Report: Discovery of the Trimbolen Temple and Trimbolen Crown
In 1830 an expedition led by Jason Hart 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 10 miles 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 100 yards before it widens into a smooth, carved passage. This passage continues for another 100 yards before opening to a round chamber measuring 20 feet in diameter with a domed ceiling that peaks at 16 feet. The chamber is lit with glowing cut crystals set into the walls. 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 – a beautiful woman laying vanquished at the feet of another woman. The victor holds what appears to be a bladed weapon in one hand and the other holds a crown aloft. This statue is remarkable for two reasons: it is rare to find hermodric stones larger than 2 inches whereas the statue stands 7 feet across at the base and rises to a height of 8 feet. The second remarkable fact about this statue is that its age indicates ancient Thelians may have resembled modern-day humans.
Hart’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 1831. 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 circular staircase descending around the walls of the smaller chamber. The only item in this chamber was pillar rising out of the floor in the center of the chamber. The entire chamber – floor, walls, stairs, and pillar – were constructed of hermodric stones cut and fitted so closely as to appear seamless. The pillar turned out to be a sealed chest, but accessing the contents without destroying it would prove a mystery for another year.
The pillar was opened in 1832, 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.
One item was found inside the pillar: a crown made of an unknown metal. A front peak on the crown bears an emblem similar to the elemental symbol for spirit – a symbol now known to Dawn’s Light as representing the destructive form of spirit. The crown was 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 1834.* Dawn’s Light has since taken control over the Trimbolen Temple site, but the research reports have been made public. Efforts by Dawn’s Light to gain possession of the Trimbolen Crown met with resistance and the crown remained secured at the Trimbolen Research Center.
In 1860 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 to the Delphinia Museum. These plans changed, though, in 1861 when a similar artifact – a belt discovered in Region Athae – was stolen. The Trimbolen Crown was immediately transferred to Lyceum Arion and a replica was created for the exhibit. In 1862 the Delphinia Museum was attacked and several crates from the upcoming Trimbolen exhibit were smashed. It is believed the attackers were seeking the crown.