"How badly do we need to know?" Feris asked. He sat next to Allianora on his bed in the roadside inn. Nimble and Rathgar sat on the opposite bed. A large rough wardrobe stood next to the door of the small room, and a table between the beds held several bottles and glasses.
"Pretty badly Feris." Nimble snapped.
"That's not good enough. I know you think... I'm not being unreasonable here. Yes, I can get us the information, but it's going to come with a price."
"We can pay." Rathgar assured him.
"No. Not 'we', me. I'll pay. You don't have anything they want. They keep secrets. And for them to give up this secret, it's going to cost... More than you've got. They're going to want power. Magic. Not just an item, but a spell... they're going to want the very magic from me that makes it work. And I'll never be able to get it back."
Allianora put her hand on Feris' shoulder. "We wouldn't, we couldn't ask..."
"But it is actually that important."
Feris sighed, nodded, and stood up from the bed.
The door of the wardrobe opened into a small richly appointed waiting room. Dark wood chairs with plum cushions, heavy curtains hanging over opaque windows. green and black patterned wall paper mostly hidden by shelves full of books and trinkets and portraits of black eyed somber figures of all races and manner of formal dress.
Nimble stared at the wardrobe. "Where's my cloak?"
"Shut up Nimble." Rathgar hissed.
"Don't wait up." Feris smiled sadly and stepped through the doorway. The door slammed shut behind him.
The Keepers of the Word are a group of magical beings who collect, trade, and sell secrets. They inhabit an extradimensional library that can be accessed by simply knowing how to knock on a door, any door, the right way. They're always listening at doorways for the knock, and know not to open to combat. While they are not omniscient, they are highly versed in just about every subject under the sun, and many beyond it. Whenever they are seen, they always seem to have pitch black eyes. Ion stones (or things that look like them) hover and spin about their heads. It's not known if the number or color of stones is related to rank or knowledge.