Journal of Jendir Ivrendy – Archeologist
We have finally arrived in Calaunt, just short of two ten-days out of Alaghon. Tomorrow we meet our guide who will take us north into the Flooded Forest. Hopefully we can find the evidence we are seeking, that our ancestors in Jhaamdath did indeed spread north across the Sea of Fallen Stars! Tovec and Stum have joined me from the Museum, both eager to find any artifacts. Crast has travelled all the way from Impultur, being an expert on ancient Thorass texts she will be vital in helping translate any texts we are able to find.
Today we met our guide, Evan, a ranger from Ylraphon that knows these lands as well as anyone. He has suggested we return to a boat and sail up the Dragon Reach to north of Ylraphon, and then land and trek towards the dig site.
We are in the swamp! Although it is uncomfortable, wet, and full of biting insects, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Evan has said we are only a day or two away from the first site, and the second is not much further from that. None of us can wait to get into the dig!
The first site, our first dig, this will be hard work. The land looks promising, Stum is confident he can make out some indications of foundations under the surface, and Tovec has already uncovered several pottery shards.
That was a waste of time. Three days digging and nothing but flooded holes and sinking mud. The foundation Stum was sure of was nothing but a natural sediment bank, and Tovec’s artefacts appear to be nothing but recent remnants of a local tribe.
Evan has led us to a second site, this one shows much more promise. Tovec was the first to notice that even though the area we are in is in a slight hollow, the ground is surprisingly dry. Evan has known of this place his whole life, but local belief is that there is a natural underground drain in the area. Stum is not so sure, and has begun digging in the very centre of the dry patch.
Success!!! Stum has found a buried structure! We spent the day clearing what we could, and it appears to be the cap of a pyramid. Could this be it? Could this be a Jhammdathian ruin? I know the first Jhaamdathans built tombs and temples as pyramids out of ease and convenience, but such grand structures were only ever found in and around the capital. Even then they only built them for a few hundred years. There is something very special about this place.
There is too much to dig! Evan has suggested we bring in some help, and even has some people in mind to come and help. He wants to leave to organise them, which we have all agreed to, we shall remain here and continue digging. Perhaps we will find an entrance to the pyramid!
Tovec has had a breakthrough! He has identified a series of inscriptions on the capstone, indicating the direction of the complex entrance. He has deduced it is to the west, but without knowing the size of the pyramid we will be guessing. We have set out an area to begin digging in.
Evan has returned with his diggers. Lizardfolk!!! I never thought I would live to work side-by-side with Lizardfolk! Evan assures us these are from a friendly tribe, one known to him and his family for almost a century. They certainly seem friendly enough, and more than willing to help. Some of them can even speak a little common! It is going to make the work much easier.
The Lizardfolk are digging well, they continue to excavate the capstone and have started on the possible entrance. It’s interesting, but their foreman – Jokizu – has indicated the ground they are digging in is, unusual. Now that he has mentioned it, the ground here is very dry.
Jokizu has finally briefed us on his findings, this pyramid has been accessed before! There is an old tunnel that was dug down and since filled in. We shall continue to excavate, who knows what other surprises await us!
Jokizu has brought in more of his tribesmen to assist in the digging. They hope to be at the entrance in another day or two. Crast continues to take rubbings of the capstone, she is perplexed that there are so little writings on the stonework.
We have found the entrance!
Jokizu and his crew have cleared the entrance, a grand stone archway that seems to lead to the pyramid proper. They are going to reinforce the old tunnel so we can get into the Pyramid. Crast has been working on translating the writing on the archway, but as it is not in any form of Thorassian she has ever seen it may take some time.
We are at the door! Evan has found a trap that still functions at the entrance, but he has shown us how to avoid it. Crast and Stum has concluded that this pyramid is not of Jhaamdathian origin, but something much older. They think the writing on the entrance is a hybrid of infernal and celestial, only much older. Even Tovec agreed, saying that the stone seemed to indicate something older than Jhaamdath, perhaps into the Elven Age of the Crown Wars.
This has been too exciting! We have spent days inside the pyramid, and still seem no closer to understanding its origins. The central chamber houses a sealed door that leads deeper inside, Stum has found the lock mechanism but is unable to breach it. There is a large inscription on the door, one that appears much more recent than the age of the pyramid would suggest. So far none of us have had any luck translating it. There are six side chambers, each seeming to hold some sort of puzzle. Perhaps this is the key to opening the sealed door?
Tovec has found something! With Crast’s help they have translated an inscription in the 3rd chamber. It seems that this pyramid was discovered by a Jhaamdathian expedition some 6000 years ago! Whatever it was originally has been lost, but the Jhaamdathians consecrated it as a temple to the Arrtyr. It is strange the that we cannot find any other references or symbols to Arrtyr, almost as if something has removed them.
I have made some progress around solving the mystery of this pyramid. It was indeed a temple to Arrtyr for seemingly thousands of years, before it sunk into the Flooded Forest as it formed almost 3000 years ago. Sometime in the last two centuries someone dug down and accessed the pyramid. This is when we feel the sealed granite door was modified with the new inscription, and the references to Arrtyr removed. It remains a complete mystery as to who or why, as none of us can translate the door writtings.
This is frustrating! We cannot for the life of us solve this puzzle! Evan has sent for someone else that he says can help, hopefully he is right!
Another Lizardfolk has joined us, but he is…different. The others are more than happy to help, but this one is somehow darker. He has already sent the majority of the diggers away, and armed the ones that remain. That said he does work fast! He brought several scrolls and was able to access one of the puzzle rooms! The room had a series of stones with unknown runes on them, he stepped out a word causing a pedestal to raise with a small stone on it. He placed the stone in a hole above the sealed door and it locked in place!
It seems there are six stones, one from each room, and they must be placed in a particular order above the door to unlock it. The text on the door reveals the order! Now we just have to solve the other five puzzles!
This is madness! The dark lizard has killed them all! Crast and Tovec died in the second chamber when their arms were lost, Evan and Stum have been executed and dragged into the 4th chamber. I know I am next. The dark lizard could not solve the other puzzles, and in frustration smashed a model of the temple, finding another stone. If only it had given us the scrolls it had, we could have translated everything and solved the puzzles. Instead it refused to and has resorted to brute force…