The following are remarkably legible pages of parchment found drifting on the Cyan River not far from Anish University.
Bright Song 14, 1763
Yovan warned me that even though the Emerald Oracle had not misled him on any of his many past quests of enlightenment, The Crow said that it could not be trusted. The oracle is still a prisoner, a citizen of the city never-ending. The Crow had told him, this above all will always influence its answers. With this in mind I ask the Oracle one more question, how can I locate this Temple at the Edge of Dreams? It lies in the burrow of death where only the candles remains are found. This answer meshed well with the words scrawled in the pool of blood left behind by poor old Hagan. So now I have a name for the object I seek and directions to the otherworldly entrance of its resting place.
I decide to spend the evening before my departure with the Lady Demerest and her friends at the Heart Flame guild hall. She had managed an extravagant table once again, with the main course of roasted peacock stuffed with a delightful, but slightly spicy goose pate. The event allowed me one more opportunity to speak with Elizabeth before her emanate marriage. Her sky blue eyes filled with tears at my touch, but the passions within my heart could not be quelled. I promised her that tomorrow would be different, and I think I saw a glint of hope in her eyes. I wanted to show her the star, but a voice warned against that action. So, it is with my promise that I left her and the hall.
My need to be with Elizabeth was so intense that I ran, almost like fleeing my dark past, all the way to my flat in Torrin’s Hill. Be it my look of determination or an influence of the star, no incident occurred in the streets as I made the journey back. This was truly and unusual event for me or perhaps a portent of my quest to come. Once home I jumped into bed, but gave the Star one last look before taking my rest. It sparked with life bathing the room in a serine blue glow almost like I was drifting below the waves of H’roon Bay. Sleep came easily.
Bright Song 15, 1764
Last night I had a dream in which Elizabeth and I danced below the oceans waves through pillared ruins. Our dance ended in a garden of coral, anemones exploded in floral colors as we passed. The sun above sparkled through the blue waters above and finally to my beloveds dark tresses. I moved to place a chaste kiss upon her cheek when I saw a large beast moving through the coral garden. It was as big as a Lundy, with a body like a fish and the head like that of a squid. I turned to flee with Elizabeth in hand, but she did not move. I turned to her as she became enveloped in a black cloud of bone chilling ink. Tentacles grasped her and pulled her deeper into the darkness, until there was nothing. As I felt my panicked self reach for the watery surface and the waking world, I spotted the creatures eyes in the darkness. I have seen them before, the eyes of Rickard.
Despite the disturbing dream, I felt energized as I prepared for the quest. After packing what few thing I needed in my bag and slipping Trump inside my jacket, I departed to The Rum Turtle Inn. As I entered I saw that Yovan had gathered the men we needed and was explaining their duties. I took the time to ask the good lady Glidden to bring me a plate of her famous sausages and gravy. I sat next to the portrait of Saint Moorhead, and waited for Yovan to complete his business. When I had finished my meal Yovan introduced me to three men of our party of eight. He first turned to Brandon Toup, a hard muscled mercenary in charge of the other three unnamed men. Brandon had a firm handshake and a twinkle in his green eyes that made me like him at once. The same could not be said for Matt Staluir, a weasel faced man who seemed to sweat even in the cool morning air. Yovan explained that Matt knew the ins and outs of every borough this side of the Cyan. The final man was Marvas Phedelo with eyes so sunken and dark that, had I not known better, I would say that he was Malcavas. Marvas had a certain talent with locks; the Oracle had suggested that we might need someone like him.
After the introductions, we made for the street of Gray Lace as quickly as possible. Matt took the lead, using the clues given to us by the Emerald Oracle and Hagen’s last words; he quickly found the alley we sought. The alley was little more than a crevasse between several ancient buildings. The construction suggested a cultural phase which would not be possible for Vel Scurra, it was not Malcavas but more akin to the ruins found by The Imperial Exploration Society in the Duranina Isles. As we progressed a sense of foreboding overcame me with such power I was caught unaware, I noticed the others were taken back as well. Even though it was early in the day the clear sky seemed to dim, there was no cloud no puff of factory born foulness. It was as if the bright blue had become filtered by a theater gel, spot lighting us as the focal point of some comedy or tragedy. After what seemed to be hours, Matt indicated we had come to a dead end. I squeezed my way past the others and made it to where he stood.
The alley ended in a cul-de-sac which was slightly wider than the alley through which we had entered. To the left was a doorway, which led only two arms-widths to end at a seamless black stone wall. To the right of the doorway, was what appeared to be a stone facade which likely once flanked a grand portal, but has now been obscured by the structure in which the dead end doorway rested. The facade portrayed a raised horse and in several locations a coat of arms, which had been weathered so badly by the Vel Scurrian winters that the House could no longer be identified. Matt looked at me quizzically, and then stated that he could find no path, and no secret mechanism appeared to be present. I smiled and opened the ebony box which I had pulled from my bag. The Star of Eleuthisa glittered brightly, and then the water began to fall.
Events from here on are difficult to remember, but I do remember despair. There were endless steps where the water fell and I thought I saw figures moving from within. I know that at the time everyone was still with me. I remember the domed chamber, the crumbling walls, and the smell of rotting vegetation. We were no longer in Vel Scurra, I think, the atmosphere of the place was still cold and unforgiving but the air was warm, very warm. There are few summer nights, in Vel Scurra, that warm. Brandon had warned of serpents before he and his men vanished. This was not a Slyth ruin, I knew better.
It was Yovan, Marvas and I that stood before the gate. I saw blood dripping from Yovan’s head to the green and blue tiles that adorned the hall. I could no longer see my friend within his eyes, but the gate was all that mattered now. I think I saw Elizabeth’s face within the mirrored emblem, before I covered it with blood. The Star would not open the door, had the Oracle lied? Marvas wept in the corner repeating over and over about the Mad God’s Key. I walked alone in the halls calling to the Gods or Demons of this world to aid me. I believed that if I did not breach the gate then Rickard would win and Elizabeth would be his. At last I was heard, the master was heralded by the footsteps of many. I was not alone, there were many with needs. The master came and placed the answer within my ear, it swirled like a dream within my brain.
I now sit with my bride; she touches my hand as each of these pages drift along the sparkling blue waters. Rickard has lost, she is mine. I now have time to lose myself within the endless emerald depths of her eyes. I am Happy.
An exert from the text: Higher Order Mystic Artifacts, A Study Implemented by the Black Hand
The Star of Eleuthisa
It must be said that all information gathered regarding The Star is conjecture based on rarely surfacing rumors and the occasional page from Ethrin Lundell’s diary often found floating down the Cyan River. No one living has been located, which has first hand knowledge of the stone.
The Star of Eleuthisa is a pear shaped blue gemstone of undetermined type approximately 3.5 cm in circumference. It is often described as having a dim inner light which upon occasion brightens of its own volition. The light is usually linked to descriptions in which the owner feels as though he is submerged beneath crystal blue waters. The stone is regularly described as to being contained within a nondescript ebony cloth lined box.
The name of the artifact seems to indicate powers related to freedom, but accounts studied at the university contradict this. It does show powers of limited portation both of mind and body. All describe destinations; however, appear to be The Temple at the Edge of Dreams. The temple is an obscure reference to a Malcavas mythological local, where their apparently dead god of fate once resided. Portation to a single local can hardly be any indication of freedom.
It is the opinion of the Dean of occult activities at Anish University that the artifact, based on current data, The Star of Eleuthisa poses no immediate danger to the city of Vel Scurra. However, if recovered it is also recommended that the artifact be delivered to Anish University for study before it is allowed to be used within the main-stream community.
Dean of Occult Studies Anish University