Chapter #6g: Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)   Posted by The Raconteur.Group: 0
The Raconteur
 GM, 595 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Tue 4 Feb 2014
at 08:48
Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)



As Cato and Pisca walked up Main Street, then took a left on Tower Street, they were treated to the impressive visual of The Old Light’s ruins, which dominated the end of the avenue.  Cato had spent weeks at a time studying the old Thassilonian tower, but even so there were times, like now, where it caught him off guard with its majesty.  Its builders had truly been engineers of marvelous talent.  It really was a privilege to study a work of such brilliant genius.

But now was not the time to indulge in academic inquiry; now was the time to put that learning to practical use.  And no one in Sandpoint was more knowledgeable regarding the kinds of engineering issues currently confronting Cato than his employer and friend, Brodert Quink.

Brodert Quink lived in an ancient building at the foot of The Old Light, the better to facilitate his study of the old Thassilonian ruin.  As Cato walked down Tower Street towards where Brodert lived in the last house on the left, he noted to himself (and not for the first time) that it looked like the two-story building was on the verge of collapse.  Of course Brodert had been able purchase the property at an outrageously-low price for just this very reason.  The old sage had subsequently confided to Cato that, according to the engineering study he had performed on the structure prior to his purchase, it might be one of the most structurally sound in all of Sandpoint.

Knowledge had some VERY practical uses after all.

Cato and Pisca walked up the steps to the door, where Cato rang the bell.  “Yes, yes, I’m coming!”  They heard a crotchety voice respond from somewhere inside the shop/residence.  They heard footsteps approaching the door.  Then it opened.

“I appreciate your thoroughness, but I’ve already been informed of the militia call-up, and as I told the last two . . . .”  The old man stopped, recognized who was on his doorstep, then burst into a smile.  “Cato, my boy!  You know you don’t have to knock.  And Pisca!  Come in, come in!”

The scholar and the gnome followed the sage into a well-furnished room filled with books, papers, maps, and other accoutrements of scholarly research.  “Please, sit down!”  Brodert invited them as he cleared space on a divan that looked to be of Osiriani design, if not make.  The sage sat down in his own plush chair, where a cup of recently-brewed tea was cooling in a saucer.  “What is it I can do for you young people?”




This message was lightly edited by the GM at 08:38, Thu 06 Feb 2014.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 571 posts
 The Gnome!
Tue 4 Feb 2014
at 16:08
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice
Healed and hale of body once more though the gnome now was, there were still grievous afflictions of battle that even divine magic could do little to mend.

"Waitwaitwait, Cato."  Pisca seized on the sleeve of the young human mage and dragged him into the sheltered and somewhat shadowed seclusion of a nearby alley.  "How could you?  I can't believe it, Cato.  How could you have let me leave the Town Hall like this?  My hair is a mess."  The gnome quickly took out her headscarf and once again bound her strawberry blonde curls under it's presently more artistic wraps.  "Wait.  Wait," she said as, in her mirror, she inspected the overall effect.  Battered.  Bloodied.  But that couldn't be helped.  And the I've-Just-Come-From-Deadly-Combat-With-Goblin-Invaders sort of look was not necessarily a bad thing in these times.  Pisca stooped quickly to gather a bit of dirt and made some artful smudges on her face, accentuating her cheekbones and firming the line of her jaw.  "Alright.  I'm ready.  Thanks, Cato," said the Less-Bedraggled-More-Heroic gnome as she strolled out into the sunlight.

"That's part of the old Thassilonian ruins that were here when Sandpoint was established, isn't it, Cato?"  Pisca pointed at the old broken down tower-ish ruin that divided Junker's Cliff from the southern beaches of the town.  She'd often watched it closely with Lunk, waiting for the invitation to come explore, but that invitation never seemed to be extended and she and Lunk had always gone on to other adventures.  "Old Light," the words were half whispered, part thought -as in thoughtful- part hushed -as in for a generalized effect of looming menace.  "Who were the Thassilonian's, Cato?  Were they keepers of freaks?  Were they purveyors of dark and terrible magics?  Inscrutable lizard men with from a time when Golarion was wet and warm?  Eaters of the warm-bloods with sharp teeth and claws?"  Pisca the Predatory Lizard Gnome took a few menacing steps with teeth bared, her fingers hooked into imaginary claws.  Then, just as quickly as she had come, the Lizard Gnome dropped away, leaving Just Pisca, strolling at Cato's side.  "I mean, if its even remotely possible that we're going down into Thassilonian ruins, we should know what they were like.  Shouldn't we?  I wonder whether the quasit is a Thassilonian quasit."

Once in the home of Brodert Quint, Pisca climbed up into the most comfortable chair in the room.  "You know about the call for troops, right?" asked the gnome in an overtly rhetorical fashion.  "But we know why."  And she launched into the story of the morning's encounter at the Glassworks, the subsequent discovery of Tsuto's Journal, and her exploration of the tunnels.

"So, what we need now, is a way to collapse the tunnels.  Preferably," Pisca added as something of a conspiratorial aside, "something that explodes."

"Pff'sssssshhhhh."


Archaeologist's Luck 1/7
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 301 posts
 Dark Stranger of Darkness
Tue 4 Feb 2014
at 17:17
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice
Cato left the Town Hall with Pisca, his mind busy poring over possibilities for closing off the tunnels.  Given time and manpower, it would be easy to just block the tunnels with rubble.  That would ensure the structural integrity of the Glassworks while effectively sealing the tunnels.  Or at least presenting an equally large problem to anyone who wished to use them to gain access to the town surreptitiously.  Obviously, some kind of destructive device, alchemical maybe, could be used to destroy the tunnel.  But it would have to be carefully placed and controlled to avoid damaging the surface.  Still lost in thought, Cato allowed himself to be pulled into the alley as Pisca made herself presentable.  He agreed along with her as she made worked on her appearance, and soon enough the distracted scholar and his right-sized companion were making their way to Quink's house again.

Pisca's question about Thassilon brought him out of his internal reverie.

"The Old Light?  Yes, that's what most believe.  Hard to believe it's stood there for thousands of years.  Of course, there's no firm consensus as to its original purpose.  Most scholars believe that it is, in fact, an ancient lighthouse, hence its name.  Quink and I are in the minority who believe it was something greater, some kind of war machine that could focus destructive energy on foes miles away."  Cato shook his head.  "Really, we don't know all that much about Thassilon."  Cato chuckled as Pisca's stream of observations continued to flow forth.

"I think some of your theories would be dismissed, but it's certainly possible that there's nuggets of truth even there.  Thassilon was founded by wizards, exiles from the almost-mythical Azlant, which was supposed to be the greatest human civilization in history.  We can only guess on what exactly those wizards would have down in this empire.  All we can see today are what's left: things like the Old Light and the massive bridge in Magnimar, for instance.  Can you imagine what else the wizards might have done if they could build bridges that lasted for 10 millennia?  I have no doubt they might have kept all manner of exotic magical creatures.  So maybe 'keepers of freaks' could be apt.  Who knows what those ancient tunnels below the Glassworks are?  Maybe the Thassilonians had some kind of zoo?  Or..." the wizard shuddered "if the Old Light is a war machine, who knows how it might have been powered?  I've heard of extracting energy to power things from summoned devils.  Maybe those tunnels are a powerhouse of sorts, and there's creatures that have been trapped for thousands of years as their bindings slowly erode..."

Cato laughed at the next bit of speculation.  "But I'm pretty sure they were human."

At Brodert's home, Cato was struck, as always, by the sense the entire structure was about to come tumbling down.  He knew about the old sage's engineering studies - he had even verified them himself!  But somehow, a small part of his mind always continued to worry that he was in danger even as the greater part calmly accepted that the way a building looked wasn't always a good indicator of how well it actually worked.

Cato smiled when Brodert answered the door.  "Good to see you again, Brodert!  It's been a busy few days, as you've no doubt heard."  Cato noticed Brodert's fresh tea.  "I'm sorry to have disturbed you, but we have some rather important matters to discuss with you.  I find myself once more in need of your knowledge."

Cato was about to describe the reason for their visit when Pisca launched into her explanation.  Cato would have preferred to be somewhat more discreet, but things were a little easier now that everything was out in the open.

Cato filled in what he could about Pisca's story, telling Brodert more about the exact construction and extent of the tunnels.  Knowledge, especially to Sage Quink, was power after all.

Cato laughed again as Pisca came to the conclusion of her request.  "Yes, I've had much the same thought myself.  We need some way to close these tunnels, and quickly.  My only worry is about the buildings above the tunnels.  Do you think they'll be any risk there?  And can we find anything in town that would do the job?"

This message was last edited by the player at 17:19, Tue 04 Feb 2014.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 573 posts
 The Gnome!
Tue 4 Feb 2014
at 21:35
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice
"Well, it's not like the tunnels are caverns measureless to man, Cato."  Ensconced deep in the large comfortable hummie chair, the gnome waxed pedantic on the topic of earth displacement.  "We step on worm holes and mole holes all the time, and no one gets sucked down into a wormy abyss or a mole apocalypse.  The tunnels were ... what?  Eight feet wide and eight feet high.  How much dirt is there above them?  We can probably take the height of the cliffs as a good measure of that.  The cliff face around Old Light must be ... 120 feet up?  I don't think that collapsing in an eight-foot high eight-foot wide space under all of that is going to do much to the topside."

"I think what we really need to worry about is making sure that we don't collapse more of the tunnel than we want to collapse.  That is to say, *not* the part of the tunnel that we're standing in at the time.  Though I still do so very much want to blow up part of the tunnel with gobbies in it."  At this point, Pisca climbed excitedly to her knees.  "We can rig the secret door with an enormous volatile alchemical mixture.  When they open the door ... Pooooosshhhh!  And further down the tunnel, we collapse it anyway.  Just in case they escape the trap."

"But, the tunnels aside, I was telling Cato that the more we know about the Thassilonians that might have lived here long ago, the better we'll probably be able to avoid being burned or stabbed or eaten or enslaved or transformed or forced to buy frivolous things, in the case that the Tunnel of the Freaks turns out to lead to an underground Thassilonian ruin.  I mean, you've studied Old Light.  Right?  Have you been able to tell anything about the Thassilonians who lived here from that?  What sort of gods did they worship?  What kinds of magic did they practice.  What sort of pets did they keep?  Did they cheat on their taxes?  Or did they obsessively and slavishly seek to keep everything in straight lines?  Knowing this sort of thing just might save our lives."


Archaeologist's Luck 1/7
Brodert Quink
 NPC, 6 posts
 Sage of Sandpoint
Wed 5 Feb 2014
at 21:15
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice



“Hmmmm,” the old sage pondered, clearly in his element.  “Eight by eight, you say?  With wooden supports?  And all the way to the cliffs?”  Brodert stood, walked over to a shelf, and began rooting around amongst the scrolls thereon.  “I have no doubt that we will be able to collapse this tunnel with no danger to Sandpoint.  The secret . . . aha!”  The scholar raised a scroll in triumph, bringing it back to a low table placed in front of the divan and unrolling it.  “The secret is that the tunnel travels outside of Sandpoint.  So if we collapse it there, the only danger is that we create a sinkhole north of town near the coast.”

The scroll turned out to be a detailed map of Sandpoint and its environs.  “From what you have told me, Pisca,” the older man nodded to the gnome, “I would guess that the tunnel runs in this direction.”  He traced a path through the northern part of Sandpoint.  “And leaves town somewhere in the vicinity of the north gate, emptying out into the small cove you discovered about here.”  He jabbed a finger at a portion of remote coastline north of the settlement.  “This means that if you travel down the tunnel from the junction you spoke about,” the sage did some quick calculations on the back of a parchment of unknown provenance, “a distance of eleven-hundred feet, and do your work there, even a botched collapse will have little effect on the town.”

Brodert caught himself.  “Not that I am, um, questioning your skills in this regard.  It is just important to be prepared for the worst, right, my boy?”  The sage grinned.  He was clearly having fun with this exercise.  “Now, what you need to do is go down to Bottled Solutions and ask for five Burst Jars.  Burst Jars, if you’re unfamiliar, are clay pots with two sealed, airtight inner chambers containing alchemical liquids.  When the jar is shattered, the liquids react and explode with concussive force.”  The scholar clapped his hands together and then threw them in the air, as if simulating an explosion.

“It takes a few seconds for the liquids to react to each other, which is how you perform this safely.  What I would do is rig a contraption,” once again he drew on the back of the parchment, “that allows you to, from a distance, cause a large object to fall on the jars.  The jars, and from my calculations five of them will do the trick, should explode and collapse the tunnel.”  Brodert showed them a rough picture of a basic rope and pulley system that might accomplish this task.  “Or, if you have an accomplished archer, he could just shoot one of them and the rest of them will detonate after.”

Now Brodert was sketching what Pisca found to be a pretty accurate approximation of the tunnel, with supports and everything.  “The important part is that you make sure that Burst Jars are here, here, and here.”  He jabbed his inkpen at various points on the drawing, making black marks as he did so.  “That should give you the right force in the right place at the right angle to collapse the tunnel safely.”  The old man handed the parchment to Cato and then straightened, a big smile on his face.  “My, that was invigorating!  I haven’t had a good engineering problem like that in quite a while!”

“Now, if you’re looking to collapse the tunnel ON invading goblins, you can do that as well, although I think that would be riskier.  You would have to have some way to break the Burst Jars as the goblins approached.”  The sage frowned, considering.  “I think I will leave that decision up to you younger people.  My experience in matters martial is, sadly, lacking.  Unless,” he smiled again, “you’re looking for tactics used by generals thousands of years in the past.”

“And speaking of thousands of years ago,” he looked at Pisca as he sat back down in his chair, taking his now-cooled cup of tea and giving it a delicate sip, “I’m not sure I can tell you anything much about ancient Thassilon that can help you.  I know that the Thassilonian Runelords had powers that approached those of dieties, even if there is much disagreement on whether they actually possessed any deific qualities themselves.  Each of the seven Runelords mastered one of the seven schools of arcane rune magic harnessed from the very sins of mankind.”  He ticked them off on his fingers.  “Wrath, pride, envy, lust, gluttony, sloth, and greed.”

The scholar stood again and walked to a different bookshelf, running a finger along the tops of the volumes before selecting one.  “The Runelords’ constant ambition for dominance over the rest led to much strife and death in the empire.  They say it was this that led to their downfall."  He handed the book, entitled AZLANT: THE LOST EMPIRE, to Pisca.

"So I am not certain what you will find in those tunnels.  It is entirely possible that it will be an archaeological and anthropological find for the ages.  If you do find some remnant of that empire, try and determine exactly with which sin it is associated.  That might give you an edge.  Or,” the sage shrugged,  “it could just be a crazy quasit in a tunnel.  I eagerly look forward to hearing about whatever it is you find.  And please,” he gave them a look, placing a paternal hand on the shoulder of each guest, “be safe.”




This message was last edited by the player at 23:12, Wed 05 Feb 2014.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 576 posts
 The Gnome!
Wed 5 Feb 2014
at 23:59
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice
"Oooo.  Map."  The gnome cooed as the scroll was rolled out onto the low table.  Her violet eyes were alight with interest, and her small hands roamed the surface of the map with fingers outspread as though exploring the terrain through tactile contact.  "Maaaap ... "  Pisca leaned over and nuzzled the parchment with the softness of her cheek.  Then she turned her head to one side and put out her small pink tongue to lick one corner.  Straightening, then gnome swirled the taste about in her mouth, as though savoring the quality of the information.  She nodded to herself with silent approval before turning her face up to the two humans.  "Nice map," Pisca said, conveying her previous endorsement to the others.  Though, whether this comment is in reference to the artistic or informational qualities of the map or to the taste is unclear.  If, indeed, the two are, indeed, separate in the mind of the gnome.

"Mmm.  Map," said the gnome one last time, running an appreciative finger lightly down one border in a gesture of fond parting.  Then Pisca returned to what she now considered to be her comfy chair to sit quiet and attentive for the Sage's lecture on the care and placement of highly volatile alchemical devices.


Archaeologist's Luck 1/7

This message was last edited by the player at 00:16, Thu 06 Feb 2014.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 578 posts
 The Gnome!
Thu 6 Feb 2014
at 14:32
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice
Pisca Neep Freemish sat quietly in her Comfy Chair.  From a magic place of infinite wonder she had taken out a Pondering Face, which she now wore as foxes terrorized rabbits within the meadow of her mind and rabbits, in turn, exploded them with arcane alchemical concoctions.

"I wonder," mused the gnome as she swam within her own private sea of ideas, "what the difference is between a crazy quasit and a sane one?  Do you think that might be a life-threatening thought?"

Then, without much in the way of warning, she hopped to her knees upon the soft cushion of the comfy chair where she bounced twice before springing to floor.  From her pack the gnome extracted a journal and flipped to a blank page where she began drawing furiously with a piece of charcoal.  What took shape upon the page looked, for all the world like a crossbow upon which was mounted a small ungainly keg.  Pisca had also drawn a swooping arrow from the upper corner of the page down to the rear end of the keg.  At the other end of the arrow were the words, 'Insert Burst Jar Here.'

"What do you think?" she asked.  A sharp tear of paper preceded the snap of her journal briskly shut, and the gnome slapped her new invention down over the map of Sandpoint.  "The biggest problem will likely be ensuring that the Burst Jar doesn't break before clearing the barrel.  That, and getting the soldiers to do the maths.  But, if we can perfect this design, I think we can revolutionize modern warfare.  It's a bit big, though.  Might have to hold it differently.  Maybe mounted on the shoulder.  The common soldier on the field might even be able to shoot dragons out of the sky with something like this!  Dragons!"

"Oh, by the by, do you think I might be able to borrow this, Brodie?"  Pisca pulled AZLANT: THE LOST EMPIRE from the crack between cushion and comfy chair into which it had nearly disappeared after having been temporarily shunted aside by the design of advanced weaponry.

"All the Gods who play in the mythological dramas
In all legends from all lands were from far Azlant,"
read the gnome from a random page.

"Knowing her fate, Azlant sent out ships
To all corners of the Earth, on board were the
Twelve, 'The poet, the physician, the farmer, the scientist
The magician and the other so-called Gods of our legends'"


"And something here about the Rock of Eternity and the magic word of power ... Shaz ... "

"Oh!  Oh, speaking of books, I had another question," said the infinitely distractible gnome as she leaped from the roof of one train of thought to the coal car of another.  "Do you think that Old Light would make a good library?"


Archaeologist's Luck 1/7
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 303 posts
 Dark Stranger of Darkness
Thu 6 Feb 2014
at 14:39
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice
Cato watched as eagerly as Brodert began to answer their question.  Although the young scholar was well studied, watching Quink at work was nothing short of astounding sometimes.  The old man had so many things so well under his grasp, and given a problem that captured his attention, well, the results spoke for themselves.

"Burst jars!  Of course.  What an elegant solution!  I think, for the main tunnel collapse, we can use something simple like an arrow from Pisca or a bolt from me.  Perhaps even magic?  I could drop a rock on the jars from about 35 feet away, though we'd have longer range with archery."

Cato thought more about the problem.  "Maybe we could set up some sort of trip-wire that would detonate the Burst Jars for our secondary trap?"  Cato studied the key locations Brodert had indicated on his sketch.  "Maybe right after a turn, or better yet, an doorway in the tunnel.  Pisca, could we do it right at the entrance to the tunnel?  Was there a door that opened out?  We could try some sort of trap there, to get the goblins right when they're coming in, and make it impossible to see the trap from the other side.  And then collapse the tunnel inside to make sure it works.  I might be able to make something like that work with my engineering skill, if I had the right pieces.  It's a little simpler than some of the siege devices I know how to make, but some of the basic components should be the same, just on a smaller scale."

Cato listened to the last part of Brodert's miniature lecture on the Runelords.  "If there really is something down there that's been alive since the time of the Runelords, it would be amazing.  I'll keep an eye open and try to determine if those ruins date back that far.  It'd be almost unimaginable, though.  To think something other than the Old Light," Cato gestured vaguely in the direction of the run "would have survived in better shape for all these millenia."  The young wizard shook his head.  "That's the kind of thing you could build a career around.  How many people come through Sandpoint precisely because the Old Light is here?  Can you imagine if we found another ruin right here?"

Cato nodded in agreement, and smiled warmly when Brodert put his hand on his shoulder.  "We'll certainly keep you informed.  I'm not sure which I'd rather it be at this point...a crazy quasit, or a millenia-old preserved dungeon.  Either way, we'll certainly be careful.  Though if we were being truly careful, I think we wouldn't be venturing into ruins inhabited by demons and freaks anyway."

Cato stood.  "Well, it appears we have a lot to do today to finish our preparations.  Brodert, thank you for your invaluable assistance.  You do a great service to sages everywhere."  Cato smiled at Quink, and looked over at Pisca.  "Ms Freemish, would you care to accompany me on a shopping expedition to procure enough volatile alchemical vessels to permanently seal a secret smuggling tunnel?  I think Bottled Solutions might have just what we need."
Brodert Quink
 NPC, 7 posts
 Sage of Sandpoint
Thu 6 Feb 2014
at 22:45
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice



Brodert looked on in bemusement as his gnomish visitor admired the map of Sandpoint with what could only be considered an unusual fervor.  When she was done, he gave her an indulgent smile.  “Yes, Pisca, I am quite a fan of maps myself.  I find them . . . comforting, somehow.  As if they show me exactly where my place is in the world.”

“I doubt they pose different degrees of danger,” the sage responded to Pisca’s question about the sanity of quasits.  “Quasits are famously shifty creatures.  If you are truly going to confront one, you should keep your eyes peeled and your ears open.  And do not be too quick to believe everything you see!”  Brodert raised a hand, as if to impart a sensible wariness to his guests.  “There are many legends of the quasit's skill in manipulating the senses of mortals.  Be on guard that this does not happen to you.”

He turned to Cato as the younger man expounded on his ideas for detonating the Blast Jars.  “I think any of those ideas could work, my boy.  It just depends on the talents of those accompanying you and what seems best like the best course of action under the circumstances.”  He placed a hand on Cato’s shoulder.  “I have come to trust your judgment.  I know you are more than capable of achieving a spectacular feat of engineering here.”  He gave his protégé a regretful grin.  “I only wish I could be there to see it.  But these old knees . . . .”  He let the sentence trail off, then coughed.  “Well, I am not the man I once was, more’s the pity."  He slapped Cato on the back.  "Even ten years ago I would have been racing you down those tunnels!”

He regarded Pisca’s forward-thinking artwork.  “That is an . . . interesting design, Pisca.  And yes, of course you may borrow the book!  I retrieved it precisely so that you and Cato might study it this evening.  Perhaps it will grant you insight into some of the dangers you might face on the morrow.”

Brodert gave Cato a proud smile as he spoke of their expedition's possible historical significance.  “I know that I, for one, have no problem imagining such a discovery.”  He sighed.  “I have often dreamed of such a thing.  And now, here you are, possibly on the very doorstep of a find that might change our entire understanding of Thassilonian history!”  He beamed at the thought, and neither of his listeners could mistake the eagerness in his voice.  “The revelations that might be in store!  I envy you, my boy.  What an opportunity!”

As Brodert showed his guests to the door, he looked at Pisca with a great deal of seriousness.  “If there is one thing I do know, Miss Neep Freemish, it is that the Old Light would be a terrible place for a library.  I do not think it should be a place one casually visits.  There is much we do not understand about ancient Thassilon, and much we do not know about the powers, effects, and secrets of the Old Light, even after years of study.  I would be extremely reluctant to have the townsfolk of Sandpoint treating it as anything other than a place deserving of their awe, respect, and distance.”

“I am glad of the care you are taking in this matter, Cato.  But whatever precautions you might think are appropriate, please double them.  You are venturing into the unknown.  The Runelords were immensely powerful beings; even their cast away detritus might pose a significant threat to explorers stumbling across it.”  He looked grimly at the two as he opened the door.  “So again, be on your guard.”  He coughed, then grinned, some of his worry falling away.  “And if you're going to Bottled Solutions, don’t let Nisk Tander put one over on you.  Insist on his best stuff, not those experimental things he’s always tinkering with.”

As Cato and Pisca left, the old man raised a hand in farewell.  “I’ll expect to see you back here tomorrow night for a full report, Scholar Crispin.”  A shadow passed over his face and a note of pleading crept into his voice.  “So please don’t disappoint me.”




This message was last edited by the player at 22:45, Thu 06 Feb 2014.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 304 posts
 Dark Stranger of Darkness
Fri 7 Feb 2014
at 01:50
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice
Cato's smiled faltered a little as he considered Brodert's age.  He was glad, of course, that the sage wasn't accompanying them down into the tunnels.  Facing off against Tsuto and the goblins had been difficult enough, and they all had come perilously close to death.  Cato couldn't imagine facing an unknown danger while trying to worry about Brodert as well.  It gave him pause...what must Liseth be thinking?  Kerr was obviously much better suited for this adventure than Brodert, and seemed eager to accompany them, but Liseth would still probably be worried about having the young man with them.  Cato resolved to speak with the young woman about it that evening.

But back to the present, Cato smiled again.  "I promise, Brodert.  You'll be getting a full report of whatever we find down in those tunnels.  Maybe after we take care of anything dangerous down there, we can explore them first hand.  You'll be known throughout Varisia for your writings on Thassilonian history.  Maybe we'll even find something down there that'll prove our theories about the Old Light.  Can you imagine anything better than finding books from the time of the Runelords?  Or even..." Cato winked at Pisca "a library?"

Cato chuckled at Brodert's shopping advice.  "I think I only need to think back to that unfortunate incident with the fireworks at the solstice last year to be careful regarding Nisk's 'experiments.'  I still can't believe what happened to Mvashti's cat."

Cato raised his hand in farewell, paused, and gave the Brodert a brief hug goodbye.  "Thank you again, Brodert.  We'll do our best.  I'll see you tomorrow!"

Cato waited for Pisca to say her goodbyes, and then opened the door for her.
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 579 posts
 The Gnome!
Fri 7 Feb 2014
at 17:04
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice
The gnome bid a fond farewell to the Comfy Chair, giving it an affectionate pat before slipping down off of the soft cushion.  "You have a very nice house, Mister Quint," she said in a polite and more appropriately formal tone for the parting.  "It's very well mannered and friendly.  Thank you for having us."

"So ... what are these theories on Old Light," Pisca asked with unfeigned curiosity once she and Scholar Cato had swung out onto Tower street on their crooked mile to Bottled Solutions.  "I don't think it very likely that it's a lighthouse, do you?  It's in the wrong place for that.  You want a lighthouse to warn people off, not draw ships in.  If I were going to build a lighthouse, I'd do it down on Chopper's Isle.  Not up on the cliff."

"I think that it's way up on the cliff to be defensible.  That means there must have been something around here at one time to defend.  I bet if we went in there we'd find barracks rooms for troops.  Maybe even ingenious padded catapults for lobbing burst jars down onto fields of marshaled cavalry.  Pooooosh!  PooshPooooosh!"  The cries of dying horses mix with the spattering rain of earth thrown up with explosive force.  The smell of blood mingled with the acrid stench of volatile alchemical concoctions.  Devastation reigned within the battlefield of Pisca's mind.  "Have you ever been inside?" the gnome enquired quite casually of her human companion.  "Inside Old Light, I mean?"

"Um ... how many burst jars do you think we'll need, Cato?" Pisca asked a bit later, as the pair approached Bottled Solutions.  "I would say at least ten.  Five for a trap on the secret door and then five more to collapse the tunnel further down.  Somewhere between the secret door and the Tunnel of the Freaks."

"But, wouldn't we need more jars if there are other entrances to the ruins where the freaks live?  To seal them, I mean?  The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking that there have to be other entrances.  How else would Nutella have found the Mad Quasit unless there was another entrance?  Unless ... maybe ... she came down the smugglers' tunnel from the secret door and discovered the place where the Tunnel of Freaks had been sealed off.  She became curious and had it broken down.  Neuralgia and her goblin party encounter the Mad Quasit and its freaks.  An epic battle ensues in which Nuprinella defeats the freaks and tames them."

"That would explain it.  Still might be other entrances, though.  There would have to be.  How else would Ninomiya communicate with the Mad Quasit?" Pisca said, nattering on.  "The ruins where the freaks live could extend as far as Thistletop!  In fact, I'm betting that Thistletop is probably part of the ruins themselves, and that Ripnugget just found them and took them over.  Tactical genius he might be, but Gobbies building fortresses?  Puh-lease."

"But, I guess what I'm getting at, is that the more burst jars that we bring, the greater chance we have of blowing our own selves up with them.  Don't you think?"


Archaeologist's Luck 1/7
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 305 posts
 Dark Stranger of Darkness
Fri 7 Feb 2014
at 19:07
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice
Cato looked in surprise at Pisca when she laid out her own beliefs about the Old Light.  "Well, yes.." he stumbled, unsure about where to begin.  "I'm glad you see that."  He fumed.  "Try telling that to Veznutt and Ilsoari, however.  They've been giving Brodert no end of trouble regarding the Old Light.  Of course, that's coming from a washed-up adventurer and a map maker.  Neither one of them has any real training in history."

Cato paused, and dipped his head slightly.  "Sorry, Brodert's academic feud with them has rubbed off on me a little."

"Anyway, Brodert's theory, and one that I support, is that the Old Light is some sort of war machine.  Obviously, as you stated, it's position doesn't make a lot of sense for a light house.  It's very defensible, being built into the very side of the cliff.  And, of course, a good chunk of it is missing.  But we contend that, originally, the top of the Old Light housed some sort of destructive weapon.  Something like a siege weapon, maybe for use against massed troops, but that relied on arcane energy instead of rocks and debris.  I've been inside the Old Light, and you can see hints of something greater there - there's strange channels of metals running up through the walls, similar to what you'd find in magic weapons, but on a much grander scale.  I think the Old Light sits on some sort of nexus of geomantic energy, and, when it was full, could concentrate all that energy up into a single point, and then expel it as a torrent of destruction."

Cato looked over at Pisca.  "Anyway, more than you probably wanted to know.  But Brodert would be glad to hear that someone else agrees with him.  I think sometimes he worries that he was crazy for believing in that.  I just can't believe how much those two trumped-up 'scholars' get under his skin."

Cato cleared his throat.  "Well, as much as I would like to talk about Azlanti relics, yes, Burst Jars.  I think you're right.  Ideally, we would need ten.  Five for sealing off the tunnel, and five more for our trap.  I guess, technically, we could settle for the trap merely harming some goblins, and we wouldn't need to use five there, but every goblin we get there is one more that can't attack Sandpoint, right?"

Cato thought a little bit more.  "I don't know about the other entrances.  You might be right, and that's certainly why we need to explore them, to make sure.  Although I guess we could just seal everything off.  Though that would be underneath the Glassworks, more or less, and not out at the edge of town.  Or under the edge of town.  But Tsuto's journal made it seem as though the freaks were going to come up from under the Glassworks.  If they had multiple egresses, wouldn't they take advantage of that to surprise the town, just like the goblins are doing in their plans?  Besides, there's plenty of ways for someone to communicate over distance.  I mean, think about your spell you used to talk with Kellan, Liseth and me when we were exploring the Glassworks.  And, as you said, Nualia could have just come up from the secret exit on the beach to gain access to those tunnels.  In fact, if the Freak tunnels run all the way to Thistletop, there's no reason to use that beach access at all, but you found traces that goblins had gone that way, right?"

Cato shook his head again.  "Well, it's of no use.  We could talk ourselves into anything.  I say we get 10 burst jars, because we don't want to be walking bombs when we're exploring those tunnels, and then make sure there aren't any other exits."
The Raconteur
 GM, 606 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Sat 8 Feb 2014
at 00:55
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)



As they left Quink’s residence Cato and Pisca saw that evening had fallen; the sun had finally dropped behind the ocean, signaling the onset of night even though its light still brightened the horizon with deep hues of orange, red, and purple.  Turning their backs on that majestic canvas, the two traveled back down Tower Street, walking past Main and then taking a shortcut to their right, behind City Hall, to Raven Street.

Halfway down on the left, right before Festival Street, a beaten-looking sign proclaiming “Bo tled So utions” hung from a rusty metal pole above a scarred wooden door.  Undeterred by its dilapidated exterior, the wizard strode directly towards the door, opened it, and ushered his gnomish companion inside.

As they entered, they saw a cluttered shop filled with shelves upon shelves of bottles, bags, and other alchemical containers, some covered with dust and some so new that the pungent stink of their brewing still filled the air.  Behind the rows of shelves, a man sat at a counter carefully measuring some anonymous substance before pouring it into a bottle of green liquid.  As the liquid began to bubble, it turned blue, causing the man to exclaim “yes, yes, YES!!!” and hop around his recently-occupied stool in a little jig of joy.

It was at that moment that the man realized he had customers.  He immediately quit his capering and stood up straight, giving the newcomers a wide, toothy grin that was somehow both endearing and unsettling.  The man wore some sort of long, shiny, waterproof white garment, stained here and there with the scars of previous concoctions gone wrong.  His receding dark brown curly hair stuck out at odd angles, and he wore large, thick glasses clearly intended to protect his eyes should an experiment prove more forceful than he had intended.

“Scholar Crispin!”  The man exclaimed.  “And friend!”  He rushed up and shook Cato’s hand, then knelt and shook Pisca’s, proclaiming “Nisk Tanner, at your service, milady,” as if he was performing some sort of solemn ritual of welcome.

He then stood.  “So, how can I help you?!?  Oh, Cato!”  The man slapped his forehead.  “I’m glad you’re here.  What do you think the Guard would think about . . . THIS!?!”  With that final word he swept out a small, nondescript bag of indeterminate purpose.  The alchemist seemed disappointed at their failure to immediately burst into approving cheers.  He forged on.  “I call it Fatman’s Befuddler!  Because,” he elbowed Cato with a grin and a wink, “I figure that’s where they will use it most.”

“But picture this!”  Nisk Tanner swept his arm through the air, fingers splayed, as if setting a scene.  “The guard arrives at Fatman’s to quell a disturbance of the peace.  Not an unusual situation, am I wrong?”  Cato nodded agreeably.  “As I thought.  Yes, well, two large ruffians are pummeling each other with the gusto that such ruffians exhibit when they have imbibed too much alcohol.   Now, they could pull them apart, and maybe get a fist in the eye for their troubles.  OR,” Nisk proclaimed at high volume and with much excitement, “they could throw THIS!!”  He held up the bag as if it were the culmination of months of questing.  “Just hit them in the head with THIS, it explodes in a cloud of powder, they breathe it in, and BAM!!”  The alchemist slammed his foot into the floor for emphasis.  “They’re both out cold!”

“So what do you think, Cato?”  Nisk asked hopefully, as he held the bag in his hands like it was a wounded baby bird.  “You think Hemlock or Barett would want to place an order?”  A small note of wheedling entered his voice.  “I bet if you or Quink vouched for it they’d be more likely to buy.”




Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 306 posts
 Dark Stranger of Darkness
Mon 10 Feb 2014
at 15:05
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)
As he entered Bottled Solutions, and saw what looked like an active experiment, Cato was immediately on edge.  He calmed down when it appeared that Nisk's newest experiment wasn't about to violently explode.

"Nisk, let me introduce Pisca, one of the Saviors of Sandpoint."

Cato nodded at Nisk's newest experiment, and looked around his shop.  "I'm glad you seem to be doing well..."

Cato went quiet as Nisk continued to talk.

"Hmmm...well, that does sound like a very interesting thing for law enforcement.  I'd be glad to endorse it, if I had a chance to test it out first.  Is it safe?  Does it have any lasting effects?  Would it work on something like...goblins?"

Cato looked around the shop a little more, trying to find the burst jars himself before having to ask Nisk for more help, which seemed like it would detour into more offers of aid.  "Actually, what I'm here to find is something to help the town.  We're looking for at least 10 or so burst jars, for sealing up some old tunnels we found underneath the town.  Would you have enough on stock to help us with this?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 580 posts
 The Gnome!
Mon 10 Feb 2014
at 15:27
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)
The gnome had favored her human companion with a look of incredulity as they strolled side by side in the fading light of early evening.  "Why would Brodie worry about being crazy just because other people disagree with him?" she had asked.  "Just because they believe something else doesn't mean he can't believe what he wants to, right?  Right?"  It was a curiously disturbing idea.  One with sharp teeth and claws.  The gnome's incredulity honed itself as the pair continued on their way to the shop, sharpening its edge upon the whetstone of her skepticism.  Maybe this was why humans seemed to fight among themselves so often.  As opposed to, say the elves, who always seemed to be fighting orc or other races.  It would make a great deal of sense given the things that Pisca had seen over her short thirty odd some years.  Maybe like the salmon that felt the urge to return to the streams from which they were born, humans had the urge to force each other to believe the same things that they did.  Maybe it was some sort of collective longevity - a compensation for having such short lives.  If you, as a human, could force everyone around you to believe the same things that you did, then your ideas, as an extension of yourself, would live on even after you died.  And for each human, or even person for that matter, who also believed, you would all become part of something bigger that lived on and on and on.

"Humans are very curious and odd," Pisca added, before lapsing once again into silence.

At the shop, however, the dancing human seemed to break the gnome from her quiet contemplation.  Partially, at least.  She answered his step with a few of her own, a tippy taptap to his tap tippy tip.  But, when he did nothing further in reply -stopping quite abruptly, in fact- Pisca too, broke off the game.  He was, at the very least, however, a tremendously polite human.  The gnome dipped into a curtsy as Nisk Tanner took her hand.  "Pisca Neep Freemish," said the gnome by way of introduction.  She waited for the kiss, but the hand-kissing humans, or so it seemed, were a separate and distinct class from the non-hand-kissing ones.  This human, however, or so seeming would have it, thought very much like a gnome, and that was quite a pleasant thing.

"I ... LIKE IT!" Pisca exclaimed.  She climbed up onto the most likely piece of furniture and reached out for the bag.  "I'll vouch for you," she added, and flashed her Deputy's Badge quickly before once again reaching for the bag.  "But ... "  Pisca broke off her grasping and struck a pose of thought.  "I think we'll have to talk delivery mechanisms.  I think you'll want something more targeted for a bar fight.  Maybe a poof-bag on the end of a polearm that you could stick directly into a ruffian's face.  But the powder itself is ingenious.  Ingenious!" the gnome exclaimed, throwing up her hands for good measure.

"Hmmm ... " the gnome hmmm'ed.  "Do you think the powder would work on gobbies?  Or, better yet, on Freaks?  We could probably use a few of those.  Though, what we really came for is Burst Jars.  We need to blow things up.  But, you wouldn't also happen to have tanglefoot bags, would you?  Or acid?  Or smokesticks, or smog pellets, or alchemist fire, or listerine, or dye marker, or elemental flux?"  Pisca looked ready to continue with what seemed an unending list, but, instead, turned a smile upon Nisk Tanner and said, "We're pre-authorized to requisition funds.  Through town hall."


Archaeologist's Luck 1/7

This message was last edited by the player at 18:36, Mon 10 Feb 2014.

The Raconteur
 GM, 610 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Tue 11 Feb 2014
at 05:53
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)



Nisk Tanner looked thunderstruck at Pisca’s suggestion.  “That’s . . . that’s BRILLIANT!!!!”  He nodded, now speaking even faster than he had been previously, as hard to believe as that was.  “Yes, exactly!”  He drew something in the air with his index finger.  “Have them deliver it on the end of their polearms!”  He gave the recently-created air drawing an approving nod.  “Because of course they’ve been trained to use polearms their whole careers, not to throw bags!”  The alchemist clapped his hands together.  “That is just PERFECT!”

He stopped short.  “Of course, I’d have to design a delivery mechanism that wouldn’t interfere with the weapon’s normal use.”  He quickly began drawing again, on a parchment this time, shaking his head as if he could not believe his good fortune.   “Mmmhmm, yes, something like that, maybe near the blade, but I don’t want to unbalance it . . . .”  He stopped gave Pisca an admiring grin.  “You are quite the innovator, if you don’t mind me saying so.”

Nisk focused back on Cato.  “Oh, right.  Well, I suppose you would want to field test them, wouldn’t you?  Just a second.”  He went back behind his counter and ducked down below it.  His suddenly-disembodied voice was still loud despite the slight muffling effect.  “I don’t think they have any permanent consequences for the recipient, if that’s what you’re asking.  Of course, we’d need more testing to be absolutely sure.”  He grunted.  “Goblins, eh?  I have no idea, to tell you the truth.  But they do seem to be everywhere all of a sudden, don’t they?  So . . . hey!  OW!!”  The alchemist had quickly stood upright and hit his head on a low-hanging beam.  He rubbed the top of his skull ruefully.

“That’s something you could try out in your field testing!  Whether they work on goblins, I mean.  Oh my, if they do that would be an even BETTER buy for the militia, don’t you think?”  He rubbed his hands together excitedly.  “Think of the possibilities!”

The shopkeeper walked over to where Cato and Pisca stood, carrying two more bags.  “I have three made, so you can take those right now.  Let me know how they work, and if you like them?”  The man’s eyes glazed with a faraway look as he handed them over.  “Mass production.  My goodness!  That would be so exhilarating!!”

The alchemist looked nervously back and forth between Pisca and Cato as they outlined what they needed for sealing the tunnel.  “Oh my.  TEN Burst Jars?”  He wrung his hands anxiously.  “I normally don’t get much call for those, you see?  I think I might have four on hand, and only because Aldern Foxglove was talking about possibly using some to help with the renovation of his family estates.  A generous man, Mr. Foxglove.  Did you know that he staked me for the start of my busine . . . but that’s neither here nor there, is it?”  He gave his customers a worried smile.  “I understand this is very important to the town?”  He sighed.  “I was given a note to that effect not half an hour ago.  Okay, I can work on this tonight.  I will make as many more as I can this evening and you can pick them up in the morning, will that work?”

Nisk looked at Pisca.  “And you’re looking for other alchemical weapons as well?  Hmmm.”  He shrugged apologetically.   “I don’t have much.  Again, I don’t regularly get much call for those.”  He rubbed his chin with a forefinger and thumb.  “I could normally make them to order, but I’m going to be working most of the night on these Burst Jars.”

He nodded.  “But let me see what I have.”  He strode up and down the store’s aisles, nodding here and hmmming there.  “Looks like I have a couple of Noxious Aromatics . . . . some Flash Powder . . . oh, my, I didn’t even realize I had these . . . three flasks of acid,” he finished his impromptu tour of the store, “and one of Liquid Ice.”  He looked at Cato and Pisca.  “You’re welcome to take any or all of those as you like.”

OOC:  You now have three Fatman’s Befuddlers that you can divide amongst yourselves as you wish.  You can also take any of the items Nisk listed in the final paragraph.





This message was last edited by the GM at 07:50, Tue 11 Feb 2014.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 307 posts
 Dark Stranger of Darkness
Tue 11 Feb 2014
at 13:49
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)
Cato accepted the Fatman's Befuddlers with a look of concern.  He carefully placed the bags into his pack, wary lest he cause a rip in the fragile-looking container.

"Thank you, Nisk.  We'll field test these soon, and if they work as intended, I have no qualms about endorsing them to the guard."  Cato tried to flash his best smile.  "You're certainly an asset to this town."

Cato's mood soured a little at the information about the burst jars.  He nodded.  "Thanks for your understanding, again.  You don't know how much help you're being, but if all goes according to plan, rest assured that the Mayor will properly acknowledge your role in all of this as well.  I'll be back tomorrow morning to get the burst jars."

Cato watched as Nisk traveled up and down the aisles, picking out alchemical weapons for them to use.  "Would it be okay if we used all what you've found there, perhaps returning them if we don't need them?  We're not sure exactly what we're going to find in those tunnels, but it's probably better to be over-prepared than under."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 583 posts
 The Gnome!
Tue 11 Feb 2014
at 14:58
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)
"Um, you know, Nisk," the gnome began with some degree of doubt in her voice, "you're probably better off making the Befuddler Stick a weapon of its own, completely apart from the polearms.  At first at least.  Something that they could rush down with when they needed them instead of carrying them around all of the time.  Just a bag on a stick.  Easier cost of production, right?  Also, less resistance to adoption.  I mean, you know that no matter how balanced you make the new polearms, there are going to be guards who won't trust the new model.  The naysayers are always out there, right?  So, you start with the Befuddler Stick at first until they prove their worth.  That also gives you time to work on perfecting the design of the Befuddler Delivery Polearm.  By the time you unveil your new and radical idea, they're already invested in the paradigm.  The buy-in is so much easier then."

"Right?"

Pisca ended her presentation with a small nod of personal approval.  That was some pretty good jibber jabber.  It felt right on so many different levels.  Even if she didn't necessarily have a complete understanding of all of the words.

"Well, I have to be going."  A glance out the window revealed the slipping sands of time as reflected in the dying light of the day.  It would be dinner-time soon, and she was expected at the Rusty Dragon.  Did she have time to make the House of Blue Stones?  And even if she did, how much time would there be to read up on ancient ruins?  "Um ... I've got to make The House of Blue Stones before dinner."  And the Fatman.  Maybe it would be better to talk to Jubrayl after dinner.  After the mayor's speech.  It would certainly take care of a lot of the explaining.  The mayor probably wouldn't mention the tunnels, so that part of the information would still be new.  The Fatman was just down the way from the Rusty Dragon.  And later in the evening would probably be a better time for this sort of thing anyway.

"Yes, all of it, please."  Pisca turned on her way out the door to swirl a hand in the direction of Cato and Nisk Tanner, a gesture that encompassed any and all of the alchemical offerings.  Who knew what powers could be had from them when mixed in the proper as-of-yet-discovered proportions?

"I'll meet you at the mayor's speech, Cato," called the gnome.  Then she rushed out into the rising night.


Archaeologist's Luck 1/7
The Raconteur
 GM, 615 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Wed 12 Feb 2014
at 07:03
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)



“An asset?  You really think so?”  Nisk Tanner’s whole demeanor brightened at the scholar’s compliment.  “Well, that’s very nice of you to say, Cato.  Very nice.  I’m certainly no hero.  But I like to think I do what I can.”  He reddened as Cato talked of mayoral acknowledgement.  “You really think she will?  Mayor Deverin?  Talk about ME?”  The man looked as if he might pinch himself.  “Well, I . . . that would be . . . I guess I don’t really know what to say.”  Nisk looked flustered.  “An honor, if she does, certainly.”

“A Befuddler Stick, you say?”  The alchemist crossed his arms and looked thoughtfully at the ceiling as the gnome talked.  “Hmmm, but . . . yes, and . . . I think maybe you’re correct!”  He looked down at the pontificating Pisca with a smile that hinted at innovative thoughts beneath.  “But what if we made the sticks collapsible?  And supplied them separately?  That way the Guard would have three ways to employ a Befuddler.  Throwing it, using the Stick, OR attaching to their polearm.  And that solves a lot of problems regarding space as well.  Just design hooks for the polearms and the collapsible Sticks, and the Guard can just wear the Befuddlers on their belts!”  He clapped his hands together.  “I think that idea’s got promise!  Don’t you?”

He gestured at the sadly-Stick-less Befuddlers Cato was holding.  “But for now, I think you’ll have a very good experience with them as they are.”  He paused.  “At least I hope you’ll have a very good experience with them.  Good enough to allay any qualms you might have, in any event.”

“But of course,” Nisk waved his hand graciously in response to Cato’s request to take the alchemical weapons.  “Take them all.  Just bring back whatever you don’t use.  And if you end up finding buried treasure or something along those lines I wouldn’t mind you putting me in for a small share.  It’s not free to make these things, you know.”

Although the alchemist put on a brave face, Cato and Pisca could tell that letting so much inventory go for free put a fiscal strain on the man.  They were, after all, going to be walking off with 350 gold pieces in Burst Jars alone.  And City Hall didn’t always pay its debts with alacrity.

Nisk Tanner took a calming breath; some of the tension left his face.  “Have a nice evening, Pisca.”  The shopkeeper waved as the gnome left the shop.  “It was a pleasure to meet you.”  He turned back to Cato.  “I guess I better get to work on the Jars; it’s going to be a long night.  No speech for me; you’ll have to tell me what it’s all about.”  He sighed.  “But before I start in on them, is there anything else I can help you with?”

Pisca’s story continues in Chapter #6h:  Everybody Must Get Stoned




Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 310 posts
 Dark Stranger of Darkness
Wed 12 Feb 2014
at 16:29
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)
Cato watched Nisk's response with mild amusement.  "Well, I can't promise anything, Nisk.  But I'll certainly let the mayor, as well as the guard, know how much you've helped us here."

Cato started to gather up the alchemical weapons, storing them in his pack.  It was already a much larger burden than he was used to carrying, and he had to carefully arrange everything inside so that he could still walk comfortably.  The wizard made a mental note to ask Kellan for advice about weight distribution; the guardsman seemed more familiar with such things than Cato.

Cato looked up as Pisca announced her exit.  "Huh?  Yes, of course.  I'll see you at the speech, Pisca."

When the wizard was finished packing up, he waved to Nisk.  "Thank you again for taking on this assignment.  I'll be by in the morning!"
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 312 posts
 Dark Stranger of Darkness
Thu 13 Feb 2014
at 02:26
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)
Cato left Nisk's shop and headed towards the square to rendezvous with the others. He hummed tunelessly as he walked, trying to ignore the growing feeling of unease. "Demons," the scholar thought to himself. "Who would have thought I'd be fighting a demon hidden underneath Sandpoint when I came here?"  Cato said a quick prayer to Desna and pulled his cloak tighter, despite the absence of any chill to the air.
The Raconteur
 GM, 627 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 13 Feb 2014
at 23:53
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)



Cato arrived in Northchurch Square amidst a huge throng of Sandpoint citizens.  He spotted Father Zantus and Alergast Barett already up on the dais in the southeast corner of the square, standing amongst a podium and eight chairs.  The big guardsman caught Cato’s eye as the scholar began making his way towards the raised platform, nodding in recognition and acknowledgement as he continued to carry on a conversation with Father Zantus.

After a few minutes of stepped-upon toes, elbows to the ribs, and muttered apologies, Cato finally arrived at the dais.  He made his way up the broad wooden steps to join the two other men.  Alergast turned and stuck out his hand, giving the wizard a friendly smile.

“Well met, Cato!  Good to see you here.  Mayor Deverin should be along in a few moments; I believe she’s finishing up preparations for her speech.”  Alergast shrugged, as if the schedules of politicians might be different from normal people.  “Oh, and Amele and Aeren have informed me that I need to invite you to dinner.”  The big man grinned.  “You are quite the family hero.”  He gave Cato a sober, serious look.  “Again, I cannot thank you enough for what you did with that goblin.  I am eternally in your debt.”

The lieutenant slapped Cato on the back as they turned to survey the crowd.  “But where are the rest of your group?  Kellan, Liseth, Kerr, and Pisca?  I thought they were with you?”




Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 315 posts
 Dark Stranger of Darkness
Fri 14 Feb 2014
at 02:45
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)
Cato nodded and grabbed Alergast's hand.  His face reddened slightly at Alergast's thanks.  "Oh, thanks.  I mean, I was just glad I was there and found that goblin.  This town's seen enough suffering, right?  I'm just glad little Aeren is doing okay.  Any more nightmares from the boy?  And the one who really deserves a nice meal is Petal.  That's some protector that Aeren has."

Cato surveyed the crowd, looking for his companions.  "Well, you hear about people venturing into dungeons and think it's just another day, but you won't believe how much preparation it takes."  Cato favored Alergast with a smirk.  "We split up to get everything done before the speech.  I believe Liseth, Kerr and Kellan went to the Barracks and then to see Voon for more supplies.  Pisca came with me to speak with Brodert and then see Nisk for alchemical supplies, but then she had another errand to run before the speech.  I expect that we'll see them all soon."

"By the way, I might have given Nisk the impression that the guard is open to buying some of his newest concoction.  It's supposed to knock people out, which Nisk thought might be useful for breaking up drunken brawls."  Cato nodded to his backpack.  "I'm going to give it a try against whatever we find down there and let you know if it's useful."

Cato face lost its jovaliaty and took on a somber air.  "On a more serious note, though, this town has come together to support us in this endeavor.  Between whatever Lonjiku had given the armory, the advice we got from Brodert and the alchemical supplies from Nisk..."

Cato shook his head.  "Well, I think we're well prepared for whatever's down there.  But we wouldn't have a chance without the help of this town.  We should make a point to have the Mayor include that in the speech.  Make Sandpoint feel like this is all of us fighting."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 591 posts
 The Gnome!
Fri 14 Feb 2014
at 19:05
Re: Chapter #6g:  Sage Advice (Pisca, Cato)
Disbelief.  That's what it was.  Sabyl Sorn had been lied to so many times that she was suspicious even in the face of naked honesty.  The keeper of the House of Blue Stones had built walls of incredulity so thick and so high that she could no longer even perceive the real threats marching in her direction.   Worse than that, she no longer even seemed to try.  It was a thing to give a gnome pause.

But ... on the other hand, it might not have been that at all.  Maybe she was a gnome-hater.  Or might have been a size-ist, believing that all peoples of less than her own bloated size incapable of accomplishing anything that she managed through her unnatural and ungainly strength of limbs.

No.  It was best not to assume the worst of people.  It was probably just as she said.  She'd grown wary after all those years standing guard over dangerous forbidden knowledge.  And they didn't really know each other, after all.  As friendly and unassuming as she might be, Pisca admitted to herself, she could very well be an evil gnome masquerading as helpful, heroic, and world-saving gnome.  And one can never be too careful with knowledge of the dangerous and forbidden kind.  Probably best on the part of the House of Blue Stones to err on the side of caution.  Though it was something of an odd-ish sort of torn-in-two feeling to be trusted as a hero by some perfect strangers in town and yet treated as a dangerous interloper by other strangers in town seemingly just as perfect.

And ... maybe that was the key.  Maybe, in this case, knowing people who knew other people would help.  What had Mayor Deverin said?  If she's not there you might find her over at Chask's.  Sabyl Sorn must be friends with Chask.  And Chask was Pisca's friend and librarian.  So ...

Pisca scanned the crowd for the human, but it was like trying to identify a tree from below after only having seen the upper branches before.  Fortunately, the gnome spied Cato on the dais along with Mayor Deverin, Father Zantus, and Alergast Barett the lieutenant of the guard.  The gnome worked her way through the crowd, slipping between the overly tall humans where she could, gently redirecting certain bottoms with a small hand where necessary.

"Hullo, sorry I'm late.  I had a decidedly unproductive conversation with Sabyl Sorn.  I haven't given up, yet, but I'm not sure what she might have to offer from that library of hers.  She as much as said she had nothing useful.  And notice being as short as it is.  Well, you know."

"Has anyone seen Chask Haladan?"


Archaeologist's Luck 1/7