Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Short Update

We finally were able to escape the Chief's eyes for long enough to slip into the sacred dwelling...Thanks to Honani and his willingness to jump headfirst into a situation.
We were sitting by a very small and, what I thought was well concealed, fire. Honani was leaning up against a tree on the perimeter, making us more waterskins, when a quick shadow crossed the camp. All of us dropped down and grabbed whatever weapons were nearby. First thing I thought was that we were on some ancestral spirit ground by accident, and they didn't like it. I was quickly corrected when an arrow glanced off a tree branch three feet from Chumana's head. Honani dashed off into the darkness in the direction of the arrow.
Running Bear yelled at him to stop and tried to give chase, but was stopped in his tracks by another arrow lodging itself in his shoulder.
Arrows continued to bounce off of the ground and trees around us as Chumana and I tried to tend Running Bear's arm. Then, a pained howl and the arrows stopped.
Moments later Honani limped back into the firelight, a knife sticking out of his calf and blood staining the white stripe in his hair."He's unconscious. Now is our chance. Zia, how far?"
I said nothing, but motioned for everyone to grab as much of our supplies as they could carry. The site wasn't far...I'd been circling it for weeks looking for a way in past the Chief that wouldn't alert him to the spot, and bring his ill-intent into a sacred place.
We managed to get all but a few things that could be replaced...Twenty minutes later we descended the hidden ladder into one of Mesa Verde's treasured secrets.

So far the spirits seem to be okay with us residing here. I will speak with some one night soon, to discover more about their terms of our stay. Until I do this, we've been sleeping in what would have been a public-use area...no sense in angering someone by walking into their house like we own the place.

Now that we aren't running for our lives, I can interview Chumana and Honani more about their father's dealings...And continue to try to decipher this strange legend.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Honani, The Badger

My father is an idiot of the worst kind. He refuses to subdue his pride, refuses to admit he's wrong. I'm not buying in to what the rest of this camp says just yet, though I do find Chumana's story disturbing. What I find more disturbing is that the honored chief of a village could be so stuck in human affairs, that he would exile his own wife and children is some desperate far-flung attempt to save face and save power. 
Oh, right. Zia says I'm supposed to introduce myself. Call me Badger, or Honani if you like saying interesting names. I'm sure you can guess the name: My spirit animal is the fierce badger. Stopping at nothing, fighting until the very end, very grounded. I struggle with the spirit realm, which is probably why I'm the resident skeptic of the group.
I'm the only one the spirits didn't seem to affect that Halloween night. I mean sure, I felt sick and lost a few hours, but that happens in the desert on long journey with little water. Heat stroke does things like that., people. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Where shall I begin, but to tell you of myself? I am Chumana, the Snake Maiden. I am called this because when I was born,  a viper of the desert rest itself next to me but did not strike. The snake is my guardian. Most fear him, but I respect his ways. The snake is a curious creature, but not the creature of evil he is made to be. 
I am Running Bear's sister. I do not know why he calls himself of that name, but he forbids me speak his true name. I chose to run with him because of the darkness that is within my father. I shall now tell you a tale of our family's downfall, and why it is so important he never find us.

About seven cycles ago, my father came home with some words written on a piece of paper. He said they were from a young boy passing through, a boy with no hand. He said that the had been divinely inspired to pass along a legend long forgotten, and had lost his hand in pursuit but gained enlightenment. He refused to give his name, calling himself only "The Emissary". Father read these words and soon began to act very strangely. He would remain awake late at night, rereading. He would go out into the night and sometimes not return until daybreak. At first he seemed fearful of the night, but as time passed on, he changed. 
Our mother one night while he was gone stole the papers from a hidden hole on our wall. She read them herself, and the very next morning confronted him.I confess, I do not know what transpired in the conversation. But every night thereafter, my mother also began to consume herself in reading the words The Emissary left behind.
A cycle and a half later, the symbol started appearing. My father became more and more agitated, my mother, more paranoid. She began to refuse my father's company. She held a meeting with a few elders and told them what she had read and seen. They ignored her, of course. And then, father discovered the symbol in their bedchamber and perceived it to be the ultimate abandonment.
He forced her out of the house, on a journey of purification. Or, so he said. 

But I caught him talking in his sleep, two nights before Running Bear and Zia returned. He mentioned the box dwelling, sending her there to be "Remade". And that he was sorry he had failed. Then he screamed, and awoke, and ran from the house.

I am resigned to the fact that Zia is right about this. That there is more to it than a broken life symbol. When something is worshiped as this figure was in the dwelling....It is bigger than a legend. But what if it is real? My father then serves a false god of death.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In which this blog almost came to an abrupt end.

I wish I was joking about the title. I was so preoccupied with getting to Mesa Verde and avoiding the Chief and his friends that I sort of forgot the day. October 31st. The Day of the Dead, Halloween, The Beginning of the Winter Calendar..Whatever you call it, one thing is certain. It is a day for precaution. Why anyone celebrates it is beyond me, but maybe that is just my experience with the spirit world talking. All I know is, Halloween is the day the veil between the living world and the realm of the ancestors grows very thin. It is a day of transition, leaving everything vulnerable.

We were walking through an empty stretch of desert, we didn't really have a choice but to cross this open patch of ground. It was nearing midnight, the darkness was covering us almost completely. It was decided that we'd go at it at a slow run, spaced out. We were almost exactly halfway across the stretch when Running Bear crumpled to the ground.  Naturally I thought the Chief had shot him. We've managed to stay only a half a step in front of the bastard this whole time. He's attacked us twice already with no real damages, but..I can't enter Mesa Verde until I've lost him. I can't let him find my place. It...is too sacred for the evil he would bring there.

Running Bear's sister screamed and ran to him. She rolled him over and...his face...He looked frightened. "Spi...Spirit...." Spirit? A spirit did this? And then I remembered. It's October 31st, and we're on potentially active ancestral ground.  I don't know what happened here in ancient days. I know little about what happened anywhere, unless I get a friendly spirit to talk. And this one obviously wasn't feeling friendly.

Running Bear's brother then spoke up. First time I ever heard him say a thing. "Zia. Look. Look around us. The dead walk."

Holy. Fucking. Hell. You know the saying "When Hell is full the dead walk the earth"? Yeah well. It has truth rooted in the legends. All of us were enveloped by a literal wall of spirits. Unhappy ones. Screaming voices, cursing, howling...It was painful. Soon, all of us were on the ground on our knees, hands pressed against our ears. They assailed us from all sides. I don't know how many of you have ever been physically attacked by something not completely of the physical world, but, it is decidedly unpleasant. And can be deadly in the long term. And it's hard to fight back.

Pain. Unnatural pain. Oh, it hurt..
And then they disappeared as quickly as they had come.  I looked up at the sky. Blessed daylight. The sun was rising. Oh, thank you Great Father.. And then I realized something.

We'd been in the same spot, under attack by these strange spirits, for almost five hours.

Monday, October 24, 2011


This went almost as I expected it. Almost. Running Bear and I traveled back to his village to warn his family and village that there is eyewitness evidence that something terrifying is going on. And that a poor woman got caught up in it and was wrongfully accused of blaspheming and dishonor. I understand Running Bear's wish to have his mother's honor reinstated, but...this trip was potential suicide for both of us.
     I didn't enter the village with him at his request. I wouldn't have gone anyway~this is his fight, not mine. But I couldn't entirely help myself, and I hope he forgives me for this...But, I went to a safe spot about a half mile away from the village and entered the spirit state. I walked into the village, and took a place atop the roof of the meeting hall, which is where (I'll call him Chief) chose to meet his son. I could tell from that that this wasn't going to go well. As the eldest son of the village chief, he was more than entitled to talk to his father in the privacy of his former home regardless of the news.
     But his father  refused, and demanded a tribal hearing. Running Bear asked for a compromise, with his family and the elder board being the only attendees. I'll hand it to Running bear for thinking on the fly like that..The whole village would have been chaotic. So, here I was, on the roof in spirit form, listening and watching through the smoke hole in the roof. 
     And it got ugly fast. Bear asked for ten minutes of uninterrupted time for three specific goals: To defend his mother's honor, to explain his absence and journey, and to address the elders and his family specifically. The last means that the chief cannot interject during the specific address. His father actually stood and threw down his ceremonial spear at this. Not even five minutes in, and there is a violent act on the horizon.
     His requests were granted, with a two minute limit placed on his last request. He got right to the point, telling pieces of the legend that we confirmed, talking about his journey. I couldn't help but smile when he talked about how we met. When he started talking about our travels though...Things became very heavy. 
    The Chief's face got redder and redder as Running Bear talked..I could tell that he had familiarity with some of the explanations that were given, involving the symbol and pieces of the legend. I could also tell that either he dismissed them as garbage or...he was unwilling to admit that his son might be on to to something. But no, that would mean admitting he was wrong. Pride and fear would never let him do that. Chief angrily let his son know that the time for explaining was over, and that his two uninterrupted minutes would begin now.
     Running Bear switched gears. He walked right over to his brothers and sisters. "Look, guys, I know you think I'm a dishonorable son who fled his village and defied his father. That's what you've been fed. But now you heard the story from me. All I ask is that you decide what you believe for yourselves. And if you believe me, do one thing for me. Protect yourselves, protect each other, and protect the people. You might not ever see me again, but if you ever need me, you can find me.
    He signaled that he was done, and then sat down. It was obvious what was coming. Or...I thought so. What happened next, I did not expect. 
Chief: "Running Bear, so you call yourself, you are challenged to a fight to submission or death as per tribal law. You have made a scene of this family and have stained our reputation. If you submit  you will be executed, as is fitting for a traitor like yourself.  You will be struck from our family record forever and your spirit will have no home. What say you?"
Running Bear: "By honor I accept, and by right I claim my life and safe passage for myself  and my friend should I triumph. By victory I also claim the right of my mother to be reinstated into this tribe. Name your ground or your weapons."
Chief: "Your terms are blasphemy!"
Elder: "No, Chief, they are within his rights to ask. Calm your spirit."

     The Chief lost it at this. He started knocking things and people to the ground, screaming about  how his tribe and his family had deserted him. He then turned on Running Bear, jamming the ceremonial spear into his shoulder. I could take it no longer. I returned to my physical self and ran for the village. By the time I got there, though, The Chief had been subdued by the Elders. Three were injured, two of which were Running Bear's siblings. Twins,  a boy and a girl. An elder turned to us and said, "Run, get yourselves clear of this village. This man is Chief no longer, but the vengeance in his heart is strong. I feel a darkness within him. Go."
     Running Bear's siblings looked at us then, all five of them. The decision was theirs to make. Run or Stay. Either was dangerous. In the end, three ran and two stayed. The twins asked to come with us, while the third sister fled alone.

So we have two new companions, making our way to a hidden site in Mesa Verde. I've known it all my life, and I've never seen signs of another soul there. We'll be safe as soon as we get there. It's getting there that's the problem.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Going home

Running Bear here,

I'm going home to confront my father with the facts. He destroyed my family. He accused my mother of an evil act of blasphemy. That symbol...that symbol has nothing to do with refusal to bear children! It's much, much worse. But did he help her, no, he sent her away and condemned her to die. I tried to find her and save her. But I couldn't, I failed, but it's his fault and he needs to know it.

Zia says I won't be doing any good except getting myself formally banished and maybe run off. I don't care at this point, I have to get this off my chest. I don't really know what's going to happen. I don't even know if he will talk to me.

But if there's any chance at all that this...whatever this figure is...If it could go after my family, I have to warn them. My mother...might have connected the family to It somehow. If  this thing is a spirit...I don't know. Zia doesn't know. But my family has to be warned even if its the last time I ever see them alive again.

Wish us luck, we'll be there in a couple of days.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


We entered the box at first light yesterday. It took both Running Bear and I to lift the hidden door once we pried the latch free. It was almost as if someone had tried to glue it closed.
Those words...."This is where tragedy begins"..They set me on edge from the moment I saw them. Both of the people I investigated had been here. One is still missing and the other...Well, you know what happened there.
Their tragedies did indeed, if not begin, at least intersected with this place. This box with no windows and a hidden opening, this relic of the ancient world hidden away in the darkness.

Once the door was opened,  there were stairs leading down into complete darkness. We lit torches and walked slowly downwards, noticing the changes in the rock as we descended. It quickly went from the soft brown  typical of this area to a much harder and slightly darker rock...Then we noticed that every single stair had the too-familiar (X) carved into it... And the outer walls....someone had painted them darker, and darker the farther down the stairs we went. By the time we hit the last stair, the walls were solidly black.

We reached the bottom stair, and stepped into the room...And it became readily apparent what the purpose of this structure is. A temple, with a dedication to something quite familiar and.

Along the floor, there was a large depiction of that dreaded symbol, again. But in the center of the X was a 5-foot high stand, and on that stand, a carved statue of the figure with no face.On the four faces of the stand, in an ancient language, were the words "The One Who Is".

Running Bear started throwing up. I felt it then, an overwhelming urge to panic and flee. I felt the taint pressing against my skin. The figure it was coming from the figure the taint the figure they are linked all of this is linked..

Then Running Bear screamed and pointed to the wall. A shadow, spirits save us, a shadow with four arms, what was casting that shadow how was there a shadow I don't know have to run flee before it catches us

We ran up the stairs and dragged the door shut, fled the cave. We're almost out of Chaco, stopping just long enough to eat and post. I don't rightly know where we're off to yet, just know that we have to get out of this canyon.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Box

We made it down into the cavern..We climbed down the side of the cliff face early this morning to avoid the glare from the morning sun reflecting off of the pale walls. The entrance and passageway were much smaller than the old spirit's vision led me to believe. He must have been a smaller man in his time..

When we arrived, though, I could not believe the size of the cavern room itself. I didn't spend much time looking at it when the spirit showed it to me, but I didn't imagine it would be this large. I mean...the ceiling of the room has to be at least 40 feet above my head, and the oddly circular room must be at least 30 feet in diameter. And that box...What a strange and creepy object of the ancient world. As I said before, it is completely windowless, and at a glance, has no entrance. I wonder as to how the ancients even found this cavern, much less bothered to build a dwelling here. It is some sort of temple I assume...

We also found undeniable proof that we aren't the only ones to come here, and recently.. The old spirit spoke of a young boy and a wandering woman....I think I know who they are. The grandson, and Running Bear's mother..I found a necklace lying on the ground at the southern tip of the box. I showed it to him, not expecting him to gasp and fall to the floor..

~~That's...that belonged to my mother...I made it for her just before I left on my sacred journey to manhood. I made it so that she and I would share a physical link, so she would stop being afraid. She was here...
~She is the wandering woman, then..I wonder if the grandson is the young boy.. I wonder if he left anything behind.

Running Bear soon located what he had left behind. His hand. There were skeletal remains of a hand two steps to the left. On the hand was a ring with the symbol of the boy's tribe. This is, gruesomely enough, how he also located the hidden entrance to the box. Underneath the hand was a primitive latch hidden in the rock. In a circle around the latch were words in a very ancient Puebloan language..

When translated, they read:   This is where tragedy begins

Monday, September 26, 2011

Of the spirits

I walked among them today. Yes, I found spirits outside the sphere. Which tells me a few things. One, the spirits within it are either blocked or indeed have disappeared. I am not sure which would be worse. Two, I myself am not under a filter. Three, that the mysterious box dwelling is within this sphere. And four, something is causing enough of a disturbance in the spirit energy of this place to create a very noticeable field. In this case, a field almost completely devoid of energy. The boundary of the thing is as clear to trace as a mountain range on a map.

As soon as I exited this strange field, I immediately felt the pressure of presences...They were...Not hostile, exactly. Agitated is a better description. I reached out to the one with the strongest energy.

~Spirit of the land, what troubles thee?
~~It Comes. It Steals. Madness, Fear. Many are Taken.
~Who is taken?
~~Many are, spirits and souls, a young boy and a wandering woman.
~Can you tell me where to find the dwelling?
~~ Do you wish to lose yourself, little spirit?
~I only seek to know, old spirit.
~~To know is to die.
~I thought that knowledge brought life to the People.
~~This knowledge comes from the Under-realms. This knowledge forbids life. 
~Old spirit, my traveling companion lost his mother to madness. She drew a symbol in her flesh, the circle of life barred by an X. 
~~(The spirit becomes very agitated now) That symbol belongs to The One That Should Not Be. Speak no more of it.
~Old spirit, I need to find this box dwelling. Please help me find it?
~~I will show you as I have showed many, little wanderer.

My mind fades to black, and suddenly I am shown my camp. The ground rushes 30 feet to the north, where there is an abrupt drop-off. Down the drop we go, 40 feet down to a crack in the rock not visible from either above or below. Into the crack the scene rushes, 25 feet back into the rock, and the scene opens to a roomy cavern. In the center is the box, a story high and windowless.

I woke up a half hour ago, in my own body. I have no recollection of how or when I returned.
Running Bear and I immediately compared the his mother's map to the directions shown me by the spirit..They match up, now. Odd, I do not remember those lines there the first time. Perhaps I was just not paying attention.

I guess I know what I'm doing tomorrow. Into the depths, to discover. Wish me luck, folks.

Monday, September 19, 2011

No one home

Running Bear and I have been scouring this area of Chaco for days...Sorry about being silent for so long. We kind of....got into the hunt, so much so that...The sun rose one morning, and neither Running Bear nor I stopped the search until the sunset the following day. This was several days ago...He and I have finally run out of non-spiritual options, though. We thought that maybe the map was backwards. It wasn't. That it was a dry riverbed, not a side canyon. Not that either. We even considered the possibility that the cut shown might be a cavern system. We've found nothing to show that this place exists.

And so, my walk in the spirit realm began again. Or, it would have if...Something went wrong. I tried to contact the spirits of the rocks in our area of the canyon. I knew that talking to them would be very alike to trying to strike up conversation with something just awakened from a 1000-year slumber, but I was not prepared to receive no answer at all. I felt nothing of the rock spirits. It's like they've abandoned this place. The spiritual phone lines have been disconnected, so to speak. I have been refused answers before, it's really not that uncommon. A few times, the spirits refused to even acknowledge me, but...They. Are. Not. Here.

So that's out. I am almost afraid to try to enter the spirit realm myself. I know that to solve this, I need to try. But I'm scared of what I'm going to find there.

Friday, September 9, 2011


...is a big place. And this map makes no sense. It looked well drawn out when I looked at it before. In fact, I actually thought I knew right where to go. I have been here before on several occasions, scouting, walking with spirits, doing my usual thing. But I came to the place the map shows. There is nothing here. There is supposed to be a side canyon here, according to her drawings. All I see is a cliff.

Remind me again why I blindly followed the drawings of a madwoman?

Monday, September 5, 2011

On my way

Our way, I suppose I should say. Running Bear is accompanying me. There is nothing left for him here. I can see that as plainly as I saw my own outcasting. I couldn't say no after what I saw at the temple. Besides, he makes a good traveling companion. Sometimes, it is good to not be alone.

He was the first to pick the papers out of my traveling bag. Slowly, carefully, as if extracting a poisonous snake from its hole. Those papers have been the elephant in the room ever since we found them~We've both been avoiding the subject of them like that poisonous snake. Unfortunately, they are now my only link to the mystery of this madness. A mystery I still intend to solve, despite my deepest urges to run the other way. I have a theory, you see, a theory that, if true...There will be no escape if I am right. Therefore I earnestly hope I am wrong. I told Running Bear, and he sort of laughed at me and said that it was impossible. I'd like to believe it. I've grown up believing it.

The seventh realm is sealed. Nothing escapes from there. Because nothing good comes from there. Madness, death, torture, enslavement. The Greatest Spirits sealed that place a long time ago.

So, the papers. There are 10 in all. Five are covered in writing, three in similar drawings to the ones I have already seen, and two appear to be, oddly enough, maps. In fact, one is a map to a place I know of. And that is where we are going right now. Up into the back of Chaco Canyon, where there is rumored to be a boxed stone and wood dwelling with no doors. I have always dismissed this as simply rumor, because the people there did not build with stone and wood, and who would build a dwelling with no doors? It is not practical, and the Chaco dwellers dealt in practicality because they had to survive. I can no longer deny it, though. So, I am going to go find it, and look for a way in.
The map reads very clearly for a woman driven mad. It's quite strange, really. I wonder if she drew it before she went crazy and carved symbols into her flesh?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Time or Taint///The Temple

I think that it's both. What happened to me, when Running Bear and I first entered the temple to investigate.  You see, I have always been extra sensitive to things of the spirit nature. I expected to feel the passing of time around the temple, due to its nature. So, I must have accidentally opened myself up more to feel it. In other words, I unexpectedly made myself vulnerable.
When the sacredness of this place was violated, the only explanation that makes sense to me is that the blackness somehow combined with the naturally strong flow of time. It behaved much like two reacting chemicals. The violation and the taint reacted with the natural world to created a perversion. That I got sucked into. Running Bear said he didn't notice it much, which only furthers my theory. 

You'll have to forgive me, I am not much of a scientist. I look into what I find interesting. Which reminds me, I haven't yet looked at those papers. I am almost afraid to look. I can almost tell you what is there. The Faceless Figure. That curious symbol. But what if there is more? Where is the connection? That old grandmother warned me that research would be the death of me. I begin to wonder if she might actually be right.

Also, the temple...It's going on an indefinite temporary hold. I just..I can't go back in there. I can't. Cleaning the underground chamber...It scared me. It terrified me, actually. I lit some of the clover on fire and dropped it in there, but I doubt it did much if any good. Especially if this taint permeated into other realms, like I am almost certain it has. I struggle though..Do I owe the builders of this place more? Should I try harder? But no...I can't. Not now. I'll come back, someday. When I know more.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Running Bear's secret addition here: She's packing up and leaving in the morning. If I stay here much longer I'll lose it. I hope she will take me with her. If you believe in anything, whatever it is, ask your gods on my behalf. Please.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day One

Today, Running Bear and I began the process of trying to cleanse the temple... Remember how I thought it was going to be difficult? Well. I was more than correct. We decided to tackle it in a series of steps, to maximize the possibility of success. The next few posts that follow are basically simple accounts of our days spent at work.

Step One: Remove the body and the bloodstains, ceremonially bury Bear's mother.

This is potentially the most emotionally taxing of all our work...Burial ceremonies are never happy things, for obvious reasons. For ancestral and tribal respect reasons, I will not account the details of the ceremony. Suffice it to say, her body rests under a desert tree about a mile to the south. I didn't see Running Bear for the rest of the day, but I don't blame him. He wonders if his mother's spirit was stolen somehow....He says he couldn't feel it. I couldn't either, honestly, but it is not my place to say something like that. Spiritstealer....That was written on the wall..I don't want to think about the possibility of something stealing another's spirit. That is so....evil. Such a crime against the balance of the worlds..

Anyway...I went back down later and began to wash the floors and the walls of blood and whatever else I could get. Most of the blood and drawings washed away...

And that's where it got weird, my friends. As the blood and charcoal washed towards the middle of the room, it appeared to....re-form.

Into the shape of the tall figure in black with no face. 

Hi, this is Running Bear. Don't worry, Zia gave me her password. I didn't hack her, she'd probably bury me if I did.
Anyway I just wanted to let you know that we made our first attack on the temple today. It was really sickening. Basically it was all about removing the body and the blood. I tried to help her but it was very hard for me. 
I buried my mother though. That at least I owe her. Maybe her spirit will find peace, if she even had one left. Whatever is in that place is rotten enough that........ Can man really have created this much horror? 
Even I can feel it. What she described in that other post. If I concentrate, I can feel it. Zia said she figured it out today, but I'll let her tell you about it. She can explain it better than I can.

Running Bear

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Running Bear broke the silence first. Around mid-morning yesterday, he came over to my side of the fire and laid his head on my shoulder. Just like that. He proceeded to apologize for acting like a scared child, for..all kinds of things that made no sense. I told him not to worry about it, because, let's face facts here-That covered every single level of the category "not good". We talked for a while then, about his mother, his tribe, seemingly small things compared to the shocker that came next.

~~Zia, I want to clean this place. I want to bury my mother, and then cleanse the evil. I don't really know how, but...It's possible, isn't it?

I am going to be honest here when I say that cleansing the entire temple of something this foul is just a bit beyond me. This kind of taint doesn't just stay here in the physical world-Oh no, I wish it were that easy. With something like this, realms of the spirits are affected as well. And guess what-One has to check each one, level by level. There are seven levels, with ours being the fourth. The average human being only deals with levels three through five, three being where the spirit comes from upon birth, five being the dwelling realm of most ancestral spirits. I have a feeling I'll be talking more about the others next time, so I'll leave that for now..
Back to this being beyond me-It's a touchy process. And Mystery was right, rock holds on to memory far longer than most other things. I have cleansed houses of various minor things, but those are cake walks compared to this. But I'll try it, for Running Bear. And because it seems like the only right thing to try in a situation like this...

I'm going to need a lot of fire, and lot of bear clover, and a lot more sleep.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Running Bear and I woke up early the next morning, neither of us able to sleep well. After a short meal of leftover snake (which by the way, is not wonderful cold...), we headed up towards the temple. I could literally feel time spinning, dragging, warping around us as we walked closer to the entrance. Running Bear seemed oblivious to it, but I felt like I was going to be sick. I always imagined I would feel this way on one of those 'roller-coasters' I've seen pictures of. Humans are not supposed to literally feel time. We notice its passing, but...this was like...being touched...So foreign, so strange...

The twisting stopped as soon as we crossed the threshold. Thank the spirits, I'm not sure how much more of that maddening sensation I could have handled. The interior of the building was covered in ancient calendars and time-keeping devices. Some of the paintings were of the never-ending cycle of the seasons, some marked the solstices and equinoxes, still others were markings of the years passed since the building of this great temple. I found myself wondering how long it has been since the markings were updated...This place could easily be a thousand years old. I asked Running Bear if he could read any of the paintings, but he said he couldn't, and didn't know anyone who could. I did recognize one, vaguely, a strange but recognizable depiction of the seven ages.

Time for business. Running Bear and I made our way to the back corner of the room, where there was a circular hole in the ground with a ladder running down into the darkness. He lit the two torches we brought, then pointed at the ladder.
~You first, I'll follow. Let's make this quick, I feel like we shouldn't be here. I feel sick already.
I agreed. I was beginning to feel unsafe. Not so much that I wanted to flee, more like there was an unspoken boundary that I was crossing.

The ladder felt solid for something that had likely been standing for hundreds of years. I focused all of my energy on climbing, so it was only when I stepped away from the ladder that I noticed the room. I couldn't help myself. I screamed. The room was very small, only about 8x8. The woman was in the center. Blood, everywhere. Oh spirits... She had carved the symbol into her skin several times before she died, on her face, her arms, her legs. The walls were covered in charcoal drawings of the black figure, sometimes with two arms, sometimes with more. There were words, also..SPIRITSTEALER. FACELESS. HE IS HERE. Others that I couldn't make out. There were several pieces of paper near her hands...Steeling myself, I walked over and picked them up. Too much. Have to leave..

Running Bear was in the corner of the room, huddling against a wall, shivering. "Zia...Zia...Can we leave now? My mother....This isn't just about my father is it Zia? Someone was after her, they killed her..." He broke off, crying.

Oh spirits, what is this madness. We have to go. The walls are closing in.

I grabbed Running Bear's hand and put in on the ladder. Climb, come on, let's go, run, get out... We climbed out as fast as we could, and collapsed against the opposite wall of the temple. And this is where we woke up, two days later. Since then, no one has spoken, but Running Bear did gather wood build a fire, if only to stare into the flames. I can't bring myself to think about what I found there, or look at the pages I gathered from the mother's hands...Later. For now, I should try to eat, I suppose. Or at the very least, find some water.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Seeking by Foot

There are some ancient places that the spirits won't let you enter in spirit while you are still alive. I found a cluster of these located near the back end of Canyon of the Ancients.. So I decided to trek up there, as it wasn't too far away. I thought I'd get these sites out of the way, make a base camp nearby, and resume my search by spirit walking.

I spent the last few hours of yesterday and all of this morning checking the sites in the cluster by foot. There were no signs of human activity in or around any of them. The last person to come visit could have been 200 years ago, for all I know. The kivas were empty of prints, the dwellings free of disturbances, the ground itself seemed untouched by anything.

And then, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. By chance, or by fate, I will never know.

I glimpsed the two-story structure off to the left, beneath a  deep natural overhang. The sun touched one of the corners, reflecting off of some sort of strange purple rock set there. My breath caught. This...this was an ancient holy site. A temple ((though that is only part of it)) of sorts, to the greatest of the Spirits. The Greatest Spirit, our Creator.. I climbed down to the base, staring up in awe. Of all the great places I have seen or heard tell of, strangely nothing compared to this simply built structure honoring The One Who Is.

Time gets lost in these places. The One Who Is is a timeless being, unlike his creation who was made to mind the seasons. He was the one who gave us the sun, the moon, the seasons of the year..All to keep us from losing our sense of time, and going mad.
But here, so close to this place, time seemed to lose its grip..Maybe it really does go by without entering. All I know for certain, is that the next time I blinked my eyes, it was close to nightfall.

And I was not alone. There was a fire burning not 20 feet away, and a man in his mid-twenties sitting on the other side watching me.
~"I wondered when you would be coming out of your little trance, there. Don't worry, it happened to me, too, the first time I came here. If your spirit is caught at unawares, you'll get caught up in the Timelessness. You're lucky, though. I stood there for two days. Call me Running Bear~I lost my true name when I lost my village."
~~"I'm Zia, Running Bear. I hate to be a bad guest of your fire, but I have to ask you, why you are following me?"
~"Following you? I'm not. I've been here in this spot for four days. I saw you wandering the ancient site above, searching for something. I thought you would stay above, but instead you saw the sun catch the amethyst on the roof. Lucky again, there aren't too many people alive who have seen that."
~~"I'm sorry for invading your space, then. I'm awestruck at this place."
~"Don't be sorry. You are welcome here, as is anyone who comes here with no ill intentions."
~~"How do you know my intentions? For all you know, I could be after anything."
~"You're looking for someone. I was looking for her too, but I think I know where she is now."
~~"You found her! Wait...How do you know about her? And how do you know where she is???"
~"She's my mother, Zia. I'm her eldest son. I watched her slip away from herself at home, and I watched her leave in a madness."
~~"Your father said he sent her away to purify herself."
~"He's just trying to save his honor as much as he can. You must know that symbol is blasphemy, Zia. The truth is, she ran away in the dead of night, after he caught her drawing that symbol in their bedchamber."
~~"He told me the last part. Running Bear, I am so sorry. Where did you find her?"
~"Oh, I haven't found any proof, other than a strong urge to vomit and run whenever I attempt to visit the underground portion of the temple."
~~"Would you mind if I tried to go in, tomorrow? There is something I have been following, and I think that maybe your mother is connected to it."
~"The Faceless Death. I know a very little about it. My mother was not killed by the Faceless Death, Zia. It's just a story that was taken too far, and blamed on some deaths a long time ago. My mother probably just killed herself to get away from my father, which I wouldn't blame her for, really. It would explain why I want to throw up whenever I go near though. I've always had a strong reaction to untimely deaths. But I don't mind if you try going in tomorrow. Until then, why don't you sleep here by the fire. I'd like the company, and I'm sure you have more questions."
I agreed. Running Bear and I have been talking on and off about things both serious and not. Right now, he's cooking a snake that he found close by. I admit, it has been a while since I have actually enjoyed simple conversation that may or may not mean anything. A night to relax before a potentially unpleasant day. I don't care what others of the people may say, I believe The One Who Is intervenes with us sometimes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Plan B it is

After another day of  *fruitless* spirit trail hunting, I have decided that I'm moving on to Plan B. ((Sidenote: I don't think I've ever spent this long in spirit. Ever. I'm hungry as hell right now.))

As I said before, there are approximately 58 different plausible sites to explore. Of course, I may be able to do some weeding out. For example, some of these sites are acceptable only for certain people or uses. There is a great kiva 20 miles to the north that is considered so sacred that to enter, one must go through 10 days of rigorous spiritual exercise and fasting. Half the people who decide to make that journey die before they get there. I have always wanted to make a journey like that. Not for the acclamations from the people that so many go seeking, but for the great sense of spiritual accomplishment. Let's face it, I'd probably be the only living person to ever know about it.

Anyway. I'm getting off topic. Of the 58 sites, there about 30 of them that would be considered acceptable for her to visit for this type of cleansing. So, my plan is simple. Eat a LOT of food tonight. Study a map. Carefully consider my previous knowledge of the area and it's sacred sites. And find this mysterious missing woman, hopefully alive.

I have to admit, I don't know why I am searching so hard for her. Bringing her alive back to her village would only get her exiled permanently. Bringing back her remains..Well. It would be better for her remains to 'remain' where they are at this point. Maybe it's just because she's my closest link to that symbol. Giving up would mean going back beyond square one, and I'm not really interested in starting over.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Spirit Tracking"

It's a bit of a task to track the spirit trail of a person you don't know at all. It is much easier to pick out someone's energy if you have spent time with them. The more you know, the easier it becomes.
That said, I spend all of yesterday and most of today unsuccessfully following spirit trails. You'd be surprised at how many trails a small village like this can create..Imagine trying to find a trail through a large city. ((Hint: It's nearly impossible unless the person happens to be your best friend or something of that sort.))
I followed one that looked to be promising. It led out towards what I knew to be a popular religious site on the 5-day radius. I sent my spirit into that area only to find a young boy from the tribe performing a sacred ancestral rite for his passage into manhood. I think he noticed me, too. I hope I didn't disturb his ritual too badly, though he will probably mention a spiritual disturbance when he talks to the tribal elders upon his return. Meh, they'll probably think it was an ancestor or a god or something.

I'm going to try for one more day, and if that fails, I will go to plan B. Plan B being, search the sites themselves for any evidence of her spirit there. There are approximately 58 of them within the 5-day circle, so I hope it doesn't come to that.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Family Story

I have located the family of the missing mother after a few weeks of searching for their village. What I heard of them before was rumor, and before looking for the woman herself I wanted to speak with them so as to get the story straight.I also wanted to see if she kept any drawings or writings like the grandson that started this journey.

The family home is a hand-built, one-story adobe house on a reservation not too far from Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. The village is almost exclusively an extended family unit, and the father of the family just so happened to be the village chieftain. Dealing with these types always makes me somewhat nervous because of the politics that so often happens when they tell stories, but I was hoping that his concern for his wife's safety would permit him to tell me the truth. 

After being granted permission to enter the village, I was pointed in the direction of the home. Of course, I would have found it anyway. It was the only home in the village to have the black taint covering it. The same black taint as covered the grandmother's home. I felt the creeping evil from quite a distance-It's very hard to ignore and even harder to approach. The family's eight children were all outdoors when I walked up, but they weren't interested in play or chores. The father felt very strongly of worry and..anger? Yes. Anger.

He was also not particularly interested in  friendly conversation. He pulled me off to the side away from his children and simply said, "I know why you have come, but it is too late. She has abandoned her family. She forced us to abandon our home after she violated its sacredness with that vile symbol. " At this, he pointed to a pile of rubbish about 30 feet to the north. "Go take a look if you wish. I woke up one morning to find her drawing it over and over on the door to our bedchamber. She disgraced us both.. To draw the anti-symbol over the circle of life! Blasphemy! I wanted to give her another chance, so I sent her away to purify herself, and she has not returned. She abandoned her family and her village, and almost cost me my leadership. When you're done looking, I'd suggest you leave. You're welcome will be short." 

He called his children inside, and that was the last I saw of him. Is it just me, or did he seem more concerned with keeping his title than with his wife's behavior? Sickening. I understand why he was angry, though I think he misunderstood her. She drew what he calls the anti-symbol, the X, over the universal circle of life. He took this to mean a refusal to bear him any more children. For a woman, that is understood as an act of blasphemy against life itself.

I did find out some useful information, though. He sent her away as purification, so that would mean to her taking a 5-day journey to an accepted sacred location, spending another 5 days there, and then returning and stripping away the symbols. So now, all I have to do is find all of these locations that are 5 days walking distance, and seek them out. No. I won't be walking to them all. That would take far too much time. The up-side to being able to communicate with and walk with the spirits is that they grant me access to some of their paths. It's a bit hard to explain, but basically it means using my spirit to either track her energy from the village, or search each of the sites for this energy. And since the spirit moves much faster than the body, it should not take too long to locate her. I hope.

The trouble is, spirit energy does fade after a while, especially if a person has died. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

By The Book///A Legend

Though I am not usually accustomed to following the rules, I suppose I should do this one by the book. An introduction, then.

I am a wandering soul. I move from place to place, never staying anywhere long. I prefer the old homes of my ancestors to the newer places the people have built. The spirits dwelling there seem to accept my presence in their homes for a time, though they do let me know when the time has come to move on. I am not afraid to dwell amongst them as most of the people are. They fear the spirits and their dwellings, as if they have completely forgotten that no one ever truly dies. Rather, they move from one area of existence to another. I suppose I can understand why the people stay away-For a while, it did feel like I was invading someone's home. I had to grow and accept that I was a guest, and welcome for a time.

Occasionally I wander among the modern people as well. I learned many things from many different people, though they never truly accept me because I belong to no one. I honestly prefer it this way, to visit, learn, and move on. I am beholden to no one and nothing except the great guides who point my direction, and the spirits of those whose homes I borrow.

I am also a dreamer, and somewhat of a spiritist. (These are the only words for it I could find in the modern English language...It is a close enough description.) It means that, through training and years of lessons, I can communicate better with the spirits and guides that many either refuse to acknowledge or cannot sense at all. As such, the old legends and the old places have always drawn me.

The reason I started this blog then, is because of one of the legends I heard about one year ago. I was visiting an old woman in a tribe in Northern Utah. She complained of evil dreams brought on suddenly when her grandson disappeared suddenly from her home late at night. At first I brushed this off as an old woman's grieving, but as I spoke to her more I noticed a certain darkness around her and her home. It was strongest in her grandson's sleeping area. I asked her if I might take a look at his things, to see if I might be of help. She first hesitated, but then relented when I told her about the darkness in her home. Naturally, she blamed it on the spirits of the dead, and how her grandson must have offended one of them.

While searching through his things, I found a wooden box buried in the dirt. It was so black with evil, I had to force myself to touch it. It was covered with X's, which is a rough equivalent to a warding symbol the people use when faced with things they feel are very evil. When the dead are buried, for example, they draw a large X on the burial box to prevent the spirit from doing harm. The old woman and I chose to bring the box outside in order to not release the dark thing inside her home. She first covered herself in the same symbol to ward off the darkness. Not wanting to be rude, I did the same.

The box was full of drawings, carvings, and written notes. The drawings and carvings all depicted the same thing: A tall black figure on a field of gray with arms stretched out to the sides of him. The arms were too long for the body, and the figure lacked features. The X had a circle around it, which I find strange. The circle is a symbol for the connecting portal between this world and the spirit realm, which lies beneath. Our birth legends tell that when we are born, our individual spirits come from below to inhabit the body. Why then, would there be a warding for evil over the circle representing life?

And then, there were the writings. They mentioned something about a legend of a tall, faceless spirit of evil who drives men mad with fear and anger. I only got through the first few lines introducing the legend when the grandmother snatched the papers away and covered them with dirt. I remember the following words as vividly as I remember the blackness surrounding the box.

"You must never read that legend!! It is evil!! Forbidden to tell, forbidden to read!! It always comes before death, death always follows soon after!! Long ago, an outsider came to our village and told this to some young scribes, who wrote it as they write all new stories that pass our way. The story was later retold by the scribes to our storytelling clan, who passed it on to us as is our way. Months later, half of our village was mad. People killed their families to save them from the Faceless Death. After this it was forbidden to mention anything of that legend, or to seek after it. My grandson was a foolish boy, and did what ought never to have been done!! His spirit will never find peace now-It has been claimed by the bringer of madness and death. Do not seek it, or it will find you."

She allowed me to stay one more night, but my spirit guides told me that it would be wise for me to leave the village before morning light and not return to it Since then, I have been searching for the rest of the legend, and searching for more who may have been affected by it. Currently, I am on the trail of a mother in Western Colorado who fled from her home mysteriously. Her family said that she dreamed of a symbol of death. I wonder if these are all connected, somehow.