Age of Dragons
Fragment from Liber Orbus Draconis, thought to be a journal of the ‘Last Traveler’, so named as he or she is the last of the mysterious Zhingaro – Cult of the Travelers – to be in the city of Vahari before it fell into sudden ruin. The Zhingaro disappeared from recorded history around the same time. These fragments from the journal describe the oral stories of an escaped Knazari slave Hassahn, that the Last Traveler encountered in his travels beyond the city. (Vaharian common language translated by Binker into modern Elven in the attached notes below.)
Fragments that quote Hassahn:
“…do the ‘monks’ at Vahari still fear the dragon they call Orbus? [unreadable]”
“…edge of Vahari sea maps read ‘there be dragons’. As a child slave I once carried a map of stars to the Vahari observatory for the star-seer Vatacinia. I asked her if dragons were real and she said very much so, ‘the great round dragon’ is what we call our place in the cosmos and pointed to the milky band of stars in the night sky and traced the outline of a dragon eating her tail. This is not to be confused with the “great round table” which is our path through the year, and The Twelve monks who sit at the table mark our months, our journey around the table. It was my first time on the mountain and in an instant I knew why the Vaharians made this mountain the center of their society – in every visible direction the milky band sat evenly with the horizon. It was like being on a sky island… [unreadable]"
Fragments attributed to the Last Traveler:
“…hearing Hassahn’s tale I sought out the eldest of the escaped slaves. He was tall for a Knazari, about the height of a human youth. He said he was a slave all his life at the observatory atop the mountain city. He explained that in the Knazari homelands the milky band appears tilted and thus only appears in one part of the night sky intersecting the horizon at two points.”
“Third Law of the Traveler – Where and when the milky band intersects the horizon identifies a significant way point in space and time.”
“…Vaharian monks use a code on all their sea maps, at the edges of these maps are drawn dragons and other monsters. They tell their slaves that monsters live at the map’s edges, that there is no way back home, and they even tell their own people and us outsiders the same. Those of us in the Travelers and the Order know the truth. The dragon on the map denotes the place where the milky band will appear to dip down into the sea’s watery horizon and is a night way point for sailors, as are the other ‘monsters’ depicted, they all represent an aspect of one of the ‘Seventy-Two’ or ‘The Twelve’… [unreadable]”
Notes written under translations by Binker:
Orbus could be a code word of the Order for a period in time outside the normal flow of history. Why did the Vaharian monks fear Orbus? Does it indicate a prophecy for when the deception about the true meaning of their Gods would become widespread, indicating the loss of their power over the believers? Is that why Vahari fell, or something more cataclysmic? Does it denote a period in time? What is the Vahari name for the period of time that this mountain would appear to an observer standing on it as an island at rest in a ring of the milky band of stars?
Our discovery of Vatacinia’s grave chamber in the ruins, and the materials found there, would indicate that about three generations after her is when Vahari collapsed – 1.5 millennia ago (1535 years ago was the time indicated on the mountain gate seals, but without access to the observatory we can’t confirm).
If the Knazari slaves learned how to read the maps (did the Last Traveler purposely spread this knowledge) they might have used this to stage a revolt, and take the sea maps and try and make their way back to our lost homeland. Still some sea maps should remain in the heavily secured parts of the city that haven’t been crushed by the weight of the mountain. The news that the Observatory fortress has become occupied by the ‘spider tribe’ of goblins and ‘something else’ means that they have found a way in that we could not.
Traveler: Dragon, (pl. Dragoni), Zmeu (pl. Zmei), dracul, drakul – “immortal coil”
Knazari: ah-teen (pl. tah-neen), Tineen, (pl. Tananeen) – “teen”