There are few men who truly love learning and acquiring knowledge more than Dathern Istul.
The marvelous thing about the withered old bachelor isn’t that he desired power, or control or influence over others in his pursuits.
Dathern simply loved to know things.
How did trees grow and why did water always flow downhill rather than up? Why was the sky blue and how can magic take one object and transform it into another? He sought to understand the various races, their differences and why two groups would ever desire to go to war when they could prosper so greatly being friends?
Dathern Istul loved knowledge for the sake of knowledge…to understand the truth of things.
He also enjoyed imparting that same knowledge to anyone who earnestly desired it themselves.
This was his downfall.
There are many records of how the kind man assisted Lords, Ladies, even King Robert III in the pursuit of specialized knowledge. Translating ancient text for the Royal Archives, assisting in archaeological digs, even locating lost cities and treasure tombs. His payment, each time, was to own the original (or at least a copy) of whatever books and papers were found.
It wasn’t long before word of his skill and growing library of unusual knowledge spread across the land, earning him both fame and a considerable fortune. Before long, his home became too small to contain his personal library and the dedicated patrons who came to him for instruction.
A school would be needed.
It wasn’t what Dathern wanted to do with his life, but the more money he possessed, the more books he could lay hold of. Rare and secret books with rare and delightful knowledge. So he purchased a new manor large enough to house his extensive library and nearly three score students. An exclusive school, which he called Perspicacious, taught the wealthy and affluent.
Dathern endured the experience, hoping someday to retire alone among his books.
People traveled far, including those from the various Universities, to study at Perspicacious. Students who sought to master Dathern’s system of both finding and understanding a wide variety of information with the remarkable clarity he did.
The keenest student of all was Cinta Daniek.
Showing up on the doorstep of Perspicacious, the orphan child was held together by little more than dirty rags and a hopeful smile. Not even ten years of age, he stood boldly before the scholar, asking for an audience.
Amused, Dathern interviewed the street urchin.
Chomping on a furnished apple in one hand and day old rye bread in the other, the child shared his desire. Watching even the lowest of classes among the city streets, Cinta had come to believe that what made all people great in life…was knowledge. To know letters and numbers, laws and secrets would allow a person to do things.
He wanted that knowledge. ANY knowledge that would allow him to live safe and eat every day…and he was willing to serve the master librarian to get it.
Holding out his hand, the child swore an oath of obedience…and waited.
Impressed, Dathern Istul took the lads hand and sealed the deal.
Cinta was cleaned, fed, and immediately began instruction as Dathern’s personal assistant.
Learning took upon a new joy and wonder through the excitement of his new pupil. As the months wore on, Dathern discovered a remarkable hunger in the boy. A passion for knowledge…any knowledge—and not the simple fancies you might find in other children his age. Cinta had a remarkable level of comprehension, of focus and dedication the old bachelor found mimicked his own.
Once more, Dathern quickly discovered that the child looked upon him with humble gratitude, not as a mere benefactor, but as a hero.
…and it was then that Dathern realized he considered Cinta not as a pupil, but as a son.
Over time, Cinta proved to be as great a student as Dathern was a teacher—absorbing anything placed in front of him. Reading, writing, organizing, deciphering, and even translating the most complicated messages, spells and arcane writing from ancient text. It all became second nature to the boy. Within a few short years, the assistant became the teacher. Now with Dathern’s full confidence and trust, Cinta took over all but the most complicated of duties for his adopted father’s business and school. Cinta’s fast gained abilities allowed Dathern the sought for freedom to step away from the day to day dealings of business and pursue his personal interests.
It was the best of times, both in Dathern’s reputation and in fortune. Perspicacious grew from one school into three, providing unlimited opportunities among the wealthy and affluent of society.
…until the wealthy and affluent started turning up dead.
Commissioned by the King to assist in the investigations, Dathern and Cinta worked laboriously to help solve the horrifying murders.
In the end, the two were sadly forced to part ways.
…but that’s a story for another time.
Dathern Istul now lives alone, in a small shop, in a small city, buried deep beneath a rather large mountain.
A remarkable place called, the Black Market.
Surrounded by his curious books, the elderly bachelor continues to study every ounce of new knowledge he can acquire through his pristine collection.
He also offers specific services to his patrons.
If you require hard to find information, whether it be in print or rumor, you can more than likely obtain it through Perspicacious.
…though Dathern no longer accepts students.
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“These books are better than chocolate in our Saturday morning pancakes. Just don’t tell mom.” – Devin, Age 11
“I like these books a lot. Even more than my sisters. But that’s not very hard to do.” – Caleb, age 10
“I really like Dax, cause he reminds me of Uncle Carter. He eats weird food and smells too.” – Johanna, age 13
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