Whispers of the Prophet
The gith book
An ancient book, from the Red (or maybe Green?) Age of Athas
The book is ancient, its age defying any general attempt (so far) at determining how old it is. Its pages are river-reed papyrus, a kind which hasn’t been possible to make since the Green or early Red Age, bound in some kind of leather (possibly/probably tanned human or gith skin). Despite its age, the book is in surprisingly good condition, preserved by a barely detectable tinge of hard-to-identify magic. Beyond that, the book itself does not appear to evoke or contain any magic… so far.
The text is unintelligible, written in a script that is clearly gith, possibly in the gith tongue before that race fell into mindless barbarism — Farhan’s hired scholar was unable to determine what it was. In the pages of the book, however, a more recent scroll made from contemporary Athasian papyrus (typically made from the bark and pulp of the ubiquitous, hardy grackl tree that grows all over the Tyr region, even in the desert), has a few scrawled phrases in Common speech/script:
“Where’s the devil’s horns thread the tunnel to the skies, a stony visage never blinks its hollow eyes…”
“… beyond the gate of dusty death, behold the Face in the Stone…”
“… the Wyrm awaits … a crown for the Lord of Dust…”
“The book” was given to Farhan Oquarta (goliath, ex-soldier-turned-rich-merchant/fence) by Dathan Shom of House Shom for Farhan to assess/determine its value. Dathan also believes it may be a clue that might aid in the investigation (and hopefully recovery/rescue) of a House Shom caravan, bound for the Dwarvish iron mines of Kiriak, which has apparently disappeared somewhere in the Ringing Mountains northeast of Tyr. Three days out from Tyr, the caravan leader apparently found the book on a dead gith nomad in a cave near the caravan campsite. Deciding that it might be of immediate interest to House Shom, sent it back with some caravan scouts/fast riders back to Dathan in Tyr. When the caravan scouts rode back to catch up with the caravan, it found no trace of the caravan, and no indication that the caravan journeyed much further than the campsite. Before they could investigate further, tarek raiders set upon the scouts, killing all but one, who returned to Tyr to tell Dathan the tale of the lost caravan.