Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chapter 3 - Ancient History

Ages ago when the world was still young, the Oracle Kayohyaohmehayo had given the King of the Peoples a task to be carried out without fail. The Oracle perceived that the Peoples would become lost to history unless their presence, art and science could be recorded and preserved. The King had acquired many victories over the years by paying close attention to the Oracle's foresights and intuitions. He was not about to change this philosophy. 

The King called his librarians, scribes and craftsmen together to begin the planning of the artifacts that would be left in perpetuity. Initial questions abut the type of edifice, and its location were pondered. The artifacts must be permanent, they must last thousands of years, and if deciphered correctly could be used to understand this society and perhaps build some of its technology. 

The decision was eventually reached to build a working model of their most important technology, their traveler. The traveler would be dismantled, so that only an advanced society would understand the assembly and use of such a device. It would be entombed in an edifice that would also house the art, language, and history of the People. 

After much deliberation, it was decided that several similar artifacts were to be created and placed in separate locations around the homeland. Given the volcanic nature of the region, it was a safer plan to insure that the People lived on throughout history. Simultaneous construction of these structures would require a large labor force, slaves were needed. The King ordered the construction of the largest traveler ever known. 

It would be sent into the mountainous regions of the lands across the sea to the north. These far off lands would eventually become India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The traveler was constructed so that the base floor could hold three-hundred workers and their wives and children. Done properly this one traveler using all its available space could return with approximately five-hundred usable laborers and their families.

During the construction, skilled miners delved deep into the earth where the known veins of Ruby and the Quiwsnartz crystal were to be found. During the mining effort several small Rubies and Quiwsnartz crystals were found. These were perfect for the models that were to be left behind for history. Finally a ruby the size of an egg and a flawless Quiwsnartz crystal the length a man's arm were found. 

These two pieces were immediately sent to the craftsman guilds for shaping, faceting, polishing and alignment. The ruby was cut, polished and faceted into a teardrop shape the size of a man's thumb. It was perfect, and was given to the priestess that would pilot the traveler. The Quiwsnartz crystal had been faceted into a long obelisk pointed on both ends. It was the largest gem that had ever been aligned with an equally massive Ruby. 

The priestess and her mathematician, telepathically, used the Ruby to reach into the crystal. The process was begun - and after considerable time was completed. The Quiwsnartz was now forever bonded to the Ruby. In all the People's recorded history there was no known record of the Quiwsnartz changing colors. This giant one had become a deep ominous ebony. Its power was unfathomable. 

The priestess realized that she would only be able to guide this giant if she was in communion with the mathematician. With that constraint in mind she advised the King that it was ready to be installed into the shimmering mineral core of the traveler. When the construction was complete, the ship itself was a large octahedron shape at rest in stable position.

The ship was used many times to travel between the Source Land of the Peoples into the mountainous area, across the sea to the north. The men and women found were a hardy stock. The times were poor, a promise of a better life from the Priestess and her retinue was eagerly accepted in exchange for hard manual labor. It was a fair arrangement, the labor was hard, but the tribesmen were used to very hard labor. The Priestess kept her promises, the tribesmen all received cattle, goats, seed and dwellings with arable soil.

The months and years passed, there were many pyramids built across the Source Land, each contained a small ruby, and a Quiwsnartz obelisk. The Stone Mason guilds had fashioned two square-based pyramids in the shimmering mineral. These were added to the inventory. Each had been hollowed out in the center of the base and that cavity had been lined with gold. 

The cavity in each was the receptacle for one-half of the Quiwsnartz, and by fitting them together a Conshrieve was produced. This artifact in particular was at the heart of the success of the People. Travel, anywhere instantly could be achieved. The Conshrieve controlled by a Priestess was a powerful technology indeed. 

The model Conshrieve ships were all assembled and tested and found to be in working order. They were then disassembled and each piece was stored in its own specially made cache. The interior of the pyramid was covered with pictographs and runes describing the device. Other pyramids contained the recorded history of the Peoples. Others contained arts, crafts and cultural artifacts. The wishes of the Oracle were being carried out. 

The communities of the Arabic laborers had grown over the years, families had children and grand-children. The population had swelled until the granted land could no longer sustain that amount of people. New land was accessed and a city began to grow. The original promise between the priestess and the clansmen did not apply to the progeny. Unrest and distrust grew between the Peoples and the Tribesmen. 

The priestess grew old. The prolonged mental association with the ebony obelisk had turned her disposition dark and moody. All humor had been burned from her soul. The mathematician had become a slight, whip-thin shell of a man. His skin was stretched tight over his bones to the point of translucency. His eyes sat back deep in his skull. Dark shadows formed under his skin. It made the impression even more cadaverous. The only thing that proved the mathematician still lived were his eyes. His eyes burned with a deep concentrated fire. His gaze had become dangerous, focused to a needle point. He could literally pierce his subject with a look. 

The priestess was given an order to survey the area around the Arabic settlements. She gathered her crew and the taciturn mathematician and started her flight. The settlements had grown large indeed, there were at least ten to fifteen thousand people in the city. A few thousand had worked their way into the surrounding jungles where farms had been built. 

As the priestess observed and recorded, she felt a change in her control of the craft. She looked over quickly to the mathematician. He sat, bewildered, clutching the side of his head. As she moved toward him, he began to cough blood. It flowed from his nose and ears. He took one last look at the priestess and slumped over dead. 

The enormity of the Quiwsnartz quickly overcame all of her control. The craft plummeted out of the sky. It embedded itself into the ground. The rock around its stern melted. As the Traveler drove deeper a fault appeared. This was fed by the energies of the Quiwsnartz crystal. The land became liquid, tremors and ground waves spread out concentrically from the crash site. 

Earthquakes shook the ground until all the dormant volcanoes triggered at once. The Land of the Peoples was shattered. The settlements of the Arabic clans were split apart. Small pockets of survivors retreated away from the active areas. These went to every area of the sub-continent seeking safe shelter. 

Time passed, pockets of survivors found each other. These grouped together and slowly flourished. Some of the Peoples knowledge was retained but most was lost to legend. The crashed traveler set silent, waiting through the ages to be found again.

A stage has been set, sadly the priestess' name has been lost to history. Will the existence of these artifacts put our fair Lady Sarah Swithington in any danger? Stay tuned.

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