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The Writing on the Wall [OOC Comments or Questions Welcome]


Oli!

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(( This is a little kickoff vignette for a plot that I'll be running soon. More details and threads will probably pop up as things start to roll along. ))

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oliwat Kokiwat, the Very Last of the Rattlepacks, trudged through the Coerthas snow, holding his staff as a walking cane with one hand, and his robe close to his chest with the other as the wind whipped around him. The brim of his black conical hat managed to keep most of the snow from his face, yet every time he dared look up at his guide, the brewing storm rendered him almost blind.

 

The Elezen native rushed him with hurried words that were scarcely audible above the howl of the snowstorm. Were it not for his gesture (and the fact that he had been hurried along since arriving in Coerthas), Oliwat would not have been able to realize what he was being told.

 

Their chocobos had been left by a camp some distance behind. Although Oliwat would have liked to think that it had something to do with the storm, he knew in the back of his mind that his guide's paranoia was the real reasoning behind it. As loyal to his country the young Elezen was, it would seem that even some of the citizens had a doubt or two when it came to the Holy See. Inviting an adventurer to examine something that the government had not even been told about was grounds for more punishment than neither Elezen nor Lalafell were willing to go through.

 

He had picked that day for this reasoning as well. A snowstorm would do well to hide their movements, and their tracks would be covered within mere minutes of their forming. By the time the two had made it to the Witchdrop, Oliwat had long since lost himself in thought. It took a run-in with an outstretched arm of the Elezen to stop him.

 

"Down there," the guide said, "it's down there." He immediately began scrambling through the snow to the slope that led into the fissure, and Oliwat, though falling behind, did his best to follow. He had not been told what "It" was yet, only that it was something that seemed like Arcane Geometry. Not Oliwat's field of expertise, by any means, but it was something he had a little experience in.

 

The snow blowing over the Witchdrop seemed to form a solid, gleaming ceiling as the two descended, safe from the storm. The winds were calmer, and bursts of individual snow flurries that escaped from the storm drifted down and spiraled out into white dust. Oliwat had half a mind to rest when the two had reached the bottom, but his guide, ever paranoid and pressed for time, would have none of it.

 

"It's in the tunnel, here," he said quickly, immediately lowering his voice as if worried that someone else had been hiding in the crevasse, before scurrying over to the end of the area. Oliwat, with a sigh, pulled himself together once more to make the final trudge to the tunnel's entrance, pulling a book of geometrical references from his pack as he approached. The tunnel seemed blank when he approached, causing the Lalafell to furrow his brow as he examined the walls.

 

"I've hidden it behind the rocks, see," the Elezen explained before Oliwat could ask, "it takes a little work, but we can get it off. But don't look for too long, it could...Cause you to lose track of your surroundings." The guide produced a staff, and with a few strained grunts, began using aether to peel away stone and rock that had been hastily fused to the cavern wall. Oliwat flipped through his book in the meantime, familiarizing himself with what was there, and happened to glance up at the wall once a few moments had gone by. His eyes locked onto what he saw, and would not let go.

 

Etched into the walls were designs, swirling, interlocking, comprised of circles upon circles like interlocking, half-formed astronomical charts, yet repeating in places as if it were writing. Small, dust-like hints of aether lined the inside of the carvings, which were only a fraction of an inch deep, and thinner than the mage's finger. Were it not for the glow, they would have been nearly undetectable. The interlocking patterns seemed to swirl and shift within Oliwat's mind, yet what he saw remained the same. The Lalafell stood, dizzied yet frightened by the sensation.

 

"...This doesn't look like anything I've seen before. It isn't in my guidebook either," he said, stopping abruptly as he unwillingly immersed himself in the sensation of staring at the marks. "How long have they been here?" He finally managed to ask, failing to break away from the carvings.

 

The Elezen fidgeted uncomfortably, then shook his head as he came up with an answer. "No more than a week," he said, pausing, "I-I'm a good chef, you see, and my fellows at the observatory keep bothering me for some of my food whenever I bring it from home." He swallowed, as if afraid that his story would be going straight to his superiors afterwards. "So I started sneaking down here during my lunch breaks so that I could have some peace and quiet from time to time. Things became a bit busy at the observatory for a while, so I wasn't able to come back for a few days, maybe a week, and when I did, I found this." His own gaze became locked upon the Lalafell, unease filling his face when he saw exactly how enraptured Oliwat had become. Looking away, he darted off to the end of the tunnel, and began digging through the snow before pulling out a small, spherical object.

 

"There was also this," he said after a moment of staring at it himself. He hurried back over to Oliwat, who finally managed to tear his eyes away from the wall. In the Elezen's hands was a small sphere, just large enough to be held in both of the Lalafell's hands. Etched on its surface were similar patterns, all circular and interlocking, yet the glow of the wall was absent, and Oliwat felt no haunting pull towards it.

 

"May I take this with me?" He asked after a moment, still staring at the orb. To his surprise, he was greeted with a frenzied nod from the Elezen when he finally looked up.

 

"Please do," he responded, "I want this, and knowledge of it, far from here. I would have destroyed this and the markings myself, but any tool I tried against it shattered, and the wall failed to crack or move, even with my aether." He shook his head. "Please, take it, and see if you can find a way to get rid of the markings, they extend all over the wall, and I refuse to uncover any more of it."

 

Oliwat furrowed his brow slightly at the Elezen, then nodded in acknowledgement. "If it's alright with you, I'd like you to help me take a rubbing of the section of the wall you uncovered, and then we can leave." He paused, looking towards the wall once more. "...Yes. I'd like to get out of here, too."

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