Adventures in Thargothras

Talabyr's last letter

The Damaros family in Healey claims to have an original copy of the last thing written by the sage known as Talabyr. According to the family legends, the letter was the last of many correspondences with Eugenia Damaros, a fellow historian and a fan of Talabyr's work. The previous letters are either lost to time, or hidden somewhere in Ryany Castle. Only this letter was discovered in 902 among Eugenia's personal possessions after her death in 871, being used as a bookmark in a mystery novel. No connection between the novel and the letter has been found, and it is believed to have been the bookmark for several books in a row.
While the letter itself is considered too fragile to remove from its display case in one of their family museums, they have allowed a detailed transcription to take place on occasion, and so, for a fee, a copy can be obtained by anyone seeking to sift the document for clues on the location of her "hidden library." Though this letter is one of the largest pieces of evidence to suggest such a repository of secrets exists, no one has been successful in finding it, even with the letter. Even so, there is no shortage of people who consider themselves treasure-hunters or field scholars looking to purchase a copy anyway. The contents of the letter are presented here:

Dearest Eugenia,

Thank you for your assistance in the matter of keeping my discovery protected. I am still afraid. At night, I watch the shadows, and see eyes in the dark where I know there to be none. The weight of what I know is an anchor, keeping me from venturing too far beyond the walls of what was once my summer home, and now, I fear I will never leave the city. I cannot trust the connections I have found not to be known by others who would wish to keep this knowledge safe. Safe from nosy people like me. I know I cannot keep what I have collected, but it seems a terrible sin to let the knowledge be lost entirely. But I have fallen into Felclef's grip, and I can see no escape. Don't bother keeping the key that I left with you. I have changed my mind. Throw it into the sewers, and think on it no more. Anyone who comes after me will come after anyone else. Hide in the safety of your household and live a long life filled with books and paintings. Try to forget our secret. I hope you will keep fond memories of the clearing, as it was in brighter times, and not let the memories be tainted by what happened there later. I know I have always said that the pursuit of truth is the noblest cause, but now I know why some knowledge is forbidden. I hope that in the coming weeks you will remember that I said this, and feel better about my withholding of information from you. This is my last letter, to you or to anyone else. I have already finished all of my other correspondence, and arrangements have been made in the certain event of my death. I shall miss Healey, and I shall miss you. May Ivideme have mercy on me for what I have done, but I must believe it is for the best

Goddess bless,
Ella Talabyr

It is confirmed that the handwriting of the letter matches other samples of Talabyr's handwriting, and that the date is consistent with the last day of her life. Shortly after this letter was sent, Talabyr's house was burnt down. No culprit was found, and many suspect that the fire was started by none other than Ella Talabyr herself. Inquiries were made about the key mentioned in the letter, but so far, if anyone has found it, they either do not know its significance, or are actively concealing what they know. It is most likely that the key is still in the sewer, as Eugenia was instructed, corroded beyond use or recognition. The reference to both a key and a clearing in the woods is one of the driving forces behind the rumor of a secret vault of knowledge, and it is known that a few of Talabyr's closer associates died shortly after her, some under mysterious circumstances, such as unlikely accidents, and at least one clear murder. Again, no culprits were ever found, but it is worth noting that none of the victims had any keys, even their own house keys, on their bodies, and there is evidence that keys were stolen from their persons and their homes. Naturally, these events are fertile ground for conspiracy theories, but all trails are cold.



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