The Torch of Al-Azbah Part I
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October 23, 1972 This is my journal, detailing the circumstances by which I decided to pursue the map to the great lost city of Al-Azbah. My name is Aaron Davis, a modern-day scholar and proud member of the Serpent's Hand. My journey began just four days ago, in a small out-of-the-way town in central Missouri. That day I met a fellow scholar by the name of Michael Franklin. He told me of the history and myth surrounding an undiscovered city-state from the ancient Greek era known as Al-Azbah. A center of technology, trade, and culture, Al-Azbah was an enormous and powerful city in which it was claimed that the world's soul resided. I was immediately intrigued by this proposal and told him that I would gladly aid him in his quest. It was not long before I went to the Library for aid. Being the largest collection of knowledge in any plane it is an obvious choice for where to search for information about a place not recorded elsewhere.

February 14, 1973 only three and a half months after I met him came a tragedy and a stop to my work when Michael was killed in an automobile accident driving home from a dinner we had shared. I attended his funeral and then went home and packed up my research. The work reminded me too much of him and I did not feel that I could continue it without him.

March 11, 1977 I was searching through my attic and came across the boxes of notes that I created in tandem with Michael. I knew that he would not have wanted me to discontinue the search because of his death, so I hauled the boxes down into my living room and opened them back up. It was as if I was reading it with new eyes. Hundreds of previously overlooked connections became apparent to me and I felt that Michael was proud of me, wherever he was.

March 12, 1977
My living room is a disaster! Michael's paper files are scattered, spread out on every possible surface.
I've begun the seemingly impossible task of sorting his work into categories that can be tackled at a later date.
14 piles of maps, 7 piles of written journals, 9 piles of notebooks, 23 boxes of photographs, and 2 boxes of mostly unmarked jump drives.
It seems overwhelming right now. After all, I also have all of my research to somehow connect to his work. This is a compilation of hundreds of interviews, studies, and research. Exhaustion dictates that I stop for the night. My best hope is for a restful night to prepare me for what lies ahead.

March 22, 1977
There have been some incredible discoveries and unexpected twists. One text of particular note is this excerpt from page 115 of Mythical Cities of History by Arthur Newic a Spanish historian. Written in 1573 it details many popular cities of folklore and gives their possible explanation or real-life equivalent.


The City of the Undying Torch

The legend of Al-Azbah and the World's Soul stretches back to the tenth century B.C. in literature naming it the center of the world, and the heart of the universe. Al-Azbah seems to be simply another city, albeit a great center of trade and culture. The true gem of this fabled city is the lore of the Torch which lay upon a golden Diaz in the center of the city. It was rumored to be the world's soul and it was said that if it ever went out, the world would begin to unravel. It is uncertain whether there really was a torch of Al-Azbah or even if this city truly existed. If so it has been lost for millennia and has passed even out of common legend and song in the last few centuries.

Some scholars believe that the Torch is meant to represent the safety of any who would wish to be taken in by the city, while others scepticize that the entire city is pure myth. No substantial proof can be given either way as all maps or ruins have been lost to time. It is theorized that somewhere beyond the ways a single map has been left for any who wish to wander there.

There however is a known city that may have been the place that inspired the myth of Al-Azbah. This is the great city of Taro in South America. This city was founded seven hundred years before the writing of the first document referencing Al-Azbah. Taro was famous for its great shipyards and large fleet of trade vessels. The most notable ruler of Taro is Gideon Fletching III, a benevolent ruler with a sharp economic mind. It is because of him that Taro amassed such a trade fleet and it is also because of him that Taro was known as the city of eternal light, being a reference to the fact that anyone could find a warm hearth to sit by, and a filling meal if they simply asked in this city.

I, however, hold the belief that Taro was not in fact the legendary Al-Azbah, for, in the essays of Michelin Vorden, Taro is called the "Great Light of the West", an obvious play on the title of Al-Azbah, "The Great Light of the East." I believe that in the normal sense of the word, Al-Azbah is lost to history. I think however that if someone were to uncover the mysterious way, Al-Azbah would be discovered once again.

Of particular note to me is the reference to the Ways. I myself am an attendee of the Library for the great knowledge which it holds. However to find one map within thousands of texts would be near impossible in the lifetime of a man. Even with the help of the Docents, it is possible that I would die still searching for the map. I am torn. Do I strive to find this phantom map of which Arthur speaks, or do I continue to search in a more ordered manner for other texts giving clues as to its whereabouts?

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