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    Andy78
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Ddraig-Cyfrinachau - 6. Chapter 6

It had been an unusually cold March and the land was covered in nearly eight inches of snow. The snow had started falling shortly before noon on the sixteenth and had fallen pretty much constantly for the past forty eight hours.

Bryn Jones had just arrived in London. He had received orders from the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau to follow a team of archaeologists whose recent activities had been escalated to the Council.

Professor Gillian Childs had been under observation by one of the Council’s academic spies for a little over a year and a half. She had been showing an unusual interest in the ancient Celtic languages of late, far beyond that required in her work on attempts at reconstructing the Proto-Indo-European language; work which had begun with Sir William Jones and Gaston-Laurent Coeurdoux in the eighteenth century. The work she had been doing on the reconstruction had been observed closely, and whilst her work is amazing and partially accurate, prior to now there had been nothing which had warranted concern or action from the Council.

However, her recent interests have lead to her being placed under much closer observation. She had lead several archaeological digs around Northern Scotland, including one rather large dig on the Isle of Skye in September of last year. She found numerous relics, artefacts and hundreds of coins; but it was one particular relic that attracted the attention of the Council. She had found The First Marker.

The First Marker is a four feet tall stone statue of the god Taranis, and it contains the first clue to the location of the tomb of Yddraigfawr. The Council had issued orders two hundred and twelve years ago for this statue to be destroyed, but it seemed as though somebody had decided to defy those orders.

The Council’s spy was initially unconcerned over the discovery, after all the Marker is covered in text in the Pictish language. However, instead of being written in the Roman alphabet as one would expect with Pictish, it is written in a coded version of the Ogham alphabet; a very easy cipher to crack for a follower, even more so since these kinds of codes feature prominently in children’s games. However, for someone with no knowledge of either, the text would be virtually impossible to crack; after all, the Pictish language has not been spoken aloud in about a thousand years and only a few scholars have any significant knowledge of the Ogham alphabet.

Professor Childs at first didn’t realise what she had found. The statue remained in a display case in a museum for about six months, being admired by the public for its beauty and ornate inscriptions. It was only after a chance visit by an Ogham scholar that she began to realise that she may well have made the archaeological find of the century, perhaps even the millennium.

Fortunately for the Council, though rather unfortunately for Professor Childs, one of the people she recruited to her research project was Jason Talides, one the Council’s many academic spies.

The project team consisted of twelve linguistics experts, and Jason was astonished when Professor Childs and the team had successfully decrypted the Marker in only sixty seven hours. It was far from a perfect translation, but it quickly became apparent that an imperfect translation was more than enough to zero in on the location of The Second Marker.

                                                 

Report #10012 – Decryption of the writing from stone statue artefact Childs/Skye/#100/92

Date – Twelfth of March, 1922

After a gruelling sixty seven hours of work by the entire team on the decryption of the inscriptions with little to no sleep, we have successfully deciphered the writings on the statue.

Since the inscription is written in the Ogham alphabet the team and I naturally assumed that the text was going to be in Old Irish, but after a few wrong turns we realised it had to be Pictish. Nobody, not even our Ogham expert has ever heard of Pictish being written in this alphabet.

We are working under the assumption that this was done to attempt to confuse anyone who tried to translate it. Whatever lies at the end of this, must be truly remarkable for someone to have gone to these lengths.

There are several words which do not make any sense: Udraigfowd, Keidoadwy and Quavrinachau. I presume they are proper names of some description or another, but they do not seem to correspond to any known Celtic words or names that any members of the team have heard of. The rest of text makes a reference to a tomb or a cavern somewhere in the Chilterns, just to the west of London, where this Udraigfowr lives or resides. Three of the team who have a background in mathematics are working on narrowing down the precise area.

However, I don’t think our translation is completely accurate as some of the translated words yielded uncommon spellings for Celtic words that we are very familiar with. Therefore, I believe that “Udraigfowr”, “Keidoadwy” and “Quavrinachau” may not be the true spellings of these names – perhaps that is why I cannot find a name match in our linguistics records.

I am not sure what to expect when we arrive in the Chilterns, but we will leave in three days time. That should allow us enough time to get everything together. I will limit the expedition to myself plus seven others.

A copy of the full translation has been stored in file Childs/Skye/#100, along with a copy of the original text.

 

 

To: Council Leader Elizabeth Mary Tollin

From: Agent Jason Talides

Date: The twelfth day, of the month of March, in the Year of Our Lord 1922

The situation is growing is dim. It has only taken them three days to decrypt the Marker, even with my numerous attempts at sabotage. I have however been successful in keeping the proper names a partial secret; a very small success, in what has otherwise been an unmitigated disaster. They have been incorrectly translated as “Udraigfowd”, “Keidoadwy” and “Quavrinachau” instead of “Yddraigfawr”, “Ceidwadwy” and “Cyfrinachau”.

If Professor Childs is successful in discovering The Second Marker, she could become the greatest threat to the Council in the past thousand years.

Her and her team are due to arrive in London on the eighteenth of this month. My advice to the Council is to send the Ceidwadwy to monitor the situation, and to place the Yddraigfawr sanctuary on alert. We may possibly have to face the reality that the Final Edict may need to be carried out.

May the grace of Yddraigfawr protect us.

 

Bryn Jones had received Professor Child’s physical description from the Council, and he had picked up her trail easily enough; after all, an archaeological expeditionary team of eight scientists laden with equipment arriving in a snow covered London isn’t exactly a quiet affair. Professor Childs was five feet six, forty three years old, and prematurely going gray; however Bryn thought that the description provided by Agent Talides did not do her justice; to him Gillian Childs was nothing short of gorgeous.

 

To: Council Leader Elizabeth Mary Tollin

From: Ceidwadwy Bryn Jones

Date: The eighteenth day, of the month of March, in the Year of Our Lord 1922

I have had a confirmed sighting of Professor Childs and her team. They are due to leave for the Chilterns later on this afternoon. I will observe from a distance for now.

May the grace and benevolence of Yddraigfawr smile upon the success of this mission.

 

Bryn followed Professor Childs and her team to the Baker Street station. He descended the steps onto the platform, and observed her from a distance. The wait for the Metropolitan Railways train to Verney Junction station was brief, and Bryn boarded the same first class carriage as Professor Childs and her team, and took a seat at the opposite end of the carriage. Bryn concealed himself behind a broadsheet newspaper and settled in for the journey.

The journey out into the Chilterns was a rather uneventful hour and twenty minutes. The train slowly wound its way through Middlesex, up into Hertfordshire, and on into Buckinghamshire. Apart from making protracted stops at Sandy Lodge, Chorley Wood & Chenies, and Amersham & Chesham Bois, where the freezing cold wind and occasional dusting of snow would find its way into the train, the journey was quite comfortable

The train arrived at Wendover station just before three o’clock in the afternoon. Professor Childs and her team went to the B&B they had reserved rooms in, and Bryn moved into the hills to set about erecting his tent close to the final resting place of Yddraigfawr.

Once his tent was set up, he proceeded to the nearby shrine. He was greeted by the docent on duty and was escorted to the sacred alter, from where he could see the large skeletal remains of the cornerstone of his society.

After saying The Evening Ritual, he informed the guard to be on the lookout for the archaeologists over the coming days.

“Of course, Ceidwadwy. We have been on alert for twenty four hours having already been notified by the Council, but what action am I expected to take? I am a member of the clerical order, I am not a warrior.”

“You will defend the sanctuary as previous docents have; with your heart, your strength, and if necessary your life. Now please tell me that someone here had the sense to follow the Council’s orders and that The Second Marker was destroyed?”

“No such order regarding The Second Marker was ever issued. It was felt that with the destruction of The First Marker, it would not matter if The Second Marker was destroyed or not.”

“Complete bloody lunacy! The First Marker was never destroyed!”

The docent paled and collapsed into a nearby chair. “Wh-at? Then we have a serious problem.”

“No shit we have a serious problem! We’ve got a team of archaeologists who are going to be crawling all over these hills with a God damned microscope, trying to find this tomb. They decrypted The First Marker in three days and now you’re telling me that The Second Marker is in one piece! I’ll say we have a serious bloody problem!”

“It’s more serious than you think. The two markers serve as more than just a simple map to this tomb. This sanctuary is protected by ancient magic; magic which we no longer fully understand. Somehow, only a true believer is allowed to enter this tomb. In the past, non-believers have violated this sanctuary and the spirit of Yddraigfawr had seen the evil in their hearts, she knew they were unbelievers and she struck them down. We have no understanding of how; there is nothing in any of the ancient texts which explains this magic.

“You see, the two marker stones are imbued with that same magic. In ancient times, whenever outsiders were initiated into the order they were brought before Yddraigfawr, and they carried with them the two marker stones as a sign of their faith in, and their allegiance to, her. When the two marker stones are joined together, their magic will protect the bearer’s true heart from being seen; they will be able to enter this tomb and our other sanctuaries with impunity.”

“Jesus Christ! What the hell are you lot playing at! Do you think that the Council issues orders for sheer damned hell of it! When the Council tells you to jump, you ask how high and how many times! If I ever find out you or anybody else has defied an order from the Council I will personally make that individual pay.”

The snow had continued to fall all afternoon and evening. By the time Bryn left Yddraigfawr’s tomb, the temperature had dropped below freezing and his breath was visible as he exhaled. Although he had not emotionally calmed down one iota since losing his temper with the docent an hour ago, the chill night air was beginning to help him regain his composure.

He settled into his tent for the night, ate what passed as supper, and fell into a light slumber. Bryn had never been a deep sleeper; in fact, it was joked that he slept with one eye open.

Copyright © 2012 Andy78; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

On 05/15/2012 04:03 AM, Dolores Esteban said:
Thank you for another amazing chapter. This story really draws me in. I'm curious to see what happens next.
Thanks for reviewing Dolores.

 

I'm glad you're enjoying the story.

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That was quite a chilling chapter knowing what's coming. The dangers of academia. Ogham is a fascinating subject/alphabet. So much more than just the letters making the words and the meanings behind them

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On 06/12/2012 06:28 PM, Nephylim said:
That was quite a chilling chapter knowing what's coming. The dangers of academia. Ogham is a fascinating subject/alphabet. So much more than just the letters making the words and the meanings behind them
I'm glad you're continuing to read and review.

 

I wish I could take the credit for introducing Ogham into the story, but the credit goes to my better half. I was looking for a cryptology idea to use, and he suggested Ogham. I did a little reading about Ogham before writing the chapter, and am really intrigued.

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On 09/13/2012 05:16 AM, Taliesin69 said:
Such a spine-tingling chapter.

 

I don't want to know what happens next, but I have to find out.

So many readers afraid of chapter 7, I'll have to put a warning sign :lol:

 

But yeah, it's one of the darker chapters so far, so tread carefully.

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