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Thread: The Mahogolun Temple

  1. #1
    Hey guys, did you hear about Something Awful?

    Post The Mahogolun Temple

    After graduating with a degree in applied Archeology and Anthropology, I received a summons to visit the civilization of Mahogolu, more specifically, on the coast of the Zahahal Island. The summons came from a professor of mine during my undergraduate studies. After arriving to the island, I rented a camel and went to the east, to the jungle, where the doctor, who was now my collaborator, said that after around five kilometers, he would meet me at his camp, which he assured me is easy to find. After a while, the sun began to set, and my search of Dr. Ludwig van Steeple yielded no results. I rested the camel for the night, and began the next morning. Around midday, I notice across the distance a ziggurat, small in context but the size must be massive when at a more noticable range. I decided to heads toward it, as such a place seems likely to find my collaborator.

    Upon reaching the ziggurat, the sun moved across the sky, and was reaching twilight again. I set up camp, and left the camel tied to a hole I found in a stone stump that jutted up out of the ground. The lamp I brought with me was lit in anticipation of nightfall, as I had lots of oil with me, but twilight however still remained some time away. I decided to take the opportunity to explore a little more of the ziggurat, which lied in ruins. There was something unusual about this place, despite not having any knowledge of what it might be, or a comparison to any previous ziggurats, as I have never experienced being near one before. I tried not to think much of it, however, as my scientific mind was more powerful than my fears of superstitious tales. I knew nothing of this place, and spoke little to the locals of Zahahal. All I could piece together is that due to the proximity of this location to the airport my collaborator bought a ticket for me for, that this place must be part of the ancient Mahogolu civilization.

    On the stone steps were nothing out of the ordinary, however on the larger outer steps that were too large for humans to climb, there were carvings on the stone, much like hyroglyphics of Ancient Egypt. Much of the characters had human forms with heads of animals, and the characters in the carvings were performing some sort of ritual, unknown to me, where the characters bring an bird of some sort through a tunnel, placed on a shrine, and some sort of door behind the bird parts behind it and opens.

    I decided not to ascend the steps just yet, and wanted to explore the perimeter, despite knowing that I could do it more easily at higher ground. The ziggurat was massive, and I could not see around any one side. After going around to one side from the side where I set up camp, I noticed that there were stairs leading up on this side as well. The carvings here were different though; the characters remained the same, a bird carried by characters of human bodies with heads of animals, however the bird is first shown flowing from a celestrial entity down towards a lake, where the characters are drinking water from.

    Around the third corner, the dusk was now fading to twilight, and the ancient carvings were harder to make out in this light. However, I couldn't help feel that the how place was odd. Something wasn't right. I noticed off in the distance though a camp, at first I thought it were mine, but this wasn't so since I have traveled only two sides over from my camp, thus my camp must be on the other side of the ziggurat. I decided to investigate, pushing my feelings that something was off down, and pushing my discovery mind up. This was my duty, I went to school for years in order to do what I was doing now.

    Upon arriving at the camp site, I noticed that the camel was tied to a stone stump similar to mine, except this stone was larger than the one I used. The lamp had no light to it, and the tent was set up. Inside the blankets and pillows were unmade into a mess, and scrunched up near the doorway, as if someone ran out of it. Outside the tent, papers were scattered on the ground. This surprised me, as the wind should have blown them away by now.

    Then it hit me. No wind. I thought this extremely unusual. Not having wind is natural enough, but the papers were scattered out like not having wind at this locale was normal. Even so, I felt still uneasy, and something was still not right. I looked down and tried to read the papers, however, they were all written in a foreign language, to what appeared to me as German. I had very little to no experience with the German language, only Latin and Spanish, but I did determine that I am in my collaborator's camp. If so, I had the option of waiting for him, or try searching for him. If this is his camp, and his camel, he wouldn't have gone far from it. I knew now that these ruins were the primary location for our studies of the Mahogolu.

    I decided, out of the best clarity of mind that I was so proud of, to search for him. I knew that he would come back for sleep soon, but I still wish to make my presence known to him as soon as possible. That might help kill this feeling I have of this place. I went around the last side of the ziggurat, but around this time, the sun has set and last twilight's gleam settled. Stars and the moon now light the temple. Although I couldn't determine the carvings on this side at all, I did notice that the stone was eerily glowing, the phosphorescence stone were brighter than the surroundings. My feelings that something wasn't right has now overpowered my curious mind of "what kind of properties do these stones hold?" and other curious questions.

    I decided to take a closer look at the steps, where I noticed a shoe near the edge of the steps and the ground. The shoe was still tied, and I knew it must belong to the Doctor. Something may not be right, but my mind decided that now more than ever I must find him as soon as I can. If his shoe was here, then my collaborator must have climbed the steps of the ziggurat. I decided now was a good as time as any to get to higher ground, explore the ziggurat, and find my partner.

    The climb started slow and remained that way. It seemed to me that it was endless, one slow step after another, without any light at all, except for the eerie glow of the stones the steps were all made out of. The whole ziggurat appeared to glow along with the moon's white shine. If it weren't for the rest of the jungle, then maybe it wouldn't appear so out of place or unusual. I climbed and climbed, and felt that hours passed, and that maybe soon the sun will rise once more. However it didn't, and I yet I climbed, slowly one step after another. The ziggurat was large, yes, but I couldn't help but think that the steps I am climbing somehow do not equate to a normal law of physics where the height of the step's recline do not correspond to the perimeter of the ziggurat. I decided to take a rest.

    I climbed to the leftward edge of my steps, where I could catch my breath. The top seemed to be much or less in sight. I looked down, and it seems I haven't climbed much at all. I was at a considerable height, yes, but it feels like it should be more. Something was not right.

    I then glanced over to the larger terraced steps of the ziggurat that lied on both sides of the steps meant for climbing peoples...or characters. The carvings here were still somewhat faded, but I could make out that the bird's eyes were quite unusual. They were very dark, much like the eyes of a real bird, but the features of the eyes were exaggerated compared to the rest of the avian. I then noticed the celestial entity above the bird had craters. It was a moon. The moon, right above me. Something was not right. I almost decided to descend, but I still felt the urge to find my collaborator, as it is known that even in the night, archeologists still work.

    Once my mind snapped back from the trail of thought that led to finding my collaborator, I saw again the figure of the raven. The characters a little farther away showed them on top of a ziggurat, most likely this very one, with a character with a raven's head shaking a staff of some sort, and another character with a goat's head climbing into a hole on the top. My curiousity peaked again. Could my collaborator have reached the top to find artifacts such as the staff? I decided to press onward.

    I climbed and climbed, and another hour or so passed. There was still no wind, and the stones served as my light. Then after a while, I noticed that the stones were fading. I looked up and noticed the complete darkness in the sky. Then I heard thunder. It must be a storm. I had no choice; I must press on and climb in the darkness. I climbed slower, and more carefully. The thunder roared again, but no wind or rain touched my skin. Something was not right.

    After a little more while, I put my leg down and felt nothing. I must have reached the top. I carefully went to my hands and knees and felt around a bit. After being satisfied with the conclusion that I must be at the top, I turned over onto my back and rested, taking heavy breaths of the warm air. Then I noticed outlines of the clouds break apart, and the moon shone once again this night.

    I rested for a few more minutes, but after a while, I decided that I must use this time wisely to find any clues towards my collaborator or this strange ziggurat. The stars were out now, and the glow of the temple returned to me, much to both my dismay and delight. I looked around and noticed a pile of items nearby. I crawled over, and noticed that they were pages. It must be the Doctor's notes. Along with it, I found above the notes a staff, a torn robe, and a feather. The notes were mostly written in German again, to which I could not read at all, but there was a few passages written in a noticably different language. I couldn't read it at all, but the characters had different accent marks and syntax than what I saw on the page. As I was reading them, I saw above the notes and artifacts a square center to the ziggurat. The center was darker than the rest, and when I glanced at it, my feeling to flee and that this was unnatural came back to me. I looked up to the moon, which was again being covered by storm clouds. I realized I will have to wait until the clouds parted again to find my way down (which I decided immediately looking at the center).

    I was still holding a page of the Doctor's notes when the moon and stars were blocked once again. I was on my knees, looking up, when I felt the paper tremble, and finally yanked free of me. This took me by complete surprise, and I knew that it must have been a gust of wind. But I thought wind was unusual here, and my heart started racing. I looked for it, but out of the darkness I could not find it. The wind stopped again, and I searched around on my hands and knees for something that could help me. I felt around, and grabbed hold of something. It must be the artifact, the staff in the carvings, and presumably, in the Doctor's notes.

    I stood up with the help of the staff, and as soon as I raised it off the stone grounding of the top of the ziggurat, a flash of light came, in every direction I looked, a halo of light breached towards the center, which was complete darkness. I felt a headdress around my head, feathery and large, and my clothing was completely different. It was tribal, much like the character's clothings in the carvings. I felt wind all around me, a cyclone that picked up and swirled the notes all around me. I can only see out of the edges of my sight, but I knew the papers there. Flashes of lightning illuminated even more my halos of light in my eyes, and the sky roared with thunder. I looked around the other side, and saw the center of the temple, a hole with bricks leading downwards to the earth that disappeared into complete darkness. My feelings overcame me once again, and everything stopped. The papers fell, the wind stopped, and the storm clouds above parted. The moon and temple once more glowed. I fell to my knees in front of the bottomless pit.

    Everything was silent at first, for a short while. I rested there on my knees for several more minutes. Then I heard a low, deadly moan eminating from the pit. Terrified, I got up and decided that I must leave now. I stood up, turning around and running into a very large black bird. The talons of the avian reached towards me as the wings spanned apart, and the giant bird clutched me and threw me into the pit.

    The bird did not follow, and instead flew off up to the moon instead. I sank into the abyss, and complete darkness was only overshadowed by the roaring winds of eternity. I fell, and never landed, and never died.

    And I never shook the feeling that this was all wrong.
    Last edited by Jay; 10-05-2010 at 09:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Hey guys, did you hear about Something Awful?
    Tomorrow I will try to go through and edit out adverbs and adjectives, though this may make this unreadable.

    I decided I will not be able to write much without those!

    EDIT: For those who want to read this in a book-style format, I uploaded and formatted it on Google Docs, located here:

    Also to Geb, okay, I am sorry I didn't follow your project guidelines. It was too hard for me! As you can see I started out knowing that I shouldn't use adjectives and adverbs in the first paragraph, then I slowly started to say "screw it" and wrote the whole story.

    This story is akin to H. P. Lovecraft's The Nameless City, kind of a homage, in style and manner. But the ideas are my own.
    Last edited by Jay; 10-05-2010 at 09:54 AM.

  3. #3
    (Haha! You might as well just see if this spawns its own story, man! Don't worry about the adjectives/adverbs -- that was just for the one thread! Let's see where this one goes. )
    The Plothole: a home for amateur, inclusive, collaborative stories

  4. #4
    (In fact, I think I'll add a little something now!)

    After failing to make an honest living maintaining my late father's shooting range, I pursued my true calling as a mercenary. Well, not quite a mercenary, but it sounds more impressive than "crazy gun-wielding woman hired for random jobs," especially when those jobs are more often than not duller then my assistant's mind. This latest job, offered to me by an anonymous benefactor who paid me ten thousand in advance, has me out on Zahahal Island searching for, and retrieving, a Dr. Ludwig van Steeple. I don't know why, and I don't rightly care. It would have been nice for once to pick up a contract that actually involved my skills, but the money was good, so who was I to complain?

    Once my muscle-bound assistant and I reached the coast of Zahahal Island, we set to find whatever trail this doctor guy might have left. The locals weren't helpful, but it was a moot point, as my assistant managed, by dumb luck I can only assume, to find a trail of footprints made by shoes that no native would have left -- only ones our doctor could have left. The trail ran east into the jungle, where I had a difficult time imagining any brainy scientist-type willing to venture forth. We pushed through the trail in good time, noticing some ancient pyramid as night was falling. Not the kind of pyramids found in deserts with pointy tops, but the kind with its top chopped off and replaced with something I couldn't quite make out with I think some stairs climbing up to it.

    "This doesn't feel right," my assistant said. "We should turn back."

    "You're not being paid for a vacation here," I told him. "We got a job to do. Look, I think that might be the doctor's camp up ahead. Let's go check it out."

    I don't think I've ever seen my assistant look so disturbed up to that point. What was his problem? This contract would set us up for life...

  5. #5
    Hey guys, did you hear about Something Awful?
    Always nice to see someone go with it.

    Especially with a totally different writing style (you had more character development and dialogue than my entire story)!

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