Byzantines were an ancient group of people that inhabited Europe (including the sites of present day Wick, Scotland, and Istanbul, Turkey) beginning from 2000 BCE. They were Indo-Aryan tribes from north-eastern and central Asia that swept India and Europe in a vast unstoppable migration, before settling Led by their chiefs and priests, this swarm of humanity, made up of dozens of individual tribes took everything in its path and settled the subcontinent. The crucial difference between them and other tribes that inhabited Europe was the discovery of grailstone near the Bosphorus. Intrigued by its luminous quality and its effects on humans, the Byzantines fashioned the recovered grailstone into the Holy Grail and continued their westward migration, with one tribe eventually settling on the British Isles. Starting with 1900 BCE, the caverns below Wick are settled and eventually become a thriving civilization. A civilization far beyond that which existed in Africa and the Middle East at the time.
The Byzantines were capable of incredible feats of architecture and engineering. They have used the natural caverns as basis for building a ziggurat, places of worship, and even an entire city, resting on the shores of a vast underground lake echoing with the calls of prehistoric creatures. As they refined their technology, their understanding of grailstone increased, in no small part due to extensive experimentation on living subjects. The grailstone also led to the development of the cult of Maal, a brutal religion featuring human sacrifice and consumption of toxic, mind-altering concoctions intended to bring about a communion with the pagan god. Due to unknown reasons, the Byzantines eventually disappeared, although not before leaving behind a massive amount of artefacts and knowledge that would later form the basis of Malik's experiments.
- Design document: "Aryan Celts from north-eastern and central Europe sweep southward and westward throughout India and Europe - a vast unstoppable migration. Led by their chiefs and their Druid priests, this swarm of humanity, made up of dozens of individual tribes takes everything in its path. So it is that one of these tribes, the Helventii, pass through the area of present-day Istanbul. The Druid priests, using divining methods lost to us now, detect and unearth a one kilogram nugget of this meteoric rock. They are intrigued by its luminous quality and astounded when they discover its effects on humans (i.e. stops ageing, promotes health and healing). They continue their westward migration. The rock is skillfully fashioned into the shape of a goblet which, with time, becomes integrated into their religious ceremonies (the cup is filled with mead and passed among the tribe, thus passing on the qualities of the stone, though in a much diluted form. Interestingly, it will fulfil a similar function much later in Christian times. The secret of its existence is passed among the Druidic priests, who call it Leithum al Gwanned - the Cup of Life. Two thousand years later this same cup will become known as the Holy Grail. (Note: The Legend of the 'Elixir Vitalis' or the elixir of eternal youth, sought for so long by later alchemists comes directly from these events, though in a distorted form. The legend was wrongly interpreted to make the liquid responsible for eternal youth, rather than the cup containing it)."
- Design document: "Another Celtic tribe, the Solenta, pushing through into England comes across the second impact site in Dunstanburgh. The Druids, eager to retrieve more of the valuable rock, order miners into the caves, but each attempt is driven back by the ferocity of the animals. Reluctantly, the site is abandoned, but mention of its existence passes into celtic oral history."
- Expedition log
- Expedition log