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    After six months of travel, I've finally found a town that meets my criteria. The townspeople are friendly enough, and very helpful. Housing was easily arranged. Fortunately, after the mob burned down my old lab, I don't have much furniture or equipment to bring with me, so moving in was easy. There is, as they say, a silver lining in every cloud. Just not necessarily a big one.

    Barton is, as far as my rudimentary research can tell, an ideal place for experimentation. Oddity seems to be the rule rather than the exception, meaning that any explosions, loud noises, and horrible monsters issuing from my house in the middle of the night will probably be taken in stride. It's close to a couple of other towns, in case my sinister plots take a large-scale bent at any point. There is plenty of open countryside to expand my underground laboratory into, provided I can reproduce the inertial dampeners necessary for tunneling unnoticed underneath a major population center. And I have been assured that the townsfolk do not make a regular habit of burning down houses, destroying life's works, and attempting lynchings all over a little misunderstanding.

    Attempting to go for a walk this morning, I was assaulted by a number of animate lawn ornaments. Thankfully, one of the town guards saw my predicament and dispatched the fiends handily. Inside of one of the flamingos was a strange ring, a plain gold band with two suns protruding. The guard, introducing himself as Leon, told me to put the ring on and keep it. Apparently the area around Barton has recently been inundated with animate constructs, which, apparently, were ordinary objects before. I note with some dismay that the Realtor failed to mention this nuisance yesterday. These creatures, called by the townsfolk "The Animated," are impervious to normal weapons, and can only be harmed with special rings. Leon advised me to go visit Trixie in a place called the "Null Chamber," and pointed out the local portal. The portal took the form of an outcropping of blue and purple crystals, and, when I touched it, there was a feeling of great force. When the force abated, I was inside a large cavern full of the same purple crystals that had taken me there, including an enormous specimen in the center, which emitted a beam of light directly up. Standing by the large crystal was another guard.

    She introduced herself as Trixie. I asked, and she answered, a number of questions about the Animated and rings. What I found most interesting during our discussion was what she called "G'hi." I have speculated on the existence of some kind of "life-force" before, but the Animated are the first conclusive proof I have of it. I will be conducting some research into this G'hi tomorrow.

    Also interesting were the Null Crystals themselves. Glowing purple and somewhat irregular, by far their most interesting property is their ability to somehow nullify G'hi fields. The Animated never seem to enter the Null Chamber, and rings, which are irremovable in the outside world, are ordinary metal in proximity to these Null Crystals. Seeing how many there were, I obtained one to facilitate my research. Tomorrow, I begin experimenting with G'hi.