Day of the Hornet (10th), Seed Moon, Year of the Burning Mountain
The Great Library
Dressed in furs they made their way to the Great Library. Starving scribes in filthy grey robes surrounded them, waving their purple-sealed scrolls of office, jostling to offer their research skills. When Yucta announced the topic however — the sorcerer Anothep-Soth — most of the crowd melted away. One scholar remained who pocketed his fee and led them past the well-fed Head Librarian, through the dilapidated stacks to a small cold room. While the scribe pored over old documents, Ockasiola grew bored; he and Yucta found another scribe to teach them the fundamentals of reading Low Lankhmarese.
The scribe’s findings
- Anothep-Soth belonged to an order of wizards called the Li’Tan.
- The Li’Tan sought to move freely between Nehwon, the Dreamlands and the land of Death
- The order had been destroyed long ago
The scribe also mentioned a link to the Dreamlands available right in the Library, “for those who know the way.”
Beyond the Blue Room
In exchange for a rilk, the scribe unlocked the Blue Room: a small cold room lined with tattered blue tapestries containing a divan and an unlit brazier. Yucta and Aranduil knew of herbs which could free one’s consciousness; Yucta had some with him. He burned some on the brazier, filling the room with sweet smoke.
Yucta, Aranduil and Ockasiola found themselves walking down steep stairs to the Cavern of Flame; each entered alone to confront the Two Priests. Aranduil was tempted by a tunnel which led upward from which he heard the keening of the 13 perfect eagles; but he chose another way and found himself in the Great Library of the Dreamlands — a library within a library.
The reading dome
Beneath the great coloured dome, this library was in much better condition than its sibling in Lankhmar. Yucta asked a scribe more questions about the Li’Tan.
- Anothep-Soth had visited the Dreamlands on many occasions
- He had evacuated the people of Olathoe to avoid their massacre by the Inutos, maybe ancestors of the Mingols
- The Inutos were led at that time by the Sorcerer Khaakht (the scribe did not want to utter the name), an evil being whose tools were ice and snow
- Khaakht travelled the worlds in a mysterious globe
- He was associated with Mingols and Spiders of Leng
- Anothep-Soth was a sorcerer and his skull was a focus of power even after his death
Freedom of the skies
Aranduil craved the fresh air. He made his way outside and leapt into the air, transforming into an eagle. He could sense the 13 perfect eagles soaring with him. He flew for many miles over sea and land, and perched for the night in a tall tree.
The Sorcerers’ Guild
They woke, stiff and cold in the tatty Blue Room in the bowels of the Great Library of Lankhmar. The scribe awoke too, and urged them to visit the astrologer Droov (also his brother-in-law) who worked near the Park of Pleasure. Evening had descended; barely different from the dim light of day under the perpetual clouds. Yucta and Ockasiola investigated a strange reflected light in the sky and came across the pyramidal Sorcerer’s Guild, wreathed in blue-green fire and surrounded in a ring by shuffling Lankhmarts. Yucta didn’t trust sorcerers with the knowledge of Khaakht or the skull of Anothep-Soth. They turned away from the unnatural fiery tower.
Wisdom of the birds
Aranduil sought a different wisdom. He made his way to the windy docks. There he used his power to speak with some seagulls. They confirmed that they had seen a sphere “Fear!” descend from the sky to the southern part of the city, but they were too afraid of it to show where exactly. Icy Khaakht was here in Lankhmar!