Chapter 59: Delving Deeply
Reader: The following takes place during the long search of Kadar Ravaning. As I previously noted, my account hits only the highlights, to avoid boring you with a page full of statements like "and then we turned east and saw a long hallway with five doors". I apologize for any confusion or disappointment that may result.
My heart yearns to see
the sun, a crane in the sky,
and my home again.
~ Miyara Miwa
Down the ladder and a couple of rooms onwards, we entered a room that had once been a jail or dungeon. Manacles, faerie-height, were embedded in the walls around the room. None were occupied. In one corner was is a grill set in the floor. There were two other exits.
Kyosuke looked down the grill. He reported an empty hole. One of the barbarians said it was an "ubulyet", a "forgetting place". Somewhere you put someone and leave for a long time.
As we discussed the hole, Res Li was looking around and through the walls. He exclaimed, "Wait! I recognize that room!" We were on the other side of some walls from the room with the shaft. We can now get to the other side of the other cave-in. The cave there was used to hide more important prisoners and had two ubulyets. Kyosuke peered down them both. In one, a pile of bones stood up, resolving itself into a skeleton of a faerie, and begin hurling its own bones at us. Some faerie prisoner who had been forgotten too long. In typical spirit fashion, he was angry and lashed out at whoever was there. I pulled a small origami flower from my pouch and dropped it down to him. He continued yelling angrily in faerie, of course.
Kyosuke asked the White Faerie what the skeleton was saying. The White Faerie said, "I have no idea how to translate what he is saying. Let's just say he's referring to bodily pieces and functions, and comparing us negatively to them."
Kyosuke asked, "Can you find out what he's doing there?"
I answered, "He's probably upset because he's down there and none of his descendants come to visit him and pay him honor." Kyosuke nodded.
The White Faerie tried to calm the angry spirit, but failed and even angered the spirit more. He said sadly, "I really tried to be nice to him." He suggested we continue, and I agreed. After all, this was some sort of jail: he must have been a criminal to have been placed down here. It's best if we leave the disgruntled spirit alone.
From there, we went through a couple of hidden doors that Res Li found with no difficulty. On the other side of the storeroom was the kitchen and dining room. Since we doubted the great faerie hero was buried in the kitchen, the hidden door that led to a steep incline up was of more interest.
After a long and winding climb, we reached a passage with three exits. The end was a long spiral staircase going up. Res Li looked on the other side of the doors and saw a roughly octagonal rooms with a folding table with a backpack on it behind one. Other things are also scattered around the room: decorated shields, one handed axes with silver-coated blades, etc. He said lots of pretty shiny things, all modern. There were no other doors in the room. The other door led to another octagonal room with three doors, including the one he was looking through. In the middle was a 20 x 12 foot stone dais with a large 8 x 5 x 3 foot black rock. He said it had engravings in gold leaf, and gargoyles with twisted bodies on the corners. Ornately carved thrones on either side faced away from the dais.
ResLi suggested taking a quick look in the other room, in case the backpack's owner tried to go into the other room and got evaporated. I concurred, but simply because it made sense to look through the single room with no exits before the complicated room with two other exits. Perhaps a hint would be found in the occupied room.
It appeared to be a storage place for religious items which were brought here by the expedition. Shields, axes, a mirror with arcane faerie runes, tall candlesticks, a roll of sackcloth with incense burners, a unlocked small casket with half a dozen blocks of various incense, a leather writing case with pens and ink. The backpack held a robe intricately worked with gold and silver wire. All was modern.
Hosei said there was nothing particularly magical about anything in the room, but all the objects had a faint religious aura.
The other room is the place to go, then. Although we had high hopes, Ravena reported their crystals were not glowing any brighter, as we expect they will when we approach closer to their sister crystal.