Deep in the desert of Yoremba is an ancient temple, buried by sand and time. Built around an oasis now gone dry, the temple was a thriving community for centuries. It was called Mahali Busara, the Place of Wisdom, and it drew pilgrims and scholars from all over Erde to bathe in the healing waters, to study in the great library, and to ask questions of the wise sages who lived there.
The true power of the temple came from the oracle, found at the center of an elaborate, and deadly, labyrinth. Though it was said that all who successfully walked the path grew in wisdom and knowledge, few people chose to make the attempt. Of those who tried only one in ten survived, and they returned to the surface utterly changed.
The labyrinth was constructed by a small desert-dwelling clan of Duerfar. There are no records, no histories, that tell why the clan undertook this project, or why they spent centuries quietly maintaining the labyrinth, temple, and surrounding community. The most mysterious thing about the clan, however, is its disappearance. During one Winter Solstice night, every man, woman, child, and pet simply vanished. All of their belongings were left behind, and there were no traces of where they went, why they went, or how they went.
After the Duerfar disappeared, the shah hired people to maintain the labyrinth complex, but no one had the dedication or skill of the missing Duerfar. The buildings gradually declined. The scholars and pilgrims stopped coming. The money stopped flowing. When the oasis itself gave out, even the charlatans who’d taken over finally abandoned the place.
The temple and the labyrinth below are now little more than legends. Still, there are rumors that every now and then someone finds the labyrinth and walks it, returning home utterly changed.
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Photograph [Paphos Archaeological Park. House of Theseus: Mosaic of Theseus killing the minotaur – Labyrinth ( detail ).] by Wolfgang Sauber used under CC license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode