Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Athite Stone


Featherune, Veratar

Not long after I arrived at Arcan’s house the following morning, Arcan’s sister Saycia showed up as well. Saycia is a member of Dark Dawn, a guild committed to deciphering ancient texts and studying cryptology. (At least that’s their stated mission.) After visiting for a while Arcan invited me to stay with him, rather than at the inn downtown.

Now for those of you familiar with the events of Prelude, you’ll remember that Arcan won a lockbox containing a white stone from Solan in a Ruse match. This was shortly before Solan’s disappearance in the Shrinking Depths. Solan had instructed Arcan to sell the stone. Arcan didn't listen.

A day after I arrived at Arcan’s house, he called me into an empty room of his house. From beneath the floor boards he revealed a secret compartment. Within this compartment, wrapped in a blanket was a lockbox. From the lockbox he produced a pearlescent white stone, taking care not to touch it with his bare hands and placing it into a stone bowl.

“You know what this is, don't you?” Arcan asked.

“The stone given to you by Solan before his disappearance,” I answered.

“Indeed. Yet, we’ve learned much about this stone in recent months. We now suspect this stone to be an Athite specimen. Athite is a banned form of radia so we keep the existence of this stone hidden,” explained Arcan. “But, there is something inscribed on the stone,” said Arcan, motioning to his sister.

Saycia produced a magnification lens from her pocket. Holding it up to the stone Arcan pointed to a series of tiny cryptic markings. This inscription is something which Solan had either missed entirely or did not speak of while the stone had been in his possession.

I asked Arcan, “So, what does it say?”

Saycia interrupted, speaking with a wry smile, “It’s an ancient Sarion language called Lokma. When translated it reads: Effect (property) of Voltaire, Shrinking Depths.”

Voltaire? Who is this in reference to? Why are they connected with the Shrinking Depths?

To quote the great Sherlock Holmes, “the game is afoot.”


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