Noloben (second to third pedestal)

There seems to be nothing else of interest on the ground floor, so you should proceed up the winding stairs in the middle of the room. Esher will be waiting for you about half way up. Listen carefully to what he has to say: it is possibly his most important speech. First of all, he will congratulate you on gaining access to his laboratory, which he refers to as a “refuge”. Apparently, the Bahro will not enter it, which would explain what happened with the last pedestal. He also says that he takes “no pleasure in what they have endured here,” but that he had to “learn”, which sounds more than a little ominous. Esher goes on to tell you that the Tablet restrains the power of the Bahro, who are terrifying if not restrained. He also mentions—twice—that they are afraid of the symbol of the snake, which he draws in the air. Finally, he tells you to proceed to the top of the laboratory and to seal it—and then to climb (read more).


Continue up the steps until you reach the wooden platform. Walk all way around it until you come to a ladder going upwards. Climb the ladder (you’ll have to be on the correct side of it to do this) and you will reach a second platform. This houses what seems to be a cage, which has rather unpleasant-looking implements fixed to each corner. Above the cage (you can climb on top if you want) is a ladder which is, at the moment, retracted, so that you can’t climb to the top of the dome yet.


Return to the first platform. Directly behind you as you descend you will find a board on which Esher has posted notes from his various experiments on the Bahro.

Amidst the illustrations of Bahro muscle, bone and skull structure, you’ll find three things of particular interest.


The first clearly contains a Slate glyph; if you were watching the gestures made by Esher closely, you’ll recognise it as the glyph for “snake”.


The second depicts what Esher meant by sealing the “refuge”, and the results of doing so. You will have to close the entrance to the laboratory by rotating at least one of the columns. When you do that, the ladder to the top of the dome will fall.


And the final one is more enigmatic (I haven’t fathomed it yet, but it’s worth looking at). It looks like a water-colour, rather than one of Esher’s usual anatomical diagrams; the creature seems to have a tail, unlike the Bahro; at the bottom are the glyphs from the outside of the dome, shown in the correct order; and in the top right corner is the same symbol as Esher wears on his left shoulder (seen as he is facing you). If you look closely, the symbol also occurs inside the chest of the creature. A very curious piece of paper.

Head back to the second pedestal at the bottom of the observatory, and then link to the first pedestal. From there you can easily go back the the plateau and turn one of the pillars, closing the tunnel. Then link back inside the laboratory, and return to the second platform.

(Or, if you feel like seeing a rather strange anomaly—make sure you save first—you could move the first pillar anti-clockwise until it is set to the following glyph:


Then link back inside the laboratory and walk along the tunnel to the first column. The wall ahead is black; in realtime mode—press 3 on the keyboard—walk into the blackness. You’ll end up falling beneath Noloben, witnessing a strange mirrored display, until, a few seconds later, you are deposited back at the second pedestal. Here’s a snapshot I took of the experience.


Not exactly an Easter Egg, but bizarre nonetheless. Something similar happened to me at one point in Tahgira—I think I fell off the bridge—but this is the most well-known example.)

Once you get to the second platform, you’ll find that the ladder has lowered and that you can climb to the top of the dome. And there before you is the third pedestal.


Let’s deal with that problem first: note down the glyph, link back to the first pedestal and collect the Slate (you make have to link to the second pedestal if you left it there).

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Noloben (2-3)