Confidential Communication From: Chiku Kinuthia, Department of Occult Research, Leonis Base To: Thascius Questionmark, Junior Special Agent, Tal Sharnis Bureau Subject: Book of Vhöl Dear Agent Questionmark, Your inquiry regarding the alleged copies of the Book of Vhöl and Mysteries of the Worm that were listed as being in the possession of Senior Special Agent Ethan Rex was forwarded to me. I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know that Agent Quilq was correct in his surmise that Agent Rex has not disappeared onto the Plateau of Leng with the actual Book of Vhöl. There is only one copy of the Book of Vhöl in existence, and it is known to be in the possession of the Witch-Queen of Gomothrax. The Witch-Queen has owned the Book of Vhöl for the past few centuries. It was in the possession of the builder and previous tenant of Gomothrax, the sorceror Apraxos, until the Witch-Queen defeated him and took possession of Gomothrax and its library. As further evidence that the copy carried by Agent Rex is not the genuine article, I offer this fact that my researches have turned up: the Book of Vhöl contains the key to summoning and controlling Vhöl. The book’s creator, the Imperatrix Shibare, was smart enough to recognize that one potential hazard of using the book was that Vhöl, upon appearing, might just grab the book and vanish with it. To prevent this, she placed powerful enchantments upon the Book of Vhöl which prevent it from being placed in any extradimensional space (Vhöl itself being, in some sense, an infinite sentient extradimensional space – that’s a gross oversimplification of the nature of Vhöl, of course, but it’s accurate enough for purposes of the enchantments in question). A side-effect of these enchantments is that the Book of Vhöl cannot be stored in a d-pocket or any of the similar miniature extradimensional storage spaces that our senior agents use to carry extra equipment. So if Agent Rex did have the Book of Vhöl, it would have been quite obvious, because he would have been forced to carry it the regular way, without hiding it in a d-pocket. In other words, he would have been seen lugging a massive grimoire around with him, in his arms or in a large sack or some such thing. Which was not the case, according to multiple eyewitnesses who saw him leave Tal Sharnis and head out onto the Plateau. Therefore, I must agree with Agent Quilq’s assessment: the “Book of Vhöl” that Agent Rex carries is merely a copy of the fake mass-market paperback “Book of Vhöl” that was published as a hoax by a second-rate publisher of popular occult books on Earth A-15 some years ago. Unfortunately, it appears that the same cannot be said for the copy of Mysteries of the Worm that Agent Rex has carried with him onto the Plateau. This is one of the actual 19 existing original copies of Mysteries of the Worm, which until recently was in a vault in the library of the Department of Occult Research here on Leonis Base. According to our records, Agent Rex perused this copy of Mysteries of the Worm at length last year, allegedly to investigate its connection to the roots of Vasgian cloning technologies. No one has been able to tell me why Agent Rex was investigating Vasgian cloning technologies when he was supposed to be tracking an interdimensional serial killer; the details of the case have been sealed by Internal Affairs. Anyway, it seems Agent Rex somehow managed to abscond with our copy of Mysteries of the Worm – which, unlike the Book of Vhöl, can be easily concealed in a d-pocket and thus smuggled on an agent’s person. On behalf of the Department of Occult Research, I want to thank you for bringing this theft to our attention. Should you succeed in locating Agent Rex, it is of the utmost importance that this copy of Mysteries of the Worm be returned to the Department of Occult Research here on Leonis Base. Sincerely, Chiku Kinuthia Department of Occult Research Leonis Base
And here’s Cordy’s BFF and pen pal Chiku Kinuthia again, this time writing to Agent Thascius Questionmark (aka “T.Q.”) in her official capacity as an authority on interdimensional occult artifacts in the Reality Patrol’s Department of Occult Research.
Apparently, Thas got concerned at what he heard from Agent Quilq in the previous chapter, and decided to contact an expert.
It’s not always obvious in their letters to each other, but Cordy and Chiku, despite both being rather young, are both absolutely brilliant in their respective fields.
Chiku’s letter is also loaded with juicy hints about some of the bigger story arcs of the Weird Luck saga.
See you next Wednesday,