Winter Blue Three nervously climbed the spiral staircase. In twelve years with the order, this was the highest level of the Tower of Stars that he’d been permitted to visit. The climb was actually getting fairly tiring, he had no idea how the senior scholars managed it – or indeed why an order largely comprised of genius-level intellects would come up with a system in which the more senior you were, the further you had to climb. Never mind that now though, Winter had been ordered to present himself to the Heptarchs, this was important.
“They’re waiting for you” sneered the clerk as Winter reached the antechamber. Winter knew that he was at least five minutes early, but he also knew that this was a common tactic used to establish dominance. No need to fall for that, right? As he approached the Cerulean Chamber, the doors parted before him, revealing a darkened room and a semi-circle of seven seated, hooded figures. Making the appropriate gestures of obeisance, Winter stood before them.
“Winter Blue Three, the time has come for you to serve your Order in the outside world. You will perform tasks of great importance.” It was impossible to tell which of the Heptarchs was speaking.
A different voice, again impossible to locate, continued, “We have become aware that the ancient city of Bael Turath has recently reappeared in this material world. Even now, scavengers and petty warlords descend upon it, not understanding what this truly means.”
“We note that you have excelled in your studies of ancient Tiefling history and works, and thus it is that we choose you to represent our interests in this matter. Any information you can gain to advance your own projects in these areas will of course be of great value to the order. However, there is another task that We require you to perform.”
“As We are sure you know, there are many holes in our knowledge of ancient Bael Turath. While Our collection of ancient documents is, of course, legendary, much of it proves thusfar impossible to translate due to our incomplete knowledge of the ancient dialect. If you are able to enter the returned city and acquire writings from this period, you will greatly advance our knowledge. Perhaps something written both in the old dialect as well as in a language We do understand, such as Draconic. This is the task with which We charge you.”
“Take and learn this ritual of Sending, you will use it to contact our agents. When you acquire anything of value, send to them and they will come to you. Also, take this stipend, use it to purchase some basic magical protections, you will need them. Our agents have also provided a name for you to contact – a young half-elf who has reportedly survived more than one expedition into the city. Join him, help him to achieve his goals while achieving ours, but remember, like all outsiders, do not trust him.”
“Oh, and it would be best if you took on an outsider name. There is something about our names that makes them react… uncomfortably.”