The Broken Sphere

The Broken Sphere by Nigel Findley Read Free Book Online

Book: The Broken Sphere by Nigel Findley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nigel Findley
Tags: The Cloakmaster Cycle 5
the Church has changed. According to Church doctrine, the only knowledge that counts is old knowledge. Everything that’s important – everything that’s real  – has already been discovered. There’s no need to try to discover anything more. Anything you think you find out that’s beyond the ‘true knowledge’ is just lies, created by the Great Deceiver to lead us astray.” He snorted again. “Nonsense, of course, and that’s another reason I left Crescent: I realized it was nonsense.
    “But at least there’s the Great Archive,” he went on in a less cynical tone. “At least the Church has done something right, though maybe for the wrong reasons. They think they’re protecting the purity of the Truth. What they’re actually doing is providing an incredible service to scholars from all over the universe. Such as yourself, hm?” he added, smiling at Teldin.
    The Cloakmaster felt an icy chill in his stomach. “That’s the second time you’ve said – or implied – I’m going to the archive,” he pointed out, trying to keep his voice light, but doubting that he was succeeding. “How do you know?”
    The half-elf smiled broadly, disarmingly. “Why else would you have come to Crescent, by the mind of Marrak?” he asked. “To learn from our sense of fashion, perhaps?” He placed his gray-garbed arm next to Teldin’s black-clad one, and flicked, the silver button on the cuff.
    Teldin had to laugh, his suspicions dispelled by his companion’s easy manner. “Well said, Djan Alantri,” he said with a smile. “So just where is this Great Archive of yours?”
    “We’re not far from it,” Djan answered. “Head up this street here. When you reach the main square, turn right. You can’t miss it.” He paused. “If you like,” he suggested, “after our meal I can take you there. Perhaps even help you find whatever it is you need. The filing system is … interesting.”
    Teldin hesitated. It was a kind offer, and a valuable one, too. He’d already been worrying about how he’d find the information he needed – considering the fact that he wasn’t the most accomplished reader – even without hearing about the “interesting” filing system. But he instinctively wanted to avoid telling anyone that he was looking for information about the Spelljammer.
    “Thanks for your offer,” he said, “but I can’t tie up that much of your time.” He hesitated again! “But,” he added impulsively, “if you’d like to meet me for a glass of wine – here – after evenfeast …”
    The half-elf’s smile broadened. “I would be honored, Aldyn Brewer,” he replied politely.
    I should have known better, Teldin told himself wryly. Anytime someone says “You can’t miss it,” you’re going to have the Dark Queen’s own time finding what you’re looking for. He chuckled dryly. The half-elf, Djan, had neglected to point out that Compact had several large courtyards that a visitor could mistake for the “main square.” Teldin had based his search on one of those, and it had taken him almost an hour to literally stumble across the Great Archive.
    At least his wanderings hadn’t been interrupted by any more fervent Marrakites out looking for unbelievers to discipline. As soon as he’d left Djan at the wineshop, he’d ducked into a deserted side street and seen to his appearance. He looked down at his garb, simple breeches and jerkin of rough-looking gray homespun. If this doesn’t follow the Way of the Plain, I don’t know what does, he mused. Taking a fold of fabric between his thumb and forefinger, he rubbed the cloth. Although it looked like homespun, it still felt like the smooth, expensive fabric of his black outfit. He shook, his head in puzzlement. Sometimes when he used the cloak – now shrunk to the size of a necklace – to change his appearance, all details were changed, including, texture. Other times, however, there were surprising inconsistencies – like now.

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