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From: "Jumping Spider" <spiderjumping> 
To: <spiderjumping> 
Subject: Days of the Dark Forest - The Journal of Keridwen Oculet
Date: 15 October 2007

CMProtocol@@JStart: Ready 

Days of the Dark Forest - The Journal of Keridwen Oculet 

Day 9: My most interesting recent discovery has been a small blue spider. It 
is quite hairy, the coloring almost cyan but less saturated. The eyes are the 
most interesting feature, dark with colored depths. This is the only spider I 
have ever come across to really take notice of [people] and watch us with what 
I can only call curiosity. The spider moves its head to track us huge 
creatures stumbling around the forest. And if one of us gets too close, the 
spider jumps backward--and continues to watch! Very intriguing. 

Despite the hardships of camping out in this strange forest, I'm enjoying it. 
This is the first time I've really felt challenged to use everything I know, 
not just to perform my research and other duties, but to merely function day 
by day. The hunters are sworn to take care of me, of course, but I take pride 
in not requiring their help. Often. 

Day 10: The leader of the hunters is Davadron Toluin. He's been quite kind, I 
would almost say solicitous, in providing for me. Of course, *I'm* the one 
who's supposed to find out what's edible and what's not in this forest, but 
the hunters perennially do things their own way. I suppose I'll have to treat 
one of them when he eats a bad berry. Still, they have their uses; their 
[tricks] for finding interesting species are almost as good as mine! 

Day 11: I've procured some glass to rig up a primitive terrarium for the 
spiders. The hunters have caught a few for me, but it's hard to keep them 
around so I can study them. The spiders, that is; the hunters don't really 
have any choice in the matter, though I shudder to imagine what *they* think 
of me asking for all these silly blue spiders. I find the creatures so 
intriguing, but I'm not even sure why. 

The hunters tell me there's a type of bee that builds hives in certain trees 
around here. And they say these bees do in fact create honey. *That* should 
prove their worth even to the hunters! 

Day 12: [Expletive] tricky spiders! They can climb right up glass! Who ever 
heard of a spider that can climb glass? I just returned to camp to find the 
last one scurrying up the terrarium and out the top! I'm going to need more 
glass to build a *real* terrarium, [viz.], with a lid. 

Well, I shouldn't fill this journal with silly things like that. The truth is 
that the bees are turning out quite interesting. Good quality honey with a 
distinctive, slightly bitter and almost smoky taste. I'm sure gourmets back 
home will go wild for it. As much as gourmets *ever* go wild! 

What's more interesting to *me* is that the bees only build hives in a certain 
species of tree. The hunters call it a "bee bush"; I guess that's as good a 
name as any, for now. (The bees, of course, are "bush bees". How pointless.) 
Right now I'm getting ready for a field expedition to see these bushes for 
myself. In my copious spare time, of course. 

Day 13: The bush has stiff branches with alternate compound leaves, with nine 
leaflets each. The leaflets are elongated with rounded tips and smooth edges, 
dark green on top and smooth white underneath. These branch-trunks spiral 
upward in a twisty manner I haven't figured out yet, forming a large bush. 
Each bush has what appears to be somewhere between half a dozen and a dozen 
flower stalks, quite stiff, each stretching nearly [a meter] upward. This 
stalk is woody and light brown, with no leaves, but a few odd ridges and 
structures I don't recognize. Atop each stalk is a magenta flower with a wide 
base, myriad short petals and both stamens and pistil in the center. The bees 
are often seen taking nectar from these flowers. 

What's *really* interesting is that the bees build their hives between the 
flower stalks. The stalks are plain, nearly featureless, sticking straight up 
in the air for [a meter]. The hives usually join three of these stalks, as if 
someone had wrapped a [scarf] around the stalks and filled in the area thus 
delineated. Each plant has three hives with startling regularity. The whole 
arrangement is completely bizarre and unlike anything I've ever seen before. 

I had to stop writing because Davadron just brought some amazing news. 

We aren't alone in this forest. 
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CMProtocol@@HEnd: Ready


  • See TheBook, and Coredump for compiled content so far
  • The coded all-caps sections are ROT-17:
LXMN>>          = CODE>>
2ICC1XRE0EAV    = 2ZTT1OIV0VRM    ** sequence 2-1-0

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