“I have no love of puns,” announces a peeved Kreighton Shaine, the Master of Scrolls in the Grand Lodge, “Yet it cannot go unremarked that the Overflow Archives have begun living up to their name.” The pale elf gestures across the library’s stone lobby toward a pair of shut double doors from beneath which water steadily seeps. He is only one of the midnight visitors bearing witness to this disaster.
Next to Shaine, Paracountess Zarta Dralneen stands with folded arms, glaring at an initiate whose hair and clothes are utterly drenched. All three speak at once, but Shaine’s shrill voice rises above the din. “Magical shenanigans in the archives are prohibited, especially this soon before the Grand Convocation!”
“Let us prioritize,” Dralneen suggests. “Are the artifacts within the vaults in danger?”
“How should I know?” Shaine barks back. “This delinquent initiate—what was the name? Wormell?”
“Virml, sir,” replies the sodden Pathfinder.
“Virml says he sneaked into the archives on a dare,” summarizes Shaine, painfully emphasizing the initiate’s name with scolding disdain. “Presumably, he thought the holdings would be harmless. Instead, in his naivete, Virml triggered some dormant curse or other. So, yes, thanks to Virml here, the archives and the vaults below continue to flood, threatening all the books therein.”
Miserably, Virml holds up an armload of soggy manuscripts. “I salvaged a few, sir.”
Sighing, Shaine leads Virml towards the stairs. “Take them up to the scriptorium. Start making dry copies.” Then, turning to survey the rest of the room, he continues issuing orders. “The remainder of you should wade in there and plumb the origins of this deluge. Stop it, if you can. I must report this debacle to my colleagues and begin organizing the cleanup.” Abruptly, he seems to notice the paracountess for the first time. “What are you doing here, Dralneen?”
Zarta smirks and shrugs. “Unlike you, Shaine, I love a good pun.”