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The Valley of Humanity – Part 12

January 15, 2016

Drath sat at his counter pressing the various colourful pictures on the surface of the device. Occasionally it didn’t respond, and at the very least, it sometimes took a long time to change the strange symbols. He looked up towards the door; it was a slow morning with no customers or requests from the palace hut.
Drath had spent the last few weeks mostly locked in his shop, trying to decrypt the symbols of the device using his personal collection of materials of the ancient humans. Two weeks he’d been at it, sketching the – what he assumed – was the language of the ancient people. His notebook was full of drawings of pictures from the device and at the same time, he’d fetched his other books that were all completely filled with drawings and prints of all things human. All lay open on the counter almost fully covering the surface. There were objects too, two of them much like the device, only smaller and they did not light up. Other objects included a peculiarly shaped item of some sort: It was shaped like a flower, with a shining metal pipe joining two pieces of black painted metal together. One piece was flat and round, and heavier than the dome shaped piece on the other end; he’d positioned it so it stood vertically with the heavy flat part as a base. The metal pipe was bent half way up causing the dome to loom down like a bird watching the ground from a tree branch.

He’d watched the moving picture many times after Kele had left that night two weeks ago. Nothing had changed, he still felt sad each time; seeing the fire and smoke and the ancient humans running for their lives. He’d figured out how to keep activating the picture (he just kept pressing an arrow shaped symbol) until eventually his eyes became tired and he left it for the night. That night, much like Kele, his dreams were also filled with nightmarish storms and a dark cloud consuming everything in sight. It was that moment that he had woken, having been struck with an epiphany: The Scorched Plains.
The Scorched Plains were far to the north, beyond Corren Wood and the North Crater – a crater much like the one that lay to the East – only a few had ever travelled there, all long dead now. Back when the Alysmon were a divided species, spread out west, south, east and north, there were settlements all over the land. There was a particular settlement near the northern border of the Scorched Plains; it was overrun many years before by strange creatures after a long and arduous attempt to repel them. The people of the settlement were forced to flee south and subsequently came across a small tribe of their own kind, who, after much contemplation and tale telling (drawings had to be used as each commune had drastically different ways of speaking) the two peoples decided to unite. It was shortly after this that more tribes and communes appeared through the trees into the oversized glade and, once again, learned to communicate and swapped stories. It seemed they all had one thing in common: it wasn’t safe to be separated and so the village of Lycian was built. Vailed behind trees and surrounded by a natural circular drop, it was the best defence they could ever ask for. There were still settlements of course, to the south along the river and overlooking the Ruptured Sea. Fishermen and Farmers dwelt in these places; they would receive boats full of supplies from up river and in return, would send the season’s harvest and catches on carts back up the riverbank to Lycian. Each settlement had a small garrison that was changed every few weeks, but things were always relatively peaceful in the south.

It became clear to Drath that the burning place in the moving picture was the Scorched Plains. How the device had ended up in the East Crater he had no idea, but now he had some indication of what had happened to the world before, of the fate of the ancient humans.
There was a knock on the door, startling him out of his daydream; no-one was visible through the window. ‘Come in, it’s open’ he said loudly. The door opened a small portion and two figures slipped through, one after the other. It was Kele and Drala.

 

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