Kast

No Longer a Placeholder

Excerpt from Tharn's Journal

With the help of the unseen servants, I was able to find one book on Nature Magic, and it was one we had already stumbled upon in the library proper. Only one! I guess this isn’t the best place for that kind of knowledge. Fortunately several of the others were more fortunate with their searches.

Tuiz was able to find a good deal about the history of the Lacuna. Apparently the land above was once the nation of Konsu, which was destroyed hundreds of years ago by the Necromancer King. The Lacuna itself is extremely old, and was founded by exiles from the surface and from the underdark who wanted a place they could feel safe, apart from the judging eyes of above and below. The physical space itself was created by the Deus of Lore (whom we have already met), and its … unique geometry is maintained by magic from crystals like the one guarded by the Deus.

As for the layout, Tuiz found a map, which explains why I was having trouble discerning the layout from our explorations. Not only is the Lacuna huge, but the paths loop over and under each other in ways that don’t seem possible.

Meanwhile, Daevon was able to find some information on the Deus of Law, with the most interesting part being that there have been multiple (perhaps many) avatars of this Deus over time, following a cycle of death and rebirth.

Thankfully, we were all rescued (Daevon might say distracted) from the tedium by the call to dinner, where we met some of the other guests.

I spoke with Lord Balthazar, who had arrived on a flying horse. I asked about his mount and tried to learn a bit of who he is. He is researching ley-lines and historical maps, for purposes unknown. After hearing of his hobbies, I can’t imagine his intentions are good.

On my other side was a dwarf named Opalheart who wore a ring designating him as a master of his craft. He is a master jeweller who had come here to try to find lost gems which contained an angel. I found his conversation boring, and was glad that he was speaking mostly with Daevon.

Across the table from me was a lady named Mezlia who spent most of the evening flirting with Tuiz, who happily joined in. She seemed nice, but was very secretive when it came to her ‘mistress’.

The only other guest we hadn’t met was the mysterious Howl. She kept her face well hidden, along with all skin, and didn’t speak during the dinner at all.

Braxtol opened up somewhat as well, explaining that he had come to research deus of the lower realms, such as darkness, evil, and death. Amil was simply excited to have so many guests, and spent most of the dinner telling stories, some likely true, and some certainly false.

For dessert, we had a lovely cherry dish. At least, it would have been lovely if it hadn’t made me sick. Looking around the table, I noticed my companions all reacting as I felt, while no one else seemed to notice. I took half of it for further inspection.

After dinner, I asked Caleb to check the dessert for poisons, but he was unable to find any. Daevon had similar suspicions, and went to talk with the chef. He didn’t see any poisons in the kitchen, but he did happen to notice ink in some of the desserts. What a fitting poison for a library (and abundant).

Lucky, reacting to the situation in his own way, “borrowed” a few items from Braxtol. He managed to acquire some money, spell reagents, and a sending stone. He left the stone in Daevon’s hat, and left the other items under the chair Braxtol had used for dinner.

The following morning, I found that I was still much older than I should be. It must have been some powerful magic from our encounter with the ghost. It is also affecting Forth, and neither of us are very happy about it. Unfortunately, we can’t leave here for several days, which according to our research, would be too late to find a cure. Caleb and Amil both tried their magic, but neither were able to help. Amil directed us to Howl, who is apparently a procurer of goods. During our interaction, she did not speak, but I got a distinct impression of a cat from her. Maybe that is why she covers herself and remains silent.

Unfortunately, Howl didn’t have anything that would help us, but she did have one potion that would reduce the drinkers age. Not really what I was looking for, and far too expensive for us (even I knew that). So now we are stuck here, worrying about our lives, unable to do anything productive. I guess I could go back to reading “Fantastic Beasts” or whatever it is called.

The ink from last night must have some lingering effect, because I could swear that bookshelf just moved…

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