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Diary of an Angler

A topic by Gergely Polonkai created Mar 22, 2018 Views: 547 Replies: 29
Viewing posts 1 to 30
(2 edits) (+1)

Iʼm Dareon of Pondward, and this is my diary (duh).

My parents are fisherfolks and I always wanted to follow their footsteps. We have an old custom that everyone must create their first fishing rod which I always fail, as my fingers are… well, not so nimble. But today I found an awesome pole. Itʼs made of wood so fine I never saw anything similar. The line seems to be made of the best silk one can get. The hooks are shiny like gold. Itʼs plain awesome.

My parents are a bit worried because it was in a cave next to a skeleton, but guess what! I got my first catch in a minute with it! And I didnʼt reel in some junk like most kids do. It was a fish! A real bass the size of a cart! OK, it wasnʼt bigger than my palm, but Mom cooked it and it was great.

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[17 days later] 

I just started this diary and I already skipped almost 3 weeks writing in it. Who knew fishing is this hard?

I also got back to the cave where I found my rod. Turns out there are more treasure there than the rod like bait boxes and a small pouch full of hooks. I found some torn pages, too. As it seems the skeleton guy was a famous angler looking for his next big catch. Unfortunately, most of the pages decomposed in the damp cave, but I found some notes about a hidden pond near the village. I must find it.

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[One week later]

Last week was pretty good. I caught a lot of things, even fish.

I got three partly rotten leather shoes, all for my left foot. I can probably use the remains to make a medium sized pouch if I can somehow get rid of the smell. I also got a spoon, a box for bait in a pretty good condition, a really nice fish bone collection, and a porcelain plate. I wonder how that got in our pond, no one in our village has such a wealth. I also donʼt know how it got on my hook, as it perfectly intact, no holes anywhere. Maybe this rod of mine is a lucky one.

[The next day]

Today I got a silver spoon. I really suspect this rod is special somehow. I must get back to the cave, maybe the skeleton guy has some more notes.

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[3 days later]

I finally had the opportunity to pay another visit in the cave. I searched every corner to find nothing but a leather bag. Itʼs suspiciously intact given the humid air of the place. Inside were a bunch of papers with recipes and blueprints. Too bad most materials canʼt be found around our village. Also too bad Iʼm this clumsy. I donʼt think I will ever be able to make anything of these.

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[5 days later]

I brought back todayʼs catch to the cave. I decided to roast and eat them here alone. I found some herbs on my way here so I added it to the fish. It tasted good. Not as good as Mom does, but in these I also taste victory.

Iʼm getting uneasy sitting besides a skeleton for hours. Maybe I should put him to rest. Next time I bring a shovel.

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[Two days later]

I brought the shovel, but digging in a rocky cave is much harder than I thought. I managed to make a hole big enough that all the bones fit. When I took the first bone the skeleton rattled and collapsed. For the Sacred Fish, I was never scared that much. I screamed from the top of my lungs for a minute. I hope no one heard.

Finally I put the old guy to rest, I even made an improvised tombstone. Too bad I donʼt know his name, so I just wrote “The Unknown Fisherman”.

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[3 days later]

After all this hassle, I decided to make this cave my own. Not that I want to run away from home, but it’s a nice place to be. Damp, but nice.

I cleaned up a bit, and found some other possessions of the old angler: a ring and a necklace. The necklace has a small metal fishbone medalion on it. It looks great on me. I had a strange shiver when I put it on, but nothing actually happened, so it stays.

The ring is a bit weird, though. It has some strange symbols on it I never saw before, so I just hid it for now.

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[two weeks later]

Since I put Mr. Fisherman to his grave, I catch much more fish. Even more than our most experienced people. They catch a lot of junk; it’s scary how much gargabe the river brings. It is also strange, as there are no towns further up the river. It’s just mountains there. And Pondward definitely doesn’t have this much trash.

Anyway, people began to suspect I’m under some blessing and I feel a bit uncomfortable everyone talking about me.

[three days later]

Today is my 16th birthday. As a present my dad patched up the bait box I caught last month and Mom baked me a fish shaped cake. Iʼm all grown up now, they say, and they are proud of me being able to provide for myself — even if I can only provide fish.

As a present, I decided to put on Mr. Fishermanʼs ring. I read enough tales not to do it and I really hope it wonʼt turn me into a skeleton, but if it does, dear anyone who reads this note, please donʼt put it on. So, here it goes!

Well, nothing happened. Except some mild tickling feeling in my hands. It looks good. Pretty, even. Not too manly, though. Still, itʼs a nice present from Mr. Fisherman.

[the next day]

My dad and Mom was a bit suspicious about my new ring. I lied to them that I caught it in the pond. I feel really bad about lying to them, but it felt much better than starting a fight. But Mom knows me all too well so I had to spit the truth.

We all agreed that I should travel to Dewharbor to check their archives. Maybe I can dig something up about Mr. Fisherman. Tomorrow Iʼll send a message to Aunt Edna, I hope I can stay with them for a few days.

[ten days later]

It took some time for the reply to come back, but Aunt Edna agreed to be my host for a week or so. She also asked me if I can get some herbs on my way as Uncle Bob is a bit sick.

I depart tomorrow. Given Iʼm pretty short on money, I go on foot. I hope I bump into a caravan that can give me a lift. If not, I can gather ten times the amount of herbs Edna needs.

[the next day]

There I go, off to Dewharbor. Iʼm actually camping after a good dayʼs walk. I thought I will fall asleep as soon as I lie down but I was wrong. I canʼt stop thinking about Mr. Fisherman. Who was he? How did he got in that cave? How come no one knows about him? What did he do there? Did he find that secret pond? Will I find anything about him in Dewharbor? Did he have a family? Was h [scribbles as the writer fell asleep]

[the next day]

I collected the herbs Edna needed and much more. I stashed it in the recipe bag I found in my cave for now to keep them dry, but I will have to buy some leather pouches for this purpose.

I tried to make one out of those boots I caught. It doesnʼt look as bad as my old creations. Pretty, even. I like to think itʼs because of my ring.

[the next day]

I already see the lights of Dewharbor. This was a nice trip, but I hope I can make it onto a cart on my way back.

[the next day]

Auth Edna is kind as always. She made the medicine to Uncle Bob, and even taught me how to do it. Then she cooked a meal I will probably never forget. Mom is a great cook, but Aunt Edna is a real artist when it comes to food.

Uncle Bob wants to bring me fishing early in the morning. He said if my rod is really as lucky as I say, I should catch plenty of fish.

[the next day]

Oh boy, this was a trip. We sailed out to the ocean. Uncle had some nice catch, but it was nothing next to mine. I caught fish enough for a week! We had to come back early because we ran out of bait.

Some merchants in port offered a good sum of money for mine and I agreed. Maybe I should become a professional, itʼs easy money here.

I agreed to lend my rod to Uncle tomorrow while I visit the archives. If the rod is enchanted, he must have the same luck.

[the next day]

I didnʼt find anything in the archives. The guy who manages the place said itʼs close to impossible to find someone without a name. So in my spare time I visited the local library.

I found the symbols on my ring in an old book. It seems it enhances my dexterity. So yes, that pouch became that good because of the ring. Awesome. Unfortunately I couldnʼt find anything on the necklace. I wonder if it has anything to do with my luck in catching fishes.

Uncle said the rod might be really enchanted as he caught a lot of things today, more than he usually does. But there was a lot of trash in it, too. He even caught a reel. A few drops of oil and itʼs as good as new.

[the next day]

News spread about my lucky rod. A nice lady asked me to fish up her ring from the fountain in the market square. I thought sheʼs kidding and prepared myself to jump in the fountain but she warned me itʼs deeper and more dangerous than I think.

So I sit there for two hours fishing. In a fountain. I will probably never forget those strange glares I got. At the end I caught two left boots, both in pretty good condition, a bunch of kelp, a rusty fork, a gold fish, and finally the ring.

The good lady gave me a small cauldron in return. She said she used to be a witch, but she doesnʼt need it any more. I donʼt believe the “used to be” part, but the cauldron is nice.

[the next day]

Thereʼs a big storm outside all day. Oceanside storms are much bigger than at home, no wonder why they make their houses of stone. Having no chance to get to the see, I went back to the library. I studied some old symbols, like the ones I found on the witchʼs cauldron. I wonder if I could make some items, like a lucky charm.

I also found some notes about the hidden pond near Pondward, probably the same Mr. Fisherman was looking for. It is said to be deep in a cave. I need to go back there.

[the next day]

As the storm is still here, I tried to make some magical items based on the symbols I learned yesterday. I had no luck, so despite the strong winds and the rain I tried my luck visiting the witch.

She was at home and taught me a secret I canʼt write here as it would cost my life. With her aid I was able to create a charm on my own. We were both surprised that I got it for the first try. Now I only have to wait until the storm passes so I can test if it really works.

[three days later]

I sent a letter home Iʼm not coming home yet. As I didnʼt find anything of Mr. Fisherman I decided to look in Deep gate. A travelling merchant agreed to bring me there on his cart for a few scales. Maybe I will also find out why my charm didnʼt work, as it bugs me a lot.

Meanwhile I have fixed up the reel Uncle Bob caught the other day. It will come in handy if my rod gives up, even though it doesnʼt seem like it needs repairs any time soon.

[two days later]

Note to self: never travel with strangers again. The so called merchant took my money, escorted me for a day, stole all my other money during the night, and left me in the wilds.

To get me some food I wanted to fish at the oceanside, and I lost my hook. Then my hook box fell to the sand, so about half of my reserves is also lost. This day shouldnʼt have happened at all.

And I donʼt even have an idea which way to go. That thief told me to travel along the shore as itʼs shorter, but at some places itʼs so rocky I must go deeper in the mainland. I try to sleep and decide tomorrow if I head back to Dewharbor instead.

[the next day]

I turned North, and in an hour of walk I reached the road. After todayʼs travel I donʼt feel any closer to Deepgate, but at least I travel on the road, safe from the wildlife.

[the next day]

Tomorrow I must head back to the ocean. My food supplies are getting low as I prepared for faster travel with that filthy merchant. As I have no hunting gear, I must go fishing instead.

[the next day]

Iʼm back at the bay now. Itʼs much more calm than the forest was, and I got food enough for a few days. The shore is rocky here so I will need to get back to the road tomorrow.

[two days later]

Yesterday I joined a caravan, also heading to Deepgate. They allowed me to hop on a cart in exchange for my fish. They said we will pass by a pond in a day or two in case I want to refill my reserves.

They are a bunch of hearty fellows travelling town to town, playing music and make theater, then go to the next town. I wonder what made them choose this lifestyle.

[the next day]

We have arrived at the pond. What pond, itʼs a big lake, and itʼs full of fish! The caravan leaders agreed to stay here for a day so they can fill their reserves of food and water. Some guys will go hunting early in the morning and I will go fishing with another group.

[two days later]

The fishing went really well. I helped filling up the caravan’s caches, for what they were truly grateful.

I also met this girl, Mili. We talked so much during the night and this morning I didn’t even have time to write in my diary. Probably because of the alcohol, but I mentioned Mr. Dead Guy. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, though; she told me her mother talked about a miraculous fisherman whose name was… Dareon! I’ll look into it in Deepgate.

[two days later]

This girl keeps me amazed. She shares my enthusiasm about the dead guy she even went through her childhood drawings and notes. She uncovered a sketch her mother did of that other Dareon’s medallion, and it matches the one I found.

We got so excited we hugged each other, and then something happened. It was like I’ve been shocked by an electric eel, and we just stood there, staring into each other’s eyes, our faces got closer, noses touching. Then we kissed. Passionately, long, like there’s no tomorrow. Today when we woke up, we were still hugging each other.

We have finally arrived to Deepgate. Whoa, this is a fine town! As it turns out, some of the caravan members run a travelling circus. They plan to stay for a week or so to get some money and buy medicine, herbs, and other stuff they can't gather or make on the road.

Mili came with me to the archives to dig through the records of all people called Dareon. Fortunately my name is somewhat rare. We found only two residents, but both of them died in the town long ago, and neither of them have anything about fishing in their records.

We have finally arrived to Deepgate and whoa, this is a fine town! As it turns out, part of the caravan members run a travelling circus. They plan to stay for a week or so to get some money and buy medicine, herbs, and other stuff they can't gather or make on the road.

Mili came with me to the archives to dig through the records of all people called Dareon. Fortunately my name is somewhat rare. We found only two residents, but both of them died in the town long ago, and neither of them have anything about fishing in their records.

[the next day]

We went to the market with Mili and a few others. When Mili shouted my name to show me something, an old woman approached me murmuring my name and that how I resemble “him”. Then she invited me and Mili to her shack where she apologised for her behaviour. She then told us about Dareon the legendary fisherman. According to her, this guy alone could catch as many fish as a well trained group on a boat. When he cast his angle, fish swarmed the bay to be caught. He must have been the chosen one of the Great Fish, or so she told.

Unfortunately, he left the town after a few weeks. He was generous with the townsfolk, but he was looking for some “bigger catch”, whatever it might have been.

[the next day]

After yesterdayʼs exciting talk with that old lady, Mili and I started questioning the elderly people of Deepgate. Most of them remember Dareon the Lonesome Fisherman. Some called him the Mad Angler. He came from Riverhaven, but everyone doubts he was born on the mainland. Some said he might have came from the sea, being the son of the Great Fish.

[the next day]

Today we ran out of old people to ask sometime around noon so we went to the shore. This bay is beautiful, almost as beautiful as Mili. We found a heap of huge stones forming a natural fort. Mili started mocking me, calling me Mr. Mad Angler with a mischievous smile on her face. I tried to catch her but she fled and hid inside the fort. When I went after her she grabbed me and held me close, asking me to promise I won't become a mad angler myself. I did, and we sealed it with a kiss.