An Excerpt from Taranus’s Journal
Today we arrived in Mawic at last. After we got off the ship and walked through the bustling thoroughfare up to the north gate, I saw a familiar face in the crowd. It was that damnable beggar. He weaved through the crowd to me, and said that I could find a book in the city library that would help us. Afterwards, he lifted his robes again, but this time I was prepared to immediately avert my eyes. I wasn’t sure whether he was giving us a dead end, but I figured it was worth a try since we had nothing else to go on.
When we got to the city gates, Aaron decided to go into the Mages’ Quarter, while the rest of us would go into the main city. This was problematic for me as a mage, as we are supposed to remain in our own part of the city. Kuemme found the solution by giving me some of his extra gear to make me look more like a paladin. With the constant flow of people going through the gate, I managed to not be noticed by the guards.
Once inside, Jebediah decided that he would rather find the nearest tavern rather than looking through old books, so Kuemme and I were teamed up once again. We were able to find the library without much trouble. It was located off of a large and elaborate courtyard decorated with flowering shrubs, water features and statues of ancient kings, and surrounded by an impressive marble colonnade. The library was immense. It filled a cavernous hall lit with giant braziers, had rows and rows of bookshelves that towered to the roof. Finding anything in this place would be quite the task. I asked the librarian if they had any books about ancient dragon lords available.
It took a couple hours to find the tome, but at last the dusty book was recovered. It was titled “Great Dragons of Ellomband.” I opened it to the contents to see if there was anything about Morgeth in it. To my delight, there was a chapter dedicated to him. Upon flipping to it, however, it appeared that the entire chapter had been torn out. In its place was a folded piece of paper, simply reading Colonnade of Kings I was puzzled, until I remembered the courtyard just outside, with all of its columns and king sculptures. Kuemme and I exited the library and searched about around the colonnade, and eventually found a riddle and some carved symbols in the base of a column. Kuemme was able to correctly solve the puzzle, and a secret panel slid open, revealing another note, reading “Divine Mercy.” Kuemme recognized this as the name of Mawic’s temple, so we were off to there.
At the entrance to the temple, I realized that I needed a better disguise, so I called upon a power to temporarily take the form of a mouse, which I had been practicing on the journey overseas. I hid in Kuemme’s backpack before he entered the temple. Inside, he was able to find another riddle similar to the one we found on the column just behind the altar. This time, it opened up a secret passage leading down under the floor of the temple. Kuemme descended into the passage with me still in mouse form in his pack. The place looked ancient, like it far predated the age that the four of us originally came from. At the bottom of the stairs, we came to a room that was obviously rigged with traps. The entire floor was pressure plates. Luckily I was able to cross it without setting any of them off since I was a mouse. I was then able to find the mechanism to disable the traps, and Kuemme crossed the room. On the other side, we had to solve a third puzzle. This one was slightly more challenging and also not a riddle, but did not present much more of a problem to us. In the next room, after disabling a swinging axe trap, we came upon a pedestal bearing an eerily glowing book with no discernible title. The inside was written in an ancient looking language that neither of us could read.
When we exited the temple, it was getting to be evening, and we decided that we’d go find a place to stay for the night. We both agreed that the safest place for me would be the Mages’ Quarter, so we left the city, I gave Kuemme his gear back, and then we went back in through our separate gates. I found a nice inn in the Mages’ Quarter called The Goldenrod. It’s clean, the rooms are decently priced, and the innkeeper is quite friendly. Tomorrow, we’ll get the rest of the team together and try to figure out the meaning of that mysterious book.