Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cryptotherium: Keeping Place of Secrets

The Bando know that the things they find in the wastes of Benu are from ancient and powerful civilizations that fell long before they set foot across the salt flats. Those finds that hum and glow with unknown energies are transported to the Cryptotherium, a massive museum and laboratory in the capitol city.

Here the wisest and most learned among the Bando try to uncover the secrets of the past. More often than not, the artifacts stored here are relegated to storage and deemed undecipherable.

Physical Structure, Azure and Ancient

The Cryptotherium is a 20-story tall tower with an observatory dome on top. The entire building is covered in ancient glyphs, scrawled on thousands of pieces of ornate stonework that have been scavenged and fastened together to create this monumental edifice and shrine of the past.

The inner layout of the building is honeycomb of passages and skyways connecting hundreds of vaults and labs. Many dangerous objects are housed here so the walls are thick and seemingly impenetrable. The building's original blue glaze, while cracked and faded, still quite captivating, while trimmed with a precious platinum-colored metal that gleams brightly in direct midday starlight.

The observatory dome crowns the top of the building with colorful and strange stained glasses that at one time filtered out direct sunlight so observations could be made during the day. In the waning light of Benu's star, the windows have taken on new properties--shifting auras and colored shapes of light in mid-air--which Bando astronomers are at a loss to explain.

There are three entrances to the Cryptotherium, one main ramp that leads to a hall of vaults and two skyway bridges 10 stories from the ground that lead from the adjacent buildings. These are ramshackle bridges covered with deep blue canvas tenting. Similar coverings dot the building over breaches or fallen walls where passages are now vulnerable, as the building has been in general disrepair for the last millennia. 

Powerful Secrets Means Tight Security

The building is heavily guarded--not against threats from within (the punishment in Bando society is to be abandoned beyond the Indigo Gates of the city, a fate of certain death) but from without. Seekers from other worlds, competitor races on Benu, and other oddness have besieged the tower in the past.

The Bando forbid all outsiders from entering and installed an permanent garrison of 300 Bando sentinels called Mazhji to watch over their precious treasures. Armed with weapons familiar and ancient, these Mazhji will lay down their lives to keep intruders from making off with any secrets of The Kings.

While the tower appears to have it's weak points, the Bando's resolve to protect the Cryptotherium is boundless. An outsider looking to get in should consider that there are better ways to die.