since the the tales of the Mann, our ancestors. It is even rumored that there was a time where magic was commonplace, and it only became a scarce privilege after some tragic historical events that are still topics of heated debates among the Scholars. I, as a humble reporter of your favorite journal, have had the opportunity to witness some of these debates, thanks to some of our resourceful readers. While the debate sessions tend to become exceedingly heated and technical when the debate draws out, (and trust me, it does more than you would expect) due to differences of ideology or/and allegiance, there are still some facts that the Scholars seem to agree on :

  • The Scholars have yet to discover the patterns of magic. Neither how it functions, nor its way of transmission. This may not seems much, but it does indicate two things. Firstly, do not trust the first fortune-teller who claims to be able to teach your some magic tricks! And secondly, do not buy those potions sold by charlatans who promise the birth of a Talented heir, for the Talent of magic do not circulates between bloodlines.
  • The Religious Scholars claim it to be a Gift of the Gods, and one needs to conduct accordingly or achieve some great feats to please the Gods and be awarded with such Talents. I, as a professional journalist, will leave this to the judgement of our wise readers.
  • Last but not least, some officials who prefer to keep their anonymity stipulate that, according to some old governmental records, the proportion of wielders of magic would be around one in one thousand Mann, but there are signs and reports that tend to suggest this proportion is increasing, and would likely continue to increase for the years to come!

During the feasts after those debates sessions, I also had the opportunity to participate some discussions between the invitees, and I gathered some of their personal opinions on the subject:

Sir Corin : “Someone born with magic should have the potential to change the world for real.”

Sir Malais : “Not all Elyrians are created equal and that is by a grand design. So we commonfolk will just have to muddle through.”

Sir Rhaegys : “When everyone and their neighbor can learn magic, that sense of wonder disappears. Magic is not magic anymore it just a bunch of skills not different from an archer or a fighter.”

Sir Kirvin : “This isn’t ancient times where people think magic comes from the devil and mages are trying to steal your soul. While a few people will believe ‘magic is bad’ the vast majority will just recognize it as the tool that it is.”

“The tool that it is” is a nice remark, because given the potential of such wielders of magic, it is likely that those Newest Kingdoms, that my confrere Bradford has recently interviewed, would have some plans for these “tools”. Therefore, I plan to take a journey to interview some kingdoms’ officials about the politics their Kingdoms envision on the subject of magic and its wielders. But, that will be a reporting for another time. Until then, stay tuned to the latest news with The Elyria Herald.

Your faithful reporter,

Gharen of the House Yang

Knowledge from Information, Wisdom from Knowledge

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