Story from Within
Help with the Rune
Help with The Sihedron Rune:
Although Sheriff Hemlock doesn’t recognize the strange sevenpointed star carved into the dead man’s chest, the PCs likely do: it’s the same star from the dungeons below Thistletop and the same as on the magic amulet worn by Nualia. A DC 15 Knowledge (local) check is enough for a PC to know that an expert on the ancient ruins that dot Varisia’s landscape wells here in Sandpoint, living in the shadow of the Old Light itself. If the PCs don’t make this connection, this expert may seek them out on his own once knowledge of the star pattern leaks into the rumor mill.
This expert is Brodert Quink an expert on Varisian history who moved to Sandpoint recently to study the town’s own Thassilonian ruin—the Old Light. Brodert is tremendously excited to be involved in a murder investigation, and does everything he can to aid the PCs. Unfortunately, much of the lore about ancient Thassilon has been lost; what does remain has been gathered from barely legible carvings on the surviving monuments or extracted from the myths and oral traditions of Varisian seers and storytellers.
What he knows about Thassilon is that it was a vast empire ruled by powerful wizards. The sheer size of the monuments they left behind testifies to their power, and the unnatural way many of these monuments have resisted erosion and the march of time testifies to their skill at magic.
Most sages place the height of the Thassilonian empire at 7,000 to 8,000 years ago, but Brodert thinks the empire was even older—he suspects it collapsed no sooner than 10,000 years in the past.
Much of what Brodert has to say is vague theory based on conjecture—his belief that the Old Light was once a war machine capable of spewing fire from its peak is relatively unpopular among his peers, for example. Yet he can tell the PCs a few things of interest about the star—namely, that it seems to be one of the most important runes of Thassilon.
The star itself is known as the “Sihedron Rune,” and signifies not only the seven virtues of rule (generally agreed among scholars to have been wealth, fertility, honest pride, abundance, eager striving, righteous anger, and rest), but the seven schools of magic recognized by Thassilon (divination magic, Brodert points out, was not held in high regard by the ancients). Brodert notes with a smirk that much of what is understood about Thassilon
indicates that its leaders were far from virtuous, and he believes the classic mortal sins (greed, lust, pride, gluttony, envy, wrath, and sloth) rose from corruptions of the Thassilonian virtues of rule. In any event, the Sihedron Rune was certainly a symbol of power, one that may well have stood for and symbolized the empire itself. The fact that the killer carved it into the flesh of his victim might point to the fact that the murderer is some sort of scholar—although as soon as Brodert comes to this conclusion, he just as quickly proclaims himself to be innocent.