The Ancient Açai

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My journey began as a small child, but is far from finished. I grew up in the vast wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, there I learned to survive the extreme elements while advancing my skills in combat.  A small band of mercenaries recruited me at an early age and now I travel the world in search of the rarest items and artifacts known to man.

Five months ago, I was contracted to retrieve an açai berry in the North East quadrant of the Sahara Desert. Who placed the bounty is uncertain as all the buyers remain anonymous, but I don’t ask questions. After my failed attempt to procure rare fruit from an iceberg in the Pacific Ocean, I had to complete this contract in order to stay in the good graces of the guild.

With no leads I decided to visit a town called No Name. It’s  a small town located in Colorado and is a well known watering hole for elite adventurers. After talking to the bartender I was able to gain useful information regarding the ancient açai berry. For most of my international expeditions, transportation has been difficult to come by. I do not have a passport and I wouldn’t consider my self wealthy. However, this never stopped me before and I knew exactly where to start.

I hitch hiked to New York and managed to sneak aboard a cargo ship heading to Tunisia. After what seemed like a lifetime, I was thrilled to be off the boat and back on dry land. I wasted no time in finding my next mode of transportation and purchased an old dune buggy. I then headed South East, straight into the Sahara Desert.

I arrived at the coordinates provided to me by the bartender in No Name, Colorado. It was a large canyon, much too rocky for my buggy, that had a crystal clear river running through it. Overhead, the clouds began to darken and I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time. I ditched my ride and headed into the canyon on foot.

The sky was darkening and rain began to fall, I needed to increase my pace. Then like a mirage, I stumbled upon a campsite. Engraved into the canyon wall directly above was an eagle. I quickly but quietly drew my pistol, expecting an ambush. Instead, a man emerged from the rain soaked tent and yelled “come in”!

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I darted towards the tent but the man began to sprint away from me. Confused as to why he was running, I ran after him. Within moments, I was engulfed in a deadly flash flood. The campsite was swept away and we were both helplessly pulled under the waves. I felt the man grip my hand and hoist me out of the flood and onto a dry ledge. Before I could catch my breath and thank him, my eyes filled with wonderment. We had made it to the tomb that held the ancient açai berry.

Upon entering the tomb, we encountered many dangerous traps. With his expertise combined with my survival skills though, we reached the treasure room without a scratch. Inside, the room was damp and cold but we found a bright golden chalice, overflowing with perfectly ripe açai berries. The man turned to me and finally introduced himself as The Pathfinder. He began to go on about how he needed these berries and how they were vital for his ultimate project. He insisted he needed all of the berries, but I was just happy to be alive. We worked out a deal and he compensated me fairly in exchange for allowing him keeping all the berries. We exited the tomb, exchanged info, and went our separate ways.

The Pathfinder was heading back to Denver, Colorado and I almost joined him. However, returning to the guild empty handed would mean grave consequences. Somehow that didn’t bother me though as my whole life has been spent wandering. I knew I could start fresh somewhere else. I wasn’t sure where to go but all I knew is that I was ready for another adventure.

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Written by: Aidan Warner-The Wanderer

Piña Pacific

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I’m an adventurer. I find relics, trinkets and rare items that were believed to be myths and tall tales. I was on my way back to Denver from a recent visit to Reno, Nevada, where I investigated a Sasquatch sighting.  Needless to say, I found one and she now has her own nature documentary.

I decided to stop off in a small town I pass each time I drive west on I-70; a town called No Name. That’s when I saw her; a small, nimble, old woman with her walker. She came right up to me staring into my eyes through her thick pop bottled lenses. “Have you seen my husband? He’s about 6 feet tall, heavy set, has a thick gray beard, wavy gray hair, great talker, and smells of whiskey.”

Grinning, I asked her, “Do you lose him often?” “No, I do not lose him often! He just gets wasted and wonders around the town. “I am sorry ma’am, I have not seen your husband. I am just passing through. “

She continued, “I recently sent a young man to find a “myth” off the coast of Hawaii. Calls himself the “Wanderer” for some reason. Anyways, this young guy left two weeks ago and was supposed to be back this week to share his successful find with me. Needless to say, like my husband, he has gone missing and hasn’t reported back. I need you to go find him.”

“The date was 1817 when this iceberg was first sighted and reported. It is a mysterious Iceberg that encases some special fruits that are said to be the greatest flavors around those parts. It only appears off the north east coast once every 50 years, Bring me a taste of the Iceberg’s treats, and don’t forget to bring back the wanderer! He’s probably starving out there.” She said to me as she began her walk away to ask another person whether or not they had seen her better half.

She hadn’t given me much to go on, but no one ever really does, that is why I love doing what I do. I walked into a bar and ordered a drink. I overheard an old man speaking with a duo about “El Dorado”. I recalled how I had failed on my last attempt to discover that city years ago. I paid my tab, slammed my drink and left them a note telling them to follow my marks to the City Of El Dorado.

I awoke the next day, booked a flight to California and lined up everything for this trip. Arriving in San Francisco,
I went down to the dock to locate a ship heading to Hawaii. I found a worthy ship and captain.

Once we set off on our course, the captain began telling me about himself and his history. His story lasted for 10 days when it was abruptly interrupted by the sound of booming thunder and roaring winds. “We’re here. The Iceberg is a few miles away. We should sail around it and look at the local islands for your friend before we go into the storm. If he’s alive, we will find him. If he’s not, the sharks already have.”

Several hours passed before I saw an island with a symbol embedded in the sand next to an “S.O.S” attempt. I dove off the boat and swam to the island. After about an hour I found the wanderer sitting in a homemade hammock slurping the water out of the coconuts.

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The Wanderer saw me and hollered “A-hoy! Welcome to the Wandering Island! I am the acting president and they call me the Wanderer. What brings you here?” His face filled with the relief of being rescued. “I’m here to get you off this island, then bring back a portion of The Iceberg” I replied.

We returned to our ship and took our positions headed into the storm. The wind beat us left and right while the rain reminded us that we were no longer in control. We finally spotted the giant block of ice floating in the dense fog. It’s looming presence sent chills down our spines. None of us would have expected to see a real Iceberg in The Northern Pacific.

I jumped off the bow of the boat and caught my grip with an ice pick. I began hacking away and throwing chunks of The Iceberg onto the ship. As the pieces piled up, I heard the echo of both my crewmates. “You won’t believe what is in this Iceberg! It’s incredible!,” they both exclaimed.

I slid off The Iceberg and landed on the ship only to be greeted by piles of frozen pineapples and coconuts. While looking through the blocks, an odd whistling began to sound around us. We looked at each other, then back at The Iceberg to see that it disappear into the open ocean, leaving us with 2000 pounds of frozen coconuts and pineapples. We headed home.

Once we docked, the Wanderer and I parted ways, making sure we exchanged contact information for future  adventures. I made my way back to No Name and found the old woman with her walker.  She was thrilled with my news that the Wanderer was alive and well but she was even more excited about the coconuts and        pineapples I acquired for her from The Iceberg. She kept a small portion and the remainder went with me back to Denver.

 

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Written by: Eamonn Colgan-The Explorer

The Great Wampus Battle

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Generally our adventures are planned over the course of months but in this instance, we didn’t want to waste another minute.

While discussing our plans in a bar in No Name, Colorado; a town local came over with an unsettling smirk. The man leaned in, but the whiskey from his breath won the race to greet us. After a brief grunt he said,” I heard you fellas were planning an adventure.” Then let out a burp as if he was Rick from “Rick and Morty.” We laughed and replied with complete confidence, “We sure are and this may be the best adventure yet.”

We told him how we had finally found the exact coordinates for the lost city of Atlantis. All we had to do was find ourselves a submarine… and well.. a captain too. After that, we’d be on our way to unsound glories and global recognition.

He looked unamused and frankly disappointed, which we weren’t expecting. Frustrated by his reaction, we began explaining what made this mission so important as if he’d never heard of Atlantis.  As we finished our pitch he responded,” Oh I know of Atlantis and I know where it is as well.” In fact, he’d already been there.

Smiling and blinding us with his gold tooth, he suggested “Atlantis is full of treasures that you can procure whenever you choose. However, the spot I’m going to tell you about will only present itself but once this decade.”  We bought the man a beer and found ourselves a table. For hours he told us of a city of gold… a city where everything is gold. A city that only comes out when the sun hits a specific spot in the sky. The city of “El Dorado.”  The bar was nearing close and we were eager to leave for the city of “El Dorado”, desperate for its treasures.

We drew  a map and booked our flights to Colombia. The plan was simple, follow the map, survive the jungle and head home. As we paid our tabs and began walking out, we stopped, turned around and looked at the stranger. Why hasn’t he  already gone to acquire the treasures?

“Here’s the catch” he said us, chuckling. “A beast that has claimed many adventurers resides within the jungle to guard the treasures. A beast that has never lost a fight. To me, there is no treasure worth battling for. There are no pictures, videos or drawings of the beast because no one has survived.” Suddenly excitement was drained from our souls. We had many more questions to ask but    before we could ask him another question, he asked for another beer. We dashed to the bar before last call and ordered one last round.

Returning to our table, we saw that it was empty except for a note. We shrugged, sat down and read the note.  It said,  “I can not help you anymore. Follow the mark of the “Shaman” and you’ll have the best chance of survival. Thanks for the drinks”- A fellow  adventurer.

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One month later, we landed in Bogota, Colombia and began the expedition. We rented a Wrangler and drove for 3 days until the  jungle got too dense to continue. We busted out the machetes and began the second part of the journey when we noticed a weird symbol. The same symbol the man at the bar left on the note. The mark of the “Shaman.” We were now confident that we were on the right track. We followed every symbol until we had no other choice but to make camp as night fell.

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The next morning we awoke to the brightest sunrise my brother or I had ever set eyes upon. As we wiped our blurry eyes, we gazed upon the one and only, City of Gold. The Great City of El Dorado. With  the prize right in front of our eyes, we began our final          ascent.

Stepping towards the light we heard a rustling and out of the deep rain forest, a 10 ft long Wampus Cat emerged from the dark.   Staring us in the eyes, it let out a ghastly roar and prepared to charge us.  Searching for our weapons, we realized that we had left  them at camp. The Great Wampus Cat let out another roar.

Nearby, a strawberry plant shook so much that all the strawberries fell to the ground.  Having no other choice, we used those     strawberries as ammunition to fight off the Great Wampus. The Great Wampus cat began to shelter itself with the strawberries. Looking at each other, confused and trying to understand how this was working, we kept throwing the strawberries. Shortly thereafter, the cat ran off and disappeared into the jungle.  It appeared that we had defeated the Great Wampus cat. We returned to    Colorado with  something more precious than gold……the strawberries we use in our seltzers.

 

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Written by: Warren Wood-The Pathfinder