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Washed ashore

#1
Nymaeron opened his eyes. He did not recognise the ceiling, nor did he recognise the day and the time. The room he was in looked very simple. It was small in size, with very basic furniture such as a dresser, a table, a chair. The walls were white but few mould stains could be spotted especially alongside the window. The window would show a lonely cabin alongside some cattle pens, but then would extend to a vastness of blue beyond, just like the Western Sea.

He shuffled in the bed and got up. He had a major headache and his whole body was aching beyond anything he had ever encountered before. He tried to make a step but he couldn't find his balance and instead knocked the small dresser next to the bed. He heard footsteps approaching. The door opened, a figure in some sort of fishermen's attire came through. He looked old and scruffy, with a pipe in his mouth and an obvious limp.

"Ye alroite lad? There there, get back to bed. I think ye need to rest a wee bit more. Ye need anythin'? I know dae owner, i'm sure she can give ye a free meal as well as the free bed."

Nymaeron got up with the help of the old man. He sat down on the bed and tried to recollect his moment.

The last thing he remembered was that he was swimming without looking back. A bit later, he saw the foot of a pier on an island and he collected all of his remaining strength to get up. It took him a few tries but eventually he did. He had swallowed so much water while swimming, the first thing he did when he got on the pier was to collapse and throw up.

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He managed to stood up to see where he was. He didn't recognise this place. A small communal garden with lots of young people running around, surrounded by few integrated blocks of buildings that had various signposts of different crafts. The smell of fish nearby made him realise that this was the fishing dock of this little town. His clothes, turned into mere rags, couldn't shield him from the strong wind from the south. He got cold. He tried to walk towards to the town to find some warmth, but more important than his physical condition, he was concerned with knowing where he was.

Having used all his energy for swimming, he could only make few steps before losing consciousness.

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His memory came back to him, however he still didn't recollect anything before the time he got on the island. It could be some sort of a magical effect, or his extreme physical condition could be playing games with his head. He decided he needed to eat and rest a bit more. He asked for some food. The old man nodded, and started limping back towards the door. Before he left, Nymaeron, conquering his headache for a split second he uttered:

- Where am I old man?
- Th' name's Bill, and yer in what they call the Shelter Islay. This is where most adventurers end up aftae bein' lost. But yer safe now.

The door closed. "Safe". It was a funny word to Nymaeron. He lay on the bed again and forced his mind to remember how he washed ashore here.
 
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#2
After few hours of rest and some food, Nymaeron got up on his feet. He was still dizzy and was still not quite right in the head about the events that took prior to him coming to the island. However he did remember one thing. A black gate, in fact a moongate as wizards call.

He started gathering his things. By now he had realised that he was resting at an inn. The door opened, it was Bill again with some clothes. He handed them over and cackled:

- Yer looking much better now. I tell ye, 's the lamprey pie that Nyssa makes here. If it can't kill a man, it'll bring him up to his foot in no time. 'ere have these lad, yer clothes were barely usable, so we threw 'em away.
- What do I owe you, old man?
- 's alroite lad, maybe ye can help me some other time. Anythin' else ye need?
- You don't happen to have come across a black moongate, have you back in your sailor days?

The old man looked puzzled for a moment and shook his head.
- A black mudgate? 's that some sort of a pie?
- No, it's not. Nymaeron pondered for a bit. Is there a library around here? I may need some books.
- Beeks, what do you need beeks for? Roite, there's a library nearby, just to south west. They should have some beeks, but not sure if yer kind lad. You don't look the sort that would be meddled with that sort.

Nymaeron thanked the old guy, put on a new set of clothes and left the inn. He wandered to the wizard shop. The wizard shop reminded him of a familiar feeling, he had spent a considerable amount of time in a place like this. He stopped for a moment to recollect this memories, but they were still eluding him. He sighed and asked to the custodian about books.

He was pointed to upstairs where the books were held. Nymaeron climbed the stairs and saw what was a small library maintained by a bearded man with brown long hair, who was walking with the help of a stick.

- 'ello and welcome. What brings you to the place of the learning there?

Nymaeron looked around. There were a long set of books themed from human anatomy, animal lore, warfare, history and so on. He pondered for a bit and asked.

- Do you know where one can find about black moongates?

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The librarian pondered for a bit and with a tone of excitement asked back:
- Why do you need to know about black moongates? The last one was saw when the "Peace that never was", three years ago. None other has been sighted ever since. Have you seen one?
- I...I'm not sure. I...read somewhere about it and I was curious.

The librarian slightly squinted. He got up on his feet and went through the limited amount of books under a shelf labelled "The Arcane Lore". After a few minutes of shuffling books and pages, he returned with empty hands.

- I'm afraid there isn't much here. Probably was borrowed by someone else or we never had anything in the first place.
- Right, I see. Anywhere else that you know could have something about it?
- The obvious place that comes to mind is the Imperial Library of Prevalia.

His mind struggled for a brief moment, but this time it prevailed. Prevalia was the capital seat of the Prevalian kingdom, that he knew.

- How does one get there?
- There's a ship that goes there, you can take it at the docks.

Nymaeron thanked the book keeper and left. The librarian followed him with his eyes and then wrote few words on a scroll. He then sealed it. He cast a spell, his hands and scroll turned into fire and disappeared.
 
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#3
Compared to his last journey on (or more likely in) the water, this one was fairly pleasant.

The ship "Iaric's Wind" named after the famous king Iaric 1st, approached the large stone fortress that is known as Prevalia. Prevalia was the mightiest city Nymaeron had ever seen, and comprised of 2 stone islands connected by a bridge between themselves and one each to the mainland. Large towers rose around the grey bulwark, while archers populated most of the walls for an impending attack. Nymaeron heard the sailors talk about war in these lands and pondered what force would be inclined to attack this giant citadel.

Before leaving the ship, Nymaeron paid the captain with the gold he earned from helping miners clear a mongbat investation in Shelter Island. Despite not still remembering the time before his arrival to Shelter Island, his muscles hadn't forgotten how to fight. He was an adept warrior, and a few scores of mongbats were never a match for him. After paying the captain, Nymaeron asked where the Imperial Library was, got the directions and headed out.

He arrived at the library only for it to be semi-deserted. A scribe asked him what he was doing there.

- How may I help you, ser?
- I'm looking to borrow a book.
- May I see your papers?
- Papers? For what? I don't have any papers on me.
- I'm sorry ser, but books are strictly reserved for Prevalia citizens. You can understand we can't just hand books over to people and expect them to return. We would need to make a formal record for you.

Nymaeron sighed. It was not going to be easy.

- How does one become a citizen of Prevalia?
- You'd need to apply for it, an application will cost you 50 gold pieces ser.

Nymaeron checked his pockets. His post had allowed him to spare a bit more than the ship fee, but it was enough to pay the scribe. The scribe returned with some papers and a stamp.

- Your name?
- Nymaeron.
- Very well Nymaeron, please sign here. *stamps a document*

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Nymaeron signed the document. The scribe made a second copy and took it to a bookshelf nearby labelled "Civis". After carefully placing the signed copy he returned with a booklet named "Lex Prevalia".
- Very well, from this day, Nymaeron, you are a citizen of the Prevalia. Your rights as a citizen and the laws of the city and the kingdom are written in this book. I will need to get your application approved and then you'll be allowed to borrow any book that is accessible to Prevalian citizens. Please come later in the week and your application should be approved by then.

Nymaeron nodded and left the library. He needed to stay here for a while to get the information he needed. But first, he needed to eat. All that sea air had made him quite hungry. He made his way to the inn nearby, "The Three Madmen".
 
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#5
A week passed. Nymaeron received a message to his room at "The Three Madmen" inn that his application was successful and he had access to the city library. He went back to the library and found a very concerned Edwin the scribe when he asked about the books he previously had. They were gone.

- What do you mean...gone?
- An apprentice scribe took them for a field study somewhere in the Cambrian desert. He was supposed to be back by now, however we have not heard anything yet. We believe something undesirable may have happened to this man. I would normally go myself, however I have nobody to look after the store.

Nymaeron pondered.
- I can help you, scribe but I will need directions, I don't know where this Cambrian desert is...or even what Cambria is.
- Right, I've got something that can help you. *hands over two runes*. The other one is for the way back.

Nymaeron held the rune in his hand. He felt a faint pulse, but holding didn't bring any knowledge. He shook his head.
- Doesn't seem like I do.
- *smirking* You need a recall spell to use that. Do you have that spell in your spellbook?
- I don't have a spellbook.
- Right...okay. You looked and sounded like someone who would know all of this. I need to see if we have a spare one with the spell in.

The scribe led, while murmuring below his breath about what a trouble this has been. He found an old spellbook and gave it to Nymaeron.
- It's not complete, but it will do the job, up to 4th circle, see? *gives a small pouch*. Here's 10 of each magical reagents, this should be well enough. And these will be your payment for when you bring the book, don't expect anything else. Understood?

Nymaeron nodded. He wasn't sure what he was going to do with the spellbook and the pouch of some odd looking plants. He left the library, and went to his room. He opened the book and started reading about the reagents and the incantations within. They didn't make any sense. He decided to try it out - it was getting a bit dark, so he could perhaps see if he could extend the light to his eyes. He left the inn and went just about outside of the city. He saw a fisherman trying to catch a fish a bit far ahead. He smelled the sea air and took a deep breath.

He took a piece of spider silk and some sulphur powder. He uttered the incantation

- In Lor.

Nothing happened at first, but then light came to his eyes. The world around him got brighter. He panicked and looked around himself. He saw the fisherman putting a fish into his bucket,, a dog running around chasing a cat but each second, the world got even brighter. Suddenly, he lost sight of everything. He lost consciousness.

A while later, he opened his eyes. He was standing in an endless white field. He looked around and there was nothing.

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He ran left and right, looked everywhere. But there was nothing. He screamed but no voice came out. He collapsed. He didn't know what to do, he didn't know where he was and didn't know where to go. He was in despair. A bit of time passed. He saw a figure approaching. The figure suddenly disappeared and reappeared really close before his eyes. It was himself. He was looking at his own mirror image. The figure laid on with a very eerie voice:

- Do you remember now? Do you remember the abyss, 'Aeron?

It disappeared and Nymaeron collapsed again. When he opened his eyes this time, he was still in outskirts of the city. The fisherman reeled his rod again, the dog was still chasing the cat. It was as if no time had passed.

A familiar feeling came to him, he knew what words to speak to go where needed to go to look for this scribe. This was a sign that he was on the right path, he thought.

He looked at the rune given, took a mandrake root, blood moss and squished them with a black pearl. He muttered three words.

- Kal Ort Por.

The world changed around him. He was in Cambria now; he remembered this place. Something was wrong with his mind - he needed help. He tried casting a cunning spell, but it didn't work. He then tried an arch cure spell, still nothing. It was extraordinary how he remembered how to cast these spells or even how he remembered that those spells would help. His past memories was coming back to him, however he would only find himself if he continued forward.

He took a scroll, wrote a message and summoned a raven. The raven took the scroll and flew away north.
 
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