It took them days of research to make headway. The first tantalizing hints were just that—hints. Oblique mentions of some past horror involving the Javni’Tolkhrah, but never anything clear. It was as if there was some agreement between the authors not to speak of the subject more.
It was Garkhen who at last stumbled upon a hint. Theorizing that, if there were indeed some agreement to banish all memory of something, it was more likely to have happened later rather than sooner, he had gone to some of the oldest-looking books on the shelf and started reading them carefully.
He frowned as he ran across one passage in particular. The Warder re-read it a couple of times, then looked up at his friends. “Look here. I believe I have found something.”
Almonihah, who had been focusing more on teaching Zakhin’Dakh to read than actually reading himself, looked up. “What?”
“This passage mentions a “Chainer” in connection with the Javni’Tolkhrah. It sounds possible, does it not?”
Almonihah grunted. “Were chains all over th’ Amulet,” he admitted, cautiously. “What’s it say?”
“Simply that ‘Since the Chainer’s death, the Chaos Mages have never again so threatened our world.’ From there it goes on to discuss the hunting of Chaos Mages,” Garkhen stated, a hint of disapproval in his tone.
“Hm. ‘Least it’s something,” Almonihah replied, not sounding very impressed. He looked over at the Mage-Archivist. “Chainer mean anything to you?”
Mage-Archivist Delanoche frowned. “Chainer… Chainer… Let me see…” He went over to another set of shelves in the room and started looking over the books there. After a long moment he pulled one off and opened it, flipping through.
“Ah, here it is,” He declared after several minutes of searching. “This passage discusses the summoning of Chaos Beasts, as practiced by ‘The Chainer’.”
Garkhen looked up at the Mage-Archivist, an unasked question in his gaze. After a moment, he asked, instead of the question on his mind, “What does it say of him?”
Mage-Archivist Delanoche scanned a couple of pages. “That the author’s opinion is that The Chainer bound existing Chaos Beasts to his will rather than summoning them. This is a book on summoning, you see.”
“Does it say anything about the Amulet?” Garkhen asked, gazing intently at the book.
After several minutes he shook his head. “No. He says nothing of relevance to our problem. Simply his reasons for why he believes what he does, none of which mention any artifacts.”
The group was silent for a moment, until Garkhen stated, “That does, at least, seem to confirm this Chainer is related to this subject, for the Amulet seems to have power over the Javni’Tolkhrah…”
“So we have a name t’ look for,” Almonihah finished, when Garkhen trailed off. “Something, I suppose.” After a moment he narrowed his eyes. “Something in here on ancient wars?”
There were, indeed, books on ancient wars, which led to books on war magic, and so on through many subjects. Slowly they were able to piece together a picture of the Chainer.
“To summarize what we have found,” Garkhen said a few days later, as they stood again before the remaining Archmagi, “This Chainer found some way to bind Javni’Tolkhrah to his will. If anyone knew it was this Amulet, there are no records here we can find of it. It seems that he used this power to wage a terrible war on one of the early human kingdoms, nearly overcoming it before they were saved by the intervention of the dwarves.”
“After which everybody decided t’ hush up about th’ whole thing,” Almonihah interjected. “Probably didn’t want anyone else getting ideas.”
“Unfortunately, as none of them mention the Amulet, we are left without definite word on how it might be destroyed,” Garkhen continued. “However…” He hesitated. “The records do mention that they had discovered the Javni’Tolkhrah chafed against their master’s power, for Chaos is ever ill-suited to servitude…”
“So our best guess’s that enough Chaos’d break it,” Almonihah finished. He growled a bit at the thought, but after a moment of displeasure, he added, “’nd if there’s enough Chaos anywhere, it’s probably in th’ Maelstrom.”
Apologies for the unplanned hiatus. Holiday time can be like that. It didn’t help that I was debating on just how to do a library scene.