The Draconomicon Quest - Chapter 2.8: Endings to Begin Again

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stevebarracuda
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The Draconomicon Quest - Chapter 2.8: Endings to Begin Again

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

Image
*THE FINE PRINT*
What I seek is a Draconomicon, sought by another, yet unable to acquire themselves. I have been contracted to this end to acquire said book. I will do this at near any cost, short of my own life. I seek adventurers who are able to think creatively within the Laws of this land. I emphasis this skill above all else.

Do not ask where said Tome is to be found, for I will not part with the knowledge quickly. Be it known that Myrkul himself could be guarding it. Let that sit on your conscious before you hastily offer your skills.

Interviews will start immediately (either PM me, or find my IG this week). This is a party of five souls total, including myself. Again, I seek one skilled with the sword, one in the arcane, one healer of merit, and a person will skillful hands. If you demonstrate your worth in any of these professions, we shall proceed.

The offer is thus: 5,000 gold pieces for each hired hand. Half paid up front, the second half at the completion of the journey. As well, you will be allowed to keep 20% of all acquired gems and artifacts.

Supplies such as kits of healing, potions and scrolls shall be provided, lest you are of a stature that humbles my own.

You may leave your name, title and profession with the Inn-master at the Blade and Stars Inn.


////OOC: my plan is to make this adventure begin on Friday, July 13th at 8pm or 20:00 Pacific Standard Time (GMT -7). Expect a 2-4 hour session. Sorry European buddies, but this is what I can do for now. I'll drum up another such party on a weekend day shortly.

THIS IS FOR TOONS LEVELS 11-16. No more, no less. As hopefully obvious, there will also be some RP! ;)
Last edited by stevebarracuda on Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:25 am, edited 12 times in total.
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
stevebarracuda
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Re: Adventurers Sought: The Draconomicon Quest (the Beginnin

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

Jon Smythe enters the Blade and Stars, takes an initial slow look around the establishment, then walks over to a free stool at the bar.

After ordering a drink and small chitchat with the bartender, he is given the message that two adventurers have left word to speak with Smythe.

"Two is a start," Smythe thinks aloud. He downs the liquor quickly, shaking his head to offset the bite, then picks up his valise and heads off to get some rest.
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
stevebarracuda
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Re: Adventurers Sought: The Draconomicon Quest (the Beginnin

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

As Jon Smythe walks the streets of Baldur's Gate, plying his trade and happily increasing his inventory by way of deals with such merchants as Maltz, he is passed on a small lead for acquiring a Draconomicon...

...Smythe is remains uncertain about the truthiness of this information.

"Something to discuss amongst the group, once it is fully formed," he thinks to himself.
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
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Re: Adventurers Sought: The Draconomicon Quest (the Beginnin

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

Jon Smythe stands at the wharf in Baldur's Gate, his booksellers valise hanging at his side, looking out into the bay as a small row boat makes it way to dock, away from a newly arrived masted ship.

As the rowboat docks, Smythe approaches the men on board, shares a few hearty words, and he is then given small sized crate. He flips the man a small pouch of coin, then signals to a dock delivery boy, to ferry this by land to the Blade and Stars
.

"Due haste, boy," he says to the boy.

Later, as Smythe returns in the evening to retire at the Blade and Stars public hall, he finds again this smallish crate waiting for him. Unsheathing a beautiful, shining large knife from his belt, he deftly pries open the lid, and pulls out 1 of 4 bottles packed inside.

"It is a good day, today..", Smythe remarks aloud.

And then to himself, he thinks: "If nothing like a fine Reserve from the Isles can't tempt an adventurous soul to my table, for an interview for a great adventure, I'm sure nothing will..."

Pulling the cork out with his teeth, Smythe begins to pour himself a glass. There is a total set of 5 glasses on the table, 2 are filled, and 3 remain unpoured....


///I will be on tonight starting from 8-9pm PST (-7 GMT) until late, most likely. Taking interviews for this Adventuring Group.
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
stevebarracuda
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Re: Adventurers Sought: The Draconomicon Quest (the Beginnin

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

Smythe continues to sit at his table in the Blade and Stars. Three of the five glasses have now been filled with wine.

Smythe takes out a folded piece of parchment from his valise. Written upon it are a list of six things, and Smythe uses a wood covered charcoal stick to update the items:


Myself
Skilled hands
Adept in the arcane
Healing and prayer
Swordsman
Tome

Having just drawn another line across one of the items, Smythe folds the parchment and returns it to the valise.

EDIT: A new line is drawn on the list.
Last edited by stevebarracuda on Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
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Re: Adventurers Sought: The Draconomicon Quest (the Beginnin

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

Smythe, standing in the open plaza near the merchant Maltz, removes his tall black hat and inspects it carefully, for he has heard it make a noise—a light thwaping noise hit the brim.

He turns it over in his hands, and finds the source of the sound: a smallish white and yellow bird dropping. "Curses be," he exclaims aloud, "do the Gods send their greetings on my lack of success?"

Smythe turns his head upward to the heavens, where the controllers of fate lie, all the time observing the machinations of the humble men and women of Faerun, yet doing nothing, as the mortals toil to create a life and experiences for themselves, sometimes out of sheer nothing , through will power and creativity, yet alone...

Smythe half raises a clenched fist towards the skies, but then pauses, thinking that what could the chances be to be (#2) on twice in one day? Maybe his luck has now changed, he thinks.

"Alas, his mission will be short lived, I'm afraid, lest I fill those last two positions," he thinks to himself.

Smythe then pulls out a handkerchief from a inner pocket, and begins the lovely task of cleaning the bird dropping from his hat. Satisfied that the tall black hat is clean enough to resume his bookselling, he deposits the now soiled handkerchief in a nearby barrel, and continues on with the trade as the day grows long in the open plaza, here in Baldur's Gate.

Out of the corner of his eye, he watches as the sun hangs in the sky, determining the time of day.
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
stevebarracuda
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Re: Adventurers Sought: The Draconomicon Quest (the Beginnin

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

Returning to the Blade and Stars on a whim, Smythe finds a letter left for him. Seems a swordsman has been looking for him.

Smythe reads the letter. "Well now...my luck does turn around this day. "

Pocketing the letter, Smythe thanks the Innmaster for the service, and flips him a coin.

"If any others come by asking for me, send one of the errand boys to find my in the plaza with the rest of the street sellers. My thanks, sir."

Smythe feels rather bold at the moment; a possible overly secure feeling that has often found him in trouble before.

"We don't need no stinkin' healer...," Smythe thinks to himself.

The Gods, on the other hand, are laughing already.....
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
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Re: Adventurers Sought: The Draconomicon Quest (the Beginnin

Unread post by Aeb Ankor »

A dark skin hin mentions to the innkeeper he is at the Blade and Star to find the bookseller there has been working in the area as he has books to sell. He leaves his name as a naturalist healer named Zyak Strongbox for this possible adventure

After hearing to visit the plaza, the hin proceeds there to find the book seller.
"It is a good bet that I like your character, more than I like you... keep it IC and close to lore and we might stay friends."

"I hate snowflakes and butterflies, die die die!'


#OrcLivesMatter
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Re: The Draconomicon Quest (the Story Unfolds)

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

The announcement had been seen by many. Yet only three adventurers appeared at the Blade and Stars others at the hour requested by Smythe—some came for the coin, others seeking experience and a bold challenge. At first it seemed an incomplete group, but as the four men spoke and introduced themselves, Smythe's confidence rose knowing that these hired men should suit the task well. They were as follows: Dart, a skilled crossbowman and scout; Nersial, an elven arcane fighter; Zyak Strongbox, a devote hin with a habit of noting everything down in a notebook; and of course Jon Smythe himself, the simple bookseller. There was no oddness amongst the group from the onset, and this relieved Smythe. Some wine was poured and Smythe spoke of the task at hand, what was known—or not known—about the location of the book known as the Draconomicon, as well as to where they as a group would have to travel to seek further answers—the Wizard at the High Hedge.

Time was taken after the initial meeting to supply each as seemed necessary, some already having prepared in advance. Then off to the Baldur's Gate docks, as it had been determined to travel quickly south via ferry. As the ferry lines run, it was necessary to transfer via Roaringshore. Nersial spoke out against spending too much time there, and this was noted by the group.

There, at the dock, as the group of four waited for the connecting ferry to the beach below Candlekeep, they spied an oddly dressed man, bare of feet, posing on the edge of the dock, staring far off out to sea. The four approached the obvious foreigner, and learned his name: Weung Zhen Wei. Denying he was a monk—and continuing to deny this throughout the quest—Weung stated he sought out place and time to challenge his fighting abilities. Smythe, seeing a good opportunity, invited the non-monk along, without any immediate offer of pay or contract. The monk asked for nothing as well, and joined the group. It was then that the company amounted to five.

Deposited on the beach south of Candlekeep, the group of five observed many a wild beast crawling the shoreline and nearby woods, and this company of five would have to travel through them all—beetles, dire badgers and bears—before they would reach the Hedge Wizard. On the beach, Zyak and Nersial summoned the might of the arcane and of the Gods, enchanting themselves and the group with protective wards, for this overland leg of the journey held possible unknown dangers. Dart was sent ahead as scout, also to lure in each beast with a shot from his crossbow. The company of five was not hindered in the least by any of these beast, even when they attempted to swarm, defending their territory as wild beasts are will to do.

The long overland travel ended at the gate to the Hedge Wizards castle, none of the company of five having sustained not a scratch. There was a growing confidence amongst the company that their skills formed a well-rounded fighting force.

At the gates to the hedge wizard's castle, Smythe informed the group he would question the wizard alone, as with too many disturbances to the inner sanctuary could ruin an opportunity to gain the location of the Draconomicon. The group, minus Smythe, camped outside near the fountain, keeping watch against the dire bears, as Smythe entered alone.

Only an hour passed, and Smythe returned, perplexed but hopeful. He had received a riddle, it seems: Solve the maze in the woods; a tome lies amongst the horns. Smythe was clueless to unlocking the riddle, but Nersial and Zyak both spoke of the deeper part of Cloakwood forest, where a Minotaur lair resided. Dart expressed some concern over entering this lair. Zyak made hasty drawings in his book of the descriptions of the famous beast, as Nersial spoke at length about the minotaur. Convinced this was the location of the Draconomicon, Smythe gave word to pack up and move again, backtracking and further north, towards the Cloakwood, to this lair of the Minotaur.

Arriving in the Cloakwood, Smythe's group were guided by Nersial, who knew the path to the lair well. Dart was again sent ahead, to scout the dangers that lay in the forest. After repeated attacks by lizardmen, beetles and wood-women, the group reached the edge of the midway of the Cloakwood. At this point, the group was stopped by a meddling dwarf, who wished to join a group of hunters. Smythe informed the dwarf that his group was contracted for a mission—not hunters—and that he led them...and that Smythe could not afford another. The dwarf cared little for coin, only the chance to inspect the Minotaur's lair was enough in payment. The group was open to this, knowing that one more able adventurer would lesson the chance for disaster. The dwarf, who called himself Mordanus Ironfaar, was welcomed into the party. Now, the company grew to six.

Deeper into the Cloakwood, the company of six faced new challenges, both traps and an ambush by the shadow druids and the spiders therein. The group knew that it was best to move onward through the unknown dangers that lie ahead, rather than to remain idle, or worse, return back, so they pushed forward towards the Minotaur lair. They reached the cave mouth rather easily after the initial ambushes, and a camp was made, so that Zyak and Nersial could prepare their spells for the coming dungeon crawl. Dart, Smythe and Weung kept watch, but the night was mostly quiet. Sounds of battle could be heard off in the distance, but nothing approached the six as they camped.

The camp was cleared, and the company of six peered into the cave...whatever lay inside, stirred. Again, Dart took a lead as scout, but the group hesitated at first after they entered the cave, until Nersial presented a detailed map of the maze, from which the company could assuredly reach the innermost reaches of the Minotaur's maze...and, as was hoped, succeed in acquiring the Draconomicon. Once the group had moved deep enough into the maze caverns and were no longer within eyeshot of the entrance, minotaur after minotaur rushed to engage the group of six. The tightness of the caverns made battle more chaotic, and often, two or three of the party had to both attack and defend alone. Nonetheless, a combined might of the company prevailed. And as they reached the gates to the maze proper, a certain confidence continued to grow amongst them all.

But then, from behind, a creature unexpected appeared in the shadows: a leopard, crouching low. The group of six stopped to take defensive positions, but the leopard darted down another hallway in the maze. None of the group of six could make sense of the appearance of such a creature here, but the dwarf named Mordanus made a convincing argument that since it did not attack outright, it was not to worry. Others, such as Smythe, remained cautious.
company of six, guided by Nersial and his map, searched room after room, felling many a minotaur and opening every chest in the hopes of finding the Draconomicon. But, the going was slow, and the wards of Zyak and Nersial—the dwarf as well—began to fade over time, and it seemed that the deeper the group went, the more isolated and dangerous the situation. It was then that, in turning a corner, they stopped face to face with a half-breed Orc.

Armored, with a stag-adorned helmut, the large figure addressed the group, and many took to arms. The half-orc began to parlay with the group, as if their encounter was nothing particular. Smythe, however, was not easily persuaded. And, others in the group, did keep a keen eye on the half-orc, taking flanking positions, knowing that the half-orcen kind are some of the most violent and untrustworthy of races in all the lands. Smythe challenged the half-orc to prove his intentions, whatever they may be. And, Smythe began to question the half-orc whether or not he had acquired a tome while in this Minotaur maze—for Smythe, he had come this far, too far, to have his prize taken from him, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Through a terse back an forth, and with the dwarf communicating in the language of Orc to ease the tensions between them all, it was determined that Grun, the half-orc warrior, was far too stupid to even know what a tome was, nonetheless see value in the object.

The company of six let the half-orc pass...and at the same moment, became aware again that the leopard was still following them, for now and again as they pushed ahead in the maze, the beast would appear out of the shadows briefly, then disappear before any from the group could react. It was a game of hide and seek that was being played, but not all were willing participants.

Onward, the company of six marched. According to Nersial, there was one last chamber, deep within the maze. As the company of six approached, a certain heaviness in the air was felt, and each prepared for what was assumed to be a final battle with what old only be a commanding group of Minotaurs, defending their great treasure horde. Alas, as the group entered the final chamber, there was no fight to be had, no challenge whatsoever...only a single tomb in a large burial chamber. Smythe approached the tomb. He gathered the group, and together they held open the tomb's lid, while Smythe reached inside to examine the contents, blindly with only his hand deep within the large tomb. Lo and behold, amongst the bones and ancient but rusted armor, was a book, wrapped in linens. It all seemed so easy....

Image

Smythe unwrapped the tome from its linen wrapping, and placed it out for all to see. The silence was telling, as the group stood there. The tome, now free from it's wrapping, presented another challenge: a lock held the book shut, holding fast both fron and back cover. This lock shined with an eery light, and it was obvious to each and every member of the company of six that it was magically warded—none present could succeed past it's wards, if they even dare attempt it. No title lay on the cover; no inscription on the spine. It was as if all the answers lay there, in this book, but there was no key to unlock it, no word of power to gain access.

In that moment of both success and dismay, it occurred to the company of six that standing idle in the lair of the minotaurs was a fools choice, and they must make haste to leave the place, while their wards still held against time. But the departure from the deepest corners of the maze was not free from danger, as the minotaurs continued to wait in ambush almost every turn. The group of six indeed came upon many a mauled minotaur corpse as they retraced their steps, and paw prints in blood did appear from time to time. The leopard would remain a mystery, it seems. As would the dwarf named Mordanus, who, without notice or say, disappeared from the group. Some suggested that the two were in league, possibly, as the dwarf did exercise the magic of a druid...but also magic created from the blood...

Finally, as the group had nearly reached the exit to open air, and in a moment of relaxed guard, minotaurs in force descended upon the group, tearing through the groups ranks, and attacked their leader—Smythe was deeply wounded by a sheer greataxe swung deep into his back. The group—hired and now committed to fulfill this quest—rallied to Smythe as he stumbled from the wound, pushing back the minotaur onslaught until every horned beast in sight lay upon on the ground in a pool of their own blood. Smythe, bleeding but still conscious, was quickly healed by Zyak and others. Tense was the moment that—through all that had transpired so far in the journey—one single slip in the concentration of the group as a whole, could have a near death consequence. Relieved—and with the bleeding stopped—Smythe walked exhausted towards the fresh air of night, protected on all sides by the trust of the companions he had initially bought loyalty from, but now showed a quality of respect towards each other, overall...something no coin could purchase.

The air of night opened the lungs to a cleaner breath, and the group of now five, organized themselves to make camp, and discuss the current state of events. A tome was found, but none could know if it was indeed the Draconomicon. None other than a greater mage could open the warded lock, that was for certain and easily agreed upon by the group. Smythe was at odds in the situation, for he had acquired something of importance, but could not rest that his mission was fulfilled. However, seeing that this journey was only possible by way of each member of the group, Smythe insisted in paying each man their share promised from the onset. Weung, the non-monk, held up a hand against any payment.

Then, in turn, each of the group of five gave their word that should Smythe need again their skills, each would willingly join anew, some for the valuable coin gained in such a company, others for the chance to gain knowledge and the challenge alone, a yearning to prove their merits, a quality that drives many an adventurer.

Pleased that he had employed the best that the Sword Coast had to offer, Smythe acknowledged what was gained amongst this company.

Image

"Follow me eastward, to the great Inn my compatriots, for we will drink and eat together one last time after this long journey together," spoke Smythe. "Alas, here is the prize, but it is not yet a puzzle solved," Smythe continued on to say, while pointing to the tome recovered from the minotaur lair. "What resides beneath those locked covers is either the end, or the beginning...when the new day dawns, I will bring this tome to one that can remove the wards, hopefully...
and from there the story continues on...."

///In case anyone is curious, this was all done without any DM assistance, although I did put out a call for interest to the team. Each player took it upon themselves to make this event come alive, and I thank them. Good times, and more to come!
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
stevebarracuda
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Re: The Draconomicon Quest (the Story Unfolds)

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

* placeholder *

///edited the write-up and added a few images (wish I had taken more...), cause I wrote this at 4am after a concert and a bunch of beers...beers don't help with grammer, nor spelling! :lol:
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Re: The Draconomicon Quest (the Story Unfolds)

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The day had finally come and he was finally set to earn some decent coin after months of just scraping by. He had come north on the promises of steady work during the recent war between the gate and Amn. He had found none of it. He was certain The Lady had forsaken him. By the time the ship he arrived on was allowed to port a treaty had been signed, and just as the skirmishes were halted so too were many of the opportunities to earn coin. He’d been stuck here ever since, one of the many out-of-work mercenaries looking for steady coin.

And this was what he was left with. Escorting a merchant, Jon Smythe, to retrieve some sort of book. Dart had spied Mr Smythe at work a few times now on the streets of Baldurs Gate. While he seemed shrewd and skilled in his business affairs, he didn’t appear to be one to lead him into any real danger. Easy coin. Just how he liked it. He’d already seen his fair share of action in the merchant wars in Calmishan, in the struggles between squabbling noble factions in Tethyr, and other places he’d rather plain forget.

As he arrived at the Blade and Stars he spied Mr Smythe alone in a raised table. Approaching with his customary caution, he made his greetings and awaited the arrival of others. There were two others at first. An elf named Nersial, and dark-skinned hin who never stopped scribbling. Not his usual comrades-in-arms, but neither looked overly threatening either. After a quick debriefing it was determined that they would head South to see some sort of hedge wizard. A simple task to snatch a book. Easy coin, he told himself repeatedly.

Their route South required a respite at Roaringshore. It was a small coastal town that Dart had become familiar with, though he played the part of never having been there. Cutthroats and pirates made it their home, so there was no reason to let on that he had spent a few weeks looking for work amongst the rough and tumble crowd.

While there, and while preparing to find passage further South, they came across an Easterner. Dart had become familiar with their fighting style while in Calimshan, one his employers kept a large family of them on his staff.. and had seen what their trained men could do with bare feet and knuckle. This one, however, appeared to be posing on a pier piling as some sort of bird. A crane, by all clues. Bare foot and dressed in exotic silks, he cut a strange image.. but he looked to be useful and he told Jon as much. It took no time at all for Jon to talk him into joining the odd assembly of men in search of a book.

The journey to a beach just south of Candlkeep was rather uneventful. Dart began to think that his Lady Tymora had finally begun to smile upon him again…

<To be continued>
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Re: The Draconomicon Quest (the Story Unfolds)

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///OOC [hint] Are you ever going to do that Euro timed version? [/hint]
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Re: The Draconomicon Quest (the Story Unfolds)

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

Thorsson wrote:///OOC [hint] Are you ever going to do that Euro timed version? [/hint]
///[hint hint] yes.... *begins scribbling down future chapter ideas*

...actually, it's an interesting concept to try and have 2 different groups, each doing something related to the main story, but playing separate but key roles in reaching the goal.

*scribbles down some more thoughts.....*
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Re: The Draconomicon Quest (the Story Unfolds)

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Along with the others, Smythe leaves the Friendly Arms Inn with a slight swagger in his step. It was good to celebrate, for each member from the company had kept their heads, and something had been gained...alas, it remained unidentified.

With that thought in his head, Smythe lightly wrapped a few fingers upon the lid of his bookseller's valise. Standing there in the Inn's courtyard, amongst the sellers and the buyers of so many powerful artifacts, Smythe felt a twinge of paranoia take hold.

"How many knew about this tome," Smythe thought to himself. "How many that I cannot—for practical reasons alone—trust? The dwarf, mysteriously appearing then vanishing, plus...the leopard that dogged our trail throughout the maze. They both seemed particularly odd AND interested in this acquisition..." These silent thoughts did not help to sooth Smythe's growing paranoia.

It was then that Smythe saw Dart walking towards the gate of the Friendly Arms Inn courtyard. "Yes," thought Smythe, "Dart is returning to the Gate...I had better take this journey in good company."

Catching up to Dart was easy enough. "Not so fast scout," said Smythe as he put his hand on Dart's shoulder. The mercenary stopped a tad too rigid for Smythe's initial liking, but as Dart turned to face Smythe, he seemed to relax a bit.

"Not finished with me yet, eh bookseller?," said Dart. "Nay, Dart...if you're headed back north, let us take the journey together...I have heard that wilder and larger beasts now walk the Tradeway these days...some say there are even a roaming pack of Gray Orcs that pass through, from time to time."

Dart considered the offer, then laid out into the air an open palm. "A guard for your back is gonna be extra mate," said Dart quickly. "Bolts aren't free, and neither is Dart!" The scout's expression was a mix of seriousness and play, which put Smythe in a lighter mood....or, maybe the wine from the Inn had finally taken hold. "No need to fret, Dart...this bookseller has made a few sales...I'll make sure you have plenty to spend on old Gerty back at the gate...."

The two walked out the gate together, and, as they met with the road, a few caravans seemed to be making there way north as well. Approaching the drivers, Smythe used his usual method of getting what he wants—coin—to secure the two a faster ride to the Gate. "Coin is the great ambassador....," said Smythe as he gingerly tossed up his valise to the wagon he and Dart would ride. As they sat together and the caravan moved on, the both watched as the Friendly Arms faded into the past....

-------

Returning to the Gate as quick as the wagon wheel goes, Smythe and Dart parted ways...after Smythe landed a few coins into Dart's waiting hand. Dart quickly pocketed the coin, and with a smirk, made haste to his hideout in the docks...or wherever it seemed a mercenary with a girl would end up.

There, in the main open plaza, the paranoia that eyes might be fixed on Smythe—if not the contents of his valise—took hold again. "Well," thought Smythe to himself, "half the Sword Coast knows I've been holdin' court at the Blade & Stars...best I be findin' a better place to take some time with this tome...aye..."

Smythe made a motion to get closer to the bear fur trader's stall, where there seemed to be some commotion over the price of bear furs versus rat tails...or something...and when surrounded by many, Smythe took off his tall black hat, and brought up a low hanging hood—and Smythe's otherwise usual form started to blend in more with the other's around him. With haste, Smythe moved carefully through the streets towards the Palace District. It seemed Smythe has chosen another destination...and when he reached it, it seemed a somewhat obvious place to go to not seem the odd-man-odd, staring at a large tome: the Shelf of Many Books. Taking one more look around the street to check for spying eyes, Smythe opened the door, and quickly made his way inside.
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Within seconds, Smythe was convinced this had been the right choice: nearly deserted, the Shelf had only it's attendants milling about...and that left plenty of alcoves to disappear into...if one kept things quiet. And so, Smythe did just that, finding a table amongst the shelves that was just enough for one man, and one book. Laying his valise down upon the ground, he opened the top and pulled out the mysterious tome, still wrapped in cloth, a cloth that had a powerful smell of age...mixed in with something else more repugnant: minotaur.

Now on the table, the tome which had pulled from the tomb in the minotaur's maze still remain locked. Even a layman in the arcane arts could tell that the locks on its side held a powerful charge. "Immensely powerful," thought Smythe to himself. For a second, Smythe thought to pull out his set of picks...but then his knowledge of magical devices—and the moments when using an odd magic had backfired on him—set him straight and he let the idea of attempting to pick the lock go. "Probably should have hired Dart to try!," said Smythe aloud, accompanied by a hearty laugh.
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So Smythe sat there, at the back of the Shelf of Many Books, staring for some time at the face of the locked tome. There was nothing significant there, that he could see. He cocked his head this way, then that, tried standing above the book, then to the side...but nothing to be gained from any angle. "Would a book of any importance be so blank!", questioned Smythe out of frustration. Thinking he would have to share the book with another, a wizard or loremaster, in order to finally identify the book, Smythe laid his hands down upon the cover, slowly pulling them along the tome's face.

It was then that Smythe felt something. Yes, something bumpy on the tome's surface. Odd, thought Smythe, for he didn't see anything bumpy. Smythe then rubbed his hands slowly from top to bottom and left to right against the tome's face, and from this control, he could determine that the bumps were grouped in small forms in 3 long lines, one atop another. "It is like writing...but not!," thought Smythe to himself.

A surge of excitement gripped him. To himself, he spoke: "I cannot see it, but it is there. This tome has many secrets it does...and it has been wisely protected."

This was the angle Smythe was looking for—he could proceed...but wait, how? Smythe was himself a polyglot, but not in this form of language...for yes, it must be language in some form of code. Smythe thought to himself, and remembered hearing once something from his mother—"The Drow use hands to speak, so that they can coordinate in silence to kill our people." But speaking with one's hands and reading with them were two different things, realized Smythe. No, he would need to locate one that used their hands to make their way through this world, someone with a refined sense of touch so that whatever code these bumps were made of, at least that language could be transcribed...and from there, Smythe would push forward to unlock this tome, and learn whether it truly was the Draconomicon he was after.

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Refocused, Jon Smythe began to wrap up the locked tome in its cloth, preparing to place it again in his bookseller's valise. But then, he paused. "No," said Smythe to himself, "it is not wise to carry this on my person." Where best to hide it? Smythe looked across the room, at the many shelves of books, and began to run through a list of safe houses, loose bricks and other spots within the Gate that served as excellent hiding places for contraband. "Who knows who can detect this book...and it would seem out of place to any sensitive to the charms that hold it's locks fast," realized Smythe.

It was then, staring across the room at shelf after shelf of beautiful, old and unused books, that Smythe grinned...widely.

Picking up the locked tome in his hands, he slowly took away the cloth covering, and walked down the hall past shelf after shelf...until one shelf stopped him...a shelf, that up until that time, had been just short of one book, full.

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Outside, on the streets of the Gate, in the Palace District, Smythe wandered alone, thinking.

"Aha!", he exclaimed aloud and a little too loud, as at least two proper Ladies on an afternoon walk became quite startled at Smythe's outburst.

"The blind man in Roarinshore! Exactly!"

Smythe began walking with haste towards the bulletin board in the East District, hastily pulling out a parchment and charcoal stick...and as he walked, he began to scribble down a new call...
Last edited by stevebarracuda on Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
stevebarracuda
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Re: The Draconomicon Quest (the Story Unfolds)

Unread post by stevebarracuda »

*filler*
Last edited by stevebarracuda on Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
As J.G. Ballard has said, "It's a mistake to hold back and refuse to accept one's own nature."
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