Two years ago I accepted a position here in the Durkahl and I already regret it. It’s bad enough that the Durkahl is located in this bloated city of Qi. It’s not that I am unaccustomed to large crowds and urban congestion, having grown up in the City of Bridges with an immodest population of roughly 20,000. The City of Bridges felt very open, being built on the various platforms rising from the ocean. While Qi is a port city, it is still densely populated at half a million people, the sky congested with airships and the tops of structures.
I was offered a position here to work on a teleportation project they would like to see come to fruition. I had recently been working in Beoth, helping to try to create a device to cure the plague called the toothless bile that has afflicted the city. The makeshift Arch of Illness we cobbled together helped us identify those afflicted in order to curb the spread of the plague, but it still persists. Good fortune kept me from coming down with it, but I felt that my fortune was on loan. I decided it was time to pursue studies and research in another location.
I decided to take a sabbatical and pay my mentor Narla Deshu a visit in Dynafel. There was no place for me in Dynafel’s clave, as funding for research had become tenuous due to the politics of King Noren tiKalloban. However, she had told me of several new lines of research being spearheaded by Archbishop Nadret Lann in Qi and they were looking to bolster the number of priests dedicated to the overarching project. At first I was pretty resistant to having to deal with living among such a large population but she assured me the Durkhal was like a small city unto itself and all my needs would be met there. Also the idea of living in a coastal city once again would satisfy my love of swimming, so I agreed.
When I arrived I met with Bishop Kliambala to whom I would be reporting. She explained Pope Durranet’s great initiative to launch a crusade against the Gaians to the north of the Steadfast, challenged by the impediment of the harsh region of the Cloudcrystal Skyfields. The inhospitable desert land is riddled with dune seas of crystal shards as well as extremely hostile and deadly creatures. Bypassing the Cloudcrystal Skyfields by way of sea proved no less dangerous due to the violent and unpredictable tempests, and its share of giant predators that could drag down seafaring vessels. She had proposed to the Archbishop the possibility of bypassing travel by devising a means of teleporting to the Spiritlands of the Gaians.
It was an ambitious promise. She had no notion of how to accomplish building such an installation. She merely assigned me and a couple other priests the task of finding a way to develop the technology. I was introduced to the other two members of our supposed semblage; a young lad whose Order of Truth emblem had not been pinned on long enough ago to have acquired any tarnish, and a woman a handful of years older than me who prattled on about the various claves she was once part of in the Beyond. Working with them proved to be beyond frustrating, and in short order I found myself conducting my research independently.
So in the two years that have since passed, I have found little to further my efforts in working with teleportation. While living in Beoth I encountered a numenera hunter that brought me a cypher to examine and ascertain its possible function. Based on the iotum used to construct it I believed it to have short range teleportation capabilities. I had failed to take notes on its design or the components and I have no recollection as to what would be needed to construct one.
I continue to read all the documentation I can find on teleportation devices, but they are few and rare. I spend most of my time tinkering with other numenera devices that have nothing to do with teleporting and spend more effort and energy finding ways to avoid having to meet with Shleila and Hodru, the other two Aeon Priests in the semblage. I check the marketplaces often for numenera items that enable one to teleport but I come up dry. This is not a common commodity by any means, so I’m never surprised. Examining other cyphers and such helps to stave off boredom but does nothing tokeep Bishop Kliambala from pressing me on my progress. She is growing impatient for answers and I fear I will end up being sent to work in the Black Riage if I don’t give her some tangible news.
During one of my futile attempts to trawl the marketplace for something fitting to my research, one of the vendors mentions a man named Aruss who keeps a shop on the other side of the Market Bridge. She then looks me up and down and says she supposes I would not be his typical client. I inquire as to her assumption and she tells me with raised brows that he is a Selace Merchant . Her expression changes from one of wryness to surprise as I ask for the location of his shop without hesitation.I make my way across the Market Bridge and look for the location matching the description the vendor gave me. I soon found the rather nondescript building fashioned of simple stonework. I would have missed it had I not been looking carefully. I enter the shop to find a middle aged man a head shorter than me, packing a few extra kilograms on his frame due to age and diet. He looks up from the crate of items he sorts through and I introduce myself. I tell him I am looking for items that have teleportation abilities and heard he might be able to help me. He confirms this is the case, first looks at the Order of Truth medallion around my neck, then assesses my physique, nodding appreciatively. He tells me that he has just such an item in his inventory if I am willing to pay. I nod in turn and immediately begin to disrobe, thankful for the shape that my body is in due to my love of swimming, and that it will serve me well to acquire this piece of numenera I have been in need of.