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Scarab Sages

Scarab Sages

(A short, sensibly dressed gnome sporting a dark-blue mustache with just a tinge of white ascends some steps to a lectern. He speaks in a monotone voice, like that of a disinterested professor.)

Submitted for the approval of all suitably knowledgeable Scarab Sages is my latest publication: 'Of the restoration and reincorporation of Ancient Thasallonian Architectural preservation magics.' As you can see through your complimentary handout of my work, after several field (he pauses, sneering at the word) expeditions, I have a working theory on how the ancient Thasallonians cast spells to preserve their buildings, and have proven that it would be possible to cast such spells with our modern spellcasting techniques.

Of course, I leave the exact particulars of how to cast that spell up to our esteemed wizards and various other arcane spellcasters in the society. I am much to busy with the arcane theory to work out the exact spell myself. I have noted a few Ancient Oserian cites have similar magics, and I submit the same thing is happening there. Any questions?"

(Read the publication)

Spoiler:

Understanding the complex arcane formulas requires a DC39 Knowledge (arcana) check. You suspect it was DC 59 to come up with the idea.

Dark Archive

A tall Varisian Half-Elf comes across this interesting handout concerning the Thasallonian Architectural preservation magic. Although not a member of the Scarab Sages, this piques his interest.

As this somewhat beyond my current expertise in the ancient Thasallonian Empire, I feel that this is something that I must review in the future as must seek more knowledge in this area.

Spoiler:
After only a 28 on my Knowledge Arcana, I have found that more research is required

My sister Caiatra, on the other hand is too lazy to look. Sorry.

Scarab Sages

A roguish looking gentleman, the sort of fellow who spends a great deal of time perfecting his care-free, happy-go-lucky appearance, approaches Grundersnutt. He takes the publication, and looks at it briefly. It is unlikely that he learned any information in such a short time.

"Professor Grundersnutt, fascinating stuff, I'm sure! Allow me to introduce myself - Franklin Powers, gentleman adventurer."

He takes the gnome's hand in a firm grip, and shakes it vigorously.

"If you ever find the trials of field research too much of a hardship, just look me up. Death defying escapades in the pursuit of ancient lore are my specialty."

He adds an additional comment, more quietly and in Thassilonian.

In Thassilonian:
At least that's what I tell the ladies, and if they weren't there they don't need to know all the details.

"I find 'em, you bind 'em. I get the peril, you get the publications. You impress the academics, and I impress the fairer sex.

He smiles and shakes Grundersnutt's hand a second time.

Scarab Sages

My dear man, nothing would please me more than to take you up on your offer. Unfortunately, certain parts of my . . . shall we say sedentary lifestyle tendencies disagree with my gnomish biology. Seems my body craves this nonsense 'adventure' stuff or else I start going through the bleaching.

Ancient Thassalonian

Spoiler:

Decent accent, but you had a superfluous 'and' in there. Remember, ancient Thassalonian uses the word 'tacht' for negative if-then clauses. Don't worry, it's a common mistake. I used to make it myself until venture-captain Sasha pointed it out to me. I suspect it is L1 interference from Taldan

Scarab Sages

The woman in the back is quiet, though she stands out for a variety of reasons. Two unseen servants hold books while she points a finger at a journal while she reads through Grundersnutt's thesis, while her eyes follow the flashing pages of lore in the other that her spell calls up. Centuries of lore, fragmented but relevant, flash by the pages as she finished the spell and continued to read it and the thesis the gnome created. All the while her quill flickered back and forth under the power of her cantrip.

Knowledge Arcana:
With the help of her Page-bound epiphany she got a 51.

Very interesting work you have here Grundersnutt The tiefling says in flawless Thassalonian, as a third unseen servant brings around a tray of meat, cheese and fruit and a decanter of chilled wine. The Venture-Captain of 'near' Korvosa smiles at him, her black eyes burning yellow from the depths of her hood. I would like to ask many questions about your research into these magics.. I understand them fairly well but I would not have noticed the foundation myself. I don't suppose you would be willing to visit my modest lodge outside of Korvosa, there are.. locations I would like your opinion on.

Scarab Sages

Cindrana Longroad wrote:

The woman in the back is quiet, though she stands out for a variety of reasons. Two unseen servants hold books while she points a finger at a journal while she reads through Grundersnutt's thesis, while her eyes follow the flashing pages of lore in the other that her spell calls up. Centuries of lore, fragmented but relevant, flash by the pages as she finished the spell and continued to read it and the thesis the gnome created. All the while her quill flickered back and forth under the power of her cantrip.

** spoiler omitted **

Very interesting work you have here Grundersnutt The tiefling says in flawless Thassalonian, as a third unseen servant brings around a tray of meat, cheese and fruit and a decanter of chilled wine. The Venture-Captain of 'near' Korvosa smiles at him, her black eyes burning yellow from the depths of her hood. I would like to ask many questions about your research into these magics.. I understand them fairly well but I would not have noticed the foundation myself. I don't suppose you would be willing to visit my modest lodge outside of Korvosa, there are.. locations I would like your opinion on.

Of course I would! Though I am not usually fond of field work, I'll make an exception for exploring ancient Thasallonian cites. I wouldn't be opposed to a little work to help hammer out the details of turning this hypothetical spell into a reality either, though I doubt Nethys would grant me the spell directly. (He tails off, musingly)Though I suppose if I got my hands on a scroll of it . . . (He snaps back to the attention towards the Venture captain.) Anyway, yes, I most certainly would . . .

(He is cut off in mid sentence by a pathfinder messenger who comes barging into the room. The messenger runs up to him and starts whispering into his ear.)

What? A mission to the realm of the Mammoth lords? No, I most certainly will not go, I have urgent business with venture captain- what? Arnam Zay himself wants me to-!? But- Oh, very well!

Terribly sorry madam, but duty calls. Seems I will be out of the lodge for a bit. Be sure to leave information about how to contact you at your earliest convenience up in the Research department. Just tell them it is for Thermin Oswin Grundersnutt, they know me up there.

(On his way out, in Ancient Thassalonian:)

Spoiler:
Beautiful accent Madam, and you clearly have a stellar command of the Thassalonian honorifics system. I simply must know who your trainer was. If you could leave their name with the note. . . .?

Scarab Sages

Cindrana smiled as she shifted to get another drink from the decanter, exposing an ornate tattoo of radiant light and yellow fire that burned around a moving sihedron rune in it.

Knowledge(Local): 20:
the rune is an award by the Ten to a group of pathfinders who faced down, and killed, the newly awakened Runelord of Sloth Krune

"I had a short time to discuss matters with a native speaker once or twice. Sadly all those encounters ended quite...precipitously. Her familiar snickered at the comment.

"My lovely mistress lady is not being quite fair,
She and her allies did face a Master of Runes..
With in his own most ancient lair...
It was at the hands of she and her fellow slayer of runes..
Was the end of the Lord called Krune."

The little faerie dragon preened at his bit of doggerel as the wizard slipped him some more self-water taffy to shut him up.

"I hope to hear from you soon, I fear something sleeps fitfully in Korvosa."

Scarab Sages

(((Some time, perhaps a month or so, after Grundersnutt's initial presentation, you see posters around for a second publication that Grundersnutt is unveiling.)))

(Again, the dour and humorless gnome, mounts the lectern in the small lecture hall. He wears a strikingly sensible hat (for a gnome) fastened in place by a rather unremarkable headband. His robe is subdued light-blue, and underneath it you can spot a very shiny silvery chain shirt which doesn't seem to restrict the gnome's movements at all.)

Ladies and gentlemen. It has come to my attention that my last publication was a bit . . . academic for some of you that are more field-oriented and less theory oriented. Despite my . . . shall we say reputation, I can respect that. The society needs strong lads and lasses to protect the academicians, and one cannot be perfect at everything. And so, as a sort of thank-you note to the less academically inclined in the pathfinder society, I have decided to make a guidebook.

You will find, with you, a preliminary guidebook penned by yours truly concerning activities in the worldwound, a place that I have recently visited. Inside are various tips, tricks, and strategies for survival that I have found quite useful. I have tried to write the book in as plain a language as possible in order to make it accessible to everyone.

Inside you will find ways of dealing with so-called 'spell resistance' -a misnomer but a term we will use for simplicity's sake-, as well as the importance of certain spells like protection from evil, spear of purity, sound burst, and scream. Also, the importance of holy water cannot go unstated, especially if it has been empowered by some means.

I have been pleased to produce this book so soon after my last publication. Please remember, this is an alpha prototype, and the full book will be available shortly for a nominal fee after being edited and produced. Any questions?

Scarab Sages

A strangely dressed man in ornate Osiriani Robes looks up, outrage filling his eyes

A much put upon servant, dressed in an outfit that would be reserved for Courtiers in most nations, stands up and begins to speak:
His lordship, Xaratos the Undying, member of the Risen, finds offense at the implications that one cannot be perfect. He would like to suggest you go discuss the idea of perfection with the head of your closest Irorian monastery post-haste. Just because we have yet to reach perfection does not mean we should stop trying.

Having spoken for his master, the herald takes his seat again, clearly unhappy with having to speak for the blowhard he currently serves.

Scarab Sages

The announcement of the herald was met by a loud raspberry emerging from the lips of a faerie dragon sitting on the shoulders of his mistress, Venture Captain Cindrana Longpath. She was silent through both the announcement and Rippy Wipple's extended response, which lasted at least a minute before the mini dragon retreated to the huge mug, at least in proportion to him, that he noisily slurped from via a straw.

"Your lecture, as usual, is well directed Grundesnutt. You can add several other spells to the mix, such as Snowball and others of the conjuration school, that when properly matched against the right fiend in the wound, can be devastating. Other items such as the simple tanglefoot bag, places properly, can be devastating effect. I saw an Alchemist during the siege of the Diamond City use a tanglefoot bomb to devastating effect against fiendish flyers. I can offer you excerpts from my personal journals if you wish, to fill in spots. she offered with a smile as she pulled out a small journal full of neatly drawn diagrams and mystic spell formula.

Spellcraft: 40:
The journal contains formula for a spell of huge divinatory power keyed off the gnome's theories on Azlanti and Thassalonian building magics. Among other elements that stand out, are the need for a focus of the area to be search, in this case the city of Korvosa and at least a furlong beyond the present city boarders. In silver and exacting detail. With a lacing of sky metal keyed to one school of sin magic. The focus alone would cost somewhere upwards of 100,000 gp. Right now it's mostly theory and would require between six to twelve months before it could be proven viable or not

As I said, your work is of interest, but I am in need of.. Peer review while I get materials needed and associates who can help me map out the city in real time for the casting. I fear to do it right, I'll need to actually making the focus magical in and of itself, so that it can change as needed. Feel free to correspond with me as needed, the card in the front piece of my journal contains the names of two trading companies I have arrangements with. They will ship any missives you have as needed. Leave word here at the tower if you like and I will return as needed, but unfortunately I have to visit an old associate from my days at the Acadeamie and explain to him why kidnapping my kin is not to be pondered. she stood and offered her hand, the look on her face making clear it would not be an easily survived 'talk'

With no more words, she vanished as she cast a spell

Scarab Sages

Grundersnutt tries to put in a word in edgewise before Lady Longroad vanishes, but find he cannot. Noticing the journal, Grundersnutt opens it. immediately he sees that the journal is highly complex and will require a great deal of skill to decipher.

He reads through it carefully, then his eyes roll back in his head and he begins muttering to himself for 1d6 ⇒ 2 rounds.

Spellcraft check with focused trance: 1d20 + 36 ⇒ (19) + 36 = 55

Grundersnutt pops out of the trance and begins talking to himself . . . loudly.
Oh dear. Oh . . . oh my, that simply won't do. A 100,000 GP focusing device is . . . well, it would be draining to the pathfinder organization. No no, the must building itself must designed so that the natural resonance of the spell forms constructive interference with itself, reducing the cost of the material focus exponentially. She must be warned before she begins construction!

(The Gnome hastily takes out a journal and begins furiously writing spell formulas and arcane notes of all sorts while absently walking out of the lecture hall. At the doorway he pauses and turns around, as if he had just though of something.)

Oh, uh, sorry about the shortness of my lecture. The book should come out at the end of the month, consider buying a copy if you are headed into the worldwound. Thank you for coming. Oh, and Mr. Xaratos . . . I appologize for my ill-constructed words. I meant no slight against Irori, mearly that us mortals do not have enough time in the day to be the best academics and the best . . . shall we say bodyguards, at the same time. No offense meant to the Master of Masters. I have great respect for his self-discipline and morals.

Perception check DC 15:

You hear Grundersnutt mutter "I wonder if Venture Captain Sasha can get a missive to her faster . . . a mundane communique may not reach her in time."

Scarab Sages

(A few months later, Grundersnutt has announced a new publication he is making.)

Grundersnutt once again ascends the lecturn, though this time he looks more humbled and contemplative than he has in the past. He begins speaking not with his usual monotone, but with a rather somber voice, like a man who has been humbled by witnessing something truly breathtaking.
Friends, colleagues, and other assembled academics. I am here to present you with a most miraculous find. On a recent extended expedition to get another artifact activated, I have chanced upon something . . . quite special. A wholly new and heretofore unseen kind of magic . . . a kind of magic with great potential, both as a tool and a threat. Why, I dare say that not even ancient Thessalonian has chanced upon this kind of magic before.

Please, take time to peruse my latest publication. I must warn you, it is quite steep and may require a few read-throughs, but I assure you, it is in as plain language as I can make it. After all, we are dealing here with some entirely new forms of magic coupled with a very obscure type of racial magic, I was forced to get . . . creative with how to handle the magical notations; and I had to pull every arcane trick I knew of in order to get this magic, which I have witnessed first-hand, to coincide with current theories on magic. I do this, as always, in honor of Nethys, but also because the society should know of such things.

Knowledge(Arcana) check DC 34 (You suspect that the check to devise such a theory was DC 54)
(WARNING: SPOILERS FOR "CURSE OF THE RIVEN SKY!" DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE COMPLETED THAT MODULE.)

Spoiler:
The Hefty publication on arcane theory depicts how a cloud giant used special 'cloud giant-based magic' to permanently summon a herd of extra-dimensional cats with hive-mind like qualities and the ability to influence the mind of a cloud giant and accomplished spellcaster.

(((To anyone who wishes to discuss this part, please remember to use spoilers for those that have not played "Curse of the Rivin Sky.")))

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

The doors to the lecture halls open to an elderly bearded aismar covered completely in scrolls. Scrolls almost falling out of pockets, pouches and backpack. Looking to the front of the stage of the lecture hall, he speaks..

Ah. Grundersntt. I have come in regards to your missives on perspective spell of..uhh..Thassalonian things.

The aismar moves up to the front and sets down his pack and starts rooting through it.

After some experimentation with arcane and divine compositions, it would seem that perspective spell would likely be of arcane nature. This conclusion further supported by documentation of historical studies of ancient Thassalonian relics and newer records of dealings with Thassalonian mages.

As he makes each of these points, he thrusts a paper recently found from his pack.

Scarab Sages

"Oh, Sasha, so good of you to come. Yes, yes, I suspected the spell would be arcane in nature. Such is the nature of things, not to mention ancient Thassalon was not known for dabbling in divine magics."

Grundersnutt examines the scrolls handed to him, giving a cursory glance over each.

"Okay, Yes, thank you. I am the middle of a talk on a new conjuration spell I have discovered. If you care to sit in, I can explain."

Grand Lodge

"Ohh... I am soo glad to be out of the Repository! I can finally attend a lecture! And the Professor is a Gnome to boot!" As a red haired gnome mumbles to herself when she gets to the doorway.

Seeing the lecture is halfway through conjuring, she smiles and pulls a large bag filled with books she "borrowed" from the Society's Repository and finds a seat to listen in.

This will be great!

Scarab Sages

"So as I was saying, this spell summoned a permanent horde of these creatures, some with strange powers, such as the ability to mask their presence, or the ability suggest things, as per the spell. Through great effort, I have managed to discover the links in magic used and follow them back to a semblance of a spell. Strangely enough, the spell seems not to be that powerful, perhaps on the level of a fireball or Cure Serious Wounds, but has some other requirements. As you can see from slide b . . ."

Grundersnutt grabs a pull-cord and a large canvas drops down with a frightening number of arcane equations written down.

"Now here, we can see the end result- a summoning spell. Working backwards we can begin to discover how and why such a powerful spell was accomplished so easily. Now true, this spell had unintended side-effects, but by drawing on the very powerful innate life-force of the giant, we learn how a spell can be augmented in several ways . . .

Grundersnutt proceeds to drone on, relaying, in great detail, the ninety-seven steps it takes to de-construct the strange spell and how it works into modern magic.

Grand Lodge

Neji Hurriedly pulls out a journal to begin jolting things down. Similar to a third classed spell? All of that. Wow.
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
She finishes writing everything down and looks over it. She is still slightly confused, but getting the gist of it. When the Professor finishes speaking, she raises her quill in the air to poise a question. "So by the look of it, it might have other schools added in as well. Necromancy for the life-force. Abjuration and Illusion to mask. And Enchantment for the suggestion. Could the spell have a divination effect as well? I could easily see a possible application of one within it, if it summoned creatures to be a direct response to an intruder. What do you think Professor Grundersnutt?"

Scarab Sages

Grundersnutt looks elated that someone has actually stayed awake through his lecture and has taken an interest in his magical theory.

"Ah, keen eye. Unfortunately, I don't think so: notice the lack of a type thirty-seven arcane translocation on equations 23-26. No, I believe it was wholly a conjuration spell. Merely the creatures summoned had some innate illusion and enchantment abilities. Also, I should note that when I said drawing on life-force, I did not mean necromancy . . . I meant . . . hmmmm. The spell requires a certain biological makeup as a . . . a catalyst. I believe only certain types of Giants may be able to actually cast this spell, though an experienced enough spellcaster, versed in activating magical items despite not having an affinity for them, would likely be able to use a scroll or wand of this spell.

"Oh, and as a point of fact, I am not a professor. That is, I am not fully accredited by a university. You can call me Grundersnutt if you wish.

Grand Lodge

"Yes, Mr. Gundersnutt!" Neji says excitedly. "Anyway, going back to the spell, there must be a bit of a universal spell in there. Um, Perme... Perma... Permanency! That one. Anyway, when the giant in question casts the spell, this might be an additional equation to the summoning spell." She writes down a few notations in her journal. And hearing Gundersnutt suggesting this spell on a wand or scroll, she tilts her head slightly. "Though, such a spell on a wand or scroll would cost quite a bit. If such a spell was found in writing, or even as a wand, it would be a find. Having permanent servants to do your bidding!... Or not."

Scarab Sages

Neji Malicky wrote:
"Yes, Mr. Gundersnutt!" Neji says excitedly. "Anyway, going back to the spell, there must be a bit of a universal spell in there. Um, Perme... Perma... Permanency! That one. Anyway, when the giant in question casts the spell, this might be an additional equation to the summoning spell." She writes down a few notations in her journal. And hearing Gundersnutt suggesting this spell on a wand or scroll, she tilts her head slightly. "Though, such a spell on a wand or scroll would cost quite a bit. If such a spell was found in writing, or even as a wand, it would be a find. Having permanent servants to do your bidding!... Or not."

"Yes, well, I rather suspect that would not be the case. As you recall, I said that the creatures had some . . . unintended side-effects.

"I am pursuing a bit of a strange line of inquiry. It may be that there was not a permanency in place, but rather, the spell merely 'opened the floodgates' as it were. That is to say the creatures were just looking for a way into our world, and this spell provided a way-a sort of cosmic loophole as it were, that allowed them to invade our realm.

"As I said, this is all just speculation. I was unable to interview any of the creatures, and given how one of them killed me and I am only here today because of a breath of life spell from a friend, I am none too eager to try and repeat the experiment."

Grand Lodge

Neji lets out a loud gasp. "Oh!" She covers her mouth after a second. "Oh, my school of focus is divination. Maybe look into some of those spells and look back to that day! There should be someone with a scroll that would allow you to see into the past! Including before your demise. Hm. Maybe...."

She pulls out a big book that has quite a few tags on it. "Don't worry, I only borrowed it. Anyway..." She flips through a few pages. "Clairvoyance? No... Doesn't let you see into the past. Legend Lore? That may help, but might go bored doing the time... Hm... The spells they have in here about divination does not have anything relating to being able to view into the past. Maybe you'll find more use out of it?"

She closes the spellbook and brings it to Grundersnutt. "Here you go!" She hands him the book, and there are easily seen tags all over it, one saying property of the Repository stuck on the side.

Scarab Sages

Neji Malicky wrote:

Neji lets out a loud gasp. "Oh!" She covers her mouth after a second. "Oh, my school of focus is divination. Maybe look into some of those spells and look back to that day! There should be someone with a scroll that would allow you to see into the past! Including before your demise. Hm. Maybe...."

She pulls out a big book that has quite a few tags on it. "Don't worry, I only borrowed it. Anyway..." She flips through a few pages. "Clairvoyance? No... Doesn't let you see into the past. Legend Lore? That may help, but might go bored doing the time... Hm... The spells they have in here about divination does not have anything relating to being able to view into the past. Maybe you'll find more use out of it?"

She closes the spellbook and brings it to Grundersnutt. "Here you go!" She hands him the book, and there are easily seen tags all over it, one saying property of the Repository stuck on the side.

"Ahm. My dear girl. I am an Oracle, as I said to Saasha. I cast divine spells. While I am quite well versed in theory, I don't actually cast arcane-"

Grundersnutt pauses.

"Did you say Legend Lore? Hmmm, interesting idea, I actually can cast that spell with Nethys's blessing . . . I wonder if that heard was considered legendary enough. Given the events surrounding it's creation, it should work.

"Lecture's cancelled! I won't be taking any visitors for the next week or so!"

Grundersnutt hurriedly rushes out of the room.

Scarab Sages

A teenager seated in the back of the room goes to some of the materials left behind and browses through them.

Now that the lecture is over, he mutters a few swift spells and settles into a plush chair and reads through the materials more carefully.

Knowledge: Arcana: 1d20 + 63 ⇒ (7) + 63 = 70

"Very interesting." he mutters to himself. He seems to come back to himself and blinks twice as if remembering he's in a room with other people in it. "Excuse me." he asks the room in general "Does anyone know where examples of this remarkable fellow's work can be had?"

Scarab Sages

Comparing notes between his and those presented the heavily bearded aasimar ponders deeply

Quote:
"Very interesting." he mutters to himself. He seems to come back to himself and blinks twice as if remembering he's in a room with other people in it. "Excuse me." he asks the room in general "Does anyone know where examples of this remarkable fellow's work can be had?"

Sasha's head perks up at this inquiry. "Well actually, my comrade and I are working on getting lodge or facility dedicated to research," waving a hand with a scroll in it arbitrarily.

"Well, " Sasha says while standing,"it unfortunate Grundersnutt is so excitable. I have come across recently a similar effect of to the life-force component. Uncommon individuals with direct connection to either environmental or planar elements. When harnessing connection they are little drained. Herein might be relation." As he says this he begins to move up to the front of the lecture hall.

"You see..." Sasha begins, standing at the lectern, and trails off."I should probably call Grundersnutt back in here." Pausing for a moment, "Rittywhipple!" he exclaims.

A faerie dragon appears right next to Sasha with several giggles and holds a staff. Sasha grabs the staff and taps it on the ground and both figures disappear.

A couple seconds later Sasha reappears without the staff and back behind the lectern. "Grunder should be back shortly. I feel I should wait for him return before continue." Sasha begins placing some of his scrolls on the lectern.

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