Join the Adventure from the beginning!
From the deck of the airship, Nym could see the whole of Meiville stretched out before her with breathtaking majesty. Amos continued to struggle with the finer details of piloting a sky vessel and Nym was beginning to see a certain charm in all of his fussing and niggling at the helm. Her initial fears of flying had passed and she now moved freely around the Crow in undisguised delight. Something about the wind in her hair made her feel recharged, and the energy and power within her was almost dizzying.
“Careful over there, Peach,” Amos warned, taking a moment to relish her almost silly mood, “I only allow dancing in the cabin … and then only with me.” He turned from the helm, and gave Nym a half smile; For his inattention the ship bucked and groaned.
Nym smiled back at Amos and took a seat safely on the hold’s hatchway, her shapely legs dangling in. She was a tangle of challenging emotions: excitement, fear, concern- but in this moment, high above the world with the breeze spinning around her- with Amos banging and clanging and occasionally giving himself a minor injury, she allowed herself to just be alive.
Even the little cog in her pocket seemed to purr happily. The return to GhostRaven’s SteamPunk and Pirates was the test of much of their hard work, and perhaps the next step in finding the man, Marcel.
Standing in front of the ornate wooden door gave a feeling of absolute awe. It was both compelling and frightening.
“The first of the symbols within the door,” Nym explained, “work like a compass rose. Pointing the cardinal directions with Meiville due north, just as it would be on a map. Using the pattern this way I was able to understand that the images represent points. I thought at first they were points on a map – perhaps cities or landmarks. I drew that all out thinking the points had to be linked somehow but it was a dead end. Then, yesterday morning I was sitting at the archive, and the sun came in through the window and it cast a shadow over my work and I thought to myself that it must be around 9am.” She paused, waiting for Amos to pick up the lead.
“It’s a sundial?” He asked, questioning his reasoning.
Nym grinned at him widely, ever impressed with his thinking.
“Kind of,” she said, “but not literally. I had to wait for the morning hours to test my theory. When the sun was willing, I took the door drawing and used Meiville as the point of reference for the dial. I could then manipulate the shadow based on the cardinal directions of each of the civilizations of ancient Bellstead.”
“That’s genius,”Amos remarked.
“Not really. And no.” Nym frowned, “Because it didn’t tell me anything. I just had a bunch of shadows pointing to all over the place and more symbols that I don’t understand. Until…” Nym reached into her satchel and withdrew Amos’ reproduction of the door using numbers instead of symbols.
“They are points, just not points on a map. They are points in time.” Nym was beginning to talk hurriedly, obviously excited by the possibility. She could see that she was confusing him and clarified, “Dates, Amos.”
“The shadows, with Meiville as due north and the sun the direction of the symbol’s origin, fall through exact dates of specific events, I think, ” Nym looked at the door with apprehension. “I think that if we use the cog to highlight the specific dates in order …”
“It will open?” Amos asked, with definite hesitation about discovering what was on the other side.
“Maybe.” Nym said pensively. “Or, maybe not.”
The opening of the Elderwood Door, for all of it’s riddles and challenges, was expressly anticlimactic. A singular click, a bit of dust and door flew open. As it moved, Nym felt Amos instinctively position himself between her body and the door. They were both frightened of what they might find, but he was clearly not willing to let whatever it might be hurt her.
The interior was almost like a pantry of strange and peculiar items, all shelved and labeled clearly, many surrounded by symbols and wards in addition to those upon the door. The light within the room shifted, casting peculiar shadows all about in a way that was both magical and disconcerting. Nym was drawn immediately to a wooden table in the center of the room, joined by a simple metal chair and the presence of a leather bound book.
“Probably best not to touch anything on the shelves, ” Nym warned.
The book upon the table was an account of time travel as written by one Jonas Rowland Glass, and was of it’s own binding, completely unextraordinary. However, the margins and in many cases the pages themselves were covered in the writings, drawing and figures of-Nym supposed- Marcel Ghostraven. As her eyes danced over his careful records her attention was called to a single word.. ‘Lys.’
Amos was wandering among the peculiarities reading labels and staring with fascination. Occasionally she could hear him read allowed, “The floating helm of Bethazar” or “Jewel of Waternoose.” None of these words meant anything to either of them, but raised the small hairs on the back of your neck when uttered.
At last Amos came to something so strange, he called her attention, “Nym?! This is curious! Come look!”
At the far end of the room stood an elegantly structured enclosure that -but for the strange glow it emitted – might have been mistaken for the cage of a large bird. On closer observation Nym’s eyes were almost mesmerized to see a cage within the cage, and another within that, like a complex holographic image, stretching off into forever. Above and below the were two brilliant prisms both seeming connected to a spindle like device. She suspect that the entire enclosure had once had the ability to spin and when it did, would have cast the light around in an unending prism of defensive, protective and binding runes.
Despite all of these mechanisms, the small door of the cage stood open- a reality that put an unimaginable fear into Nym’s heart. Tearing her eyes away she felt faint, and Amos alarmed and confused had to help her to the metal chair which scrapped the stone floor with a cold and inhospitable scream.
“Nym? Are you okay?” Amos asked.
“Yes, it’s just…” she lost her words, her mind blank with a dread she could not comprehend. Her eyes wide as everything she didn’t understand but wanted to be able to annunciate twirled cyclonically through her mind.
Amos looked again at the bizarre enclosure and read the label blow it: