Campaign of the Month: September 2016
Age of Serpents
Ieana / Yarzoth's Notes
Aklo inscriptions from an Azlanti Temple of Zura regarding Saventh-Yhi
These notes and charcoal rubbings were recorded by Ieana, a.k.a. Yarzoth, a serpentfolk priestess and archaeologist who was studying the inscriptions located upon the walls of an Azlanti temple to Zura hidden on Smuggler’s Shiv. The notes were recovered by the Shiv Castaways before their fateful final battle with the serpentfolk.
While the Azlanti cuneiform was easily translated by the Taldan scholars Dornas and Monica Montana, Yarzoth’s Aklo footnotes, believed to shed some light on her own race’s interest in the information, proved elusive on account of the serpent-people’s multilateral brains and convoluted thought patterns.
The notes were divided into two sections, based on where in the temple they were recorded.
Most of the cuneiform copied here were prayers to Zura in Azlanti and had few useful footnotes by the transcriber. The translation was difficult because of the missing portions of wall and the ancient inscriber’s fondness for awkward metaphor, but four key bits of information were gleaned from the carvings.
The chamber was once a scriptorium where books and scrolls sacred to the worship of Zura were transcribed and illuminated.
This temple was built over an even more ancient temple— one that was dedicated to a deity referred to only as the Beheaded One, an entity that was apparently an enemy to the ancient Zura cultists.
Several prayers seem to indicate that the ancients made use of undead slaves created from both “humans culled from the unbelievers and slaves of the Beheaded One.”
As much hatred as the Zura cultists had for the “slaves of the Beheaded One,” they also seemed to despise their own kind—especially those they called the “misbegotten of Saventh-Yhi.”
In many ways, the inscriptions from the chapel elaborate on those of the scriptorium. The three large alcoves in this room once served as meditation chambers—the cultists would enter one, pull a curtain for privacy, and recite the complex prayers and parables carved on the walls here. These carvings, all written in Azlanti, tell the history of this particular Zura cult in three stages.
The southern alcove tells of the cult’s genesis in the city of Saventh-Yhi in the jungle, but is frustratingly vague when it comes to exact details on the legendary city apart from confirming that it was built by Azlanti—this section ends with the cult’s exile from Saventh-Yhi and how they made a dangerous overland journey that ended on the shores of a remote cape far from their homeland.
The northwestern alcove takes up the story at this point, detailing the cult’s exploration of this peninsula (identifiable as Smuggler’s Shiv), their discovery and defeat of a large group of serpentfolk who had gone into hiding after the defeat of their kind many years before at Saventh-Yhi, and the creation of this temple.
The northeastern alcove plots the cult’s future plans, focusing on how they had hoped to earn the gift of vampirism from Zura by undertaking extensive and vile rituals, and once this gift was theirs, how they planned on making the journey back to Saventh-Yhi to awaken (infect) that city with Zura’s blessing (vampirism). The cultists speak of rituals performed by the city’s “false gods” to obscure it from detection from outside, but there was a means by which “envoys of Nyambe” (giving name to the conjectural human empire that preceded the Mwangi) could find their way.
As with the carvings in the inscription room, these writings present a wealth of new information about Azlant’s previously unsubstantiated presence in Garund, particularly all of the references to the lost city of Saventh-Yhi.