Bunny Quest

By Penumbra

Special correspondent

It’s one thing to talk about bunnies and lost gold, and quite another to actually go in search of them…

Expedition planned

When Sir Harry D’Esmayed makes an appointment for my deluxe treatment, it’s clear that Something Is Up. So naturally, I foisted off all my other clients on the juniors (sorry, Geoff!), and made sure that Sir Harry could have my full attention for as long as he wanted.

He arrived right on schedule, looking better than at any time since he returned to Rivellon. He’d been “getting back in shape”, he confided. And the shape was superb.

Nonetheless, he also arrived restless and tense. It was several hours before he became relaxed and talkative, but it was worth the wait.

Sir Harry plans to lead an expedition into Yuthol Gor, in search of the fabled lost treasure.

Besides working on his exercise regime, which became a necessity for dealing with anger and frustration after the Divine One banned duelling, Sir Harry has spent long hours studying the recently rediscovered journals and spellbooks of his ancestor, the famed battlemage Sir Phillip. This project went from idle pursuit to serious undertaking when Rivertown’s own Kistandalius took an interest.

This is what Sir Harry told me:

Reclaiming the gold

It was Kistandalius who first speculated that the gold shipment, although legend claims it was turned into carrots, might still be recoverable. The soldiers, despite becoming rabbits, would still, he claimed, have protecting the shipment as their first priority. Over the generations, this inclination would have been inbred, with the result that bunnies now would still look upon that particular carrot hoard as something different… “sacred”, perhaps. His theory has convince military authorities, who have agreed to supply scouts and to help finance the expedition.

Restoring the gold, however, requires an understanding of Sir Phillip’s approach to spellcraft. And that is where the journals and spellbooks come into the picture.

Sir Phillip’s library… or rather, his lack of one, has long been a source of puzzlement to historians and family members alike. Any mage usually has an extensive library, and a battlemage of Sir Phillip’s stature would almost certainly have maintain detailed journals of his experiments. But the only books to be found at the family estate were the adventure series by Orc freebooter Coram Bloodclub, a couple of local histories, and three copies of A Child of the Chaos—one autographed, and another carefully annotated by an unknown hand. Only the Bloodclub volumes date back to Sir Phillip’s time.

Searches of basements and attics revealed nothing, and meticulous tapping of the walls in the mage’s study were to no avail. Eventually, the room was converted to a playroom for the children, leaving only the original worktable in place.

Sir Phillip's hidden cache
Some of the many volumes discovered.

Parents will not be at all surprized to learn that it was a toddler who ultimately uncovered the location of the hidden library. While Sir Harry was watching over his young niece one day, he found himself staring in amazement as the floor opened to reveal a hidden staircase. The girl had grabbed a leg of the worktable to pull herself up, and accidentally tripped the switch hidden by cunning workmanship in the intricate design of the wood.

The stairs led down to a tiny room filled with shelving. And on those shelves were the journals, notebooks and reference materials of his illustrious ancestor. The collection contained nearly all the classic works of scholarship, including a rare copy of Holy War by the mysterious “Adanor the Elf”.

During the months following the startling discovery, Kistandalius has carefully analysed the source material to reconstruct Sir Phillip’s unique spellcasting methods. From this, he was able to come up with the most likely series of events on that fateful day, and what may well be the key to restoring a fortune in gold.

The expedition is being backed by the Ars Magicana Merchants’ Association, the Central Rivellon Paladins’ Society, and the Warriors’ Guild of Verdistis.

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