Back/up Something Jalmari This Way Comes Pavis overall

In the Depths of the Temple


You'll get the general layout fast enough, as you explore. A Death rune. There's a pic in the Ygroup Files area
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/SwordsDeath/files/111_Restart/jalmar%20temple2.gif

Entrance at the bottom of the map. Trick door you've dealt with facing you there. Statues are those oval things beyond. There are two more rooms, one at each side, making up the rune. Door to each one. Death rune over the left door. Truth rune over the right one. The sort of decoration that says "this is important stuff, this is." In both cases, Egil as your scout will have a sense of being tested as he touches the doors, and will pass. He can open them.

On a quick glance, the right/Truth one is a library. The left/Death one is an armoury. Both have a golden statue in the middle. The one on the left is of a dragonnewt, with a label round its neck. The one on the right is a warrior in full plate, about 8.5 foot tall. Very pretty plate - decorated in beautiful, fragile filigrees. There's a plaque on its head.

Dragon-newt
Graylor stumps up to the dragonewt statue muttering. "Trolls and now dragonkin... There's a giant behind me all that's left are the stumpies and we'll have a full set! What were they doing here? It looks like a meeting place for the united nations. Perhaps this guy's name tag will tell me?

"Yenda, you're a better reader than me. Please see if you can find any of our coded histories. I'm sure there will be some in the library, though they may be well hidden. We're looking for the earliest ones relating to the temple building and again for documents after the troll invasion. I'll join you as soon as I have had a good look at this."

It's an extremely detailed statue. Very, very life-like. No plinth, it stands directly on the floor. There is, as I say, a label round its neck. The writing on it is the same script as the words on the door you opened. There are also runes. (OOC: I assume that public notices will have writing for those that can read, and sort of international ideogram markings intended to convey the basic meaning for the illiterate).

The following runes are written in black, and each has a red circle with a diagonal line crossing it super-imposed. The runes are: light, water, man, death.

"No light, No Water, No Man, No Death! I don't like the last one! Who can read this stuff? My learning doesn't cover this script", Graylor calls back to the main group.

It's Old Pavic again.... Graylor gets the impression that there is something magically Weird about this. He doesn't know what. But he doesn't trust it, he doesn't like it, and he doesn't want anything to do with dragon-newts and magic in combination in the near future.

"Yowch! what was that? Hey you guys there is something seriously funny about that statue." Greylor shakes his head, trying to clear his
thoughts. "I don't know wether it attacked me or it was just blocking me out but it doesn't want to be messed with! Can we get one of the sages to have a look at this thing?"

Slowly it dawns on Graylor. "Hey, I've been attacked in my own temple! By Humakt's black beard what is going on in this place?"

He strides off to the library. "Yenda, can we add golden dragonewts to the list of stuff we're interested in? I think I'll join you. Scrolls seem safer than statues!"

Vern looks up, apparently bewildered. "Dragonnewts? Here? But... Let me see." He starts towards the armoury, but then Elnor pulls him back. "You were told to stay here."

Vindana grins rather smugly. "Golden dragonnewts, eh? Let's see." She shakes her head at Graylor in mock despair. "Too dangerous for you, want to stick to nice safe scrolls? Don't you worry, the Legion'll look after you. They're good at that."

"Hum. I just don't like things messing inside my head, and nothing has done that since I joined Jalmar!" He follows Vindana back to the statue.

"That's a lot of gold." She circles it, apparently estimating weight and value.
"Can't say I like the instructions, though. Just a load of prohibitions, no explanation. Who did this lot think they were talking to, a bunch of obedient idiots? I mean, look at it.
'1) Do not expose to sunlight
2) Do not bring into contact with water
3) Do not continue midnight feeding ceremonies'
What's that lot supposed to mean? Only way you're going to find out is to try it, right? So what do they think is going to happen? Morons."

She traces her finger over the bottom line of text. "Looks like someone else added a few bits later. That last bit - 'do not feed AT ALL', with multiple underlines. And the last line: 'do not kill'. Someone was worried about this thing. I wonder what would happen if....?"

"Stop right there beardie," says Siggyr quickly, before bellowing out to all those in earshot, "right kids, do not feed this statue, do not drip water on or near this statue - do not look at me like I'm barking mad, either, Fastenspear. I'm sure there's a good reason for all this, Fastenspear, so why don't you look around and see if there's any hole in the ceiling down here that might allow the slimmest glimmering ray of sunlight down here - if so, block it with your finger, hand, arse, or other handy body part until relieved."

Were it not for the "Illuminate Darkness" Jamal had invoked, the room would be in stygian darkness. Not the slightest trace of sunlight penetrates the rock above.

"The work on this statue is so detailed. do you think that it is actually a live dragonewt that has been transformed in some way? What if any of these restrictions break the transformation and we'll get one mighty miffed dragonewt on our hands!" Graylor wanders round the room patiently looking at the racks of weapons and armour. "I wonder if there is anything else of interest in here? Perhaps one of these items will give more of a clue to this puzzle. Otherwise it's back to trawling through the library. I'm sure that the Jalmari would have left more information somewhere."

Graylor looks round from his contemplation of the weapon racks. "Hey Vindana, I can see where the Light, Water and Death runes come into what you read. Where did the Man rune fit in?"

She sighs. "Warriors. Can't even count, can you? Good job there's someone here with a brain. Food. Don't feed it. And in case you hadn't noticed, equating the man rune to food should be a worrying concept."

"Well perhaps it's OK to feed it women then?" Graylor retorts.

She falls straight for it. "Are you really that dumb? The man rune means humanoids, not just humans, and no way is it just men. Anything man-shaped and intelligent. Which lets out... "

...and then she hears the call from Jamal.

"Lady Vindana, could you perform a similar feat of translation with this suit of armour?"

She leaves, and Graylor returns to studying the room

Nothing seems out of place. Weapons and armour are neatly stacked, some wrapped for storage. But writing? Yes. As Graylor has realised in the past, Jalmari can be obsessive record-keepers. There's a scroll by the door. On a quick glance - a catalogue. Written in Swordspeech, not Old Pavic, for once. Well, this is the sort of job where the rather specialised vocabulary is ideal...

And some interesting little doodles against some entries. Jalmari code, to those who know how to recognise it. Once he uses the right magic to use his own light to see them, they should be easy enough to.... hang on. The doodles are moving. Becoming legible as he watches. But he hasn't even started the magic yet!

"Hey! What the..." Graylor looks round astonished. "Yenda! Have you been reading any of our documents?" He calls out.

"No. Why do you ask?" comes her immediate response.

"I've got one that's translating itself!" Graylor turns to the ten-thane. "Siggyr, can you tell me the nature of the spell you are using to light up this place? You see I have a slight problem. One of our cult secrets is revealing itself with out the correct incantations and this worries me greatly."

"It is no mere spell or cantrip that we are using - it is the Gift of Lord Hereward, or rather that received through our wyter. It brings light to
darkness, which can sometimes be interpreted metaphorically."

"My apologies, I meant no disrespect to the power from your lord. It is just that it has properties similar to a secret feat developed by the Jalmari which is used to create and read coded messages. Pray tell me what is the name of Hereward's gift? For as my sensii often said 'Such simple things as names reveal many relationships.'"

Jamal swings round at the Jalmari's question, choking slightly. "You might find that interesting. Our Wyter grants us the blessing to Illuminate Darkness"

Graylor grins. "I have been asked by the greatest living knight of Jalmar to see why Hereward himself talked to me and suggested that the Jalmari and Herewardi should become brothers. I think therefore, that every link between our cults becomes very interesting. This certainly is. Our feat is called Illuminate Manuscript. Both of us having an 'Illuminate' ability is beyond a simple coincidence. Illuminate is a word with powerful connotations and would not be used lightly for lesser uses." Graylor scratches his beard thoughtfully. "I suppose one more secret can't hurt. Tell me my friend. What do you know of the Unbroken Blade?"

Siggyr's sword sings from its scabbard, power flashing round the blade as he strikes the temple wall with enough force to bend and break any normal bronze. "It is here. "And in that one, and that," he says, pointing to Jamal's and Egil's blades. "It is in all the swords of the Legion, for it also comes through our Wyter. What do you know of it?"

"Only that it is the proof of Knighthood in the Jalmari. Every Jalmari undergoes the Unbroken Sword quest to prove their worthiness. Though I've never used it for rearranging the architecture before! And it is the reason why I am here at all. It was during the Unbreakable Sword quest that Hereward came to me and spoke. He talked of travelling these roads together again. So I had a hint that you might have some connection with the quest I was on. The shared effects of our Illumination feats also point to shared heroquests. Though what is strange is the way that both cults have erased the memory of that common beginning. I believe that Arkat's betrayal caused a split between Hereward and Jalmar in that they both dealt with it in different ways. Jalmar continued the fight against Gabji and even returned to fight with Arkat, but not under his command. In that great victory Jalmar was slain and we have continued the fight ever since. The most important thing is that Gabji must not be allowed to win and his minions will be destroyed." Graylor looks round a little embarrassed. "Sorry, I started sermonising there. What happened to Hereward? I could find little information about you other than you were supposed to be present in Kallyr's rebellion and a major player in the defence of Whitewall."


Armoury catalogue, and an Axe
Graylor retunrs to the catalogue of the armoury, looking for anything unusual. There's an item near the end of the list. An axe.
Notes in Swordspeech are always terse and lacking in explanation, and this is no exception. "Danger. Soul hostile to allies and enemies. Do not use."

"Hey would you look at this." Graylor whistles. "One of the notes in the inventory says there is an axe here with a hostile soul! Siggyr is there a spirit talker in your party? Maybe they would like to see they can communicate with this hostile axe thing. If they can make it safe then one of the Kargani may want to test it out."

Jamal replies. "I would normally give such things straight to Aelf, but if you think there is something strange about this Adze, then perhaps Seeker could be of assistance, I think he is a Shamen of sorts"

Jamal calls to Abul to head above ground to get Seeker. While they wait Jamal idly looks over the scroll. Jamal, not being Humakti, cannot read the symbols on the scroll. But is attracted to one entry as it is passed under his examination. The entry seems divided magically somehow between black and white script. He call he asks for the item to be translated, and Graylor obliges.
"Sword of western origin by its style, divided on once side between a metal (undecernable-type) of purest white, and on the other of purest black (again origin unknown)."

Jamal looks at the others, "I would be very interested in seeing such a weapon" His request is interrupted by the return of Abul and Seeker.

"There something to looks at yes? " Seeker asks. Jamal indicates the scroll, which Seeker takes and peers at, somewhat uncomprehendingly.

After a short while, Jamal turns the scroll the right way up, and indicates the entry about the axe. Seeker-of-Righteous-Death peers at the scroll for a while, then hands it back to Jamal. "Mean nothing. What you want me to ?"

Jamal sighs, "I think it says something about one of the weapons here has a malign entity" .... Seeker looks confused...Jamal corrects himself..."bad erm *spirit* within it, and as you follow the Iron Man perhaps you could see something we can't"

Seeker nods, "Show me the axe"

"Let's see if the thing is still here." Comments Graylor. "What does the scroll say? Rack 16, that's the one in the corner. Yep, there are several axes there. I don't fancy handling the wrong one, but the one that is covered with danger symbols is a fare bet. Jamal I think that your sword is here too. Black and white affair? Take it with the compliments of the Jalmari." Behind the axe Graylor finds a pair of gloves. Looking carefully he spots the gleam of metal wires threaded into the

Seeker moves to examine the hatchet more closely, peering at it for a while. Then he reaches back into his medicine bundle and pulls out a rattle made out of what looks like a snake's tail. He shakes it diligently over the axe for about 5 minutes before stopping. Looking slightly perplexed.

Seeker's hand hover over the battle axe for what seems like an interminable moment before he pulls it back. "I not like this ", he says. "this is not my thing" he shudders slightly..

"It's your thing, not mine. Its a City thing, not a Waha Khan thing" With that he withdraw and refuses to look at the axe, and indeed even acknowledge it's existance.

"Lets resolve this once and for all" he says, looking slightly exasperated and reaching out to grab the Adze.

For the second time since entering the Temple, Jamal feels the strands of his identity being tugged at by an entity much stronger than himself, this time the presence is forceful, insistent, overpowering.

"WHO ARE YOU ?"

"I am Jamal, a faithful servant of Idovanus, his name be praised"

"WHERE AM I ?"

"You are in a Temple below the Rubble of the Pavis"

"RUBBLE !!!!, WHAT OF MY CITY ? DOES SHE STILL STAND ?"

"I am but a recent vistor to Pavis, but the Great City has fallen. There are some human communities but they are scattered I think"

"THEN THE ACCURSED TROLL HAVE WON, IT HAS ALL BEEN IN VAIN"

"Oh no, the trolls are here still yes, but a new city has risen in the shadow of the Great Walls"

"THERE IS HOPE THEN"

"Oh yes, there is always hope"

"GOOD" The entity becomes silent.

"Who are you" The force reveals his name, then retreats back to into the Axe

Jamal looks up at the others. "It says it's name is Balastor, does that mean anything to anyone?"

"Orlanth's armpits!" Graylor splutters. " How did that manage to get here? Wasn't Balastor supposed to have died near Griffin Gate on the west wall? Well it certainly explains why the axe was never found! I guess that it's not much use to us."

As he turns away Graylor's sharp eyes spot a pair of gloves. Looking carefully he spots the gleam of metal wires threaded into the leather. These are Jalmari gloves. Graylor quickly finds their entry in the catalogue.
"Magical gloves containing Power Over Ogres. Devotional gloves of Knght Odvinus."

"These may well be worth trying out." Graylor mutters to himself.


Library and statue
Jamal, accompanied by Elnor, Abul, Jakkanna and a closely monitored Vern walks into the library.

"Vern, this look like your kind of place make yourself useful." he turns to face the sage directly, his face mere inches ways from Vern's. "and NONE of your tricks, you understand" he spits vehemently.

"Keep an close eye on him," he say to Elnor and Jakkanna. The taking Abul he walks towards the armoured statue, inspecting it closely.

"Well lad" he says to Abul, "What do you see here ?"

"It is a fine piece, sir" replies the young man. "It's owner must have been of great importance"

Jamal smiles at his adoptive son "Yes indeed, perhaps our Lord Hereward can shed some light"

Egil stands in the library staring at the tall golden warrior, he feels chastened by the lying sage and wants to run Evergleam through
his guts but that can wait, he tries to recall seeing armour like this before. Has he ever seen it on a dig with his father? His eye close
and his head tilts back as he tries to bring to mind working for his father.

Studying the armour, Egil remembers something his father told him. And it matches what he's learnt as a warrior, too. Armour that ornate, that delicate, that beautiful - isn't armour. It's decoration.Jamal would agree with him. It's lovely, but making armour out of a thick layer of gold is just plain silly. Too soft, too heavy. There's no iron or even bronze behind this armour, just the stone of the statue, as far as they can tell.

But Jamal has a feeling that there's more to it than that. Humakti are not known for keeping equipment that's pretty but useless. This isn't armour - so why is it here?

Egil directs his magical senses at it, trying to discover its purpose and receives a dual impression - a disguise. And a test. There's nothing magical about it, but that's what it's designed to achieve. It's trying to hide the truth from them, in some way.

There is of course the label on its forehead... but AFAIK neither of you have any literacy abilities at all? There's a word there in big letters, some more words in smaller letters, and a Fire rune.

Jamal listens into Vidana's exposition in the next room, what is it about these lands, they seem be breed stroppy women, still years of studied and ingrained politenss to the opposite sex will out...

"Lady Vidana, could you perform a similar feat of translation with this suit of armour"

"Sure!" she calls back. Without, you may notice, knowing what language it's in....

Jamal grins a bit at this. This must really be killing Vern.

Vern is standing with his arms folded, glaring at Elnor, who is passing him books and scrolls, one at a time, and checking each one first.

Vindana comes back from the armoury and takes a look at the label. "Goldmund uz-friend" she reads. "Must be his name."

She frowns at the smaller letters. "What's this, bad poetry? Or someone trying to sound important? It doesn't translate all that well, but something like 'seek knowledge through the Flame of Truth'."

Accounts
AS Elnor hands him the latest scroll, Vern lets out almost a yelp of delight. "The accounts! They kept accounts! Not double-entry, but even so.... Elnor, pass me the volume for the year 1244."

After a short delay.... "no, three along.... try the next.... look, the symbols will look like *this*..." he reads through it, searching for something. "Yes! There it is. A payment to Orphus Kir. This was the last instalment... by Issaries' pouchstrings! well, I suppose there would have been some inflation under the circumstances."

He reads further. "Yes, there was. An entry here - a junior officer puts a deposit on a new cloak, and pays for it with a diamond." (*)

He looks up. "We would seem to have a wealth of information here. Or rather, to quote a philosophical friend of mine, data. Converting it to useful information will take time."


(*) I'm basing this on a real event during the siege of Petersburg - knew all that ACW immersion would come in handy!
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