I am standing on the rooftop of the castle in Selenitica, the highest point in this region. From here I can see to the very edges of Evergreen – north to Kamar, where I am beginning to furnish the little Japanese house where I spend the night when in residence; northeast to Tao and the sky tree which towers over the swampy grasses and odd-shaped rocks; and due east to Satori, an open water region with only a couple of tall plants and two unidentified structures the only things visible above water.
My mission today is to take detailed notes on each of the four ages here that have been put under my care by the Devokan Trust. These notes will be used to write a guide for explorers, tourists and other visitors. It will come in handy as there is more to this world than meets the eye. I can not guarantee that I have found all there is to find here but that is part of the enchantment of this place. You may tag along with me as I make my notes if you like. Bear with me as I will also be stopping to make photographs from time to time.
There are three tall islands in Selenitica, the eastern one is your arrival point as you enter the world of Evergreen. You will be standing next to a tower. If you should enter this building and work your way up to its top level, you will find two benches on which to sit and take in the view. Just the other day I found something new. Touch the floor after you sit down on a bench. Wait a moment. What happens? I will make a photograph of the area as you try that.
There are smaller rock islands as well. When you first arrive, you will see to the west, the home of Mr. Quinquifid Oddenfen, Director of the Devokan Trust. This is his study, his laboratory, his retreat. Yet he is not often in residence as his work takes him to other ages. His retreat sits on a platform – a pedestal – on one of the rock islands. If you wish to look around Quin’s home, follow the bridge to your left, it will take you to what I have taken to calling Garden Island. You can wander about the interesting and colorful flowers and trees here until you come to another bridge which connects with Quin’s house.
You will also see in the northwest corner of Selenitica, on the highest island, a castle. When you first arrive, if again looking west, the bridge to your right will take you there. The bridges need some repair work, so “pardon our appearance…” as the saying goes. You should be able to manage.
I have been using a room on the second floor of the castle as my office here. I refer to that room as the Observatory as the view from there is stupendous but there are two observation towers above on the roof. Still, this room is where I feel most comfortable, sitting and looking at the lands before me, thinking and writing.
My names for these islands are unofficial. I am the Custodian of Evergreen and so I am the one most often putting pen to paper to write about it. So I need reference points, names…for the tourists’ sake as well as my own. I suppose I should get Quin’s approval for these names but to Quin, this would not be a matter of great importance and, as he has so much on his plate, I do hate to bother him with such trivial matters. For now, unless I hear him call them by other names, I will be using these: Arrival Island – where visitors land; Garden Island – the southern most island, there are no buildings here; Quin’s Island – the rocks that host the pedestal for his home; and Castle Island – obvious, eh? Let’s go north now, to…
Kamar. This is a rocky continent, with some moss, a few grassy spots, some beautiful flowers and a good number of trees. The land surrounds a nice bay. My house faces the ocean to the north but I spend most of my time at the back window looking out at the bay or on the rooftop observation deck. As I say, I am just beginning to furnish the place. A day bed is there in one corner. This is where I sleep and read and sometimes write. Yes, I spend my nights on a day bed, a contradiction that makes me smile.
There is a secret place in Kamar as well. You cannot see it from my house. Look around and you will find a way to reach…
Kamar Sky Garden. This is a wondrous rock garden on a lake in the sky. Interesting things to see here. I would love to get that balloon-powered vehicle working…but what a nice spot to relax. Feel free to do so. I also think it is a perfect spot for a party someday in the future. Or the past. One never really knows in the Devokan lands.
Let’s return to sea level now and wander over to…
Tao. Not a lot of walking to be done in Tao. And if you do so, I hope you have worn your wading boots. There is much open water but, as you can see, there is some land. Most of it is swampy though there are a couple of small rock islands here. And there are interesting items to inspect on these rocks. (I will leave that to you.)
If you are one with the power to fly, a good landing spot in Tao is on the odd rock formations in the northeast and southeast of the region. From afar you might think they are trees, I certainly did. On closer inspection, they look like plants. But once you land on one, you see they are terra firma – specifically, rocks. Rocks that look like mushrooms, if you ask me. Poisonous mushrooms? I could not say as I can’t imagine biting into one without it involving emergency dental surgery.
Yes, I know you can’t take your eye off of that giant tree in the sky above you but before we go there… I just want to point out that Tao is interesting to see underwater as well. So, if you have brought your scuba equipment – or you hail from a race that breathes underwater – you can wander around below sea level in Tao. You may happen upon Quin’s one-person submarine. I would not suggest trying to drive it. (I speak from experience on this. I got stuck in there and had to go to my bag of tricks to extricate myself. When I get a chance, I’m going to have to rummage through Quin’s study to see if I can find the keys for that vehicle.)
All right, I won’t keep you waiting any longer… to the Sky Tree!
aka the Tree Tower. Whatever one calls it, it is truly one of the wonders of the ages. You can walk around the outer rings of the tower and view Selenitica and the landscape below or go closer to see the tree and the surrounding vegetation. This is a very nice place to sit and ponder what you have seen on your journey thus far.
But I know you will want to examine the roots of the Sky Tree as well, in particular the pods – known to the locals, if we had locals that is, as “flying homes.” Feel free to go inside and make yourself comfortable but be sure to close the door on your way out so as to keep the elements – and the birds – at bay. I am guessing Quin used these rooms when Tao was a distant age, before it was brought here to nestle in next to Selenitica and the others. The homes are nicely appointed and very welcoming. I may spend some time in one of them to write. I am trying to figure out why one of them has a blue or cyan glass door while the others are yellow or amber.
Until this very day, entry to these pods was nearly impossible. As Custodian of Evergreen, it was my duty to report this problem to…somebody. In the absence of Quin, I had informed my friend Dot Macchi, who first introduced me to Quin long ago. Dot then investigated and was conducting experiments regarding a strange force field that existed around these pods. I was helping her as best I could, my knowledge of such things being quite limited. She told me that evidence of force fields were found in other Devokan ages as well. (In fact, the problem may not have been limited only to Devokan worlds.) Dot arranged for the services of a wizard, one Oren Hurvitz, who worked his magic and has caused the force fields to disintegrate…or evaporate…or whatever it is a force field does when it goes away. Apparently, this Oren fella is one heck of a wizard.
So, if you have explored Evergreen previously and had not been able to access the pods (or had problems in the Kamar Sky Garden), please do visit again as all is well now. This improvement is only a few hours old as of this writing.
Okay, we must now hop on down to Satori, south of Tao for me to finish these notes…
There isn’t much to see here, so I put it off to the end of my ‘tour.’ I can hardly call this an ‘expedition,’ as I am merely ‘exploring’ the places next door, looking around the neighborhood as it were.
Satori is an open water region and I plan to spend my leisure time sailing here. The only thing visible above see level is a structure or two (I must see if they are connected underwater) that somewhat resemble the masts of a ship. From the observatory in the castle in Selenitica, I thought this structure was vegetation but now that I am here…well, it’s not vegetation but I still don’t know what it is actually.
The two “masts” – I’ll call them towers – stand next to each other. (They are not connected underwater, it turns out.) Some sort of alloy, I guess. Are they a symbol of worship? Do they honor some god? Are they a piece of art? Or do they have some practical use? It bugs me that I cannot answer these questions. Already I know what will be keeping me up tonight when I try to ease my mind and fall to sleep in my little house in Kamar. Oh well. That’s about all there is – oh wait, there is some very interesting, glowing vegetation underwater here, you must take a look. I should make another photograph as well.
That is the end of our little trip. You can wander about if you wish, I must be off now to review my notes. Thank you for joining me and for your patience. So long!
Later, I stop in Selentica at Quin’s house to make supper at the end of the day. I poured some wine first and browsed Quin’s library. Stuffed into one book were some papers about the ages bordering Selenitica. In one, written by Shenn Tao who discovered Satori, he discusses the possibility that the towers there are some kind of communication device. Of course! I slammed the book shut, downed the wine and went to a window facing east to stare at those towers. They could be antennas. That would explain why they stand in the middle of nowhere, in open water. A signal travels very well over water. Yes! They could receive and transmit from one Devokan age to another! But wait…these are just the antennas. Where is the station? The transmitter? Wait… A relay station! Yes, that is it!
Hmmm..before I get carried away, I need to conduct some experiments here. Unlike magnetic force fields, communication is something I do know a little bit about, not much but a little. Did I ever tell you about visiting Messrs. Hertz or Marconi while on time traveller business? Well, needless to say, I picked up a few things along the way. Now, let me see, how to go about this? Oooo, that wireless set in one of Quin’s pods up in Tao! I will bring it to Satori. And I will contact my secretary back in the Steamlands, Mr. Afterthought, and have him send along my best wireless set. Maybe two. Yes, it would be best to use radio equipment I am familiar with.
Well, I guess I have my next project before me so I will just have to put these notes aside for the moment. I will get back to them in the new year, organize them in a more coherent manner and fashion them into an Evergreen guide for the tourists.
Editor’s Note: You may visit the ages of Evergreen via Kitely. The article above also appears on the new Kitely Forums as the first in a new thread of Devokan stories, a thread in which Mr. Whitfield will be one of many participants. The photographs Mr. Whitfield has made of these ages are on his Flickr page in a set called, Evergreen – Devokan. Region credits: Selenitica by Paislee Myrtle; Kamar and Satori by Shenn Tao; Tao by Leah Auxifur and Shenn Tao. Evergreen is Free to visitors. Many of the scripted items in Evergreen are not working yet. As with so many things, these ages evolve.