The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Lehasti smiles good-naturedly at Muminofrah, nodding her acknowledgment of the noblewoman's compliments; as the party waits for the haty-a's arrival, she hovers near the mountain of cushions but responds with noncommittal pleasantries and otherwise attempts to minimize her continued presence.

    When the haty-a does appear, the paladin inclines her head toward the high official respectfully, clasping one fist across her breast in a gesture that is both salute and apology. She extends one open hand to accept the proffered documents, bowing once more toward the haty-a. "We are eternally grateful for her excellency's understanding," she murmurs in a conciliatory tone. Turning to Muminofrah, the paladin waits for a lull in conversation before addressing her once more: "We are in your debt, great one; gods willing, our research may be speedily completed and our task here finished, that we may return and enjoy the pleasure of your presence while you tarry in this city. In the meanwhile, poor gratitude would we show to make any less than full use of your generous gift; to that end, please excuse us to make preparation for the efforts of the days ahead."

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Lehasti pauses to allow Muminofrah to respond as appropriate before guiding Vershab and the others from the barge and back toward the inn to prepare.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    The group leaves the gathering of dignitaries and courtisans, their precious authorization in hand at long last. It is late afternoon on a Starday, however, and the Library doors are closed until the following Moonday morning. The Relic Knights are free to spend their Sunday in religious devotions and further visits to the city. As they lazily tread the busy streets and admire the sights of Tephu on the holy day, they get, again, the feeling that they're being observed, but it doesn't last long, and isn't specific enough that they can pinpoint who among the crowd harbors such an interest in them.

    Spoiler
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    Please indicate if you wish to do other things over the Starday evening and Sunday downtime.

    Moonday, 27 Abadius

    The group walks back to the Great Library, its doors glowing in the soft light of the early morning sun. The curators react with great respect, bordering on awe, as they see the signed permission from the haty-a. The lead curator is promptly summoned, a middle-aged, serious-looking woman who peruses Lehasti's document with great attention.

    "This is an authentic authorization, you may visit the Spiral Archive today, tomorrow and on Wealday. We will open the bronze door for you. I must let you know that there are guardians inside, tasked with dealing with thieves and unauthorized visitors in a harsh manner. One is a foul creature from the Lower Planes, the other two are what we know as invisible stalkers. They will let you pass when you prove your credentials with this..." She produces five bronze medallions, each carved with a slightly different rendition of Nethys's All-Seeing Eye. She casts an incantation over them, and each glows with a soft, pulsating amber light. "These will last for the day, come to me so I can renew the enchantment in the morning."

    She accompanies the group through the vast Outer Stacks and Upper Stacks halls, stopping in front of the immense, circular bronze door they had noticed on their first visit. A single hieroglyph of an eye is engraved in the center of the door, and there a keyhole appears as soon as the curator presents the eye with a large iron key. The 6-inch thick door slides easily to the side when opened, moving as if it weighed almost nothing. Beyond the door is a small chamber containing only a set of limestone steps that descend into the earth. The passage is brightly lit, with runes on each side every few steps emanating permanent, heat-less flames.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Vershab listens carefully to the lead curator before asking several questions: "What sort of fiend do you have on guard?"

    "Are any magical spells one might use for research off limits?"

    "Are there any sages who can help us with our research?"

    Spoiler: Skill Checks
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    Knowledge (Planes): (1d20+10)[21] regarding the fiendish guardian
    Knowledge (Planes): (1d20+10)[18] regarding the Invisible Stalkers

    As the party begins to descend he casts Detect Magic and begins scanning the doors, runes along the walls, and anything else that seems interesting. He does not allow himself to be too distracted by the Inner Sanctum's defenses, but he does make at least a cursory look (intending to determine how one might enter illicitly and avoid the worst of the defenses). Once in the book stacks he settles down to begin the research and begins directing the rest of the party to help, using liberal castings of Floating Disk.

    Spoiler: Research Check
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    Knowledge (Nobility): (1d20+9)[10]
    Research "Damage" dealt: (1d8)[2]
    Last edited by DarkOne7141981; 2018-12-05 at 05:23 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    When Turi finally returns to the party, his is visibly distracted. Frustrated with his inexplicable but pervasive unease, he makes poor company as the party awaits the arrival, blessing, and departure of the haty-a. Still, relief flickers our his features at Lehasti's receipt of the authorization, before being banished once more by his increasingly-permanent scowl.

    As they make to depart the barge, he suddenly blurts out "In the temple!" At his companion's surprise, he shakes his head to dispel his surprise and explains in a hushed voice: "That woman- not Muminofrah, one of her attainers- she was with the group that attacked us in the temple in Wati! She cast a bunch of spells, hid in the fog, and directed the rest of the cultists as if she was their leader, and she's either still following us, or working towards some opposed end!" He looks back to the crowd, to get a better description, before offering it to his companions. "I don't know what she's doing here, but I know that's where I've heard that voice! And it explains why I didn't recognize her- she was wearing one of those golden masks, before!" This time, he takes a moment to stare unabashedly, memorizing her visible features. After all, his life may well depend on it.

    On the day of enforced down time, Turi has great difficulty relaxing, and instead spends most of the time pacing, anxiously traversing the roads, and frantically wracking his brain for any explanation of the mysterious woman's motives. His eyes scan the crowds incessantly, unsure whether he's hoping to catch another glimpse of their foe or hoping to not. At the uneasy feelings of observation, he grows even more tense and curt, displeased at what he considers to be a failing in his scouting duties. Though he intends otherwise, he sleeps soundly that night, the product of an outrageously tiresome day, both physically and mentally. As the morning's rays begin to pierce the slats on his window, he starts with a gasp. Silently berating himself for leaving his companions unguarded through the night, he hurriedly descends the stairs to break his fast before they begin their research anew.

    In the Great Library, Turi doesn't seem to even acknowledge most of the discussion, until he's handed an ornate bronze medallion. Suspiciously, he dons the necklace, and follows at the back of the group, where he can see everyone. As they pass through the sibling portal to their pendants, his hands fall to rest on the hilts of his blades. Enchantment or not, he has no intention of being caught unprepared to defend his friends. Not again.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    At the pleasure barge

    When Turi recognizes the voice and stares at her, the woman just reacts with a cryptic half-smile, before turning away from him to lose herself into the crowd of Muminofrah's courtesans.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the library

    "This disgusting guardian is called a ceustodaemon. It has been bound to the premises for centuries, and it resents it, like all of its kind.

    You can employ any magic of convenience. Naturally, any action resulting in damage to the slightest piece of the archives is subject to... er... definitive punishment. But I expect a learned man such as yourself to not find this surprising.

    And... No, sorry, unless we have ongoing research of our own, the curators do not accompany any visitor. May your search for knowledge bear abundant fruit."


    At that, the companions descend the wide stairs, comfortably lit by the luminous runes. After descending about forty steps, they arrive in a corridor, that soon branches off to the right. Faced with a choice between two directions, the group doesn't stand there hesitating for long, as a large creature appears at the end of the corridor straight ahead. It is a brown, shaggy-furred beast, standing on slate grey hooves. Its head resembles that of a maniacal horned ape, with several curled, sharp horns, and a maw filled with triangular teeth.

    STATE YOUR NAMES AND BUSINESS.

    The booming, angry voice doesn't make a sound, but just resonates in the companions' minds.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2018-12-16 at 11:55 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Vershab looks at the demon with a calm, unimpressed expression. "You can see that we have permission to be here by our amulets, fiend. If you wish us gone from your demesne you can either politely introduce yourself and offer aid or make yourself as distracting as the invisible stalkers. Now, in which direction will we find records on ancient dynasties and their pharaohs?" he asks the creature.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    FILTHY MORTAL. I CAN SEE YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO PASS. DO NOT TRY MY PATIENCE. I MIGHT DECIDE THE PLEASURE OF DESTROYING YOU OUTWEIGHS THE CONSEQUENCES.

    The angry monster retreats, back to a room at the end of the corridor. Looking ahead, it appears the creature makes its abode in a diamond-shaped room, with its walls carved with scribbles. There doesn't appear to be an exit this way, and the companions decide for the corridor branching to the right.

    Spoiler
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    Unless you wish for a scuffle with a daemon, I will take it you ignore him for now.


    Soon this new corridor makes a sharp turn right, before winding into a curve leftwards until it again leads to its original direction. After a few steps, a smaller opening to the left appears, giving entrance to a small room, with a few chairs and desks.

    The companions are about to pursue on their path down the corridor, but they notice someone in the room, apparently a woman, seated on one of the chairs and silently reading through a stack of papyrus.

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Vershab looks into the room with a puzzled expression on his face. "I did not expect any other visitors to be here..." he mutters to his companions before raising his voice and directing it at the woman. "Ma'am, you don't know where we can find the portion of the records that include information on ancient dynasties and their pharaohs, do you?"

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Vershab sees a human woman in her thirties, dressed modestly in hooded, dark robes. Startled, she looks up from her reading and considers the group.

    "Sorry, I'm really busy. I don't think I can help you. Just follow the corridor," a nod indicates the direction the group was going towards, "down the path you'll find the Spiral Archive. After that, I wish you the best of luck in your research."
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2018-12-19 at 10:45 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Vershab shrugs and turns without saying anything in response to follow the woman's directions. As he goes, he takes a moment to cast Detect Magic and scan the area around him as he walks, paying special attention to the protective magics of the archives.

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    "In the temple! That woman- not Muminofrah, one of her attainers- she was with the group that attacked us in the temple in Wati! She cast a bunch of spells, hid in the fog, and directed the rest of the cultists as if she was their leader, and she's either still following us, or working towards some opposed end!
    I don't know what she's doing here, but I know that's where I've heard that voice! And it explains why I didn't recognize her- she was wearing one of those golden masks, before!
    "
    Lehasti's eyes widen at Turi's description, the fateful encounter that nearly ended several of her companions' lives clearly etched into her mind. Eyes darkened like thunderclouds, she looks into the crowd, attempting to follow Turi's gaze... but failing quite to discern any specific object of the young man's attention, she scowls at the crowd in general before turning to face him. "Would that this were the place, and now the time... but have no fear, my young friend- the wicked always receive their just rewards." Lapsing into silence, the paladin leads the party off to make what preparations they may for the following days' study.




    Lehasti remains brooding and distracted as the party returns to the library. Allowing Vershab, in his obvious confidence in academic pursuits, to take the lead, she follows distractedly until the sudden, invasive voice ringing within her own mind. One hand darts toward the hilt of her falchion, but Vershab's authoritative response (and the ceustodaemon's grudging response) allay her fears of a more physical altercation. Releasing her instinctively held breath as it retreats, she trudges after Vershab, already striding confidently toward the knowledge the party seeks.

    The paladin's eyes narrow at the unexpected company in the study room. As Vershab greets the woman, Lehasti closes her eyes prayerfully, and opens them (now flickering with a golden sheen) to observe the woman intently.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Using Detect Evil paladin ability to examine her.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Turi starts at the silent exclamation, more than a little unnerved at the certainty that he didn't hear what he just heard. He stands silently as Vershab makes his own declaration, apparently more annoyed than frightened by the creature. Unable to keep himself from glancing over his shoulder, Turi slinks behind his companions as they travel down the hall. When they round the corner and are comfortably out of sight, he lets out a brief shiver. That thing looks Nasty.

    Their unexpected company makes little impact on the youngster. Ultimately, it's not surprising that other people would want to use such a facility. However, given the Haty-a's hesitance, he finds the woman's quiet study suspicious. He waits until they move on to quietly voice his concerns to Lehasti in a hushed whisper. "What kind of person would receive the Haty-a's blessing to study here, if not we? I don't trust her. Not at all."

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    The companions move on, to find themselves in a winding corridor that turns abruptly back upon itself in a series of switchbacks. In the middle of the path, a stone statue depicting clouds or billowing mist shaped into a humanoid form stands.

    Gathering around this strange object, the group stops to share their thoughts.

    Spoiler
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    Lehasti detected a faint aura of evil on the woman studying. Vershab detects no magic in the corridor, save for the lighting runes. The statue has a very faint aura of transmutation.

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Turi's attention lapses from his suspicion of the other researcher to take in the odd structure. "Another guardian, you think?" He considers its shape for a moment before adding, "Let's not make it angry- I'd hate to try and kill a cloud with knives...." Finally, he turns back to Lehasti, curious of the woman's opinion on their unexpected company.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Since I didn't roll it before, Sense motive to "get a hunch," I guess, about the other woman researching (the evil one?)
    (1d20+6)[11]

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    "It has an aura of transmutation, so it could be nearly anything, though the aura is not at all powerful. I suspect it just represents some form of air elemental shaped in a humanoid form," replies Vershab. "I am loathe to spend long discussing things when we are on a limited schedule today regarding the research we came here to do. After all of the delays, I would like to get started, unless we are likely to be in any sort of danger and need to protect ourselves...you don't think we are, do you?"

    Spoiler: OoC
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    For the woman to have an evil aura she is likely either an anti-paladin, cleric, or evil outsider herself. Most other types of creatures barely even register unless they have committed pretty heinous crimes...

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    "What kind of person would receive the Haty-a's blessing to study here, if not we? I don't trust her. Not at all."
    Lehasti quietly murmurs, "And well you should not... the taint of evil surrounds her. She is no ally to our cause."

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "It has an aura of transmutation, so it could be nearly anything, though the aura is not at all powerful. I suspect it just represents some form of air elemental shaped in a humanoid form," replies Vershab. "I am loathe to spend long discussing things when we are on a limited schedule today regarding the research we came here to do. After all of the delays, I would like to get started, unless we are likely to be in any sort of danger and need to protect ourselves...you don't think we are, do you?"
    Lehasti responds in a level tone, the softness of her voice a stark contrast to the sharp, flat, and watchful gaze the paladin gives toward the previous corridor. "Goddess willing, we are not, but you may have to do without my assistance today... I like not the talk of invisible guardians, nor our neighbor in the other room." The paladin steps quietly to one side of the doorway, affecting a posture of relaxation that nonetheless places one gauntleted hand very near the hilt of her sheathed blade. She gives Azkin a direct look, silently gesturing with a tilt of her head, and the young man walks to mirror her position, arms gripping his spear as he rests its butt end on the cold floor.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Lehasti and Azkin stand a watchful guard, but they're only met by silence. When nothing comes through the doorway after a few minutes, the group decides to move on.

    With caution, they move around the strange statue of clouds - they actually have to squeeze a little bit, at the thing is sizable and sits straight in the middle of the corridor. They gingerly go down the winding pathway, but encounter no further obstacle until they reach the heart of the Spiral Archive.

    The corridor opens into a wide, circular chamber. Instead of a floor, a vast well lined with row upon row of books, scrolls, and parchment plummets downward. Below, flickering flames gently illuminate the chamber in soft light. A flight of narrow stone stairs descends in a spiral along the inner walls of the shaft, which is crisscrossed by a lattice of slender, impossibly thin bridges.

    Spoiler
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    "C" is the ceustodaemon. "W" is the woman, busy reading. The statue is in M28.

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    "Ah, finally - let's get to work. We need to find the correct tomes or scrolls quickly so that we can learn as much as possible. Spread out and look for the phrases..." Vershab begins to direct the others in the pursuit of a task for which he is imminently suited. Once everyone is gainfully assisting he does a brief walk around the various levels of the collection, looking intently at the titles and subjects as he begins the research.

    Spoiler: Research
    Show
    In the interest of honesty, my previous results (from post #123 are:

    Knowledge (Nobility): (1d20+9)[10]
    Research "Damage" dealt: (1d8)[2]

    If I can try again, they are:

    Knowledge (Nobility): (1d20+9)[11]
    Research "Damage" dealt: (1d8)[3]

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Researching in the Spiral Archive turns out to be tricky, and much more physical than Vershab expected. The stone stairs only allow access to a small portion of the circular shelves, forcing the researchers to venture the flimsy-looking papyrus bridges to find what they're looking for. Cautious testing proves that the bridges are as strong as thick leather, but also flexible, bowing when weight is placed on them.

    Spoiler
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    In other words, every Research check attempted in the Spiral Archive requires an Acrobatics check to safely cross the bridges. It is also possible avoid having to attempt an Acrobatics checks by slowly and carefully moving across the bridges, but that wastes a lot of time, and the character takes a –2 penalty on his Research checks for that day.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    After several moments of testing out the flimsy bridges, Vershab declares, "What a poor design - it seems this place is designed to be physically restricting to research as well as difficult to acquire access! Give me a moment to prepare some spells to assist us..." Opening his spellbook he reviews several pages carefully before looking at everyone in turn. "If a book is within view but not easily reached I can use a cantrip to try and reach it, but otherwise I am woefully unprepared for this. Tonight I will try and find a scholar with additional spells to help us - then I can learn those spells myself for use tomorrow."

    Spoiler: Mechanics
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    Mage Hand should help us to manage the area better.
    Last edited by DarkOne7141981; 2019-01-24 at 01:00 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    After moments of hesitation and looking for solutions to the tricky layout of the Spiral Archive, Vershab carefully steps on the bridges to venture the treacherous heights. This consumes a good deal of time on his research, but it is a lot safer. At times when his search leads him to the highest parts of the shaft, the dizzying sight of the floor some 150 feet below makes him extremely uneasy, but he steels himself to carry on.

    Looking for the lineage of Hakotep yields only frustration, but he soon finds another way, via indirect religious references. Here, his prodigious memory and many hours of study serve him right: At long last, he lays his eyes on an index that catalogs all of the scrolls copied from Hakotep's library. However, the scrolls are not where the index says they should be! They have clearly been moved or hidden at some point.

    Spoiler
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    I was so focused on the description of the bridges I only now looked into the stats for this particular library. It turns out like this:
    - You can use Knowledge on either History, Nobility or Religion
    - The library itself provides a bonus of +3 to Knowledge
    - Complexity is 20, that's the DC of the roll.
    So, if we account for -2 for the time lost on the bridges, Vershab's Religion bonus totals 18+3-2 = 19... which means he succeeds on his rool of natural 1. Congratulations for your choice of Skill Focus(Knowledge(Religion)), this is a RP decision that pays off in the end. Your roll of 2 yields 7 points of knowledge "damage" (it's 1d8+Int).

    Now, we have Calathon contributing a +14 In Knowledge(History). He could risk the Acrobatics check, but failure, while unlikely, could be really bad, so let's say he doesn't. 14+3-2=15, (1d20+15)[33], if successful he scores (1d8+4)[7] knowledge points off the library.

    By the way, looking at these rules a second time I found that a character cannot take 10 or take 20 on a Research check, but Research checks can be made untrained due to the Great Library’s extensive collections. So, everybody can play.


    Working from Vershab's clue, but focusing on the history of the pharaohs' successive reigns, Calathon makes another breakthrough: The missing scrolls from Hakotep's library, a huge pile containing several references to the Sky Pharaoh and his participation in some ancient war... The two scholars excitedly spend the rest of the day going through this treasure trove of information.

    The Sky Pharaoh is represented by a very distinct hieroglyph of a winged pyramid. According to the scrolls, the Sky Pharaoh was convinced that an attack was coming from enemies who lived in cities in the clouds, and that he was frantically searching for a weapon to defeat them. Apparently, the pharaoh eventually succeeded in finding it, but all that remains of the scrolls that detail this weapon are a handful of ragged papyrus scraps depicting confusing geometrical patterns - these scrolls should be here, but have clearly been removed. It appears whoever wanted this knowledge hidden went to great lengths to make it vanish from the records.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2019-01-26 at 09:31 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    "I don't think we are the first to look for these scrolls and records..." Vershab mutters as his frustration mounts. "Some are missing or have been misplaced, and though Occam's Razor might suggest human error as opposed to the more complex idea of deliberate sabotage, I think our enemies may have beaten us here."

    Turning to the others, he begins to explain his findings and compares notes with Calathon, confirming his suspicions. "Lehasti, Turi, and Azkin - have any of you found anything with this pictograph or these terms and phrases as you have looked around...?"

    Spoiler: OoC/Mechanics
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    I would strongly encourage FarmerBink and JWallyR to post some rolls - we are clearly fighting against someone else here and need to have all hands helping!

  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    At first, Turi is content to let Vershab and Azkin do the lion's share of the work. However, as they quickly prove less than comfortable navigating the bridges for quick access to tomes, he little by little becomes more involved himself. At the second or third example of potentially torn scraps, he muses, "Perhaps they took the records for their own use? Sort of sabotage by accident?"

    Regardless, he continues to easily traverse the bridges, though his efforts with the books are clearly less well-guided as his colleagues'.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    So I'm assuming that taking 10 on acrobatics for a 22 is both 1: acceptable and 2: doesn't result in Turi's untimely death.

    (1d20+7)[16] know nobility (includes library bonus of +3) vs DC 20.
    If successful, (1d8)[3] research damage

  24. - Top - End - #144
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Lehasti's eyes shift between the exit to the narrow hallway and the thin "bridges" with equal suspicion. With an audible sigh of resignation, the paladin sheathes her blade and eyes the nearest such bridge. She turns, seeming to feel the weight of Azkin's questioning gaze on her shoulder, and with a lackadaisical shrug of the shoulders gestures her protege toward the tomes. With a similarly rueful gaze, the young cleric stows his spear and makes his way to follow.

    The pair of Sarenites make an unintentionally humorous sight; the paladin is particularly ridiculous, the clanking of armor and her slow, methodical steps bringing to mind the image of a tortoise making its tortuous way across a circus tightrope. Azkin's steps are no less thoughtful, though his steps seem more sure and his sober expression of concentration less haggard. Every so often when their paths happen to bring them in reach of promising tomes, the pair lean heavily on the shelving to give their attention to the task at hand.

    Spoiler: Mechanics
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    Both Sarenites will suffer the -2 penalty on research checks to avoid rolling Acrobatics checks, which would likely result in disaster.
    Lehasti's knowledge check (religion or nobility): (1d20+5)[18]
    If successful, "damage": (1d8)[1]

    Azkin's knowledge check (religion): (1d20+6)[17]
    If successful, "damage": (1d8)[5]
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Gwynfrid's Avatar

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Toilday, 28 Abadius

    Having repaired to the Inn of Desert Winds for the night after their first day of research, the companions come back to the Great Library early the next morning, aware that their welcome is limited in time and that Muminofrah will expect them to come pay their respects at some point in the near future. In the Spiral Archive, they find things mostly unchanged, the daemon giving them a grudging, threats-filled greeting, and the bookish woman still at work, an even earlier riser than them.

    Spoiler
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    So that we don't spend days on repetitive rolls, I'm going to roll for the day for all characters.

    Assuming same bonuses as earlier day, but improved: Each full day of research in the same library grants a cumulative +1 to the roll.

    Vershab Knowledge(Religion) (1d20+20)[40] knowledge points (1d8+5)[7] - I'm going to call this a crit, and double the knowledge points acquired.
    Calathon Knowledge(History) (1d20+16)[22] knowledge points (1d8+4)[10]
    Turi Knowledge(Nobility) (1d20+8)[10] knowledge points (1d8)[3]
    Lehasti Knowledge(Nobility) (1d20+6)[24] knowledge points (1d8)[8] - yay!
    Azkin Knowledge(Religion) (1d20+7)[11] knowledge points (1d8)[8]


    Calathon picks up where he left off the earlier day, and continues tracking the long line of pharaohs across the many ages of Osirion. A large collection of tablets bound in cloth marked with the Sky Pharaoh’s winged pyramid hieroglyph contains a number of transcribed recollections of several courtiers at Hakotep’s court. These accounts make passing references to the Sky Pharaoh having access to stolen Shory magic. "The Shory! Interesting..." He mutters. As his friends cast puzzled looks at him, he explains: "Yes, the Shory. That is the name. An ancient people. They traveled the world in great flying cities during the Age of Destiny. What a time of wonders that must have been! They built an empire in central Garund known for its arcane engineering and cities in the sky."

    Vershab, having understood the complex layout of the library, sets out at a great speed, feverishly browsing through the endless stacks of papyrus, until he makes several great finds. A dusty, otherwise unremarkable scroll contains a lengthy passage about the burial of Hakotep I, with a remark about his tomb having wings. The scroll also contains a tantalizing fragment of the confession of a member of a group called the Sacrosanct Order of the Blue Feather, who claimed that when the Sky Pharaoh was interred, his heart and funerary mask were stolen from his tomb before it was lost to the skies. These two objects supposedly contained the pharaoh’s soul, but his body was left behind in the tomb. This confession was extracted in -1560 AR, some 50 years after the pharaoh’s death. There are also references to considerable efforts by Hakotep’s successor, Pharaoh Djederet II, to round up members of the Sacrosanct Order for questioning. The results of the interrogations were recorded on a collection of scrolls called the Scrolls of Inquiry, but this collection is not held within the Spiral Archive.

    Vershab remembers having heard of the Sacrosanct Order of the Blue Feather, a secretive sect of the priesthood of Nethys dedicated to the collection and preservation of knowledge. The Order is not necessarily concerned with keeping such information hidden, but secrecy is a useful tool for safeguarding it. The order’s members are also unconstrained by such mortal concerns as morality - the acquisition and preservation of the information is paramount, not the methods used to do so.

    At this point, the companions feel like they have found everything that they might be able to get in this place, but at the end, it is the paladin, stubbornly refusing to lay her bulky armor down for the purpose of research, who makes the final breakthrough. Her patience and humility are richly rewarded, when her exhaustive search for all Nethys references leads her to an old curator’s catalog. It reveals that the Scrolls of Inquiry were moved to another of the Inner Sanctum’s libraries, the Dark Depository, 103 years ago.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2019-01-30 at 10:15 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #146
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    "The Dark Depository...what a cheerful sounding collection," Vershab says dryly after reading the catalog Lehasti found. "I will be glad to have a change of scenery since this one is distinctly less functional than one might hope. Let's go and at least take a look at this library before we call it a night. Then we can be well prepared for tomorrow when we must find the Scrolls of Inquiry..."

    The arcanist then collects his assorted notes and makes his way back to towards the entrance to ask for the way to the Dark Depository from the curators.

  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    When the lead curator hears the name Dark Depository, she looks at Vershab intently, and takes a moment before she responds.

    "If that is where your search is leading you too, then, it is dark things that you are after. I must not judge you, but my duty is to warn you. The forbidden knowledge held within the Dark Depository has spawned things that have never seen the sun.

    Surely, I'm not going to surprise you when I say, you will need a new, explicit authorization, before I can give you the directions to find the Dark Depository. I don't think the haty-ha has allowed this to more than a handful of scholars, over the course of her tenure in Tephu. I wish you good luck, but I can help you no further until I see a new document signed by her."

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Vershab thanks the curator before turning back to his companions and speaking to them privately. "I need just one moment to prepare a spell to invade her mind and attempt to influence her so that she will help us without requiring another visit to the Haty-a. Will you all please distract her and any potential witnesses while I attempt to charm her?" he asks as he begins to page through his spellbook to find the spell he has in mind...

    Spoiler: OoC
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    I assume that doing something like this would be a bad/evil idea and that Lehasti will help prevent the action. JWallyR should post something to the effect of stopping Vershab - he will follow her lead on morality.

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    Looking every bit the cat that got the cream after her serendipitous discovery, Lehasti leads the party with a cheerful, strolling stride through the narrow corridors toward the entrance, briefly interrupted by the difficulty of winding her armored form around the strange, cloud-shaped statue. Her cheer subsides somewhat as they approach the small study room and its occupant, and the paladin's gait takes on more militant qualities, and she watches the stranger with a sidelong, suspicious glance.

    Finally reaching the curators' post, the paladin steps to the side, gesturing Vershab to the fore.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "I need just one moment to prepare a spell to invade her mind and attempt to influence her so that she will help us without requiring another visit to the Haty-a. Will you all please distract her and any potential witnesses while I attempt to charm her?
    Lehasti's eyes dart toward the arcanist as he reaches for his spellbook, and the paladin's eyes are by turns alarmed, suspicious and probing. With a gentle clearing of her throat, she addresses him, "Friend Vershab... even were I to approve such an action, which I most certainly do not, we have already been forewarned of invisible guardians, and consequences of hostile magic." Her tone is gentle but stern with the slender man. "I am confident that our cause is just, and surely with what friends we already have made, our advance cannot be long denied." With a disarming smile and a congenial nod toward the curator, the paladin gently (but firmly) places an arm about Vershab's shoulders and begins to steer him toward the exit.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Shifting Sands [IC]

    With a momentarily crestfallen look, Vershab allows himself to be directed away from the curator. "Is this one of those moral-issues that I struggle to understand? I certainly mean the curator no harm - only to convince her that we are friends and worth skirting the rules to help..." he explains as they walk away. When it is clear there is little to be done except to follow the guidance of his ally he stops talking, instead retreating back into his cloak. "Well, we must get access to the correct library quickly - the longer we wait the stronger our enemies become! Shall we go straight to the Haty-a tonight, or attempt to sway her superior instead? I don't think the Haty-a likes us and am concerned that she may be helping our opponents...Besides, the Muminofrah seemed to like you, Lehasti! She might be convinced to move this along again!"

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