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[RP Academy] The Ginnungagaphaugr Tablet

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7pm - April 19th, 1785

A moonless night bathed the capital in darkness, the pale stars drawing the constellations in the dark dome covered by a thin mist. The dim lights of the streetlamps, burning the fat oils, casts long dark shadows, and an orange tint color the cobblestone streets of the academic district of Isheim. The draconic statues representing the drakkar bows in front of the building appeared as if they could gain life at any moment with the trembling light.

The man stood at the base of the small stairway of the entrance of the museum. The wrinkles around his eyes covered by the round, metallic frames of his glasses. The reflection of the warm fire light obscuring his light purplish-blue eyes. A rare color even among the vithrans.

-Professor, I hope I didn’t make you wait for too long. – The voice came from the man coming down the stairs. – Today was a busier day than usual – The director of the archeology department of the Thjodarsligr Safn Sögur.

-Director Sorensen, not at all, not at all. – Said the mid aged professor. His dark fabric long coat damped with the condensing humidity of the early hours of the night. The drop in temperature wasn’t much in those months, but the unstable weather could change from a warmer early night to a downpour in a matter of hours or minutes. – I arrived not too long ago. – He then gestured to the leather briefcase in his hands and a cozy café on the other side of the square. – Now, let me show you something that will keep you awake for some time. – The professor said with a mix of a smile and a grin, as if he was a naughty kid with a big secret to tell.

Both men crossed the street into the noisy and almost completely full, corner café with the amicable name of Kafsögur. With a gesture to the visibly busy attendant, they placed their order.

- Ok, Professor Andersen. Quit it with the mystery. – Sorensen said leaning forward in his seat. - What you got me?

(to be continued...)

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11am – January 13th 1786

It was cold outside. Although it wasn`t colder than any other day of that winter, it was cold. Long and dense columns of smoke rose from the chimneys all over the city, and as the fire crackled in the stone hearth of his living room, Sorensen sighted. – Only a couple more months. – he told himself looking at the piles of paperwork on his desk. – Only a couple more months and I`ll be back on the field. -  He reassured himself. Since that day almost a year prior, his nights had been short, albeit the longer hours of darkness. – Damn you Andersen. – He said laughing under his breath remembering that night.

-You must promise you`ll take me with you. – Andersen had told him. – No matter what! – He was stubborn about it.

- Ok Ok. I promise! – Sorensen said finally.

- How fool of you Sorensen – The director told himself back in his living room. – That damned Andersen got you there!

Standing up, he walked the short distance back to his office and the piles of documents. There amidst all the paperwork, reference book and research notes the rather small plaque that begun that hell of a year for the archeological director. A small bronze plaque with runic inscriptions in ancient buranic. If that was all that was, it would have been a fine acquisition for the museum, but that was not all, for there was another text hidden beneath the more visible one. Playing with it in front of the light, the small holes in some specific runes would become a map, or so was Andersen’s claim, a map to the lost city of Bjúrnareik. And after weeks of checking the professor’s research, Sorensen could only conclude one thing, the damn fool was right, at least on the part of the map. Now it was everything ready. With the final authorization from the museum board, in a couple of months the group led by Andersen and Sorensen would venture in the exploration of the century.

Sorensen played with the artifact on his hands. - The Ginnugagap Tablet. - He wispered to himself beforer writing it down as a side note on his research notes. - A fitting name for the beginning of this entire madness.

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June 11th, 1786 

The group had left at dawn from a small, practically nameless, village in the depths of the Jötundalu, the “Giant’s Valley”. The horses laden with tools and supplies made the center of the expedition led by archeology savant and director of the archeological department of the Thjodarsligr Safn Sögur, Morten Sorensen, and their guide a overwritten notebook and a small bronze tablet. Now, the setting sun on their backs shone its golden light over the peaks of the mountainous region of central Burania and the long shadows of the 150 men and beasts casted over the rugged land. That night, they set camp in a small wooded valley.


June 25th, 1786

Our progress has been slow and arduous. The terrain is unforgiving, with steep slopes and dense undergrowth. Every step is a challenge, but we are ready for it. It has been a few days since we last saw signs of human habitation. Only the forest is our companion. - Sorensen wrote in his journal, where he was keeping the logs of the expedition. - Today we reached a small plateau, and Alfrod was ecstatic to see the first stone marker where our research predicted. It seems we are on the right track.

Outside the tent, the wind blew, howling over the trees. - At least it’s not raining - Sorensen muttered to himself while approaching the flap of his tent, foreseeing difficult days ahead.


July 13th, 1786

It was a Thursday when they finally arrived at the plateau as the sun rose above the clouds beneath their feet. A white ocean tinted in red and gold moving with the wind, flowing through the crevices, rising and dissipating, revealing the breathtaking view in front of them. The eastern valley of *name* extended below. The *name* river meandering beneath and a line of molten metal amidst the greenish forest of the valley. The sound of falling water echoing in the background.

-Look at that Sorensen - Alfrod Andersen, professor of history at the Thjodarsligr Háskoli, archeology enthusiast and the discoverer of the bronze tablet, said standing near Sorensen, as the men set up camp. - Look at that view. That’s not something you normally see at our side of the mountains.

22 - Sorensen said, his voice bland, his eyes lost in the view. That was the number of men they had lost during the last month. A sudden downpour a couple of days before had taken most of them. A series of mishaps took the others. Andersen’s smile faded away. - Well, at least we found it. - Sorensen said pointing to the last stone marker a few meters away on a crag projecting itself over the cliffside. The stone marker, a monolith the height of a man, had a circle carved through it, the tablet named it the Steinauga, and it should indicate the path to the lost city of Bjúrnareik.

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August 7th, 1787

A press conference was being held on the foyer of the Thjodarsligr Safn Sögur. The acrid smell filled the room along the puffs of whitish smoke as flashes went by. There was a solemn atmosphere that day, and the board of the museum was about to make official the information that all those that were there were already expecting.

Sven Eriksen, walked amidst the flashes that brightened the large hall at the entrance of the museum. The podium, flanked by the nation’s flags with black pendants, overlooked the guests and members of the press.

Ladies and gentlemen. Members of the press. I stand before you today with a heavy heart and profound sadness to officially acknowledge a profound and tragic loss. As you all know, on June 11th last year, our distinguished Archaeology Department Director, Morten Sorensen, and the esteemed Thjodarsligr Háskoli History Professor, Alfrod Andersen, embarked on an ambitious expedition. Their objective was the fabled Bjúrnareik. They were accompanied by a team of brave and dedicated individuals, all sharing their passion for uncovering the mysteries of our past.

However, despite our hopes and prayers, and the countless hours of waiting and searching, we have received no word from them or their team as yet.

This expedition was not merely a scientific endeavor; it was a testament to their unwavering dedication to the preservation of history, to the pursuit of knowledge, and to the spirit of exploration that drives us as human beings. Today, we gather not only to make this loss official but also to pay tribute to their memory…

At that precise moment, Sven was interrupted by a small confusion that was happening at a side of the aisle. A young man, who came running across the hall, was held by security at one side, and after a few moments of heated words and credentials checks, he was allowed, albeit escorted, to the front. It was Pietr, Sven's personal secretary, and he was breathless by the time he got by Sven's side and handed him a folded piece of paper while whispering and indicating that his senior should read the paper at once.

As Sven unfolded the paper he almost lost his balance, holding firmly to the border of the podium, his stern face softened with visible relief, the sorrow giving place to a mix of feelings.

Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize. — His voice cracked. After a couple of sips from a glass of water, and regaining his composure, he continued. — Ladies and gentlemen, I have just received this right here. — he said, raising the paper, so as everyone could see. Those at the front could distinguish the characteristic aspect of a telegram. — If you allow me — he made a pause as he began to read. — Arrived at Grímholt last night. Period. We found it. Period. Expect arrival this week. Period. Sorensen. Dated August 4th 1787

The room burst in applause and relief. The expedition was a success!

[The discovery of Bjúrnareik by Sorensen and Andersen will be canon. Although it may or may not have happened as it was described here]

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