Part 9 - The Lost Colony
The next three months went by uneventfully. Kagen became engaged to be married to one of his students, Estherba. Griss met with a contingent from the expedition in the north that had returned for supplies. He made arrangements to join them when they returned to the mountains. He apologized to Kagen, as he would be missing the wedding.
Prior to the wedding Estherba revealed to him that she was acting as a spy. For quite some time, even before Kagen and the others had arrived, a man named Tellik and been paying her to keep him informed about what was going on at the school. Kagen knew of Tellik, as they had had dealings with him before.
Kagen confronted Tellik, and demanded to know why he was spying. Tellik explained, that as usual this was not his own doing, but that he was simply working on behalf of someone else. Who this person was, he did not know. But the person did always pay him with Hebrew gold.
Kagen learned little else from Tellik. He had a message sent to Cyrus in Babylon, hoping that perhaps he could give some insight as to who was sending Israelite money to Ekbatana to pay for the spying. He then pursued the matter no further, as he was distracted by many other things, and went through with his plans of get married.
Meanwhile, Griss arrived at the expedition site. There he learned that much progress had been made since Rylan was there last. Unfortunately, since he no longer had the same Simulacrum as when he was there last, he was no longer part of the inner circle of the expedition. What he was able to learn from the outside was that many discoveries have been made over the last several months. Apparently they discovered numerous underground chambers that were forged entirely from metal. Strange devices, far beyond known science, existed within. The Saurian creatures that had occupied this place were clearly very technologically advanced.
He also learned that the priest of Tir, had apparently lost his mind. He discovered something with in the lower chambers, a small Black Tetrahedron crystal. He now spent all of his time in his chamber with the crystal. He began telling the other workers, that he was going to form a new church. His Temple to Tir would be dedicated to a new god. This god did not seem to have a name, although the priest was overheard once referring to it as the crawling chaos. The priest himself was now going by the name EO.
Eventually, Griss was able to make his way inside. He began the study the strange structure of the catacombs, all of which seem to be forged from iron or steel. He also began to study the devices that were found within. Most of them were beyond any sort of comprehension.
In one chamber, a portal sat in the middle of the room. After a thorough examination and several days of study, Griss became convinced that this was some sort of mechanical device designed to manipulate Ka energy in order to create a portal. To where, he did not know. Most interestingly, he learned that this was a chamber in which EO had followed his black crystal. He began to wonder if the now abandoned portal was in some way related to the demise of the colony.
Several weeks later, EO announced that he was going to make a breakthrough in his understanding of the crystal. His mind was not ready to comprehend it, but he learned of a way to correct that problem. He had sent out messengers, seeking information on some sort of potion or concoction. It seemed that EO’s madness now seems complete.
But then a couple of weeks later, a man approached the camp. Griss immediately recognized him as Maligar, the necromancer. Apparently Maligar had exactly what EO was looking for. He was willing to give EO the potion he needed in exchange for a device that he believed to be within the lost colony.
Sure enough, after touring the facility, Maligar had found the machine that he was looking. It was from the portal room. Griss was unsure exactly what that particular device did, but he suspected that it somehow involved the transfer or broadcast of Ka energy.
Workers hoisted the machine out of the catacombs and up onto the surface. They then fled in terror as the winged beast swooped down and picked up the machine along with Maligar. The necromancer, and his newly acquired artifact, then flew off toward the horizon.