Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Sacred Cavern: Part One

For Finish That Thought #31, my friend MurMade and I wrote about our characters Jamison and Courtney from a Role-Play we're doing together about a cranky researcher and his ever-helpful assistant who are bent on uncovering an ancient secret civilization, the Rinald.  This is her take on Courtney's findings in the sacred cavern.  My take on Jamison's is here.

Fingers trembling, she slowly unrolled the ancient document. Dad would be furious if he knew she was getting her hands on these artifacts without him. But after withholding information about the excavation and hiding the discovery of the chamber entrance from them in the first place, he deserved to be undermined a little in return. Dad would never have found these chambers without Jamison’s directions; he had every right to be down here before the archeologists. And of course, as Jamison’s assistant, she was all too happy to tag along, look at statues, fondle artifacts, and read scrolls.

Holding this one in the halo of light the lantern cast on the pedestal she examined the delicate ink marks. Twenty-six positions marked out in a circle, almost like the face of a clock, with a mermaid in the center. Courtney grinned, she immediately recognized her as the goddess, Feorna. Unfurling the scroll completely revealed a series of figures portraying each step of an elaborate dance. The realization of why this diagram was familiar caused a gleeful flutter in her stomach. It was the dance for the winter solstice. “It was a dance involving 26 people, two for each month in the Rinald calendar. They stood in a circle around the statue of Feorna. The person who symbolized when the rains came the current year would stand facing the west, the person for the previous year stood facing east, the year before that stood facing north, and the year prior to that stood south. It was an intricate dance, very beautiful, and when it finished, the person who stood facing west foretold when the rains would come the next year.” That was how a Rinald expert had explained it to the inquisitive, wide-eyed girl begging to be told about the legends of old.

Her eyes roved over the tiny black letters, familiar in shape, but still indecipherable to her, craving to know more. She looked over her shoulder at her lanky partner, who was gawking at the lines chiseled into a pillar.
“Jamison,” she called for his attention, bringing both lantern and parchment to interrupt his work, “this scroll about Paradython’s rain dance, can you see if it mentions how the ritual itself was introduced?” Tearing his focus away to glance at the document she held out, Jamison raised an eyebrow, casting a bemused glance at Court.

“Where did you see this?”
“It was the first scroll on …” she began, gesturing to a rack of scrolls near the wall.
“No, Miss Smarty-pants, how does a doll like you know what this is?” Jamison interrupted. Courtney pulled her shoulders back, lifting her chin proudly.
“I have my sources. Now does this have any answers I will care about?”
“Nah, put it back for your Father to find. All those documents will end up on my desk anyway. We have bigger things to uncover,” he said, snatching the lantern from her to shed more light on his own work.

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