Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (32)

    We had celebrated and rested.  We were ready to leave accursed Krutzhoffen.  Suitable arrangements had been made for running the Red Bull in our absence -- a manager will be coming from Tai Lia eventually, sent by Benito and Guido, and in the meantime the inn will be closed.  A deal was made with the owner of the Black Eagle that will reduce our charges there if this inn will be closed for a while, since there will be only enough business for one inn coming through this unfortunate place until people are no longer so scared of it.
    We did tell the Dorufurikata about the spirit in the ruins, and the whole story of what went on there.
    Our course now will take us to Eyrie to follow the vision of the blue translucent fairy.  It would be at least a week to travel there.  Before then, however, the barbarians looted the doctor's house, mostly for herbal supplies for Rabena and mage materials for Hosei, who would now be coming with us.
    We travelled into the mountains, Jeison, Hosei, and I foraging to supplement the provisions we'd brought from town.   Ashu helped out from time to time too.   Our company consisted of Jeison, Hosei, Goru, Rabena, Carimera, Pireseri, Ashu, Miyara, Son, and myself.
    As we neared our destination, while Ashu was out in the woods foraging he sniffed out several orcs who had camped near here several days ago.  There were probably five of them.  We let them go, our priority being our journey.
    Finally we reached a narrow winding track leading steeply up into the mountains, just beyond the highest point in Winters Teeth Pass.  The small cut would have been easy to miss.  We could see the monastery high up, flags flying in the stiff breeze.  Three or four hours we climbed the goat path, an interminable journey.  As we closed, we could see it was separated from the mountain by a steep ravine spanned by a narrow wooden drawbridge.  At the far end of the bridge, a portcullis shut out the world.  The winds gusted around the pinnacle, making it a tricky crossing for the barbarians -- the bridge was a hundred feet across and just a few feet wide, barely enough for a cart.
    The barbarians looked scared.  Miyara told me that they seriously considered tying themselves together with rope.  Miyara and I of course entertained no such idiotic ideas, and we set the example for the rest, such that we all crossed easily.
    Hosei walked up to the portcullis to talk to the guard.  They exchanged words, and suddenly the guard clearly recognized someone in -- or many of -- the group.  The guard raised the portcullis excitedly, welcoming us in.  We entered, Hosei chatting with the man all the time.
    The guard led us through the rock, walking smartly and not waiting for us except to close the portcullis behind us.  We went down a tunnel which opened up into a huge natural cavern.  Off in the distance were piles of supplies, but mostly it was empty.  At the far side of the cavern were wide carved stairs.  Goru openly admired the workmanship.  Apparently it was a fairy and human establishment.  There were two landings on the way up, as we covered several hundred stairs.  At the top, it opened up into the sky as we emerged into a courtyard onto the top of the spire of rock.  Built up inside the perimeter wall that carried the line of the mighty pillar were the buildings that make up Eyrie itself.  In the center of the courtyard was a large statue of a fairy that we recognized as the translucent blue fellow.  There was one other building in the courtyard itself.  Four towers protuded,
    Hosei gestured at the statue and said something to the guard.  We continued on our rapid march.
    One of the buildings around the edge was a two story construct with stairs on the outside, and we climbed up that.  It was clear from everyone's attitude that visitors to this monastery were common.  The guard brought us to a door and knocked politely, finally getting a respite from Hosei's constant babbling questions.  Miyara translated a few nuggets for me.  We had apparently been expected for about fifty years, after the blue fairy had died, as the fulfillment of a prophecy.
    The guard opened the door and expected us all to squeeze into the room beyond.  It would be uncomfortably small for the number of people, even when everyone left their packs outside.  He also asked for our weapons, and obviously promised that they'd be returned.  He spoke nervously as if unsure.  Miyara left her katana, but kept her wakasashi.  As the guard passed Jeison, he looked at him reverently and asked his name.  Jeison's answer seemed to amuse him -- he laughed and walked away.
    The room was not meant for visitors, or at least not for hospitality.  Within was a wizened old man who mumbled and spoke in a strange rhythm.  Miyara and I bowed deeply before him.  The man closed the door and welcomed us.  His name was Gregor, as Miyara told me, and Roost Master of Eyrie.  Hosei spoke to him gently and respectfully.  Miyara told me that we were expected from some prophecy.  The master asked if we knew the blue fairy, Yazeran.  He then explained that the place was about a hundred years old, build by the blue fairy himself who would not explain why.  He died about 50 years ago and left a prophecy about some people who would turn up and something would happen.
    Much to our surprise he offered us tea.  The prophecy described us, and said something about danger all around.  Just the other day the blue fairy told him to expect us.  He was to cut open the cover of a book, and inside would be something to give us.  He did indeed find something there -- a parchment with some writing in the barbarian tongue.  It was a message from Yazeran right before he was to be sealed in his tomb, and it told of our arrival.  There was also a picture of us, dressed as we were then.  Many of the barbarians shook with fear at being presented with this evidence of our predestined fate.  The third piece was a hexagonal playing card.  Apparently the message contained a clue to a set of clues we were to follow in order to save this place.  Later, I would hear that it read as follows:
Greetings, honoured Roostmaster
— whoever and whenever you may be.

I am old and weak, and I sense that this is my final illness.  Soon the Mason will come to seal me in my tomb, back in the Element from which I sprang.  I have given him my seven silver coins in advance, as is his due.

If you are reading this, then my vision was true.  The time of Eyrie’s greatest peril is upon you.  It is the time of my prophecy.  Those whom I have foreseen shall arrive at Eyrie shortly.  You will recognise them from my verses.  Heed them and help them, but do no wrong and suffer no wrongdoings from them — I have foreseen that the love of Eyrie is not the greatest of their motives.

Before you is the first of my clues, to be given to the Forseen along with these words.  To find the second clue, wait until the dinner hour and seek where my line runs true.  Each clue will lead to the next, and all lie withing the walls of Eyrie.  When they have all eight — or was it seven, my memory is not what it once was — they will be able to use thenm together to find that which they seek.  Ask not what it is — they know, and I know, and you shall know if need be.  Its fate and theirs are entwined with that of Eyrie, although this may not always be clear to you.

Hurry, for now the time has come for deeds, not words.  Those who come will know of what I write.
Yazeran, his Mark

    The master then spoke at length and served us more tea.  Pireseri mentioned the orcs we had noticed below.  This was ignored, but the boy who brought the tea, Deiter, was introduced to us as our guide while we were here.
    Hosei then asked about the prophecy, whereupon the master produced it from a shelf.  It was, of coure, written in the common barbarian tongue.
    Miyara politely said we did not want to tire the master, and someone called Norbert was summoned to take us to our quarters.  A rotund red-faced blustering man in his fifties arrived and clearly recognized us with an expression of surprise.  Miyara also said that we were not supposed to have weapons in the monastery; the guard had indeed failed in his duties.
    The weapons and bulky equipment were to be left downstairs in the cavern.  Goru insisted that the chest be deposited in the vault.  The guard politely suggested that Miyara's katana be placed in safety in the guardroom, which she accepted.  She then explained about her wakasashi, that it was traditional for the samurai to carry it; she agreed to leave it with him, as it was after all a monastery.  The rooms were apparently quite small, but even so the barbarians carried little and needed to deposit only their weapons.
    We were then lead back up the stairs to our rooms.  We went through the courtyard and past the statue again, to two rooms with doors off the courtyard.  There were four bunks in each.  There was also plenty of room in the guard tower with the guards, for which Goru volunteered.  Ashu wanted to sleep outside, and was permitted to do so on the roof of one of the towers..  Hosei was bunked up with other acolytes.  That left the three women in one room, while the other four of us took the other room.
    Norbert was the flag master, in charge of the day to day running of the monastery.  The restrictions were given: no outsiders in the monastery, no books to be removed from the library, no one may raise a hand against another, and no gambling of any kind.  If we wished to do any research from the library, a brother would be assigned to us to work for us there.  Breakfast was served at 4, lunch at noon, and dinner at 8.  Deiter would be available to wait on our needs.
    Goru was lead to a vault where he could leave the chest in safety.  Access was through the smithy, and Goru liked the idea that he could hang out there and keep an eye on the treasures.
    As we were arranging the rooms, alone, Hosei asked Miyara and I what we had seen and what we sought.  Of course it was his spell of tongues so he didn't really speak Nipponese, so the others understood his question too.  Goru said something and looked at Carimera.  Hosei asked us to speak in our native tongues, and Miyara replied in Nipponese.  She said that his people recognize only four elements, and there are four crystals corresponding to them, holding the powers of those elements within them.  The red one is fire.  The vision we saw of the dwarf said we needed to go to Eyrie to stop them getting the crystal of air.  Hosei replied that we should not speak of what we sought, and indeed that we had not been asked about it and it was unlikely we would be.  Miyara added that we had discovered where the stone of earth was located, but we could not get to it yet.  We had also discovered that all four crystals should be kept away from each other, although we were apparently to recover them all.
    Hosei now read the prophecy again, saying that we had to find the object hidden here quickly enough before the enemy could get it.  That could well be the crystal of air, which was supported by what the blue fairy had said.  This was the prophecy:

Nine hands of fate will come up from the pass
And the time will be time of great need
Not with book nor with quill yet within Eyrie still
Will be found what the rescuers need

Black hair, white order, power not by part
Healer by nature, by practice, and art

Holder of stone, and no little ire
Tumbling gymnast, and wielder of fire.

Deep seeing lock smith and point guard by role
Being an Elf, both by half and by whole.

The night on two feet, chrome helm like a flame
With fists like two rams, an ironic name

Tall black human, through the forests he prowls
Woodcutter, tracker, and student of owls

White skin and dark beard, following along
Another prescient Dwarf, Grungni strong

Proud fighting clown from a far away land
Seeking an ork who's death was at hand

Shaper of paper, and intricate rhyme
Looking for answers backward in time

A one handed monk and slave to the truth
Balancing the fortunes of his opposite youth

The oldest of foes shall approach through the peaks
With their hearts on the treasure within
May the rescuers find what is hidden in time
Else the enemy surely will win

    Goru went off to spend some time with the smith Klaus and his dog Scratch, depositing the chest in what used to be Yazeran's workshop.  Goru told us that he had been offered a place to sleep there, and and gratefully accepted.
    Deiter then took us on a tour of the facilities.  Hosei was especially interested in talking with the cooks at the kitchens, since Miyara's dietary requirements were not mentioned in the prophecy.  They told him that meat was not served that often, and assured him that there would be plenty for her to eat.
    We passed the statue, and Pireseri looked inside it.  Deiter treated it reverently.  The fairy himself was carved from one piece of stone, on a pedastal, holding a triangle and plumbob of brass.  The boy said the area around here was called the Square of Joy.  Deiter was around 14, scrawny, and with a high pitched nasal whine of a voice.  His nose ran constantly, and he wiped it frequently on his sleeve.  He clearly held us all in awe and would not look us in the eye.  He treated Miyara and I with the respect we deserved -- more than I deserved, of course.  Pireseri reported there were no secret chambers.
    On the pedestal itself were carvings.
    On the north side were our pictures (Son was not included) as we looked him in the face, with the words of the first stanza of the prophecy around the pictures.
    The west showed Yazeran on his death bed, writing something: "Yazeran departs, leaving a wiser sadder world.  Georgi the stonemason scribed this stave when I took my seven coins and laid him in his grave."
    The south face showed a stylized picture of Yazeran raining lightning on hapless goblins below.  It said: "Yazeran the philosopher smiting our enemies as he has stricken the ignorance from our minds."
    The east face depicted the rebuilding of Eyrie under the direction of Yazeran.  He was carrying a level in one hand and a rolled up scroll in the other, as the tiny figures of monks scurried around in the background.  "Yazeran the architect raising the roost."
    Hosei pointed out the plumbob on the statue as being the true line.  Miyara reprimanded him for the inexact barbarian language.  Hosei said that at dinner hour, we needed to seek here where his true line lay.