Episode 4 - Payday

Other stuff glitters, but gold is better.

Waking from their first good night’s sleep in days, the three agents ate breakfast in the Hand’s headquarters, then met with Jonathan Withrington. Along with offering what little information he seemed to have about the problems in Saltstone Cove he delivered their pay. The agents were to have liberty until the scroll could be translated. Using the secret tunnel into the city, the three went their separate ways.

Oliver visited Faldarin Market and haggled for some new armor and then stocked up on arrows at the Archers, Bowyers, and Fletchers Guild with an eye toward the archery range and maybe the next contest.

Angelique went scumming for rumors at the Cub’s Den near the city wall. She heard some odd talk about Lucien searching for something in a storeroom, but it was the apparent disappearance of a man in a black cloak in one of the shadowed corners of the pub that caught her attention. Her search turned up nothing and the barman offered only hints that she should mind her own business.

Remi went looking for answers about the odd dealings in the Cove. He visited Scott Lunasol’s herb shop, The Twisted Staff. It also houses a small library known for dealing with the occult. Scott took an odd interest in Remi, and cheerfully offered his library for a nominal fee. Inside, when Remi attempted to reproduce one of the glyphs from the saltstones, Scott grabbed Remi’s hand to prevent the final stroke. Implying Remi had been about to do something dangerous, he instead opened a large book with seemingly blank pages. When Remi looked closely, he suddenly saw glowing runes. Scott seemed pleased and gave him a letter with a not-so-subtle hint it should be delivered to the Hand.

Back at headquarters, Kyle Malshara the Librarian for the Hand had finished translating the scroll more quickly than expected. It contained a prophecy that the Queen and Jonathan claimed centered on the three agents, calling them the Sword, the Hunter, and the Steward. Understandably skeptical, the agents’ questions forced Jonathan to take them to Carin Darklight for “education.”

Carin openly admitted to being a sorceress and told them the true story of the Shisa Vale’s origin. She claimed the three gods of Anorak, Solvak, and Talmag were in fact three ancient dragons who ruled the planet 4,000 years ago. Each of the three ruled differently, but Solvak’s harsh rule lead to rebellion that Anorak’s subjects also took up. The men used the magic taught them by the dragons to craft weapons with which they slew Anorak and Solvak. When the dragons died, the pure magical energy contained in their bodies exploded, laying waste to their kingdoms. But Talmag had warned Anorak of the plot and together they raised the Worlds Edge Mountains to protect the Vale from the cataclysm. The Royal Hand is part of a conspiracy to protect the Vale from the wastes beyond and from itself by keeping the truth of the outside world a carefully guarded secret.

The prophecy the agents recovered is a page from the Codex. A book written in Solvak’s blood, on parchment made from Solvak’s hide, by a wizard driven mad by the poisonous magic that flooded the planet as the dragon’s died. Carin believes that whoever sent Alain for the scroll is trying to reassemble the Codex in order to resurrect Solvak. Fortunately, the Syndicate is safeguarding the bulk of the Codex, but many pages remain lost. The agents are now in a race for the pages so that they can prevent Solvak from returning and taking his revenge.


DeCorben DeCorben

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