Report: Discovery of the Trimbolen Temple and Trimbolen Crown
In 2830 an expedition led by Jason Hitouri set out from the Trimbolen Research Center in an attempt to be the first manned expedition to the northern tip of the Trimbolen Peninsula. Team members spent three years preparing for the attempt, studying past attempts and developing new equipment to better their odds of surviving in the harsh climate. The mission was almost successful — it is estimated that they were within 16 kilometers of their goal when a sudden squall forced them to seek emergency shelter in a cave. This cave turned out to be the entrance to an ancient Thelian temple.
The cave itself is small, rough-walled and shallow, but a narrow tunnel extends deeper into the mountains. The tunnel appears to be a natural feature for 91 meters before it widens into a smooth, carved passage. This passage continues for another 90 meters before opening to a round chamber measuring 6 meters in diameter with a domed ceiling that peaks at 5 meters. The chamber is lit with glowing cut crystals set into the walls, and the walls bear elemental symbols akin to those found in previous archeological discoveries.
A large statue of carved hermodric stands in the center of the chamber. The statue appears to depict the end of a battle between two women, one laying vanquished at the feet of the other. The victor holds what appears to be a bladed weapon in one hand and the holds a crown aloft with the other. This statue is remarkable for two reasons: it is rare to find hermodric stones larger than 5 centimeters whereas the statue stands over 2 meters across at the base and rises just as high. The second remarkable fact about this statue is that it indicates ancient Thelians may have resembled modern-day humans.
Hitouri’s team thoroughly documented their discovery before returning to the Trimbolen Research Center to report their findings. Staff at the research center immediately arranged a full archeological expedition to the location in 2831. While cataloging the contents of the temple, the archeological team accidentally discovered a second chamber hidden underneath the central statue.
A hidden switch in one of the glowing crystals caused the statue to slide to the back of the main chamber, revealing a narrow staircase descending into this new room. The entire chamber — floor, walls, stairs, and a half-pillar rising in the center of the room — was constructed of hermodric stones cut and fitted so closely as to appear seamless. Researchers determined the pillar was actually a sealed chest, but accessing the contents without destroying it would prove a mystery for another year.
The pillar was opened in 2832, though the means by which is was opened remained a mystery. As with the discovery of the chamber itself, the secret to unlocking the chest appears to have been a switch unknowingly tripped by one of the researchers. However, unlike the discovery of the switch to open the chamber, researchers were unable to find the mechanism that opened the pillar.
The pillar contained two items: a crown made of a dark, unknown metal; and a set of five small tiles made of the same unknown metal. The crown was made of two thin bands connected with intricate scrollwork. A peak on the front of the crown bore an emblem now known to Dawn’s Light as the sigil for the destructive form of spirit-based magic. The metal tiles each bore a destructive magic sigil. Both the crown and tiles were taken to the Trimbolen Research Center for further analysis.
Due to inter-departmental politics and bureaucracy, Dawn’s Light was not aware of the temple discovery and expedition until news of the discovery was published in 2834.* Dawn’s Light has since taken control of the Trimbolen Temple site, but the research reports have been made public. Efforts by Dawn’s Light to gain possession of the Trimbolen artifacts met with resistance and the crown and tiles remained secured at the Trimbolen Research Center.
In 2860 the research center received a request for Trimbolen artifacts and records for an exhibit in the Delphinia Museum. Against Dawn’s Light protests, plans were drawn up to loan the crown and tiles to the Delphinia Museum. These plans changed, though, in 2861 when a similar artifact — a belt discovered in Region Athae — was stolen. The Trimbolen Crown was immediately transferred to Arion and a replica was created for the exhibit. In 2862 the Delphinia Museum was attacked and several crates from the upcoming Trimbolen exhibit were smashed. It is believed the attackers were seeking the crown.