From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~
I sit at my desk staring at the open book in front of me. This book has been an endless source of frustration and at times great moments of triumph. Most recently this book has been the source of my nightly, blood-soaked dreams of pain, screams, and sickly terror. The week off I took wasn’t enough to clear my mind. Part of me keeps being drawn to the book and the secrets within. What lies hidden most be found. No! I’m taking a vacation, I’m going somewhere peaceful.
After informing the head archivist of my intention to take a vacation I returned to my room and packed a bag. As I was leaving the library I bumped into the most enchanting woman I have ever laid eyes on. It turns out she is a recently hired scribe here at the library. Despite my intention to start my vacation I ended spending all day showing her around the library and explaining what some of her duties would be. I will leave first thing tomorrow.
I got up bright and early today and left the library behind, but before I got half a dozen paces away I bumped into Anya again. She offered to buy me a meal in thanks for yesterday. I politely refused informing her of my plan for a vacation but she was insistent. That woman could argue with a brick wall and win. We ended up spending a wonderful day together. In a way it was like a vacation but I still intend on leaving tomorrow.
I woke up today to the sound of knocking on my door. My intention was to leave early but the sun wasn’t even up yet. Bleary-eyed I opened the door and found Anya’s smiling face. She told me she enjoyed yesterday so much that she wanted to catch me before I left so that we could spend one more day together. For the life of me I was too stunned to muster my wits and ended up agreeing with her. We spent another fine day together but I feel like I rambled on endlessly about my work. She didn’t seem to mind. I’m not even sure how we got on the topic. All I can remember is her beautiful hair, her eyes, her lips, her hips, and errm… other nice bits. ___________ Wait, what was I writing? Oh yes, I have agreed to show her some of my work. I’m sure my brilliant mind and ability to decipher a book no one else can will impress her greatly
~During the shock and confusion caused by the human sacrifice and sinister power emanating from the painting, the cultists fled down a back passage. “The Fox” managed to locate “The Puff” and “The Storyteller” and we all gave chase. With “The Praegustator” leading the way we ascended a hidden stairway located at the end of the passageway. At some point I lost sight of “The Puff”, perhaps his pulled muscle slowed him down.
While ascending the staircase “The Fox” located a door slightly ajar and while he moved in to investigate “The Praegustator” and “The Storyteller continued up the stairs. When I heard the sounds of a scuffle on the other side of the door “The Fox” went through I rushed into the room to give aid. “The Fox” was engaged with one of the cultists, both of them brandishing knives, and totally oblivious to my entrance. With a quick blast of Azyr energy I ended the foul man’s life. “The Fox” didn’t seem to notice I had put an end to the conflict and he proceeded to stab the lifeless form several more times before slicing the man’s throat. I’m starting to see a new side of “The Fox” he is quite vicious and I think I could send him on some of the more dangerous tasks I have in mind for my agents. ~
At this point I wonder if any of these men realised Barnabas had claimed them as pawns in his greater schemes. Anya is sitting in a nearby chair, watching intently as I decipher each line. She is so beautiful.
~”The Puff” joined “The Fox” and I in the sitting room, the former resting place of the painting and tended to the shallow cuts and deep gashes we had received at the hands of the cultists. His skill in wound care and his ability at speech craft make him an ideal agent to have nearby, in doing so I will be able to keep an eye on him and prevent him from undertaking some of his ill-conceived plans like attempting to lift giant picture frames. Moments after “The Puff” finished his tender ministrations “The Storyteller” stumbled through the door leading to the secret passageway. Based on his red face and laboured breathing I concluded that he had run the whole way down the staircase. Between gasps of air he told us “The Praegustator” had found the remaining cultists on the roof. Without hesitation I rushed up the staircase and burst through a concealed door built into the side of a chimney. I quickly took stock of the situation, “The Praegustator” was peering around a corner at what I assumed were the cultists. But that isn’t important right now. Morrslieb and Maanslieb. Are both out, and both seem larger than they should. Morrslieb is of particular note. It’s slightly more than half full and I can feel a wildness to the Azyr wind. I’m having trouble tapping into the wind and drawing upon an amount of power that’s normal for me. ~
Barnabas spent half a page going on about the moons and the effects on the winds of magic. Seeing more than just a tiny sliver of Morrslieb would cause me to shut myself inside with the door locked like any sane person of the empire. Barnabas instead took time to document the sight, leaving his “agents” to deal with the cultists. A small smile played across Anya’s lips as she read the last page I deciphered. My skill clearly impresses her!
~I can hear the sounds of combat, additional notes will have to wait. ~
~”The Praegustator” dispatched one of the cultists and I moved up to assist him as two more cultists came into view. Controlling the Azyr wind was extremely difficult but I managed to harness enough power to electrocute one of the two new foes. As I let my spell fly free the intense chanting of the head cultist filled my ears and I was perplexed when frogs began falling from the sky all around me. The cultists must have been so unnerved by my presence that they tried to distract me with the rain of frogs. ~
~The rest of my agents joined us on the roof of the manor and we made short work of most the remaining cultists. I could sense that time was running out so I engaged the leader of the cult. My spells were becoming increasingly difficult to control so I opted to attack the damnable man with the dwarf’s hammer I found earlier that day. Something about the ritual seemed to protect the cultist from my attacks, but the hammer itself appeared to weaken the structural bond of the demon he was conjuring. While I was keeping the demon at bay by wildly swinging the hammer through its unformed body I could hear the sounds of battle behind me growing more intense. Before I knew what was happening I was surrounded by a pack of beastmen. In that moment I knew my life was over but I continued my assault against the demon invading our realm. The strangest thing happened, instead of attacking me most of the beastmen kneeled in supplication to the unformed demon. The largest among them, a massive, filthy, stinking, brute of a beast leapt over me and in one swift motion snatched the painting and tossed the leader of the cult off the roof. With a howl of triumph the beastmen retreated following the large one with the painting. ~
~I stood there dumbfounded, with hammer held high and ready for another mighty swing, for several long moments before regaining my wits and taking pen in hand to record these words. I don’t understand why the beastmen did what they did, why I’m still alive, or what the signs in the night sky are pointing to. Morrslieb is waxing at an accelerated pace, and will no doubt be full before the correct date. Already Morrslieb is exerting its power over the world, and that is never a good thing. I should travel back to the college as soon as possible to consult the Masters. ~