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Beginning The Story

You claw your way up the steep rise; the snow impedes your climb but you manage to make it to the crest. After two full months of searching through the troll infested mountains, you finally see your goal, just over the next ridge in a sheltered vale. A small stream meanders through the twisting hills at the base of the mountains. There on the slopes, a lonely structure, your destination, long forgotten by the world. Not all the world, you remind yourself as you carefully make your descent down the ridge.

The wind bites your face as you pull the cowl of your cloak tight around you. It matters little now. You have almost reached it. The Archives of Ardieen, Keeper of Lunestriel. Thought nothing but a myth by most and long lost by all others, few ever hope of reaching it. Yet here you are. It is a simple structure, lacking detail and finery. But it is one of the most beautiful sites you have ever laid eyes upon. Within, countless tomes of knowledge sit just begging to be read. Decades of lost records lay with insight on obscure topics. Knowledge is power and power rules the world.

You follow the old, broken path towards the structure, your thoughts whirling around you. You pause as you reach the bridge leading to the gate. Looking down, you see the little stream ripple peacefully underneath you. A sense of accomplishment like nothing you have have ever known washes over you. You resume your march across the bridge, excitement and determination filling you to the brim.

As you pass through the gate, you spot an old, male Aaenshi shuffling hurriedly across the courtyard. He notices you, and stops abruptly a quizzical look on his face. Recovering quickly, he approaches you and as he nears, drops into a low bow, his arms outstretched. Welcome, traveler. You have journeyed long and far no doubt. You know this place, else you would not be here. Welcome to the Archives of Ardieen. Here our seers record the important events which transpire across Lunestriel. Within our halls, one may obtain knowledge and understanding. You must certainly desire comfort and rest but first, How did you reach us? We have not seen an outsider in nearly four centuries.

You tell of your journey as you follow him through the complex. You remark on the research it took to locate the approximate location and the trip to get here. Of the search through the mountains and the Ice Trolls and Glacier Toads. With those things guarding the Archives, it is no wonder they receive no visitors. The Aaenshi stops, the quizzical look returning to his face as he turns and says, It is not the trolls nor the toads that have kept visitors from reaching us, but the dragons. We have two old silver dragons which help protect our site from would-be intruders. Tell me, how did you get past them?

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The Gate-Stones of Lunestriel

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