Cambria

Interlude

We cannot learn the cipher That's writ upon our cell; Stars help us by a mystery Which we could never spell. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The group makes their way to Forge to capture the specimens requested by Kaleo Kai Ikaika. As they travel, they attempt to puzzle out the code in the tome. Several days go by with no progress, as the members debate puzzles and ciphers they’ve seen before. Finally, Aleistar has a breakthrough and he realizes that the writer’s handwriting is quite unnatural. He determines that the spacing between the words is forced, and manages to work out the proper spacing, based on where the text is unusually crammed together or spread apart (indicating the writer was attempting to cover a natural word break). With this new information, Toriel is able to easily discover the cipher’s meaning:

DECEIVING MASK OF STRENGTH
COVERS THE VOID INLAND
TRY TO ENTER AND SEEK
THEN FAIL TO UNDERSTAND

PERPLEXITY
WILL BE IN SIGHT
WEAK FOUNDATION
THAT CANT BE RIGHT

FOR IF YOU LOOK
OUTSIDE THE CORE
SOMEHOW YOU’LL SEE
A BINDED DOOR

NO BROKEN GLASS
NO BLOOD BURSTING
JUST THE VENEER SMILE
OF WEAKNESS MASKING!


THE BLOOD OBTAINED, FROM MY OWN VEINS
NOW LET THE CONJUNCTION BEGIN!
FROM THE HEART OF ONE BROKEN
TO THE ARMS RENT ASUNDER
TO THE FAR CRY OF THE WHITE-GOLD SUN.

ALONE, I RISE UP
STRONGER THAN THE MOUNTAINS
ALONE, I CLAIM DOMINION
OVER THE SHELL OF FLESH.


BESET BY ALL SIDES! I SEE THE BLACK-FEATHERED ONES ARE ON MY TAIL NOW. I SHOULD NOT HAVE GONE TO SEE EITHER OF THEM. I TRIED IT AT FORGE, BUT IT TOOK TOO LONG TO START AND I GOT THE SOLDIERS INSTEAD OF THE RAIDERS. STUPID! OLD THREATS REAR THEIR UGLY HEADS ONCE AGAIN, MORE THAN THEY EVER IMAGINE. ONLY I CAN STOP THEM. ONLY I SEE THEM.

Toriel writes down the translated words, frowns, and says, “Well, at least they’re real words now, though more analysis will be needed to understand these ravings …”

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Naina

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