Currently this text is a copy of our working script, not the exact text of the episode. It will be updated once we have transcripts prepared for every episode.
Observation log, 18th of Drudge Moon 763 Adan
This is Geneva reporting for The South Coast Archaeological and Preservation Society. Reporting from the recently uncovered ruins of the Temple of Asden, in the deserts of Tilan…
And everything is falling to pieces around here. Not literally of course, all the structures are still intact and everything, but everything is a bit chaotic.
First I should report that High Wizard Ezcobar left with a small group of his trusted colleagues a couple of weeks ago, and no one has heard from him since. All efforts at communication have failed.
He left to recover the records of Earth a bit faster. He was very insistent on doing so despite protests, but he made what he called an executive decision, and teleported away with his compatriots.
In the meantime the records have arrived,though just recently. The High Wizard, however, was not among their number. We questioned the troupe that brought the records of course, but no one had seen any sign of him, and indeed had seen no sign of anyone else in the time frame since he left. So we have no idea where he is. He has just vanished. We don’t know if he miscalculated, or if something interfered with his efforts. All we know is that he is gone. For now we will have to work without his guidance. *sighs* which many just see as a boon.
Thank you for the records, by the way. Our staff are still going through their contents in an effort to learn all they can. They’ll be using the data I gathered from Jacq as a baseline to select the most pertinent information for use in their reports. They’ll also most likely be using the new data that we’ve gathered from the new communications. Though most of them are quite useless, being too garbled or short for a proper sample. I believe that brings me to my second big topic.
The Interference has spread. It is no longer solely being detected in my recording equipment, but is interfering in any form of communication spells in the area. There have even been reports of strange voices or strains of music being heard just floating through the air. I have not experienced this phenomenon myself, but I have no reason to doubt the reports. We are all professionals here. Static...Now...static...how are you?...static
Unfortunately, not everyone shares my viewpoint. Their are claims that those who have heard these unassociated sounds are fabricating them, or that they are some kind of auditory mirage, or a hallucination of deranged minds. *Sighs* It’s so childish! And tensions are high. We’ve still had no word from the mediator. There’s plenty to mediate here now. *sighs*
Is it possible that you could send someone else skilled in this field, or a group of them. I’m afraid that tensions in the camp are growing a bit high. People are breaking off into different factions and having difficulty working on any task that requires inter-faction cooperation.
There have been no physical confrontations, thankfully, and honestly not much yelling, just a lack of proper cooperation. I of course hope that this bickering will soon stop, we are, after all rational skilled archaeologists, it would be unseemly if we continued to act like children. Especially considering the importance of our tasks and mission.Cooperation is key.
*sighs* I’m a bit of an outlier among these groups. Most people will cooperate with me, though I have been called “human Lover” due to my attempts to cooperate with High Wizard Ezcobar. I have tried talking to various groups, to try to bring them back together, but I have little in the way of skills for this task and my efforts have mostly been rewarded with Failure.
So yes, if you could attempt sending a mediator again, that would be wonderful. Now where was I before I went off on that tangent?
Ah, yes. Despite the increase in interference, no one has been able to have a sustained, stable conversation with anyone from earth. And honestly with all the interruptions we’re having trouble just having them among ourselves. Any attempt at magical communication is inevitably interrupted by some earthly signal.
A few people have reported receiving a brief response before communication was cut off. Most of these were no more than a single word. Jack Hannigan is the only person to have reported a longer response.
He asked the earthling “How are you communicating with me?” and the earthling responded. “Who the fuck are you? Get out...” before the communication was cut off.
Unfortunately this lack of sustained communication extends to my communications with Jacq. Despite Jen’s best attempts with the equipment we have not been able to reestablish contact with her, or indeed, with anyone. I haven’t heard even a single word from her since I last reported to you.
Jen said that she is getting quite a bit more data from the increased interference, and is working on a new prototype specifically designed to latch onto these strange signals. The interference itself does not seem to be magical in nature, which she believes is part of the issue that we’ve had in trying to connect to it.
But if the interference isn’t magical, then what is it? And why is it primarily interfering with our magical communications? Jen isn’t quite sure on these points. She thinks that the communication works on a similar principle to a compass?
I’m not sure. I can’t really follow her at all. It was too technical. She’s not sure why that would be interfering with our magic. She admits that she doesn’t fully understand the principles herself, but thinks she can make a device capable of capturing it.
She’s having a fantastic time, conjecturing and experimenting. I really hope that she can get it working.
The portal is also showing no more sign of magical activity than when we arrived. Given the amount of interference bleeding over from earth, this seems quite strange. If it’s not coming through the portal then where is it coming from? If it is coming through the portal, then why does it show no sign of opening or being open?
I know that the interference itself isn’t magical in nature, but the portal is. It is the opening between these two worlds, so how are these signals coming through if it isn’t open?
We have assigned a team to watch the portal constantly for any signs of magic, or anything really. At the moment, with no results so far, they are trying to devise new ways of detecting changes in its magical field.
And being quite loud about it. I’m sorry about all the background noise, but there’s nowhere quiet to record these from anymore.
The ancillary structures that we were excavating have turned out to be entrances to some sort of crypt. We have fully excavated the structures, and are working on clearing the stairwells that they contain. The structures are small twenty foot cubes, made of local sandstone. The structures are complete without any collapse.The sandstone has been severely worn by the sands over time, however. Some segments are quite thin, and we have had to reinforce the structure slightly to reduce the likelihood of a collapse in the future.
Despite the fact that we haven’t finished clearing the stairwells much less any lower chambers, we know that there are crypts below, because next to each stairwell glyphs were carved into the wall to indicate that there were crypts … below.
The glyphs are worn and were difficult to make out, but by comparing the readable glyphs from each stairwell we were able to accurately piece the word together.
It’s an exciting discovery, crypts are always full of such interesting information. Excavation is progressing slowly, however, as we believe that they crypts are unlikely to contain any information on the portal, which is of course our primary concern. Especially considering all this interference floating around.
I wonder if Jacq is experiencing interference from our world as strongly as we are experiencing it from theirs. I wonder what effect that is having on their society. We could be learning so much about them if we could only get back into contact with them.
I really hope that Jen gets that device working soon. Communication is key. Meaningful communication. I don’t think that we’re going to be able to clear any of this up chaos up until we can get some answers, and maybe jacq doesn’t have the answers that we want, but she is our point of contact and she will be able to give us some answers. We’ve already learned so much about present day Earth from her. Admittedly much of it isn’t very promising for opening up a working relationship with them.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. We don’t even know if this portal is going to open, or if this is just some fluke occurrence. We need more data. Perhaps the records you provided will give us some more clues. Has this happened before? Not in any stories that I have heard, but I’m sure there is much in these histories that I have not heard.
While waiting for Jen to prepare the new device, I have daily been using this device to try communicating with Jacq. As I have stated before, as of yet there has been no response. I have not attempted to contact her today, so my attempt and hopefully her response will be appended to the end of this message.
This has been Geneva reporting from the Temple of Asden in the Deserts of Tilan 18th of Drudge Moon 763 Adan
Jacq if you can hear this, please try to contact me. We really need to talk about what’s going on. I don’t know what’s going on over there but it’s a real mess over here. Please respond if you can.
I guess not. I’ll try again tomorrow.
Theme Music Plays
Thank you for listening to Interference. For more information, or to get in touch, head to orczone.com, or tweet us @theorczone. Thanks again to Rhi from the Magpies Podcast, Grayson from Heroes Not Included, Megan from Tabletop Potluck, and Sara Quinn. Their info is in the show notes. As always, my thanks to Jahzzar for the use of their song “Please Listen Carefully,” available at betterwithmusic.com.