Seekers of Lore
My esteemed colleague Hadrael,
I have acquired a remarkable document. Like many discoveries, this was an accident of fate, circumstance, or coincidence. A vendor of old books and manuscripts sold me a lot of documents from the reign of the Ninth Tetrarch of Thindar. The woman thought she was cheating me. How could stacks of old inventories or building permits be of value? But I pay well to ensure that I always get the first look at new stock.
In past ages, high quality paper, parchment, and vellum have often been expensive. Scribes would erase old documents and reuse them. These palimpsests sometimes reveal kernels of knowledge that can change one’s view of the world.
This brings me back to the lot of documents from Thindar. Hidden beneath a list of mundane foodstuffs I discovered a fragment of a remarkable tale. I have scrambled to find the rest of the story, but the bookseller was unable to recover any other documents from her source.
The text was written in an offshoot of Old Bitterian, so the translation must be considered provisional.
I held the disk within my hand. It seemed to be carved from a single green gem. Yet it was hollow! Within, tiny gears and escapements audibly ticked. What craft made this treasure? I could find no holes or any cracks for an artificer to insert tools. I saw no way to wind it or provide motive power. In all the days I held it, the gears ever turned without slowing or stopping.
Inside I saw a needle or pointer. No amount of violent shaking could alter its position. I let Alinder hold it to see for himself. He exclaimed when the needle moved. Then he disappeared…
Colleague, recall that Scholar Rinshawe mentioned in passing a strange man named Alinder. The man suddenly appeared during the reign of the Great King Hammanadi with an object many believed to be the Emerald Compass. The man claimed to be from Malathindar, the famed predecessor of Thindar. The Great King confiscated the object and Alinder disappeared from history. I know you often believe my conjectures to be wild and unfounded. But I urge you to think upon the text I have translated and what it might imply about the true purpose of the Emerald Compass.