Puzzles and Prophecies

EVENTS NEWS #473
Date: 06/16/2014 at 19:43
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: Puzzles and Prophecies

Deep within a pack of cured dragonskin, in the secure hands of a notorious thief, an ancient finger bone rattled around within a mahogany box. Did the thief hear the sound? We know not, but in the next moment the bone simply vanished, and the container crumbled to dust, bereft of purpose. And if the thief had guessed the import of what just transpired, he kept it to himself.

~ ~ ~

A year passed, and then another... the powers of the Conclave gathered close their allies, and the world debated who to support, who would prevail, and what the consequences might be. And as if this uncertainty wasn't enough to trouble the mind, deep in the Vashnar mountains, a mystery of an entirely different sort had begun to unfold.

The spring months of Miraman and Scarlatan found glowing phrases appearing on the walls of homes, bridges, and apartment buildings within the city of Cyrene. More than once, a patrolling citizen glimpsed a strange bone scratching upon the walls, leaving behind the obscure messages. Was this a threat? A warning? Many a Cyrenian walked the route over and over, from Ruminic Street to Bard's Way and Merrilon Avenue, puzzling over the meaning, and only after many days did the words finally begin to come together...

Time is the undoing
Of the unmovable mountain.
Will humble hearts open
To prophecy revealed?
For unstoppable is the tide
With vanguard cerulean
That heralds strength renewed
And puts to rest old ways.
Embrace the morning's gift
And fear not the day's end.
Below the road that passeth law
Pause and there bend knee.
Newborn is the gate
That opens ancient way.
Upon star-kissed stair
Below the beating heart
The unsure find purpose
And their way to the source.
There draw back the veil
And lay bare the secrets
Divined by aged augur.
Certain are the words
Uncertain the road.

A riddle, the city agreed... and the words hinted at some looming discovery! But where to start? "Below the road that passeth law" must be the courthouse along Merrilon Avenue, thought the runewarden Ryukage to himself, as he descended into the city sewers. His footsteps soon brought him to a place in the sewers beneath the avenue; heeding the written words, he knelt to the ground. And as he did, he noticed a stone in the wall that had come loose. Quickly he alerted his fellow citizens, and soon the sewers clamoured with the voices of Cyrenians.

While wiser members carefully inspected the surroundings, young Casiana, a student of the Arcane Kindred, eagerly reached out her hands and plucked the stone from the wall, dropping it with a loud THUNK! Nervously the rest watched as the wall trembled and shook, and dust and rock began to fall away from the space vacated by the stone. The stone continued to fall away; behind they could see a wooden wall, much older than the sewer construction and riddled with holes where it had been completely chewed through by termites. In the next moment the termites scattered from sight, and as a faint breeze stirred the air, the wooden wall turned to sawdust and collapsed completely, revealing an opening.

The Cyrenians now found themselves descending a spiral stair in a shaft that had long ago been sealed tight. At the bottom they discovered the flooded remnants of a living space, constructed with ancient timber that had now succumbed to rot. Tentatively stepping through the waterlogged remains, Mazel Traseran reached out a hand to draw aside a tapestry, wondering if this was the veil referred to in the riddle. The movement dislodged a scroll tucked upon a shelf behind the tapestry, an old and brittle document with the outline of a tree upon one side.

It was not long before Mazel's peers gathered close. Silence reigned as, one by one, they read the words upon the Scroll of the Withered Tree. It contained thirteen cryptic statements penned over 450 years ago... ominous portents that some recognised as events that occurred in more recent centuries. As the Cyrenians voiced their opinions and discussed the meaning of each prophecy, though, it became clear that some had not yet come to pass...

Penned by My hand on the 16th of Scarlatan, in the year 657 AF.