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Tuesday, December 11

Terror in Freeport - Part 1b: The Marquis Moon

“Seems like the snakes like things neat,” said Kham, looking around the room.

The quarters were small; a single room perhaps twenty feet by twenty feet.

“I get the impression he drew a map of it when he moved in to use every inch efficiently,” said Sebastian.

The walls were invisible, hidden behind bookcases heaped with scrolls and shelves arranged with half-melted ritual candles, leaden icons and a large collection of brightly polished rocks. Staves, canes, and other ornamental trifles filled every alcove and fit snugly against the masonry.

Bijoux sniffed the air. “Incense,” she said. She pointed one claw at the stove in the center of the room.

There was little furniture. No bed, for one thing; the floor near the stove was strewn with thick, tasseled pillows. There was no desk either, although there was a portable writing stand pushed against one of the bookcases. Milos’ clothes were folded neatly and stacked against one wall.

“Spread out,” said Beldin. “Look for anything unusual.”

It didn’t take long. Sebastian held up a book. “I found this behind the shelves.”

The book was titled, “An Accounte of Metalls Base and Pure.” Sebastian handed it to Beldin.

“I’ve read this book before,” said the dwarf. “But it didn’t have this on the back.” He displayed the back cover.

Sketched onto the back page of the book was a full-page drawing of a lighthouse, covered with arcane mathematical formulas; arrows pointed to a number of blocks on the structure. In the margins was a recurring doodle: the letter “V” superimposed on a circle.

“Some of the books have been replaced,” said Bijoux. She ran one claw along the spine of “A Monthe Among the Horse-Rats.” “Some are covered in dust, others are not.”

“I think we need to have another chat with my friend Ficca,” said Kham. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:28 PM


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