Previous Update: Korag
by Wexiomatic, Crazed Porcupine, and CupcakeTrap
From the third round of island explorations.
18 November, 24 CLE—A monastery stands among the dark forests of the Monsku region, uninhabited for centuries but still intact. The monks and scholars who studied there met violent ends in the cataclysm, distant casualties of Valoran’s Rune Wars. The monastery is filled with weighty tomes on subjects both temporal and arcane, and was once a renowned center of learning, before their generations of peaceful scholarship ended in terror and death.
The monastery’s name was at first a mystery. The Ionians recognized a series of ideograms written over the entrance, which they initially identified as “Bookbook Palacefriendtown” but whose pronunciation eluded them. They later learned that this string of characters was pronounced “Sannig Kloster” in ancient Nyrothian times, though by then the name “Bookbook Monastery” had already taken hold among certain members of the expedition.
The great bulk of Sannig Kloster’s books had been displayed on the broad shelves of the upper floors for all to see, and their well-worn covers speak of many years of use. The enchanted spellbooks and thaumagraphic scrolls, meanwhile, were contained deep below in the monastery’s secure archives. It had been the monastery’s sacred duty to protect such knowledge and keep it safe from those who would misuse it.
The initial exploration of the monastery came to a frightening end when Ionia’s scouts discovered that the monks of Sannig Kloster had not abandoned this duty even in death. They had been prying open the cold iron gate that blocked entrance to the deep archives when the ghostly figure of a Nyrothian monk in his habit appeared before them. With a cry of outrage and a sweep of his hands, the ghost hurled them across the room by an unseen force. The scouts fled the monastery in a panic, and breathlessly reported what they had seen to the Summoners and Champions outside.
Whatever the cause—the monks’ uncommon devotion to their monastery, the violent force of the thaumic shockwave that ended their lives, or some combination thereof—it would appear that their ghosts still haunt the monastery. A second expedition of scouts and Summoners found that the attempt to open the archives had indeed awoken the monks’ spirits, who roamed the halls speaking to one another in ancient Nyrothian. They discovered, however, that so long as they stuck to the well-worn visitors’ paths and the public collections these spirits would not trouble them. (Indeed, on one occasion, a young Summoner named Sophie looked up from her painstaking translation of an ancient text to find a ghostly monk helpfully plunking a stack of related tomes onto her desk.) However, any attempt to remove one of the books from the library, or to directly transcribe them, swiftly resulted in the transgressor’s forceful expulsion, in one case through an open window.
Ionia’s Summoners find it quite remarkable that these ghosts have maintained as much cohesion as they have for so long. Communication has, nonetheless, proven virtually impossible: the ghosts become quite upset when they hear the Ionians’ clumsy attempts at ancient Nyrothian. (This is not an uncommon phenomenon when dealing with spirits of the deceased: distortions of things with which they had become familiar in life tend to aggravate the painful disjunction between the realm of the living and the twilight realm in which they now exist.) There may be more to “Bookbook Monastery” than its libraries—other Valoranians have yet to discover so many Nyrothian spirits in such a coherent form anywhere else on Nyroth. Perhaps the answers are to be found in the underground archives.
Gasps of shock spread through the monastery as Ionia’s Summoners saw Karma walk through the doors with necromancers from the Shadow Isles at her side. Some had even moved into fighting stances before Karma gestured for them to be at ease. She explained that these Summoners of the League, who happened to be pledged to support the Shadow Isles in the present dispute, had courteously agreed to lend their skills to the task of opening communications with the ghostly monks. Acknowledging that “their ways are not our ways”, she nonetheless beseeched those present to lend their full cooperation, for their divergent paths had led them to this shared task, for the sake of restoring to Runeterra learning which would otherwise be lost, and to give peace to spirits who would otherwise be consigned to an eternity of unnatural disharmony with the realms both of the living and of the dead.
Some of Karma’s Summoners heeded her words wholeheartedly; others silently resolved to keep an eye on these “spooks” from the Isles. But they all acquiesced to her instruction to cooperate, and by combining their talents, a conduit was opened through which they and the monks could speak clearly to one another. As was to be expected, the monks were still quite disoriented, their memories of life heavily fragmented, and stained with the final trauma of their deaths in the cataclysm. Yet through this channel the Ionians were able at last to fully convince the monks of their good intentions. Those monks whose faculties remained somewhat coherent agreed to open the basement archives for them, and led them down to the treasures of wisdom and arcane knowledge contained therein.
A devotee of the Kinkou Order was astonished to find an ancient Nyrothian text filled with diagrams showing the flow of life force, following a scheme virtually identical to that adopted by the Kinkou. Crucially, the text included the equivalents of many of the Kinkou’s secret teachings, which had been lost in Zed’s massacre. Karma granted the Summoner permission to bring the book back to Shen; he would later use it to repair the Kinkou Order’s curriculum and instruct the first acolytes the Order had seen since its fall.
The Summoners from the Isles gestured to the monks, and quietly commented to Karma that the channel between them and the world of the living was beginning to upset the spirits, as their senses returned and they began to comprehend what had happened to them. Karma thanked them for their earlier assistance, but coolly insisted that Ionians perform funerary ceremonies for the monks on their own, a request to which the Summoners of the Isles somewhat reluctantly yielded. Karma led her Summoners in a ritual that opened the astral pathway to the afterlife, and one by one the monks ascended.