by Grant Smuts

A strange correspondence between a member of Nothrond’s havarrĀ and a mysterious mystic known only as Q, suspected to be a member of the Legion of Streggan. The letter was discovered early one morning, several weeks after the havarr’s disappearance, when he is suspected of multiple crimes.

‘Lord Commander, we found this in his quarters.’

Commander Kridelus, lord of the eastern sect of the Nothrond Inquisitors looked up and saw Benera one of his finest officers, standing before him.

The Inquisitor took a small crumpled letter from Benera’s slender fingers, noting the smudges and the stains on it.

‘This has been read several times,’ Kridelus noted.

‘We believe that there were more, sir, but that he must have taken it before departing.’

‘What of the Ordo Adamas?’ Kridelus asked.

‘It seems they know nothing,’ said Benera.

‘Convenient,’ said Kridelus, reading through the note. ‘The havarr are proving to be more trouble than they’re worth, lately. I think that we need to speak to Forneus once more-‘

His voice trailed off as he read the letter.

‘Sir?’

‘I don’t understand this at all. What could it possibly mean? And why would this trigger his departure?’

‘I don’t know, sir,’ said Benera. ‘It might have been the other letters that finally spurred him to action.’

‘Perhaps,’ Kridelus mused. ‘We should see if we can uncover any more of them. Speak to his friends, all those he might have associated with. I will speak to Forneus, see what he has to say as his superior.’

‘Who else has seen this?’ Kridelus asked.

‘To my knowledge, only you and me, sir.’

Kridelus nodded. ‘Let’s keep it that way, until we can puzzle out its meaning. We need to find out whoever this Q is.

Landred Vhael

I know you have dreamed this as well. It’s time you uncovered the truth. Nothrond holds no more secrets for you.

Across a desiccated plain I gazed, my stare becoming fixed and firm by inches and moments, stretching across leagues and eternity. This skeletal wasteland, barren and bleached by a vicious sun, extended into enormity. I’d found – and this I know to be true – a vast abyss. Yet not black and deep as the imagination portrays but vast and golden, dry as endless space, bereft of life eternal.

It is as it appears to be – a land of death and nothing more. Onward on a hidden path beneath ramparts of pain and bone

while the winds of agony howl. I walk this forgotten place, and in this land of lost moments I feel my path renewed.

This is the utmost deep the furthest from the ever-turning heavens, sundered from true light across invisible chasms to this world of deep craters and jagged mountains – the hollowed out rib-cage of another universe.

I observe my own reflection in the haze of false heat, images of myself appearing before me I am a gaunt thing, thin and ragged, with a plate of bone across my face Hiding my features, hiding myself.

Upwards through the mountain path lit by golden lanterns, hanging in the fetid air. And dolmens of twisted stone point up to the summit. Something whispers on the wind

A voice older than blood and bone now calls me to the end. I remember a dream that I once had of darkened skies lit by the stars.

There is no truth here. Not while they still lie dreaming.

And I think you know that too.

Come to Streggan Keep. We will take back the dreams of men.

Q

 

 

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