SharilThe great library was silent and devote of all living things, minus one young Elvin female, an Avallis-vir. Sharill sat at one of the eighteen large ebony tables that were placed in the center of the library. She appeared to be deeply engrossed in one of her many books that lay in front of her. A plethora of books, scrolls and old notes sprawled in front of her. About three dozen in all, not including her own notes she has been writing for the last several hours. Born of royal blood, she was very content to be assigned to the Mages Guild instead of having to practice civics as her other siblings had done before her.', '

Sharill was very different from her siblings. She was shorter than most. Especially for an Avallis-vir. Lighter skin than most her race, it was more the colour of pale oak. Her hair was tawny brown with green streaks naturally throughout her hair. She also had quite an aptitude for magic. The Lord General always told her she was too honest and curious to make a good diplomat. However, he always said this with a smile making Sharill feel comforted. This was something she did not get from her own parents, sadly enough.

"Good evening", a voice came from behind. Sharill was not as startled as many would have been, she had the feeling someone was behind her. "Good eve to you. A wee bit late to be up and about no?" she asked as she turned around to see whom it was that had addressed her. A rather tall man stood besides the table behind her. It was void of books and scrolls unlike the table she sat at. "How can I help you sir?" she asked? Sharill was eager to get back to her studies, there was something specific she was looking for and had no time for strangers asking for directions. "Before I am rude once more, let me introduce myself." the stranger said. Smiling and pulling down his hood, he continued before Sharill could say anything else. In an apparent well rehearsed tone of voice the stranger said, "I am Baltison, Master mage, Chief executive to Lord Chambers, ear and advisor to his lordship, King Eos and personal friend to her Ladyship, Queen Ellest."

Sharill took a good look at him. He was wearing mage robes for sure. She had seen many of them in her time as a student at the Towers. Yet these appeared old and slightly unkempt. They were not a style she had seen before, especially not one of Abyomon or the Moore tailors. A slight shimmer came off of them proving they were enchanted. Embroidered runes lined the cuffs and edges of his robes. However she could not quite tell his age. "A glammer I''m sure of it," she thought to herself. He was probably much older then he appeared to most people, even to her. One of the benefits of magic is that if someone has the natural ability for it, they do not tend to age quite the same as the average human. Though age is not preserved quite as well as with the Elvin folk, whom all have some form of inherent magic, age does not affect a mage or sorceress for that fact, quite the same as mundane. Sharill smiled a small smile that spoke more than words ever could.

"Yes, I shall explain why I am here," the old man said. "I have found that I am in need of a few special adventurers to help me and the Lady Queen. And you are one of those few that could have a chance." he said as plain as if he was stating the grass was green. Holding out a small tapered scroll that was tied and sealed with a red silk cord, he told Sharill, "I have met several who command magic and you are one that has shown the brightest. The journey shall be dangerous, though I believe you shall find whatever it is you seek in life." He was correct, there was something she was seeking, however she doubted it would be found in adventure. "I am not sure I am the one you want then sir. I am not learned in the ways of the normal world, for my world is here with the books and dusty old scrolls. You see, I am a scholar only, not an adventure." Baltison just smiled and waited for her to continue. She took that note to do just that. " You see, I have never even been past the city walls."

Baltison took that as his cue. "You do not give yourself the credit you deserve. Beyond these shelves of books and scrolls lives more then you could ever imagine. Magic abound, and learning's of things you could only imagine. These dusty old books will be still be here when you return. But I must insist that you at least come to the City Gates at this time tomorrow. I shall answer all your questions you have when we meet again." Sharill was startled by his persistence, and had to admit to herself that she always wondered what it was like outside the city walls. She had lived a sheltered life. Baltison reached into his robes and pulled out a folded piece of paper and a small dark pouch. "Take this and get what supplies you may need." She just looked at his offer and replied, "Sir, you do not know me then as you say, for I have no need for money, my family provides for all my wants and needs." He just smiled. So she reached down on the table in front of him and picked up the folded piece of paper. When she looked up again he was gone without a sound.

"Now that is odd." she said out loud to herself. Usually she was one that would have
sensed magic, even if it was someone cloaking themselves. Especially if it was a teleportation spell. Slightly unnerved with the brief meeting, she heard the midnight bells ring in the tower. Something did not feel right, yet she was very curious. It was true, her family did provide for every monetary want and need. However, she had always wanted to explore beyond the city. Her family never let her, at least not past the gates. Unfolding the piece of paper she realized it was a map. However it was unlike any map she had ever seen. The land was some place she did not recognize, and it seemed to have the same shimmer of magic the old man had about him.
Examining the map closer she realized there was a puzzle written in an old ancient language. "I must find out what this is about." she thought to herself. Picking up the pouch of coins and pocketing both the pouch and the small map. She was going to get some rest then try to find out where this map is drawn from tomorrow. She had plenty of time. Yet for now, sleep might help her more tomorrow then not.

Sharill picked up the books she was reading, and gathered the scrolls, cast a levitate spell and brought them with her so she could put away. The library Mistress would not be happy at all if she left another mess laying about the tables. She had done that one too many times and the last time was banned from the library for a week. Now that was torture! As she put the last of the books away she noticed one sitting on the shelf that she had not seen before. She was sure she had seen every book in the library, even if she had not read it already. Yet this one, it was different. She did not recognize it. It was sitting side down with only the binding showing, tucked half behind the other books.

As Sharill reached for the book a sense of urgency came over her. She recognized he scroll work on the binding. It was the same as what was on the map. Forgetting about heading down to bed, she grabbed the book and sat down on the floor in front of the shelf. Reaching into her pocket with one hand and placing the book on her lap with the other she examined the scroll work and runes more closely. "These are the same!" she exclaimed out loud. "What is the same and what are you doing up so late little lady?" the Library mistress said from behind her. This time she was startled and practically jumped up in the air from her sitting position. She believed she actually jumped out of her skin. "I just found an odd note was all milady" Sharill said. The old woman had worked in this library for years and nothing really surprised her, especially when it came to Sharill. This girl would live in the library if she was given the choice. Mistress Claran knew this as well as she knew her own name.

"Well, do not be up much later, the midnight bells have already rung and you ought to be off in bed right now. Do you better scoot on over there before your mother hears of you staying up so late again." Turning around she slowly made her way back to her dorm. Sharill waited and listened for Mistress Clarans door to close, then tucked the book into her sack. She also placed the piece of map into a small pocket inside.

Sharill never went any place without her ragged cotton sack. Her father had given it to her as a birthday present when she was a child and it could fit several books inside with some room to spare. At one time, many years ago it had some of the most beautiful needle work done on it. Shiny threads of gold, silver and jade portrayed a garden scene of a girl on a swing. The swing was portrayed to be hung from a archway covered long ago, in flowering ivy. Yet now, many years later the threads only showed an occasional flower and a stem. The gleam of the thread long gone. Yet Sharill kept it always with her, almost as if it were part of her own being.

Feeling the book once more inside the sack and making sure it was secure, she stood up and sighed. "I had better be off as Mistress had said", she thought to herself. Mistress
Claran was correct in that her mother would throw a royal fit if she found out Sharill was still up at this hour. Glancing back once more to make sure she had put all the books and scrolls away, Sharill walked out of the library and towards her own chambers. The hallway was abandoned, as was expected this time of night. Only the footsteps of the guard sounded off in the distance. Her own feet made no sound however on the white stone floors. Her slippers made sure of that. Elvin silk. That is what she was told they were made from. Her aunt gave them to her as a present last year and told her it would help her stay out of trouble. Which was a good thing, since she had to walk right past her parents chambers.

Once she got to her room she tucked the sack under her mattress and prepared for bed. A quick bath, slipping on her gown and under the covers, she was ready. As she closed her eyes, she pictured the old man once again. "What a strange person. I wonder why he picked me and what he wants?" she thought as she drifted off to sleep.