A Journey cloth is a burlap cloth used in a variety of Journeys to track an explorer's progress. The name is used interchangeably to describe any Journey's cloth, or to specifically refer to the cloths used in Yeesha's Journey. Not every Journey utilizes these cloths, but those that do each have their own unique design. Yeesha's Journey uses rectangular yellow cloths with a spiraling hand symbol, while The Path of the Shell uses circular green cloths with a shell symbol.
When touched, a Journey cloth is able to recognize who touched it, how many of the other cloths in that Age that person has also touched, and which cloth was last touched. The symbol on the cloth will also glow when touched, making a distinctive sound.
Journey cloths also generally serve as "bookmarks", except where noted below. After touching a cloth for the first time in an Age, a new bookmark appears in the Linking Book for that Age in the user's Relto bookshelf. This bookmark can then be used to quickly return to that location within the Age.
The cloths used in Yeesha's Journey are rectangular yellow cloths with a spiraling hand symbol in the center. When touched, they will remember a person's position relative to the cloth itself, even if the cloth has moved. This enables the user of a cloth to bypass certain security measures designed around the limitations of D'ni Linking Books, such as the rotating fortresses in Gahreesen.
These cloths also visually indicate how many cloths an explorer has interacted with in a certain Age—or, in the case of Eder Kemo and Eder Gira, a pair of Ages. Each set of seven cloths glows with a unique color when touched. There are three segments dedicated to the palm and thumb, and another four covering each finger individually. Once an Age's Journey cloths have all been activated, the Journey door for that Age can be unlocked.
The cloths in the Second Journey are purple diamond-shaped cloths with a complex spiral pattern in the center. They do not act as bookmarks. Instead, they act as a combination lock for the Journey doors in Eder Tsogahl and Eder Delin. The cloths must be activated in a specific order as dictated by the mechanism within the door. If all of the cloths are activated within the necessary time frame, the door opens and explorers can enter the cave behind it.
The Path of the Shell
The Path of the Shell's cloths are circular, green, and have a stylized shell design in the center. While these cloths act as bookmarks, they do not behave the same way as the cloths found in Yeesha's Journey. Rather, they behave like normal Linking Books, returning a person to the literal point in space where they touched the cloth, rather than a point in space relative to the cloth itself.
All of these cloths must be activated in order to complete the Journey, but unlike other Journeys that use cloths, there is no Journey door to activate. Instead, each cloth activates a segment of a shell portal which, once completed, will link explorers to another location.