I must admit that although I loathe to pick a favourite, the Realm of Mystery has always held a special place in my regard as my first introduction to the Realms of Arcadium.
Except for the Archives, the affectionately named ‘Little Study‘ in the Realm of Mystery, which in truth is not that little but indeed has seen many studies, is one of my favourite places to be. The Little Study has long been the gateway for Adventurers making their first forays into the Realm of Mystery and a meeting place for Adventurers with the Arcadium Locals. The Locals or Arkadites, of course, are the few natural inhabitants in the Realms of Arcadium. They are largely comprised of the descendants of past Adventurers; few would choose to live in so curious, but also so unpredictable, a place.The prevailing theory is that the forebears of the Locals were most likely stranded in the Realms when portals closed unexpectedly in the past, as they are apt to do.
Whilst portal technology has improved over the years, there still remains more of an art than a science to maintaining their stability, which is why we continue to advise adventures of no greater than 1 hour in duration at a time. In the past, it would make sense that some adventurers would most unfortunately have been stranded when portals closed. Moreover, the portals are neither guaranteed to reappear in the same location either on Earth or in the Realms of Arcadium or, indeed, reappear at all; meaning that in centuries past, it’s not surprising that some Adventurers would end up stranded in Arcadium.
Interestingly, the Locals sometimes refer the themselves as the Laetassus. Scriveners have debated the correct etymology of the term but it may come from roots meaning either ‘the glad‘, ‘the weary‘ or ‘the lesser/later’. For my own part, it would not surprise me if there is some truth in all of those meanings. If I were lost in Arcadium myself I must admit that I might at once feel a little glad but, perhaps a little weary in time; ‘the lesser’ or ‘the later‘ I am not as certain about but I find that there are few coincidences when it comes to the world of Arcadium.
Should you wish to learn more about the culture of the Laetassus, I would recommend trying to find a copy of the Seabright Tales; a collection of short stories or fables that is very popular with all Locals. Perhaps I can find some time to discuss some of these tales in further detail in the future.
In any case, if Adventurers should wish to meet with the Locals, it is typically done in the Little Study in the Realm of Mystery or at the Meeting Place in the Realm of Magic; a cheerful tavern located at the main crossroads that lead to the Caves of Plenty and Mountains of Hundun.
As for the artefacts of the Realm of Mystery, among the most prized are the Book of Thoth, the Skull of Hevel, the Cup of Truth and the infamously lost, Pandora’s Box.
As outlined in, ‘The Adventurer’s Guide to Mysterious Artefacts‘, the Book of Thoth is a legendary book said to comprise largely of a dialogue between a person called ‘The-one-who-loves-knowledge‘ and a figure identified as Thoth.
As with all of the artefacts, there is a lot that remains unknown about the artefact known as Book of Thoth.
The Book is said to contain forty-two books or ‘chapters’ with at least one of these Chapters relating to the Elixir of Life, as was famously translated by Nicolas Flamel
Importantly, however, it is not known whether Flamel was ever in possession of the original artefact or merely one of the latter transcriptions. He himself made reference only to the ‘Emerald Tablet‘, believed to be a chapter of the Book of Thoth.
Little is known about what the other 41 chapters of the Book of Thoth may contain although records in the Archives make reference to ‘gods’ and a ‘Realm of the Dead’; Scriveners translating these ancient records have variously proposed the translation ‘Realm of the Dead’ and ‘Dead Realm’; the distinction is not entirely clear to me.
‘The-one-who-loves-knowledge’ is an interesting and most mysterious figure in this legend. The artefact has become known as the Book of Thoth because of the authorship but all of the legends suggest the knowledge contained within came from this unnamed figure. In my time in the Archives, I have come across various references to figures similar to ‘The-one-who-loves-knowledge‘. These mysterious figures are sometimes known as ‘knowledge seeker‘, ‘knowledge lover‘ or some other similar variation. There is one interesting record in the Archives that makes reference to ‘the knowledge seeker’ and then refers to that same figure as ‘the Mistress‘. Although perhaps that old translation is rather poor for our modern sensibilities; it would be more accurate to say that the record makes reference to ‘the female master’.
It is all exceptionally mysterious, is it not?
As always, I am very eager to hear all of your theories and the questions that the above raises for you. Let me know what has piqued your curiosity in the comments below.