Expedition Report - Forward can be found in Tazavesh, the Veiled Market in the southwestern corner of The P.O.S.T. room behind some stacked boxes. It is part of a series of reports written by the broker Al'firim about the origins and structure of the cosmos.
I have no means to convey the tenure of my labor upon this quest. For how can time be measured in search of such a place? Surely the Sepulcher of the First Ones exists beyond any measure that one such as I could hope to comprehend, and I possess far more knowledge of these matters than most.
Forgive me. Their mockery has made me bitter. I must remind myself to ignore the petty envies of my lessers.
When we finally discovered a tangible clue to the location of that sacred place after so many ages of speculation, I began my work with their full confidence. My gifts for deciphering the inscrutable had deservedly earned me an impeccable reputation.
How many ancient codes had I broken? How many lost tongues had I translated? No secret was beyond my grasp. They all knew this and had reaped the profits of my genius.
And yet here, so close to achieving our goals, I faltered. Yes, I admit, for the first time I faced a challenge so daunting that I doubted my ability to overcome it. Al'firim the Fallible, they snickered in ill-concealed whispers.
But who among them fared better? None, I assure you. The complexity of the glyphs alone was... well, let me say it felt like an eternity passed before I grasped the first inkling of what they represented.
The others came and went. They brought in "helpers" and "apprentices" they claimed would aid me. None lasted. None proved worthy. They tried to tell me I should stop, that they had found another to take up the work. But I refused to leave. I knew who it was they planned to send, and I had vowed that she would never again usurp my position.
I was lost in the glyphs. The geometry. Every path seemed to curve in upon itself. Nothing made sense.
Until it did.
When at last the realization struck me, I swear to you that reality itself seemed to melt away. I saw visions of the unimaginable, sights I could never hope to convey in mere words. When I became conscious of my surroundings again, I saw the others staring down, mocking my sprawled limbs.
It didn't matter. I had found the truth at last.
Understand: Despite this being the most wondrous revelation of my storied career, I stand upon the merest precipice of understanding. The language of the First Ones seems to shift and grow as I find greater depths within it.
I have no doubt that further meanings will reveal themselves as the glyphs and geometry of this fractal tongue become more known to me, so please consider the chapters ahead to be but works-in-progress. It is not that there is a chance they will change; there is certainty of it.
Enough preamble. Read now the greatest discovery of our time.
- "She" could refer to Ve'nari, as she is suspiciously knowledgeable of things relating to the First Ones, and is hunted by the Jailer.
- The use of fractal language in this item refers to the mathematical concept, in some cases used as a foundation for codification of messages where the algorithm's output depends on the preceding input (ergo singular messages being capable of containing multiple meanings depending on what value you start with).
- Patch 9.1.0 (2021-06-29): Added.