"Lord Chancellor, the Lecturer Martos," the servant announced as he opened the door.
Martos entered the chamber, eyes downcast as custom dictated. The room was smaller than Martos had imagined it would be. It was lined with stuffed bookcases and almost cozy. The Chancellor sat behind a surprisingly utilitarian desk.
"You summoned me, Milord?"
"Yes, Lecturer. How goes your history of Qeb"
"Well, Milord. It is nearly finished. But..." Martos paused, thinking about the the history he hoped would gain him a coveted professorship.
The Chancellor raised an eyebrow. "Continue."
"It is the sources." Martos said as he unconsciously began to pace in front of the desk. "They are so few and fragmentary. And the translations are a crime. I've had to retranslate everything in order to glean the true meaning of the writings."
The Chancellor raised his hand. "Be still, Lecturer."
Martos stopped in midstep and looked about with a start. "I'm sorry. I..."
The Chancellor smiled slightly. "Do not worry. We all become enthralled by our studies. Look here."
Martos stepped closer and looked at the lone sheet of parchment on the desk. He unconsciously adjusted the reading lamp burning there and examined the sheet. It was obviously old, crumbling at the edges. He slowly began reading the faded script.
"Ygddari," he muttered. He continued to read then his eyes widened and he looked directly at the Chancellor. "Can it be? This is...Is it?"
"Yes, it is."
"It was one of those Valgardian barbarians who are always poking around in places best left undisturbed."
"Yes, the brute was looking for trinkets to sell to help slake his prodigious thirst for wine and ale. He actually found a few minor pieces and used this to wrap them. The illiterate didn't even know that the scroll was the most valuable item he had found. It was the merchant he sold the trinkets to who recognized it for what it is. He sent it to us. For a price, of course."
"Milord, this is wonderful! When can I translate the piece properly? I'll need to make revisions to my manuscript. This could change many things. I wonder what..."
"Martos," the Chancellor said quietly but firmly, cutting him off. The fire in Martos' eyes faded as he refocused. "Martos, there is more."
Martos smiled. "More, Milord?"
"We tracked down the Valgardian. There are more scrolls."
Martos could not stand still. His excitement was such that he began to pace again.