This was the first of the Ostium Sagas I was granted access to read by the Conclave. It had already been translated some time before, that is except for the part in a language that no one was able to interpret. I had only been with the Conclave a few years at that point and while I had seen much and been exposed to plenty that tested the very limits of not just my reality but also my imagination, I still had issues with this chronicle. Too many questions, perhaps; nevertheless, after my initial reading it felt like a tale that had been confabulated; that could not possibly be true. That was the work of fiction; a very good work of fiction I might add. There have been plenty of works of the fantastic throughout our times: Beowulf, the Divine Comedy, and I need not get into the works of the Greek Homer with his marvelous Odyssey. There was simply too much going on; too many directions taken; too many different elements at play. I was told by some of my fellow Conclave members that did not all those points make the tale that more possibly real? Why would someone make up such a story? For what purpose? And then it was explained to me that the accompanying document referred to as the “slim volume” in the chronicle had been found with this Ostium Saga and what the person had written that was verifiable with sources and evidence had been done so. It did seem that a number of points and inferences made by the chronicler were in fact true. Therefore, was it not at least conceivable that the entire story, on some level, may also be true? It was then, with all this mounting evidence, that my mind began to be changed. It was then that I felt an excitement build, a frisson of possibilities. Here was something I could focus on; dedicate myself to. Immerse myself in and learn all I could, and record it for others to read and learn from. And, thus, in a way I began my own Ostium Saga, that concluded with the completion of this book you now hold in your hands, reader of the Conclave. But let us not get ahead of ourselves.
This first chronicle of the Ostium Sagas was recorded by a member of the Conclave in the year 1122. Word of it was discovered at an inn one night when a man, after some mugs of ale, was recounting some stories of his grandfather. And one of those stories involved the grandfather’s wife, who had died some time ago at that point, saying that once, long, long ago she had been tasked with the burial of a special book wrapped in numerous animal skins upon a certain person’s death. She knew nothing of what the book consisted of, and neither did the grandfather. All that was really known was that the item was buried underground within the ruins of an old church located somewhere within the realms of the town of Hesta.
The member of the Conclave who overheard this conversation from a nearby table – as this is how some of the Conclave are trained: to mind their own business while having a drink, but always keeping their ears and eyes as open as possible. In that way many secrets can become known without anyone being the wiser that they have been discretely overheard.
The Conclave member wasted no time, as that is his prerogative. Tempus fugit and all that. But also he was unsure who else may have heard the stories being shared that night in the inn over too much ale and mead. A few days later he reached Hesta and began asking a few people, quietly and clandestinely, whether they knew of the ruins of an old church in the surrounding countryside? The third person provided him with an approximate location, which was good because he could not talk to more than three people without arousing suspicion in the town, being a newcomer and all. He promptly left in search of the church which he found that day as the sun was setting. With shovel in hand, he entered the church, choosing to go deep within in search of a likely place to dig, and as we know, this was to his favor. On the third digging attempt he found the animal skins which contained the chronicle and the slim volume. Not wanting to dally for he suspected there might be others coming to search, he filled in the hole to cover the evidence of his digging and quickly slipped away into the night. Very briefly he returned to Hesta to rest and heard of those who were to go in search of the old church the following morning. The next day, as those men went in search of riches in a fruitless journey, our men left to rejoin the Conclave at a hidden location. And then began the studying of the chronicle and the enigmatic slim volume. And it served as the genesis to the Ostium Sagas, which would not be collected together until a half millennium late as is my task now.
I have been informed now by the Conclave that this volume is to also serve as a history and informational treatise on the Conclave, and to provide details where possible, which I shall endeavor to do so in future endnotes.
For now, dear reader, let this serve as the first of many endnotes, as we dive deep into these Ostium Sagas, and into the beautiful mystery that is the Conclave.
The next Ostium Saga, as I have already indicated, will consist in its entirety the slim volume diligently copied in its unknown and curious language.