1209 RE-- The Jhalevi Collection
Date: Autumn, 1209
Outcome: Oresund obtained most of the collection; legality still disputed.
Parties: Library of Dunaldur in Oresund, University of Luzerne, Redwood Throne, Dumia the Homunculus, Geofferic Illkairen of The Imperial Scribes, Trygg Hakon, Redwood Throne Agent6.
This collection was assembled at great expense by the Akathian Ritualist Sirkast Jhalevi, over the course of the past hundred years. A young man at the founding of Victor's Hall in 1104, he lived to see its dissolution in 1204, over which time his collection had grown to over 500 tomes, journals and fragments. He employed a number of treasure hunters(pcs, potentially) in his time, acquiring works from the Hall of Seven Bones, Petra's Hearth, the Tower of the Way, individual Ritualists of reknown, and other, more obscure bastions of esoteric learning. Nonetheless, the size and nature of the collection remained a secret until Jhalevi's death in 1209, in the Hulder. The old man had fled there with the rest of the Tower of Winter Rebels, though he would not have liked the term 'rebel' applied to him, nor did he particularly feel any kinship with that bunch. Thus, upon his death, he bequeathed his collection to his loyal homunculus, Dumia (Akathian for 'Doll'), along with her freedom.
Dumia, not wishing to become the chattel of another Ritualist, did not tell the remaining alchemists of the Tower of Winter anything about it, but sought out a fence (name unknown) to value them for her and to help her find a buyer.
At this point, the stories about the collection fragment. The fence realised that he was in way over his head on valuation and brought in a Wizard of the Scribes' Guild, one Geofferic Illkairen, to assess the worth of the collection. Once Geofferic revealed a fragment that he was fair certain came from the mythical land of Sharat Gan, as well as a near-intact journal that certainly belonged to an Alchemist of Ton-Isiq, they both realised that their precentage alone, and split, would be more than enough to retire on and then some. The fence began subtly putting out word of the discovery, embellishing here and there to entice prospective buyers. Geofferic, on the other hand, became more and more terrified, realising that the works he studied here were incredibly dangerous-- in themselves, and also to his person, though he had some small protection through his guild, and that of his partner. For Dumia's part, she seemed content to assist Geofferic however he wished, as long as ultimately the texts were got rid of to her profit.
Presently, it became clear that the University of Luzerne City and the Library of Dunaldur in Oresund were locked in a bidding war, the scholars of each drooling and emptying their coffers to get ahold of the collection. The Oresunders finally closed the deal-- to the Dismay of the Luzerne, who were deeply upset by their loss. At this point, things became truly messy.
Oresund dispatched one of its Scholars, Trygg Hakon, to retreive the texts and return. He was sent in the company of various bodyguards3,4,5, from the warrior caste. Unfortunately, the Redwood Throne learned of the sale, and dispatched some of the Left Hand to intercept the texts before they left the Principalities, so that they might be burned. Although it would not be unfair to guess that the source of the Throne's knowledge was some disgruntled Scribe from Luzerne, the Academics of the University didn't wish to see the Collection destroyed-- so they sent their own agent6 and bodyguards7,8 to intercede-- and hopefully recover the texts, if, say, the Oresunders met with an "accident".
Hakon and entourage arrived in the Hulder with little incident, and paid Dumia, Geofferic and the Fence the agreed upon price for the texts, the final value of which might have reasonably ransomed the Athral Isle from Gaunt. Even after the Scribe and the Fence took their percentages, Dumia remains probably the richest homunculus in all the world. It is hard to be certain on this point however, for upon recieving her money, Dumia did what any sensible Homunculus of means would do, and disappeared completely from all reckoning. As for the party from Oresund, getting out of the Principalities again would prove to be something of a challenge.
On their way to the docks, the Oresunders were assaulted by what they (claim to have) thought were bandits, but turned out to be Left Hand agents. The Hakon's bodyguards attacked them and left them unconscious, then headed back for their ship post haste. The agent from the Luzerne University followed closely, looking for an opportunity to steal the collection back. Missing Hakon's ship, they marked the route that the ship must take, and arranged to have an ambush waiting at the next port up, where the Oresunders would have to stop before passing into Gauntish waters.
Here, while the Oresunders bargained for a Gauntish mate to get them through the passage, The Luzerne Agent hired a thief9 to sneak aboard and make off with as much of the collection as possible. He was nearly successful, but at the last minute was seen by Hakon and Geofferic, who had asked to come along that he might continue his study of these works. There was a scuffle, but the thief escaped cleanly with some of the texts. It is impossible to know what exactly was taken, as a complete inventory still has not been accomplished, but at least some of the text were ones that Geofferic had already copied. Unable to persue any further, the Oresunders waited until they had returned to Dunaldur to complain about the attack-- which invited a whole storm of contention and fury around the collection. As it stands now, Orsesund wants the stolen part of the collection back from Luzerne, Luzerne claims that it doesn't know what Oresund is talking about and besides, these texts are illegal anyway. The Left Hand is deeply furious about what happened to its Accusers, and The Redwood Throne is calling for the destruction of the collection altogether.
In the meantime, Akathia and the Athral Isle have entered the arena, Akathia claiming that since Jhalevi was one of their people, his research and his homunculus belong to them as national treasures. Representatives of King Sigmar have argued that since Jhalevi lived for a substantial portion of his career on the Athral Isle, belonged to both Victor's Hall and the Tower of Winter at various parts, and almost certainly retained a huge portion of Hall and Tower texts, that the collection properly belongs to them, and should never have been auctioned in the first place.