It was a nice little house, just at the edge of the city. It belonged to Mrs Summerday. Just like her name indicated, she had a sunny nature. So sunny, in fact, that she just had to tell you her entire lifestory once you entered the cozy little teashop that was located on the ground floor of the house. After the first step you would know about her father; what a good man he had been, always working so hard to feed his family, you see, but still finding time to spend with his kids on the weekends and the Gods bless his for it for it was always so fun to be with him... After the second step, you had been informed about her mother; such a kind woman, and the best cook in the world, you just should have tasted her pickled oranges, nothing better in the world, though there was that little 'desserté' from Glanath which is just divine, but they don't get that anymore because the wagondrivers are on strike, you see, which is unfortunate because...
By the time you reached the little terrace, you had heard Mrs Summerdays entire lifestory. And that of her parents, husband, children, neighbors, aunts, uncles, two dogs, three cats, goldfish, mirror, teashop, house and the little brown bird that came here twice a year - once when he went north for the summer and once when he went south for the winter. And Mrs Summersay was so good at telling you something that you already listened. It was an experience unlike any other. When you were left standing on the terrace, with the menu on your hand, and with your own introduction ("Hello.") still on your lips, you started to realize what had just happened. And your mind tried fiercely to tell you that it wasn't even possibly to get told that amount information, and especially not is such a short short span of time.
It was in this situation that Musalis found herself. It took a while for her to come back to reality, to remember what had happened to her. Her own life had for a few moments been drowned in the lives told by Mrs Summerday. But there had been something important in her life, hadn't there? Something about a library... as she started to forget parts of the things Mrs. Summerday had told her, her own memories flooded back in. She had been attacked in the library, but managed to win the fight, and get the book.
Ah, yes, the book. It was a sore spot in her conscience. Though she really needed it in order to confirm if there was a conspiracy against Ochre, Musalis didn't like stealing. But she hadn't really had a choice - the library was clearly not the safest spot in DI. She had tried to appease her conscience by writing a note explaining why she had taken the book, leaving some money for loaning it, and having the clear intention of returning the book once she was done with it. And still some part of her said that it was wrong to take the book without asking.
But the book was important, so she had taken it anyway. And then gone to the one place where a skeleton wouldn't be expected - someplace that had the sole purpose of serving food or beverage. It was the one place skeletons just didn't go, because they didn't need to. She had come across a few inns (two, to be precise - "Ye new ol' inne" and "To the three bears and one chicken"), but inns weren't good enough. Though technically skeletons didn't sleep, some time to rest was always appreciated. So it wasn't too uncommon to see a skeleton in an inn. And after that, she had come to Mrs. Summerdays Little Teahouse.
That brought her up to date with her memories. And she had already nearly forgotten everything she had been told by Mrs. Summerday. There had been something about her brother who had worked for some dwarfs... and something about flying pigs... and it was somehow tied to the second assassination of a drow queen (the first had failed).
Musalis looked around. Again, her mind hadn't had capacity for that while being led here by Mrs Summerday, so she first now consciously saw the little teashop. The walls, floor and ceiling was covered in smooth light dark wood. The walls were covered with lots of little pictures. Musalis saw a smiling cup of tea, a cow in a dress with a bottle of milk and a little sugar-cube which had been painted to look as cute as possible. The tables were a little darker wood-sort, and cut with artistic finesse to a degree almost to small for the eye to see. As far as Musalis could distinguish, it had been carved into the shape of flowers, covering the four slender legs of the table. Actually, the legs seemed to be too slender, Musalis wasn't sure how the managed to bear the weight of the table. The chairs seemed similarly brittle.
As for patrons, the tea-shop was surprisingly empty. There was a younger couple sitting in one corner, staring in each others eyes, lost for the rest of the world; and an older man sitting in another corner, and staring holes in the air. Everyone seemed to be staring, and they hadn't noticed Musalis. The little terrace was empty, with only two small tables, while the main room had five. Musalis wanted some privacy, so she took one of the tables on the terrace.
Then she studied the menu. It became quickly clear that it had been written by someone who was very interested in the finer parts of society, but didn't really have a grasp on how it worked. But tried to act as if she was a fine lady anyway.
(1) Nothern herbblend (Tea)
(2) Le thè avec le herbes (Tea)
(3) Southern 'čajs mlijekom' (Tea, with milk)
(4) L'eau bouillante à base de plantes (Tea)
Musalis skipped to the end of the menu, where she found one entry for coffee, and one for hot chocolate, right after "(264) Miryenda a'lourn (Tea, with a hint of citrus)". Chocolate... well, why not. She couldn't drink it in any case, but it would be rude not to order anything. And chocolate somehow gave a feeling of... calmness. Just having a steaming hot cup of chocolate in your hands was enough to relax.
Mrs. Summerday came to take her order. Musalis ordered the chocolate once Mrs. Summerday made a pause in telling her that the entire incident with Gauge and Drakol fighting that everyone had been talking about some time ago had been a farce, nothing but rumors spread to frighten young people from going out into the world, and what would become of the people when noone dared to venture out, weren't it those journeys that shaped young man and made then...
Once Mrs Summerday had left, Musalis sat down in her chair, careful not to break it. Maybe that had been a breach of manners. Were you supposed to sit down before you ordered? It was so hard to remember table manners when she never ate. She'd have to find another book on it in the next library she came across. Or when she brought the book about temples to Ochre back to the library.
She still hadn't looked in the book.
It was just a frightening prospect. Musalis suspected that someone was killing off musicians, especially Ochres followers, and also burned his temples. The book was the "Record of temples of Ochre.". All major Gods had lists of their temples printed at least once a year. The edition she had was only a few weeks old, so if anything was wrong... she would find the proof in this book.
Mrs. Summerday came to bring her her chocolate. Thankfully, she was talking to one of the customers inside, and not to Musalis. Musalis waited until she once again was alone, and the took a solid grip on the cup with her left hand. There wouldn't be a better time to open the book than now. The sun was shining, the sky was a clear blue dotted with only a few white clouds. She had a great view of the countryside, was alone and had a cup of chocolate a a mental anchor. If she ever could hope to stay remotely calm while opening the book, it was now. Collecting all her courage, Musalis opened the book.
First Temple of Vallandar - Destroyed
Ochres Temple of the Upper Guardian City - Destroyed
Main Temple of Feyluse - Destroyed
Temple to Ochre, Reign - Destroyed
Musalis vision got cloudy, as if tears had filled her eyes. They were made out of sadness. The word 'Destroyed' seemed to jump at her from the page, over and over again, until it filled her entire mind.
"... Destroyed ...
... Destroyed ...
... Destroyed, Destroyed, Destroyed ..."
Map of DI