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9
Tunnels and Caves

Silma:

“I’ll go back to the Houses,” chirped Gilannis.

Her great-uncle glared at her. “Nay, you will not! You will stay with Lady Silma, and do her bidding without any backtalk, young woman. She has my leave to chastise you in any way she wishes, and so does Master Redglass. I will devise the punishment for your behavior later when other matters are less pressing. And don’t toss your head at me, mistress! You will change your demeanor and actions, and the sooner the better.” He took a large, elaborate key from his belt and passed it over her head in a circle three times. “Do you know what this is?”

“N-no.”

“This is a special Key forged by the Elves, that only the head of our family bears. It will now warn me if you misbehave, thanks to the spells on it and the one I laid on you last night. Enter my presence after you stray from decorum, girl, and it will grow hotter and hotter. I would not scruple to lay it against your face like a burning brand, so behave yourself! Guardsman, with me,” he ordered curtly, bowed briefly to Master Redglass and me, and stumped off with Telparmir in his wake. I stifled my dismay at being saddled with her—but how many others had had the same reaction? Mayhap she could be helped, young as she was.

Master Redglass snorted softly, and I nudged him with a warning frown. Gilannis was looking after her kinsman worriedly.

I tried not to sigh as she turned her sullen glance at us. “I don’t believe it,” she said, but her voice wavered slightly.

“You should,” said my Dwarf. “The Firstborn can lay strange spells, and certainly that is not Dwarf-made. The Halflings’ heads of family have books, so why not a key? Is he not Lord of the Keys?”

“I should do the washing-up and make the beds,” I began, deciding not to explain the Warden's duties, but Master Redglass shook his head.

“Lady, there is the servant from the Citadel coming; would you take her work from her?”

“You are right, of course, Master Redglass,” I nodded. “This is much more important. However, I wish that Lord Húrin had given me some token to use the Archives, for it is long since I have been there.”

Just then Telparmir came back, somewhat breathlessly, and handed me a small note. “With Lord Húrin’s compliments, my lady,” he said, saluted, and left again.

I unfolded it and read aloud,

Be it known that Lady Silma has my leave to use
what resources she requires.

– Húrin of the Keys, Commanding, Minas Tirith
25th Súlimë 3019.


But that is—is—“ I stared at the seal of crossed keys embossed above the Tree in black wax under the words.

“Very sensible, and a good timesaver,” Master Redglass said. “Where are these Archives, my lady?”

“There are four great libraries in the City,” I told him. “The oldest is the Rynd Permaith Iaur, the Old Hall of Books, in Clothwrights’ Street on the South Side of the Fifth Circle, and it might be there. There is also the Rynd Permaith Gwain, the New Hall of Books, in Leatherwrights’ Street on the same level, which I think is more likely.”

“And the third and fourth?” he asked.

“The Rynd Thanath, the Halls of Learning, is the Scribes’ guildhall, in Glassblowers’ Street on the north side of the Fourth Circle, and it might be there as well. And there are some beneath the Citadel, in caves.”

“Caves?” echoed Gilannis.

“Aye, in safekeeping for some of the oldest and rarest items. The temperature and dryness of the air remains the same there, with extra spells of warding.”

Master Redglass nodded. “This New Book-Hall, is the pavement in front of it not in the shape of an open book? A wondrous seeming, even in mosaic instead of stone. The doors are Dwarf-made. I have walked past it.”

“Aye, it is. I love some of the varied architecture of our city,” I said proudly.

“Where do we go first?” he inquired.

“Let us try the Old Hall of Books first,” I decided, and after putting on our cloaks—I insisted Gilannis comb and braid her hair and wash her face before we set out—and Master Redglass securing the door with an unwilling Rimbor inside, we set out. Master Redglass walked watchfully on the outside, his axe in his hands, with Gilannis between us. She kept looking at him sideways nervously, but quickly learned that we would not tolerate her forging ahead or lagging behind. Few were on the streets; there was a fell air, and we went quickly and quietly.

It saddened me that almost all shops were closed and barricaded, the houses likewise, but as always, the Rynd Permaith Iaur lifted my heart at first glimpse of its ancient wood and stone walls. In front of it stood two guards. The older perused my permit, but shook his head. “I regret, my lady, master, but it is locked and we do not have the keys. I think the others are the same.”

I thanked him civilly, and we walked a bit farther. “What now?” asked Gilannis. “My feet hurt!”

“In those slippers, I’m not surprised,” I answered. “We will try the Rynd Permaith Gwain next.”

That too was barred, again guarded by a pair of guardsmen.

Master Redglass was frowning. “I suppose we must go to the other end of this level now, then down one, and up to the Citadel,” he said. “But I dislike the delay.”

“As do I,” I agreed. I stopped, struck by another thought. “This way,” I said, and rapidly led them to the street of crumbling mansions where my first spouse had dwelt. With the two of them standing a few feet away, I again manipulated the studded window casing, and we entered.

Gilannis muttered something about a thief’s ways, and I lost my temper, turning on her. “Gilannis, I am not going to explain our every move to you, as if I need your permission to do a task your great-uncle set me! Don’t forget that enchanted key, and that we will be reporting to him. The quicker we accomplish this task, the safer the entire city—including you—will be, have you thought of that? Have you?”

“N-no,” she admitted.

“No, of course not; you are too busy feeling put upon and sorry for yourself. These are perilous times, and if you had behaved yourself and stayed at the Houses, you would not now be here with us. Since you are here, I expect you to keep your mouth closed unless you have something useful to contribute, keep up, and be respectful when you do speak. Remember that we have his permission to chastise you as we desire.”

“And if you are the cause of my lady’s being injured,” Master Redglass added, “know that I will make you wish your greatsire had never even looked at your greatdam.” He ran his finger along the edge of his axe as he spoke, and she paled.”What is this place, my lady?”

“It was my first spouse’s home,” I replied, lit the candle from my pouch, and led the way into the first tunnel. By diverse ways, we proceeded down to the Fifth Circle and then along half the length of the Leatherwrights’ Street, and up into the New Book Hall, emerging in a small workroom. Like most buildings in the city, it was deserted and unlighted. Sheltering the flame of my light with my hand, I led them along a hallway into the vast reading-room. “Wait here,” I said.

Dalf:

My lady glided in front of us along the tunnels and I tried to maintain my alertness and not think about the old mansion in which she must have once dwelt--how had she come to living in one small set of rooms in a lower Circle? The stonework varied in these tunnels, some of it very fine for Mannish work, some of it indifferent, some much newer. She never hesitated, moving surely and calmly through the twists and crossings. Gilannis was between us, almost treading on her heels, she was so frightened. I had insisted that my lady carry her knife in her other hand.

She led us to the New Hall of Books, and into a vast hall filled with desks and chairs for those using the materials stored there. Abruptly, she said, “Wait here,” handed her candle to Gilannis, and disappeared.

The candle-flame wavered and dipped with the trembling of the maid’s hand; she put the other to it, to try to steady it. I muttered, “Just bide steady, lass,” as she stood beside me.

It seemed to be an eternity, that wait, and several times I opened my mouth to call but felt constrained in that echoing silence.

Beside me, Gilannis seized my arm with a squeak, and I looked up at a tiny light that swooped and went up and down in the air for a space. I didn’t know whether to throw my axe or a knife, but certainly those movements were unlike any an orc or any other fell creature would make, except perhaps one of the large spiders of Mirkwood, but I told myself I was growing fanciful…I ardently hoped as I went forward, cautious step by step, to the edge of those tall shelves.

A familiar voice overhead muttered, “Curse it!” as I made out a tiny lantern hung at a belt and more indistinctly, slender white limbs.

“Lady Silma?” I asked in amazement.

“Be down in a minute,” she called, swooped away, and indeed a shorter eternity later, came to us carrying a small lantern. “Not there,” she said. “May I have the candle, Gilannis?”

Gilannis handed it over without a word, and after blowing it out, she restored it to her pouch.

“What were you doing?” I demanded roughly.

“Looking to see if the parchment was here,” she replied softly. “It isn’t. Since I don’t know any tunnels to get to the Old Hall of Books, we should backtrack and go up to the Citadel. I really don’t feel comfortable here; I think some of the older librarians might be in here somewhere. Come!”

She slid the shutter on the lantern to just a crack, and by its faint glow, we moved back across to the small area where we had entered and then back into the tunnels. We traversed most of the distance before I halted and called her name.

Silma:

I came back to where Master Redglass and Gilannis stood. One of his hands gripped the axe; the other was on his hip, clenched into a fist. “Just what in the Void were you doing in there?” he demanded.

It dawned on me that he had never been in there before. I said, “I’m sorry, Master Redglass, I forgot that you might be unfamiliar with our library systems here. Gilannis, could you not enlighten him?”

“I’ve never been in that place either,” she said, as if it was abnormal to frequent one.

“I’m sorry,” I said, and meant it. She looked at me as if I completely baffled her. “There are nearly half a million books, scrolls, parchments, palimpists and papyri, which is a kind of reed-paper from the far south, beyond Harad, in our collections. It was decided many years ago that while they should be available for use, they are so valuable that they cannot be taken out of the reading rooms, so if you wish to consult them, you must go there. You fill out a request for the item, and an employee called a page will fetch it. It was too dark for you to see, but there is a system of racks along the wall, and long ladders. The page will climb to the spot nearest to where an item is located, then use a rope and long pole to swing to it, retrieve it, and put it in a net at his or her waist. I worked as a page for a few years, and trained others, so I know the system.”

They stared at me. I looked back.

Curiosity triumphed over Gilannis’ distaste. “You swung through the air? What about your skirts?”

“All pages wear hose or breeches,” I told her.”They are surprisingly comfortable, and more practical than skirts.”

Master Redglass’ face reddened. I added, “I’m sorry that I have angered you.”

Dalf:

There is no end to Lady Silma’s varied knowledge! But the mental image of how she may have appeared in hose warmed my face. Luckily, she mistook my expression, apologizing for angering me. I blurted, “I was frightened for you.”

“Oh, it’s perfectly safe, if you aren’t afraid of heights,” she assured me. “I thought that you could see that.”

I rubbed the back of my neck. “You are right, I should have been able to, but for some reason, I could not. It seemed to me as if shadows clustered thickly around the tops of the shelves.”

She looked thoughtful. “Hmm, I wonder if a spell was laid on them, so that folk from outside the libraries could not gauge where something is kept. We do have some ancient, valuable and unique items.”

“That could well be. Whither now?” I asked.

“Now, we must emerge and walk up to the Citadel,” she replied.

At the Citadel, crossing the Court of the White Fountain, she paused to curtsey to a large dead tree. I hastily bowed, and at her pointed glance, Gilannis asked, still puffing from the slope and the pace we had set, “Why are you doing that?”

“Sweet Valar, child, are you so ignorant of its importance?” Lady Silma asked in dismay. “This is one of the descendants of Nimloth, the White Tree given by the Valar, and from the fruit brought here by Isildur himself at the Downfall of Númenór. It has stood here for many centuries, and is—or should be—venerated by all creatures of Good. Have you learned no manners at all?”

“I have more manners than to reverence an old dead tree!” she scoffed. “It's nothing to do with me!”

“Are all Mannish children so arrogant?” I demanded. “Do you not know, girl, that Manwë, nay, Eru Himself, sees what we do? How do you wish to be judged when you come before Nandos after your death?”

“That won’t be for a long time yet,” she said defiantly.

“I would not be so certain of that! If not for Lady Silma only last night, you would be standing before him now!” I retorted angrily. “Look you, I am a Dweorg of the Lonely Mountain, strange to your lands, yet I know the might of the Valar, and what is due them. I have small understanding of your customs, but I respect them. Why you stand silently facing westward before you eat your meals is beyond me, but I would not be so rude as to mock that.”

“It’s just something we do,” she said sulkily.

“It is to honor the Valar in the Uttermost West,” Lady Silma told me. “Gilannis, I care not if we stand here all day, but we do not stir from this spot until you behave properly. Your great-uncle would not approve of your impiety, I am sure!”

Fortuantely, at that moment, a chill gust of wind blew across the courtyard. Grudgingly, she slightly inclined her head.

Lady Silma folded her arms. I fingered my axe-blade.

Pouting, she curtseyed, a full—if wobbly—curtsey, spreading her skirts wide.

Giving a decisive nod, Lady Silma led us to the door where guards had been observing us, and produced the note from Lord Húrin. We were ushered inside at once, and were escorted by a page to the Man in charge of the Citadel, who in turn escorted us down to the caves of which she had spoken, beneath the complex, and provided us with two lanterns.

“You will be careful?” he asked anxiously. “The materials here are most flammable, and after what happened in the Streets of the Dead the other day—“ He shuddered.

“Aye, we will be very careful,” she agreed.

“I am sorry to lock you in,” he said, “but we cannot risk outsiders getting in, and I must go elsewhere.”

I glared at him. “Is this how little the Warden of the Keys’ word is valued here?” I demanded. “You should hand over that key to the lady, and we will return it when we are finished.”

“Forgive me,” he said with a low bow and a nervous glance at my axe. “Lord Denethor was wroth after Mithrandir’s last visit, and ordered it so. No incomers may be hither unaccompanied, and as I said, my duties call me elsewhere.”

“But my father is no longer Steward,” said a voice sadly, as Lord Faramir came within the chamber where we stood. “I am now acting in his stead, and what they search for is very important. Give her the key, Parmandil.”

He yet hesitated, but my lady spoke up. “These are troublous times, and your zeal for your duty is admirable, Master Parmandil. Do you not remember me? I once frequented this place, often with Lord Faramir, when we were all younger, and I also worked for a time at the Halls of Books, both Old and New, and the Halls of Learning in the Scribes’ Guildhall. You taught me the beginnings of tengwar script, and how to file that codex on Númenórean place-names.”

He peered at her, and a tremulous smile lighted his wrinkled face as he seized her hand. “Little Silma? Forgive me, my lady! How could I not know the kindest lass in the city, who gave me that wonderful posset receipt? My cough is much soothed by it, and I have shared it with everyone I know who becomes ill, always to their benefit. Sweet Valar bless you! Well, since it is you, I will say no more. Here is the key. If I can do aught to assist, please let me know.”

“I will. Thank you.”

He bowed. “Any time, my lady, any time. This lass cannot be your daughter?”

“Nay. Your pardon, I have been remiss in not making introductions. This is Lady Gilannis, great-niece to Lord Húrin, and Master Dalfinor Redglass.”

“Master Redglass. Listen well to her, young lady, and you will grow in wisdom,” he said to Gilannis, and with another bow, withdrew.

Lord Faramir had raised an eyebrow when he noticed the girl in our company, but only said with a chuckle, “Old Merdil is as crochety as ever, I see. It’s fortunate that you are here and he remembered you, my lady. I came to help, if I can. Do you know where it might be?”

“Not exactly, my lord. I know where a copy was at the New Halls, except that it is not there, and I seem to recall seeing a copy here, but cannot recall the exact cavern. It was on the third shelf from the top, to the left, next to an index of wild flowers in Arthedain and Cardolan, and next to a roll of maps of the Yellow Mountains beyond Khand, on top of a book of poems by Kendillion the Fair. The difficulty is that that was…oh, about twenty-two years ago, and I only glanced at it while in search of something else. As you know, in the meantime, it may have been removed and not returned, or something else might have been put atop it, or it may have been thrown out as too faded to be deciphered.” She opened the eyes she had closed while visualizing where it had been.

“What kind of script was it written in?” he asked.

“Cirith, but there was no title on the outside. It was rolled up inside a faded blue cover, but of course that may have faded more or discolored by now.”

“Then we will scatter and look. Master Redglass, if you would stay on guard by the door?”

The young Steward and I exchanged a glance, and I did not overlook the blade slung at his side. He was still pale from the illness following his wound, but I nodded.

Silma:

At length we found it, because Gilannis accidentally dislodged a pile of documents on a lower shelf, and in picking them up up, came upon it. I thanked her—probably the first time in her life she had not been scolded or belittled for clumsiness—and we left the caves after I locked the outer door and gave the key to Master Parmandil in his tiny cluttered office. If only anyone else was interested in devising a better system of cataloguing al those items!

As we made our way through the Citadel, Lord Faramir conducted us to a small dining-chamber in the wing reserved for the Steward’s quarters, and summoned a servant to bring a morsel-meal, since it was well into the afternoon. “Bring plenty of drink,” he directed, “for we are dry as the dust infesting those shelves! Lord Húrin will be here soon; I sent word of our find.”

The Warden arrived shortly after we satisfied the sharpest pangs of our hunger, and we spread the map out carefully, weighting the corners with a teapot, a mug, a mustard-pot, and a (clean) meat-fork. The two lords leaned over it intently, tracing parts of it with their fingers.

“I had no idea!” gasped the Warden.

Lord Faramir was equally stunned. “That it could be so extensive! How could this come to be?”

“Judging from the look of the tunnels I saw,” Master Redglass told them, “they evolved over periods of time. None were Dwarf-made, and they were of varying workmanship. Some were bricked in, others cut from the living rock, some were expanded from old water-courses. We passed one room that may have been an old cistern from which the flow was diverted. Were I you, my lords, I would inquire about the water supplies.”

The two men exchanged glances. “Are any of the Waterwrights guild here?” Lord Faramir asked.

“I will certainly find out,” said Lord Húrin grimly.

“Will yrch go underwater?” I asked.

Gilannis squeaked in alarm, eyes wide.

“I have never known them to swim,” Lord Faramir said reassuringly.

Master Redglass said levelly, “But until recently, we did not know any that would go, could go, in the light of day, until Saruman bred the Uruk-hai. I do not think we can assume that.”

“Master Redglass, will you go with a party of guards into this maze and see if any lurk within?” asked Lord Faramir. “I could lead another group—“

“You could not,” I said before I thought how brazen it was, coming from me. “My lord, those of us still here need to know that the Steward rules. We cannot lose two in as many days. Forgive me,“ I added, my face flushing from my temerity.

“Quite right,” said Lord Húrin. “I will deal with the Waterwrights, and you should coordinate all our parties.”

A candle-mark later those Waterwrights and guards deemed worthy of their mission’s secret nature were studying their sections of hastily-scribed copies made by Lord Faramir, two scribes of that guild, Master Redglass and myself. I had watched them getting out quills, inkpots, sanders and parchment, then took out Jehan's valyndrar from my pouch, requested two inkwells, and made two copies at once.

Dalf:

Lady Silma had quietly gone out of the room while we were dividing up our forces. Had there been other Dwarves there, we would have already been underground, but apparently most Men cannot easily follow such topographical diagrams, some are actually as afraid of being under good solid earth as we Dweorg dislike being high above it—I have heard that some Wood-Elves, and the Wood-Men of Mirkwood, actually live on platforms in the branches of trees, unless those are fantastic traveler’s tales—and there was a necessity to not weaken the forces of those remaining too much. It was a pity that Gimli had gone with the Host, and Lord Faramir was regretting his Rangers’ absence also. Still, my lady had pointed out that if a guard was set upon the exits of known tunnels, including those revealed by the bombardment’s damage, at least the orcs could not get out as easily as they may have gotten in. In the back of my mind, I had been noting the clever copying device she had produced, wherein one wrote with a metal pen instead of a quill as was customary, but fastened to another one by a thin rigid bar, which, dipped into another inkwell, would mime the movement of the first, and produce a second copy in the same amount of time as the first was written. Lords Húrin and Faramir had also recognized its utility. She said that her husband had devised it.

She returned, and my jaw dropped.

“My lady?” Faramir said faintly.

Somewhere—from a page?—she had borrowed a shirt and a pair of boy’s breeches, and stood holding my knife in one hand and a lantern in the other. “Just like the book halls,” said Gilannis, but no one paid her any heed.

“I will go too,” Lady Silma said.

I heard myself growl. There was a chorus of dissent. She raised her voice over all of us. “It makes sense. I know how to read these maps, and I have many tunnels memorized already, which will speed things. If there are orcs in them, how long before they find means to get out? Our people are completely unprepared for any such attacks!”

“No,” Lord Húrin shook his head. “We will not
discuss it; time is wasting. A lady cannot do any such thing!”

“My lords, Lord Aragorn asked me would I be available to assist as I might, and I am bound by my word that I would. I am no shieldmaid of Rohan, but have I no right to do what I can to defend the city where I bide? I can use a knife, I can hold the light to disemcumber a fighting-man, and if naught else, I could run to notify others where they are. Can you afford not to send me? Or are the women of Gondor too weak to help?”

I was as aghast as they—perhaps more, since we have so few women among the Dweorg. Yet I heard myself say, “She has already slain one orc.”

Lord Faramir had an odd expression on his face, then shook his head. Lord Húrin asked me, “You think she should do this? I thought that the Dwarves—”

“It is not my decision to make,” I said sourly. My heart was hammering with fear for her; my mind conjured up grisly visions of what could happen to her.

“Aye, Lady,” said Lord Faramir abruptly. “May all the Valar and Eru Iluvatar grant that I do not regret this, but aye, you may go.”

Had he Foreseen it? I wondered but did not ask.

I managed a word with the men chosen to be in her group, letting them know that if any hair of her head was harmed while in their company, they would answer to me.

Silma:

I don’t know what possessed me to volunteer to go with one group, but I did. It was a logical step, as I pointed out. Master Redglass pleased me—and yet, for some reason, did not—by reminding them that I had slain an orc, even if it had been more luck than anything else. While he gave brief directions to each group on fighting tactics in a confined space, I moved aside to Lord Húrin, who was still shaking his head after Lord Faramir exerted his authority. I had seen a young woman among the wounded in the Houses a few days before, and it was rumored that she had served among his Rangers in Ithilien. Unfortunately, I had not been able to speak with her.

“You are determined on this?” asked the old Warden.

“I regret that you disapprove, my lord, but yes, I am,” I replied.

“I do disapprove, curse it,” he said glumly, “and a fine pass we are come to, to have to depend upon a gently-bred lady who ought to be protected, not risking her life against those foul creatures! Yet I respect your courage, my lady, and your willingness to use your knowledge and skills for us. You have our thanks.”

“You will think I am a poor person to have charge of your great-niece,” I said lightly.

“On the contrary, that was one of the few good decisions I have made—although I suppose I should have asked if you wanted the task. Gilannis, you will stay with me until Lady Silma returns.”

“I should tell you, my lord, that I think a great deal of her trouble is simple ignorance. She had no notion of why the White Tree should be held in reverence, for example. And it was she who located the parchment for which we searched.”

He grunted, but I was glad that I had told him that. The comment earned me a startled look from her, but she said nothing.

“Your pardon for the interruption,” said a voice at my elbow, and there stood Master Redglass with Lord Faramir. My Dwarf glowered at both Men. “Have you an armory that might have something suitable for her to wear and wield?” he demanded.

“Indeed, I have already sent to the pages’ mentor,” said Lord Faramir, and soon that worthy. Ser Calembral, was entering, his arms full of clanking, glittering materials.

Laid on a table, these were resolved into two chainmail shirts, one large enough to fit rather tightly over my bosom and hips yet not too long in the sleeves, a round helm with the wings of the Guard engraved on each side, a padded tunic of leather and cloth to go under the chainmail, and two swords. Master Redglass swung each before handing me one. “This will do, although the balance point is a bit off and it’s a hair too long for your size,” he said grudgingly. I swallowed as he girded the belt and scabbard around my waist, settling it on my right hip. It seemed remarkably heavy for its size.

Lord Faramir had helped me put on the chainmail and tunic, although I laced it myself, and he handed me the helmet. “We are rich in such as you, my lady,” he said formally.

I could not curtsey properly in breeches and mail, so I inclined my head.

A strong hand gripped my elbow and steered me to one side. “You will be careful,” Master Redglass growled at me.

I nodded. Was I really going to do this? WHY could I never keep my impulses under control? “And you as well,” I said. Thank Elbereth Star-Kindler, my voice was steady.

“Try to stay to the back. They will try to put out the lanterns, since their night vision will be better. If you encounter any, try to move to the back, out of the way.”

“And you as well,” I said. “I mean, I know you will be in the forefront, but please be careful.”

“Mrmph,” he grunted.

Just then, Lord Faramir told us to move out, and we quickly made our way to our designated entries.


~~~

I spent years collecting MERP modules from ICE, although I have never played any role-playing game; references to specific buildings in Minas Anor/Minas Tirith are from their Cities of Middle-Earth series: Minas Anor. Since I spent over 9 yrs working as the Reserves Assistant in the Circulation Department at Hunt Library, the main campus library at Carnegie Mellon University, and part of my job involved a) processing and maintaining an average of between 30-100 reserve items for over 100 faculty each semester; b) training and supervising 35-45 work/study students and c) supervising the Circulation Desk, I wondered what system Middle-Earth libraries used to catalog their materials, not to mention shelve and retrieve them. I was also thinking of the two times I had researcher privileges at the Library of Congress, spending weeks in the Jefferson Library's magnificent reading room and the Map Room at the Madison Library.
The valyndrar double pen-copier, known in our world as the polygraph exists; I saw it in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House museum in Portland, ME when I was a little girl; the placard said that it belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Until I checked, I thought it was one of his inventions. Not so; it was invented by John Isaac Hawkins, an Englishman who obtained an American patent for it in 1803, presented one to Jefferson the following year, and gave the American manufacturing rights to Charles Willson Peale, the artist and lifelong friend of TJ. Peale made improvements to it, some suggested by TJ, who called it one of the finest inventions of the century and used it for all duplicated correspondence. It should more properly be called a pantograph, and it must have been a boon for a busy professional with limited time. See http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/Polygraph for a picture and further details. And no, I don't know why I saw it in Maine--I just clearly remember my family wondered how it had gotten there. Besides, I am old enough that I can still remember the wonder with which my dad showed off an early photocopier in the office when I was about 12. Silma uses a simplified version. The Elvish word for it comes from http://www.coveworld.net/eberron/aerenal_translator.html.
Also, I very much appreciate Azalais' gracious permission to use Parmandil, Lore-Keeper of the Archives under the Citadel.


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