Blanco, The Horse Who Knew The Way Home

…because the rider was drunk in the saddle

 

The Doclopedia #1,004

Out In The Woods: Bottomless Pond

No, young one, the pond in the woods is not actually bottomless. It has been measured, long ago, as being 2,540 feet deep. That is near enough to bottomless for most people.

The pond measures half a mile across and a mile and a half long. The shallow edges give way after a few yards to the sheer drop into the depths. It is there that the kaiju lives, down deep and in the dark.

It is a form of tako, this creature, but very large and possessed of strange tentacles that fork into three smaller finger-like tentacles. It is said to be larger than a large house and the tentacles measure 100 feet each. Master Notoro, in his youth, saw it pull itself from the water to feed upon the 16 Bandits of the Yellow Flower. He said that is remained out of the water for nearly an hour. The arrows and swords of the bandits harmed it not.

That was 100 years ago and nobody has gone into those woods since. Unfortunately, our new Emperor refuses to have any portion of our country ceded to a monster, so it will be up to you and your team to vanquish this great beast. Master Kamaichi assures me that this barrel of chemicals are more than enough to irritate the monster out of the lake. After that, you must use all of your skills and tricks to just stay alive.

How to kill it? Well, after some thought and experimenting, I may have a suggestion. Remember that the kaiju is a fresh water creature and a mollusc. Observe now the effect of salt on this freshwater snail…”

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The Doclopedia #1,005

Out In The Woods: The Lost Shrine

I’m tellin’ you, Jake, it’s there, deep in the Volnov Forest. Professor Tardefsky saw it, back on his expedition in ’28. He was maybe a mile away across the valley, but he described it exactly as Roderick Owens did in 1812. Quartz columns, the fountain, the X

shaped steps to the altar…all there.

And so is the Book Of The Old World, I’m sure of it.

So I need a team to go get it and I figured you, Sparky, Delfina and Colin, plus a half dozen or so local thugs. Maybe more, if word of it has gotten to Mandell or Corinikos. I’ve got Ames watching both of them, so we can get a head’s up.

Yeah, we’ll have to sneak in. Stalin has people watching every possible way into the country. Things will get easier on that count once we’re in Siberia, but we’ll still have to watch our asses. Man, I hate the goddamn commies.

What ya got, Jimmy, a telegram? Here’s a dime.

Son of a bitch! It’s from Ames. Both Mandell and Corinikos have started getting expeditions ready! We’ve gotta act fast now. You get Sparky & Colin while I get Delfina. Buy what you need and I’ll see all of you at the airstrip on Long Island at first light tomorrow.

And Jake? Bring plenty of guns & ammo. This will get dirty fast.”

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The Doclopedia #1,006

Out In The Woods: The Strange Tree

You know, we animals don’t expect you humans to have the same levels of sensory ability that we animals have. We understand that your senses of smell & hearing are not at the same levels as ours. But for the love of Gaia, can’t you see what the Strange Tree look like? The huge size of it? The limbs that sway even on the calmest days? The leathery bark that is always damp? The twitching roots? Everything about the tree screams out DANGER! There is a reason the Strange tree is in a clearing, devoid of any animal or plant life…nothing else can live near it for long.

But you humans keep coming here, so deep in the Great Woods, to look at it and try to…well, I have no idea what you are trying to do.

It is not from our world, that tree. It came here from the sky, inside a stone, back just before the first humans crossed over the Great Ice. It took a very long time to break free of the stone and when it did, it took the lifespans of ten bears to germinate.

Once it was a sapling of three summers, it began eating everything it could catch. The roots and limbs would only have to touch a living creature and it would fall dead. Once the dead were nothing but bones, the bones would be pulled beneath the ground by roots. That is why the soil looks as if it were turned by Friend Gopher.

So I am warning you, human, do not approach the Strange Tree. You will die if you do.”

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