A young half-orc walks into the Archive

Dark Archive

Dark Archive

A young half-orc walks into the Archive. He is tall and thin, scrawny for one with so-much orc blood. A frostkin, by the slight bluish tinge to his otherwise gray-green skin. His clothes are worn but clean and in good repair. If it were not for the grotesque scars disfiguring each of his cheeks, he would be unremarkable at first glance, or even the second. But for the scars, and the tusks jutting from his mouth, he looks like an impoverished university student.

He unslings his pack onto the first open table he sees, and unloads several books from it, clearly searching for something that has fallen to the bottom of the bag. After a moment, he grunts and pulls out a rectangular object (clearly another book) wrapped in a scrap of cloth.

He doesn't immediately see anyone he recognizes, so he holds up the book without removing the cloth, and addresses the room at large.

"Sorry to interrupt, but I'm relatively new at this. I found this... thing last night, and I'd like to get rid... I want to make sure it doesn't end up in the wrong hands."

His voice grates, his pronunciation just slightly off due to the scars that warp his face, and is permeated with disgust.

"Is there someone around who is authorized to take things directly into the restricted section? I expect this isn't the first copy we've got here, but it's the first one I've seen."

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A kindly looking middle aged human in red and white robes approaches the half-orc. His voice has a thick accent, and it is clear common is not is first language. A glowing holy symbol of Saranrae hangs from his neck.

"Ah! You have been finding book you think is good for restricted section, yes? I am thanking of the you. Not many people do the of book returning I am thinking. Excellent, Excellent. Please, why is this book being of the wrapping in cloth?"

The strange man retrieves a sheaf of parchment from his back and a quill with some ink.

"Oh, pardon. My manners, they have fleeing me. My name is Zhevlzhenjay."

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A petite, Varisian-blooded half-elf walks in. She appears to be in a good mood. She heads for the stacks on autopilot before halting when she takes notice of the half-orc's book.

"Ooh, is that a new donation to the Archive? Need help cataloging it?"

Bluff: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24

Why can't I roll this well when it actually matters?

Sense Motive DC 24:
She really just wants a look at the book.

Dark Archive

Sense Motive in response to Cathran: 1d20 ⇒ 3


Garduk nods to both Zhevlzhenjay and Cathran.

"Yes, cataloging and burying, I think. As for why the book is wrapped in cloth..."

Garduk places the book on a table and pulls back the rags wound around it. He seems to be careful not to touch the book itself.

The book is covered in finely-stitched leather, with several irregular bumps protruding from the surface. The title, Umbral Leaves, appears to have been carved into the leather cover and then painted in red. The pages appear to be made from similar leather, carved into thinner slices.

Knowledge religion, DC 10:
The Umbral Leaves is the grisly and unholy book of the god Zon-Kuthon, the Midnight Lord, god of pain and torture, where the tenets and laws of his faith are detailed. The pages are made from human skin (and the cover is made from the face of the "donor"), the ink is human blood.

Heal, DC 10:
The cover looks like it is made from a human face.

"Right, there it is. The last owner was a nasty piece of work, but based on my very quick perusal of this thing, I could not tell you whether he owned it because he was a horrifying brute or he became a horrifying brute after reading it. It could have been either. I want to burn my pack after just carrying it around for a few hours."

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Knowledge religion: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Heal: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Bluff: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17

Sense Motive DC 17:
She managed to hide it fairly well, but she wasn't able to completely conceal the horror and revulsion caused by the tome's appearance.

Stepping closer the half-elf mutters darkly to herself before tentatively reaching for the book, taking care to minimize contact.

In Varisian:
"The things I do for the clan..."

Skimming the contents, she (mostly) manages to maintain a stoic facade. Eventually, she closes the book and says in a hoarse voice, "Religious texts, row 12, aisle 3."

She points off into the stacks and goes to sit down, looking slightly ill.

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Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 9

The half-orc nods.


In Skald-accented Varisian:
"And trust me, when your clan's demands get to be too much, you're better off walking away. Knowing when things have reached that point, that's the hard part."

Garduk brings a hand up to one of the scars on his cheeks, then seems to realize what he's doing and pulls it away. He wraps the book back up in the rag and carries it into the stacks.

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