The woman at the information desk in the main entry hall had directed Athron to the second sub-basement, and given him a map that showed him how to take the first long hall behind her desk to the left, and then the second set of stairs down. The temperature dropped as he went down, and the humidity, and common sense told him that the difference was probably one of the reasons why the older maps were kept here. He emerged from the landing and looked left, then right, down a long stone hall lit by mage-lights every fifteen feet. Somewhere to the left, distant footsteps echoed, but not one was within sight.
“Right then,” he murmured to himself as he turned. Engraved metal placards marked each room, and he glanced in some as he passed. The entries of most, though not all, glimmered with a hint of magic, and he suspected the doorless entrances were, in fact, not easily passed. Not without an escort anyway. The one where he had been directed, however, was open – fifty feet long and twenty wide, with a long rectangular table in the center and a small desk at the far end, and racks upon racks of rolled maps lining the walls. A Shal man, of average height, was seated at the desk, magnifying glass in hand as he looked at a folio-sized sheet of parchment. He looked up and blinked.