It's me—Zurko-Bazurko. Yes, the Zurko-Bazurko you all know and love.
How are you enjoying the waypointarus? Quite convenient, no? I'm here today to explainy-wain to all interested parties about how exactly these magic devices work, and what the purpose behind them is.
Our story-wory starts on a trip bound for the continent of Quon. We were accompanying the esteemed Anastase to the Middle Lands. I stood on the deck, casting a runic spell to watch over the vessel, when our mastaru began a treatise on the waypoints and their energies. The memory of that lecture burns fresh in my mind to this day.
Don't holdy-wold back. Read the secrets within for yourself.
* Note from the editor: Zurko-Bazurko's ramblings were a bit...abrasive, so we have taken the liberty of altering certain terms and expressions to make them more palatable for a general audience.
"Doctorrr Anastase, it's time to feed me!" meowed Quwi Orihbhe, one member of the expedition from Adoulin.
"But Quwi, you have only just eaten. Ugh... I suppose it cannot be helped..."
Anastase, the leader of the ragtag group, shook his head in disappointment as he removed several jungle cookies from his pouch.
"Thank you, doctor! I predicted long ago that you would acquiesce."
Zurko-Bazurko, rune fencer in training, bit his lower lip as he nervously eyed Quwi Orhibhe chowing down on the cookies as if she had been lost in the forest with nothing to eat for weeks.
"What a pathetic-wetic girl you are," he chortled. "Cookies here, cookies there, and never once has the vortex you call a tummy ever known the feeling of satiation."
The vessel carrying the intrepid explorers set sail from Adoulin, charting a course for Quon across the eastern Sea of Zafmlug. The waves around the continent of Ulbuka being quite fierce, the crew had to take every precaution to ensure that their vessel did not capsize. This meant taking a bit of a detour, and seven-and-a-half days had already passed since they set out on their voyage.
Many of them were unsure just what living at sea would be like. Wistful Bison, for instance, had never before set foot on a ship, and his head swirled back and forth with each rise, fall, and shift of the vessel.
"Why...why me? It's that damned Chero-Machero and his stupid ideas that doomed me to suffer this voyage. I'd give me right arm if he would just once work off instinct instead of intellect...
"It's just one of the Minister of Commerce's many plans, silly! Though I guess we'll be lucky to return in once piece, tee hee."
Jillia, who had been dispatched from the Scouts' Coalition, lightly patted Wistful Bison on the back as she tried to console him in her own special way.
"Doctor Anastase, we're going to the Middle Lands to setaru up these transportation modules, right?"
Zurko-Bazurko pointed toward the back of the cabin, where several magical devices made of a lustrous yellow metal lay dormant.
"That is correct. These waypoints are prototypes of a sort. And now that I think of it, the divinations of Quwi Orihbhe will be paramount in ensuring the success of our journey."
"Leave it to me...sorrrt of. I mean, I'll do my best, but don't expect the moon!"
Quwi Orihbhe certainly wasn't letting her lack of confidence keep her down. Zurko-Bazurko, exasperated with the situation, muttered under his breath, "And this is supposed to be the Zurk's big chance to impress Amchuchu. He won't faily-wail this time, even if he has to inscribe runes across this whole stupid ship!"
"Amchuchu? You mean the Inventors' Coalition meister?"
Zurko-Bazurko graciously condescended to acknowledge Jillia's question. "Well, you see, she's been absolutely smitten-witten with those new technicians from Quon. The Zurk couldn't be more dissappointarued in the way she fawns over those young upstarts. His tales of battle far outstrip anything those pompous morons have on offer!"
"Have you gone completely off your rocker? You can't even clip the legs off a chapuli!"
Quwi Orihbhe sure knew how to hit where it hurts.
"Grrrrrraaah! The Zurk's runes have attained sentience and no longer respond to his commands!!"
Anastase brushed his disciples' outburst aside, having witnessed similar scenes many times before. "Be that as it may, the hour of our arrival is close at hand."
Jillian stepped in, questioning, "So, Anastase, what's the deal with these waypoints? Wistful Bison must be quite interested in the answer, too."
"I suppose the time is right to share the story with you. Although I must admit I know precious little about them myself.
"I shall attempt to keep this brief. The science behind warping takes advantage of geomagnetic energies and has existed for centuries upon centuries. It is this technology upon which the foundation of the waypoints is laid. Yet only in recent ages have we been able to harness the power via magical devices."
Jillia bobbed her head up and down in acknowledgment. "Wow, it's been that long? That's splenderiffic!"
"Historical documents imply that these devices have turned the tides of battle more than once. But when exploration of Ulbuka became prohibited, they fell into disuse for many years."
Quwi Orihbe, yet another cookie stuffed into the side of her left cheek, blurted out between bites, "B-but what an enorrrmous washte!"
"That they are, young one. However, when the First King sealed off the continent, more likely than not the lack of resources on the outlying islands led to the technology's downfall. And of course, with no colonization to speak of, there was no reason to go beyond Jorius Yett. It may be most accurate to say that the devices had filled their roles admirably, but that their services were no longer needed.
"Returning to the topic of controlling these machines, it was only—what, a little over a decade ago—when an erudite woman visited Adoulin, bringing with her details of magical, runic warping technologies."
"'Runic technologies?' So rootarus are the same as the Zurk's"
Anatase let Zurko-Bazurko's interruption slide, and continued with his explanation.
"We unearthed some fascinating documents about these magical devices hidden away in the deepest recesses of the Celennia Wexworth Memorial Library, and combined what we found there with the information she brought us. The waypoints we use every day in Adoulin are a result of this chance collaboration. We have received a veritable gift, indeed."
"You keep mentioning this woman. C'mon, you gotta tell us who she is!"
"Look, everyone, before us stands the continent of Quon in all its splendor!" Anastase deflected Jillia's inquiry as he pointed across the horizon.
Indeed, the vast and variegated Middle Lands stood before them, rising out from behind vast reaches of the sea.
"The Zurk shall leave his marky-wark upon this new land!"
"A brrrave new world! New fish! This is gonna be awesome!"
Three cheers...and one unfortunate mishap rang out across the deck.
Anastase squinted at the light glinting off the surface of the sea, eyes trained straight ahead on the ever-growing harbor in the distance, devices at the ready as he focused on the next aspect of their mission.