Vault of Destiny

Vault of Destiny

As the young Hrothi entered the ancient vault his eyes adjusted to darkness. The room was rectangular in shape, with more width than length. The dimensions of the room seemed strange but unusually familiar. The entrance that he had just passed through was small, even by Hrothi standards. It was perfectly centred, the only opening to the vault. In the middle of the room stood a small pedestal with a book placed upon it. The walls were perfectly smooth to the touch, except for a series of identical rectangles carved into each wall from the ground to the ceiling. Each one identical in size and shape to the door and engraved with text like the tablets he had seen in the Hrothi library of his village. The floor and ceiling had no markings.

The young Hrothi moved towards the pedestal to examine the book more closely. The pedestal stood about waist height from the ground with a lockbox attached to the support pillar. The box was small enough to grasp with a clenched fist, ornately decorated with gemstones which almost seemed to shimmer in the darkness, a subtle effect that only a Hrothi’s eyes could discern. The box was locked and required a key to open. The book, which seemed to be the focal point of the room was positioned laterally on the pedestal, and secured firmly in place. The text on the outer stone cover was etched sideways to compensate for its positioning. It was shaped with an unusual convex curve. Curiously the back cover of the book appeared to be its beginning. The young Hrothi’s only means of discovering what lay inside was to fold to cover towards him.

He stretched out his arms, grasped the stone cover, and folded it towards him. As he opened the book, a light began to shine from within. A colourful array of text shone from the pages like rays of sunlight being channelled through natural crystals to illuminate the room. The text aligned itself perfectly on the ceiling of the chamber as if it was the page of a book. In that moment the design and purpose of the room became clear. Everything was positioned perfectly to allow the text to be projected upwards. The length and width of the room were similar in scale to that of a book. That was the reason for the sense of familiarity when he walked into room. The height of the pedestal was perfectly calibrated to allow the entire text to cover the ceiling. The concave shape of the book ensured that the text spread evenly over the entire surface. The book wasn’t secured to the pedestal to prevent theft but to ensure the masterpiece of art and engineering was viewed as it was meant to.

As he gazed upwards to admire and contemplate the beauty of the work that lay before him, the young Hrothi noticed that the text carved into the wall was identical to that upon the ceiling. The mystery of the vault deepened. To confirm his assumption, he turned the first page of the book. The soft touch of gold on his fingers sent a shiver through his body as he realised that he was the first person to view this work of art in hundreds of years. The turning of the page towards him created a calm movement in the air against his face, as if by design. The text shone brightly in his brown eyes, turning them a deep red, engraving the knowledge into his mind. The back of the page contained no text, and the next page of the book projected itself upon the ceiling in the same manner as the first. His assumption was then confirmed. The text of each page was also etched into the wall.

After what seemed like an Age of Elyria had passed, the young Hrothi turned the final page. Before him lay the back cover of the book, and an inscription carved into it: “The key to our future is to learn from the past, remember our mistakes and triumphs, share what we have gained, and pass on the wisdom of our experience and knowledge to future generations..” Below the final words of the unknown author a golden key was placed perfectly into the stone, an invitation to open the contents of the lockbox which was secured to the pedestal. He took the key gingerly in his fingers and opened the box. The contents of the box shimmered as he lifted the lid. Contained within was what appeared to be a small chisel, possibly the same one that was used to engrave the walls of the vault with the text of the book. It appeared golden like the pages he had just read. He took it in his hand, but it was much lighter than expected. The golden colour and light weight, it had to be Hrothic alloy!

In that moment, his destiny had been written. The young Hrothi left the vault with a new purpose in life, to gather, preserve and share all knowledge for the benefit of all mannkind.