The Sorcerer of Vàlles Tàllehàrin
33 Fiann, 3032 PA
‘There is a story to be told’, Merrow said, ‘a tale my sponsor wishes you to know’. The elf gazed expectantly at Raina & Damian. Once they had signaled for her to continue, Merrow closed her eyes, as if remembering, before speaking.
‘Long ago, before the Sundering, the Elves prized certain virtues that would now be called sins. The human church might call them wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. Much of our magic and civilisation revolved around one or more of these sins. Artifacts were keyed to a sin, in varying ‘quantity’, and could only be used by those who embraced such a quality.
‘In the ancient city of Vàlles Tàllehàrin, in the area now known as Darkmoon Vale, lived a powerful sorcerer. He cultivated his jealousy to such a degree that it could be used as a weapon. With his covetous will, he destroyed all of his rivals until there remained nothing that he wanted. Turning his eyes to the Over-Empire at large, the sorcerer drew too deeply and was consumed in a great conflagration. What remained was an abomination of pure Sin, a monster that threatened the Over-Empire itself.
‘A mighty force of dream-smiths and pride-lords was dispatched by the Arch-Heretic to contain the creature. Even though they were unable to defeat it, they managed to force it into a pocket dimension and lock it inside for all eternity. The dimensional prison was sealed by a Sin Gate keyed to the virtue of Greed. The key to the gate was a pair of statuettes called palamyri, but they were lost in the Sundering’.
Merrow opened her eyes, locking her gaze with Damain. ‘The keys were found, and they made their way to the hands of your former master – the artificer Eddin.’
‘When my sponsor learned of this, I was dispatched to Tor Egan to steal them.’
She quickly held up hand to forestall Damain’s response. ‘I arrived too late. One of the palamyri had already been stolen and you languished in prison, blamed for the theft. I only know that the thief was a human woman but, before I departed the city, I learned something very important. Master Eddin’s study of the keys was on behalf of his own masters, but he betrayed them. It was Eddin himself that had the palamyr stolen. It was Eddin that framed you for the theft!
‘It appears that Eddin was too eager to remove the evidence of his betrayal, however, and spooked the thief before he could recover it. How it came into the possession of your employer is a mystery, but as soon as my sponsor heard that Engrit was proposing to sell it, he sent me to Falcon’s Hollow to retrieve it. The palamyri are powerful artefacts and can not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. Even one spells incredible danger to everyone nearby if it is not handled correctly.’
The elf watched the full play of emotions at work on Damian’s face. Anger and disbelief vied for dominance, before settling into a cold, vengeful calm.
‘Now the palamyr is here. As is the one who betrayed you’, she continued. ‘Artificer Eddin is in Ban Olfden’