Apr. 16. In the Map Room, Envoy and Zoltan discover Paradys.
(Envoy) (City of Hands) (H'rral) (Jynx) (Kaela) (Paradys Lost) (Savan) (Zoltan)

Clouds do not clutter the sky as the sun shines down upon a stepped pyramid in a cleared portion of the City ruins, signs in Formal running along its stone surfaces. A walled walkway – the Processionway – leads up to the base of the pyramid, running parallel to the Procession that echoes its motion in the sky above. On each side of the Processionway are stone hands that echo the basic signs of Formal, left and right, forming a symmetry all the way toward this ancient structure.

Envoy looks to Zoltan, who's carrying the crystals. "I hadn't expected so many people to come," she whispers to him.

Zoltan, for once, seems more relaxed than usual. "Is alrights," he whispers back. "Is no think they going to cause problems." He looks back at Jezebel for a moment.

Jezebel stands to one side of the stone door, wearing a different dress and cloak, this a dull, splotched gray. She also has a different cloth tied around her head, a blue bandanna. Her hair is splayed and frazzled. She's having a very bad hair (and fur) day.

Jynx tags along with the older furs, still very much lost at the current happenings.

Janus is trailing along a few paces behind Envoy, watching everyone with a curious expression.

Envoy nods to Zoltan, and goes to one of the 'keyholes' flanking the door. "I need someone else to help open the door."

Roho chuckles, "Um, don't look at me… "

Janus catches sight of Jezebel and can't suppress a short laugh.

Jynx stays out of the way, and tries to be unnoticable.

Zoltan looks back to Janus. "You mind lending hand? All you gots do is stick hand in slot and make sign for 'open'." He holds up one of his own hands… which has only four digits as opposed to five like most Savanites. It was by sheer luck that he managed to open the door last time.

Envoy smiles to Janus, "Are you right handed or left handed?"

Janus shakes his head, "Sure." He pads up to the other side of the door and holds his hand near the hole. "Does this have to be at the same time? Right handed, why?"

Zoltan searches the ground for a pole or a stick.

Envoy takes the left-handed keyhole then. "Just stick your hand in, and make the sign when I signal you to."

Janus switches sides with a grunt. He puts his hand in the hole and looks at Envoy.

Envoy sticks her left hand into her own hole, and waits for the lock mechanism to engage.

There are a few poles nearby, left over from the previous expedition. Some are broken. With an audible sound, the lock mechanism engages, and the stone block scrapes as it opens, revealing a corridor inside.

Janus tilts his head and looks in the open door. "That was easy."

Jezebel walks toward the entrance, signing, "I think I understand what will be involved when we reach the innermost chamber."

Zoltan picks up one of the longer unbroken poles and walks towards the entryway. "Careful… is trap right at entrance."

Envoy says, "You know about this chamber, Jezebel?"

Jezebel halts in midstep. She turns toward Zoltan, signing, "Trap?"

Janus mms? at Jezebel, then glances at Zoltan.

Zoltan bobs his head up and down quickly and very slowly eases the pole into the passage.


The pole is now a bit shorter.

Jynx looks over the Vartan's shoulder curiously.

Jezebel jolts, and staggers backward, away from the entrance.

Jynx jumps back!

Janus jumps, snatching his hand out of the lock.

Janus says, "Wha… ?"

Zoltan inches the pole forward a bit more. "Envoy… gets me another stick if this one run out."

*CRUNCH* *CRACK* *splinter* *CRUNCH* *MUNCH* *PUNCH* *CRACK* And so on.

Envoy nods, and looks for more sticks to replace the ones Zoltan destroys.

Jynx shudders "Are we g-going in there?"

Each blow seems to have a bit less force, though, until it's actually possible to see the stone smasher in action. At last, it does little more than push hard against the stick, before retracting.

Envoy says, "Only if you want to, Jynx."

Envoy says, "I suspect most of you will find it boring, though."

Janus regains his composure and watches the destruction. "Hmm. Somehow I doubt that would have done much for your appearance, Third-Eye."

Zoltan continues to hold the remnants of the stick out, waiting for the puncher to stop alltogether.

Jezebel just looks away.

The stone smasher partially comes out of the wall, but slides to a stop, barely an inch extended.

Jynx says, "What's down there anyways?"

Janus grins a bit, then looks at Zoltan and Envoy. "Is that the only one?"

Zoltan takes one of the whole sticks from envoy to use on the trip out. "Is think it only one. Was when we in here last."

Envoy says, "A chamber for tracking the movements of several sky islands, Jynx."

Envoy heads down the passage…

Janus hmms. "Well, unless someone's been industrious, it's probably still the only one, then."

Janus shrugs and follows Envoy.

Jezebel turns to see everyone entering, and goes in as well … stooping down as she enters.

Jynx looks around at the jungle, weighs his options, and follows the rest.

Zoltan walks in as well, glancing over his shoulder to look at Jezebel. "You coming?" He scrawks.

The passage comes to an end at a solid stone wall.

Janus stops and rubs his nose. "OK. What next?"

Jezebel nods in response, keeping behind Zoltan.

Envoy reaches down and pulls the (counterweighted) wall up.

Janus laughs. "You've been putting on some muscle, Envoy?"

Zoltan signs to Jezebel, "See anything interesting on the floor back there?"

The wall slides up with a bit of effort, but it opens up, revealing a large, cylindrical chamber beyond, that is lit from above.

Envoy says, "I should warn you that knowledge of what's in this chamber can get you executed if you tell the wrong person about it."

Jynx gulps "Thanks for the tip."

Zoltan winces.

Jezebel signs to Zoltan, when she thinks no one else is looking, "Not my head, at least. You could have simply 'forgotten' to tell me about that trap, and no one would have been the wiser. It would have just been an accident."

Janus makes a face. "I think I'm beginning to get used to that, Envoy."

Envoy goes into the chamber.

Jynx begins to wonder if maybe the jungle was the better of the two options…

The cylindrical chamber has a raised, cylindrical dais in the center. Two narrow beams of light come down from a point high in the ceiling. From the entrance, they would seem to blend into just one beam.

Janus slips inside and looks around.

Jynx takes a deep breath, and follows Janus.

About the room are various stone spheres suspended from the walls and ceiling and floor, with numerous channels running about. There are also four statues of Nagas, each holding a sphere above, engraved with mystical runes.

Zoltan unfurls a wing just a bit to hide his signing. "Yes… I could have. But didn't. Hope you remember that. Incident in tribe made me rethink few things." He refolds his wing and enters the chamber.

Zoltan glares at the Naga statues. "These no here before."

Envoy says, "We'll have to get rid of these statues, Zoltan."

Zoltan looks to Envoy. "Titus put these here?"

The ceiling of the chamber includes upon it a mosaic pattern that resembles a projection map of Sinai itself – The largest continents of Ai, Ur and Lamu can be seen plainly, as well as the island groupings. Unlike most airship maps of Sinai, it doesn't include the obligatory projections of known Forbidden Zones, though.

Janus gestures toward the passage. "Just line them up in the hall.

Jynx investigates one of the statues curiously, and gives it a push.

Envoy nods to Zoltan as she tests the weight of the nearest statue.

Imbedded in the floor is a sphere that is adorned in tiles of Lapis lazuli and other semi-precious stones that spell out the shapes of land masses and water on Sinai, though on a globe.

The statue falls over, knocking up a cloud of dust … though it bounces a bit, in a way that stone shouldn't, and doesn't make much of a racket, really, at all.

Janus looks at Jynx curiously.

Zoltan scratches at the surface of one of the statues with his talons.

Jynx coughs, and waves dust from his face.

Jynx says, "Are these even stone?"

The statues are very well painted to resemble stone even with a moderately close inspection, but bits flake away, revealing their fake nature.

Envoy says, "Paper."

Envoy drags the fallen statue out into the hall.

Janus reaches out and takes ahold of one of the statues by an upraised arm and drags it to the hall, lining it up several paces from the entrance.

Zoltan hefts one of the statues, eagerly ready to chunk it out of the room.

Jynx tries to drag the overturned statue out into the hall.

Jezebel walks around, gazing at the various features of the room. She pauses near one of the crystalline fixtures that are imbedded in the walls like stylized stars.

Janus pads back into the room, dodging Zoltan and Jynx. "Easier to move than stone."

The small cat clumsily picks up the statue, and totters it out to the hall.

Janus stops and watches Jezebel. With an absentminded shrug he walks over to her and gestures toward the fixture. "Do you know what that is?"

Jezebel signs, "It is part of what makes this work. I only know bits, but I think Zoltan would be relieved to know that – as far as I know – magic is not involved here."

Zoltan squawks, "If they made of paper then that mean they burn good when we make fire tonights."

Envoy comes back inside the chamber once the last statue is cleared out, and waits for the others to come back in.

Jynx reenters the chamber, and notices the sphere. He goes to take a closer look.

Janus mms and looks around thoughtfully. "I'd have to guess that he's not the only person who'd be so relieved."

Envoy says, "Try not to get too close, Jynx… just in case."

Jezebel signs, "No one should stand close to these crystals. In fact, the more people in here, the more chance that one of us will block the light. … I will stand near the entrance, since that should be safe."

Jynx nods to Envoy, and backs away, his gaze still on the globe.

Envoy stands near the dais where the light beams hit, and begins to unpack pairs of hands from the pack Zoltan brought.

Janus scratches his chin and shrugs, following Jezebel to the doorway. "Fair enough."

Jynx follows the other felines out, and takes a seat outside the chamber.

Zoltan blinks at Jezebel and scoots back so that he's partially in the doorway, but not completely out of the chamber.

Jynx glances at the crystal hands. "What are those for?"

Janus sets his back against the wall and crosses his arms, managing to look fairly bored but still remain attentive.

Envoy lines up the crystal hands in the pairing she remembers from the inner side of the 'door', and then begins to roll a few of the orbs in their tracks. "They are the medium the path algorithms are encoded in."

Zoltan signs to Jezebel, "Know which hands Envoy need to use?"

Jynx scratches his head, "Uh, sure… "

Janus blinks. "The what?"

Jezebel moves away from the doorway, stooping down besides the pairs of hands, and examining them.

Zoltan just shakes his head. He's known Envoy long enough to not be suprised by her all that much.

Envoy finishes adjusting the orbs into the position she thinks represents the current date, and moves one pair of the crystals into the light beams.

As the hands move into the light beams, the beams are refracted and redirected, sending beams of light of different color all over the room, bouncing off the crystals, and some of the light forming a projection onto a smooth section of the wall.

Jynx watches amazed, "Wow… "

Envoy checks the image. "Does that look like Paradys to you, Zoltan?"

Janus's arms drop to his sides at about the same speed his mouth falls open.

Zoltan looks at the projection.

The projection resembles an outline of a sky island in profile, then from above, with a symbol to one side, and some strange symbols.

Zoltan squints at the projection. "No can tell. Is all black."

Janus regains control of his jaw and closes it with a quiet snap.

Jynx whispers to Janus, "This is better than watching the amazing Chipper back at the Bazaar!"

The two hands form the signs "Wave", and "Standard". The rune on the projection looks like a cross, but with the horizontal line being a sine wave.

Envoy looks up to the projection map on the ceiling.

A white-robed Mage-Priest walks into the entrance of the chamber, and looks around. "Greetings," he signs. "I do hope that I do not disturb."

Envoy smiles and bows a little to the Mage.

A point of light appears on the map on the ceiling, showing a point that is located somewhere over the Himaat desert at present.

Kaela follows close behind the Mage-Priest, and looks about the room in mild surprise.

Janus glances at the robed Savanite and shrugs. "Can't be any more disturbed than I am already."

Jynx jumps a bit in surprise at the arriving cheetahs. "Oh, hello."

Zoltan flinches a bit at the entrance of the mage but manages to smile. "No intrusion." He signs. "We just trying to locate certain island."

Envoy signs to the Mage, "Do you recognize the projected island?"

Jynx oh nos, more handspeak…

Jezebel looks across the other pairings. "They're all nonsense," she signs.

Envoy speaks out loud as well, since Icelight needs to learn the spoken language.

Kaela frowns slightly, looking from the assembled group to Jezebel and back again.

Jezebel looks up to Kaela, at last noticing her presence. (Or maybe just now deciding to acknowledge her.) She smiles in a way that doesn't look overly friendly, and signs, "Welcome, sister. Isn't it pretty?"

Kaela doesn't look particularly pleased, either. "You brought them all here?"

Jezebel grins and signs, "The more, the merrier!"

Zoltan looks back to the open door. "Was symbols on there that had names for islands… maybe if we close door and try using combinations there?"

Janus smirks and shakes his head to Jezebel. He makes a show of looking around before saying, "Tsk, tsk. Like I said: it's no wonder that nobody likes you."

Envoy says, "I am using those combinations, Zoltan."

Kaela signs, "Why don't you just send a map to the City to the Temple and send engraved invitations?"

Jynx just looks from face to face, confused at all the conversation.

Kaela makes very, very small, controlled gestures with her hands. "What is the use of hiding the city if you bring everyone in?"

Jezebel frowns exaggeratedly to Janus and signs, "Perhaps you shouldn't have come. Look. You're hurting the poor thing's feelings."

Zoltan keeps quiet, trying to focus on the work at hand.

Jezebel turns back to Kaela, signing, "Once I convince the Twelve-Times-Twelve to unleash their power upon our enemies, there will be no need for secrecy anymore."

Envoy says, "Perhaps you could describe Paradys to the Mage, Zoltan?"

Janus shakes his head and smirks again.

Kaela looks up at the Mage-Priest. "She's making it so that my plans can't work, and she's doing it on purpose!" As though he was a referee of some sort…

Janus supresses a chortle, coughing suddenly.

Jynx watches the rapid hand movements between the cheetahs, and gets a headache.

The Mage-Priest signs back to Kaela, "But you each have been given the power to allow those whom you please to enter. If anyone comes to attack the City, we will still defend it, but it is not our place to interfere with this."

Envoy begins moving the orbs in one-month increments into the future now, glancing up and memorizing the position of the island after each change.

The island seems to follow a fairly repetitive track as it orbits the world, according to the map.

Kaela grows more agitated. "But if anyone who comes in tells the people back at Rephidim… they'll come search for us, and we'll have to fight them again… Jezebel will win even without you picking her!"

Jezebel walks over to Kaela. "Would you like me to send them all away, sister?"

Envoy resets the orbs back to the current time, and sets up the next pair of crystal hands in the beams.

The hands make another projection, and another point of light.

Zoltan signs to the mage priest, "We need to find island called Paradys. Is legendary island of gold… can you help us?"

Janus awws, "Then who would deflate your ego, Third-Eye?"

Kaela frowns at Jezebel. "You already did the damage," she signs.

Jezebel looks to Kaela, then signs, "Then the damage is done. Stop acting like a spoiled brat." With that, she walks back over to stand beside Zoltan.

Kaela blinks a few times, looking from Jezebel to the Mage-Priest, and back again. Isn't he going to say anything?

Jynx grins a bit, and surmises that these two are sisters, since he recognizes the bickering from he and his own sister.

The Mage-Priest looks to Zoltan, then to Kaela. "What would you have me do, Princess?"

Zoltan looks up at Jezebel and just sighs. "You get along like this with all you family?"

Jezebel shrugs, and looks over toward the projection with mild curiosity.

Envoy has already begun moving the new island through its course. Identification can always be done later.

Envoy continues switching islands and moving them along their paths for a year apiece.

Janus looks around with a bemused expression and turns into the hall. "I'll be outside when everyone gets done fighting."

Envoy pauses in her work at Janus' words, and starts paying attention to Kaela and Jezebel again.

Jynx ponders following Janus, but is just too entranced by the images on the wall.

Zoltan gestures to get Jezebel's attention.

Kaela swallows hard. She remains still for long enough to sign, "I have seen the last Priest-King. I have seen the destruction his wrath, his lust for power, and his insanity visited upon our people. But even in his worst hour he did not sell his family as slaves for his own profit… And when the time came, he recognized his crimes. I… " She fidgets a bit before finishing, "I hadn't thought… any of us would wish to repeat our downfall so soon after gaining our freedom… "

Jezebel looks to Zoltan, her initial amazement turning quickly to boredom.

Turning, the little cheetah leaves the map room, walking for the first two steps, but rapidly picking up speed as her eyes begin to water.

Icelight looks to the others, then signs, "If you will pardon me, I must go. I bid you well." With that, he follows Kaela, albeit at a much slower pace than her feet carry her.

Envoy blinks, unsure of what to do. After a moment, she goes back to tracking the islands.

Jynx winces as the young cheetah runs out. o O(I wonder what all that was about?)

Zoltan's ears droop a bit at the kitten's departure… then he turns to Jezebel again. "Would your white robe mage friend know which island we look for?"

Jezebel sneers at Kaela's hasty retreat, then looks to Zoltan, signing, "He is not my friend. He is my tester. But he might know something of this."

Zoltan signs, "Please get him. And I will accept deal you made offer for… is look like it only way."

Jezebel meets Zoltan's gaze for a few seconds, then nods, and slowly walks out of the chamber.

Zoltan tugs at Envoy's sleeve. "Wait for moments. Third-Eye is come back with help."

Envoy nods to Zoltan.

Jynx, like all cats, quickly gets bored with the images on the wall, and begins to pace the hall, looking for something to interest him.

Zoltan falls back against the stone wall and groans, rubing his head.

Some time later, Jezebel returns, followed by another white-robed Mage-Priest, Twilight-Wing. Once he enters, Jezebel signs, "The Vartan is seeking a sky island, but he does not know its name or what it looks like or where to find it. Nor do I. All we know is that it is 'shiny'."

Zoltan signs, "Is rumored to be made of gold and other shinies."

Jynx sits against the wall, tossing a small rock from paw to paw to pass the time.

After a long pause, during which the Mage-Priest is unresponsive, Jezebel amends with, "I would appreciate any information you might provide which may help us find it. If we can find it, the Vartan will give us passage to the world outside. It is relevant to your mission."

Twilight-Wing, looking to be in no particular hurry, looks over the pairs of crystal hands. He signs, "If it is 'shiny', perhaps something in its name might speak of something related to that."

Envoy signs, "We do not have all of the crystal hands needed for all of the islands listed."

Zoltan holds his breath.

Zoltan picks out a hand that represents the word for 'light', and begins looking at the others.

Envoy reaches for the hand signing 'Eye'. "This one is paired with 'Light' on the wall chart."

The sign for "light" looks somewhat like someone had made an "OK" handsign, except that the free fingers fold back behind the "O", radiating outward, making an appearance of, with some imagination, rays radiating outward from a light source – such as the sun.

The sign for "Eye" looks as if one touched the tips of the index finger and thumb, forming an oval tipped on its side, with the rest of the fingers lined up behind.

Zoltan hands the crystal to Envoy. As soon as he hands are free he signs, "Thank you both for help." to Jezebel and Twilight-Wing.

Envoy places the hands into the beams.

Jynx dozes off a bit, the rock clattering to the ground, and the small cat snoring softly.

The projection lights up the far wall. The profile of a sky island appears, along with a view of the island from above. Of course, a sky island can be viewed from many directions, but the central island has enough of a distinct shape that this would probably still serve as some means of identification.

Envoy says, "Do you think that's the right one?"

Zoltan looks to the mage.

The symbol on the wall resembles a stylized "eye" (sort of an oval on its side, with points at each end, rather than curves), but without a "pupil", and then three lines raising up from the eye, and a single line descending from it.

Twilight-Wing looks to Jezebel.

Jezebel looks to Zoltan.

Jynx snores softly, muttering and twitching a bit in his sleep.

Jezebel looks back to the Mage-Priest, looking a bit annoyed. "Well?" she signs, in exaggerated movements. "We aren't going to go across the globe on a wild Gooshurm chase!"

Zoltan looks at the symbol. "Is look kind of like shiny island."

Twilight-Wing signs, "That particular island is one that moves from one Forbidden Zone to the next. It defies easy study. But it is possible that it might have some structure upon it which might appear 'shiny', as you sign."

The point of light on the map of Sinai shows it near Lamu, the third major continent.

Envoy blinks. An island that travels between Forbidden Zones? She starts plotting its course over the next few months.

The island follows a more angular means of travel than most of the others. It heads on a straight line from point to point, then hovers at a given destination for about a week or so (it varies), and then goes off on a straight line to another point, and stays THERE for a while, and so forth. From Envoy's previous study of maps, indeed, these represent places that would be in Forbidden Zones.

Zoltan scratches his chin, an idea forming. He goes over to Envoy and gives her a date (rather far in the past, strangely) and a set of coordinates. "Can you set globe for that? I explain later if it work."

The date would be during the reign of Kephren the Fifth, a previous Captain-Astromancer well over a century past.

Envoy tries backtracking to the given date. It takes quite a while…

Zoltan anxiously watches the island position on the globe…

The point of light pauses at a spot between the continents of Ai and Ur, not really all that far from there Paquebot Carnelian currently is positioned (though it is not indicated on this map).

Zoltan throws his arms up in the air, making a rather loud (but joyful) SQUAWK!

Moving the point forward or back would indicate that the island would have been in a period of transition between the continents at this indicated point in time, rather than being in a Forbidden Zone.

Jynx jolts out of sleep at the noise, and falls over. "What was that?"

Zoltan quickly signs with shaking hands, "This is it! This is it!"

Jynx rubs a bump on his head.

Jezebel looks a bit alarmed, but regards Zoltan, and then smirks to Twilight-Wing. She signs, "Make sure you are packed. I think we may be taking a trip." She looks meaningfully to Zoltan, signing, "Isn't that so?"

Jynx yawns, and stretches "What's he so happy about? You'd think he'd found some kind of paradise or something."

Zoltan smiles brightly at Jezebel, in fact… it's the brightest he's smiled during this entire trip. "Yes, yes that is so."

Jezebel signs, "I will leave now to make arrangements." She slinks out of the chamber, then stops in her tracks, and turns around. "And don't forget to duck on your way out."

Zoltan offers Jezebel his wooden pole.

Jezebel shakes her head, and follows Twilight-Wing as he leads the way for her out of the corridor. When they exit, there's a light "whock", but no screams or sounds of breaking bones or anything like that. (Whether this is fortunate or unfortunate is left as an exercise for the reader.)

Envoy says, "Zoltan, would it be alright with you if the crystal hands remained here in the City?"

Jynx stands and stretches.

Zoltan squawks, "Fine with me. They no cause trouble here. You think you can make map of where island going to be for next few months, is not know how long it going to take to follow it."

Envoy nods to Zoltan, and resets the orbs to the current week in preparation to leave.


GMed by Greywolf

Previous Log: Chain ReactionNext Log: Leaders Must Lead
Thread Links
(City of Hands)
(Paradys Lost)

Back to list of Logs 176-200

Log listings page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96
Recent Logs - Thread Listing

Home Page
Player Guide
Log Library
Recent Logs
Dramatis Personae
Art Gallery
Moz Ezley Asylum

Today is 6 days before Midsummer's Day, Year 28 of the Reign of Archelaus the First (6127)