Devils in the White City

The Library (Part One)

Jurado brushes rubble off one of the Orc beds, slowly bends to sit and begins speaking to you, “I…I obviously underestimated the interest in The City and its wares. I was hoping the knowledge of it was largely lost to time but, some legends are immortal it seems.” He turns to his apprentice and continues talking, “Pizza Cough, I’ve put you in too much danger already. You’ll stay here, guard the tunnel for us, in case we need a quick exit. I won’t begrudge the rest of you for staying with her either. It’s enough that you’ve come this far without hesitation; this was meant to be an errand not an adventure. If you choose to set foot on the streets of the City you must be prepared to accept death as a possibility. Discuss it amongst yourselves. I’ll set out in the morning with whoever will follow.”


“Ok, now! While the coast is clear,” Jurado whispers to you, waving you on around the corner of the alley and out into the large expanse of the University courtyard. You pass by a number of smaller buildings, stopping by the wooden side door of a large hall topped in the center with a strange, narrowing tower. Jurado slowly slides open the door and looking past him you see that the room is filled with an impossible number of books.

Stopping in the doorway Jurado speaks, “They say it held every text known to the Realms, and more besides. As soon as they finished construction on his tower ”/characters/the-mage" class=“wiki-content-link”>The Great Mage sat in his quarters day and night, recreating from memory texts thought lost millennia ago. Once word got out the demand was immense and so twelve trusted squires were hired to make copies enough for everybody, free of charge. The monks of Candlekeep were cynical at first, as is their way, but once they saw the space for themselves they rushed to begin transferring their own collection over immediately. Now, now…what a waste."

Jurado steps aside and you get a better look into the hall: grand bookshelves have been toppled over, tomes piled into great flaming heaps in the aisles, ashes floating in the air. “They must have made it here in the night, but it doesn’t look like they found what they were after. We may have hope yet. Fools couldn’t see that the books were as powerful as any trinket.” While Jurado poked through smouldering piles of prose you moved ahead into the library, the Rogue scouting ahead and spotting a skirmish on the far side of the Hall. Two heavily armored figures of Dwarven stature were holding off a small horde of orcs that you, in the space of seconds, either slaughtered or put to sleep.

Instead of thanking you the soldiers turned, without a beat, and swung their next blows at you. Their Armour was thick and your weapons struggled to find purchase, but they were as susceptible as any other to the magics you controlled: one had his body frozen, the other his mind conquered and you began an interrogation. Their thoughts were strict and militarized, they knew only of their objectives: “Find the first part.” The only slip they made was to apologize, saying “I’m sorry. He’s coming. It’s not going to end well for you. He’s almost here.”

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Viginti

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