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’ve started seeing new faces loitering in the hall outside my room, and I’ve even caught glimpses of shadows moving into alleys while out shopping. I suspect the Head Archivist is having me watched. In response to this I’ve destroyed my old work and reproduced it using one of Barnabas’ ciphers. One thing can be said about the man, he knew how to hide information.
~”The Puff” must have injured himself while trying to lift the heavy frame off the wall. He slowly made his way out of the sitting room while mumbling something about his groin. After his departure I followed “The Fox” to the trap door for inspection. “The Fox” deftly picked the lock, proving a lie to the “The Puff’s” story of incompetence. I knew it wasn’t true.
“The Fox” was reluctant to explore the newly opened passageway without additional help so we decided to wake up “The Praegustator. ~
~We ran into the most recent arrival to this den of chaos after gently waking “The Praegustator” and it was decided he “The Catcher of Rats” would be the first down the trap door. “The Catcher of Rats” in turn decided that his dog would be the first to go. I believe he has the right idea, send the expendable ones forth. ~
Charming. My employer may be a sour old goat that is planning to steal my work but at least he wouldn’t try to get me killed…. I hope (Remember to lock the door tonight)
~After climbing down the ladder we quickly discovered a narrow passageway leading to a room where an unspeakable ritual was taking place. Echoes of the terrible chanting still resound in my mind. Swift action was needed to stop the madness, so as I magically extinguished the torches in the ritual chamber “The Praegustator” loosed an arrow into the back of the head of the cultist blocking our entry to the foul chamber.
Unfortunately this only caused a very brief interruption of the ritual. The chanting resumed almost as quickly as it had stopped and someone relit the torches as two more cultists stepped into the passageway. The resulting fight was over in a matter of seconds with “The Catcher of Rats” putting an end to the conflict with the deadly precision of his sling.
Without pause “The Fox” rushed into the ritual chamber and clashed with the false doctor. The fight was over in a few heartbeats, so I entered the chamber to assist “The Fox”. That’s when I saw HIM. The leader of the cult, none other than the steward. I KNEW he was guilty. His face was revolting. A large black bulbous sphere protruded from where his right eye should have been. Ringing this mutation was what could only be described as rows of tiny sharp teeth. ~
I don’t think I will sleep for a week.
~Before we could stop him he slashed the throat of his sacrifice, the serving girl “The Fox” had been flirting with. Her blood sprayed into the air and flowed over the Eye painting. The steward cackled as he slit his own arm, adding his blood to the painting. With that the ritual was complete. The painting seemed to writhe under the servant’s body as it absorbed the blood offering. The firelight from the torches flared brightly for a brief moment before snuffing out, plunging the room into darkness save for a dark glow emanating from the unblinking eye. ~
For some reason reading his words is almost like reliving that moment in time, perhaps this book absorbed enough of his magic to cause such an effect. I don’t want to even think about that right now! I can’t do anymore tonight. I need a break, and a large drink. Make that two.