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Myth: A New Age CYOA

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Fangshi, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Yes, that is one of the immediate advantages of the plates over the rings. A mage could recharge the plate and use it to cast a spell they do not normally know.

    So for example if Jan stored his tiny mist spell in the plate then the ladies could not only use it once but could also recharge the plate and cast it again and again.

    There are still practical limits though. Some spells are too powerful to hold in the disk (rituals mostly though there are some high tier spells that also qualify). Additionally, powerful spells burn through their 'battery' quicker than weak spells. It is possible to place a spell in the plate that would be safe for a powerful mage to fuel in 'real time' but would be dangerous for a novice to try and fuel in the same way (the weaker mage simply lacks the reserves needed to fuel the spell without hurting themselves).
     
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  2. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    Fangshi i updated my vote with 4B
     
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  3. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    4A
     
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Can we examine the clone's remains to see if he is any different from humans?

    I want Jan to use his connections with his father and conduct an autopsy, see if there are any signs that would allow to differentiate between clones and 'normal' people. Since those things were created magically, see also if there are any enchantments that hold the body together and allow it to function alongside some spider-y parts. The idea is to check whether a clone can be destroyed or disabled by negating the magic sustaining him. Of course, if they are autonomous beings, it won't help us any.

    Still, we might end up with a nice insecticide on our hands for future use. Just another avenue of research.

    Also ask Jan to show us the tomb where the spearhead was found. He mentioned something about a combination to the tomb. What was the combination? Why was it locked up until now and no one knew how to open it?

    Who did the tomb belong to and why is he interred here, at the temple?
     
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  5. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    After we are done with the temple (including follow-up questions), I want us to return to Jan's quarters with Hallr in tow (unless we can safely drop him somewhere with a lot of uncompromised security). I want Hallr restrained and unable to cast. And gagged. And unconscioous most of the time. Can we put him in the backpack to avoid questions on the way out? :lol:

    Once in Jan's quarters, I want to ask him a few things. Actually, a lot of things.

    What is his relationship with his father? With his stepmother? With the rest of the family? I especially want to know what he thinks of his brothers, Reinhard, Timo and Wenzel. We could use an insider's opinion about our other suspects, though we need not mention what are we asking it for.

    Timo is currently my prime suspect. Mayer mentioned he heard some rumors about him and Jan. It is now clear where rumors about Jan come from, but it remains to be seen what Timo did to earn such a reputation.

    While we are at it, what does he think about his deceased kin? Jori and Lilli interest me most. Does he have a portrait of Lilli?

    What does he know about genesis of House Albrecht? ;)

    What does he know about the Spider Cult in Myrgard and Stoneheim and its active followers? What does he know about the Spider Goddess and her kin? What is his opinion about the Spider Goddess and her role in the dwarven history? What does he think would happen if the Cult were to be wiped out somehow?

    What artefacts of the Goddess does he have in his collection, what do they do (or what does he think they do), and what sites do they come from? What was his newest addition that he was talking about?

    What does he know about the temple that the Academy is built on top of? What other temples does he know of?

    He mentioned he was in contact with Doctor Miosguinn in Muirthemne, and that he was 'a seeker of truth'. What was the man known for? We kinda knew him from his other, inhuman, side.

    What other researchers did he work with? Are they cultists as well?

    Does he know mages who he can be certain of that they are not a part of the cult?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
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  7. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Hmmm, alright, many of these questions are a bit broad so I answered in a broad manner. IF anyone has any followup questions or requires further clarification then feel free to ask.

    Depends on how thorough you want to examine him. He looks thoroughly human as far as you can tell (no fangs or anything) and though he is badly charred he seems in every other way to be normal. You do not detect any sorts of enchantments active on or in his body at the very least.

    If you want to conduct a full autopsy you will need to take the body up to the morgue (yes the Academy has its own morgue as death is a fairly common occurrence all thinks considered). You will also have to vote for it in question two (I can add it if you wish) as staying at the Academy will prevent you from undertaking a different task elsewhere in the city.

    The Academy medical staff will naturally conduct autopsies on all of the dead cultists. As followers of the Spider Goddess they have no legal protection from having their bodies examined after death. All of this will be done after you leave though unless you choose to stick around.

    The tomb is made of the same black stone as the rest of the temple. It shows signs of minor chipping around the edges. Jan explains that when he first found the temple he attempted to force the tomb open and failed miserably. Looking at the inside of the tomb's latch you can see why. The bolt holding the lid in place must be thirty centimetres thick.

    The outside of the tomb features intricate carvings of twelve dwarves fighting some sort of monstrous eel above them. Seven of the dwarves are female while five are male. Each of the female dwarves wears a crown but one of them also carries a net. Three of the male dwarves hold rods while the remaining two dwarves hold a lantern and a spear respectively. All of the figures have been pressed in.

    Turning your attention to the eel it rests within a round well and looks like it can spin in place though when you try to move it, it is clearly stuck. At the moment it rests upside down with its underside facing the roof of the temple and the top of its head pointed toward the floor.

    At the bottom of the carving are sixteen square tiles depicting a variety of objects (weapons, animals, plants, buildings, etc). Four of the tiles have been pushed in, a web, a throne, the sun and a tombstone.

    Jan explains that he had no idea how to open the tomb before you read the poem to him. After he had heard it though he immediately understood how to solve the puzzle. Each of the dwarves represents one of the figures that fought the Swimmer so he simply had to active them in the correct order. First he pressed the dwarven woman with the net, clearly a representation of the Goddess. Then he pressed in each of the female dwarves representing her sisters, finally he pressed the tile with the web on it, a 'home' for spiders. This locked in the first sequence, he then proceeded to the next.

    He pressed in each of the rod carrying dwarves and the throne tile to lock in the second sequence.

    For the third sequence he only had to press the lantern carrying dwarf and the sun.

    Finally he pressed the spear carrying dwarf and the tombstone.

    When they had all been pressed in the correct order he spun the eel above them until it was upside-down (dead) at which point the latch on the door was withdrawn and he was free to access the tomb's contents.

    Jan does not know who this tomb was created for as the only thing inside it when he opened it was the spearhead itself. Presumably the tomb was built for or to honour the dwarven mortal that slew the Swimmer and it is placed at the foot of the statue to keep the memory of the Goddess' champion close to the Goddess herself (or at least to her symbols).

    Shove the dwarf in a sack? Sure, you can do that if you want. :lol:

    You are not going to be able to bring that sack past the checkpoint without answering a few questions though.

    He says his relationship with his father in fine. They are not terribly close but he takes the time to make sure he sees his father fairly often. They mostly talk about work, he talks about his theories while his father talks about the Kingdom. It is rare that they are able to offer one another any real insights though, they are simply too different he says. He says that, that is because he takes after his mother. It is clear he does not really want to talk about this subject.

    She is nice enough, he supposes. He tries not to spend much time with her though, it is just awkward for the most part, as it is clear that she does not really consider him to be family. He says he is fine with that, he does not really consider her to be family either.

    He gets along well with Reinhard and Timo.

    Jan has not seen Reinhard in a few months as the eldest Albrecht prince is often out of the city but Jan seems to hold his eldest brother in high regard and you get the impression that he even worships him a little. Jan says that if anyone can lead the Kingdom into a bright new future it will be Reinhard. Derryth quickly realizes that he has little of substance to say about Reinhard though, most of what he says can be boiled down to a list of his older brother's many virtues and impressive credentials.

    Timo he meets with at least once a week and the two of them get along splendidly. Timo always seems to be interested in the latest magical theory and in Jan's work. Jan says that his brother can be a little paranoid and he has a full measure of their father's pragmatism but Jan insists that Timo's heart is always in the right place. He tells you to disregard any rumours you hear about Timo being a cultist, he is certain they are not true. Timo just does what he has to, to help the family.

    He likes to pretend Wenzel does not exist. He has little to say about his brother and even less of it is nice so he would prefer to say nothing at all.

    When it comes to his half siblings honestly he does not have much of an opinion. He sees them once or twice every year or two and Derryth gets the impression that they do not actually mean anything to him though he won't come out and say it.

    Jan did not much like Jori. He found his half brother to be stubborn, arrogant and foul tempered he will concede though that Jori had a reputation for loyalty. It was said that he was the type of dwarf that would lay his life down for a friend, something Derryth can readily believe. He says that he is sorry that Jori is dead but that he simply did not know him well enough to care all that much.

    When you mention Lilli, Jan actually tenses a little. He goes to his desk and produces a small portrait of her. He says that Lilli had an admirable love for knowledge and that she would often visit him at the Academy to help him with his research or to ask him for help with a magic related question she had been struggling with.

    With the exception of Timo she was the only one that he felt comfortable talking to about his research and his theories.

    He seems to have genuinely liked and respected her from what you can tell. When he speaks of the ghôls that took her you pick up just a hint of genuine anger as well.

    You take a good look at the portrait. The dwarf that stares back is young and surprising thin for a dwarf. Her angular face is framed by light blonde hair and a playful light sparks from her thoughtful, grey eyes.

    Jan tells you that, that portrait was commissioned by her for him five years before the attack that took her life.

    Just what his tutors told him as he grew up. It was the result of a lot of shrewd political maneuvering on the part of the first Albrecht kings. It is not an aspect of the Kingdom's history that interests him much. Particularly when he can study the Goddess, her cults and her supposed demons instead. He says that he has always found politics and commerce to be rather dull and from what he can tell the history of his House is all about politics and commerce.

    Less than you would think. He insists that the Cult's current membership is comprised of two types of people, those that play at heresy in order to pass the time and those that truly believe in the nonsense recorded in the Goddess' works. The first group he avoids on principle, he has better things to do with his time than dabble in pleasure cults that rarely even bother to learn their own rites properly. The second group he avoids for his heath, he says the sort of dwarf that will believe a giant spider can save him or elevate him is a dangerous dwarf whether he is right or he is wrong.

    As such he is only vaguely aware of the fact that there are cults dedicated to the Goddess in both cities. Most cults he knows of he believes are just pleasure cults but every now and then he encounters a fanatic and this last run in has shaken him a little. He is beginning to wonder just how many of these lunatics are out there.

    Such a broad question elicits a rather scatter-shot response from the dwarf as he feeds you random bits of information or impressions he has had while dealing with the history and artefacts of the Goddess over the years.

    He knows that she is supposedly the creator of the dwarven race and the entire world. That she is beautiful and terrible, a being of ancient power and peerless grace but every religion he has ever encountered makes similar claims about their own dieties. He grins and tells you that he has yet to see the faith that tells its followers, "Yeah, our god is a bit rubbish," he has a laugh at his own joke and the two of you even join in a bit.

    In more specific terms he is well aware that she wants 'out', she would very much like to expand her realm into the material world but again he has trouble listing all of the gods that would do the same if given the chance. He is also fairly certain that she is directly communicating with at least a few of her cultists though it is difficult to say how many of them are really connected and how many of them are simply delusional and believe themselves to be the tools of a Dark God.

    An interesting fact about the Goddess is that she does not seem to like ghôls and she has never employed ghôlish followers from what he can tell. There seems to be a degree of hostility between her and the Dark Gods worshipped by those beasts.

    Finally, he thinks that the Goddess is supporting the Eberhardt rebels though he has little to go on. He has read some of the reports made by the city guard as they have clashed with the rebels and some of the weapons that the rebels are reported to be using match the weapons you took off 'not-Rand' and his followers.

    He knows very little about the Goddess' kin, only that there have been other spider cults and that they seem to be dedicated to goddesses other than the Goddess. Beyond that though he can say very little of actual substance.

    He does not feel a need to pass judgement on her in a formal sense. She has definitely been a factor in the development of the dwarven people and for many she is important in a cultural or spiritual capacity. She has also killed a lot of people directly and indirectly.

    Personally he views her as a threat to himself and his House and as a result a threat to the Kingdom but he is willing to admit that he may be bias in his position.

    Hers is a faith that has been with the dwarves since their earliest days. He does not believe it is possible to wipe them all out.

    However if they were finally destroyed he is certain she would just recruit more cultists. Power, wealth, hope, they are powerful promises and a few will always fall for them.

    He does not have any weapons or anything like that (except for the odd sacrificial dagger).

    He has statues, amulets, masks, robes, a bell, candle holders, spider idols, and a number of broken stones taken from sites all throughout the south and east. Most are used in rituals directed at worshiping her and almost all f them seem to have a least a slight connection to her. He also has a number of carved black stones shaped like spider fangs that he thinks would allow someone to talk to the Goddess if they had the power to catch her attention though he is not sure that would be safe or healthy for the mortal mind.

    His newest piece is a beautifully carved spider eye made of black stone. He thinks it is part of a larger piece and it seems to have been painted at one point though the paint has largely chipped.

    At one point it was the primary temple to the Goddess in the entire city but that was some time ago from what he can tell.

    He is aware of thirty four known sites. Most are rather small and isolated but some are quite large. When it comes to Myrgard, there is a massive complex several days to the northeast of the city and several smaller shrines to the southeast as well.

    He has also heard rumours that there is an active temple somewhere under Myrgard which is supposedly quite large but he has not locating it yet and he is worried about stepping on the wrong toes if he tries to find it. He also knows for a fact that there is a large temple somewhere in the lower levels of Stoneheim but none of the cultists that have been caught so far know exactly where it is.

    In academic circles Miosguinn was known as something of an expert on the Smiths of Muirthemne and he enjoyed a good reputation among his peers. He was often praised for his keen insights and his ability to ferret out little known facts about the Smiths and their cult.

    Jan has worked with scholars in Stoneheim, Madrigal and Muirthemne. He can have a list drawn up for you and delivered to the palace if you want.

    He does not believe so but then he did not believe that Miosguinn was a cultist either. (And though he will not say it Derryth is fairly certain that he still does not fully believe your story or that Miosguinn was a monster.)

    No. He can not even be certain that you are not a part of the cult despite what 'not-Rand' said. Paranoia is simply a part of being a mage, don't trust anyone unless you have a good reason to do so.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    We need more votes for the kiss, bros.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    No, this is a path that I want others to pursue and then report to us. I have no intention of doing it ourselves.

    Can Rand get a special treatment, though? Since we suspect the Eberhardt to be another clone, this is a business concerning the well-being of the crown. It might be important for exposing the Eberhardt as a creature of the Dark Goddess, destroying the reputation the dwarf (?) seems to aquire lately.

    He has recognized the seven figures as the sisters of the Goddess. Does Jan know who the rest of them are supposed to represent?

    Save him the trouble and name the three princes of the Dreaming. I really only want to know about the wyrm and the mortal (though it is already clear who he is). Anything known about them?

    Where did his tablet originate from, anyway? Does he know who added the last inscription?

    Well, we can't let Hallr go, and any attempt to carry him out unconscious would likely face same questions. Would this be any differernt if we didn't shove him anywhere?

    What kind of interest? What did interest him specifically as of late?

    Is Timo a mage himself?

    Well, at least he can tell us if Wenzel could have known about the Pathfinder prison that was attacked recently, and where from.

    Who was she? A soldier? A combat mage? A medic? A researcher? What was the purpose of the last expedition she undertook?

    Does the portrait picture her in royal regalia, or in plain clothes? Can we borrow a portrait or ask him to comission a replica of it?

    Has he never encountered evidence - from the Cult side - that the first king or his administration might have been connected to the Goddess in some way? It is purely hypothetical, of course, but he himself said that the Goddess granted her followers political power over others.

    Did he ever encounter evidence if any of the Great Houses came to exist due to such a connection? This matter is slippery as hell, and it is probably not something one should talk publicly about, but can he share his opinion as a scientist?

    Has he ever encountered her true name? She must have a name, right - she wasn't always just the Spider Goddess?

    What is the 'official' version of the dwarven creation myth? How did the dwarves came to pass?

    Any names we might look into if we want to explore this theme further? Did he ever hear of Lamashtu?

    He does not believe that if the Goddess and her Cult ceases to exist they will bring down the dwarven kingdom with them, then? She is influental, but not instrumental to its existence. Is that his opinion?

    Is everything in his collection, umm... legal, for lack of better word?

    Does he know what the black eggs are supposed to do? How were they transported here in the first place?

    Did he ever test his theory about communicating with the Goddess through her artefacts?

    Does he want to? Test it, I mean, not communicate. :)

    Does he have a theory of why the cultists could not get access to the tomb constructed in their own temple without a combination that was written on the tablet created by them until we showed up?

    Even after not-Rand registered under the good Doctor's name, indicating a connection between them? Ah, well, can't win them all.

    What is Jan going to do about his security from now on? The cultists are on the rise and since he is an expert in his field, he and his artefact collection might attract their attention.

    Can he tell us where did he hear the mention of this faith?

    And a few question about the Academy itself. Is there some kind of centralized bureaucracy in place? Who runs and governs the institution? Is there a 'Provost', so to speak?

    What schools of magic are practiced at the academy? So far we only know of two, enchantment and light manipulation. How many more are there?

    What is this technomagic that we heard about? Are there any known experts in the field?

    What research department was Hallr heading and what is going to happen to it now that its head is incriminated in some deeds that are unlikely to warrant his release any time soon?
     
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  10. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    What sort of special treatment? All the bodies will undergo a full autopsy as part of the investigation by the Academy's medical staff. If you do not trust them to find whatever you are looking for then your only other option is to do it yourself.

    At this point it would also take a public demonstration of Eberhardt's 'monstrous' nature to undermine his growing reputation. The rumours that are circulating cast him as a hero of the people, someone that will protect even the poor from foreigners and the undead. After the fire and the assaults by the necromancers the people feel a need for such a figure and undermining his growing 'legend' will not be easy.

    No, today was the first time he has heard this version of events, which is why he was confused when you mentioned it at the beginning of your interview. He has no idea who the five male figures are except for the information given by the tablet.

    You give him the names of the three princes of the Dreaming which he hastily records. He says he knows nothing about the wyrm and little about the mortal. Until today he thought the mortal was a saint or early leader of the Goddess' cult and that this spear was a powerful artefact given to him by the Goddess in the early days of the dwarven race. The news that the mortal was actually more of an ally and potentially independent is new to him.

    He found it in the large temple complex northeast of the city of Myrgard damn near eighty years ago or so. It was baked into a large clay idol of the Goddess and he only uncovered it when he accidentally tripped and dropped the idol. He could not read it and knew of no one else that could so he filed it away with his other texts in his lab.

    Those last lines were already on the tablet when he found it.

    It would be funnier. :lol:

    You are going to have to answer a fair number of questions regardless as their are eleven corpses down there and an ancient temple that should not officially exist. There will be investigators all over the place in the days and weeks to come.

    You do have those letters from the King though, if you want to kidnap take someone for interrogation then there is nothing the guards can ultimately do to stop you. If they interfered the King would have them fired, they are not mages and so are simply not as important.

    The best kind of interest, that of a natural student of knowledge. Jan says that Timo has a passing interest in everything and that he listens with great interest to any topic Jan decides to tell him about. Whether that happens to be the marriage practices of cultists in the fourteenth century or his theory that early cultist experiments in invisibility magic led to the creation of the entire field of light magic, Timo is always prepared to give his younger brother time to talk. In fact, Jan says that Timo greatly prefers to listen rather than speak, he says that Timo asserts it is the best way to knowledge, to listen and to think.

    Lately they have been talking about cultist dietary practices during a drought that hit the south of the Kingdom three centuries ago, it has been quite fascinating. Jan has also been telling his brother about all the temples and cultist sites he has visited over the years. Last year Timo suggested that he write a book about cultist architecture for the Royal Library and Jan quite likes the idea so he has been compiling notes and running them past his brother.

    Jan laughs at the idea, then apologies for being rude. No, Timo is not a mage, not for lack of ability mind you, he simply does not have the time to pursue the magical arts. Instead Timo dedicates all of his time to preserving his House and advancing its interests. Timo also takes great interest in the actions and aims of all his siblings. Jan says, with a great deal of pride, that his brother is probably the most well informed dwarf in the entire Kingdom though Derryth believes that Mayer could probably give the Albrecht prince a run for his money.

    Yes, Wenzel would have known about the prison, as a royal prince it is well within his station to be aware of such things.

    He does not know if Wenzel has any specific information about the attack, who might have led it, or from where.

    She was his little sister, first and foremost in his mind she was family.

    He will admit though that, that probably means little to an outsider so to answer your question more directly, she was not a member of the military, she had no real love of battle though she could hold her own well enough (she was certainly better than he is at fighting), she was not a medic, she helped him in the role of a research assistant from time to time but she showed little interest in joining the Academy. At the end of the day if he had to categorize her he would say that she was an adventurer, she preferred discovering new ruins and going where no dwarf had previously been over his more settled and careful brand of archaeology and systemic inquiry. He had always put her impulses down to her age, something she would eventually grow out of, sadly she was never given the chance.

    It pictures her in her traveling clothing, black leather armour and a reddish brown cloak. She has a sword at her hip and a dagger in her belt, a small pack is casually thrown over her shoulder.

    He is loathe to part with the portrait. If you want he could have a quick sketch made and delivered in a day or two or he could have an exact replica commissioned but that might take more time than you have. He is also a little curious as to why you would want a picture of his dead sister.

    He bristles at the question in spite of his attempts to remain impartial. He has never encountered any evidence that the House of Albrecht has been compromised in that way and he would thank you not to suggest as much, even hypothetically, in the future.

    He asks you not to bother him with such baseless scenarios in the future.

    None of the current Great Houses, no. If he did it would be grounds for the complete destruction of the house in question and he is certain his father and brothers would not let such an opportunity pass unexploited.

    No, all of her followers simply call her the Goddess though it is possible that her name might be found in some of the oldest texts or those made by the various heretical splinter cults. He can not read their texts though and unless you want to lend him the girls for a couple days to translate at least part of what he has, he has no way of knowing one way or the other.

    He is willing to give you the short version though he asks you not to be offended since some of the assumptions the myth is based on come from a time when the only other sentient race the dwarves had encountered was the ghôls.

    It is said that Wyrd laboured to create the world, always in dispair. He created the sun to warm the lands and the moon to cool them, he created the winds and the tides, the mountains and the fields. He created animals and plants in all of their wondrous varieties and yet still he despaired for he wanted companionship.

    To solve his problem he set to work creating sentient life. He began with the bodies of animals and from them he formed all the races of the surface world.

    He expected them to hold themselves with dignity, he expected them to realize the gift they had been given and to turn to him with arms and voices raised, he expected to no longer be alone.

    All were disappointments however, they raised their hands and voices but not in warfare, not worship, and they set to work destroying all he had created.

    Wyrd wept at his failure, these new beings were nothing more than animals at heart. They killed one another and ate one another. They reveled in their barbarism.

    The flaws in his creations were only natural. From beasts they had come and so beasts they would remain. At first he sought to wipe them from creation but they had turned to the Dark Gods and those maddening monstrosities protected their little perversions. They hid in the caves and clefts of the mountains and Wyrd was powerless to find them all.

    Then Wyrd had an idea.

    He would create a race without flaws, a race with a will of iron, backs of diamond and hearts of gold. He would give them silver tongues to resolve their disputes without recourse to violence. He would give them keen eyes of bronze that could catch the light in even the darkest of places and he would give them the blood of molten magma, hot in their veins, to drive them ever forward. From these pure stones, metals and minerals he would forge a race without the weaknesses of the beasts above them. In the ground they would grow, in the ground they would multiply and from the ground they would spring up to cleanse Wyrd's creation of the monsters that inhabited it.

    They would be the only children worthy of his love, children of stone.

    Of course Jan does not believe any of this and he is more than willing to admit that it valourizes the dwarven race while ignoring their flaws and at the same time justifies the very worst sort of practices when dealing with other sentient species that deserve respect like the humans, fir'Bolg, mauls or Trow.

    He says that the creation myth is a product of its time, that first era when the dwarves had just broken through to the surface, and that it must be read and spoken of in that light.

    No names he is afraid, the cultists he has talked to simply refer to them as the 'old enemies'.

    The name Lamashtu does not ring a bell but he will admit that dwarves in general (including dwarven cultists) simply do not care what the beasts worship so he is not necessarily all that surprised that he has never heard of such a being.

    He does not believe that the Goddess and the Cult can be destroyed permanently, that is his opinion on the issue.

    He supposes on a purely theoretical level that nothing is necessary for the Kingdom to persist except for a strong army and a good economy but he does not know how the Goddess' disappearance and the disappearance of her followers would change things.

    Yes, he has permission to study and to store all of the artefacts in his possession.

    He knows they can be used for communication, if they have secondary features he is not aware of them.

    He originally tried to transport them in wooden crates but some of the workers on his digs began to act strangely. He eventually realized, after an entire shipment was stolen, that the artefacts can influence the minds of the weak and so he set a team to work trying to find a way to safely handle them. By sheer luck he was talking to a colleague about the use of lead to dampen magical signals and he struck upon his idea for lead lined boxes to transport the artefacts in. IT seemed to work and so he has kept the practice up.

    Not personally but he has seen it done. He got permission to give an artefact to a captured cultist that was willing to defect to their side and help him with his experiments. He gave an egg to her and he was able to monitor its activity. Something definitely tried to make contact with the cultist, unfortunately the cultist killed herself before he could ask her any questions about it, it was strange, she died with a smile on her face that he found quite unsettling.

    He does not particularly want to expose himself to the effects of the artefacts just to satisfy his curiosity but he might be open to experimentation depending on what you have in mind.

    No, not really. At least nothing beyond the obvious. The temple was located behind several layers of security at an institution loyal to the crown. It has likely taken them some time to infiltrate it properly. He has also been in possession of the key for decades as well and he does not keep research assistants on hand that could be corrupted to retrieve it for them.

    Anyone could use Miosguinn's name, it does not prove anything other than that the clone has heard of the deceased Doctor.

    He plans to talk to his father. He is confident that Albrecht will know what to do and if he doesn't Jan will take his concerns to Timo, who the researcher has great faith in.

    While at a bar in Stoneheim he was slipped a message from his waitress. She claimed that she received it from a cloaked dwarf and her story held up under interrogation. The message claimed to be from a priest serving 'She Who Waits' and it directed him to the temple where he later found the tablet you helped him translate today.

    A bit of a funny coincidence he must admit.

    Yes, the administrative branch takes care of all the practical logistics involved in running the place. They secure supplies, set up laboratories, determine the security protocols, assign funding and the like. It is dull work though Jan will admit that the mages and officials in that branch of the institution are also the most 'grounded' and seem the most sane (though he maintains that they are mad in their own way as well it is just easier to hide).

    The Academy as a whole is run by a board comprised of the heads of each department. There are about thirty departments all told, some focus on specific schools of magic (for example there is an entire deparment that just deals with applications of light magic), while others are more 'goal oriented' (Weapons Development, for example, draws from a number of different schools and is primarily concerned with producing useful tools for the armed forces of the Kingdom).

    The heads of each department vote to determine who will become the head of the institution. The position tends to be held for life though an individual can step down at any time.

    Practiced or taught? Since there is a slight difference.

    All known schools of magic* are practiced at the Academy (with the obvious exception of necromancy) though many only have one or two knowledgeable practitioners.

    By contrast, only enchanting and light manipulation are actually taught at the Academy in any sort of organized fashion.

    *Meaning Animal, Physical, Elemental, Enchantment, Gate, Illusion/Mental, Invisibility/Light, 'Meta', Movement, Nature, Protection, Summoning and Technological.

    Technology magic is not something Jan is terribly knowledgeable about. It is a very new field that blends the new 'natural sciences', as they are called, with many unorthodox applications of traditional magical theory. In many cases it seems to be a field that is less interested in actual magic and more interested in the ways it can be used to alter or enhance the 'natural' or mundane 'laws' of physical existence.

    There were quite a few practitioners at the Academy several years ago but most of them have managed to blow themselves up and the department was closed eight months ago due to a lack of qualified personnel. There are still a couple practitioners at the Academy but they do not seem to do a lot except argue with one another and eat up funds that could go to more proven fields of study.

    You get the general impression that Jan resents the 'new mages' to a degree and thinks that the funding they receive should go to more traditional studies.

    He does say that if you are looking for an expert in the field he could have one of the secretaries upstairs look up the address of a rather gifted human mage he has met on occasion. He cautions you that she is quite unorthodox but he thinks the two of you would actually get along fairly well. Her name is Meletē if he remembers correctly.

    Hallr specializes in technological magic and enchantment magic but Jan has not really seen him practice either very much. His team was responsible for cataloging and observing all of the artefacts stored in sub-basement nine. Now that he has been revealed to be a cultist his entire team (or at least what little remains of it after your massacre) will be arrested and imprisoned pending investigation (and likely military trial). A new team will have to be appointed to oversee all activities on sub-basement nine and they are likely to be carefully vetted to prevent a repeat occurrence that would embarrass the entire institution. Until Hallr and his people can be replaced sub-basement nine will be sealed and all experiments that can be suspended will be suspended. Jan knows a few colleagues that will be livid as a result but procedure is clear in this regard.
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Does Hallr need to be conscious for us to break inside of his mind and take whatever information we need?
     
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  12. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    He does not need to be conscious for you to break his mind but he will need to be conscious to answer your questions after, unless you want to use infiltration to enter is unconscious mind and poke around in person.
     
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  13. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    What is this "breaking one's mind" that I keep hearing about? What is involved in the process, and how irreversible is it?

    In any case, I meant 'breaking into his mind'. Sort of what we did with the kid in the caves.
     
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  14. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    You use a combination of your mental spells to reduce his mind to something approximating a lump of clay that you can then mold into a willing slave informant. It takes a little while but he would not be able to resist you after should you succeed. It can not really be reversed though you can break someone and then build them up again with a new personality and outlook.

    Not terribly moral, mind you, but very fun according to many mentalists and illusionists. ;)

    Sure, you can do that, just cut his arms, legs, ears and nose off and then burn the wounds closed, though you might want to salt them first just to make them hurt more.

    Enough pain will fragment his mind so badly that you will be able to fish around for any thoughts you want without him resisting, just like with the kid in the caves. He was so physically and mentally broken that he could not offer any sort of resistance to your spells.

    Without fragmenting his mind he will be able to resist you spells just like anyone else can. That is what makes casual mind reading so uncommon, if the host mind does not want to tell you something then it is not likely to work very well. At most you will grab an emotion or an image but not the full story. To get more you need to put some energy into it.
     
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Pathfinder-sort of special. The clone deserves a higher level of attention. The mere presence of aliens clones among us that are nearly indistinguishable from humans should be rather disturbing.

    We aren't medical experts either, so I'll probably pass on the offer to do it ourselves.

    Funny? I love funny.

    Hallr is a suspect on the account of conspiracy to commit regicide, kidnapping, treason - and probably half a dozen other things I am forgetting about - and there are 11 corpses (12, actually, including Janine's), several living witnesses and false papers filed by his assistants to prove our claims. Damn right I want to take him for an interrogation, and we have both the grounds and the authority to do so.

    A sketch would be fine. We might be looking into her disappearance since we are heading to Stoneheim soon.

    I might have in mind to have a little talk with the Goddess through one of her pet cultists. And I think we have a few things to talk about, so chances are it might go a bit better than his previous attempt.

    We would need a controlled environment for that, though. A room rigged with explosives, walls staffed with crossbowmen, and a control room isolated from the influence of the Goddess with lead.

    The cultist will be led into the room. An egg would be delivered in the lead crate. The crate would open remotely, and hopefully, the cultist will be available for the talking afterwards. If anything goes wrong, the egg is to be isolated by shutting the crate. If that proves to be difficult, the egg is to be destroyed. If that fails, the room is to be blown up. We've seen what Miosguinn could do, we are not about to risk anything.

    The communication will take place through talking remotely. We won't come out of the control room so that we would not be affected by the egg.

    As for who would volunteer to talk to the deity... well, we have her big fan Hallr right here with us. After we are done questioning him, that is.

    Does he think it can be arranged in a few days?

    Hallr was around for who knows how long, and why would the cultists need the key if they have a direct line with the Goddess who knows how the events went? Something does not add up, unless the tomb or the temple was not commissioned by the Goddess. Hmmm...

    I am kind of interested in meeting She Who Waits now. Sounds like she did not entirely get over her grudge. :)

    Wait, military trial? Isn't the Academy a civilian institution not subject to the military laws?

    Out of grim curiosity, what are the penalties of being involved with the cult? What can Hallr and/or his apprentices may expect to happen to them?
     
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  16. Fangshi Arcane

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    The Pathfinders are not medical experts, they are good at infiltration and blowing things up not at dissecting corpses so there is little they could do except make sure the body is not stolen. The Academy medical staff are the most qualified people to handle this that you have available.

    Right, that is what I mean, you do not need to hide him so unless you find the idea of throwing him in a sack amusing you do not really have to do it.

    Very well he will have it for you before you leave the city.

    It would take more than the two or so days you have to set something like that up. What with the lead lined control room, the explosives, trained crossbowmen and the like. Probably four or five days, maybe a week at the most.

    Civilians can be tried under military law in the Kingdom when the charge is treason. Which is what all cultists are charged with in addition to a number of related crimes.

    Death of course. There is a very good chance they will all be executed when you are done with them.
     
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I am still not sure about lugging an unconscious professor through the Academy streets on a stick like a cartoonish cannibal. :lol:

    Well, the only time-consuming thing is the lead-lined room. Any dwarven grenadier could set the explosives in a matter of hours, we've done so during the Blackrock siege with the TWM's structure, and it took us an hour and a half - and we were being fancy.

    They have plenly of trained crossbowmen in the military and there are 36 veterans in the Academy alone guarding the 11th floor.

    Does it really take that long?
     
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  18. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Yeah it does. He will have to contact his father and a Pathfinder safehouse will have to be selected that is suitable for your needs. Then they will have to procure the lead and line the control room with it. They will have to set up the interrogation room and rig it to explode in such a way that it will not kill you as well if something goes wrong. That will likely require installing addition protection for the control room and some means by which you can safely communicate with the cultist in the interrogation chamber without compromising your security or your minds.

    The crossbowmen will also have to be transferred in which might take a day or two as they will have to use Pathfinder officers to keep the location secure. (As an aside, crossbowmen are also not terribly common in the dwarven military, most of the 'ranged' combatants in the armed forces make use of cocktails in proud dwarven tradition. There are probably four grenadiers for every crossbowman in the army.) That will require transferring them off their normal shifts without drawing suspicion which will take time. So five to seven days seems reasonable to organize everything, they might be able to pull it off in less time but two days is a very narrow window.
     
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  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    What if we make use of the existing assets? Use Jan's study as a control room, for example?

    The means to communicate are very simple, really. A child could do it by creating a telephone with two match boxes and a string in five minutes. Academy dwarves may have something more advanced up in a day or two.

    What about using less restrictive security systems than rigging the whole room? Making sure that both the egg and the cultist are destroyed is enough, and you do not need a nuclear bomb for that.
     
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  20. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Still need to procure the lead and line the room. Presumably you will not be in the study with the prisoner so you will need some way to monitor him when you can not see him. (You could probably post guards but you would need to find soldiers willing to die or get seriously injured if you need to blow the room up).

    You will also need to convince Jan that it is a good idea. He is not going to want you to tear up his study and he is not going anywhere. He can always interrogate the prisoners at his leisure after you have left so he is not likely to be as worried about speed as you are.

    They can probably come up with something, the quicker you want it done the rougher it will be since it would normally take a week or so to fill out the paperwork necessary to start a new project like constructing a communication device and there is no 'communication department' currently in existence that you can simply contract internally like you will with the cloaks.

    Sure, if you cut out enough security measures you can have something ready before you leave. For example they can tie the prisoner to his chair and bolt it to the floor then rig the chair and the table to explode if the prisoner gets loose. That should be enough to destroy the prisoner and possibly the artefact. Your decision if you want to risk it or not though.

    Depending on what you want to achieve here there are also other ways to contact the Goddess. You could call up Morpheus and ask him to set up a meeting for example and there may be other ways to pursue a meeting as well.
     
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I want to take measures that would ensure her destruction if we die, using Mazzarin's favor as a nuclear deterrent, and I want to let her know about it.

    I am also willing to use it if she proves annoying enough - like continuing to pursue her goal of overthrowing Albrecht or trying to murder our friends again. I can perfectly see Derryth going on a revenge crusade against the Goddess if she kills one or both of the kids. Why wait for it, though? What use is power if we can't protect our people and investments with it?

    I do not want to strike an alliance with her, and I will still continue to destroy her cultists whenever they cross my path, but I want to make sure she understands we are not punching bags, and there will be severe repercussions for messing with us. I want to make a conflict with us not worth it to her, since she has so much more to lose than we do. I want her out of our way.

    Still, it is as not-Rand said, for a moment we have somewhat of a common goal - the destruction of the Watcher's armies and the ghol raiders, and lifting the siege from Stoneheim. If she is willing to provide information on how to activate the spearhead so that we could get rid of the Watcher, or who she suspects was the informant leaking away the location of the Pathfinder prison (I have a feeling she did not want the necromancer free any more than we do), she is free to tell us.

    Just have her understand that if we die, she and everything she stands for will die with us.

    I can do it via Morpheus, I suppose, but he might request a payment for putting us through, and I am out of ideas on what to offer him. Unless he'll do it for free so both of his darlings would not kill each other. :lol:

    I can even put a Delayed Reaction spell in Hallr's head, and have the plan with the egg proceed without us, as all I really want is to pass her a message.

    But a conversation where we could ask questions and list our terms would be preferrable.
     
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  22. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    Nevill, I am against this idea. A fucking conversation with the spider goddess is not worth this degree of effort. I fail to see how we would profit so much from this project especially while we're pressed for time. We're not even in a position where we have good bargaining chips against her. She's probably just going to relish the opportunity to give us shit and maybe confuse the shit out of us.

    Fangshi, I motion we give Jan the basic warnings about investigating and angering the princes of the dreaming (including ye risks of bargaining and the risk of Morpheus inviting you).
     
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  23. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    'k.

    And I think a pronise of destruction is a big enough bargaining chip, and that telling a deity to pipe down and mess with someone else is worth our efforts, especially when they have as much resourses at their disposal as the Goddess does.

    She can give us all the shit she wants, I intend not only to talk to her, but also to leave a will behind requesting Mazzarin to wipe out her, her kin, her plane (if possible) and all the cultists he can be bothered to find. This can be done, and so I want it done.

    After all, if we die, what use is an unclaimed favor to us?

    Then we'll see who is confused.

    The profit is obvious. She will have to restrain herself, or face the consequences. It is a demonstration of power, and we have that power.
     
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  24. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    We don't have a magical contract on Mazzarin. He's not our bitch to boss around. He's an honorable man but we can't demand he does shit if certain conditions are triggered without even speaking to him. You're also talking about not even using the favor but still leaving an obligation for Mazzarin to fulfill as long as we don't otherwise spend the favor. There's a decent chance this sort of thing will piss Mazzarin and his huge ego off, and we're already on thin ice.

    And for all we know the Spider Goddess is probably already on Mazzarin's shitlist for being a huge dark goddess, making this a rather empty threat.

    Plus I still don't see what we're gonna win out of an argument with the spider goddess.
     
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  25. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    We have a favor of our choosing to request, and he is obliged - by his own word - to grant it. We are not bossing him around, we call upon his promise.

    I don't see a difference between requesting it personally, or through a will. If we die, we can't claim the favor, so I see a will as an acceptable alternative.

    Well, it would be nice not to die in the next ambush (since half of the Great Houses are infested with cultists and we are heading straight in the middle of a warzone), or not to have to worry about our friends, or our fort, or what-have you.

    If you don't see why having less threats to your life might be good, well, I am not going to explain that one.

    He does not have time nor inclination to do anything about it. He can - probably - kill her easily by virtue of being several times stronger than she is, he just does not see her as important enough.

    We can provide him with such an inclination.
     
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