This month passed quickly as I was left largely undisturbed in the darkest and coolest areas of the Archives.
As you know, I can’t reveal too much about the location of the Archives under the Abscondern Edict, however I’m certain a description is relatively harmless!
Upon first arrival at at the Archives through its Mystika Porta, you enter into the vestibule; a small and perfectly round chamber. The structure, removed from its original location during the Reformation, is not larger than 6 metres in diameter and the walls and floors are all made of some kind of sandstone. At the centre of the floors in the same stone are 6 carved, 6-pointed stars in a ring around a flower with 5 petals. The chamber is well-lit with a warm glow except for the dark dome of the roof, nearly black, which has inlaid iridescent stones that twinkle in the darkness. At the centre of the dome is an oculus, once perhaps it might have opened up to skies but in its new location has no such opportunity.
Still, it is truly a beautiful sight and I imagine, once upon a time one could have spent the day gazing upwards to watch the dome be lit by contrasting sunlight and moonlight in the most spectacular of ways.
The chamber feels at once intimate and comforting and vast and infinite. A truly magnificient room and I’m so glad that it has been safely preserved all these years.
This chamber of course, has two doors, one being the Mystika Porta and the other the entrance to the Archives beyond which I spend most of my time.
I think I shall recount the tale of my first entrance into the Archives at another time, but I can tell you that every time I step through that second doorway I am just as overwhelmed as I was the first time.
It is not just the resplendence of the space, but the sense of history; of curiosity. There is so much to discover.
In any case, this month, a single shaft of light led me to a fragile letter pressed between the pages of an ancient leather-bound tome.
It appeared to be some kind of letter dated April 1608 in London. The document is in poor condition but I have transposed elements that were legible below,
…could not have been more engaging. We share a passion for discovery yet for a young man, I find his preference for papers and books most peculiar. I am certainly an old man yet I still long to be on adventures beyond what we know. To sail to new lands and meet with fellow adventurers with their own…
There is some fading before it begins again a quarter of the way down the page,
H. speaks with great animation of this place for the knowledge of the Order. It is an ambitious plan indeed and he assures me all his current endeavours are to this end. He is clearly intelligent, determined and although I had rather always imagined the position to be held by one with more vigour, I trust that you are without error to consider him for the role.
Should I be able to make any further enquiries on your behalf, send word.
I remain, dear Sir, your loyal adventurer,
Sir James Lancaster VI, CAO
The letter has since been moved to its chronological place in the Archives with the hopes that further contextual research will provide further insight into this specimen of personal correspondence between Adventurers.
On the surface, I have heard that the Scientists have been recording some instability in the Portals at the Brisbane Chapter of Arcadium and are simultaneously investigating the possibility of Portals somewhere in Melbourne.
It’s too soon to tell though if this will bear fruit and despite the best efforts of the Scientists we do know so little about how the Portals operate.
For example, it’s a common misconception among new members that the Portals always appear in groups – with access to each of the Realms of Fantasy, Magic and Mystery. In fact the Oud Eeds, documenting the earliest days of the Order, show definitively that it was more common place for a single Portal to appear to a single Realm in any one location. Over time, it become more common place for Portals to appear in groups, often of 2 but occasionally, 3. The occurrence has actually been quite rare until more modern times.
The Scientists think that it has something to do with the instability around the Portals that allows for the connection between our two worlds in the first place and that, in an entropic manner, whatever it is, is becoming less stable over time.
Of course, it’s also still a mystery what created the ‘Fissure’ in the first place though the prevailing hypothesis is some kind of initial cataclysmic or ‘Big Bang’ event.
All of this change does beg the question, “What does the future hold?”. While there is an awful lot we don’t know, we can be certain that the Portals are not in a ‘steady-state’ so change is the only thing we can be certain of occurring.
As ever, I would love to hear your theories so please send through your thoughts about either the correspondence or the ultimate fate of the Portals.
E. L. L., MCAO