Oracle of Monhutch
The bookshop appears abandoned, but the players hear movement in the back. “Coming, coming, they are coming!” Says a frantic old voice. “They are very close. Almost here, they will be here any minute…” If the players enter the back room, they see an old man standing over a desk, staring into space, scribbling wildly.
The players have met Logi Gicalsci. Birds of Paradise fly around him. He breaks his trance, and stares directly at you. “Gather your friends. Then come with me.”
He leads you through the back door into a vast garden. “Welcome to Monhutch’s vast gardens. It was through here that the ants came, and it is through here that you will venture to the temple of the Seven Sorcerers to purify the three rivers. I cannot show you much now, it is not safe. But look beyond, through these gardens lie the temple, and the people that you seek.”
The players see the temple.
“I am Logi Gicalsi, and I have much to tell you. You are wounded. I suspect this will make you feel better” (He casts mass heal)
The attack was unfortunate, but it brought you to me. Of course I knew it would happen! I could not interfere, because I didn’t want her to know. I couldn’t risk tipping my hand.”
What I know of this town I only know from books and records, that is why I run this library. My first memory begins with my 5 year old daughter being taken from me. Every day for the past 24 years this has been the first memory of my waking day.
From what the records tell me, I used to be mayor of this town … I don’t remember. The records do not suggest I was not very good, but rather earned the appointment through nepotism. I am of … important local blood.” As Gicalsi talks, he throws ingredients into a fire pit. A light show emerges, depicting what he says, giving you a visual representation of his words.
Before the Seven Sorcerers, this small town was founded by Jeremy Monhutch, a warrior, and leader who made his own way. His statue still stands in front of the City Hall. Monhutch had a small band of followers traveling with him. He mistrusted all magic users, well, all but one, Glinda Gicalsi, my ancestor. I do not know how many generations back. She and Monhutch were lovers. When the travelers found the three rivers here, they built the original town at the site where the temple now lies.
If you believe in such things, there was a golden age of peace and prosperity for a while. I find such terms to be horseshit, but the travelers were alive and the town was growing. Then came the sorcerers. They claimed the site where the village lay was filled with the most magic any of them had ever felt, and they had been led there by the stars. They wished to worship and build a temple on the site. Monhutch didn’t like it, but he liked magic even less, and upon learning that his town was built on the most magical place in the land, he immediately relocated here. The sorcerer’s paid him handsomely for relocating, and only asked that they be given secrecy and privacy. Monhutch did not obey. He sent his spies to spy on the sorcerers, and witness the temple they were building. They had slaves. Countless numbers of gnomes were building this temple. Dark rituals proceeded late into the night.
As much as Monhutch was mistrustful, he also enjoyed the money he was getting to stay out of it, not to mention the statue the sorcerers had built in his honor, with gnomish labor. He played nice, but he was only biding his time. The town was under constant watch.
When the sorcerers finished the temple, they left. They took their gnomes and moved south. Monhutch assembled a party to explore the temple. He never returned. Glenda took up the cause after her lover disappeared. She became the de facto ruler of the city. She raised an army, but I do not know to what end.
I wish I knew more, but I cannot access the books or histories within the City Hall. If I enter, Zoraida will know.”
Zoraida was my wife. How I met her, I do not know. What is written in the records is that we were married at the city hall, presided over by the judge. There was a large local ceremony. Shortly after we gave birth to a baby girl, Aurora. Records indicate that I spent city funds on Aurora’s birthdays, moving money around as I saw fit for my family. And then, on her fifth birthday, Zoraida turned on me.
I remember that day vividly. We had the town decorated and there was a large festival, with more nobles than even Matthew Sands has been able to summon. There were many gifts for the beautiful Aurora. But one set of visitors I did not know. Zoraida seemed to know them very well, she described them to me as old friends.
All the children … they were playing in the reflecting pool, when one of the visitors I did not know, I saw him kissing my wife. I lunged for him, and in that moment I was not watching the other. I heard screams. I suspected it was terror at my actions, but no one was watching me. The other man had transformed into some sort of demon, and he had the children trapped inside a ring of fire. I ran into the ring, and it was like… some other dimension. Zoraida and the other man entered after me. I called out to her to save our daughter. Zoraida calmly walked to Aurora, and took her in her arms. “Aurora belongs to me now. A part of me truly will miss you, but you were a fool for not seeing this day come. Say goodbye to your daughter, for you will not see her again.”
I did not say goodbye. I only stared. The demons gathered up all the children, and they all walked calmly out of the flames. The walls of fire died down, and it was as if nothing had ever happened. None of the townspeople acted as if they had seen what had happened, or as if their children were gone. It was as if they had all forgotten, all at once. But not me. I remember that day. I remember my daughter.
From that day I have devoted myself to the study of the ways of my ancestors. I will find Aurora. I know, through my powers, that she yet lives. But I am limited. Zoraida has placed many wards, many alarms, set to keep tabs on me. I cannot enter even the City Hall to get deeper records. She does not want me to re-learn the past, for it is there that the answers lie. Nor can I enter the temple.
You came here to attend a Nobles party, but you are not Nobles. Your purpose, your true meaning, is more noble, however, than material wealth. You have been sent by the Gods. I truly believe it so. You will set right what was made wrong. You will bring me justice. You will bring me Aurora.