Brother Lapis was bent over the bar at The Gangplank, studying the scroll Gilhooly had found by the edge of the pit that had formed recently in the cellar of the old Clockhaven building.
The yellowed parchment was spread out and weighted down to prevent the corners from curling. The Ravilan priest squinted as he leaned in close, his finger tracing a line under each symbol.
“Perhaps you would like to borrow my glasses, Mister Brother.” snickered Emerson. “Those are some serious crows feet you have going on there.” Lapis was either too absorbed in the scroll to hear or he judiciously chose to ignore Emerson’s taunt.
“It resembles Clerical Greek.” said Malus as he looked over Lapis’s shoulder. “But it seems there is only a surface level similarity.”
Κατά τη διάρκεια της εποχής
Κρυμβ η γη θα διασπαστούν
και ο κόσμος είναι δικός μας
για να προετοιμαστούν για τους
πλοιάρχους Βαρςοομ μας.
JF – Prophet of Komal
“Actually it is Clerical Greek.” said Lapis tapping his finger on the second last word. “But it is a pre-socratic variant predating the empire by centuries.” Lapis glanced up at Malus with a look that was hard to read. “Had you continued your studies you would have known that.”
“Can you read it Dominic?” asked Junie hopefully.
Lapis shifted his glance to Junie, pausing, as if considering his words. “It appears to be a prophecy.” he finally replied with a slight shake of his head. “Unfortunately I am not as fluent in the ancient dialects as I once was. I can translate this.” he said pointing to the document and pursing his lips. “But I will need my books.”
“Are you saying this is centuries old?” asked Junie.
After a moment’s hesitation Lapis responded. “That is the variable that is perplexing. Classical Clerical Greek hasn’t been used for centuries – yet this appears to have been written within the last fifty years based on the paper and ink. Look here.” He drew their attention to the bottom. “This monogram and designation are written in modern script.”
“J. F.” said Junie, leaning in to look over Lapis’s shoulder. Who do you suppose that could be?”
“Listen,” Emerson interrupted. “This is all very interesting but I need that Cavorite back. Kaylee, is coming over in the morning to climb down and get it for me.” He glanced over at Malus. “The Squire has agreed to climb down with her.”
“Do you think it’s wise to climb down there before we figure out where this scroll came from and what it says?” asked Junie. “I mean we have waited so long already, what’s another day while Dominic translates the symbols?”
“The mushroom season on Mars will be over soon.” explained Emerson. “I think we are kind of pushing things a little late as it is. This is already going to be a much shorter adventure than I thought. Besides,” he smiled. “What could possibly go wrong?”