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Located in the Taldan Capitol city of Oppara, Venture-Captain Muesello’s lodge hides behind the facade of a simple bait and tackle shop, which Muesello dutifully maintains to provide Pathfinders a local base of operations that doesn’t invite much scrutiny. His pockmarked face breaks into a smile as bell on the door jingles, and he motions for everyone to gather in the building’s back room before locking up the shop and propping a sign in the window that reads “Gone fishing.”
In the back room, a tall, thin, Taldan female, dressed in a formal, high-collared gown, sits primly at a table by a small fireplace. Musello bows formally, and says:
"Agents of the Society, it is my humble honour to introduce to you Lady Gloriana Morilla, a long time ally of the Pathfinders. It is thanks to her that we have our current opportunity before us." Venture-Captain Muesello quietly closes the door behind him before continuing to speak. “The Pathfinder Society does not have a sterling reputation in Taldor, despite my and others’ efforts to impress the local moves and shakers. As a result, the most prestigious universities and colleges often deny our agents access to the best libraries in Oppara, thinking we are meddling good-for-nothings. As one of the oldest intact civilizations near the Inner Sea, these libraries no doubt house some very precious volumes. Recently we received a most wonderful opportunity—an invitation, really, from a very powerful patron,” he adds as he withdraws a scroll tube with a broken wax seal from his apron.
“This patron will secure us a couple hours in the rare books collection at the Kitharodian Academy, during which we may peruse for whatever we wish so long as we also retrieve several documents of interest for our friend. That,” he punctuates by tapping the scroll tube on the table “is where things get interesting. Apparently there is an even more precious archive hidden beneath the academy’s library, and our patron believes it to contain numerous original records and undoctored historical accounts otherwise unknown to the world! Our contact knows how to get into the archive and has shared the secret with us.
Two hours is little time, so you must make the most of your time. I know it will be tempting to research other interests, but it would be selfish for the Society to think of itself when the Worldwound’s borders threaten to envelop Mendev and beyond. I am sending you in with the express purpose of uncovering more information about the Shining Crusade, the sustained war against the Whispering Tyrant a millennium ago.”
Lady Morilla snaps open a fan to fend off the room’s growing warmth, adding, “Historically, Taldor is the authority on massive military campaigns, but most texts have undergone extensive revision to serve some political agenda or another. Entering this hidden archive is an excellent opportunity to learn from the real mistakes of the past and apply those lessons to the Mendevian Crusade.
Remember that you have permission to be in the academy’s library, but not in this secret archive, so do everything you can to avoid being noticed while exploring. In fact, the fewer clues you leave of your passage, the better. Specifically do not steal or destroy any of the library’s contents. A few slip-ups might alert the authorities that someone has been poking around, and too many with give them enough evidence to trace this act to us.”
Muesello opens a drawer in the table and begins pulling out a couple small parcels wrapped in cloth. “Any questions?”
Feel free to dot, and make an introductory post :-)
"Specifically do not steal or destroy any of the library’s contents. A few slip-ups might alert the authorities that someone has been poking around, and too many with give them enough evidence to trace this act to us.”
At these words, Brother Tophor's building tension is eased. Trespassing and espionage are trifles, but outright theft another thing entirely. Nodding respectfully to Taldan, he rises to speak.
"Lady Morilla - should we expect guards or other witnesses in or near the rare books collection, during our time there?"
A tall man wearing simple clothing pays astute attention from a corner. Upon his shoulder sits a jet black hawk. Good eyesight might reveal small dots of light upon its feathers. There is something else different about the man. Despite the fact that he is in a shadowed corner his eyes seem to glimmer with starlight.
This is nightdeath reporting in. Will have this one updated by then.
As soon as I wake up in about 6 hours my character will be updated as he just finished turning Level 3, but other than that I am good anywhere in the middle.
Away at work. Will be back by Monday. AM too tired to post anything.
A halfling wearing flashy-almost gaudy-billowy clothes steps up and asks Muesello "Since we can't take or steal anything, how are we supposed to bring information back with us? Read it and remember what we read or copy it onto some papers?" He then turns around to the group and says with a smile on his face "Pardon me, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Hyrgan, and I shall lend my strings if need be." With that, he pulls his fiddle off his back plays a couple of notes and places it back.
Before we begin what is it we are in need of. I can call a spirit to aid me in whatever area the group thinks the most appropriate.
Okay, so we have Alden, Wadreskus, Hyrgan, Anaduno, and Tophor.
Musello nods with satisfaction. "Very well, let's send you on your way."[/b] Lady Morilla then speaks again. "Tomorrow evening, the Kitharodian Academy will host an extravagant orchestral performance
in celebration of the Grand Prince’s birthday. Such an event should last several hours, and if rumors are to be believed, the Kitharodian’s finest intend to play a complex medley of Taldor’s greatest songs. Several of these are rather dramatic at times, and the sound should drown out any noise you make. With any luck, the performance will also draw away most of the guards."
Muesello then slides a pair of clothwrapped parcels toward the party. "This one," he says, tapping the first parcel, "contains a deck of illusions that I am in the process of modifying; instead of each card creating a random creature, each one creates a copy of one of you. The illusions won’t interact with anyone, but they can pretend to be reading and deceive the casual observer. Each only lasts for two hours, though. Stick a card to the bottom of a chair to create the illusion, and don’t forget to remove the card when you’re done. The other package contains several potions in case of emergency."
A Potion of Invisibility, and a Potion of Pass Without Trace.
"Now, if there are no further questions, you have until tomorrow to make any preparations that you would care to. Good luck, Pathfinders!"
"You will not be going to the event. You are using it as cover. As to how to get into the archive..."
Musello opens a scroll tube, and pulls out a letter.
"This is a formal request signed by the Arch-Exarch Gregorius to admit the bearers to the Kitharodian Academy’s rare books collection." He then pinches the bridge of his nose. "Please note this is just the *rare* books collection, *not* the hidden archive; you will need to use the deck to create duplicates, and then find the hidden entrance on your own. To that end, we have some intelligence: Apparently, once inside the rare books section, in order to find the hidden entrance, you need to 'study honour, courage, and glory'...
As to how to transmit the information that you find, either remember what you find, or transcribe it. *do not* steal the originals; the aim of the exercise as to have no-one ever realise that you were down there..."
Tophor's brow wrinkles as he muses over Musello's words. Taking the proffered letter, he inspects the wording and seal while nibbling his thumb nail absent-mindedly.
"Study honor, courage, and glory... that's a bit cryptic; The Academy must keep their secrets quite close. I suppose the tricky part will be to uncover the riddle of the archive's entrance quickly."
Any specifics on this letter? Does it mention the number of people, names, or dates? Its probably nothing, but it might be handy to know.
For those of us that don't have access to the ACG...Hyrgan says to Wadreskus Hall "I'm not familiar with shamans. What spirits can you call exactly?"
The natural world is filled with spirits, I have forged a special bond with a spirit of the heavens, I can form weaker bonds with any one other spirit at a time. There are spirits of battle, bone, flame, life, lore, nature, waves, and even the wind. Right now that weaker bond is with a Life spirit. This allows me to channel positive energy a couple of times per day. There are more offensive spirits as well if that is what we decide we want.
Unfortunately it takes a bit of time to change spirits, I can only do so around Twilight so i will need to make my choice tonight. What ever one I attract will be with me for the duration of our time in the library.
"Then Life sounds best."
The monk is confused and unsettled by the mysterious fellow who speaks of commanding spirits, but nods at at the Halfling's response. "I know little of your... witchcraft? ...and have no experience when it comes to the manipulation of spirits - I will yield to your own judgement of how best to apply your own... talents."
You shouldn't sense any animosity in his manner - just someone carefully choosing words so as to not offend a comrade.
"We should probably obtain parchment and charcoal, or ink and quill, to duplicate any relevant information. Other than that, I am ready."
I'm happy to pitch in for a Scrivener's kit and some paper or parchment, but I'm just a poor monk, with a single gp to my name...
I can buy the Scrivener's Kit but I have to do a little housekeeping first.To Brother Tophor, Hyrgan says "I can purchase the Scrivener's kit and use it." Hyrgan pauses, than comments "Unless someone else can write better than I can"Linguistics skill of +6
"Thank you, master bard. I can purchase a few sheets of parchment, though we might need more, depending on what we discover."
Hyrgan - Unless we have time for or need of an actual forgery, I don't think it will matter too much, but I'm personally happy to leave that particular task in your trained hands. I've added 5 sheets of parchment, but that's all the coin I have. Would anyone else care to contribute?
"I look forward to it." Brother Tophor nods to Anaduno and the others, and exits behind the elf.
Tophor is good to go.
"Then I shall leave my bedroll, waterskin, and trail rations behind and then pick up the Scrivener's kit." Hyrgan thanks Musello. "I shall take my entertainer's clothes with me. In case I'm seen, I'll just say I'm one of the performers from the band but I took the wrong turn to the 'john.'" Hyrgan spoke a little street slang he picked up from his time performing.
Hyrgan is ready to go.
I'm sorry for the long wait people. Work simply slaughtered me during the weekend. If we need to purchase anything other than just parchment, please inform me. I'll inform GM of my purchases then.
"I'm Alden Darkcrown, Your mission will be my duty. By Asmodeous will this shall be done." States the hevily armored man covered from head to toe in armor.
I will purchase some parchment as well.
I will purchase 20 sheets of parchment as well as ink and a pen.
Alright, let's move things along.
"Ambrus Valsin contacted me with this message, which he said is written in a Taldan cipher that the Society is yet to crack. If you find an notes about old codes that work for this message, please report back with your findings."
Written on the scrap of paper is the following:
Following the mission briefing, the party is able to disperse to the four winds to make their preparations, before gathering to go to the library.
Colloquially called “the Kith,” the Kithrodian Academy is the largest bard college in the city, and ranks among the largest on Golarion. Although this grand academy allows all souls that wish to enroll the chance to prove themselves, students must adhere to a code of education and rigorous self discipline. Each department advisor sets forth the graduation requirements for their students.
The Kitharodian Academy sits atop the northern cliffs of Oppara and has an impressive view of the Porthmos River valley. The school boasts architecture as lovely as its music, and elegant domes, towers, and columns adorn the principle music hall. On the night of the performance, mirror-focused lanterns and dancing lights illuminate the structure, making the academy a radiant beacon of Taldor’s greatness.
Just outside the Kitharodian Academy, there are crowds of commoners and nobility alike jostling to enter the music hall. The party has no difficulty pushing its way into the increasingly crowded building, but convincing an usher or other member of the Kitharodian staff to show you to the library will be another matter entirely...
Bluff, Diplomacy or Intimidate, to be precise.
Alternately, a Knowledge(Local) check might let you know where to go.
Alden looks around the crowd and considers his options.
His armor notwithstanding, he would need to somehow get another to aid him.
Perception, Attempt to spot an usher or staff for aid. 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7
Diplomacy, if he ever gets someone to help him get into the library. 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Knowledge (local), if all else fails. 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9 ok.....not a single roll above 10. Sigh. Doesn't forebold well for this.....
Searching for a staff member, Brother Tophor eyes the crowd for someone in livery - hopefully someone meek and accommodating, like an apprentice.
Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (12) + 14 = 26
Seeing where they are, Hyrgan feels kind of sad that he can't watch the performers and take notes on how to perform better. But he thinks about where to go. Let's see here, first Knowledge(local): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27, then a Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9, and finally a Bluff: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20 just in case one of them is not good enough.
Guessing he knows where to go, he uses bluff to get past the staff if he needs to.
Hyrgan has clearly been here before, and is easily able to take the party straight to the library.
The library is nearly empty thanks to the imminent performance, but there is still a librarian on duty - a young Taldan man who introduces himself as Tobias.
"How can I be of assistance?"
Taking a look at the Arch-Exarch's letter, he quickly reads over it, before ushering you to the restricted section of the library.
"Please be aware that all visitors must leave the library once the performance concludes in about two hours. Good luck with your research."
He then turns around and departs, leaving you to explore the room. A large table stands at the center of this large room, whose walls are lined with rows upon rows of inset shelves. A set of double doors is the only way into the room, and two stone statues depicting bearded scholars with open books are the only other decorations.
Let me know what you would like to do next :-)
"'Study honour, courage, and glory,' He said...
Tophor takes in the view of the room's many book-lined shelves.
"Shall we look into that, before setting the cards?"
Setting words to action, he starts searching the shelves for categories or a subject catalog.
Perceptions: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (10) + 14 = 24
"Hmmm, study honour, courage, and glory..." Hyrgan says to himself, looking lost in thought while looking around the room. He sees the statues and decides to investigate them. Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29 Where are the statues situated in the room, like how much space is between them?"
Wadreskus whispers to his hawk and it flies around looking for anything thing that could have anything to do with honour, courage, or glory.
Perception: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (15) + 17 = 32
Alden assists the others knowing the books to be important and makes sure to close the door.
Aid Another 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (20) + 0 = 20<--Faints.
Tophor manages to spot that a section of the west wall is hinged to swing outward, and that the mechanism for opening it must be nearby...
...with that information in hand, Hyrgan notices that both of the statues hold blunt styluses—sometimes used to help read old, fragile texts—that point to their books, but only the western statue’s book actually any words: a column of words that reads “Innovation, respect, knowledge, courage, integrity, honor, excellence, glory” in that order. Moreover, the right arm of the western statue can be rotated up or down by several degrees, allowing one to shift the word that the statue’s stylus points at...