THE BLACK PYRAMID
WHAT WORDS WE HAVENT READ
Tuesday, January 3rd 2017 8:24p.m.
The new year was kicking off with the worst snowstorm since 2003. Twenty four inches of snow blanketed the world outside. Most of the commerce had closed down, transforming the ebb and bustle of the city streets into a silent wasteland. The citizens of Boston, normally overflowing with activity, had hidden themselves away from the cold. Not everyone had retreated indoors, of course. Urban children had wrapped themselves in numerous layers, determined to throw snowballs and slide between buildings on the slick white surface. Journalists and stranded tourists had their cameras out, documenting the rare intensity of the blizzard.
And then of course, the three of you.
A letter had arrived for Astoria just a hair over a week ago, bearing the mark of the Mysterium. Just beyond the borders of the Boston Consilium, a Mystagogue named Meristoktrix had hermited himself away to conduct research for the Order. Once, his name commanded a degree of respect among his fellows within the city. It was said he often delivered valuable Artifacts and Grimoires to the Academy, when his own research into such things fell short. Yet for years now, his reputation has been sullied by rumors of wild paranoia, and a decreased value in the items procured for the Mysterium. Among Mage's, mental instability held even more stigma than it did for Sleepers. It carried with it the question of Bedlam, and the added danger of contagion.
The letter to Astoria bore his signature:
My esteemed colleague,
It will no doubt surprise you to learn that we share a common thread of Sympathy. Your mentor Fell and I worked closely together for the Order many years previous. No doubt his recent disappearance has stricken you, as it has me. Most disturbingly, a parcel was recently delivered to me bearing his mark. Wrapped protectively within was a scroll, written in text which was unrecognizable. It has been obscured in a manner that has proven, at least for all my efforts, impenetrable.
Imagine my surprise when it was brought to my attention, by those within our Order who still answer my correspondences, that you have a talent for Cryptography. Is this coincidence or the province of Fate my dear? Then again, I suppose it makes sense, in an utterly mundane fashion, that a man who spent his life unearthing secrets would pass one down to his apprentice, and that he would have prepared such an apprentice for just such a challenge.
At Midnight on January the Third of the new year, I will deliver the text, which I shall heretofore refer to as The Cipher Scroll, to the Lower Depths Tap Room on Commonwealth Avenue. Meet me there, but be careful.
The eyes of Sleepers are upon me.