Kolburn could read the runes; they were as familiar as the hills of his homeland. Blake peered over his shoulder and helped with the puzzle: a four by three set of metallic orbs, tarnished with time and holding the key to the future existence of The Good City. The orbs flaked as Kolburn pushed the runes into place. Together they spelled out: Ruin Open Earth.
The last rune moved into place with an audible clicking sound. Several seconds of silence followed…a low murmur, massive, but far off, grew louder. The mountain itself seemed to growl and grumble with belly pains. The temple floor shook. The temple walls cracked. A pillar leaned over the alcove, threatening to collapse, but was caught by a sturdy granite buttress. The mountain groaned under an invisible weight, and the first tremor was followed by a second which caved in the floor, swallowing the copper alter and ripping the polished stone tiles off the walls. The tremors stopped. The alcove stood untouched, an island before the temple, now ruined and still.
It was only later that the keepers of the fort heard, from Godan, what the earthquake machine had done:
GODAN: The Good City was almost lost to the derro this past fortnight. The Grand Inquisitor had called for a withdrawal on all fronts, when the earthquake, but you must have felt it, even from here, by Moradin’s hammer! the earthquake caved in the northern horgar’s wake right on top of their ugly heads! I was there, you know, ready to die just to put an end to one more derro. Well, the quake sealed off the major wake, and the derro scum that weren’t brained under the rocks rerouted through the smaller tunnels where we were just waitin’ at the mouths for ’em. I slew hundreds, till I couldn’t lift my axe anymore. Then others took turns pilin’ up their bodies. It was a massacre for Clangeddin’s great tablets to be sure. There’s a celebration in Djuna set to last thirty days, though the war is still on in some parts.