Monday, September 10, 2012

Eichstatt Again

October 18, 1650, Saturday morning
Weather:  with brisk temperatures and a brief drizzle, with a moderate breeze.

After the incident with the tick, the party experiences no other notable encounters or troubles.  The roads are largely open and empty, with woodcutters occasionally tying up the way but mildly.  You pass through Wurzburg, over the Main, then over the Main River again at Kitzingen.  The first bridge costs double what the second does, so that for both together you pay 1 gold piece and 8 silver per animal or person.  Again, the day is pleasant, which is to say in the 60s, though the sky is overcast and there is a persistent drizzle.  It is still and calm, and much of the rain does not even reach the ground.

You climb into the Frankenwald, which extends south from the Thuringian Forest, passing through the same land Andrej did when the trees were in full leaf.  There you camp before climbing, with no inn in sight.  Andrej is more certain now that Nuremberg is but a day away, depending upon tomorrow's weather.

The forest is less appetizing than it was last June.  The flowers are gone and the grassy ground is brown.  The lakes are no longer blue, but grey and cold.  There are still fast flowing rivers, but now they seem less fairy-like and more threatening as you brace their fords on Friday morning.

The morning begins brisk as always, in the 40s, but the afternoon is pleasant and the late afternoon postively warm, in the 70s.  After reaching Nuremberg round about one in the afternoon, there even threatens a summertime thunderstorm, but it doesn't quite break - though a high wind slows the party down so that they make only 60 miles that day.  Instead of making Eichstatt as expected, they only reach the rich fields between Nuremberg and it.  There you find an inn on the sideroad to Schwabach (to the east) called The Dane's Bench ... the innkeeper has slaughtered a cow and there is nothing but beef stew with potatoes and cabbage on the menu, for 3 s.p.  A night here is the same as before, 6 s.p., and 14 c.p. for each of your horses.

Altogether, there has been an additional cost of 9 s.p. per person for tolls and fees, apart from the bridges at Wurzburg and Kitzengen, and a cost of 4 s.p. per horse.

There is no town wall in Eichstatt, which you reach Saturday morning.  Though it was pleasant when you went to sleep, it is again brisk in the morning when you awake.  Eichstatt has about 300 buildings, and as I described to Andrej once before, it is a university/learning town.  It does not take long for Andrej to locate the place he was before, and to inquire after Egbert, to whom he gave the book.

Egbert is ill.  The party is told where he lodges, and they arrive at a four-story half-timbered house, upon one of Eichstatt's principle streets, standing before a strong wooden door between white-washed stone walls.

136 comments:

Lukas said...

I think I may need to get some more feed around here if possible.

Alexis said...

I'll work on that. Eichstatt is not a trading town, but there is a town market and an Inn. That should be open tomorrow, Sunday, if the weather is nice (otherwise, the farmers won't make the trip in from the hinterlands).

Otherwise, you'll have to spend on the food the innkeeper has.

Winter sucks.

Lukas said...

Indeed. This is just pre-emptive to ensure I have some backup feed should something happen, so I still have time.

Andrej said...

Andrej steps forward and knocks on the door.

Sofia keeps to the back of the party and looks after the horses.

Alexis said...

The street is fairly narrow and the party with its eight horses is keeping it fairly bolluxed up at the moment.

No one answers the door.

Ahmet said...

"Perhaps he's too ill to come to the door?"

Maybe Sofia should take the horses back to the inn.

Andrej said...

"Hmmm... Sofia might be needed here. The door might need some convincing to open. It could be Egbert is ill, ignoring us or in some trouble."

Two questions, is there a means to get to the back of the house (alleyway, space between buildings) and do we know how far the nearest inn is?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet calls for Emmanuel. Or Klaas. Or Joost.

Damn it all! We need a lackey!

Andrej said...

Maybe we should inquire into lackeys... our rough reputation may not have reached this far south. I might still be known and well regarded in Dachau vis a vis my service to Hornung.

Ahmet said...

Yeah, I think we just need a non-combat water-fetcher. Emmanuel v2.

Alexis said...

The building front extends all the way around the block in a solid facing without gaps - standard renaissance european construction.

There is someone at home. You can hear them through the door, singing.

Lukas said...

Lukas steps up, knocks on the door a bit harder than his companion, then shouts to the door, "Hello!?"

Alexis said...

You hear a shout from within, a woman's husky voice. "Hold your greaves with your elbows, I'm coming!"

The door opens and Brunhilda herself stands in the doorway - six foot six and as heavy as Ahmet and Andrej put together.

"What do you want?"

Lukas said...

Lukas does back away from the door and gestures to his companions awaiting their response.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet defers to Andrej while giving the woman an appraising glance. Think of the many strong sons such hips could bear!

Andrej said...

"Greetings madame, I am Father Andrej, a casual acquaintance of Herr Eggbert. I was told when asking after him that he was ill and recovering at this address. Is this so?"

Lukas said...

Note to self, specifically tell Ahmet that should the ever be captured not to ever say that Lukas is a mage. ESPECIALLY if Lukas has not cast any spells yet.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: "You'll never get me to talk, no matter what unspeakable tortures you inflict upon my friend the mage!")

Lukas said...

(OOC: I'm just saying, throw out a few lines like the ancient battlecry, "not in the face!" or taking the Fe-Tal battle stance and they may suspect nothing.)

Alexis said...

The woman will look at the party's weapons and armor, and horses, and ask, "Are you here to kill him?"

János said...

Janos chuckles, as if the woman were joking. "Generally, ma'am, killing is not the purview of priests and simple travelers. Father Andrej was only hoping to speak with him."

Lukas said...

Lukas eyes Janos at the 'simple travelers' part. The party is not simple by any means, and at appearance, traveler isn't the first thing they broadcast by far.

Andrej said...

"No madame, we are fresh from the road. The lands about Nuremburg are lousy with raiders and dangerous."

Andrej begins to disarm, handing weapons off to Ahmet whom he motions over to help with an apologetic look. Sofia is busy with the horses, afterall.

"May we meet with Herr Eggbert? Perhaps only myself and Herr Meyer, my friend and companion." Andrej indicates Lukas with a gesture.

Alexis said...

(OOC: after a week on the road and the wet air, traveller is about the best you can hope for)

"Well, be that as it may," says the woman, backing out of your way. Go on up. Just remember if you kill him, he owes a week's rent. And I wouldn't leave your horses in the street."

Andrej said...

Perhaps its best if Lukas and I continue, me as I'm the primary contact and Lukas for his magical knowledge. Would the rest of the party be willing to accompany Sofia to the nearest inn?

Alexis said...

Might be better to just have Sofia do it. This may go on awhile.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet gives Andrej's weapons a fighterly inspection, clucking and tch'ing at every ding, dent and notch.

Lukas said...

Lukas will also hand over his Quiver O' Darts. And by hand over I mean stows it on his horse. The one that's probably getting taken away.

Andrej said...

In that case, maybe we should keep the weapons. Suddenly I'm reminded of the frenchman with the cursed object holed up in his shack.

Andrej said...

Andrej will put his melee weapons that Ahmet currently holds onto his horse, keeping his sling and bullets which should be more non-descript, and gives Sofia directions to the inn he and Avel stayed in during our last visit.

Once the others are ready Sofia will lead the horses to the inn and see about stabling.

I'm ready to enter the house.

Lukas said...

Let us go. As long as you hold em back I should technically be armed.

Alexis said...

To reach the second floor you must enter the house. The large woman seems unconcerned about what you might do on your own - she sends you through one of the two doors in the front space (which appears to have been a workshop, with benches and such, once upon a time). Passing through that door, you enter a room surrounded by a gallery on the second floor, and two flights up. An open door at the far side of the room (its about 20 ft. square) shows the kitchen. There is light showing down from a window in the ceiling, three floors above you. You don't see a gallery up there, just a five foot square shaft letting the ceiling light shine onto the lowest floor. Here there are benches and tables for eating. Three gentlemen turn, from where they all appear to be smoking without any particular purpose. One asks, a bit hesitantly, "Who're lookin' for, strangers?"

Lukas said...

Lukas takes the time to consider the architecture of the building as they walk. As the inside was fairly normal, he considers what in the architecture of this area might be abnormal, and why that might be.

Andrej said...

Does Andrej recognize any of the men?

Lukas said...

Sorry I meant to type outside, not inside.

Ahmet said...

Are Ahmet and Janos inside, or still outside?

Alexis said...

In fact, the architecture is common for buildings of the era. Row houses are often flat against other sides, so with two walls that had no windows, ceiling windows (gables or flat panes) were very common.

Andrej does not know any of these men.

We will presume all four men are inside, while Sofia goes off to find the inn.

Ahmet said...

Should we also presume that Ahmet and Janos are still armed?

Alexis said...

The large woman did not distinctly tell you to disarm ... so its maybe voluntary? Up to you.

Andrej said...

Only Andrej and Lukas indicated they were disarming, so I'd say yes, Ahmet.

Andrej addresses the men, "I am Father Andrej, a casual acquaintance of the scholar Herr Eggbert. I was told when asking after him that he was ill and recovering at this address. I was hoping to meet with him if he is not too ill."

Alexis said...

Their faces show that they're confused and overwhelmed by the declaration of who Andrej is, and they all as a group point upwards at the gallery.

"He's in the room above the kitchen," says one.

Andrej said...

"Thank you, gentlemen."

Andrej makes his way towards the room indicated.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet follows Andrej.

Andrej said...

Andrej casts a questioning look back to his companions, as if to say "what's with these guys?"

Lukas said...

And Lukas follows as well.

János said...

As does Janos.

Alexis said...

You climb the stairs, and make your way along the narrow gallery, creaking as you go ... the eyes of the men below gazing at you. The door at the end of the hall is open, and inside is Egbert - sitting up, reading, papers strewn all over the ink-stained covers, pot of stoppered ink at his elbow.

He looks up and recognizes Andrej immediately.

"You've come back!" he says.

Andrej said...

Andrej smiles, "Yes. I had heard upon arriving that you were not well, Eggbert, so sought you out here."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet, seeing there are no crazy legless men about, instead keeps a wary eye on the three amigos.

Alexis said...

"I caught an unfortunate bout of pneumonic disease upon my return from Switzerland," he replies. "Unfortunate, really. Who are these fellows with you?"

James C. said...

"Pneumonic disease? Are you being treated? These are my friends, Ahmet, Lukas and Janos. Friends, Herr Eggbert, the scholar I spoke of."

"We are on our way south to the Adriatic Sea and beyond, and plan to be away for some time. Perhaps for all time. I came by to see about that book I lent you.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Sorry about the blogger id mix-up)

Alexis said...

(OOC: I have been looking, but I'm unclear. What became of the bottle?)

Andrej said...

hmm. i still have it in my notes...

- bottle containing the souls of Robur the mage and Brendan the guard

...but it seems to have slipped from my equipment list.

Can we say Andrej has it in his backpack? That was my former practice.

Ahmet said...

This was the last reference I can find to it, in the comments for "Morning After the Crab's Death":

Andrej still has the bottle with Robur and Brendan. He often takes it out and worries over it, not sure how to get rid of the thing and what he sees as his responsibility to see to the proper disposition of human souls. Perhaps a large church in Hamburg or Lubek or the more Catholic Frisia or Emsland.

Alexis said...

Thank you both.

Egbert will ask if you have the bottle with you. He will seem quite anxious to see it.

Alexis said...

(OOC: sorry about my general absence today.

Allow me to briefly explain. While my alternate is on two weeks vacation, it happens that our success thus far these last two years has resulted in doubling the size of our department. I have three new people whom I will need to instruct and train next week, none of whom I can have looking too closely over my shoulder, n'est pas? If I should disappear for a day or two, be none too worried)

James C. said...

(OOC: no worries Alexis, part of the deal for us all.)

Andrej produces the bottle and hands it over.

Alexis said...

"Ah," says Egbert. "Then Brendan and Robur are in here, yes?"

Andrej said...

"That is my suspicion, yes. Long has it troubled me."

Alexis said...

Egbert chuckles, clearly delighted. He shakes the bottle, holding it towards the party. "These two fellows have made themselves quite a bother ... oh YES, QUITE a bother.

"I've just returned from Zurich, having spoken to the Gnomes there."

At that point, a chill goes up Lukas' spine. Just hearing of the Gnomes of Zurich reminds him that there's only so much real control that ordinary people have over the continent of Europe - the sort of thing Lukas' master told him NEVER to speak of openly.

Alexis said...

Egbert pauses.

"I've investigated into the owlbear attack on the house ... you remember that, do you not Father?"

Andrej said...

"Only the aftermath. When Avel, Delfig and I came upon the house the owlbear and several guards were already dead and Robur and Brendan nearly so themselves."

Andrej said...

(OOC: Gnomes of Zurich. I love it.)

Lukas said...

Lukas listens quietly, why break a teaching of his master now? It may become important and he will speak then...

Ahmet said...

Ahmet's interest was piqued by the mention of the owlbear, but faded upon learning it was dead. He continues studying the three smoking men. Are they armed? Are they watching us? Do they appear to be in need of 180 pounds of pure Turkish fury?

Alexis said...

Egbert speaks: "The beast was sent to teach them a lesson; no one guessed that it would nearly kill them. The Gnomes wanted only to let them know the eye was upon them. But Brendan and Robur were, as we might say, indisposed at the time. They had completed a communication with - someone - whom I haven't quite been able to determine. They were weak. I passed through the area on the way back and made inquiries ..."

Egbert coughs, and smiles wanly. "I stayed a few days too many, I'd guess. I was able to learn that the guardsmen who were killed there were simply following the owlbear. They had no idea what was going on."

The sage looks at the party. "Are you sure you want to know?"

Alexis said...

Lukas is not. What he knows of the Gnomes is this - that in the first case, they are not the Rothschilds, and many people foolishly believe. The Rothschilds are ordinary bankers. The Gnomes of Zurich are extraordinary bankers - they do not merchant in coin, but in souls. So many souls delivered and such and such an interest, so the story goes. It is not even known for sure that they are gnomes, though the story is that an illusionist of unknown origin, said to be a Viking by birth, once upon a time founded the organization around the time the Normans destroyed the Saracens in Sicily. Other legends put the origin to an earlier date, saying the Gnomes traded Roman souls to the barbarians. No one knows for sure.

Andrej said...

"Yes."

Alexis said...

"Think before you answer, Father. There are great forces at work, here. I told you it was a book of unusual illusionary power. I did not tell the Gnomes it was in my possession, though they would dearly like to have it. I do not think they know of its existence. I ask you again: Do you wish to know? You need not. The book could simply be delivered into the hands of the Gnomes and we would be done with it ... and your life would remain unchanged."

Andrej said...

Andrej looks to Lukas. "You are swiss, yes? What of these gnomes? The book was to be gifted to you should it prove valuable."

Oddbit said...

Lukas at this point does speak up of coarse, knowing they exchange in souls and conveying what he knows.

"It seems anyone who regularly deals in souls, that is capable of sending great murderous beasts as 'messages' would not be someone to trifle with. Of coarse, if we know, does knowing really prevent us from taking the books to the gnomes? And if we did so willingly, perhaps there would or could be some form of compensation negotiated..."

Andrej said...

"Herr Eggbert, setting aside the matter of the book, what of the bottle and the souls therein?"

Alexis said...

Egbert shrugs his shoulders.

"Very well. Brendan and Robur were communicating with someone before they were nearly killed and before they hid in that bottle. They are alive in there, I'm certain. There's a spell in one of the books that tells how to make the bottle and another spell that will free them. But as to who they were communicating with, that puzzled me for some time.

"The power of that illusions book suggested that whomever it was would be a very prestigious wizard. I taxed my brain for where that wizard might be - and as I was in Zurich, I asked. There was no question in the minds of the scholars there that the power in this book was not meant for good, and that certainly whatever wizard it was, he or she would be acquainted with one of the great thaumaturgic schools.

"So what are those? Well, there is is the great laboratory of Ohrid - but they are more interested in the creation of magic items than in spells. I considered the Olde Skool of Novgorod - but I have an acquaintance there, and I think he would have mentioned if there were doings of this nature there.

"That left two places to my mind, since I am not familiar with China - there are the Magi of Van or Great Khorezm."

Ahmet cannot help but shudder at the Magi being spoken of aloud. Lake Van is east of Cappadocia, where he is from, and it is said that the mere mention of those wizards in the presence of a woman with child will result in one that is stillborn.

Alexis said...

"So I looked through the spellbooks," says Egbert ... and I think I have found a name in each that tells who's books they were. The name is Patroclus - and there is indeed a wizard by that name that resides in Khorezm."

Andrej said...

These would be the spell books Avel and I sold to Eggbert or the powerfully illusioned book?

Alexis said...

('Egbert' ... with one 'g')

Yes. Originally, there were three books - two spellbooks and the one about illusions. The spellbooks seem to have belonged to a notable wizard named Patroclus - notable because someone in Europe has heard of him, since Khorezm is at least 1500 miles from here.

Lukas said...

I'm guessing it's basically an illusionists spell book. I am unaware how that would work for myself, if at all.

If it would, would it be possible to transcribe a good portion? That might be something to do before we pass it off to the gnomes. IF we decide we want to pass it off to the gnomes. I mean, it sounds like they do the stuff in the book on their own as it is. At least from our summary of the book.

Alexis said...

Any formidible magic book would be an artwork, with images that the mage/illusionist would need to burn into his or her mind - focused by such images being constructed of magic ink.

"Transcribing" such a work would be like transcribing the Mona Lisa. You'd get a picture, but it wouldn't enable the magic.

Alexis said...

(accepting the same sort of percentage rate as creating a scroll, that is - probably less % per level, and still requiring those three books mentioned previously)

Lukas said...

Alright, so this is a magic book that contains spells, but not a spellbook. Got it.

That is a fair reason to keep it if it has something useful inside... Of coarse if it doesn't, that makes it pretty dang valuable.

Alexis said...

Sorry to do this in three posts, but I'm thinking as I go. The Illusion book is a magic item, like a phylactery, and NOT merely a spellbook. It really only enables the casting of one spell, that being the powerful illusion spell described in the former Eichstatt post, described in the comments of the April 29, 2010 post.

Lukas said...

No problem, I'll just go take a look at that post...

I see... Wait, so the book itself casts those kinds of illusions? If that IS the case, that is ridiculously useful.

James C. said...

"Egbert, for how much would you sell the spell books of Patroclus back to us? As I recall, you gave me 100 gold for the pair a few short months ago."

Andrej said...

Alexis, Lukas... would Eichstatt be a good place to look for scroll-making books? The market must be small, but is there not some inherent advantage in it being a university town with potentially lots of scroll-making clerics about?

Alexis said...

(OOC: Here's how it is. I got bad news yesterday, and I'm just holding it together. You can read about it on the main blog.

If any of you have any opinions regarding the bit about the land you received the deed to, vis a vis the blog post Wednesday, I'd appreciate it; I thought I'd hear something from you.

Just a quick answer to your questions, Andrej ... then I'm going to lay off for the weekend)

Egbert does not want to sell them back - for your wellbeing. "You realize this Patroclus will be looking for them - is looking for them. He will not be happy to find them in your possession."

Those books are here, but no one's selling. Not to worry; changing my availability schematic for my trade tables, its almost impossible not to find those books anywhere in Germany.

Lukas said...

To be honest I understand the not selling. If I wanted to sell a copy, I'd either take it to a market town where more people pass through, or have it sold to someone who regularly goes to those places.

James C. said...

Alexis, blogger is acting funny for me. I attempted a reply on the main blog, but am not sure it took. In short, my thoughts are with you, friend.

The only thing to decide, then, is what to actually do with the bottle and the book? Hand them over to Egbert? I probably would at this point were it not for my intent to give the book to Lukas. Lukas?

James C. said...

Also, there is of course whether or not Egbert is being entirely up front with us. We really have no compass with which to navigate here, do we?

Lukas said...

Well, we have a magic book, and feet to take it to the gnomes if we decide to later. I could also peruse it as well and see what I can find out about it.

Also, just because they aren't selling the spell books doesn't necessarily mean we can't look at them right?

As for souls, well... I mean I think he said we could release them with something from a book, though I lost track of which. I think it was the magic one.

Andrej said...

The spells to both make the bottle and release those within appear to be contained in the spellbooks, not the magic item book.

Alexis said...

To Lukas, Egbert will say, "Do not mistake my apparent familiarity with the Gnomes - it comes from decades of gaining their trust and only that of some of those at the rim of their order. Should you attempt to present yourself to them without their knowing you, they would eliminate you at once, whatever your motive."

This more or less fits with Lukas' former experience with myths about the Gnomes.

Alexis said...

To Andrej, Egbert will say,

"I have been studying, and I believe I could speak the spell that would release Brendan and Robur just now - but if I were to do so, this would almost certainly come to Patroclus' attention. This would strike me as a bad thing."

He'll consider. "I would be happy to give you the spellbooks back for the price I paid, and the Peraipt of Illusion as well ... and get them out of my possession and off my mind. But I doubt you would survive my generousity. Neither you, nor this fellow Lukas, seems fully aware of the deep dangers these books present. The Gnomes and Khorezm are both forces that move armies upon the globe - they would trample you underfoot like so much grass."

Andrej said...

"I do appreciate the gravity of the situation, Herr Egbert, but perhaps you do not appreciate my perspective as a priest of the Roman church. I fear only God, you see. If you keep theses books, which I cannot read anyway, and this one book finds its way back to Zurich... what of the souls in this bottle?"

Alexis said...

"The souls in that bottle are two thieves ... who have stolen the books, who have used them to twist the arm of the Prince-Elector of Saxony, who have assassinated a member of the royal family of Hungary and who have made enemies upon two continents. I would open the bottle and release them, since justice is sure to rain down hard upon them from the skies themselves, except that I am so little interested in being assumed as an accomplice and I am certain their boredom is a better punishment than mankind can render. If you will keep them, Father, you may sacrifice your life to ensure their god finds them with my good wishes ... only do it some distance from here, if you please."

Lukas said...

Lukas looks to the others, "My only hope was that the gnomes not knowing the magic book existed yet would have no reason to search for it. It seems that Egbert does not have such faith that they do not know of the book. If we cannot profit from it with our inability to approach the gnomes, perhaps Egbert can in our staid?"

Ahmet said...

This is all utterly beyond Ahmet's ken, so he offers no suggestions.

However -- though he won't admit it, of course -- he is obviously quite troubled by the idea of taking on anyone affiliated with, compared to, or even mentioned in the same breath as the Magi of Van.

Andrej said...

"I'm not decided that we should open the bottle, though if we do we'll be sure to be far away from Eichstatt, Herr Egbert. I just want to decide what to do with it. Turning over souls, however unworthy, to a group thought to traffic in them seems somewhat ungodly to me, no?"

"As for the book, Lukas, it was my desire to give them to you... but given the situation perhaps we should just be on our way."

Alexis said...

Whatever you all want to do.

(OOC: I am training people today; that will be going on until about 4:30 EST ... so if I get the chance I'll look in, but if not, be well all)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Be well, Alexis. This will give me some time to go back over the Civ posts and offer an opinion on how it pertains to our land deed.)

I'll summarize what I see as our options and opine on each, guys. If you think I miss anything, let me know.

Book of Illusions: Likely a very powerful and useful magic item in the right hands. Meant for "no-good" and sought by an extremely powerful organization that so far as we know is unaware that we have it. Sought also by a powerful individual that is at least likely aware of its last location.

We could:

1) Let Egbert deal with it as he has offered and disappear. Advantage: we escape the notice of dangerous and powerful people. Disadvantage: we give up a powerful item for nothing.

2) Try to deal with the gnomes ourselves. Advantage: none likely. Disadvantage: death.

3) Work with Egbert some more and see if he can broker a deal where we might gain some. Advantage: we might gain some. Disadvantage: we delay our trip more and might end up way out of our depth. Also, Egbert may simply refuse.

4) Keep the book. Advantage: It's cool. Disadvantage: It's sought by powerful and deadly groups we shouldn't make enemies of.

We could run the idea of #3 by Egbert, but taking into account everything implicit and explicit in the above dialogue I don't see how he'd be willing to potentially kick a hornet's nest on our behalf. So let's ask, and if/ when he laughs in our faces or tries to throw us out we simply go with #1.

Spellbooks and bottle to be decided next...

Ahmet said...

#3 sounds like the way to go. We're in no particular rush as Ahmet has another 13 months or so before he's due back in his home village (though I'm not sure about Andrej's timetable to assume his missionary position).

And as you said, if #3 doesn't work out, we fall back to #1. Stuffing it into a backpack and blissfully continuing our adventures (#4) would be standard D&D practice, methinks, but also pretty stupid. And #2 is suicide.

Lukas said...

Yeah, if for some reason the gnomes know about the book, there's no sense in keeping it. But I mean seriously, in a world like this, ANYONE would want that book.

Also, don't forget we may try and negotiate some time to look at the books. Remember, the magic book is a master of making convincing illusions. You never know, maybe Egbert wants to keep it and is making an illusion of being sick... Or someone is pretending to be him.

If I wanted to scare someone off I would list of the most powerful names I could attach to it.

I say we take some time to investigate the books before wandering off. But hey, that's just me.

Andrej said...

All fair points, Lukas, and yes I had also considered Egbert wasn't being entirely upfront. We could certainly stay over a few days and give you the opportunity to pore over the book. The party didn't have the benefit of a magic user when we acquired it.

As tomorrow is the Sabbath, let's receive the book from Egbert and adjourn to our inn rooms through Sunday. We'll leave things open with the scholar for now. You can take the day to peruse the book, more if you need it.

Alexis said...

(OOC: got a quick lunch)

The point, obviously, is to encourage the dilemma. Magic items are always presumed to be a positive thing. This is not necessarily so. If Egbert did not intend to be upfront with you, why be available to be found at all? He had all three books. Why is he not now simply in another city?

Andrej said...

Unless there are objections then, should we consider ourselves regrouped at the inn Sofia found for us? If Egbert is on the level, he shouldn't protest at Andrej taking the book, though the scholar may wish to admonish him a bit for it.

If so, we wish to leave things open with Egbert. Andrej is thankful to him for his work on our behalf and willing to reimburse the scholar for going somewhat beyond the call of mere inquiry in getting us our information.

Andrej is careful to downplay any ideas of us taking the book permanently or using it for ourselves. Please understand the party merely needs time to process the information and decide our next move. Surely Egbert would understand that we need time to overcome the shock of his revelations and plot a wise course.

Finally, Andrej would like to know if we may return to the scholar within a few days time to take him up on his offer to handle the return of the book or ask for further information should he be willing to research more on our behalf.

Lukas said...

Well, I could come up with a reason or two, but I'll take it your intent is to put us at ease.

Look, I think this is supposed to legitimately be Alexis just warning us of risk/reward.

As such I just want to know two things I guess. A: Do we know if the gnomes know about the book yet, and B: Do we know if the gnomes are actively seeking for such things. (Which I doubt given the post on finding lost soldiers)

Alexis said...

I make no promises. Part of my role as DM is to be the conscience inside your head, warning you not to do things you should do, and would do if there were not nagging things in your head telling you not to do the things you know are the right things.

I have not said Egbert is telling the truth.

Egbert will say, "I warn you against using the periapt, even when you have shown yourself able to use it." But he will hand over the books, all three of them to you, if you give him back the price he paid, and will give you back 22 g.p. in kind. "It was worth it to borrow the books for the period in question; I'm happy to pay a small fee. I wish you the best, though I fear the worst for you."

Alexis said...

On unrelated subjects, assuming you are back at the inn:

1) Has anyone wondered about where your rent may be;

2) What route will you take from Eichstatt.

Andrej said...

1) Yes, but I assumed we would have to make fruitful inquiries closer to Koufunisia. Perhaps we stop over in Naxos and start there? Guys?

2) Eichstatt to Ingolstadt. Then we follow the Danube River to Vienna. In Vienna we make a choice whether to find a more direct land route to Fiume, or continue to Budapest and circle back around the mountains.

Andrej said...

Andrej leaves it up to Lukas as to whether he wants to pay the 100 gold for the two spell books and thanks Egbert for all of his help, wishing him well and giving a blessing. He smiles easily and with great mirth at the three men gathered in the downstairs. "Good day, gentlemen, and God bless."

Let us plan on at least resting/ studying through Sunday.

Andrej tries to hire a servant to perform those functions previously conducted by Emmanuel while Lukas studies.

Andrej said...

Ah, one final thing. Whether Lukas elects to buy the spell books or not, the periapt of illusion is placed into his hands by Andrej. "Enjoy it, my friend. It is yours to do with now as you please. You may study it and then leave it here or keep it. I will advise you on my wishes if you so desire, but I intended to make a gift of this to you and so I have. Try not to get us killed, though. Ahmet's soul, for instance, still seems to be in peril and I need more time with the man." Andrej winks.

Andrej said...

Andrej keeps the bottle with Robur and Brendan. Handling it some and worrying over it some more before putting it back into his backpack.

Alexis said...

Taking advantage of Lukas' 17 intelligence, about taxation nand Q1: here's a clue.

Who controls Naxos? What kind of state?

The gentlemen in the lower floor wish you well in return; they do not seem especially threatening.

Lukas cannot at this time decipher the text of the Periapt. It makes no sense to him - it is not written like any magic he has seen before.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I am still training today, and all through the week; I can make a comment or two during breaks, but beyond that I'm more or less buried)

Lukas said...

So have we decided to hang out in town? Also what do we know about the Periapt? I think it was only mentioned a couple times now in recent posts.

James C. said...

Periapt is not yet readbable for you, I suspect its level-based. Aren't you curious about the spell books?


James C. said...

Andrej's only action is to try to hire a servant in Eichstatt.

Alexis said...

The Periapt of Illusion is what I've started calling the non-spellbook that Andrej left with Egbert to study. It is the book that supposedly describes how to create an inordinately complex illusion, such as changing a horse to look like a cat, and convincing the onlooker even to think the horse (cat) has leapt into the onlooker's arms and started purring.

Alexis said...

Egbert cannot decipher the book either, except from a few notes in the Periapt that say what the Periapt is able to do.

Ahmet said...

Thanks for remembering about the servant! Forgot all about it.

Lukas said...

Sure sign a cat isn't real, it leaps at you without trying to claw your eyes out.

Anyhow, I personally am not too interested in the spellbooks. Perhaps I am not acquainted with the possible benefits but...

I have chosen certain spells per day, I'll get more when I level, and having all the spellbooks in the world it appears will not change that. Furthermore, any unique spells in there sound like they probably aren't of my flavor, I'm not particularly interested in consorting with things that leave me weak or capturing or releasing souls.

And of coarse, I'll take Egbert at his word for any unique spells alerting the owner if they are used.

ACTIONS AND QUESTIONS HERE

Lukas asks Egbert if he knows if the gnomes know about the book yet.

Does Lukas know where to start on figuring out how the contents of the book work?

Also, does Lukas suspect that perhaps the book would only be understood by an Illusionist?

Alexis said...

1) I'll sort out the price of a servant for you; do you want someone German, or some of a particular race/background (southern european, eastern european, western european, nordic, north african or half-elven are the choices)

2) Egbert confirms he did not tell the Gnomes about the book. He only inquired regarding the appearance of an owlbear, which told him about the house where the dead owlbear was found, and whose house it was, and an augury about who Robur and Brendan were, which led him to the Gnomes to find out who these two thieves might be known to work for, and what things they had done prior to coming to dwell near Ingolstadt.

3) Lukas can guess that the book may be a kind of cypher - get the key to the cypher, release the magic in the book. Or the book may be written in an ancient magical text that is no longer used. Comprehend languages might be a starting place. At the moment, he only has Egbert's word for it that the book IS magical ... but the cleric can detect that anytime.

4) That may be possible regarding illusionists. Lukas would have been likely to see illusionist magic before, and though he can't use it, he should be able to recognize the style. Still, if it is a cypher or a rare magic language, that may still be only one useable by illusionists.

Ahmet said...

Hey, maybe you can hook Ahmet up with a brother Muslim. Or even better... a sister Muslim. Awww yeah.

Lukas said...

Hrm, if the gnomes do more digging, then they might know about the book, or at least the general idea of his work, I would think separate groups of great arcane power would be reasonably secretive about the specifics of their work (Especially illusion and disguise?).

Primarily the concern would then be this Great Khorezm. Obviously the book is related, the spellbooks belong to someone associated with them (Who likely made the periapt).

And if I were that someone, I'd be very interested in recovering my spellbooks. Or I would be dead or detained.

I would think dead or detained given this book has been here for a long time.

I wonder if we can hire someone for some divine spellcasting of our own on the topic? How much is one of those yes no divination spells? (Or the price of a more specifically useful one)

Lukas said...

I'm thinking, we take the big book. Leave the spellbooks.
Get some divinations on who is actively looking for the book.

If anyone powerful is, we find a remote spot, dig a hole, and let them find it when we're far away.

Or hey, if it's an evil book of demonic power, I'm sure that means there's plenty of churches who would be fond of containing or disposing of it right?

Lukas said...

In an effort to just resolve this. Unless anyone objects, that is what Lukas will do. He takes the Periapt of Illusion, thanks Egbert for his concerns, information and time, and look into getting some divination done later.

James C. said...

No objections. We can be gone early Monday morning.

James C. said...

I'll pick a servant and post tomorrow.

Andrej said...

Regarding Andrej's new servant I have decided that religion and willingness to follow me around the world are more important than ethnicity. So, the chosen applicant must be a Catholic or willing to become baptised one and prepared to sever ties to Eichstatt forever. Sorry Ahmet, no hot Muslim chicks... but you can always make inquiries for your own servant. :)

Ahmet said...

Ha, ha, no problem, I was just kidding anyway. (goes off into corner to sob quietly)

Alexis said...

So noted, Lukas.

For heaven's sake, pick an ethnicity, Andrej. You're interviewing, aren't you?

Still no answer on the questions 1 and 2 I asked yesterday. At least, I don't know what you think about what kind of entity controls Naxos or where you're heading next (maybe I missed it).

I'll touch back in a couple of hours.

Lukas said...

I say you go for North African or half elven.

Andrej said...

I'll take a North African Roman Catholic, then.

Andrej said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alexis said...

Andrej wrote, before I deleted it accidentally (fucking blogger):

Naxos is controlled by the Doge of the economic powerhouse Most Serene Republic of Venice, no friend of the nearby Ottomans.

Where we're headed next was posted above, pasted below:


2) Eichstatt to Ingolstadt. Then we follow the Danube River to Vienna. In Vienna we make a choice whether to find a more direct land route to Fiume, or continue to Budapest and circle back around the mountains.

Alexis said...

This is continued on the next post.