“It’s so dark,” the usually pleasant blonde Lilly said as the last member of the party stepped into the library.
“Yea, do you have a light spell or something? It’s probably not a good idea to have this many torches around the books,” asked James.
“What books, I don’t see anything. This place is huge!” commented Patrick.
Suddenly, a spark of light shot up into the air. James watched it travel higher and higher until it hit the top of the underground cavern, where it stopped and grew. The growing light uncovered the true dimensions of the library. It was even bigger than James’s originally thought.
“Well let’s not all just stand here. Pick up your jaws and let’s explore!” Alex said, breaking the silence.
James followed the rest of his party toward the book shelves and reminded himself to have Omero right down everyone’s abilities. It might not be necessary to get everyone’s abilities in the entire village just yet, but he definitely needed a list for his inner circle.
The party walked the minute it took to reach the books in awe. The library looked like it had been built ages ago, and James wondered if the village was built where it was just because of the library. It seemed the most possible conclusion except for the fact that the cabin’s basement was the only entrance to the library. James would have to explore the outermost reaches of the library to get answers. Maybe there was another entrance somewhere.
“Anyone find anything you can read yet?” Asked Alex as he thumbed the pages on a rather large and dusty tomb.
“Nope,” answered Patrick.
“I can read some of them,” added Lilly.
James stopped in his tracks at her words. He wasn’t really expecting anyone to be able to read them for some reason.
James ditched his exploration efforts and ran back up the party, “What do they say?”
“I can’t really tell. The titles are all in another language, and only small portions of the books are written in the language I understand. It isn’t really enough to understand the purpose of the books.” Answered Lilly.
“Well, what language is it in, how did you learn it?” questioned Alex.
“Remember when we talked about my parents the other night?” Lilly said to Alex.
Alex nodded, “Yea, you said they were apart of some special counsel for the village or something.”
“Right, I also said they read me stories in an odd language when I was younger. This is that language. I thought it was just some secret code for our family, but if it is in these books then it must be something more.”
James raised an eyebrow at Alex as if to ask him why he didn’t mention Lilly’s story before. The woman had only opened up about her family once before and had changed the subject anytime anyone else brought it up. It made sense that she would finally tell Alex her story, but James wished Alex would have said something.
Alex saw the expression on James's face and gave a subtle, “I know” gesture.
When the party inquired further about Lilly’s family she did her best to answer, but it was clear she still hadn’t come to terms with her parent’s passing. James didn’t blame her and when it was clear they wouldn’t get any more information from her he broke up the inquisition.
Lilly mentioned that her light skill wouldn’t last much longer and that she wouldn’t be able to cast another one due to its long cooldown, so James lead a quick perimeter search and had Lilly gather up some of the books that she could read the most of. James’s search party didn’t find any obvious doors or entryways like they wanted, but instead found something much more interesting.
When the party returned to the surface the village was alive with sound. James caught a peak of the Martyrs working on the Chieftain’s hut and Omero running around talking to villagers on his way into the cabin. Most of the party left to pursue their own projects. Lilly went upstairs to study her books in peace, Torunn left to spend time with his family, and Patrick was either training or mining more rock, James wasn’t sure. Then James realized that he didn’t have to wonder, he could just check his map to see where the red-head was. It turned out that James was wrong. Patrick wasn’t in the area he usually mined or in the training ground. He wasn’t even in the Sculptor’s Hovel. James watched his map and saw that Patrick was running around in the lower level of the village.
“He must be playing with the Martyr cubs,” James thought to himself as he poured Michael and Alex a mug of cider each and sipped on his own at his post behind the bar.
“So how are we going to get it up here?” Asked Alex.
Michael shrugged, “I’m not sure, but we definitely need to. It’s not like we can operate a forge in the library.”
James nodded, “Maybe one of the Martyr’s will be able to carry it. I’ll get two of them later, one for the forge and one for the anvil. There no point in doing it though until we have someone that can actually make stuff with it. We need a blacksmith.”
“Maybe Omero will uncover someone that already had the blacksmith class,” Alex added.
Michael shook his head, “No, I doubt he will. If any of the prisoners are even high enough level to have a class they probably would have chosen something that increased their survivability. I don’t think anyone stuck in a cage in between torture sessions would be thinking about all the cool things they could make out of metal.”
Alex nodded, “True, I didn’t think about that, sorry. Well, if that is the case then I will be our blacksmith. I already have the crafting class, I only need to pick a specialization.”
James downed his cider and set the mug on the bar, “It sounds like a plan. Now, brother, tell me about your bad ass class!”
Alex turned to Michael with his eyebrows raised, “Oh, what class is that?”
“Warrior Death Mage, it isn’t as cool as it sounds. I only chose the warrior portion to help me survive in the dungeon, the death mage portion was kind of forced on me.”
James leaned into the conversation, intrigued, “What do you mean?”
“Every time I use my death magic I lose a little bit of my sanity because of a mark the Lich King gave me. The mark boosts my mastery of the magic, but the cost is pretty severe. I think he uses the mark on all of his followers. It makes them very strong, but it also ensures that they will never get strong enough to overthrow him.”
James made a thoughtful sound and topped up his mug, “Is there any way we can get rid of the mark?”
“I have no idea,” Michael answered solemnly.
“James, you have a mark, right? Can’t you just ask Freydis how it can be removed?” Alex asked.
“Yea, I have a mark from Dreng,” James said as he touched his chest where Dreng marked him, “but I still have it. It didn’t even disappear when Dreng died.”
“Still, you should ask Freydis, and even Frode, just in case.”
James nodded and looked at his cider, “You’re right. It looks like I have business to discuss with the Martyrs. I’ll recruit two of them to grab the forge and anvil we found in the library and I’ll ask if it is possible to remove marks.” James summarized his immediate agenda for himself before looking back up, “Cool, I wanted to see the cubs anyway. What are you two going to do?”
“I’ll come with you, of course,” answered Michael.
James nodded in reply.
“I’ll walk down with you and then lead the Martyrs to the library. Hopefully, they don’t have any trouble getting into the basement because of their size.”
“Perfect. Ready. Break,” James chanted before clapping his hands together.
Michael and Alex clapped in perfect unison, causing James to nod in approval. Soon, he would have an entire village, dressed in the finest armor and equipped with the best weapons Alex could forge, that all knew how to break out of a huddle correctly.