Why anyone would trust me those secrets was beyond comprehension. Why was I here? There was only one way to find out.
The rust on the knocker stuck to my fingers as I lightly rapped it on the door. The sound echoed in the small stairwell. I waited, shivering in the cold breeze.
I banged harder—louder—still nothing. I turned to leave, but a squawk made me turn back to the door.
“Come in. We are expecting you.” A disembodied voice filtered through the darkness. I stepped into a darkened room.
“All will be revealed in due course.”
Darkness surrounded me as I walked further into the room toward a faint glow from a lit candle sitting on a small table. Alongside, a thick leather-bound book, engraved with a language I had never seen.
The voice spoke. “For centuries, guardians have protected this book, keeping warlords and kings and ne’er-do-wells from finding it. Its powers and potions can make even an honest man into a tyrant no matter how hard they try to resist. When you helped the injured guardian to safety and stayed with him until help came, he found strength in you that he has spent decades searching for and has now found.”
Now?” I echoed.
“Now, you are the guardian of the book. You must protect it from all and keep its contents hidden from view. Many will search for it, but no one must find it.”
The voice silenced.
I stood in the dim light holding the book. Now what?