AAR: [8M] A Reading Rainbow (2020-10-18 @ 23:00 GMT)

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Re: LFG: [8M] A Reading Rainbow (2020-10-18 @ 23:00 GMT)

Post by Sharkforce » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:44 pm

just realized I forgot to cross-post this here:

Nez, Reyis, Norg, Azurea, come join me on a geocache hunt to track down a lost library :)

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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:28 pm

AAR: [8M] A Reading Rainbow (2020-10-18 @ 23:00 GMT)

Post by Xzandrate » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:20 am

AAR: A Reading Rainbow
GM: Xzandrate
ECR: 8
Difficulty: Medium

Player Rewards:
Zivilyn 19000 LP 500 SP 3 TIP -16 circles worth of wizard spells
Nez 19000 LP 900 SP 3 TIP
Norg 19000 LP 900 SP 3 TIP
Reyis 19000 LP 900 SP 3 TIP +1 Skeorx
Azurea 19000 LP 900 SP 3 TIP

Alternate Rewards:

Journal Reward: +950, + 225 SP

GM Reward: Lazulin (7500 LP, 650 SP, 3 TIPs)

Animal Training (Talent) - Step 18 including karma (Rank 8) (can train up to 8 commands total, or improve non-combat skills by +1 per command used on it)
Research - Step 24 including karma (Rank 5). +3 to the step is available at a cost of 20 sp for access to the Great Library of Throal, if for some reason you need it.
Item History - Step 17 including karma (Rank 6)

Animal Training/Bond/Dominate Beast - step 17 (Rank 7), Research Step 9

Alchemy 4 (10)
Booster Potions - 2 days for 2
Small Light Quartz - 4 days
Absorb Blow Charms - 4 days

Animal Training (6) Step 20; Research (7) Step 23; Item History 7) Step 23;

Summary: The players have adventured across Barsaive to find the trove of Levar the Wise, it was hidden within the Great Library of Throal in the wing commissioned by the Cozart family.

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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: LFG: [8M] A Reading Rainbow (2020-10-18 @ 23:00 GMT)

Post by Sharkforce » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:04 am

From the Journal of Zivilyn, Windling Magician: A Reading Rainbow

At long last, I no longer will need to make the journey to Throal every time I need to make use of a library. And as an added benefit, these past weeks we have done much to expand the knowledge of the province of Barsaive, with the recovery of the trove of knowledge sealed away by Levar the Wise, a Wizard of some renown from ages past who was frequently sought out for answers to the questions of many Scholars and researchers. Now they can ask his collected works instead. Happily, we have also solved the mystery of what happened to the old chap, who had retreated from public notice in order to find some respite from constantly being pressed into helping with some problem or another.

The will of Levar has been released to the public, and revealed that his trove could be claimed by whoever recovered it. Naturally, this was going to lead to a treasure hunt by many parties, and so the Library had prepared some handouts that could be used to solve his cryptic words that his cache of knowledge could be found "where he did his best thinking" there was some joking that we ought to check the privy, but I notice nobody seemed in a rush to do that once we arrived). That location was not entirely known, but there is a tower that he was known to have lived in shortly before the scourge that seemed a likely place to look for hints (I say hints, because I can't imagine it would be that obvious or someone would likely have already found it).

Myself, Haze, Howler, Norg, Reyis and Fluffy, Nez and Sagarmatha, and Azurea had formed a group to track down this treasure trove (I suspect only Reyis was really in it for the opportunity to uncover some ancient lore, but who am I to complain when someone is willing to help for reasons of their own?). As we were preparing, one Sholmes, an Ork known for clearing out kaers of their treasure after the monsters were killed by being more thorough than the first group through in his searches, tauntingly told us we needn't bother searching because he was going to be the first one to the cache. Looking back, I imagine he regretted making that declaration, but I suppose I can't blame him for trying. Well, not much anyways. He had hired a group of Journeyman adepts of his own, though not as skilled or numerous as our group.

We took a bit of time so that I could commit to memory some more extensive works relating to the life of Levar, in case we needed them to find clues, and set out shortly afterwards. Many groups were interested in the treasure, but thankfully with my magic Quickening our Pace we gained a rather substantial lead on them all. We arrived at the tower and were probably the first to see it in some time. The guardians, a small group (flock?) of gargoyles were still present, in any event. They didn't put up much of a fight; they broke on the great wall of Norg while the rest of us ground away at them. Most of them were only unconscious, and as they had ultimately merely been guardian beasts we did not see fit to kill them. Instead, we went in and explored the tower.

Underneath a desk on the top floor was a small compartment with a few books in it, wrapped in leather that seemed enchanted to preserve it better. Also in the room were a few old toys that young children might play with. The books included a journal detailing his 5 years in the tower, a Grimoire, 2 books detailing the use of gargoyles as sentries (which included some passwords that might be used to escape them; we painted the words on the back of some of the gargoyles so that others might be able to safely avoid them, which we thought was a fine jest on Sholmes since we felt we had beaten him to the punch), and a children's story book.

The Journal indicated that Levar had gotten tired of constant interruptions and decided to move further from Throal to a cottage out in the woods, to a distance further than any regular travel had reached since the end of the Scourge (or at least, not from Throal, to my knowledge; I imagine there are probably some local communities in the area we should get in touch with at some point). We left in high spirits, hoping that we might have found the clue that would yield the great prize.

Of course, surprisingly Sholmes had actually beaten us to the punch... well, sort of anyways. It was more that he had beaten us to being punched. I did mention his hired Adepts were not quite up to our mettle, did I not? Well, they needed rescuing, badly. We rushed in once we figured out what the sounds of combat were, and Norg demonstrated that he who punches last, punches hardest as we dealt with a group of skeorx that were in the area and had attacked Sholmes (who had fled at the first opportunity based on him having barely a scratch on his person) and his crew (who had not had the luxury of fleeing. Skeorx are like that). This was made much easier for having two Shamans in our group... with the skeorx calmed down and distracted by the smell of meat (one of the skeorxes had been Norg'd), Azurea quickly revived one of the Adepts who had died, by using an interesting lightning technique I'd never heard of, and we got the rest of them away and started treating their wounds. Unsurprisingly, considering we'd had to save their butts, Sholmes didn't seem to be able to press much of a claim to the cottage, and was quite curious as to how we had found it. We told them we'd had to visit a "friend's library" and "borrow some books". If you're reading this now, Sholmes, I'd just like to point out that we found something that you were not thorough enough to find yourself.

Anyways, after helping the other Adepts settle in and start recovering, we began our search of the place. There were some old common magic items to help with the kitchen chores, some more toys, 3 bedrooms, and a secret compartment under the fireplace with 5 more books (this time there were 2 story books, a journal, a Grimoire, and a book on the subject of skeorxes which both Reyis and Nez were interested in; I promised they'd get a copy, with the original likely going to the Great Library to cover our expenses since it held more monetary value but not more knowledge). Oh, I should mention; Reyis took the time to make friends with one of the skeorxes. I imagine it shall prove quite the fearsome ally in time, if he chooses to bring it along with him. They are swift, agile, stealthy, and can knock you down and tie you up with their tail. We are fortunate that we were prepared as we were, or they might have been a much more difficult challenge.

Anyways, this time the journal indicated that in spite of having gone to the middle of nowhere (relatively speaking; no offense to anyone in the future who is reading this and comes from said middle of nowhere), he was still being constantly disturbed so he was moving to a new unspecified location and leaving the key to his vault with "his favourite co-author". Interesting. We took the time to compare the handwriting and language in the children's story books to the journals and grimoires, and found that they were similar. Also, they all had the same author: Stephen Cozart. Stephen was a well-beloved author of children's books in his days, and should be known to most young children who grew up in the Throal kaer, or at least his books should be. Interestingly enough, however, these ones were new to me, which was certainly unusual. We began to suspect that Levar had returned to Throal and spent the remainder of his days writing books for young children, and his descendants have been known for having many authors among them in the centuries since.

We decided to make the return trip to Throal and see if we could get in touch with the family, as they seemed the most likely to be his "favourite co-author" (we could discern no other co-author, at any rate; even using our Item History talents revealed only that the books had been written by the same two people, one of whom illustrated; I shall have to compare the drawings to the books we have from Stephanie and see if the style is similar. Or, well, actually, that is probably one of the few situations where you really want the original. Well, I'm sure some Scholar or other will get around to it eventually, I have my suspicions in any event). We brought the other group with us for a large portion of the way, since we're not monsters to abandon them in the wilderness, but left them behind once we got them back to safer regions (Quicken Pace, remember?) because we're also not their personal body guards.

Shortly after our arrival in Throal, we were able to get word to the Cozarts that we had uncovered something that we thought they would find interesting, thanks to our connections with the Library, and were able to arrange a meeting shortly afterwards. We shared what we had learned with the current leader of the family, Brent (known for writing adventure novels) and were rewarded with a sly smile as he read these "new" works of his ancestory, and the revelation that the family had these stories in their own private collection, and that there was a final book to be given to us. This final book had a piece of a stone mosaic in it, a quill, which Brent indicated belonged in part of a mosaic found in the Great Library, in a section which had been dedicated by his ancestors (he called them Grandma and Grandpa, but there were a lot of greats in there) as a reading area for stories to be read to children, which was his Grandpa's favourite pastime.

It seems that was actually what his Grandpa meant by "the place where he did his best thinking", as his best thinking was when he was sharing stories with his children. Perhaps I shall have to give it a try; I now seem to have a small collection of children's stories, it might do some good to inspire the children of Skyreader Island to do some reading of their own. It took a bit of persuading for the Library officials to let us chip up the mosaic... I don't think they believed it was going to work, to be honest, because they didn't section off the area in advance. Well, it definitely worked, and a collection of about 50 books from "Grandpa" and "Grandpa" Cozart were revealed, and the Library floor was mostly not damaged too badly. The Librarians asked who the donation of the books should be made out in the name of. I gave them the stink eye and pointed out that my companions and I had endured quite a bit of risk, and negotiated a copy of the books and that we should be compensated for the danger we had faced in recovering this precious treasure trove, and they agreed to those terms. All of us, plus the Cozart family, would be on the "donation slip", as we had all contributed. I understand Brent enjoyed some time reading to children on the steps of the Great Library while the mosaic was being repaired.

I go now to return to Skyreader Island, happy to finally have a good start to the research library I had been hoping for, and the beginnings of a children's library section (I've brought back some of the toys I found that belonged to Levar's family as well, perhaps the children will enjoy the Library more if I include them). I am sure that Nib will be excited to hear about this marvellous find!

(the following section has been scribbled hastily and with a shaky hand)

Ill news. Nib missing, his friends also. Mazor's zoak returned w/ no rider. I fear the worst. Stonebreak and Scuttle sick with worry; Vralino's father among the missing, shall endeavour to enlist her aid. Shall arrange someone to watch them, I must be swift.

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Re: AAR: [8M] A Reading Rainbow (2020-10-18 @ 23:00 GMT)

Post by sigfriedmcwild » Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:03 pm

From "The Skies of Barsaive", as penned by Norg, Brother of Earth and Sky, Corsair of Throal

Zivilyn asked me for help recovering some books so he could make his own library. Apparently much like with pets he doesn't believe in buying preferring to take a "finders keepers" approach. It would be dishonest of me to claim I find it wrong, but sometimes I wonder if he is making his life harder than it needs to be.

The catalyst for this venture was someone finding the will of Levar the wise a renowned magician that lived just before the closing of the gates. A whole bunch of treasure seekers felt that was the sign to go out and seek the treasure trove of knowledge he must have hidden away from the world.

As a side note, what is with magicians and their constant bragging about how much they know but are not willing to share? Surely if the knew such important secrets of the world they would be better used by letting everyone know?

Azurea, Nez, and Reys were also roped in this caper and we promptly left to go research in the library, yet again ripe for "two trolls and three windlings walk into a ..." jokes. The Great Library, fearing a sudden influx of unwashed adventurers wanting to look at their prize tomes had put together an information package about Levar, but Zivilyn insisted on doing some research himself. Apparently the only hint we had was that the books were hidden where Levar did "his best thinking". Reys voiced what we all thought when he suggested the privy, but thankfully that train of thought was interrupted by an ork named Sholmes who claimed he would be the first to the prize. I had not really heard of Sholmes before but I was told he was a non adept known for canvassing Kaers after the adepts had got all the easy pickings.

Zivilyn had found a lead to a tower Levar resided in just before the scourge, so we set off in that direction. I checked with the Aeronaut Club if we could borrow the Arngeir to speed the travelling, but they were still mounting those cannons Sandrin had acquired, so we had to walk south towards Dveil.

The trip was uneventful and we reached the tower in good time. It was guarded by a bunch of gargoyles which did not pose much of a challenge, but I learnt that gargoyles can puke when Haze screamed at one of them. Inside we found little of interest except for some children toys until Zivilyn spotted a secret compartment in the floor.

Inside we found a package holding five books: one on the use of gargoyles for protection, one on capturing gargoyles, a spellbook, a journal, and a children's book. The journal included a lot of old man wishing for kids to get off their lawn, but also a note about moving even further away from Throal, with some directions.

The directions took us even further south, across the Serpent and into the forest there. As we got close to the location we heard sounds of combat, so Zivilyn, Nez and Azurea scouted ahead where they found Sholmes running for his life. Apperently he had encountered fiercer resistance than expected and his adept bodyguards were not quite up to the task.

As we approached the clearing containing a cottage we spotted four Skeorxes just about to have lunch. The fight was brief, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure it was a fight, one of the skeorxes wrapped me in its tail so I hugged it back, but I hugged a bit too hard and crushed its ribcage. Reys soothed a couple and the last one got taken out by the others.

Immediately we went to work on saving the guards, I patched the wounds on the ones still breathing while Azurea just zapped the one that looked beyond hope with lighting from one of her thread items. Apparently I am not the only one that things lightning is friendly.

Sholmes seemed suitably cowed by the encounter and let us have first pickings in the cottage. Inside we found more children toys and detritus of the ages but also another secret compartment, in the fireplace this time. No treasure trove yet, but more spellbooks, children books, and journal. The journal was full of cryptic references but eventually Reys and Zivilyn put together a theory that Levar had gone back to Throal under a fake name, specifically as Stephen Cozart, a relatively famous author of children's books.

We hurried back to Throal to try and get in touch with the Cozart family, which proved quite easy, and instead of being treated as crackpots we were told we had been expected as they had passed knowledge of the events down the generations. We were given a tile to place in some mosaic in the Great Library which would unlock the next stage in this wild goose chase.

The librarians were unsurprisingly unhappy with the idea of some random adepts hacking at their artwork, but we managed to convince them. Once the tiles were switched, the mosaic cracked open revealing a stash of about fifty books, mostly Levar's research notes but also some new children's book and some botanical illustrations. At which point the librarians started drooling and I am pretty sure one of them made sounds usually heard in a bedroom.

What followed was some quick negotiations as we bartered the stash for compensation and copies of the books for Zivilyn's library.

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