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A City Filled With Metal [Chain/Alma Torran]

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Zuzu Mansur

Zuzu Mansur
Job Details:

Job Name: A City of Metal
Job Rank: C Tier
Job Location: The Plains
Job Reward: 15,000 Huang and 200 EXP
Job Prerequisites: Tales of Torran/The Copper Women
Job Overview: Zubaidah must read further with the second tale, and explore the Cyclopean capital. A golden gate, a barracks filled with the dead and a quiet market; what discoveries await her in this doomed city?


The gentle sun warmed Zubaidah's back as she lounged upon the carriage's wooden floor. The winding road had followed its way upon a mountain-path and, wanting to see the alpine views and catch some rays, she had opened the carriage's awnings. As she lay there, relaxing in the sun's warmth, she felt a curious urge to continue reading her tales. Settled into a comfortable position, and with her pen in hand, she opened the book and flicked towards the next page - this being the tale:

This is the ninth chapter of my recount, comprising my journey through the city and its many wonders, as well as the tragic sights contained.

Having discovered the trickery of the brass women who had lured twelve men to their deaths, I invited the kindly Sheyk upon the battlements. He walked upon the wall’s height till he discovered two towers of brass at the farthest end. When he saw that they had two gates of gold, without locks upon them or any sign of the means of opening them, he asked my advice. Looking attentively, I saw in the middle of one gate that there stood a horseman made from brass, having one hand extended which was so inscribed,

"Turn the key inside my chest the same number as the sun makes through the sky, and the gate shall open."

So the kindly Sheyk examined the horseman and, where his ribs might have been, was a pin, strong, firm, well fixed. This he turned twelve times, for each hour the sun travels through the daylight sky, whereupon the gate opened with a noise like crackling thunder.

He was a learned man, acquainted with all languages and characters. Thus, whilst he walked through the gates, he translated their engraving writings but did not enter into conversation with me about their meanings. He instead continued until he entered a long passage, whence we both descended some flights of steps and found a place with handsome wooden benches. Upon every bench lay giants of the great Cyclopean race, their huge bodies draped over the sides. Over their heads were sturdy shields, keen swords and strong hammers like they had been kitted for war - but their bodies held none of the injuries of battle. It seemed they had fallen upon the benches from sleep, not war, but death had taken them soon after.

At the opposite end of this place was another gate barred with iron, barricades of wood, locks of delicate fabric and strong apparatus. Upon this, the kindly Sheyk said to myself that the keys for this gate might lie with these people. Then I looked and, lo, there was a chieftain of these Cyclopes who appeared oldest, and he was upon a high wooden bench among the dead giants. And I saw upon his neck a small key, the size fitting for the gate, which I took and handed to the kindly Sheyk. He approached the gate, opened the locks and pulled the barricades and their apparatus.

Outside this gate were gathered the Emir Musa and his party, who rejoiced at the safety of the kindly Sheyk and myself, as well as the opening of the gate. The party thanked him for what he had done, and all the troops hastened to enter the gate. But the Emir Musa cried out to them,

"O people, if all of us enter, we shall not be secure from some accident that may happen. Half shall enter, and half shall remain behind!"

The Emir Musa and myself then entered the gate, and with him half the troops, who bore their weapons of war. And these men saw their companions lying dead inside the main gate, so they buried them. We also saw the old gate-keepers, servants, chamberlains and lieutenants lying upon piles of silk, all of them dead. And we entered the market of the city, and beheld a great market with lofty buildings - none of which projected beyond another. The shops were open and the scales hung up, and the khans were full of all kinds of goods. And we saw the merchants dead in their shops. Their skins were smooth but their eyes glassy (just as every one else we had seen before).

We left this place and passed towards the silk-market, wherein we saw silks and brocades interwoven with red gold and white silver upon various colours. The owners were dead, lying upon skins and appearing almost as though they would get up and speak. Leaving these, we went on to the market of jewels and pearls and jacinthes. And we left it, passing towards the market of the money-changers - whom we found dead - with varieties of silks beneath them, and their shops were filled with gold and silver. These we left, and proceeded to the market of the perfumers. And, lo, their shops were filled with varieties of perfumes and bags of musk and ambergris and aloes-wood and nedd and camphor and other things. And the owners were all dead.

And when we went forth from the market of the perfumers, we found near it a palace, decorated and strongly constructed. We entered it and found banners unfurled, underneath were drawn swords, strung bows and shields hung up by chains of gold and silver with helmets gilded with red gold. And in the passages of that palace were benches of ivory, ornamented with plates of brilliant gold upon which lay men whose skin clung to the bone. The ignorant would imagine them to be sleeping; the informed would surmise that want of food had them starved, and had tasted mortality. Upon this, the Emir Musa paused and mused about this ill-begotten mystery. As he stopped, he caught sight of the ceiling, an affair of ultramarine, around which were inscribed these verses that he asked me present (for I was well known for my voice),

"Consider what thou beholdest, O man, and be on thy guard before thou departest.

Prepare good provision, that thou mayest enjoy it; for every dweller in a house shall depart.

Consider a people who decorated their abodes, and in the dust have become pledged for their actions.

They built, but their buildings availed not; they treasured, but their wealth did not save them when the term had expired.

How often they hoped for what was not decreed them!

But they passed to the graves, and hope did not profit them.

And from their high and glorious state, they were removed to the narrowness of the sepulchre.

Evil is their abode!

Then there came to them a crier, after they were buried, saying,

‘Where are their thrones and crowns and apparel?’

‘Where are the faces which were veiled and curtained, and on which, for their beauty, proverbs were composed?’

And the grave plainly answered the inquirer for them,

‘See their cheeks? The rose is gone from them.’

Consider what thou beholdest, O man, and ensure their actions do not repeat.

For they ate a long time, and drank; but now, after pleasant eating, they have been eaten."
mag/mag | word/1175 | stam/stam

Zubaidah's Notes:

  • Alma Torran, the mysterious world associated with the dungeons and their resident djinns, was destroyed by unknown forces
  • Furcas, an avid traveller from Alma Torran, appeared inside a mysterious dungeon within this world
  • Musa, the emir sponsoring Furcas upon his travels
  • sheyk, an honorific title bestowed upon respected men, such as village elders
  • emir, an aristocratic title denoting landowning status.
  • wezir, a government position which oversees domestic affairs, serves under their emir
  • Cyclopes, a mythical race notable for their single eye and giant stature
  • Trinaks, the largest city of the Cyclopean race

Tales of Torran:

A City Filled With Metal [Chain/Alma Torran] Ff3e385f25c1a8062dd1c3eb21f35c5a
Name: The Tales of Torran
Tier: A-tier
Material: Leather and paper
Description: A storybook made by the Djinn Furcas. One of the few records of Alma Torran's history, unlike the other texts that exist, it does not tell of the world’s timeline but rather detailed stories, told through the eyes of the Djinns. Those in the eyes of Furcas seem to magically come to life in one's mind, with the tales or entries of other djinns talking about their cities and their last days.


A City Filled With Metal [Chain/Alma Torran] Xaj4qc7

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