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Saga The Vaults of Cromm-Crúaich

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Gamiel, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Title: The Vaults of Cromm-Crúaich
    Timeframe: undecided, probably Saga-era
    Characters: OCs
    Genre: Horror/Suspense
    Length: Multi-post short story
    Summary: An archeolgical expedition on Bran-Mak-Morn finds that somethings better stay buried, in The Vaults of Cromm-Crúaich
    Notes: This story was written for the Fanon Horror Challenge. The fanon element I chose is Anedon 's the Teris Sector

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Part 1

    As I dictate this I understand that many will not believe my story and the warning that comes with it. I hope my story will have its intended purpose but I fear that it will just make people follow our foot steps to those forbidden and thrice-cursed ruins of Cromm-Crúaich.

    As the records will attest there were eight of us, professional archaeologists with more or less interplanetary experience, who set forth with native guides from the trade-town Ka-Nu, to inspect that ancient, aeon-deserted city. Professor Hon Starseeker, our official leader, held her primacy by virtue of knowing more about Bran-Mak-Morn archaeology than any other on the planet; and others of the party, such as Yoda Panoramix and Luigsech Voidfarer, had been associated with her in many of her previous researches. I, Eógan Matusalix, was more of a newcomer, having spent but a few months on Bran-Mak-Morn; and the greater part of my archaeological experience had been confined to Serian and Dearan.

    It had been hard to secure guides for the journey, the semi-native tharks talked about taboo and “we don’t go there”. Not even the foolhardy young males who often visited other forbidden areas to prove their courage was willing to help us. In the end the guides we got was clanless outcasts in deep need of the payment we offered.

    During the five days we travelled across the red moorland and then the yellowing tundra Professor Starseeker entertained us with what she had been able to grasp about the planets history from her visit to ancestral labyrinth of the tharks.

    What she had been able to discern from the wall paintings and historical songs was that in ancient ages past the Elder Gods created the First People as their servants and companions – Professor Starseeker believed this to be the athenar – then the Elder Gods disappeared and after that the First People begun to decline and in time disappeared from their worlds. Before they disappeared from Bran-Mak-Morn they greeted the tharks welcome to the world, the tharks having travelled for many generations from their original, now unknown, homeworld. They taught the tharks how to live of the land on Bran-Mak-Morn and then in time they, like many of their kin before them, left. Leaving only artefacts, ruins and the knowledge given to the tharks as marks of their once great presence.

    However Professor Starseeker explained that because how the ancestral labyrinth was built up the stories she saw was not really linear and there were side stories being told in side corridors. She believed that there was much she had missed, misinterpreted and/or could not place in the timeline. There had been wall paintings showing the First People fighting humanoid enemies and other paintings showing them fighting strange, dark shapes. Professor Starseeker told us that she hoped to return to the ancestral labyrinth one day for more studies, once the thark-elders outrage over that small bit of sacrilege she had done had cooled down.

    At the end of the fifth day we come upon the path to the high plateau where fabled Cromm-Crúaich lay. On each side of the path stood great obelisks on which inscriptions of warning written in athenar script, great ropes went from the top to the ground, covered in thark prayer flags. We had passed many stones with warnings in thark script but this was the first warning the athenar had put up. At the obelisks our guides stopped and we had to continue on our own.
     
  2. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Reads like Lovecraft! Great descriptives; I get an idea of the landscape and the tunnels. I'm a little afraid of what they might encounter in the tunnels...
     
  3. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Nice start,its so cool that you use my fanon stuff. :)
    I like the style of it as some kind of diary of an expedition member. Also interesting describtions of the landspace and ruins they see, it intrigues me what they might find down there in these tunnels.
     
  4. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Yoda Panoramix and Eógan Matusalix? Seriously? [face_laugh] We need Sith-I-5 in here, to show him that humour and horror are not mutually exclusive!

    Great beginning you have there, Gamiel! The backstory pulled me right in and I'm looking forward to creeping out at the nature of the curse of Cromm-Crúaich!
     
  5. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    For someone who seemed to spend so long avoiding writing actual fic, this is surprisingly good prose.

    Most engaging.

    Good descriptions of the environment; the diary gives an old 1920s adventurer feel; nice introductions for the tharks, both in general terms, and for the "clanless" guides in deep need of money.

    Typical entitlement with the view of Prof Sunseeker's "little bit of sacrilege"!

    I liked the passing many warning stones in Thark script, and finding the first Athenar STOP sign!

    Unfortunately, whatever humour so enraptured Chyntuck completely escaped me, although of course, I recognised Yoda being used as a first name.

    Good beginnings.
     
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  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
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  7. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Glad to hear.

    Thanks and your fanon is cool to use (even if your sector needs more planets :p )

    Glad that you saw the reference and found it funny :)
    Thanks :)

    Thanks, I guess...
    Glad to hear you liked it
    See Chyntuck's post for what the reference was
     
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  8. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Part 2

    It tuck us nearly the whole day to reach the top of the plateau, it was a testament of the athenar’s craftsmanship that the path we walked was still discernible as what it once was, even though it was built before the third Republic, even possibly the first Republic.

    The plateau itself was stony with only coarse grasses, mosses, lichens and windshaped brushwood growing on the stony, barren land. In the distance, with the setting sun behind it, was the antediluvian and fable-shadowed Cromm-Crúaich.

    That night we camped beside the road to Cromm-Crúaich, in a still standing house foundation that might have once been a tollhouse or an inn. It was a restless night with the Jaar, the howling night wind, constantly clawing at our tents and the cold biting through both the tent-walls and our sleeping bags. When the morning came more than one of us lifted the thought that we would never feel truly warm again, even if the hot soup helped.

    Halfway toward the ruined city we realised that the great pillars that was encircling it, that we had speculated of being some kind of remains of a once great wall or grand pillars of some decorative or religious purpose, was actually great obelisks, duplicates of the ones that guarded the path to the high plateau, if lacking the ropes and prayer flags that decorated them. Fools that we were we commented that the athenar most really have believed this curse, to build so many obelisks covered in warnings.

    When we reached the city itself we found a four meter tall bloc of stone blocking the path, unlike the obelisks so was there just once sentence carved into it in athenar script, the rest of it was covered in pictograms showing people, of different species, entering the city and ending up dead. Mon Sláine, our expert on athenar script translated the sentence on the bloc as saying: “Since you can’t read maybe this will make you understand”.

    If we had just listened and turned back... instead we used expandable ladders to get over the bloc and entered the city.
     
  9. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Intresting chapter, now we truly get into the city. I like yozr describtion of the ruins, it mostly fits with how I imangine Athenar buildings.
    My favourite part is the block with the pictograms. Its so in character for the Athenar to not even bother to write a warning down in basic but instead drawn pictures as if they where adressing small children. Which is exactly how they view pretty much everyone who isn't an Athenar.
    Nice chapter :)
     
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  10. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    This story is fascinating.

    Athenar snark lends an element of dark humor.
     
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  11. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Very nice description of the ruins, and a rather ominous (if indeed snarky) warning on the slab of stone. With so many warnings, you'd expect most people to have turned back by this point, but this group hasn't – and now we're going to find out what awaits them in the city.
     
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  12. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    A bit on the shorter side but I thought it better to post something then allow you to wait 20 more days for my mouse to reappear

    -x-x-x-x-xx-

    Part 3

    The ruined city was actually a bit of a disappointment for us. With all the talk and warnings about curses and death we had expected it to be more dreadful and haunting to our senses. The ruined city was not, at least at first, different in any remarkable way from any of the other athenar city ruins on Bran-Mak-Morn, if you ignored the complete lack of traces of a thark or human presence, current or past.

    Our exploration of the city was hindered in the beginning by our electronic equipment’s tendency for malfunction. Voidfarer suggested that whatever was making our equipment to glitch was the reason the semi-natives thought of the place as haunted. Our plan was to first place all the main buildings on our map and give a suggestion to what they most likely had been.

    As our research went on we begun to find the city less… normal. The air was never warm, not even under the midday sun and the shadows seemed deeper than they should be, on the fourth day Sláine said that she thought she saw water drops falling upward. We all agreed that it must be the thin air together with all the stories that was getting to our heads, how wrong we were.

    At the end of the fifth day Voidfarer and Kris Troubadix, her intern, come back reporting that they had found, in one of the main buildings to the east, murals depicting what seemed to be history.
     
  13. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Caught up now—this is off to such a fascinating start! You create such a rich setting with the Athenar fanon details—I too am definitely getting a Lovecraft vibe here, both from the detailed descriptions of the settings and from the style of narration. So far things seem relatively calm for our team, even almost disappointingly so, as you say at the start of chapter three—though the very fact that everything is so calm now paves the way for things to build up to be all the more sinister later. And whatever the sinister element will end up being, I’m guessing it will be subtle and insidious rather than big and loud...
    Eógan Matusalix’s name seems to have resonances with the biblical Methuselah (Heb. Metushalakh), one of those early pre-Flood people who lived for centuries—is that right? Also, I’m noticing that Prof. Hon Starseeker’s first name is the word for “she” in some Scandinavian languages (right?). Another cool touch. :cool:
    Can’t wait to read more about what Eógan and his colleagues will find in Cromm-Crúaich! :)
     
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  14. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Well, no. All the -ix names are references to Asterix. I will say that the characters from whom I stole names have nothing to do with the characters in this story.

    Yep, since SW already have Han ("he" in Swedish), I have decided that Hon is female form of Han

    Thanks and hope I will not disappoint
     
  15. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Oh come ON, Gamiel! You bring your muse back right now, because I want to know what happens next! Although I have to say that I love the short entry format, it gives us readers time to build anticipation in-between chapters – and in this one, our explorers start out finding that the city looks perfectly normal, then that it's not so normal after all. My guess is that the abnormally long shadows and the drops of water flying upwards indicate that the Force is running amok in this place, but I'll wait to see what the history frescoes say...
     
  16. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Interesting additions.

    I do like that block on their path, showing multiple species entering the city and coming a cropper.
     
  17. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2012
    @Gamiel very nice set up. As folks have mentioned the Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard vibe is terrific. I smirked whenever seeing Bran Mack Morn and Cromm-Cruiach mentioned.

    Beginning to feel the Lovecraftian dread here, which is great.

    The humor is welcome too (that makes me think of a nod to latter day Evil Dead), so well done.
     
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  18. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Once again on the shorter side but as before I thought it better to post something now then someting longer after 20 more days

    -x-x-x-x-xx-

    Part 4

    Now I understand that what I tell now will most likely make the archaeology who here this wanting to go to Cromm-Crúaich to witness and record what we found. Don’t! By the Force and all ancestors, don’t. Head my warning and let the horrors of Cromm-Crúaich lay. Let it lay.

    [Transcribers comment: Here Eógan Matusalix fall into mumbling and sobbing for around seven minutes.]

    Where were I? Yes, the murals. The building Voidfarer and Troubadix had found was most likely some kind of house of knowledge and/or science. In the great entrance hall, which seemed to be colder than the outside, there were murals depicting athenar in stylised (and probably idolised) ways farming, building, doing paperwork, researching, trading, and similar activities. What made us only give the murals in the entrance hall a quick study was the lower levels where Voidfarer had found what seemed to be showing the earlier history of the athenar. We recognised some of the scenes from the other city murals we had seen.

    You who are not students of athenar archaeology may wonder why this was so interesting but you need to understand that many athenar cities had murals depicting not just the city’s history but also the history of the athenars. With each city depicting the history with focus on different historical narratives. Even if they all, or rather nearly all as the mystery of Hag-Graef show us, shared some returning points. By finding the historical murals of Cromm-Crúaich we could possibly find out more about the athenar’s history on Bran-Mak-Morn and maybe what made them abound their cities and realms.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Suspense, suspense, suspense! We are clearly very close to finding out what it was that spooked Eógan so much—I realize "spooked" is the understatement of the century—and yet those murals, showing what seem to be brand-X historical scenes, still seem so innocuous. Which of course will increase the reveal of the REAL horror later, I'm sure! I'll be curious to see what story the scenes really are telling. Love the "transcriber's comment"—fun touch, though anything that causes this staid, stoical, scholarly character to sob for seven whole minutes has got to be truly horrific! :eek:
     
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  20. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    I feel that I should warn my readers before I disepoint eveybody with how lame my "horror" prorobly is. So I have to point out that this kinds of stories are about the build upp, so please ignore that the monster is just a guy in a gorilla suit and a plastic werewolf-mask :p
     
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  21. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Thank you for the warning, @Gamiel , but even if you achieved a basement level of scares, you know you would have beaten my Eye of the Serpent effort!

    I had to scroll up to find the end of the previous chapter, to confirm I was up to date, and want to applaud you coming up with the "Voidfarer" variant on the Skywalker naming convention.

    The latest update was nice, and I practiced reading between the lines.

    These people had time to build the city, and had murals featuring them doing that, so presumably what took them out, came along afterwards.

    I liked the variety of activities depicted on the entry hall murals, including them doing paperwork.

    When earlier murals were found, I imagined Athenar standing around a sheet of flimsi - Alright, how the drokk does this work? :p

    The warning to stay away, was well worded, and reminded me that yes, there had to be a time before probe droids!

    I was doing so much thinking, that it took @Findswoman 's review to remind me of the seven minute sob.

    Your warning in mind, still interested in the outcome.
     
  22. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Part 5

    The lower levels was made up by many chambers and corridors of different shapes and sizes, many of the chambers still had furniture, strange equipment, or similar things in them, covered by layers of dust. We found many highly interesting murals on the corridor walls and even sometime in the chambers. As we explored the lower levels we found our electronic equipment more and more unreliable, and it was only thinks to Starseeker’s forethought to bring chemical torches that made it possible for us to continue. We also found the air growing cooler and we could soon see our breath before us.

    As we continued along our chosen corridor we took pictures of the murals, hoping that maybe some of them would work, and stopping beside interesting sceans to allow Panoramix, who had some knowledge in the graphic arts, to make sketches so we could still have something with us back if the cameras had failed us.

    Common sense would have told us that it would be better to stop and return later with better equipment (and warmer clothes) but we was driven on by our curiosity and quest for knowledge, we could see, make sketches and notes and still feel our feet (if not our toes), that meant to us that we could continue for a bit more. Now, looking back at it maybe there was also something else that drew us forward…

    Troubadix was the first to notice the cracking of ice crystal as we walked and we realised that areas of the floor was covered by a fine layer of black frost. And not just the floor we quickly realised but there was also spots of black frost on the walls and the ceiling.
     
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  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooooookay, I really and truly know something is super off here, because ICY FROSTY STUFF SHOULD NOT BE BLACK. White, gray, pink, green, anything—just not black, for San Hill's sake. :eek: :p

    I'm glad that they were at least able to get some images of the place, both photographic and hand-drawn, though given how things are likely to go I almost fear those won't survive. However, I have to say that I am very much enjoying the Asterix-style characters' names. :D
     
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  24. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Very intriguing.

    Now it all depends on whether the narration was a broadcast sent once one or more persons returned to the surface, or if it was a recording made whilst the narrator was trapped below...

    Addendum. Before you say, he warned people to stay away, how could he expect that to be heard if he was trapped below with failing / failed equipment?
    The guy sobbed for seven minutes. His judgement is suspect at that point.
     
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  25. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Dang. I should not be doing this, but the name of your story stirred a memory of my childhood.

    [​IMG]

    There was a certain BBC series that I was in love with before I even fell in love with SW. (And therefore I die to see Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham.)

    Your title also reminds me that I am too late to get tickets for the "Rocky Horror Picture" Show here in Berlin, sigh. But well it is without Richard O´Brian (a brilliant Gulnar and short-time servant of Cromm Crúaich) anyway.

    After I let go of the past... ha, ha... I was able to continue reading with the story. It is indeed a bit like Lovecraft, especially his work "Mountains of Madness", which I just heard yesterday as a German audio play. (By courtesy of the local library.)



    (The older voice that you hear is the new German Darth Vader and the younger guy was at my 40th birthday party with his wife & their 1st born. It is the son of Luke Skywalker´s German voice. :D)

    But I wanted to get rid of the past...

    [​IMG]

    Whether we are to expect horror or not, you are good at building an arc of suspense. The culture description in just a beautiful by-product.

    It makes hungry for more, even though I know I should not... for I already have too much on my plate at present and no clones available. I cannot promise to be around and there was no trying. But your latest updates, also likeable by their shortness, were hard to resist for many reasons...
     
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