When I went to the loremaster, he was already gingerly sorting through a pile of parchment. He had six stacks of parchment, and at least thirty scrolls besides. There was a musty smell of the old leather and wax in which the texts had been wrapped, and the paper was slightly brittle. The loremaster and I were both gentle with every page, and yet we broke a few wafers by accident. The scrolls, having had their own separate cases, were slightly more preserved than the parchments.
A lot of the information was familiar; descriptions of horrors in the shadows and murder in the dark, tales of blood-stained streets and widespread horror. “The city reeked of fear,” said one account. It was decidedly uncaring… spoken – or rather, written – with no empathy. The same cold hand wrote most of the texts. One diary entry especially caught my eye – “The fools are trying to resist; some of the king’s men and the strongest settlers and miners… they think they can prevail. They’re only making things harder for the rest of us.” Strange words to utter in thanks to one’s protectors. What would the scribe have preferred the soldiers to be doing?
I found an account of soldiers killing one of the lurkers, but the corpse was dragged away by other creatures, and was therefore unexaminable. I hope there is another similar account where I can learn more about the lurkers.
When it got late, I asked the loremaster if I could take some of the later-dated scrolls and parchments with me. I want to go over them myself in the guardhouse. He was hesitant until I showed him my strong otterskin case, and then he let me take as many as I could gently fit.
I shall dream of lurkers, surely. Curse the dark.