They dropped from the rooftops, landing in front of the brahmaur. Snorting, the Brahmaur hefted his axe and charged them. He swung the axe. The large blade chopped clean through two men and stuck in a third.With a savage twist, he pulled the blade free. The remaining thugs in front of him ran for their lives. Those who had been following raced to attack him from behind. One dagger jabbed into his side. A second never bothered to do damage. Instead, the thug wielding this dagger sliced the leather strands tying a scroll tube to the Brahmaur's belt. The tube fell free. Spinning about, the Brahmaur swung his axe. The thug who had cut the tube free dove beneath the axe to catch the tube.He rolled clear of the fight and all the thugs ran away. Back in their hideout, the thugs opened the tube and took out the scroll. Charcoal words, somewhat smeared from being rolled up, wrote a stupid mundane letter of nothing. This was a cover, though. The real message was invisible. Word was, if the scroll was held over a light the secrets written on it would be revealed. Eager to see what secrets they could sell, the leader of the gang held the scroll over a lantern. The moment letters sterted to be revealed, the scroll burst into flames. "Bloody damned Brahmaur tricks!"
What Is a Pen?
To understand what a Spybane pen is, its best to known what other pens are like. Pens used by most folks are quills whose tips can be tipped with various different tips that write in many sizes. A tipped quill is dipped in an inkpot and then written upon paper for a couple of words which used up the ink. The tip is dipped again and the writing continues. Gnomes, being small but clever tinkerers, make pens that are hollow. There are also a variety of nips that can be attached to these pens, too. These nibs are shaped to flow a very thin stream of ink as the pen is moved along the paper. Ink is poured into the hollow and can keep the ink wet and fresh for about a week. When not using these pens, its kept in a special holder with the tip up to prevent the ink from draining out throguh the tip.
Brahmaur have big hands. Quill pens do not fit well in their hands and the gnome pens are just too tiny to be of use to them. However, brahmaur are used to tinkering things to fit them. Finding the gnome style of pen to be very handy, they created a similar pen. The pen is an inch thick and a footlong, with a long hollow inside. The nib is made in one size as its hollow. As the nib narrows, the sharp tip other pens have is gone. It is also as hollow as the pen with a tiny metal ball in the tip. When stored tip down, the ink in the pen presses down on the ball preventing it from leaking out. This prevents it from drying out as fast as a gnome pen. As a brahmaur writes, this pushes the ball up into the tip, allowing the ink to flow into the paper.
Secret of the Pen
The secret of a Spybane Pen is not the pen, but the ink inside it combined with a varnish. Mixing lazulchalk, a soft mineral that leave a blue streak when scraped against any surface and can be ground into a fine power, is finely ground and mixed with mineral water, it makes a pale blue ink that fades as it dries. When completely dry, the ink is colorless and now invisible. When lazulchalk is touched by magic, even from a spell passing near it, the lazulchalk glows. This glow produces a gentle heat.
Once a paper with lazulchalk ink on it is dry, a brahmaur brushes a varnish made of lemon juice and water over the written words. Holding a paper dried with this varnish over a flame to try and read the invisible message, ignites the varnish that burn all the paper its on in a flash. Those who think magic will bypass this, are always disappointed. When lazulchalk is touched by magic, even from a spell passing near it, the lazulchalk glows. This glow produces a gentle heat. This heat then ignites the varnish, burning the paper in a flash.