Not a traditional quest, there are secrets hidden throughout Highkeep, rewarding those who unravel them with access to further parts of the keep.
Notes written by a steady and skilled hand
... something strange happened in the courtyard... people disappearing... I'm afraid to linger there for any lengthy amount of time... and everyone seems to avoid the old boxes stored there. Why?
... trying to pickpocket my room key! What in the High King's name is happening to the court lately? Is everyone insane? I hid the key in the little room I rent by the library. It seems safest...
... the chef keeps a key to the royal quarters in his private storage, but it's warded! I will need his medallion... I overheard him talking about it all. The medallion must be worn as you speak the word 'life' in the way of the dead...
... left a SURPRISE in the right gargoyle... noone will find the key, key upon key... the LEFT gargoyle is the correct one... facing the keep... LEFT...
I... I think I might be going insane. The disappearances, the thefts... and now it seems like NOONE is a PERSON anymore here at the court... all just empty shells... the Lady Tarlisha... she's WORST of THEM ALL... But... but I have an advantage... noone will find the keys now... I...
...anyone who looks in the WRONG gargoyle will die... I... oh dear Althuna... what's come over me lately...
This... this is the end for me... those shadows... I know the answer is behind that door, but my magical fire cannot harm the foulness that guards it. If only I had one of the firebombs that the alchemists make... I might... I might have... have... Tarlisha... you... monster... make you pay... [The note ends in unreadable scribblings, as though if the hand that held the pen was shaking wildly]
The Lady Tarlisha called on my services today. She had a transcript that she wanted four copies of. Four copies! Furthermore, the transcript was gibberish, utterly unreadable. Oh well - I am her scribe, and I will do as she pleases... in that aspect, I am not entirely unlike the venerated High King. Heh.
Today was a strange day. Asides from the constant war, it appears we've had a series of bizarre thefts in the keep. Personal affections, often value-less, have gone missing. The thieves seem particularily intent on stealing every key they can get their hands on. I say thieves, because one, a young noble boy...
... to leave it there, where noone would look. Maybe I should consider finding a hiding place for the key to THAT room in turn...
I've made some headway into the translation of the copies Lady Tarlisha asked me to make. My theory is that the writing she asked me to look at needs a code to be solved. Yes! The writing is meaningless without the code...
Notes hastily written by an unskilled hand
I think someone might have activated the stairwell traps. I had best keep to the left when going upstairs to avoid it...
... getting into the royal suites will be simple! All I need to do is get the chef's key from his personal storage... I'll steal his medallion and then speak 'Klhao'. This will open the storage box...
The Writing of the Dead
Aolyl hyl zlclu klhaoz mvy fvb av kpl pu aopz wshjl. Aovzl dov buklyzahuk aol dypapun vm aol klhk jhu hcvpk lhjo vm aol zlclu.
There are seven deaths for you to die in this place. Those who understand the writing of the dead can avoid each of the seven.
Aol mpyza klhao pz aol klhao vm aol ilhza. Aol ilhza pz lcly obunyf, huk aovzl dov ylthpu bukly vwlu zrplz mvy svun dpss kpl aol klhao vm aol ilhza.
The first death is the death of the beast. The beast is ever hungry, and those who remain under open skies for long will die the death of the beast.
Aol zljvuk klhao pz aol klhao vm wvpzvu dolu jsptipun aol zahpyz. Av kpl aol klhao vm wvpzvu, jovvzl slma vcly ypnoa.
The second death is the death of poison when climbing the stairs. To die the death of poison, choose left over right.
Aol aopyk klhao pz aol klhao vm aol zftwovuf. Aovzl dov spunly av dhajo aol zftwovuf buaps paz luk dpss kpl aol klhao vm aol zftwovuf.
The third death is the death of the symphony. Those who linger to watch the symphony until its end will die the death of the symphony.
Aol mvbyao klhao pz aol klhao vm aol ayhw. If zwlhrpuon klhao puzalhk vm spml, fvb dpss kpl aol klhao vm aol ayhw.
The fourth death is the death of the trap. By speakinhg death instead of life, you will die the death of the trap.
Aol mpmao klhao pz aol klhao vm aol abuulsz. Vusf vul dov zllrz huk kpzhytz thf hcvpk aol klhao vm aol abuulsz.
The fifth death is the death of the tunnels. Only one who seeks and disarms may avoid the death of the tunnels.
Aol zpeao klhao pz aol klhao vm aol zohkvdz. Dpaovba aol Shualyu vm Kpcpul Spnoa, aol zpeao klhao pz jlyahpu.
The sixth death is the death of the shadows. Without the Lantern of Divine Light, the sixth death is certain.
Aol zlcluao klao
The seventh deth
[The last page of the book appears to be torn out]
The Code of the Dead
THE NUMBER IS SEVEN.
Seven deaths within seven pages.
Seven added to hide the truth.
Remove the seven to understand.
This is the code of the dead.