I just paid the rent on time so, in celebration, I decided to take the night off and enjoy a nice bottle by the hearth. As usual, for a thief such as myself, such pleasures are seldom accomplished,...
I just paid the rent on time so, in celebration, I decided to take the night off and enjoy a nice bottle by the hearth. As usual, for a thief such as myself, such pleasures are seldom accomplished, and this was no exception. My time of relaxation was brought to a swift end by a knock at the door. In my experience, Keepers seldom used the door, so I was surprised that this one did. She said her name was Natalia and she, like me, had been trained under the tutelage of Keeper Artemis.
Natalia said that I was needed once again, that the natural balance of power in the city was once again in peril. I, understanding after all these years of working with the Keepers that resistance was futile, skipped the cynical bitching and asked the when and where. She slipped me a letter and told me that it contained everything I needed to know, before slipping quickly away down the stairs and into the night. A pity. I might have offered her a drink. I read the letter in front of the hearth between sips of wine.
How are you holding up old friend? I trust that Natalia was kind to you? As she has undoubtedly told you already, we are in need of your skills once again. Before I get into the details of what it is that we need you to do, I think it's important to go over some background information.
Lord Desmond, who lives in a small manor near the museum in Auldale, is an ex-keeper. That's right! Desmond, the famous archaeologist was formerly one of us. We raised him up from a youth just as we did you, and instated him into the order many, many years ago. His talents were different from your own. Rather than in physical prowess, Desmond thrived in the workings of intellect, becoming one of our top scribes with a specialty of runic translations. After gaining our trust, we allowed Desmond access to the forbidden section of the library to attempt another translation of an ancient, precursor volume that we've come to call The Codex of Ashes and Dust. Desmond, like everyone who had tried before him, was unable to make any sense of the scribbling or symbols and took his failure to heart. Refusing to give up, Desmond worked at the ancient codex day and night, not taking any time away for any other activity including eating, drinking, or sleeping. As his body grew wearier from lack of nourishment and his mind grew wilder from the arcane, contorted text, he began to slip into a madness. Fellow keepers found him in his chambers, near death, and took the book away. He was nursed back to health and before long, he was strong again and eager to give the codex another try, insisting that he was extremely close to solving the hieroglyphs within. The council, with Desmond's best interests at heart, denied him his request and when he grew angry, the locked it even deeper into the forbidden library. Desmond, outraged by this, was caught several nights later attempting to steal the book back to his chambers. For his offense, he was escorted from the compound and excommunicated from the order completely. using his Keeper knowledge, Desmond has made quite a name for himself outside the order. He has become a famous explorer and treasure hunter and even earned a lordship from the Baron for his feats of discovery and knowledge.
Always interested in places with a history to them, Desmond recently purchased the old manor of Marcus Tavarian from the Auldale museum. (I trust you've heard the story of Marcus Tavarian, the ex-hammerite who helped build this city, so I'll spare you the details) From there he continues to study ancient writings and embarks on exotic knowledge hunts to faraway lands.
Now, back to why I'm contacting you in the first place...
Recently, The Codex of Ashes and Dust went missing from our libraries and, judging by the immediate doubling of Desmond's house guard, we're sure that he's the culprit. We want you to find a way into his manor (I'm sure the sewers would be safest) and reclaim the Codex for us. This book is shrouded in mystery and dark energies, so it's very, very important that it be taken from his as soon as possible. Once you're done, get back to us. We've learned of a secret exit in Desmond's personal quarters that he had built recently for a quick getaway should the need arise. (It seems odd that Desmond didn't know that the contractor he hired is actually a keeper contact.)
Good luck Garrett, please pay us a visit once you've got the Codex. We may have more work for you.