“Shit!”

The gunpowder clouds filled my lungs, causing me to cough violently without hesitation.

Lawrence you alright?!” asked a concerned Saul.
“Yeah…” I cough again, “this damn smoke from the gunpowder is stealing my breath away…”

Flowing like that of a river, pools of militia from both the Fighting Phils and Waltzers storm into the once empty streets. Bullets and swords can be heard in the near distance clanking off one another or them falling to the battered stone road below.
The bellowing smoke reminded me something of the huge amounts of steam that the Dreamers once used back in Oshkosh. I remember seeing a small demo that was taking place in a stall at the hub, which was about maybe four or five years ago. It was a marvel to see how the machines could turn and revolve with a flick of the wrist on the rusty valves.

We escaped majority of the skirmishes in the streets by back tracking into building or side streets but even then, we still came up short sometimes.
With a recent bargain for supplies at a local pawn shop for a tent, medical supplies, and a burlap sack for a musket we came across it was starting to become a rather good afternoon for us. That is till we got back into the smoke covered intersections and streets, it just went back to be rather threatening day.

Our main goal for our travels had led us to Madison in the attempt to find the LoreKeepers and to get their help on deciphering a notebook that Floyd had owned from his father. Since getting here, we’ve gathered only that they live within the UW Madison Center and are currently underground. Finding then now will only be a matter of time I thought.

We pass what seems like an older art museum (which we wondered what that would give in this day of age) and head towards a building of pure white marble stone. We could see that electricity was being fed into the large stone building, which had been a first to Floyd and Eliza who apparently lived most of their lives not in the bustling towns or major cities, which now has populated the land.

“Excuse me sir mind if we go in?” asked Saul in his most polite tone to the guard in front of the marble building. The guards face showed the effects of all the fighting and skirmishes that lay just outside the center's boundaries. His eyes, let alone his harden exterior, drifts into space, perhaps looking for an escape from his guarding responsibilities.

“This is restricted space. If you wish to enter you must had over any weapons that you own, but even then I’ll need to have some form of identification…” said the guard.
“If that is so then what lies within this beauty of a structure? Until we know will we hand over our weapons,” I say while showing off the musket rifle in my left hand.
“If you don’t know, then why do you wish to enter?”
“Haha..” I begin to let out a small chuckle at his question, “I’m sorry sir. The other Lorekeepers and I were talking about having some fun with guards once in awhile.”
“…” The guards face attempts to show confusion but can’t without making him seem less tough.
“I am sir, my apologies for the joke.” I bow teasingly. “While I was walking about for my duties up in Oshkosh looking for artifacts, I came across these good folks as they seem to have in possession something of interest that…”
“Ugh. Just go inside already... Damn these sophisticated guys always talking in long and drown out ways…” stated the guard bluntly as we strolled into the door behind him. I give off a small smile in disbelief as my lie just got us into the complex without giving up our weapons and names.
“He should have smiled at least…” Said Saul is a muffled voice, “Really creped me out that’s for sure…”

The interior of the complex was little more than breath taking. Entering the main hall, stacks of paper work, books, documents, televisions and other assortment of equipment lay astray on tables and the nicely polished floor. It was like a tornado had struck the inside of the building only to leave everything that wasn’t nailed down into a mess. To many it would look like nothing could be accomplished here, but as a merchant I knew all too well that “chaotic organization” could be useful at times.
“Who the hell are you?!” A voice questioned from the side of us. “How did you even get in here!”
The voice came from a short blonde male in a robe sort of clothing, which made him seem more like priest than a Lorekeeper.
“Calm down, erm…?” I asked.
“My names George Richardson, secretary of the Lorekeepers!” screamed back George.
“Our apologies George,” responded Saul seeming concerned by his lack of anger management, “My name is Saul Leitmann, we’ve come here seeking advice about an artifact we’ve come across from our friend Floyd here. It seems to be some sort of manual for steam or something related to engineering. That’s all we know from just looking at it.”
“Mmm… Well then, hand it over then and we can see what you have…”
“…” Saul’s face looks back at us, me nodding my head to the side.

“We’d like someone else to look over it if that alright. Personal reasons sorry.”
George stops and thinks for a second but slowly looks at a old watch stuck to his wrist and nods.
“I think there might be someone who could help. Come with me to the waiting room please.”
We smile in agreement. Time to find out what the hell we’ve been carrying around for so long. Better be worth it…