A R G O S P A N O P T E S
Hundred-eyed monster; All-seeing
𓆰 W O L F S B A N E | c a u t i o n - t r e a c h e r y - m i s a n t h r o p y
Often used as a warning. A gift of wolf's bane flowers was seen as a symbol to the recipient to take care as danger lies ahead.
𓆰 YOU are the E X P L O R E R.
It is your sole mission to venture out to various islands.
You're looking for uncharted territory when word of a few Turtonics heading toward the poles piques your interest.
Those spaces are known to be shrouded in mysteries. Seemed like the time to see for yourself, was now.
After much persuasion, an elder with a fisherman's background is the only soul willing to entertain your goal.
A long boat ride later, you arrive. There's no port, a little odd but it's far from trouble.
Treading onto shore, you look out to the plants and trees. Speckled here and there were ginormous mushrooms.
It almost felt like home.
Something about this place felt off.
Turning your attention towards the owner of the boat, you note they're preparing to leave. No matter, you'll manage. You always have.
After thanking them, you trekked towards the lush forest.
Among the thick brush of overgrown mushrooms, moss, and grass- a hanging glass vial catches your eye. It sways in the wind as you step closer. Tied with thin rope onto what you could tell was a tree branch. Inside contained a dark liquid. Must've rotted over the years . You thought to yourself as you glanced around. Wondering what on earth would a lone vial containing a suspicious liquid be doing all the way out here? If it were bait, it's poorly planned. You're not foolish enough to toy with the unknown.. at least not to that degree. Suspecting a trap, you retrace your steps to pick up a fallen branch from earlier. With the branch in hand, you poke around the ground. Hoping to activate something but after a while, you feel silly. There's nothing here. Even scratching the dirt with the branch did nothing but kick soil up and into your fur.
Satisfied, you step closer, pulling the overgrown plants to the side. Stopping in your tracks when you see a wooden door. It's blanketed by a thick layer of moss and rotten segments of chipped wood. Looking for hinges, you find those to be rusty but still intact. You wonder how long it's been since anyone had stopped by here. Still, the vial captivated you more, even more so now that it's casually dangling above you. Every fiber in your being told you to leave it be -- but the thought that it could fetch a hefty satchel of caps back home, spoke louder. Plus, an explorer's pay is well... um- anyway! You reach up and loosen the ties before whisking the fluid back and forth a few times, then shoved this into your bag.
Back to the door, you nudge it a few times. Testing the strength of the hinges before giving the wood a proper shove. The door barely budged, so you applied more of your weight. You knew this door was old, but you hadn't expected it to swing open. Falling to the ground, the sound of creaking wood welcomes you. Back up on your feet, you look around.
You struggle to register what more may lie inside. It's dark and although there are splits and cracks in the ceiling, allowing for a sliver of sunlight to pass through - it's simply not enough. Even the glow emitted off your goo barely suffices. You pat around, searching for the oil lamp you typically kept on your person for situations like this. After finding it, with a match, you carefully lit a flame. Set the wick on fire before blowing the match out. It's as you adjust your grasp on the handle, you hear a faint crackle. Turning to look, your eyes widen.
Some cobweb was on fire. Panic rushes through you. You pull on the neckerchief and overwhelm the gradually growing flame. Pulling away once it was over. You sigh in relief, glad to have caught it when you did. That could've gone differently. Thinking this as you check the cloth, a burnt hole in the middle makes you raise a brow. Lucky too. Shoving this into a pocket, you turn back over to the lantern and pluck it up by its handle. Raising it up above your head would reveal more cobwebs and overgrown plants which have taken over this space.
Treading forth, your eyes narrow at the sight of .. what appears to be an elevated flat surface. Carefully maneuvering past the plants on the ground till you reached this. Bringing the lantern closer to it shows a workspace with books, vials, and shears. All covered in a layer of dust, you consider picking through the books, but upon touching them, the texture is soft and.. mushy. Practically disintegrating.
This.. grosses you out. So you move towards the scattered sheets on the work surface. At a glance, it looked to be nothing more than gibberish. Yet, upon closer inspection, you see that although the ink is faint, it's still legible.
click the toggle to read the entries
DAY 1: Among all the entries, this one is the easiest to read.
Floral specimens are by far my favorite. They compete with fungi for nutrients and sunlight. Occasionally even win. On this island, I've spotted some hooded purple flowers. They're everywhere while the fungi are sparse. It's the first time I've witnessed this - or I've yet to stumble upon such a land? Whatever the case, it's an anomaly that I'll get around to once I've found shelter.
I've kept myself busy with creating a makeshift workshop. The trees here are not only sturdy but plentiful as well. Should be able to complete it within a few days.
༄Paws have been tingly since I've arrived but nothing too distracting. As long as I keep myself busy, it's relatively easy to ignore.
DAY 3: Most of this page is wet, leaving little to desire
None of the texts mention its name. - the rest is difficult to read and you can't tell what is a letter versus what's runny ink-
༄ - seems there was a note but it too cannot be read-
DAY 5: A portion of the page is wet and torn
I've considered departing from this island. My research had barely begun. Turning up empty will threaten my career, but I feel my health taking a toll. Additionally, my paws have dawned a.. new shade.
༄Actually.. how do I return? Are there any others here?
DAY 10: There are old ink splatters covering a good portion of the page
Wolfsbane is what I've decided to call it. Although an attractive purple-blue flower. Its toxin runs all throughout and is virtually dangerous to touch with bare paws. Its taste is bitter. Foul in fact. Goo dawns an additional color that appears days from the initial contact. Like wolves, its appearance gives off the wrong impression. And it's a reminder, merciless.
༄I've considered burning this place but if there is another out there. I'd like to spare them from this pain. Additionally, I can't shake the feeling that i'm being watched.
DAY 15: You nearly skip this one had it not been for the indents on the page. Although it takes great effort, you manage to read this page with relative ease
My nights are restless, the endless howling leaves no room for sleep. On top of it all, i've more or less figured out the source of who and what has been 'watching' me. Anywhere I roam, a trail follows close behind..
༄ I've written several letters for my beloved throughout my time here, but I've come to realize that if I were to leave this island. It'd be when I've obtained a cure.
The remaining sheets are difficult to decipher, let alone read.
you choose to move on.
Your brows knit as you read through the contents of these sheets. Quickly retracting your paws from the pages before looking back over to the space around you. Dread gradually sinks in. You too ventured here in search of new findings, not to obtain whatever this wandering botanist had. Especially that curse.
Before panic can take hold, your gaze flicked back toward the entries. Rereading 'Day 1', a wave of relief washes away the fast-approaching panic. Mushrooms were everywhere here, not these.. what was it again.. Wolfsbane! Not a speck of Wolfsbane could be seen on the trek here. On top of that, there are a number of villages nearby too. You'd spotted them sometime along the trek here. A pleasant surprise in comparison to when you first arrived.
Still, you felt overly cautious and decided to pull on a pair of gloves. Albeit, they were for climbing, they should do as you flick through more items scattered on the workspace. A bit of rummaging would uncover some more papers. Some sketches, notes, and a few letters. Upon closer inspection, you can't help but notice the sketches looking eerily like the flower described in the entries. You've never seen one of these before. A colored version confirms your thought. It's as beautiful as described, coming to understand why this botanist had become interested in such a flower.
You nearly pocket these but remembered that this place must have traces of that toxin scattered around the workspaces. Although you've been careful, the ailments which were described are enough to convince you to put these back- but wait. Not once during your time here on this island, in this abandoned studio, or anything, result in your paws earning a tingly sensation.
So you rummage around some more and find an empty glass jar. With gloved hands, you grab and roll up these sheets. Inserting them into the jar before sealing the top with a lid.
Determined to not obtain some cryptid curse from the past, you hurry with putting this jar away into your bag. Then moved to leave, but not before noticing a handle off to the side of the table. So you reach over and pull it open, nearly erupting with a shriek at the sight of a spider crawling out. Yet you were quick to compose yourself. You're an explorer! Get ahold of yourself. Mini pep talk over, you rush with extracting whatever was in there. Pep talk or not, that arachnid was .. ridiculously large. The moment it reappeared, you dipped. Taking whatever had been inside with you as you dashed out of the building.
Outside, you catch your breath and kill the flame. After a few minutes, you finally bring yourself to check what you've obtained. Hand-written letters in fairly decent condition. They were labeled with different names and you nearly opened one up to read but wondered if that was a little insensitive. Especially when you could deliver these yourself on behalf of this botanist. Not wanting this to weigh on your conscious, you put them away in your bag before pulling out the vial from earlier. Bringing it up to the sun you nearly freeze. The dark liquid contained .. eyes. Many of them and all of them were looking right back at you. With a gulp, you bravely observe the contents some more. A shiver runs up your spine the moment one blinks.
Creeped out, this is shoved back into your bag, but in a different pocket than before. You're uncomfortable holding onto such an item and decide to travel towards the nearest village here. Surely they know something about this. At least, you hope they do.
Mind fixated on what you'd seen, you walk by a brown and yellow mhoat with an ominous trail behind them as if they were a ghost. While you trekked on, they'd reached into your bag, plucking out the vial with the suspicious substance.
It's not till you arrive at the neighboring village and speak to a mhoat there, do you find the vial gone from the pocket you've placed it. Part of you wonders if you've dropped it somewhere along the way. Which is a shame as it could've fetched for so many caps! Yet, at the same time, part of you felt relieved.
After perusing around, you get bored and leave to further inspect the items you've collected.
𓆰 YOU are the W A N D E R I N G B O T A N I S T
You came here years ago with similar intentions the explorer came for except it pertained to your profession.
The plan was to observe and obtain as much knowledge of the flora here.
Thwarted when you come in contact with a flower you'd later name, Wolfsbane.
Contact with this plant has earned you a curse. One which slowly grew with time. Best indicated by parts of your yellow goo which are now dark.
You call this place home
Till you find a cure for your ailments
You're to stay here
No matter how long it may take...
Your experiments thus far have been anything but fruitful. It drives you mad at times, but not enough to give up.
How they hadn't spotted you were a mystery in itself but you don't bother with the specifics. You'd seen them peer into the vial, under the sun no less. Surely, they'd seen the very same eyes that trail after you.
With the vial in hand, you carefully tied it back up onto the branch it'd originally been on, then moved on inside. The workspace was dirty.. overgrown and pretty much like you'd last left it. However, that's not why you showed your face here. No, in fact, seeing another mhoat casually peruse through your belongings made you want to check the letters again. Nothing else was of importance here - at least not longer ..
You start with the closed cabinet, pulling it open with ease. But there's nothing to be found. Just dust, cobwebs, and a spider or two. Disappointed, but unsurprised. Moving over to the shelves brings nothing either. This place is worn down beyond repair. So you give.
Taking a seat at the rickety chair, your gaze shifts over to the items untouched by the mhoat who'd wandered in here. Although long abandoned, the memories that sprouted were anything but pleasant. With the exception of your first days. Those were nice. Would've been nicer if someone else had been with you back then -
What's an explorer doing all the way out here?
Are there more of them?
For the first time in forever, you felt motivated. And in a swift motion, you're dashing out to catch up to them.
The count starts at the line -> YOU are an explorer.
word count: 2,355
Spoiler, the vial is suspicious but there aren't any physical eyes in it. unless you roll for intelligence
hopefully the format does not shid itself :') + also i didn't realize my img was so big my heart when it refreshed and showed the same screen, i thought the text was all gone LMAO
Submitted By restingden
Submitted: 1 month ago ・ Last Updated: 1 month ago
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