Maps and Mountains
We left our heroes waiting at a B&B for the notice of the Elyssian
ambassador. After a few hours, a messenger comes and invites us to an
audience. Soon, we are in Attalais's giant-scale study. Robbie explains
that we have now gathered the leadership of those nephilim in exile on
Yazatlan, and that he is now their designated messenger. And they need
directions to the Plains of Penance.
This means starting at the "Great Mountain," somewhere on Earth. But where? Robbie rezzes up a map of known space. Attalais confesses he doesn't know this method for navigating by the stars.
Robbie switches to a globe, then, when that is confusing, projects a flat map of the Mediterranean area and points out the location of Athens, hoping it will be a common point of reference. After puzzling over this for a while, Attalais refers us to Callais, who is much younger and may be more in touch with matters Earthly.
Robbie then offers the pantope to Attalais as a convenient neutral ground for him to meet with the Yazatlan exiles face to face. He needn't travel any further than Vinyagerond to board it. Attalais still thinks Alvirin might be upset at such a meeting. Well, how about using the pantope to whisk away to Lanthil, and meet there?
Maybe, but not Attalais personally. He might send someone. But he has duties here; things are difficult. Daphne asks how; the business with the dragons? Well, that's one thing. No doubt Puck and his boy can tell us, when we meet up again with them.
Going back to the issue of finding the Great Mountain, Robbie reminds Attalais that things have changed a lot on Earth, over the years, and we don't really know how long ago the bulk of the nephilim left.
"During the War of the Gods," Attalais tells us, "when the Earth was flattened." Flattened? What was it like before it was flattened? "It was easier to get to the other realms." Interesting. But it still doesn't give us a very clear date.
Since we're done putting our request before Attalais, we take our leave and are shown out. On the way out, we're greeted by Thaddais. We ask him about the Plains of Penance. He tells us they are a separate realm, small and constrained. Robbie shows him the map of the Mediterranean and tells him about our need to find the Great Mountain.
Thaddais puzzles over the image and slowly begins to get the idea. Together, we are able to locate the Greater Isle of Olives (Crete), the Lesser Isle of Olives (Santorini), two of the Three Rivers (the Tigris and Euphrates), the Lesser Pillars (the Bosporous), and the Greater Pillars (the Strait of Gibraltar). We label these for Thaddais, in a nice derangement of bound telepathy, ectoplastic labels, and pins of enchanted wood, then give him the ectoplastic map, in case it will help the embassy staff puzzle out a route for us.
Soon, we are back at the B&B. Some of us decide to put this next round of waiting to good use -- after making inquiries of our hostess, Robbie, Gannar, Daphne, Kate, and the Gargoyle fly off to the nearest elven village to look for someone who can at least teach us the Tengwar, the elvish alphabet. By way of payment, we take a very pretty little ectoplastic box, created by Salimar and colored octarine, which should make it intriguing.
We locate the "village" (totally embedded in trees) and find the scholar, one Coriel, rather aged-looking for an elf. He is intrigued and baffled by our own range of languages and accents. (Several of us are actually speaking to him through psionic translators.) But he is quite willing to teach us Tengwar. Daphne immediately uses it to write down a children's story she used to tell when employed as a nanny -- a variant of Rumplestiltzkin. Gannar offers Coriel a chart of the Universum alphabet, the android's native script.
The next day, Callais walks into our B&B, bringing a sealed message for the exiles and a "map" -- a document more like a flowchart or a trip-tick. It's annotated in Elyssian or Antedeluvian or something. We will show it to Braeta and Desmond, and hope it helps. Robbie conjures up a globe of Earth and gives it to Callais as a farewell present. Then we turn to packing for the return journey to Vinyagarond.
©1984, 1994, 2005 Earl Wajenberg. All Rights Reserved.