The Infernal Tome and The Curio

The Royal Guard wandered around Mirith, frequently eyeing the statue of Elara whenever it was within sight. In his hands he held not a sword and shield, but three letters. He left one at the east gate, addressed to Guard Captain Jozas. He then continued to the bank, where he delivered one to the well-respected Bank Manager Z.R. Naut. Finally, he went to the Mirith Vanguard Hall, where he left one with the guards for his fellow Vanguardians. The note read as follows:

“Hello my fellow Mirithians,

Even though we have experienced the odd misfortune, we are currently in an era of unprecedented peace… However, I fear that could change very soon if we do not take the appropriate measures in the coming weeks.

Before I continue on, if anyone runs into the Royal Seer, please inform him of the details in this letter.

A group of adventurers and I met with Zaedrem, a very eccentric, but powerful wizard. We tasked him with researching an infernal tome that the ranger Annabel had obtained into her possession. I did not enjoy when the tome was in Mirith, as it had a tendency to lose pages that would burst into flames, as well as have groups of bats emerge from its magic. When we ran into Zaedrem, a group of poison beasts burst from the Tome. After the group took care of the beasts, they went down to Rellia’s Library to discuss what Zaedrem had found. The discussion we held is recalled below. After reading it, I hope you realize the urgency that we deal with this potential problem.

We must find a way, at all costs, to transport our piece of the Curio to the vaults of our great city. In the meantime, I propose we increase the number of guards on duty and have them pay close attention to who enters the city. We must also station guards in the secret entrance through the sewers and at the ginseng portal in the castle basement that connects Brigobaen and Mirith. I would also like to inactivate the portal temporarily until the Statue is moved.

Do not discuss the details of this letter with anyone (even the Royal Seer) outside of the castle.

I look forward to hearing back from each of you,
The Royal Guard”
The Zany Zaedrem hosted the group of adventurers around the banquet table in Rellia’s Library. He dished each of them a bowl of soup.

(Amere): So what brings us all together?
(Zaedrem): Your tome, naturally.
(Zaedrem): It has been an infernal pain to read, let me tell you.
(Annabel): Oh yeah?
(Zaedrem): Those poison beasts up top probably gave you a little taste.
(Annabel): Apologies for any trouble caused!
(Zaedrem): But I have come to a revelation I think you will find important.
(Zaedrem): Particularly the Mirithians among you.
(Amere): Oh?
(Zaedrem): I will read the page in question.

(Zaedrem): We shall see what revelations there are to gather.
(Zaedrem): Do you know much of the Curio?
(Zaedrem): Question for the room. * grins *
(Garath): Not I
(Cavan): Of it, not much about it.
(Amere): It's a very powerful item, I know.
(Luroth): I've heard the name a few times, not much else I'm afraid.
(Zaedrem): The Royal Guard is correct.
(Amere): And it powers the portal to the void, no?
(Zaedrem): One of the three fragments did, yes.

(Zaedrem): It was Partitioned into three pieces many many years ago.
(Annabel): I know Fiadoryx wants it
(Luroth): Ah.
(Amere): One was taken to form the Blood Dagger?
(Zaedrem): Yes.
(Zaedrem): That same piece is the one that powered the Void portal.
(Zaedrem): Until Fiadoryx removed it.
(Zaedrem): He retains it in his possession, now, but it is devoid of all power.
(Zaedrem): One can surmise that it was drained of this power, after powering that portal
for all those years.
(Annabel): oh, that's good!
(Zaedrem): Fiadoryx seeks to restore its power, naturally.
(Luroth): Would that be possible?
(Zaedrem): Fiadoryx knows no more about how to restore his Curio fragment than say, you or I.
(Garath): That seems promising
(Zaedrem): One hopes he doesn't find out.
(Zaedrem): This Tome, I believe, might suggest there is a way.
(Zaedrem): Allow me to read the passage.
(Zaedrem): These walls are magically warded from ... prying ears.

"The Partitioning of the Curio into the three pieces, during the Third Era. Now regarded as the most important step in bringing peace to the realms. In the long term, the Partitioning established the tripartite balance of power in Oberin. The same balance that has existed as the base of all geopolitics ever since. Mirith. Marali. Andris. In the short term, however... The Partitioning led directly to a series of events so destructive... That they would herald the End of the Third Era. The Fall of Aborek. The Siege of Neiv. The Great Earthquake. Yet, as destructive as these historic, era-defining events were... They pale in comparison to the devastation wrought when the Curio was whole. Our forebears all knew that such power was too great for man to hold. They did not fight over whether the Curio should be divided, no. They only fought to determine which city was worthy to hold the divided pieces. And so it is without a doubt that I conclude: There were none in that time who ever seriously ventured to guess: What might happen were the Curio pieces to be reunited?"

(Zaedrem): * shuts the book *
(Zaedrem): The author, Clara... goes on to clarify her suspicions.
(Luroth): So it is believed if the other two pieces are to be reunited with the third...
(Zaedrem): You have the right idea.
(Zaedrem): She does not think that reforging the Curio is feasible.
(Zaedrem): Instead, she seems to suggest that an experiment, to see what would happen...
(Zaedrem): ...if two or more Curio fragments were merely brought in close proximity.

(Annabel): Right
(Zaedrem): It was at this point I lost a page... * grumbles *
(Annabel): What do you suggest we do with this information? Other than not letting Fifi know, of course
(Zaedrem): An excellent question.
(Zaedrem): And let's not underplay that last point.
(Zaedrem): If he catches wind of this, I think he will try that experiment out. Certainly.
(Annabel): For sure

(Zaedrem): I can only suspect that it might restore the drained fragment of its power.
(Elsbeta Balloc): He has an advantage as he has one piece.
(Amere): An interesting excerpt for sure.
(Annabel): it makes sense
(Garath): Where were the other two kept?
(Zaedrem): Andris and Mirith do still have their fragments, yes.
(Zaedrem): I never could figure out where Andris kept there's, but...
(Zaedrem): The location of Mirith's became common knowledge during the Tirana Occupation.
(Zaedrem): So I hope the Royal Guard will forgive me for sharing.
(Amere): Go ahead.
(Zaedrem): But it lies within the Statue of Elara, right outside the temple.

(Annabel): Oh dear
(Zaedrem): In theory, Fiadoryx would simply have to walk right up to it.
(Zaedrem): I suppose he doesn't visit your city with any frequency, does he?
(Amere): I haven't heard any reports that he does.
(Annabel): He used to frequent the void gate
(Annabel): It's not all that far
(Zaedrem): Peachy keen.
(Cavan): Although, the Void gate isn't far.
(Zaedrem): I'm no good with plans and strategies.
(Zaedrem): But I am true to my word.

(Annabel): I also ran into him, not far from Hidden Vale GH. which is too close, still.
(Annabel): Thank you so much for this information, Z!
(Zaedrem): I hope Mirith will remember our kindness, down the road.
(Luroth): One would think you would have to be decently close, walls might interfere as well?
(Zaedrem): Yes I would assume.
(Zaedrem): The only parallel I can draw is the pieces of Mirith's Royal Scepter.
(Zaedrem): Even a number of paces away, they began to act up when in close proximity.
(Zaedrem): I er... may or may not have seen this firsthand.
(Elsbeta Balloc): I don't know the location of the piece Andris holds.
(Annabel): Ah

(Elsbeta Balloc): I will leave a message of caution.
(Zaedrem): I'm not sure any do.
(Luroth): Might be for the best, let's hope.
(Annabel): Yes
(Annabel): Well, thank you again so much for your time
(Zaedrem): Thank you, for the company, and the tome.
(Elsbeta Balloc): Thank you for the meal , as well.
(Annabel): of course!
(Amere): I will see what I can do about relocating our piece.

Comments

  • edited May 22
    Amere, my dear Amere, shiniest armour of Mirith, brightest of all fighters,

    WHERE DID YOU LEAVE YOUR HEAD?
    Really? Did you eat the soup of a crazy wizard you hardly know anything about? And did you let Annabel, Annabela, Annabibi, whatever her name is, give him a magic tome? With such an inspiring name as “Infernal Tome”? Really, Amie? Really?
    I trust you with all my heart, but I think I need to keep an eye on you as well, for you may just get yourself in trouble. Mirith can’t lose her Royal Guard and the MV can’t lose you, my friend!

    Now… on to the matter in hand. I should still have some notes on how to reach Mirith’s piece of the Curio, from the time Beleth sent us on that mission to Crausaar’s Descent (speaking of which, can you add sealing the bloody thing to your list of security requests?!). I’ll see what I can compile today and let you know. I agree with you that a change of place might be necessary, but I fear that may ruin the very foundations of our city. We should not attempt anything without being sure we won't cause a great earthquake, or something.

    Which brings me to the paragraph that Zaedrem read to you. It is very interesting. The partition of the Curio is no novelty to me, but I’ve never found a single reference to that “Siege of Neiv” nor to a “Great Earthquake”. Have you ever heard of it? I know it feels irrelevant, in the middle of that historic appointment, but the devil is in the details. Maybe that great earthquake was related to displacements of one of the thirds?

    I’ll research on that too. I’ll also leave this library and meet you soon. I need fresh air and fire.

    Careful with what you eat!

    Yours,
    Cass
  • To the Honorable Royal Guard of Mirith:

    The increased security procedures continue to be enacted, but as you have no doubt been wondering, neither me or my men have seen the Royal Seer since receiving your missive. We remain alert and poised to respond to the slightest hint of trouble.

    In regards to the book, I do trust your judgment here, as I have done since the days of the Resistance in Duldrus, when I was but a young man still taking his first steps under the Vanguard’s tutelage. If this book is half as destructive as you say, then it is best left to only the most competent of wizards. It is clear that the wizard in question falls under this category, but one can only wonder at his ulterior motives, and at what “kindness” he may one day expect from our city.

    On the subject of wizards: it will take a good one to sever the portal beneath the castle. Not to mention bringing it back once the present challenges have passed. The portal's benefits to commerce cannot be understated. Nevertheless, the idea is sound, and worth pursuing. All that remains is to find a wizard trustworthy enough to be meddling with our portals… to say nothing of our statues.

    Your humble and obedient servant,
    Captain Jozas

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Esteemed Royal Guard,
    Lord Amere of Mirith,

    Accept my apologies for the delay in this reply. I have been dealing with the increased traffic of toxic substances in our sewers. As it turns out, the problem has a direct connection with Brigobaen, so the deactivation of the portal may come in handy, for more than one reason. It will also prevent those priests from spreading their dogma in our bank, which, you may understand, seems only reasonable to me. No disrespect for Elara – Bless her! – nor for those who hold her faith, but coin and cult should be separated. Coin, cult and ginseng only aggravate the matter and open the door for corruptions of the worst kind. As my late friend Ellychas of Andris used to say: a place for everything, and everything in its place.

    On the other hand, were Mirith to exploit this channel of trade, things would be easier for us. As you may imagine, your request to increase the number of guards has a cost for the city. Where is that coin coming from? Should we increase taxes to pay for our security? If that is your wish, send me a word and I will organize a collection and redistribution of the money of our citizens, for a better balance of riches. It will end up being the poorest of Mirith who will save her, as usual. Wide is the door of the little cottage.

    Finally, a word on our Seer. As far as I am aware, he has been spending most of his time sleeping at the stable. He says the hay is good for devination. Or she says, for I am not sure I follow the changes of the moon with that one. Their (?) boy comes to the bank sometimes, to ask for some change to buy bread. He often stays at Opal’s for free, when it is too cold outside and his master is already asleep. No new prophecies, but the latest ones were alarming enough, so that is a good thing. No wonder the King sent them back to the surface. If you lie down with dogs, you will raise with fleas.

    With my most sincere recognition for all the work you do in the defense of our city,
    Respectfully,
    Z. R. Naut
    Bank Manager of Mirith
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