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Rabenschwinges Cavern blog

Strange happenings

Today, some strange things happened in several of our ages.

First, we visited Nifehrehn after a break of over one week. When we linked in, we almost immediately recognized it was terribly cold. We linked out again and returned with our maintainer suits on.

Somebody had opened the airlock – letting the cold air from the outside into the complex! Work of months has been destroyed, many instruments and scales again are deeply frozen. Who did that? Who has access to Nifehrehn besides us? The books have been kept safe, nobody inside the expedition could have gone there without anyone noticing. So who was it?

The second strange thing that happened: When I linked to Afelahn today to take measure for the new living quarters I plan to add, the whole place was covered in greenish fog! Panicking, I linked out, fearing the worst. But as my skin didn´t dissolve and I didn´t feel any pain, I returned with a suit. The fog was gone again, and no residue was found.
Whatever it was, it seems to have been harmless – who might play such a sick prank on me? I´ve been scared to death!

The third thing that happened – and this one is REALLY weird – was told by B.P. He and a team had done research in Dasharen, when a huge quake hit. Well, that´s the normal part, at least in this age. But then they looked on the print-outs of the seismographs – and the instruments recorded NOTHING! As if nothing bad had happened.

Could all this phenomena have been caused by Bahro? Who else could have done that?
We are puzzled, and concerned. Trying to keep you updated.

New gadget

Yesterday, Tom Woods sent KI-mails to everyone to inform us they had got new underwater cameras, and everyone who needed one should come to Asheten mansion.

Of course, I took one, and already tried it out in my small basin in Lab I.

I put my Tufolehn sea urchins and a conch in, and took some shots.

The quality is comparable to KI-shots – those cameras should do a good job when mounted on our underwater critters.

Our critter in Unknown age 03 has brought a lot of new data. Mostly, it confirmed what we knew already: the green gas is highly corrosive and poisionous, and there are lots of remains of animals in the area we´ve explored yet.
Fortunately, the bones we thought to be of humanoid origins seem to be animal bones as well.

We don´t know anything about the origin yet – is it natural or artificial? Even a weapon? We have no clue. Further research will be necessary.

First data received!

All went well! No one was hurt, and critter 2 was successfully delivered.

Now, we are exploring the first part of the age. It seems to be a medium sized area, shaped like the generic “hole in the ground” garden age.

The first image data sent by critter 2 didn´t show much, besides green mist and the greenish, sandy ground. A dark rock came into our field of vision when Jack slowly drove the critter forward.

Nothing interesting up to that point – but when the vehicle drove around the rock, the first amazing find. An elongate, whitish object protruded out of the sand. After a small moment we realized it was a bone…

What we then found was more than we had anticipated. The whole area is cluttered with bones of different creatures. Some look vaguely like bones of bovine creatures, others like predatory animals. And a few – as gruesome as it is – seem to be of humanoid origin. We don´t know, if they belong to D’ni or other humanoids.

We will continue to explore the area… whoever lies there, we hopefully will find out more about them.

The expedition council approved my proposal regarding Ahnoto, and they promised me supplies, interns and tools for my work on the age.

Meanwhile, I´ve started to write my third age. I plan it to be a garden age, this time hopefully not too dry and not too moist …
My gahrohevtee become better and better. After my previous mistakes, I´m confident to at least bring the age to a successful end, so at least the book should work. What awaits me after linking in, I can only guess – the branches of the great tree are limitless, after all. :)

More about Critters

This is the first time I´m posting twice a day. The reason for this is, that quite a lot happened today:

The upgrade of Critter 2 is done – the guys worked restlessly for hours, and managed to get it ready only a few hours ago.

So, now we are preparing everything for our little guys mission.
The maintainer outpost is running and ready, critter 2 is polished and eagerly awaits his… well, you get the idea.

I managed to draw a sketch – as always, please remember, this is not meant to be 100% accurate. I´m a beginner in sketching.

As mentioned, the new encasement is made of deretheni, a light but resistant artificial D’ni stone.

B.P. will link in with his mighty maintainer suit, with critter 2 in his hands. Then he will put it down, and link out again immediately.
The risk is high, and we discussed it a lot – is it worth it? What, if anybody is hurt? The gas is extremely dangerous – will the data be worth it?

Shane Kennett has designed a small receiver, that translates KI signals from other ages into ordinary radio signals, to steer the small vehicle through the age.
Because the KI signal reaches so deep into another age, we can steer it much farther than we could on earth – the small range of the radio receiver can be neglected, it is only centimetres (or inches) away from the KI-receiver.
The only concern are possible interferences from electromagnetic fields in the age itself.

Jack Rowe will steer critter 2 from a control room in Asheten mansion, while a team will take care of B.P. and his suit in the maintainer facility.

Everything is prepared… only 2 hours until we start. I will keep you updated. We should know more tomorrow.

Critter upgrade

As I posted in my last post, we are planning an unmanned vehicle, one of our “critters”, to visit Unknown age 03, which is clouded in toxic, corrosive clouds of a green gas.

Because Critter 2 had been damaged in a little accident in a rocky crack, Shane Kennett, Jack Rowe and Tom Woods agreed to use it for this purpose.

It will be upgraded with a deretheni shell, new engines for more power, and its crawler tracks will be changed to small, balllike wheels.

We hope to gather more data about the age, to answer some of the questions that arose.

On another, long postponed project: Ahnoto.
If you remember – it is the second age I´ve written by myself. The book links into the middle of a vast freshwater lake, the shorelines can´t be seen from the link in point.
We´ve anchored a buy and a raft at the position, but weren´t sure what to do with the age.

Now I´ve devised a plan: I´m thinking of a big, floating structure, like a huge raft, made of wood, we could walk around on and use as a platform for scientific research and observations. The plan is in a pretty early stage, but I´m confident it will work out nicely.

Maybe I will begin to write another age – it´s been some time that I used my writing skills, might improve them a little more.

News on Unknown Age 03

Right after I posted my previous post, B.P. came to Afelahn and told me about their discussion about another visit.

Someone suggested to modify one of our “critters” – someone could link in with it, put it on the ground and link out quickly, while the critter could gather data without anyone being endangered unnecessarily.

Of course, the critter almost certainly will be destroyed over time – the aggressive corrosive gas will destroy most materials we know.

Interestingly, the suits materials seem not to be bothered by the gas – on the other side, if the depicted events in the “Book of D’ni” really happened that way, one of the explorers, an averonese, even stepped into a nova while wearing one of the suits – and survived, though he was badly hurt. So the suits should withstand any possible dangers, even the deadliest ones.

Maybe we can apply D’ni materials, for example, deretheni (see the DPWR-Article about this kind of stone) to the critter… we don´t really like the idea of losing one of them.

Yeah, it´s somewhat pathetic, but we grew to like these little fellows.

By the way, I think, I can show you one of my sketches, depicting Critter 01 – bear in mind, however, that my scribbling abilities are somewhat – minor. Don´t expect too much realism :)

Samples our scientists took from the gas sucked into the ventilation system suggest that this is a kind of chemical compound previously unknown on earth. They aren´t even sure, what elements this consists of – not really surprising, it is another age, another dimension after all.
We had had a theoretical discussion some months ago about ages and the astonishing similarities between the elements abundant there – but we also came to the conclusion, that it only was a matter of time, when we would encounter previously unknown matter that doesn´t exist in other ages. This stuff seems to be such matter.
It lost its corrosive capacity after some minutes, and is deemed rather harmless now – but we wouldn´t take a chance, it was sealed in a vacuum vessel (of D’ni origin) and brought to Resehren. In case it breaks and is contaminating its surroundings, the age can be quarantined.

Critter 3 to the rescue! 2

Do you remember? Critter 2 had been stuck in a crack after a unfortunate exploration attempt, unable to move forward nor backward.

Now, we finally have managed to get it out of there, with the help of the more powerful Critter 3 and a small grappling hook.

Of course, Critter 2 is a little bit damaged now and has to be repaired, but at least we have it back :)

Today, I´ll tell you a bit about Unknown age 03. We found it in the mantainer facility I´ve written about some dozen posts ago, on a pile of ages that we suspect were to be examined by the maintainers, shortly before the fall. As we know, they never got to finish this pile, so the age lacks any maintainers stamp. The linking book we found had no name on its cover, nor did we find any books of commentary.

So, we used extreme caution when visiting the age. Tom Woods, Alex Rebman-Bartos and B.P. Forberg were the first three members of the expedition to link through, wearing maintainer suits.

B.P. wanted to try out one of the biggest, heaviest suits we have, so we helped him putting it on.
After the three linked, we waited for some seconds, till they reappeared in the facility.

As soon as they materialized, green fumes appeared, having attached themselves on the suits. At once, an alarm started to sound – chemical alert! We ran out of the linking chamber, and the doors shut automatically behind us. The three remained in there, when the ventilation system ran up and sucked the greenish haze out of the chamber.

The sensors showed, that it was a rather corrosive, highly toxic gas – hadn´t we reacted so fast, who knows what had happened!
The ventilation system worked flawless, and soon there was no more sign of the gas in the linking chamber.

The door opened again, and we helped the three out of their suits.
“It is a whole mess. The place is absolutely unsafe”, were B.P.s first words when we lifted the heavy helmet part of his suit.
It seems, that the age is covered not only in this gas, but also in kneedeep dust composed of the same corrosive material, in a chemical compound with other matter.

We decided to put the age under quarantine immediately – it is much too unsafe to let anyone go there, at least without the proper security measures.


Today, Clint Spano and Noemi Moots went to Yateesh again to hunt some royalopes and smaller antilopes for food supply.

When they ventured a little deeper into the forests, they suddenly found the small carcass of an antilope.
First they didn´t suspect anything unusual, the age is teeming with wild life, including some really nasty predators.

But then they saw, that someone – someone with a knife – had skinned  and disembowled the animal.
So that means, that someone else also has access to Yateesh, and uses it as a hunting ground, just like we do.
Could these be the same people who stole from us before?

Tubby, my Toosha, is sick since he ate some berries in Risoahl.
He had been used to pull down some of the most sturdy giant bamboos when it happened. I really hope, they were not venomous …
We don´t have a veterinarian with us yet, so I asked Dr. Shingler, one of our zoologists, to look after him.

As I looked through my supplies and tools, I stumbled over a small crate with the Alitnee eggs I had gathered and prepared months ago.
I decided to put them into my home base, for everyone to see.

Because Afelahn will still need some work before the grand opening, here are some KI-shots of the eggs.
I might add some information about the different species the eggs are from in the future.

In Afelahn, we excavated two more rooms: the aforementioned control room, and a huge room I plan to … well, I guess, this one will stay secret for the moment :) I think, you will really like this one, and so I won’t spoil it for you.

The second thing to mention about Afelahn is, that I made a decision regarding harboring other people in the base. I will add living quarters and all the other stuff needed – the base is growing still, and I have a lot of ideas for future expansions. If the base really is going to be as big as I imagine, there will be plenty of room for other people to do research.
I am amazed to see what Afelahn has become until now, and I think, there will be a lot more.

Oh, how time flies…

It’s just two days I made my previous post, and so much has happened! The same day, another bunch of new expedition members arrived, more than 25 people eager to work with us.

They are badly needed, we work on various ages already, and our teams are far-scattered.

Now the expedition consists of more than 80 people.
B.P. held a little speech yesterday in front of the staff in Kurat hood, and suggested, that maybe it was time to move to another, bigger place – Asheten mansion is big, but there isn’t infinite space.

Surprisingly, he approached me after the speech and asked, if I could house some of the expedition members in my base in Afelahn.

I told him, that I haven’t planned it to have bedrooms, kitchens or bath rooms, it is planned to be a working place, not a place for living, after all.
He asked me to think over it.

I’m not sure… the layout of the home base doesn’t allow much comfort.
On the other hand, it would be nice to have company here while working on different projects – and even a bedroom of my own. We’ll see.

Speaking of Afelahn – work has speeded up amazingly. We are almost done with the power room, and have added three more rooms, all of them in one day.
The first is a staircase that leads to a first floor, through a door in Lab I.
Shouldn’t have brought the artwork here so soon, it’s covered in dust right now…

I think, wooden stairs would fit best here.
The second room, at the first floor, is a “waiting room”. Here people can wait and relax, while I’m working in my office (the third room, connected to the waiting room with a small stairway.)
I plan to have some couches, carpets and plants here.

And my office – this will be my own, personal space for writing and stuff. I’ve thought of breaking through the floor and adding a glass floor, so I can watch the garage from up here – not so sure about that, though, because I’m suffering from vertigo, and I don’t know if I could ever be fully relaxed while sitting on a see-through floor…

Maybe I’ll use the idea for a different room.

I plan to excavate another room near the power room – some kind of control room, where I – or someone who is keen with engineering – can control and adjust the machinery and power grid system of the base.

The powermarble is a enormously powerful energy source, that opens a lot of possibilites for future additions to the base.

I’m so amazed to see it all come to fruition – all the work, all the planning and learning – now everyone can see our accomplishments!
Well, not everyone, yet. I’ve decided to postpone the opening of Afelahn to the public – there is a lot of work still to be done, and I want to be sure everyone enjoys the stay (and is safe from any dangers).

Gosh, I just realized I haven’t provided any KI-shot yet… let me see, what I can show you.

There, another of my lamp designs, used for example in the link-in (or entry) room:

Power room

Finally, after many delays, we have finished excavating the power room.

It is the highest room at the moment, reaching up to the surface of Afelahn, to lead any kinetic energy of a possible explosion outwards.

Tom Woods, Shane Kennett and Carla Mastrelli led a team that installed the power marble in its encasement. The inner part is covered by nara, the hardest  artificial stone the D’ni have invented. On the outside a massive concrete layer has been added for additional safety.

The room will have a heavy blast door, as planned.

Now, all that’s left to power the base, are the wirings and control computers.

It´s amazing, what they were able to accomplish – a neat mixture of surface and D’ni technology. I do hope, it doesn’t blow up, though.

I have some more KI-shots for you. The first two are of lamp designs I used in the garage:

They are rather huge, as you can see.

Then, I added some artwork to make the base a little bit more friendly – it’s not a Picasso, but for a first try on canvas it´s not that bad imho:

There was another, big earthquake in Dasharen. Nobody of the expedition was there, but the seismographs recorded it.
Maybe the quakes are the reason, Dasharen was deserted and left alone – maybe the D’ni who lived there had enough of the constant danger and went to live in a more – convenient age.

Ah, and I forgot: two nights ago, someone again tried to break into one of the sheds at Asheten mansion. But this time, the lock – one of the secure ones we installed after the last incident – didn’t give way. So they – whoever they were – gave up and left.

Unfortunately, the video data isn’t good, you can only see dark silhouettes. But now we know, they are humans, not Bahro. They wore boots and trousers of surface design, so they aren’t D’ni either (unless D’ni trying to fool us by dressing like us… unlikely, yes, but possible.)

The question is – are they other explorers? Members of our own expedition? Looters?

I suggested to let guards patrol the area – without weapons of course, the only guns we have are the hunting rifles Noemi and Clint brought, and we don´t want to start a war down here.
But whoever they are, they won’t be successful again.