Our heroes mull over their options in terms of gainful employment for a while. Deciding on the option that will couple the most money with the most crazy sh*t, they take Nodar up on his offer of recovering one of the Books of D’harsis from the rogue scholar.
Nodar – who was just about to leave before the party came to their decision – is pleased that the library could have some new friend and tells them all about Kihangir, the once-wholesome scholar who seems to have become drunk on power and stole the spell-book.
The party are assigned Oyun – the acolyte librarian who was accompanying Nodar – as their guide to the Library. They draw a small fee for expenses from the treasury and then head into the main part of the library itself to take a look at the remaining Books of D’harsis,for reference. Moving to a sub-level from the main hub of the underground library, they glimpse other great halls like the one they entered by radiating outwards, each with its own place name hanging on a great sign from the ceiling.
Safely in a darkened and well-watched room, the other Books of D’harsis are brought to them to look at. They are over-large and completely indecipherable to the casual reader, but they are written in glowing blue ink!
Looking to their coin purses for the journey ahead, Justin remembers the Bag of dark red gemstones looted from the unsavoury types with the travelling prison cart at the start of their adventures. He pulls out the gems to seek Oyun‘s appraisal and the youth starts visibly quailing! Asking why he fears a bag of shiny rocks so, the young acolyte goes on to explain that the gems are traded by queer merchants from black galleys who trade around the major ports of the Dreamlands. They wear large headdresses or turbans and flowing robes, and don’t quite fit the physiology of any of the other humanoids in the Lands of Dream. Some folk welcome their rare red gemstones they buy goods with, others fear and shun them and their currency.
Our heroes consult maps of their journey to ‘the Screaming Pass’ – the tower where Kihangir the Scholar is reputed to be holed up is located – using the maps hanging on the walls of the Great Library.
Strolling back into Inquanok, they enquire after a cart and mule to carry their supplies and – wait for it – to haul back all the treasure they’re no-doubt going to find on their journey.
The stable-master who sells them a mule is another follower of Astarte and gives them the animal at a knock-down price. He throws in a bag of feed too.
And so, our brave band set off back into the unforgiving, barren plains of the North from whence they came.
On their way on the Western trail out of Inquanok they meet trading caravans bound for the big city from ‘Selarn’ and other towns along the earth-bound, East-West trading route of this landmass.
The party can’t enjoy such company for long though, as they must turn Northwards off the well-trodden road and head for the pass.
Untitled No.57’s not sure, but he might have seen some more of those Dark winged shapes that attacked their former captors flit behind the clouds at the edge of his vision.
Making camp for the night, the living construct volunteers to keep watch. It’s not his night for sensory experiences though, as there’s some kind of minor malfunction in his vision… Occasionally it looks as if there’s some kind of round, metal tunnel encroaching on the edge of his vision. He definitely has no loose parts around his ocular sensors and it only seems to happen when he’s not concentrating on anything else.