The 12 Spheres

Letter to Thad

Dear Professor Thad:

We have a moment now, and I wished to pause and write to you to further explain my previous note, which was written with more haste than I would have preferred, because I wished to enclose it with the bottles which we discovered. I hope that you will write back soon and tell me that you have had the good common sense to follow it and refrain from drinking the contents of those bottles, particularly if they turn out to be the “partial polymorph potions” we discussed earlier! I am deeply concerned about the implications of the discovery, for reasons which I will detail below.

First, however, let me give you a brief summary of our progress to date. I have previously included an inventory listing of items which we discovered in our trip to the armory. Further exploration of the building proved to be impossible given the large number of clockwork golems occupying the premises. It seems that these golems are made by a series of magical devices which assemble the required pieces without the need for any sort of flesh-and-blood supervision. Though many of these devices appear to be broken beyond hope of repair, others appear to be fully operational. It seems that these devices have been patiently building golems without significant interruption for many years, perhaps since the fall of Freeport itself, and there are now so many golems that there is scarcely room for them to stand. We discovered at least one room where they were waiting, shoulder-to-shoulder and toe-to-toe in neat rows, in an area the size of the university campus.

I hope you find that statement as alarming to read as I find it to write.

We have blocked what I hope is the only passageway out with a large stone, but this is unlikely to hold forever. Fortunately the golems lack direction, but they are numerous and extremely strong, and if it ever happens to occur to one of them to move the obstruction, they would certainly be able to do so. (On a more positive note, if we were so fortunate as to be able to gain control of them, we might have an army of sufficient size and ferocity to give the King of Blood a run for his money if he should ever decide to invade.) That, however, is a judgement for the future.

Although we camped after a long and exhausting day, we left the armory in the morning, and proceeded to the Tower of the Wizard Xavier, at which we arrived safely. We were bothered en route by a pack of goblins who attacked us; luckily my companions are skilled with their blades, and they were dispatched with no casualties taken on our side. We made some effort to hide them, but I feel certain that the minions of the King of Blood will locate them eventually.

Nevertheless, we are here.

We have made an ally of sorts, of a certain shambling mound who had taken up residence in the foyer. If you recall, shambling mounds are golems which are made up primarily of masses of plants and flowers (this specific golem seems to be constructed mainly of grasses, ivy, and a large patch of wildflowers.) As you can imagine, this one has taken quite the shine to River, our mud elemental.

The rest of the inhabitants of the tower have proved to be more problematic. In one of the former classrooms, we discovered a gibbering mouther, and it is this creature which has caused me such alarm. I enclose a sketch.

This was neither a natural nor constructed being, and its encounter has caused me considerable alarm, though I am happy to say that it is long since dispatched. Simply put, I am certain that this creature came into being because it had been polymorphed too often. My suspicion is that, at some point in the past, it was some sort of natural creature, who came upon the very potions we seek, and drank too many of them.

I am deeply disturbed at this thought. I had originally envisioned the partial polymorph potions as something similiar to potions which are available today, which heal or which can cause some short-term effects, (allowing crops to grow overnight, for example,) but whose powers dissipate in a day or so at the longest. It is true that drinking too much of certain potions can cause a number of undesirable repercussions, but there is no currently known potion which is capable of creating such a monster – or there wasn’t, before today.

Discovering this thing, and imagining what it might have been in the past, has frightened me. When I was a child, I was taught that the Words of Life were written in minute lettering upon sacred spirals, and that these spirals were reserved for the writing of the gods. No Eladrin, no matter how old, wise, or studied, might attempt to change these sacred spirals, or to try to write spirals of his own. To do so would be to invite ruin. The creature we encountered was the exact sort of thing which I was warned about during my school years upon the Misty Isles: formless and void, neither living nor unliving, a thing of such misshapen horror that all who encountered it would flee in terror.

If these are the partial polymorph potions, I beg you not to drink them! I realize that it is not my decision to make, but at this point, I would just as happily see them destroyed.

Your servant, Miasaki



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