Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (36)
We were still at a loss as to the message in the
cards. The barbarians spent a lot of time rearranging them in
patterns according to arbitrary whims. They need to apply some
sense to this, not just cast about for answers. Miyara suggested
taking the monks up on their offer of library research, and put them to
work finding out about tarot -- the order of suits, the general meaning
of the suits and of each individual card, the patterns in which they
tend to be laid out (especially those for nine cards).
Jeison mentioned the orcish catapults, and expressed
doubt that they could reach the top of the mountain. Scar scoffed at that too,
but I thought otherwise. I suspected they had not set them up
without a means of using them effectively..
Suddenly we noticed that the monks were gathering as
if for a meal, but it was not mealtime. Almost immediately a monk
brought a message that Gregor
the Roost Master had called an emergency meeting and that we were
The seating was identical to a meal. The
master slowly called the meeting to order, and then passed it over to Scar. Miyara told me
that they were spending much time on procedural issues, and whether
classes should be cancelled, and then an argument broke out which
almost came to blows. As they discussed the impregnable nature of
the place, I mentioned to Miyara my thoughts on the catapults.
She agreed, and voiced her frustration at the ridiculous nature of the
discussions. The debate became interminable, and all of us -- and
Scar -- slipped
out. Hosei chatted with the guard captain on the way out.
The monk doing the research had now returned.
He presented his results. The order of the suits is cups, swords,
batons, coins. The approximate meaning of each is: cups
represents the feminine, swords the masculine, batons power, and coins
money. The symbolism of each of the cards was not helpful.
He did find a nine card pattern, which he shows us -- it too was not
It was time to review all the clues, not just the
cards. There was of course the letter first, but the prophecy was
probably irrelevant to our search. Hosei then pointed out the
diagrams on the letter, which actually included drawings of a layout of
seven and then eight cards. The barbarians tried laying them out,
leaving out one or two cards, trying both patterns according to various
whims and superstitions. We tried many things, but nothing helped.
Suddenly a ball of rags landed near us, it was about
a foot and a half in diameter. It started wriggling. Jeison
pulled out his swords and called out at the top of his voice for Scar. Goru attacked
the ball with his hammer, as two legs popped out and it ran away.
Jeison tried to slash it as did Miyara, while I ran after it too.
It was clearly a snotling wrapped in rags and catapulted up here.
The head had not emerged, but it started to speak. Hosei
indicated he could understand it.
"Give us the crystal, you're all going to die!" it
kept chattering, as Hosei told us.
We tried to kill it, but all missed it. Its
head popped out, so I started Clown Fighting. Ashu killed it.
I said we should throw it back. Miyara
agreed. We soaked it in oil and lit it, and Jeison threw it down
at the catapult, six hundred feet below. It missed the catapult,
but it did hit something.
While we were doing that, the monks who were
preparing the peace offering were starting to lower a young monk, Yorgi (named after the
stonemason), to the ground below. He reached the ground and the
orcs gathered around him. Some of the older monks were muttering
in complaint at the hasty action, which should have taken weeks to
The monk bowed to the orcs and hands the message to
the nearest orc, who eats it. There were screams and a scuffle,
and orcs started to climb the rope. All that remained of Yorgi was a bloodstain on
We all helped hold the rope hoping to get the orcs
high off the ground. The goblins were fastest, climbing quickly,
and we let go the rope when about twenty of them were high off the
ground. Several bounced, but we killed many.
There were six or seven obvious catapults. I
made sure, through Miyara, that the guards would keep constant watch
for objects launched upwards. I was concerned that they were
concentrating on the gate, when that would probably not be the place of
We needed the crystal. We returned to playing
with the cards, as Hosei put it. The one card that was not really
in the chain of clues was the one the tailor gave us, the four of cups
with the phrase about birds of a feather. It does not look the
same, and did seem false. We also decided that the order we found
the cards did not matter.
Also with the first card, the clue would be that we
have the pile of cards and then pull one. We pull the one that
told us to do this, the first one. The other seven would make up
the true tessalatede pattern. The pictures don't matter, as they
were the clues to find the cards. So now we needed to find the
pattern. The thing about first the nearest put the capital words
in the middle. The phrase has to be "SEEK ATOP THE TALLEST FLAG
STAFF" so we tried again.
I was convinced I could find it if I go up
again. The others allowed me to do so. I found
nothing. Miyara pointed out that the pole was not old
enough. We needed to find the old flagpoles where they would have
put the tallest one back then.
We suddenly noticed Carimera was not among us.
We went to the lumber room, and Carimera was
there. Her bosom was glowing, and she was holding, clutched, the
top section of a flagstaff with a ball. The ball glowed
palely. She would only give it up to her sister Rabena, so while
I thought I or Miyara should have it, that was not how it was to be,
not yet. A barbarian would not know how to use it, and all Rabena
did in a fight anyway was read her book. Unfortunately there was
nothing we could do about that yet, and Miyara told me that she
believed Rabena was fated to carry that crystal.
Rabena unscrewed the top and retrieved the
stone. The crystal was clear, with many triangular faces each
with a symbol carved upon it.
Now all we need to do is save Eyrie.