Episode 2: Prelude to Chaos
It was 3AM when Eyesgood sat up in his bed. As usual, he couldn't sleep. The cares of tending to Shadow Hollows coupled with the thought of SM heading out to Chaos sent his mind into seven directions. He quietly exited the bunkhouse, trying not to wake his brothers who were sound asleep. He heard nothing above his footsteps as he walked towards the workshop. The night air was cold and a few snowflakes found there way to the ground midst the fog that enveloped everything. He fired up the forge and walked over to a bulk bin to pull some iron lumps. Placing the iron lumps into the forge, he sat down next to it and began working on a willow fishing pole.
The sun rose just as the fog began to clear. Theophilus sat up and wiped his eyes. Looking around, he noticed Eyesgood and Surviverman had already met the morning. He could hear the sounds of Eyesgood smithing next door and was anxious to help pack for his brother's trip. Stepping over to the workshop, he greeted Eyesgood and paused at the silver alter nearby.
"Good morning, Eyes."
"Good morning, lazy-bones."
"How long have you been at it? Couldn't sleep, eh?"
"No, I couldn't. I figured SM would want to take off early, so I improved his lantern a bit more. The fishing rod is ready too. Why don't you go wake him up and we can help him load up the rowboat."
"Wake him up? He wasn't in bed."
Eyesgood turned to face Theo and said, "Really? He was in bed when I got up at three."
"SM! Where are you?" shouted Eyesgood. Theo walked over to the workshop door and swung it open. Stepping into the walkway between the workshop and the kitchen, he looked over to the village square and then right to the wheat field.
"Hey, Surviverman? Where are you bro?" Silence answered Theo's call. "I wonder where he is?"
Eyesgood laid the fishing pole against the wall next to the forge. "He's probably down at the boat. Is the pack gone?"
Theo turned around and walked over to one of the bulk bins. "No, he hasn't left yet. The pack is right here. In fact, that steel and flint is sitting right here on top of it.
Eyesgood walked over to Theo. They both stared at the pack. Then, turning to stare at each other, they twirled around and shouted in unison, "Surviverman!"
I was glad the fog was lifting. I anchored the rowboat and waited for my compass to settle. It was pretty difficult to navigate in the fog. I tried to stay as close to the shore as possible, but I lost sight of the shore and was nervous that I had rowed too far west for my northward turn up the west coast of Deliverance. I could now see the shoreline, but the fog had temporarily confused me.
I felt really bad about sneaking off on my brothers like I did. But I just had to. Eyesgood would have never let me leave without my gear. Theo would have argued me to the ground if I tried to leave with less than a month's worth of supplies. But I had my reputation to think of. I mean, what kind of adventure would it be if I carried all that gear Theo laid out for me? I would be no different than... than... Bear Grylls. I just couldn't. Thankfully, Eyesgood working at the forge had jarred me from sleep and allowed me to hatch this plan of mine. I slipped out of bed, past Theo who is known to be a heavy sleeper, and quietly exited the bunk house. I ducked past the window next to the forge and slowly opened the far end door to the workshop. Sneaking through the shadows over to the pack Theo had left for me, I slipped my hand into the pack and felt around for the compass. I then backed away slowly and closed the door. I pointed myself towards the west gate of Shadow Hollows, and turning left, I followed the road southward as it disappeared into the night. Reaching the shore, I waded out to the rowboat and climbed inside. I then raised the anchor, turned the bow westward and started rowing. It wasn't long before I lost my sense of direction. The fog was so dense, I could only see two tiles in front of me. Once the fog lifted, I was able to get my bearings. I then proceeded north until I felt I was at the right spot for the crossing. Soon, I would cross over into Chaos, the land of ancient ruins and mighty heroes.
"From what I can tell, he only took the compass. Isn't that just like him?"
"He's an idiot!" said Eyesgood, responding without thought to Theo's investigation. Eyesgood then noticed Theo reaching for his Vynora statue and pointing himself westward. Motions of his hands revealed his intentions.
"How far away is he?" said Eyesgood as he turned back towards the forge.
"Just a second.... Ok, he is rather a long distance away in front of me. I don't see any mention of his corpse."
"Wait till I get my hands on him and then you can cast Locate Soul again. I bet you find a corpse then!" said Eyesgood. He continued, "You know, we should have guessed he would pull something like this. Let me calm down. I think he will be OK. Actually, sometimes I think we baby him a bit too much."
Theo responded, "You know how worried mother would get? I can't help it. Sometimes I think his sense of adventure outweighs common sense. He's heading over to a land that is known to be hostile. And with what? Nothing but a compass! it's foolish, I say, foolish!"
"I am sure he will be fine. He did manage to save us from Elevation. In the mean time, can you please put those veggies back into the bin and put away those medic supplies. He's not coming back for them, to be sure. As for me, I'm not going to waste time worrying about him."
With those words, Eyesgood returned to his work. Theo picked up the backpack and stroked the front of it slowly. He looked out the window and thought, "Be careful my brother. Be careful."