"Whoa." Don admired the view. It had taken the Lodge Brothers two days of hard work to uncover an entrance into the Temple.
"More of this Wolf thing." Bill observed, handing his brother a thermos of soup. "Must be a god or royal sigil of some sort."
"There were seven statues at the Avalon site." Don unrolled a rope into the Temple below. "None of them were as detailed as that... But there were images of a Wolf too."
Bill turned on a kerosene lamp and lifted it over his head. "We need to be quick and focused, Don. We don't have too much kerosene left."
Don continued on, as if Bill wasn't even there. He ran the lamp's light over cold granite walls. It looked like old finger paintings, thousands of years old.
"Look at these here. Cave paintings, cuneiform..."
Bill followed his brother's lamp. "Hieroglyphics too. Wow. I don't recognize some of these. This... Don? Do you think whoever built this came back?"
Don shrugged. "I guess... But if some continuing group kept coming here every few thousand years, why no sign of recent activity?"
Bill shrugged. "Every practice dies. Nothing lasts forever. Not even languages."
Don nodded, but seemed uncertain. Bill put a hand on his brother's shoulder. "Let's skip to the end of the timeline, eh?"
The two brothers walked down the hall of runes, symbols and letters of a thousand languages. It emerged into a hall of statues, each made of granite, each depicting one of seven repeating totemic figures. Wolf, Falcon, Bear, Lion, Scorpion, Dolphin, Dragon. Over and over.
Their light flashed over a large pair of doors. A old cast iron padlock, along with chain the same age, bound the two doors. Bill frowned.
"Cast iron. That has to be at least two or three hundred years old." He shook his head.
"The longest continuing civilization humans ever known..." Don shook with excitement. "They kept coming! It... Just wow, Bill. This'll change everything."
"Or get us killed, Don." Bill put a hand on the chains. "They could still be around. Still keeping to the shadows. Being secretive. Maybe they want their privacy."
Don stared. He blinked. "Bill-"
Bill shook his head. "Sorry, got a little conspiracy nut on you there. It's probably not that recent of a lock, my mistake."
Don nodded. He didn't tell his brother about the date wrought into the iron of the lock. Instead, he just snipped in two with his bolt cutters.