The Ballad of the Lion and the Dragon

Observation Journal #4: South-bound Journey

Entry #1

Recent turn of events have inspired me to write an observational journal for a trip south of my current location of Kyotara, the capital of the Nihonshu island-nation in the east. During my journey, I will be traveling with a group of travelers to our destination, some of which are of races that I’ve only detailed before previously through the studies and second hand experiences of other scholars and alchemists like myself. This is a rare opportunity to directly observe racial interaction on a small scale as well as gain first hand experience with each race’s particularities, though there will undoubtedly be other recordings of whatever else crosses our paths. My initial two days with the group has already shed some light on what I might expect from them.

First is the one that proposed the journey and asked for my aid, Minh Ai. Her stature would suggest that she is a species of Faen, most likely of the Loresong variety judging from her mannerisms and interests. She seems to be a practitioner of Feng Shui as well as typical tarot readings (demonstrated when determining our group’s composition and direction). The accuracy of her statements remain to be seen, but doubt will come only after results. So far there is no clues as to any knowledge of defending herself; possibly prefers flight to fight, though magic may not be out of the question as her mystic mannerisms may hint at. Physically, she seems to be typical of her kind; no major abnormalities in hair, skin, or eyes. An opportunity my arise later for a closer inspection, but I will respect her privacy otherwise. As for her personality, she seems more reserved than most Faen, but considering their history it’s not too unusual for them. Still, it is a detail worth keeping an eye on.

Next is the Yueren that arrived about the same day I did (according to a regular of my services), Ukita Genji. A male Yueyinren (an incredibly rare sight these days), he seems to bear all the usual traits (physical and mental) of his particular Yueren Clan; refer to journal #2 for more details. While haughtier than most in our group, he is more than likely the most knowledgeable here besides myself, and quite possibly the more capable if he has taken to the magical disciplines his Clan tends to favor; no proof of this yet, though context clues within his clothing and mannerisms strongly suggest this is so. While violent confrontations should be avoided in general, I will look forward to his capabilities in combat situations. His physical appearance and speech imply that he’s well versed in social situations. This skill will more than come in handy for the journey ahead. Apart from the unusual male phenotype, no overly noticeable physical or mental abnormalities. Again, opportunities may present themselves for a closer examination; privacy will be respected when asked. Worth noting that I have yet to notice any adverse reaction to sunlight usually present in his Clan, though it could simply be him wanting to “act tough.”

Our next subject for observation is a seemingly rare sight for the local area (though not in general), a female Mandragoran. The caste name “Dasa” and numerous headvines places her easily within her society at initial glance. [For my initial encounter with Mandragorans, see Journal #2; General details of their bodies and society in Journal #3.] A healthy specimen of her race, Dasa’s skin has a blueish-green tint; this is within the normal skin pigmentation of her kind. Her interests in gambling and chance are noticeable traits unusual to most, if not all Mandragorans, though seemingly harmless for the time being. Her quite numerous and lengthy headvines (accurate measurements unavailable at this time but appears roughly 2/3rds to 3/4ths of her body height) appear to have the prehensile and sensitive qualities normal for her kind, though personal concerns note the willingness to touch others with them. I recently saw her sift through one of our companions belongings as she held him in a friendly manner, however seemingly nothing was disturbed. [Note to self: Warn Dasa about the varied medicines in my possession that may adversely affect her should she feel the need to do something similar to me.] No noticeable physical or mental abnormalities at this time, though she seems to be more full bodied than what is usual for her kind (in a way that would please most males of compatible coupling), it is still within recorded deviations and not a sign of degenerative disease. Dasa’s spores perform as one familiar with her kind would expect, though her social skills are impressive in tandem with the scent as demonstrated with the companion mentioned earlier. [Additional note to self: Test the effects of incense and other scent based medicines in regards to counteracting the spores.]

An unusual companion for our journey is Koizumi Akira. Local blacksmith and once loyal samurai to the previous local Shogun, has been a resident here for roughly 80 years and still looks healthy and in his prime. I have known him for a while as he is a repeat customer to my services and I’m a valued drinking partner to him. He claims that he is human, though observations show otherwise as he seems to have physical characteristics of Dahren. However, as he’s been exposed more to Humans than Dahren during his development, it may have left an imprint on him to believe he is such. That said, having outlived the Lord he served has led him to believe he is cursed. I have considered telling him my suspicions of his true heritage, but I decided to wait until he has met with other Dahren to aid in my reasoning and possibly avoid upsetting him immensely. His strength and size should help in deterring any assailants we come across on our journey. The only unusual physical traits that I deem unusual for what I suspect is his race are his red hair and fullness, not to mention thickness, of facial hair; something other Dahren would certainly be impressed about. Mentally sound, though personality differs greatly from usual Dahren, more than likely due to predominately human influence throughout lifetime. I will keep an eye on his mental state as we make this journey.

Finally, a truly rare sight among us, not to mention most of the continent, a western foreigner by the name of Nevan Vexille. While some trade has been established with the newly discovered Western Continent, never have I seen a foreigner this far east of the trade cities. His purpose here is a mystery for the time being and something I’ll be sure to find out. Fortunately, we’re able to communicate clearly; I am thankful for my dedication to my alchemical studies to such degree as to trade and decipher foreign studies in my search. That said, he will be an interesting case to study, even for a human. Humans of the foreign lands tend to exhibit slight, yet noticeable differences in physical phenotype from the local humans. From my studies, limited as they are, it may have to do with the difference in environment and quite possibly culture as they tend to place personal achievements over family honor (among other things), possibly resulting in features more favorable in such conditions. So far, the difference in local customs is making it a little hard for him to adjust to our culture; such things as treating people with immediate familiarity is off putting to most people, much to his confusion. It is my hope to bring him up to speed on what he needs to know, though that will largely depend on how much he’s willing to learn. Dasa appears to take a liking to him though, and it seems the feeling is mutual despite not sharing the same language. Taller and sturdier than most local humans and seemingly of sound mind (though upbringing my bring about differences in judgement), he is a wild card within this group; one which is best kept with us or at least me as we’re the only ones so far willing to understand him.

I will continue documenting in this journal their behaviors and activities between each other (and myself) and in reaction to significant events that occur during our journey. I will also document any and all unusual creatures or people I meet along the way. With any hope, I may come one step closer in understanding myself.

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Sai_Kitty Mr_Thinkamancer

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