Chapter 05 - The Library of Solitude

Cut Scene

Inside the Imperial City, the Blackguard has been called to alarm. These are the men loyal to Gerard, his personal guard, trained and schooled in Hammerfell that replaced the Kingsmen soon after the Draconian King disappeared. It becomes very obvious that Gerard betrayed The Draconian King and now thinks someone else knows that too. Fuming and spitting vile at the captains of the Blackguard, he demands that the catacombs be sealed and filled with yet more monsters, to prevent such an intrusion again. In the meantime, he orders his apprentice to work on a spell to determine what portal was taken and where the interlopers are. On a whim he kills on of the servants and demands that his peers find out who broken in, what do they know and where did they go. He leaves the room and goes to a private bath. Upon entering the bathtub, his skin begins to shift and it is revealed that he is a Naga.

Scene 1 - The Library of Solitude

Stepping through the portal inside the Tower of Gates, the heroes arrive on top of a large, oak table inside the Library of Solitude. Though unannounced, they are initially ignored by the monks reading various books and tomes of this great, vast library. Straight above them is a red-and-pink gem, about 2 meters wide, still glowing from the arcane power that moments ago coarsed through its structure. All around it are metal panels linked by hinges that appear capable of covering the entire gem should the be placed and locked in place.

Standing on to top of the table, they take a few moments to realize that they are in the center of a building that must be at least as large as king's palace itself, with seemingly a single chamber willed with rows and rows of bookcases stacked back-to-back against each other. Many of the bookcases seem to be as much as 100ft high, though nowhere near reaching the absurdly-tall ceiling. The inside seems to be lit by arcane glow sourced from nowehere, and the massive, jagged glass windows are covered in snow and ice, revealing a brutally unpleasant weather outside the library's walls.

After a few moments an elderly monk approaches the new arrivals and introduces himself as Father Joseph Grey. He is friendly but very perplexed that they are here, and asks them cautiously as to their reason for being here and upon whose orders. He is clearly unsure of what to do. After a few moments of he releals that years ago the Vizier of Imperial City came through the gate and informed the monks that the King, who used to be a frequent visitor and a friend of the monks, will no longer be coming through, nor should he be summoned under any circumstances. that was the last contact these monks had with Cyrodiil, and soon after almost all other mages and scholars stopped coming, unable to reach the harsh place without powerful magic or access to the gate. Speaking to him the group learns that he has been at the library for over 30 years, and in that time has only left the library on two occasions, both times to dine with the King in Cyrodiil.

The newcomers explain that they are not sent here by Gerald, nor do they have anything to do with him. They have come here looking for information, and sensing the genunine nature of the monk and his allegiance to the Draconian King, they soon explain to him the true situation back in Cyrodiil. At first Father Joseph is cautious, but after speaking with Fizbin, he slowly becomes convinced that they mean no harm. Still, they are weary of discussing much about the Instrumentalities, but their elusive questions receive sufficient answers to provide guidance about which books to research.

It becomes very clear that Father Joseph has an encyclopedic knowledge of every book and topic in this huge library. He seems to have the preternatural ability to know the location of every book and what types of books people are looking for, but he himself seems disconnected and dispassionate - as if detached from the real world. There is an innocence coming from him that is very apparent. Eventually he seems to make a decision and directs each newcomer to a particular book that may be of interest to that individual. Reciting exactly row, shelf, and location of a book, Father Joseph addresses each in turn with a kind smile and intriquing tone. Knowing better than to question the old man, the group disperses throughout the library.

Scene 2 - Getting Lost in a Book

Alisaar

Alisaar has followed his keen sense of smell to a book that looks bound in odd red-and-bronze leather. After he begins to read he feels the world around him slowly fade away and then suddenly he finds himself standing in a grassy field, with a warm breeze on his face and warm sunlight on his shoulders. He watches two young Dragonborn wrestle and their father watches and urges them on. He looks up and sees the dual suns overhead. The father sees him and, after introducing himself as Mason, they welcome each other and then he invites Alisaar to wrestle. Alisaar wins handily but is very gracious about it.

The two dragonborn talk for a while and Alisaar explains that he is not from here, but that he doesn't know where 'here' is nor how he got to this place. The Father explains that this is a wonderful world known as Alidor, where many dragonborn clans live and flourish, inspired by culture and empowered by three hot suns. With some pride and worry he tells of the war between the Great Wyrm, his God (Balahmut), and that vile serpent (Tiamat) that is beginning to rage throughout the continent. His sons are excited for the battle but he fears for the world. He looks at Alisaar’s and offers him a bag of stones - each an enchanted rune - a gift for winning the brief contest. In addition, within the bag is a small leather parchment that contains the dragonborn beliefs about Bahamut. As Alisaar reads the passages the world swirls away and he finds himself back in the library, standing next to a bookshelf, with a half-opened book.

William

William has followed his intuition to a book that looks like the Pelorian Scriptures, but the tome is somewhat thicker. After he begins to read he feels the world around him slowly swirl and then suddenly he finds himself sitting in a pew inside a large, crowded cathedral.

The cathedral is at least five times larger than the White Cathedral inside the Imperial City. The people here are taller, with bronze skin that exhibits blue-and-green hues, golden eyes, and long, light-colored hair ranging from blond to brown. They are the Flannesse, a race of men that grew up in a world where the sun is warmer and the days are longer.

The cathedral is filled. It is a wonder that William appeared in what must have been an empty spot left especially for him, in one of the center pews not too far from the altar. In the front is a large altar carved out of a single crystal. The sun, directly above the structure, shines a very warm and pleasant light that hits the altar and spreads to every corner of the church. In the first row sit 7 men in full plate armor, larger and broader than William, but all wearing traditional garments of the Pelorian Faith. As William's gaze moves throughout the church he starts noticing many somewhat familiar symbols and runes, as if ancient versions of the sun he wears so proudly on his chest, and soon it dawns on him that this must be a church of Pelor!

As the ceremony continues, it resembles a knighting ceremony that he once went through when he was ordained as a paladin of Pelor. And sure enough, though the language is strange and the ceremony different, many of the key components and the behavior confirm that the warriors in the front are in fact being ordained as Knights of Pelor. One by one, each one's name is called out, and as he speaks his oath his name is written into the holy book and he takes his place among his peers. After the last man is ordained the bishop calls out William from amongts the people and asks him to come forward. Surprised but obedient, William stands up and makes his way to the altar, where the Bishop smiles and prays over him. Though people seem surprised, few question the Bishop, and William is ordained as a Knight of Pelor together with the tall, burly men that stood there in the beginning. As he stand up, a warm beam of light illuminates the whole cathedral and his armor and weapon take on a religious transformation.

After the Ceremony William meets the Bishop outside the cathedral, who introduces himself as Father Gladron, bishop of the City of Greyhawk. They speak for a while, and William learns that he is on Oerth, the world of Flannesse, where the Sun is close and Pelorian faith is strong. The bishop also explains to William that the Knights are preparing for a war. William watches the people, listening to the bishop, and slowly his voice fades away. William finds himself back inside the Library, holding the lost book of Pelor, a much more complete version of the holy scriptures he's come to be familiar with.

Arthus

Arthus follows the faint hum of his ring towards a tall bookcase deep within the library. Eventually sensing the target of his search, he notices "The Keepers", a book that looks somewhat familiar, but from where he's not quite sure. After he begins to read he feels the world around him slowly disappear and eventually fades back to a tall room with beautiful, freshly-made bookcases with many empty shelves. Though the change is startling, Arthus immediately recongnizes the room for the same place he met David Talbot only a few days earlier. He scans the shelves and realizes that the collection of books and other keepsakes isn’t anywhere what it was when Arthus first saw it.

At the end of a table, different than the one he remembers, sits a somewhat younger David, curious though not surprised. It becomes clear to Arthus that David doesn't even know who he is, much less recognize him, despite Arthus' clear knowledge of David. They trade a few questions and very quickly it becomes clear the David will not be saying too much, mentioning that he hates paradoxed, and instantly cluing in on the difference in time.

Smiling to himself, David pulls out a red leatherbound book, textured to look like a skin of a lizard, with embossed silver runes that clearly spell out The Keepers. He turns to an empty page and adds Arthus’ name, writing an entry about this event, and sketches a fairly detailed picture of him. It is the same picture that Arthus saw in a much older version of this book only days ago when he first met David. Amused at his cleverness, David promises to promote Arthus when he next sees him, at which Arthus smirks knowing he kept/will keep his promise. David then stands up and opening a drawer pulls out a small cigar box full of trinkets and places it on the table, saying that these little things will help Arthus on his way. As Arthus picks up the box, the world fades back, leaving him standing back it the Library, amused and bewildered at the same time.

Fizbin

Fizbin, sitting alone with Father Joseph, decides to tell the old man about the Instrumentalities. Recognizing him as a scholar and a learned man, he knows it is pointless to hide things from him, as his clearly supernal abilities grant him the knowledge of the true purpose of his visitors anyway. So, without much ceremony, Fizbin asks for any books or information on the nature and existance of instrumentalities. Father Joseph mentions that there is a text that could be of use, partially translated by another wizard named Varlin, that lies in the basement of the Library. Fizbin is shocked to learn that it was his master that attempted to translate the text. However, Father Joseph, instead of directing him to the partial translation, like he indirecty did with the others, hands him a completely different book written by a young wizard named Sirilius. Father Joseph explains that Sirilius was a sole survivor of a group of men, much like Fizbin and his friends, that millenia ago fought Jennesta and hid the instrumentality from her prying eyes. Somewhat surprised but expecting a purpose behind this, Fizbin opens the black-and-red tome and after reading a few passages fades into a medium round chamber inside what must be a tall tower, with small, narrow windows, stone floors, and a winding staircase at one end.

In the room are a few tables, large kettle, and a young man working fervently to create some potion or perform some arcane ritual that Fizbin is completely unfamiliar with. Guessing his current circumstances, Fizbin guesses the young man to be Sirilius, and introduces himself. Sirilius, annoyed but unphased by the interruption, stops briefly his experiments to speak with the intruder. Exchanging brief if curt introductions, Fizbin fails to consider his situation carefully and blurts our rather coldly:

"Sirilius, is it? Yes, you are the sole survivor of the original five that fought and defeated Jennesta, aren't you? I'm sorry to say but you failed, however, for she's still around. She keeps coming back every 25 years and now that the 2500 year mark approaches this are truly bad. She broke the seal of the Obelisk in White Haven that you had created and stole the Instrumentality, and now we have to deal with it. So how do I fix it? How do we touch the instrumentalities? Tell me what you know, so that she can be dealt with forever."

Sirilius, taken aback and momentarily shocked, responds: "You can only carry the one that corresponds with your blood. You need a dragonborn for one, a tiefling for another…" Pausing for a moment, he muses a thought, and as if energized, continues: "But it doesn’t matter - if I couldn’t do it then how could you? Look at you. Hmmmm…”

Sirilius then grabs Fizbin and a searing pain goes through him. Putting his cold hand through Fizbin's chest, he burns in his will and a searing pain rushes through his chest. Fizbin is suddenly and violently awoken out of the book. There is a scar on his chest that is very old and healed. He feels different but familiar, unaware of what just happened, and yet awakened somehow. Later he discovers that he no longer needs most reagents and his power has increased.

Alec

Alec picks up a black tome made of tough leather, skin of some otherworldy beast, and, upon reading the pages, disappears into the book. Shortly later he appears back, somewhat older and scarred, but where he went or what had happened isn’t discussed. He comes back more feral, wild, and disheveled, and it takes him some time to realize he's back in the Library, among his friends.

Scene 3 - Questions, Answers, and Payment in Blood

They all meet back and Father Grey tells them that the information they seek is in the cellar. There is a place there where Varlin would come and work, and where some of his translations are still there now. Also, there is a scrying pool in the basement and they are welcome to use it, if they know how. taking one of the large staircases, the group walks down a few levels until they reach a large, stone chamber with thick pillars carved of a single stone and various alcoves, each with a table, parchment, and ink, as if work stations for various scholars and wizards. In one of them Fizbin clearly recognizes Varlin's arcane mark, and there they proceed to rummage through the papers, looking for anything of interest.

Eventually they find a document that, though partially translated, seems to contain all they need to know. Titled "The Legend", it speaks of the creation of the world, the great betrayal, and the true nature of the instrumentalities. It reveals that each contains part of the essence of a particular diety, and when they are all assembled they can be used to create a new diety, or be released to restore the old ones.

They begin to ask questions aloud and talk about what they’ve seen. Finding the scrying pool Fizbin calls upon his skills to master the scrying device and find the locations of the instrumentalities. With much difficulty and strain, they find out the generic locations of four: one in Summerset Isles, one in Yokuda, one in Argonia & one in Hammerfell.

Suddenly both Alisaar & Alec smell blood on the air. They realize the something has come through the gate that they used to get here. Before they can act they are attacked by four shadow hounds. Though the hounds are tough, the group is unshaken and soon they dispatching all four beasts. Worried for the monks they run upstairs into the library and find that everyone has been killed except for only one young monk, who, having been buried by books, escaped the hounds and was now clingling to life by a thread.

William, casting Pelorian prayers on the injured monk, awakens the boy. He learns the boy's name - Father Davis - and finds out what he already knew - that Gerald came through the gate asking about him and his friends, and not getting the answer he wanted, sent forth the hounds to kill everyone. They search for a while, and eventually find Father Grey’s body and his head and in a book. When William touches him he begins to feel the world around him slowly swirl and then he finds himself walking on a beach next to azure-blue ocean with fresh sea-wind and warm sun above his head. He notices a single figure there, and it is none other than Father Grey.

“I was reading the book and I felt something… I’m dead aren’t I?” asks the monk.

"Yes" answers William, unable to lie, and apologizing for bringing such fate upon him ans his colleagues. Grey smiles, consoling the paladin:

“The hounds are Gerald’s. His pets… You did not send them. However, I need you to find me another librarian to take my place.”

"I Will." says William, and as the vision then fades, and William again stands next to Grey's body. Knowing that there is only one survivor, he brings Father Davis, and together they touch the book again, appearing on the now-familiar beach. there, Grey takes off a key from around his neck and gives it to Davis, still shaken but reasurred by the presence of his superior. The key looks like it’s made of paper, and once David puts it around his neck, his demeanor changes immediately and he takes on a lot of the characteristics of Grey, becoming detached and distant.

Gray thanks William, and turning to the waves, says his goodbye. At that the vision fades, and both William and Davis stand back in the library. Davis, however, no longer the frightened boy, seems preoccupied and his eyes flinch rapidly, as if he was learning things at an alarmingly fast rate. Fizbin surmises that the key to the library bestows all knowledge about the library, its contents, and condition, as if the wearer was one with the structure. They impress upon the preoccupied monk that the library is still defenseless, and help him lock up the crystal that serves as the entry point from the Tower of Gates. Thereafter, the monk walks away, busily tending to the library, while William and others take it upon themselves to tend to the fallen.

That evening, William and his friends, inn a solemn ceremony, dig graves and lay the monks who helped them to rest, speaking prayers and pondering about the road before them.

Cut Scene

The Kingsmen, men loyal to the Draconian King, are being rounded up. Some flee to regroup while others, not knowing how to disagree with seemingly royal edict, simply cooperate and go to jail. Meanwhile, on the open roads of Cyrodiil, The Adjudicators have sent out a word that something is wrong, organizing a meeting at the Hangman's Oak, and ancient tree known to all Adjudicators, in one month's time to decide what needs to be done.


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