With its precarious position on the edge of a cliff, the Temple of Air looked like nothing more than ruins: few walls were left intact, a few archways and the silver altar, strangely unplundered by thieves. The remains, smooth, grey and irregular, were specked with moss and plantlife. The floors were in the best condition, not a crack or crevass marring the perfectly smooth stone.
The floor, one could say, was the heart of the temple. In the middle of the square room (or whatever remained of the room) were six concentric circles, each meticulously carved. Inside each cicle there was a set of runes. The smallest circle had only one rune, but this one was the most complicated of all of them.
It was such an odd sight, especially for travellers from Mekij. Itan'ters was still considered an exotic continent and visiting it became a status symbol among nobles. Tersians were just as alien to Mekijians, with their dark, smooth skin and almost reptilian features.
But Professor Heyen ce-Darod was hardly here to impress his peers. In fact, as a middle-class, part-time professor in first-level anthropology at Morredra University, he was much more interested in writing his book than bragging about having visited Itan'ters. As he was scribbling in his travel journal, his guide stood slightly away, hands clasped behind his back, with an expression that showed he was quite used to this stranger putting every little detail in writing. He was even polite enough not to look bored.
"Katon," Professor ce-Darod spoke, getting the guide's attention. He tilted his head slightly, indicating he was listening. "The symbols-- what do they mean?" He pointed to the circles in the middle.
Katon answered the question, his voice gruff, but mellowed by the accent that made him round every syllable,
"Each circle represents something else. The smallest, with only one rune, is an archaic representation for 'spirit'. It is in the middle because spirit is contained in all things, creatures, plants, even stone. We believe that after death, the spirit turns into wind." He stopped as the Professor wrote this in his journal. "Each of the runes in the other circles describes something which contains spirit, or air. The outer-most circle means 'sky'."
"But there must be hundreds of runes on that one!" Professor ce-Darod pointed incredulous.
"The sky is quite big, sir," Katon replied dryly.
The Professor shook his head. It was quite hard to figure out when Katon was joking, but he was pretty sure this was one of those instances.
"It's the word 'sky' in every language known at the time. It is supposed to represent everything united as a whole," the guide continued.
Ce-Darod was pleased with this answer and hastily wrote it down.
Author Note: Set in the same universe as "Legacy" and "Bestiary". Just so you know, this is unfinished and will remain like this because I have no idea what to write next. So there.