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Matteo Arlotta and The Aresi Stone


Alenveil

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PYEMCGOWIAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Dear Matteo Arlotta, 

We at the PyeMcGowian Museum of Natural History along with the PyeMcGowian Archaeological Association have been deciphering the dominant nomadic language of PyeMcGowan, Koganto. The mission to have at least 100 speakers of the language by 2030 has been very hard, so far we have only learnt basic words and phrases, such as fish, boat, greetings, water, mountain, tribe/kingdom, person and food. The target, 2030, has so far been very hard for us, as we still don’t know how many letters are pronounced. Anyway, we believe from your work that the ancient languages were mutually intelligible from each other. We have prepared to give your Organisation access to our linguistic archive, and 24/7 access to the Museum and our partners. The past of the Auraid may be hidden, but with a joint approach from many of your international partners, I believe that we can recover all that was lost during the colonial period.

Yours Sincerely,

John Halbert,

Head of the PyeMcGowian Museum

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Matteo waited patiently in his office for the reply of the nations that he sent the letters to. He finally heard the sound of paper sliding through a slot of metal -- his mailbox. He excitedly ran up to it and dug through the mail slot, finding the letter and feeling its sophisticated paper outside in his hands. It had a wax seal that had a Celtic knot stamped into the wax. This, to him, was a very clear sign that this was from PyeMcGowan. He broke the wax seal and opened it, reading. After reading through it, he went over to his desk and began to write a letter responding to the PyeMcGowian Museum Head. His pen let out the gentle scratching sound against his paper as he fleetingly wrote to him.


From the office of Matteo Arlotta of Arlotta Archaeology; Alenveil

Dear John Halbert, 

I'm thrilled to see a neighboring nation involved in something as important as archaeology. I'm inviting you to my laboratory to examine and analyze the Aresi Stone. We may have to wait for an extended period of time as we wait for the other nations to respond to the letter I sent them, but I'm thrilled to have you visit. We'll accomplish great things!

Matteo Arlotta

Edited by Alenveil (see edit history)
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TO: Matteo Arlotta of @Alenveil

Dear Matteo,

I was very happy when I saw your name on my computer screen this morning. However, not only do I hear back from a friend after a long time, no, he also informs me of a tremendeous archaeological find! I remember your enthusiasm from back in the day, always on the hunt for the next sensation! I'm so glad all your hard work is finally paying off.

I shall be getting on a plane presently, I can't wait to lay my eyes upon what you've dug up! Furthermore, I'll be dragging Trai with me, a skilled linguist I met at a symposium in Sunset City. Her algorithms and AIs managed to decode several documents previously thought to be impossible to decipher. You'll love her, I'm sure of it!

See you soon,

Your friend Houen.

ps.: Isn't it great that there have been so many exciting things happening lately? First the incredible geode over in Ibriarium, all the stuff that's been found in Alenveil, now this amazing artifact... What a time to be alive!

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Matteo heard a ping on his computer and opened his email application. His eyes flicked across the screen and read through his usual mail. Junk, advertisements, occasional fan-mail from those kids that really like dinosaurs and are thinking he's a paleontologist, and one name in particular in his inbox that seemed oddly familiar. A name that seemed to come from Sunset Sea Island roots, a name from a time long gone. Matteo thought out loud in shock and surprise, "Houen?"

He could feel joy fill his heart as his old friend had finally caught up with him, and had caught him in such a great position. With the gentle clicking of his keys and mouse, he sent a reply to everyone who had responded to his email. After sending it, he climbed into his car, wiped off the dashboard of dust, and drove off from his home to Sarbo to wait at the museum for the directors, specialists, and his invited companions. His eyes shimmered with hope and excitement, ready to decipher anything he could to finally unearth what had been hidden from Alenveil for so long...

ALENIAN MUSEUM OF NATIONAL HISTORY
STRADA DELLA VITTORIA 1534
00184 SARBO CR
ALENVEIL

Matteo's small car rode up to the front of the museum, and he stepped out of it and marveled at the Grecian architecture that so many had adapted to use in their building. The Corinthian-styled pillars resting as support of the pediment with Aroman writing carved into it:

"SICVT FVIT ANTE BELLVM"

"As it was before the war," Arlotta muttered to himself.

He stepped into the museum, echoing footsteps sounding against the marble-tiled floor, walking up to the front desk and resting his hands on the table. The receptionist at her computer looked up at Matteo with piercing eyes, her thin glasses sliding down her nose. Her chestnut hair tied into a messy bun shimmered in the evening sun. She slid her chair over slightly to be directly in front of her. "Yes?" she asked, seeming to be uninterested in this entire situation.

Matteo read the bronze-painted nametag on her shirt, "Elisa Pizzini." He looked back up at her, "the director has asked to see me. Um, the name should be under Arlotta." Matteo stepped backward and waited patiently for her to check.

The woman leaned back in her chair and then slid to her computer, resting her fingers on the keyboard. "You said your name was Arlotta?" 

"Yes, Arlotta." Matteo wrung his hands, beginning to grow impatient with her.

"Ah, here we go...the meeting says that it will contain you, someone from the Sunset Sea Islands, PyeMcGowan, and...the Rihan-Alenveil Ambassador."

"Wait, an ambassador is coming to this meeting? I wasn't told this, I never even got a mail confirmation." Matteo's face shifted even more irritated at the things that weren't going exactly right. Ambassadors aren't archaeologists, they are not the same thing!

The woman gave a gentle shrug, "that's what it says here. Sorry," she said in an incredibly passive-aggressive way. Matteo sat down in the room where the stone was supposed to be. He examined the stone, running his fingers around the carvings in the rock. He was waiting for the sounds of doors opening, hoping that he may recognize those who entered. He waited patiently for the entering of PyeMcGowan's entrant and his friend Houen, or maybe he was there on time and they were late? His mind was spinning, he couldn't figure out how to act and where and what was even going on. This plan had somewhat fallen apart.

He brushed off his suit and straightened his tie.

Waiting, and watching the clock on the wall tick by.

Edited by Alenveil (see edit history)
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Sarbo Airport

 “Thank you for flying with Principalities, Sarbo time is currently thirty four minutes past eight.”  John had flied first class for most of his life, since his childhood in posh Wendover towns. He was the newly appointed director of the PyeMcGowian Museum Group, the organisation responsible for all the state run museums, and he was ruthlessly spending on new projects. It was a long drive to his hotel, but it was well worth it. After he dropped off his bags and got changed into a working outfit.

His hire car, a Royce Regal, made the trip quickly, and stopped just outside of the main entrance to the museum. He walked in and met Ms Pizzini at her desk. “Mr Halbert, here for the meeting”, he said. “With Mr Arlotta?” “Yes” “Ok, here is your pass, Mr Arlotta is already in there.” He opened the door to see Matteo, “Matteo, how have you been?” He exclaimed “Great, thanks” “Fantastic, I don’t believe we’ve talked since the Town project” “No, no.” “Who else is coming?” “Well there’s you, someone from the Sunset Sea Islands and the Ambassador from the Rihan Republic” “Quite a diverse meeting” “Yes, quite” the two made small talk, until the next arrived.

 

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He smiled at Mr. Halbert and turned his attention to the stone sitting on the display behind him. "It's a beauty, isn't it?" he smiled warmly at the stone as if it was his own child. "I always thought I would be able to accomplish something like this, but I couldn't do it alone. I'm glad that you're here to help. Now, sadly, not all of the archaeologists are here yet. Now, I want to tell you something that the letter did not tell you." Matteo paused for a short moment and mentally punched himself. He never wanted an ambassador to be here, but he can't say no to him either. "There will be a Rihannsu-Alenveil Ambassador visiting us as well as the archaeologists. Now we have the ambassadors and the KPU to deal with."

He placed a newspaper, the ANT, on the table for Mr. Halbert to read. "I think they may become an issue in the future. They hold old grudges from 500 years ago that have improved. Now while I can somewhat agree with them that Limonaia is a cause for the need of archaeology, we need them for this. 'Roksek' is being dramatic, Limonaia won't try to do something like that again." Matteo sighed, "they're civilized."

He held a piece of paper to the stone and began using a pencil to mark down the Kogaanzul runes onto his piece of paper, having a paper copy with him to study, even when he isn't with the stone itself. He placed it on a table and looked over at the paper, then to the stone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Stumbling out of the plane from Selbourne to Sarbo was Pietro Rovetti, the most famed modern Limonaian archeologist. He wasn't exactly pleased with today, angry, embarrassed, straight up mad? Up until now he had been enjoying some off time in Selbourne, with a lot of alcohol, and few worries, but the urgent letter which apparently had been delayed due to some complications with the letter going to his office in Limonaia and no one informing him about it until now lead to a hasty booking of the first flight he could find to Sarbo. These findings weren't exactly something to ignore, so he appreciated the opportunity of working on this.

He had no time to go to a hotel, Pietro hired a taxi and went straight to the Alenian Museum of Natural History, while pondering on what he's about to work on. As he approached the museum he commented: "Beautiful architecture", before entering the building.

 

Edited by Limonaia (see edit history)
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He was immediately greeted by the bored, sour, and indifferent museum secretary. She looked up from her computer and swiveled his desk over to him. "May I help you?" she asked, ready to take whatever request the man had.

Meanwhile, Matteo saw the Rihannsu ambassador enter. Still irritated at his sudden intrusion, he feigned gratitude surprisingly well.

"Ah! Good, you're here! Welcome, Mr...tr'Rukon, right? I'm so glad to see you! Tell me, what's a hot-shot ambassador doing at an archaeologist meeting? The stone must be making waves if even Rihan is interested," Matteo smiled towards him and waited for the response he had in store.

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Rovetti walked up to the front desk and stared at the secretary "The Alenian dialect is a bit odd" he thought to himself as he scratched the stubbles on his chin. "Name's Pietro Rovetti, I'm here for the meeting with the Director and Arlotta." he said as he looked at the gorgeous room he had just entered. "Rovetti? Was it, I'm not seeing your name here." She said and looked at the man, he wasn't exactly that impressive, fatty hair, stubbles and a loose beige coat with a dirty shirt under it. Rovetti wasn't in the mood for this, his head was pounding "Blasted alcohol" he thought to himself. "Let me talk to Arlotta, Miss. I'm sure this is just a misunderstanding, I represent Limonaia so just take me to him and I'm sure this will be just fine"

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  • 2 weeks later...

When focussed on a specific task, Houen would forget the world around him. Sometimes, however, the exact opposite was true. On his way to the museum, Houen was fascinated by almost everything he saw. He documented every architectural marvel he came across and spoke with random citizens to learn about the buildings and monuments around him. The sight that fascinated him the most on his way to meet his old friend was Elisa Pizzini. Houen Tenki wore his heart on his sleeve and when he saw Elisa's hair illuminated by the evening light in a most elegant way, surrounded by the tasteful design of the lobby, he couldn't help but stop in awe and say "Good heavens, you're beautiful."

In his mind, she fulfilled every stereotype of a wise priestess greeting travellers in a temple of a long-forgotten deity. Elisa was taken by surprise, as this was the weirdest of weird encounters she had in a relatively short span of time.

"You must be Mr. Tenki, am I right? If you may be so kind to follow me?"

Elisa was tired, she wanted to go home and enjoy some time alone, but these weird people just didn't stop pouring into the museum.

"How did you know my name, fair lady? You must have forseen my coming, I shall follow you whereever you lead me!" Houen enthusiastically replied.

Rolling her eyes but still somehow pleased with the compliment, she led Houen to the room where the other guests were waiting. As soon as Houen saw his old friend Mateo Arlotta, he left the bags containing his equipment where he stood and embraced him with joy in his eyes.

"It has been ages, my friend, I am so glad to see you! We have so much to catch up about!"

When Houen let go of Matteo, his friend's expression reminded him of the real reason why he was here.

"Right, but that can wait! First, let's deal with that stone of yours!"

Elisa Pizzini used this moment to finally slip away from this group of strange individuals and hoped that the last minutes to the end of her shift would pass quickly and without any more disturbances.

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Elisa nodded and led Rovetti to the back room after the strange occurrence with Mr. Tenki.

"I think these are the last of those in this odd meeting. Enjoy your time, I need a damn coffee," Elisa groaned and stepped out of the room.

"Well, I'm glad you asked. It was found in Aresi, where I think I'm going to name it off of. The Aresi Stone...how does that sound?" he questioned to the @Rihanssu wondering his own opinion on the matter.

Matteo turned, hearing the grumpy voice of the museum secretary, and approached Pietro, the @Limonaia n scientist, "hey! Pi..." he paused, trying to remember the name again, "Pietro! Welcome! I'm so glad to have you here, this Limone dialect is something that I'm not sure if I can read. It makes some sense, but it's choppy. With you on our side and with the help of cross-referencing of the Limonaian Merchant Texts, we're sure to find out these primitive people's identity!"

He patted Pietro on the shoulder and then turned to face his friend from the @Sunset Sea Islands. His eyes widening, and a smile growing on his face. "Houen!" he shouted, running over and pulling him into a hug, patting him on the back! "Ah, dear friend!" he looked around Houen, "um, you said you'd be bringing Trai." He placed his hands on his hips, almost scoldingly, but still trying to tease him at the same time, "did you forget her at the airport while you were spacing out?"

"Seriously, though, where is she? Not that you're any worse, but I was hoping to have her alongside this mission too. You brought up a lot of good things about her," he chuckled of nervousness, "sorry. I have a lot on my mind, this meeting hasn't gone very according to plan," Matteo lowered his voice, "I didn't expect the Ambassador to be here, and I'm a little irritated about the situation."

His voice returned to a normal pitch, "still, I'm thrilled you're here."

Edited by Alenveil (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Matteo assumed that this was perfectly natural. People were curious about his finding, and this stone was a monumental achievement. "Well," he began, "we believe that it has a link to the Kogaan, preferably why @Limonaians decided to wage war. It was written in around 1540, in both the Limone dialect and in Kogaanzul, their native language." He paused, "now, I'm hoping that, by cross-referencing artifacts with the help of all of you, and translation of the dialect with the help of Pietro, we can find out what happened to the Kogaan in the first place!"

He turned his head to face the @Rihanssu Ambassador, "I would never think that you would actually be interested in archaeology like this, being a man of the present and not the past," he leaned closer to Nemus, "why do you want to know?"

A fist slammed down on a table in the offices of the KPU. "Damn you, Matteo! You're just paving the way for the Limonaians to take our land again!" Roksek, head of the Kogaan Preservation Union, growled in annoyance at the actions of the "local legend" Matteo Arlotta. Fueled by his spite for Limionaia and the destruction of the heritage that he would've lived in, and maybe a bit of nationalism, he found this organization to uncover what was, and what used to be. A relatively young organization, the KPU has successfully contributed to the donating of ancient artifacts and has only recently begun working with Matteo Arlotta. Roksek, beginning to think of him as a traitor to the cause, has begun using his money for other reasons -- reasons that no nation would ever think an organization about archaeology would want to do.

"I suppose," he began, talking to himself and staring down at the newspaper he was interviewed in. He didn't want to do this at all, but he also felt like he was entitled to. This was his heritage, his life. He stepped out into the cafeteria of the Kogaan Preservation Union's headquarters, based in Ascorese. He pointed at three people, two men, and a woman, punctuating his pointing with a "you." Then he motioned behind him with his thumb, "come with me." They got up and followed his lead, prepared for whatever Roksek has planned for them. They would do anything for this cause. Everyone in the KPU felt just how Roksek did. They weren't some Limonaian clay doll, made by some explorer 500 years ago to fit the image they wanted. The KPU believed they were true Alenians, and they would do anything to prove that this was a fact.

Edited by Alenveil (see edit history)
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