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Author Topic: Kaliklies Library - Dragr's Beacon  (Read 1459 times)
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Kane
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« on: August 10, 2010, 06:19:01 AM »

Dragrís Beacon

Every step on this strange journey through an old manís mind has been fascinating and at times frightening. Here, safe in the Orderís tower in Caradul, I was reading about places of magic and mystery, knowing that others had died seeking their secrets and I was reaping the benefits of their pain. Where at first I was afraid to read what I thought of as a product of Kalikliesí dementia, I now saw as a puzzle to be solved and an escape from the rigid studies of the Order.

The next packet bore the block letters of the dwarven script with translations appended to them. I have never, nor is it likely that I ever will visit the Kaladruns. As a boy I was fascinated by them and avidly read accounts of the construction of the Fortress Wall and our wars against first the humans and then the Dark God. I looked forward to what Kaliklies had uncovered in their lands.

The Lore of Clan Ustan, 753 First Age
   "Our people have been the guardians of Faellor Pass, the entrance into the southern Kaladruns, since Ustan led his people to the mountains. In our lore, passed from father to son over the generations, we know that our clan was not the first to understand the importance and wealth of our land. We inherited mines and halls from our ancestors the elthedar and still marvel at and strive to meet the quality of their work. The greatest of their artifacts is Dragrís Beacon, discovered at the very peak of Mount Gortho, by Ustanís brother Dragr.

The beacon is an immense crystal that spans the breadth of the peak. The crystal has been smoothed to a mirror like surface and etched with runes from the ancient elthedar tongue. A terrace has been carved from the rock providing a stable platform on every side. The platform has survived centuries of wind and erosion and is sturdy as the day it was built. A small watchpost with sleeping quarters and storerooms is just below the platform, so in times past this post was manned. Supplying the guards must have been quite an undertaking as the climb to the peak is arduous even for the most skilled of climbers.

The beacon has several qualities that we have, to our shame, never been able to match. The beacon is crystal clear, with no imperfections on the surface or anywhere in its vast interior. It reflects and amplifies light, burning as bright as a raging fire on a moonless night. On sunny days, the welcoming light of the beacon helps guide us home. Also, if you look through the crystal you can see places far away as if they are right next to you. Facing south, I can see caravans as they enter the pass and count the number of barrels on each wagon. Looking west, I can see Polgarís Plateau and its farms, and north I can see as far as the peak of Mount Falvok. With men stationed here, our clan would never be surprised by any enemy.

Our lore claims one other power that I have not seen with my own eyes; Dragrís Fire. Our stories tell of times, in the dark of night that the beacon glows with an orange light, radiating out in all directions. Itís as if the mountain was on fire and the legends say you can see the light over forty miles away on the plains below. The last record of Dragrís Fire was over two hundred years ago and itís said that the beacon burned for three straight nights. We have never discovered how or why the beacon lights."

Kaliklies notes: The original document goes to much length on the dimensions of the crystal but provides very little on the runes etched into it. Our ancestors created great monuments, many in remote locations that enhanced the natural beauty. Dragrís Beacon appeared to have both practical use and some power that we donít understand. What were the eldethar watching for? What was coming from the south? Did they expect the Dorn and Sarcosan invasions of centuries later or something far more immediate? Having a copy of the runes would greatly help.

Tales of Travel in the Southern Kaladruns, Ardali bin Hafaz, 409 Second Age
   "The dwarves are an ancient people who live a land filled with danger, great wealth, and the ruins of lost civilizations. My family has long traded with the southern dwarven clans and I was blessed to be considered a friend who was welcome in their holds. As a younger man, I travelled extensively in their mountains, hunting, exploring, and experiencing what it was like to survive in this often harsh land.

At the end of the fourth century of our age, I spent two winters with Clan Ustan and became close to many of their elders. I heard stories of great dragons, fearful combat in the deeps, and veins of gold that stretched for miles. I tried to experience everything I could, toiling in one of their deepest mines, hunting mountain goats, and scaling the highest peaks. Of everything I saw, my most vivid memories were of Dragrís Beacon.

The Beacon is a massive crystal that runs clear through the peak of one the highest mountains in Clan Ustanís territory. The climb was difficult and very dangerous.  It was seen as a mark of manhood to make the climb and etch your name in the rock at the base of the beacon. I added my name to the hundreds who had gone before me. Standing at the peak in the brisk air, I looked through the crystal and I could just barely see the smoke from my village, four good days of travel away! It put our simple hand lenses to shame. I canít begin to explain how beautiful and how impossible it was that such a crystal could be here.

Sitting at the base of the crystal, my friend Jorun, told me of the first night he came here. It was winter and he was sitting a cold vigil, when the crystal came to life, filling with a bright orange fire. He was afraid, but there was no where to go. Huddling under the crystal he thought he would be burned, but the crystal was cool to the touch. He had heard of Dragrís Fire, but never imagined he would see it with his own eyes. He put his back to the crystal and looked north. He swears to this day that he saw faint lights at peaks far distant, all heading north.  Jorun believes there are similar crystals throughout the Kaladruns even though no others have ever been found."

Kalikliesí notes: Far too short, but it proposes a very interesting thought.  Could there be more of the crystals spread through the Kaladruns? If Jorun was right were they signaling each other or do they glow at the same time, and if so why? The amount of effort required to create the crystals leads one to believe that they had a very important function one that continues to this day. I have heard stories that the beacon lit the night prior to the flight of dragons. I can find no reference to support the story and there has been no contact with Clan Ustan since the fall of the Kingdom of Erenland, so I canít confirm it with their loregivers.

An interesting account, but I couldnít see the significance to our struggle against the Dark God. Kalikliesí fascination with the elthedar is clear and may have clouded his judgment. I agree that there had to be a reason the elthedar created the crystal, but that reason was far in the past. If we could safely get a message to Clan Ustan, I would be interested in getting a copy of the runes etched into the crystal; that would likely explain most of this mystery.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 04:56:17 AM by Kane » Logged
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