Canticle of the Knives

The Canticle of the Knives Begins
Our Heroes Find Themselves in a Difficult Situation

The riders find that the gates of Alt-Kahlenberg are shattered, and evidence that a small party has forced its way into the old city. One of the messengers is dispatched to warn the Schattengraf. The intruders seem to have traveled mostly by surface streets through the city. The buildings are all of the local, light stone, and are often more than half merged into the rock of the hill. The builders favored arches and niches: the whole environment speaks of a kind of darkness of the soul. The clouds gather oddly, whispers have already begun, and from the shadows, the ancient crystalline lights of the Aldrenfolk shed their pale blue radiance. None of this is a good sign.

Now, the intruders are visible on a ledge facing north, toward Gegen-Felsenburg; there is a narrow stair. The intruders are apparently a wizard and his servants, these appear to be constructs of some kind. He has laid a circle in turquoise and copper, and is intoning a rite of disturbing cadence. The circle begins to flare: at first, a deep amber, strengthening quickly to pure white. A metallic scent fills the air. The clash of Sir Dieter engaging the constructs takes the wizard’s attention momentarily from the ritual. “You are too late! We are all too late! Seeing the rest of the patrol, he begins to cackle wildly: “it worked! Ha! Onlar burada! Ha hah ha! Onlar burad—!” His words are cut short by the blinding, deafening blast of radiant thunder.

The world disappears in white.

The Camden team under Dr. Sheldon Duncan has a problem: Amtex has opened the new shaft ahead of schedule. The passage itself runs straight east, directly under the Great Pyramid, at an angle down that suggests it has already reached a level below the known lower chamber. The passage itself is clear, a good indication that it has not been breached since it was built. The walls, like most of the pyramid above, are of finely-cut masonry, but otherwise undecorated. The lights ahead are steadier now, an even white glow from halogen lamps

The passage abruptly levels out, and apparently ends in a square chamber some thirty feet on a side, the walls surprisingly inlaid with green and blue traceries of copper and turquoise. The Amtex team has set up a series of lights, and much of the chamber is concealed by their portable virtual-reality projector.

A light, like natural sunlight, appears from a small, square opening in the east of the chamber. Dr. Gottfried is holding a thumb-switch, like the remote for a camera, or a bomb. “Ah!” she nods with a satisfied smile, “Onlar burada,” and releases the switch.

The world disappears in white.

[it’s a start: more to follow]


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