on January 30, 2011 by Natasha in Events, News, Comments (1)

What’s Mine Is Mine and What’s Yours Is Mine

Two groups of intrepid explorers investigated a recently-revealed mine containing a most intriguing mineral, in sessions Friday night and Saturday morning, in an area now called the Wound in the World (S5 E1 and points east and south).

The mine was discovered by Azure Varisha, vulpine of voluminous vivacity, investigating a hole accidentally torn out of a southern area of land during the recently-concluded sequence of landing, repairs, and takeoff. He invited two groups to visit the mine with him; one Friday evening and the other Saturday morning. Interest was sparked by the Annelid Amalgamated press release warning of the supposed danger of the mineral orichalcum.

The first group, led by balloon animal Beltrami, found that the mines form cylindrical shafts straight down from the SpinDizzy’s surface, with gravity distorted so “down” is whichever side of the shaft a given person is closest to. Entering the southwestern of these shafts, the group found deposits of raw orichalcum that exhibited curious qualities: changing shape and orientation to fit nearby persons’ thoughts and feelings. One vein formed lifelike moving miniature statues of a fox and a rabbit; Ali, silver fox, formed a suit of armor from it; Silvyr, non-silver fox, managed to get chunks of metal to leap into his hands, and to gain several tendrils—which became duplicated on others near him, and in some cases transformed into hissing snakes.

The party descended a staircase cut into the southern “floor” to find a room that they deduced was a foundry for the mentally-malleable metal. Colored lights, a thermostat, wood-carved models of tools, a slide projector showing various pictures of abstract shapes, bottles of perfume, plastic eggs containing Silly Putty, swatches of fabric and other materials, and earbuds for listening to synthesized tones, were all determined to be used to guide users’ thoughts in forming the orichalcum into usable solid objects. On a more troubling note, the group also found a threatening letter from Annelid Amalgamated—a letter apparently printed in orichalcum-based ink, as the Annelid Amalgamated logo’s worm swallowed up the logo’s spindizzy planetoid. Despite this discomfiting turn of events, the group spent the remainder of the evening experimenting with the foundry’s equipment before heading their separate ways.

Saturday morning the second group, led by superheroic coati Super Natasha, set out to explore the northwestern shaft, which was similarly cut straight down into the SpinDizzy and exhibited the same gravitational anomalies. This group also found deposits of raw orichalcum, forming at various times a mousetrap, a hammer, flowers, a wood-grain pattern, a likeness of Morticon Wallaby, a piano playing a Chopin nocturne, and a bas-relief of the previously explored foundry. Kinsor, resourceful fruit bat, managed to influence several pieces of orichalcum to form into lemmings and leap into a sack, presumably for later more in-depth examination.

Heading east down a tunnel, the party was surprised to find a representative of Annelid Amalgamated, a very large worm in a business suit who introduced himself as Humus Pierpont Slithe III, Vice President of Terror and Public Relations, and proceeded to strike many of the same points that the letters did, claiming that his company would be doing the SpinDizzy’s residents a service by removing the allegedly dangerous orichalcum. The party was duly unimpressed, harsh words were exchanged, and eventually Slithe withdrew, claiming that he would return.

During this exchange, Azure became visibly fearful. Asked about this, he admitted that he had fabricated the letters and that Annelid Amalgamated doesn’t really exist—or does it? Recalling Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, Azure wondered if his imaginary evil corporation had inadvertently spawned a real one. Considering this possibility, some in the group suggested that orichalcum’s sensitivity and malleability may extend to a greater degree than is immediately obvious.

Shaken but undeterred by this thought, the group returned from the group and proceeded down the shaft, finding a mining area, complete with well-engineered mining equipment perhaps intended for dwarves or similar beings, from which most of the orichalcum had already been removed. Claude, conventionally heroic cat, found a dropped ID card, printed with a portrait of a dwarven person and with Elder Futhark runes forming a language no-one present could recognize.

The group returned up the shaft and proceeded “down” a northern tunnel, fighting against another gravitational distortion pulling them toward the tunnel’s center to surface before a large, imposing, featureless door of refined orichalcum. After some discussion, Super Natasha put on the ID card and approached the door, at which point it began to move—it spoke a phrase sounding like “Mora thu haizen” and formed an ear. No response was able to open the door; it said “Thu nero” and flattened back out. Although nobody recognized the language, they conjectured it was asking for the approaching person to identify him- or herself, and failed to recognize any acceptable name in the response.

As this newspaper blog site thingy goes to press, the door has still not been opened and what lies beyond is unknown. Those familiar with Elder Futhark and/or Dwarvish, particularly “ᛁᛜᚠᛁ ᛞᛇᛚᚠ” which is believed to be the ID card owner’s name, are invited to share their insights.

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1 Comment

  1. Jason

    February 1, 2011 @ 5:47 am

    Alllll right, guys! I just finished researching the Elder Futhark runes–looks like the guy’s name is transliterated as “Iŋfi Dælf.” That’s pronounced “Ingfi Daelf” for those who are usually bad at pronouncing these sort of things.

    …still, it’s a bit worrying that we’re going through this not knowing much about what’s going on, but eh, who discovered anything that way?

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