Winter in Hieron 02: A Museum in the Distance

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Episode description[edit | edit source]

Has the news reached you, friend? A group of merchants from Rosemerrow told me today that a new wing to the Old Museum in Westshore-Upon-Sea is opening next month. (How I wish we could walk its halls and debate the merits of its exhibits—but ah, it’s more than snow that separates us these days.) So instead, let me ask you a question, dearest Arrell

The Creed of Samothes is clear that Truth is a reflection of His Holy Light, and should be pursued above all else. Yet I recall from our early lessons that you hold a case for falsehood, too. ‘Even His Sun,’ you told me ‘is a well-meaning deceit, as it appears above us, celestial, yet was built from (and some say, remains in) the ground itself.” I will not open old wounds—I do not want you to convince me of this heresy—I only wonder: Do you still believe it?

Yours, always, in heedless faith…

This week on Winter in Hieron: A Museum in the Distance

Alyosha, in your ardor (for me or Samothes, who can say), you have misremembered my lesson. I never said that a false history was preferable. I simply said that all histories are false, and that it was our duty to choose the ones that suit us best.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Lem, Fero, Fantasmo and Ephrim have joined together as a matter of convenience, as each one of them wants to steal something from Rosemerrow's New Old Museum on the night of the opening of a new wing. However, as the episode opens, they find themselves pursued across the city rooftops by a gnoll.

Love letters[edit | edit source]

Fantasmo has spent much of the past three months trying to learn about the Disciples of Fantasmo by entering a self-imposed magical coma which he must use to browse his memorized version of his personal library from the University. By researching the symbol of three vertical lines found on the ring of the murdered Gregalos, he learns of a pre-Erasure sect at the University which was called the Disciples of Samot, who were aligned with Samot in a civil conflict and, according to his books, helped stave off great disaster. Because Fantasmo believes Samot to be an old friend, he finds this to be a relief. He also learns that they were interested in asceticism and the study of one's own capabilities, with very specific research interests. Another note cross-references a volume Fantasmo never got to read, because it was always taken out his former student Isaac Adelton, a halfling whose interests extended beyond magic to archaeology and history. Fantasmo believes that Isaac, who never graduated and is now associated with the New Old Museum, still has that volume.

Ephrim has come to Rosemerrow to take over the church's missionary duties for Exarch Alyosha, who was called away to be the church's interim prelate in Velas following the death of Prelate Lucius. Ephrim's provocative and flamboyant presence has energized the church's efforts in Rosemerrow, especially since his abilities to control flame are immediately useful in the new winter climate, and he has even made connections with the political elite, and worship of Samothes is spreading quickly and fashionably. Ephrim's interest in the museum is twofold: he has general interest in history and old fairytales, and he is looking for an old ring of Samothes that will supposedly enhance his fire powers and aid in his quest to undo the blizzard consuming Hieron.

Fero has spent a lot of time alone in the last three months, escaping into the woods and mountains. He notices a new animal, a giant poisonous vole which can burrow through stone, and gains the ability to take its form. He also notices that a species of mountain termite which used to be common is now entirely gone from the ecosystem. Upon his return to Rosemerrow, Fero is struck by the rapid expansion the city has undergone. Fero wants to find a chest made by his father, because there were pictures and letters stored inside when the chest was given to the museum that he wants back.

Several months ago, Lem received a note from Morbash, who is still displeased with Lem's theft of the magic fiddle but was impressed with his investigation of Gregalos's murder on High Sun Day and wants Lem to do well. In the note, Morbash says that Lem can come back into the good graces of the New Archives if three things happen:

  1. Lem must return the fiddle as soon as possible.
  2. Lem must recover the final five volumes of a gnoll dictionary from the New Old Museum[1], which could confirm whether the things in the museum are gnollish. It is stored in a vault, not on display. This is normally Morbash's job, but given the snows, he has other places to be.
  3. Lem must care for a spice plant and bring it back to the archives. While in Velas, Morbash was cultivating a type of thyme which only grows in Velas. He had a collection in a greenhouse, but the glass shattered in the blizzard and only one plant survived. He did not have room to take this last plant with him, and thus the job falls to Lem.

Lem straps the plant in his archivist's backpack, surrounded by hay and feathers to keep it warm. He also asks Fero to help him care for the plant, and the night before the heist, Fero and Lem are leaning close to observe it when the plant coughs something into their faces and they find themselves dazed & confused.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The item Lem is looking for is initially stated as a painting but retconned towards the end of the episode.