Phantasmagoria - Chapter 15

Author: Dave


A few days had passed since the return of Chells and Kelloran from the past.  Each seemed burdened with his own thoughts, and with the snows finally receding, Thomas was ready to do some heavy contemplating of his own.  He sat in his shop, eyeing the dozens of labeled vials, bottles and jars he stocked and sold.  For some reason, the last few years had brought a considerable drop in sales of his once invaluable alchemical items.  Whether it was other townsfolk gaining the ability to cast healing spells or finally using a stockpile of saved items, he did not know.  Lately, he had been his own best customer—with crawling through the miasma under the Temple of Thorns & battling the Demon Khan—but even he could produce much needed healing potions or avoidance dusts on the fly, so therefore, very little money was being placed in the coffers of the Morning Star Apothecary.  He had to do something.

He first traveled to speak with Yazminch, the former alchemist of Fallenstar.  Her wisdom and influence had helped Thomas make the decision to retain his current class.  As he reached her resting place in the White Stone Cemetery, Thomas cleared the fallen leaves and weeds growing around her gravestone.  Calling upon his magic, the alchemist reached out with a second sight to view the condition of her spirit: White.  Good—he could see her spirit moving along the vast shelves in her laboratory—gathering ingredients and tools to assist her in her work.  Next he beseeched Allahn to grant him the knowledge and ability to speak with the spirit of the now dead Yazminch.  The connection was made and he began to speak:

“Greetings master & pardon the interruption.  I know you have helped me with unknown formulas in the past, Yazminch.  Is there any other secret procedures you know of that I could add to my inventories?”

A ghostly, yet strong reply came from the woman, “Thomas—or should I say Sir Thomas? Yes, we have heard of your recent “promotion” to the ranks of Knight with Allahn.  I understand you were instrumental in his being awoken from his slumber with the help of your friends, Raith, Chells and Kelloran.  It was only right the Candleman reappoint you to his special favored.  I am most proud of you.”

“Unfortunately, many of the alchemical items you now possess are in fact, ones I developed or had passed down to me through the years.  My advise would be to consult one who has been around longer than me to see if he knows of some ancient formulas or the place where they could be found.”

“My thanks m’lady.  I will speak with you again anon.”

Hardly discouraged, Thomas broke the connection with the master alchemist and did a quick inventory of his spells.  He also checked his stock of Protected Speak with Spirits and Protected Graves Tongue potions as he headed toward the Dusk Ground Cemetery.  He knew he might have some trouble extracting information from the Forgotten Alchemist, but it was worth a try.

He crossed the dried up streambed and deftly worked his way through the fallen branches and briars that surrounded the areas around the graveyard of the ancients.  He scanned the hallowed grounds and proceeded to the outskirts of the area—where he had placed the stone and hopefully, final resting place of the nameless one.

With no regard for his clothing, Thomas sank to his knees into 2 inches of think mud and prayed to his patron deity.  The knowledge he gained of the greenish hue of the spirit if the Forgotten Alchemist made him realize he would not need the potions he had inventoried earlier.  Again, he asked Allahn to grant him the knowledge to speak with the ghostly form before him.

“Greetings Ancient One. I come to you seeking your vast knowledge and wisdom of alchemical lore of old.”

The elderly man looked up from an old wooden mortar & pestle—one very similar to the one in the Morning Star Apothecary.  He stretched and eyed Thomas suspiciously.  When the glimmer of recognition crossed his face, he finally spoke, his voice like silvery mercury

“Greetings young apprentice.  Lore you do seek? Well let me speak.”

What followed was a monologue that would have left the Enigmatic Babbler impressed.  Thomas feverously wrote down most of what the ancient man said in his journal, knowing he would have time later to sort through all that was said.  When the connection with the ender spirit was ended, the younger alchemist appeared weary and spent, but a smile of satisfaction was etched in his face.

He headed back to town, clutching his chronicle and took long strides to make it back to his shop.  After spending some time reviewing his notes, he packed up a few belongings, slung his backpack over his shoulder and sheathed his broadsword.  He knew this would be a rewarding journey—similar to the one to the Riven House or Candle Keep.  Thomas locked his shop up tight and headed east.  He realized he might be gone a few days, so he stopped by the Tavern to add some rations to his pack and refill his water skin.  He tossed a few silver coins into Raith’s lock box and re-checked his notes.

“I’ll be back well before the summer season”, he thought to himself with determined approval as he headed toward the Annals of Alchemical Antiquities.