My name is Rickard Calvert, adventurer extraordinaire. But I'm sure you already know that. I’ve been to more places than most can hope to see in a mortal life: Vivec before its destruction, the fiery planes of Dagon’s Deadlands, the softly-lit sands of the Far Shores, the Emperor’s bedchambers... If you’re not exploring, you're not living. That's what I always say.
But sometimes it's best to kick up your feet and take a break from the fast-paced life of a traveler. I frequent a hunting lodge, deep in the savage jungles of Cyrodiil, where I can discuss my travels with fellows who hold a similar love of the wide world. It is here where my colleague, Theodor Gorlash, invited me to his private island to hunt the elusive weredaedroth. Naturally, I took him up on the offer. A year in the Ashpits makes you long for some relaxation and fun!
I booked a ship with the East Empire Company to meet dear Theodor on his island, but I never arrived. The ship was caught in the midst of a brutal storm, and before I knew it, I found myself washed up on a beach of a mysterious new land.
I’d never seen anything quite like it. It was bright and colorful, and almost saccharine to look at. Mushrooms dotted the landscape: smaller blue ones and massive orange ones. They reminded me of the mushrooms that populate Morrowind, but these were like no species of fungus I'd ever seen before.
As any self-respecting explorer would do, I set about discovering what this strange new land had in store for me... and what I saw was quite remarkable. Beyond the strange fungi, there were trees growing in all sorts of twisted and unnatural ways. The colors of their leaves had no consistency to them. The foliage looked like autumn in Auridon, but the air here was warm and pleasant instead of cool and brisk.
After a short walk, I found a paved road that led up a hill. This surprised me, as I wasn’t expecting to find civilization on what I had assumed was a deserted island. Along the path, I encountered quite the spectacle: a massive stone wall, higher than any I'd seen before (and believe me, I've seen a fair few walls). It seemed practically tall enough to touch the sky. I followed the wall for a time, but didn't manage to uncover its purpose.
My journey led me to an overturned stump that must’ve housed a colossal tree at some point--even larger than those I’d witnessed in my travels across Valenwood! I peeked inside, expecting to see a fox-den, perhaps, or nothing at all, but instead I realized that this stump actually had roots that reached far into the earth... roots that were big enough to walk through.
Normally, I would furnish a wide assortment of armaments when venturing into strange interiors, but considering the means by which I arrived in these colorful lands, I was forced to rely on my trusty pocket knife. I drew it, and ventured into this mysterious root tunnel.
My delve through this strange environment was curious indeed. I've explored many caves in my time, but this one seemed to be made completely out of wooden roots. It felt like I was down there for ages. I kept coming across places I swore I’d already been, and doubling back often seemed to get me more lost than when I had begun. The tunnel appeared to be rather unstable, as there were occasional loud rumblings and creaking of roots. Eventually, I managed to stumble back out of the cave. It was a confusing venture, but most informative.
It seems I was inside the tunnel for longer than I thought: the day had given away to night, and with it came a most spectacular night sky. I watched the beautiful shades of purple and pink, framing a great number of stars and galaxies. The entire region was blanketed in a lovely magenta color. Most unusually, however, the twin moons were nowhere in sight. This unusual phenomenon confounded me, but I had bigger problems to worry about.
I made a small makeshift camp outside the hollowed stump, and turned in for the night. When day broke, I sat up and packed up my camp. I headed back down the road from where I came until arriving back where I’d first washed up in this unusual realm.
I noticed something I hadn’t seen before (surprising, for Rickard Calvert rarely misses a detail). The landscape just to the right of where I’d crashed looked drastically different from the one I’d just finished exploring. There was no color in it... only dark dreariness. Naturally, I am accustomed to lands with a wide range of biomes to be found, but I’d never seen such a dramatic shift across such a short distance.
And so I knew where I needed to go next. It is the duty of an explorer to see what no one else has: to document the improbably and explain the impossible! I set my eyes towards the horizon of these dark lands, and began my march forward.
What will happen to Rickard Calvert next? Will he unravel the secrets of this strange new land, or be lost forever in this wild and unfamiliar region? Find out next week on RICKARD CALVERT IN THE ISLE OF MADNESS: PART II - DEMENTIA, premiering next Saturday at 1:00 PM EDT!