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Author Topic: Kaliklies Library - The Bones of the Sea  (Read 1551 times)
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Kane
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« on: July 06, 2010, 04:56:19 AM »

The Bones of the Sea

With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, I reached over to pick up the next packet.  It was titled the Bones of the Sea. I vaguely recalled the name, so hopefully I might have more to add to Kaliklies’ studies. I quickly saw that the site was in Miransil territory, so at least it was a place I could see firsthand without significant risk.

“As a lad, I visited the Miransil lands to gaze in wonder at my first elthedar ruins, the City of the Sea.  I still remember the awe I felt to see the graceful white spires piercing the azure blue waters. The ruins were magical and that day set my path for the rest of my life. As part of the trip, I travelled to the Islands of Ernan and saw another wonder, the Bones of the Sea. At the time, I thought them far less impressive, more an oddity then anything of true value. It took me hundreds of years to get beyond my childish bias and understand the importance of the site. I, like most of the Order of Truth, was blind and saw what we wanted to see, making the easy assumptions. How much time have we wasted and what has been lost because we disregarded the truth.”

Journal of Valshan, Captain of the Sea Foam, 134 First Age
“We’d been caught in a late summer storm that was far more violent then I expected. We were thrown well off course and took damage from an uncharted reef. I was forced to ground my ship on a small island at the extreme southern edge of the Islands of Ernan. We’d been holed in two places and needed to make at least some repairs so we could safely return to Alloduon. I knew we’d be here for a few days, so I sent out a patrol to look for fresh water and see if there were any dangers.

The island was small, but fortunately there was a spring and fresh game. The island was peaceful and we were likely the only people to visit it in hundreds of years if ever; or so I thought.  On the day before we planned on leaving we found the bones; at least that’s what Eshal called them. Buried in the sand and covered by vines, were the ribs of three great ships. From what I could see, they had to be almost two hundred feet long and tall, maybe forty feet high; much larger then any ship of the Miransil.

The strangest thing was that the ships’ wooden frames had turned to stone. I chipped away at one, thinking only the surface would have hardened, but it was stone all the way through. I’d never heard or seen anything like it. I wanted to find the keel of one of the ships, but it was buried too deep, like the island had grown around them. That made me think that the ships had to be ancient, from the time of our ancestors.”

Kaliklies notes: First known sighting of the Bones of the Sea. The island has never been settled as it lacks a good anchorage. Our records of the elthedar make no mention of the island or of ships of that size. I do not believe the ship was made or manned by our ancestors. Who made the ships and where they came from is a mystery.  Could it be one of the reasons the Queen sent ships to the west?  Is she seeking more then safe haven, maybe an ally in our fight?

Page from the Expedition to the Islands of Ernan, 562 Second Age
“As part of our survey of the islands we visited the southernmost island. I’ll admit I was curious about the stories surrounding the Bones of the Sea and wanted to see them for myself.  They were everything I hoped, a veritable forest of stone spars, all neatly arrayed, and even with most of the ship frames buried deep in the sand, over twenty feet tall. The stones were marvelous.  When I cleared away the layer of salt, you could see the grains from the original wood. The spars seemed seamless. I examined a dozen and could find no sign of a joint or hinge.  The workmanship was exceptional.

Fully provisioned and ahead of our original schedule, I decided to stay on the island and dig around the base of the ships. Fortunately the weather was clear so we had little problem with the tides or rain.  After three days of often back breaking work, we had cleared an area almost twenty feet on a side and down maybe a dozen more. We found the keel, also now stone, and once again there was no sign of a joint.  It was if the ship was grown to the shape the builder desired. It must have been a powerful ship, able to withstand the worst of storms; a god of the sea.

The most remarkable thing we found were a variety of flint tools and weapons. It seemed odd that the makers of such a ship would use such primitive tools.  I was prepared to discard them when Yslan cut himself.  The flint was razor sharp even after millennia. I tested the tools and they were sturdy and efficient. Most flint flakes away and can’t keep an edge.  These tools felled trees, cut away brush and were still sharp. I tried to blunt them with one of our hammers and no matter how hard I hit it, the flint refused to crack or flake. However they were created, they were as sharp and durable as steel. I let the crew keep a few of them.  The rest I’ve included with the report for further examination.

The last thing I noticed when I took more detailed measurements of the Bones of the Sea.  Each spar was exactly the same length and the spacing between each rib was exactly three feet. All three ships were the same.  None of our ship builders are that precise.  Also the remains of the three ships were side by side fifty feet apart.  There is no way that they foundered here, they had to have been beached and aligned in this order.  These were not shipwrecks.  Their sailors could have left at any time. Why didn’t they and what became of them?”

Kaliklies notes: A small portion of a fascinating expedition, conducted in the relative peaceful years of the Second Age, when the Queen had time to explore and study. I have studied the artifacts; they are still in the Queen’s library and are still as sharp as the day they were found. This is further evidence that the ships were not made by our ancestors.   The ships are like nothing we have ever built and the elthedar never mastered the ability to create tools and weapons such as these.  If they had, we would have found literally thousands of them in the elthedar ruins in Erethor.  They are from another race; a race that in ages past could cross the great sea?

Report from the Hunters of Kell, the Aruun, 97 Last Age
“We had heard rumors that the Shadow had sent a strong force into the southern jungle, trying to bypass our patrols by landing from ships in the Kasmael Sea. The whisper is weak in the south and our wards protect against demons, not flesh and blood. What little word we had, put them near the mouth of the Varisha River. It took three days for us to reach the mouth of the river and just a few hours to find their trail.

We followed their trail for almost a day.  The path they took was strange, away from our villages, but still straight and sure, as if they knew what they were seeking. At the end of the day, we found them, or what was left; over two hundred orcs and at least one legate dead. I have seen many killed by demons but this was not their work, the wounds were too clean, too precise. From what I could see the battle had been quick, and whoever or whatever had killed them, overwhelmed them. We could find no trail leading away from the site.  The only thing we found were two flint tipped arrows that had broken off in the bodies of the orcs. The flint was as sharp or sharper then any knife I carried. No tribe in the Aruun uses such weapons.”

Kaliklies notes: The flint is the same as the weapons found at the Bones of the Sea. Are there descendants of those crews living in the Aruun?  Is that race watching us?  Why did the Shadow send that patrol into the Aruun?  Do they know of the race, and if so, how? It’s maddening not having more proof, but I believe that they are in the Aruun, protecting something from both the Shadow and our people. That they could be here so long without our knowledge speaks to their power.

This was the first of Kaliklies packets that was real to me.  Here he had things I could touch, reports that were recent from reliable sources.  I could even visit the site freely. At the bottom of the packet was a small envelope with one of the flint arrowheads.  It was as hard and sharp as he had said. This was not made by the fey; there were others, not of our race, at least temporarily in the Aruun. Why has no one acted on this?  I can’t be the only one who is aware. Is information purposefully being kept from the Order? My mentor may have been at the edge of his sanity in his last years, but on this at least, his logic seems clear.
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