A Letter from Beyond

System

A custom hack of Don't Rest Your Head

Series
Bird from Beyond
Number of players
1

Bird from Beyond brings a strange letter to Kana. It's a scroll written in an alphabet replete with thick, disconnected, angular symbols with plenty of straight vertical lines, almost like an adorned bar code. Kana finds it worrisome, mostly because she didn't consider that the Bird from Beyond could act with such independence. She uses an encrypted app to message Guramrit Sial, the scientist who was involved in her bonding with the Bird from Beyond, for consultation on this incident. Kana sends Guramrit a photo of the scroll and, when Guramrit has no clue what's written on it either, the physical item itself via courier for tests. 

Fortunately for Kana, she has an important hunting party to organize for business visitors from Samarqand, which takes her mind off these fringe happenings. Among the many guests, there's Suman Mukherji, a diplomatic clerk with a penchant for codes (he's actually a cryptographer-spy). Kana shows him the photo of the scroll and he agrees to offer his help in deciphering it in confidence, as long as Kana let him know about more exclusive hunting events.

A few days later both Guramrit and Suman inform Kana of their findings. The former has determined that the scroll comes from Beyond, while the latter is quite certain the writing is of unencoded language, though not any of the major ones. Statistical analysis suggests similarity to the languages of the tribes living in the dark and cold forests of northwestern reaches of the continent, such as the Norse. However, Suman is unable to come up with a translation.

While Kana ponders the relevance of this revelations, she is a approached by a foreigner, who introduces themselves as Takhmuru Bazzaty, a humble servant of businesspeople from Samarqand. Kana remembers them attending the hunting party. They explain the visitors enjoyed themselves very much and wish to strike a deal with Kana. She is, of course, interested and while she reviews the details, Takhmuru mentions in a by-the-way manner that they heard of her mysterious scroll and that they believe they have the insight necessary to help decipher it, gained from mystical traditions of their homeland in Qafqaz, from which languages sprung all over the continent, Bharat to Éire. Kana is taken off guard by the plausible story and lets Bazzaty inspect the scroll, physically, in Guramrit's lab.

This turns out to be a mistake, even though at first Bazzaty provides some likely hints at the contents of the message. However, when Kana and Guramrit relax, Takhmuru Bazzaty steals the scroll and Sial's instruments used to analyse it. Kana has to summon the Bird from Beyond and employ her falconry hunting skills to track down the escaping thief. She catches them, recovers the scroll and lab equipment, and abandons them on a country roadside, to give herself time to inform Bazzaty's Samarqandian masters of their employee's actions sinking their proposed deal. Samarqand disavows Bazzaty and Kana is glad she turned this fringe event on the side into an strengthened negotiating position for her real business.

Author
zasvid