L. Fuchs' Notable Findings: A Compendium — Volume I
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An unpublished volume, found atop a winding, living, bookshelf — believed to be a series of collated curiosities documented by interdimensional cryptozoologist Lady Fuchs.


OPENING

Amidst the countless zoological wonders that permeate the multiverse, there exists that sparse few which incite, in me, the most extreme cases of chronic fascination. I have detailed my encounters with such wonders below, for your reading pleasure.

FIG. 1

THE TREE

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It stood imposingly before me — a dying Crimstree, slowly turning to cold stone as its voice cried out in sodden desperation.

This is the fate all Crimstrees must eventually come to terms with, as I had learned from an intelligent, tendrilled local. The more they sing, the faster their voice will degrade, the faster their branches will droop permanently downward. It seems, despite the inevitability of this consequence, that their singing continues. The Crimstree harmonies were all I could hear on my treacherous way up to the world's island-layer (save for the fierce roaring of the wind, although the air seemed to carry their voices further). It was beautiful, but fundamentally sorrowful; they were all going to wither away soon, very soon, only to be replaced by a new fledgling generation, which would only sing twice as harmoniously.

I managed to capture a lovely thaumic image of this particular Crimstree at the shifting base of a humble sky island, which was suspended high above the barren and lifeless ground. This lifeless ground, which was an all-encompassing, rocky expanse, was the continual subject of the seasonal downpour of dead Crimstree flakes, and was the first scene I was met with as I emerged through the Way. The ground seemed to be letting out its own bellowing voice as they rained down upon it, in sync with the sparsely-placed cities, which emitted their own distinct melodies. Perhaps it is these Crimstree flakes which comprise the ground's widespread ashy regolith.

Romantic, in a way. A world of two distinct parts — one dead, and one alive, both feeding off the other. Such is the nature of this place — always in contrast with itself. I am inclined not to return here. I would not be sighted disturbing such a delicate ecosystem.

FIG. 2

THE WORM

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I could make out its wriggling, but it was the color that I had first noticed.

This specimen, known as the Mindworm to a clade of cephalopodic settlers (who had reportedly also arrived from elsewhere), emerged seamlessly from the mossy undergrowth of a shallow rockpool, as if it had separated itself from the algaeic floor. It moved unpredictably, and reined back its fluttering tail in the close presence of my hand, which I had extended beneath the water after capturing an image.

The Mindworm, as I was soon to realize, attained its curious name from a peculiar ability it possessed. It was able to communicate with one's subconscious. After several seconds of hesitant movement, the Worm leapt forward and made contact with my lower forearm, which was apparently enough for a substantial psychokinetic link to be made.

I was awash with new memories, new experiences, which were not my own. The contents of these experiences are almost incommunicable; it seemed I could grapple with the intricacies of the wider cosmos, even for just a moment. My mind was overcome with understanding, and reasoning, and then— it spoke several words, which I am thoroughly unable to transcribe.

My hand shot out of the water, just as a heavy tide rolled in, and the Mindworm had vanished. I noticed a subtle, hexagonal imprint on my forearm, which has steadily faded over the course of a few solar cycles.

After reporting this experience to a bioluminescent octopoid I had acquainted, I was met with a strange sort of laughter. I believe its subsequent high-pitched squelching translates to an expression of satisfaction, which does not fill me with as much glee as one would hope.

My arm still stings.

FIG. 3

THE STEPPE

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I had summited a harsh slope, only to be met with yet another rolling blue-tinted tundra, extending outwards in all directions. This is the windswept world I had wandered for the past three cycles — a desolate place permanently bathed in the freezing light of three cold suns.

Except this place was not desolate, it only appeared to be. One with an eye for exotic astrozoology would immediately have noticed the shifting, breathing igneous rock, the flecks of large wing-shaped darkness in the hyper-blue sky, and, of course, the rays.

Visible in all directions, positioned just at the horizon, was a cloud of tiny reflective shards, subtly shimmering as they moved. I had noticed them at once, but it took a sizeable battery of observations to confirm that they were, indeed, alive. Some were closer, and some closer still; this allowed me to determine their individual shape. The creatures possessed a triangular body, and several protruding fins. It seemed the reflectiveness could be attributed to a jagged metal or crystalline exoskeleton, though this remains uncertain.

Following this observation, I set out to examine a selection of the other life I'd spotted, as previously mentioned — and came upon something truly unique.

A monolith, composed of what appeared to be a patchy, multi-colored alloy, sat at the edge of a small crevasse. I was cautious to approach; this world had not been exceptionally forthcoming — and so I made only several, careful movements toward it. I stopped when my foot dislodged a chunk of rock, which fell down the crevasse. I did not hear it land.

Although I was not close enough to touch the object, I was able to make some assumptions. It appeared slightly worn, slightly chipped. The more I focused on it, the more imperfections I noticed. It had looked completely geometrically sound earlier. Then my eyes landed on something else. An engraving, I think. It displayed a series of abstract patterns, and part of it resembled fragmentary symbolism from various languages I had adopted, but this, altogether, was something new. I was unable to make sense of it.

I hesitantly stepped forward, attempting to avoid fracture lines, weakpoints, only to be interrupted by an oblique flash in my peripheral vision. I rotated faster than I should have, before (intelligently) backing away from the structure.

I felt that something had changed. I repeated a few of my previous measurements, and determined that the cloud had drawn more than 3 klicks closer. This was enough to compel me to leave, after hurriedly snapping a rather unreflective thaumic image.

I will not visit this place again.

CONTINUED IN VOLUME II

LF

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