The Yindrian Labyrinth is located underneath Gallwood Outpost, with a secret entrance hidden in Talon's household. It was originally introduced as the home of the Vortakinj, with the labyrinth designed to protect the kinj from anyone unworthy of bearing its power. Upon further exploration, the lost Blackblood city was discovered beneath the labyrinth. Within the city is an ancient chamber that houses a machine bearing the symbol of the Gods, and a slumbering civilization of ancient creatures.
The Yindrians created the labyrinth to guard the Vortakinj from those who sought to misuse its power. Yindrians were masters at puzzles, traps, and murderous devices. It was created to deter selfish and evil people, with tests meticulously crafted to test traits such as sacrifice, worthiness, selflessness, and physicality. It is the ultimate test of both brain and brawn. Incidentally, the labyrinth was built on top of the lost Blackblood city.
The symbols on the labyrinth doors matched the ones in the ancient Blackblood texts passed from one high priestess to the next. However, these symbols are only visible to the current high priestess. Access to the chamber is only possible when matching the symbols in the high priestess' book to the ones on the walls of the labyrinth. Inside is an ancient chamber housing the lost Kahvi species, who hibernate until they can be awakened by the skevicor key. They can also be fed Naviaspore's through dozens of tubes connecting to a mechanical machine. The machine also has a place for each God to place their hands and use their Kinjes to accomplish an unclear goal.
Upon descent into the labyrinth, Janzo, Wren, the Blackblood high priestess Yavalla, and the warrior Talon, were immediately presented with their first test. They discovered keys that connected with Yindrian pictograms. There was one for an hourglass, a triangle, and a skull. Janzo noticed that there were two pictograms for an hourglass - each with a key hole. A full hourglass meant "the beginning" while an empty one meant "the end". Talon's key had a triangle, which Wren noted was the symbol for fire. Janzo's had a skull, the symbol of sacrifice. He realized that the area around them was not sand but ashes, with bones that littered the floor. Yavalla suddenly pushed open a fire pit that triggered the doors above them to close. The symbol on the inside of the fire pit was of a skull with a key hole in the center. Flames instantly erupted from the pit, and Janzo exclaimed they were in an oven with the end goal being to cook them alive.
Wren suggested using the keys so they obliged. The hourglass key triggered a door to be revealed. However, it was stuck and wouldn't open enough to let them pass. They decided to use all their keys to see if it would open the door further. Talon's key connected to one higher up in the room, which required her to climb. The final key was the skull but there wasn't a visible pictogram. Janzo realized the symbol was for sacrifice, thrust his hand into the fire, and turned the key, which triggered the door to open. He screamed in agony but explained later that it had to be a sacrifice. They rushed through the door and it slammed shut behind them.
They followed a hall that led to a room covered in writing. The wall behind them slid shut and sealed them inside. Yavalla deduced that there was no other way out other than the door. They discovered skeletons littered the ground around them. Yavalla translated the writings on the wall were a history of the Yindrian Elders. The three who could read Yindrian split up to search for clues. Janzo noted that the writings were just genealogies, proceedings of councils, and some old records. The fire from their torches began to burn away the air that surrounded them. Upon an inquisition by Janzo, Wren translated an unfamiliar word that was "erection". She elaborated that it said "the erection of the citadel was halted during the flood years". The torches burned away too much air and Yavalla passed out, which caused Janzo to panic. Talon calmed him, as did Wren, and when the last torch went out for the sake of saving more air, the writings lit up. Janzo mused that the writings were done in starflower ink. It lit up certain sentences and hand-prints in either side of the room. Janzo and Wren translated the sentences to reveal the saying, "life and death are both the same piece of thread viewed from different sides." When they placed their hands on the prints at the same time, the door opened and a gust of air filled the room. However, a gate fell and divided the group in half.
The door out of the room began to close and Yavalla prepared to leave without Janzo, Talon, or her daughter Wren. Wren refused to let her leave and the door slammed shut. She emotionally screamed that Yavalla would have killed them all as it was a test. A door opened behind Janzo and Talon which revealed a large dial. Talon turned the dial to open the gate, which allowed Yavalla and Wren through. Through the door was a hallway which they proceeded through.
They were led to another room filled with ancient writings on the walls. The door fell shut behind them. On the wall was a tablet with runes that revealed a saying, "Life is death. Death is life. Only the gods can say who will live or die". Yavalla realized that this was her to time to pass the test. She stepped forward onto a false floorboard that triggered a poisonous dart to impale her arm. Wren deduced that the labyrinth wasn't a vault but rather a tomb. Janzo revealed there was a pattern to the traps. They were to weed out the bad people who were evil or selfish. Wren deduced that the next test is one of worthiness. Someone would have to be very smart and very physically adept to pass the final test.
Talon, being the only warrior, could pass the physical aspect but needed Janzo to help her figure out the mental aspects. Janzo looked over the test and explained the danger ahead; darts from the right, then the left. Following the darts were rotating blades high and low from both sides of the walls. Next, there is a blade, a large one, coming out of an opening in the ceiling. Janzo couldn't see any further. Without hesitation, Talon leapt through the tests, making it through all of them. When she landed, she saw the same saying on either side of her; death is life, life is death. Talon stepped forward which caused the floor to collapse. She back-flipped out of the way and saw the bottomless pit below. She recanted "death is life" so she chose the death side. She looked down and revealed she found the lost Blackblood city.
She stepped on a final piece of flooring that triggered all the doors to open. A snake came to life within the symbol on the wall. Yavalla, panting and barely alive, stuck her hand in the symbol. A snake leapt out and bit her. This bite transferred the Vortakinj to her.
"Janzo: All the traps are designed to weed out the bad people.
Wren: If Janzo hadn't been willing to sacrifice his arm...
Janzo: If Wren were the type of person to leave people to die. If we were evil or selfish, we would have all been dead." ― Wren and Janzo about the traits needed to pass
- Janzo - Sacrifice. Worthiness. A human man with a brilliant mind, Janzo's near fluency in Yindrian proved remarkably helpful in solving the complex puzzles. He single-handedly passed the first test of sacrifice by burning his hand and arm in a fire pit to open the exit. While his act solved the trap, it was made possible by the skills exhibited by the others. He later talked Talon through the mental aspects of passing the worthiness test. Janzo is the only person on the team who fit two of the three traits.
- Wren -Selflessness. A Blackblood woman and the daughter of a high priestess, Wren's intellectual capabilities surpass that of any regular human, her rival only being that of Janzo, and far more than any Blackblood. Her fluency in Yindrian helped identify and solve the pictograms, followed by her realization that the gate test was one of Selflessness. She stopped Yavalla, her mother, from escaping the room as she believed in the test and was not the type of person to leave people to die. Because of her radiant selflessness, the team lived to see the final test.
- Talon - Worthiness. A Blackblood woman and skilled warrior, Talon's ability to scale walls and pass the final Worthiness test using her physicality was her strongest contribution to the team. She also helped to calm a panicked Janzo and was intelligent enough to understand the truth meaning of, "life is death, and death is life".
- Yavalla: A Blackblood woman and high priestess, Yavalla's desire to find the Vortakinj is what led the group to the labyrinth. However, she was possibly the biggest hindrance to the group once they arrived, as everything she did resulted in them nearly dying. Her impulsiveness opened the fire pit and nearly suffocated them, her selfishness almost killed everyone when she was willing to let her daughter and team die so she could get the Kinj, and finally, her inability to see the murder devices resulted in her being poisoned. Yavalla is perhaps the pinnacle of the type of person who the Yindrian's had tried to keep away from the kinj.
Queen Falista instructs the scholar Janzo and high priestess Wren to unlock the definition of Skevicor, the duo scour through ancient texts. One of which is a book that once belonged to Yavalla. Janzo and Garret were unable to read the texts as the pages appeared blank to them. Wren translated what she saw and the uncovered that only a high priestess could read the words of wisdom. Both Janzo and Wren recognize the symbols from their time in the labyrinth. They visited and collected the four keys, with Wren taking the hourglass and the broken stone while Janzo took death and the hero Belator. They went in the order of the symbols from the book: hourglass, death, stone, and Belator. This triggered a new door to open and a giant gust of wind to fill the room, throwing Janzo backward and breaking his nose. The fire pit which held the sacrifice lock slid forward, revealing a small entrance in the floor.
They used the ladder to travel downward, where they each remarked on the beautiful craftsmanship of the walls, though they couldn't place if the material was stone or something else entirely. They continued straight where they found a large room in the shape of a circle. An altar rested there with the symbol of the gods carved into it. They discovered an even larger chamber beyond the arches. Janzo dropped his torch and listened for the echo which came. He deduced they were on the edge of an abyss. On the altar itself, are seven spaced-out round structures with a handprint design on each one. Each structure also has a different symbol carved in the handprint to represent the seven kinjes from the symbol of the gods. Janzo noted the center of the altar held again, the seven gods, but a large hole rested in the center. He deduced there was a mechanical component that was activated by the use of a key, though the key isn't in the chamber. Wren wondered if this is what the God who spoke to Falista meant by, "unlock the Skevicor", with Skevicor not being an event but a thing. The chamber was discovered by Falista's henchwoman and she relayed to Falista and Tobin, who came at once to investigate for themselves.
Janzo returned the next day to continue his quest for answers, but was joined by Luna. He located a lever, which Luna promptly pulled, that triggered a series of tiles to turn over and reveal pictograms. Beyond the chamber laid another chamber that he and Wren had previously thought to be an abyss. Instead, it held thousands of hexagonal-shaped doors. Janzo and Wren opened one of the doors to find a cocoon of sorts that housed a creature named 313, who previously worshiped the masters.
Notes and Trivia
- The map which contained the location of the labyrinth was sealed inside a Blackblood Meld Box. The box was opened by Janzo and Wren, who later helped pass the tests of the labyrinth.
- Many facets of the labyrinth suggest that multiple individuals were always meant to take the test at the same time, despite their only being one kinj. The most notable test being the one of Selflessness, which required two people to place their hands on separate walls to trigger a gate that separated the pair. Had there only been one taker, they would have failed the Selflessness test.
- The labyrinth is built on top of the lost Blackblood city. Also under the labyrinth is an ancient shrine that is used by the Gods to house the hibernating species of Kahvi. The species is awakened using the Skevicor key.
- Both times Janzo entered the labyrinth he fell of a loose ladder rung.
- Talon, Garret Spears, and Janzo, hid Luna under the floorboards that lead to the labyrinth. While she never entered the labyrinth herself, Talon refused to tell her what was beneath the entrance. Ironically, Luna entered while Talon wasn't home and discovered the ancient chamber.