Chapter #7g: All Academics (Cato)   Posted by Brodert Quink.Group: 0
Brodert Quink
 NPC, 10 posts
 Sage of Sandpoint
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 19:51
Chapter #7g:  All Academics (Cato)

No sooner had Cato begun to pound on the door than it swung open to reveal Brodert Quink in his full academic regalia.  “Cato, my boy!”  The bearded scholar looked overjoyed; he drew the younger man into a vigorous hug.  “It is SO good to see you well!  I had been worried that you might be overcome by your mysterious foes.  Welcome, welcome!”  The town’s scholar opened the door wider so that his assistant could enter.  “I was just about to leave for the funeral ceremony.”  He looked slightly abashed as he gestured to his attire.  “This was the most-formal outfit I had.”

“But come, we have a few minutes!”  He drew Cato into the sitting room.  “Tell me, how did things go in the Catacombs?  Was it everything that we’d hoped?  I’ve been on the edge of my seat all day waiting to hear about your astounding finds!”

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 579 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Sat 19 Jul 2014
at 02:00
Re: Chapter #7g:  All Academics (Cato)
Cato eagerly returned Brodert's hug, relishing the feeling and its connection to simpler times, before demons, goblins, ancient complexes hidden underneath the town.  He followed the scholar into the sitting room, collapsing into a chair and realizing how tired he actually was.  But the wizard soon perked up as he started to recount the tale of his day to Sage Quink.

"Brodert!  It's good to see you too!  I've had quite the day.  You wouldn't believe it!  If there's a way, and we can make sure it's actually safe, you must see those ruins!  But as to those mysterious foes..." Cato visibly shuddered, remembering briefly the feeling of the unseen creature working to corrupt him from the inside.  "Well, I'm glad it's over for now.  It's not something I would wish to relive.  I'm not sure exactly what that complex was...part dungeon, part temple to Lamashtu, part magical experimentation station, perhaps?  There are some secrets of Thassilon that are probably better left buried.  For instance, they were able to make some kind of life.  These horrid dog-monsters.  I think that's what the Quasit intended to use to invade Sandpoint.  Though they might have been more like golems or something along those lines.  They seemed immune to some of my spells, such as sleep."  Cato paused, briefly remembering the terrifying Freaks.  But still, to see that place, which must have been sealed for thousands of years..." Cato shook his head in disbelief.  "Oh, we brought back a polearm from a statue of Runelord Alaznist.  I think it's at the Sheriff's office right now, but Hemlock will let you examine it, I'm sure."

Cato settled back in the chair again, realizing how exhausted he was, but also how much he loved sharing this with Brodert.  He wanted nothing more than to talk for the rest of the night, analyzing every facet of the day's adventure.  The wizard sighed.  "Well, as much as I'd like to spend hours talking about this, we do have a funeral to get to.  And I wanted to pick your brain up something else, as well.  It appears that we're to explore Thistletop in the near future.  Do you know anything about that place?  And lore about secret entrances, or the internal layout?  Shalelu's positive that the leaders of the goblins, the ones behind the attack on Sandpoint at the Festival, are all inside, while the goblins tribe gather in the countryside.  It goes without saying that these plans shouldn't leave this room, but I had hoped you might have come across something that might help us."

Cato finished, and looked at Brodert expectantly.
Brodert Quink
 NPC, 11 posts
 Sage of Sandpoint
Tue 22 Jul 2014
at 00:23
Re: Chapter #7g:  All Academics (Cato)

Brodert leaned forward, hardly daring to credit the story Cato was telling him.  “An ancient dungeon-temple-laboratory!”  He breathed.  “That is extraordinary!  And those dog-monsters you speak of sound very similar to the dog-soldiers records tell us were used by the Runelords in their battles with each other.”  The scholar sat back.  “I had thought all of the soldier-creation wells to be broken or extinguished!  And you found one that worked?”  He could hardly contain his excitement.  “That is amazing!”

“Of course,” the older man noted dryly, running his hand through his beard, “probably less amazing if those soldiers are attacking you.  But I wonder,” Brodert mused, “if the demon found some method of re-energizing the wells.”  The excitement took him again.  “But still, Cato!  You and your companions may be the only ones alive to have encountered these dog soldiers in person!”  He leaned forward again, eyes shining.  “I imagine these experiences alone could earn you a professorship in Magnimar!  And when combined with your excellent scholarship, well,” he shot a glance at his protégé, “I would say the sky is the limit!”

“I would say that we have at least a decade’s worth of work to do just exploring and cataloging this complex.  It sounds remarkably well preserved!”  Brodert’s mouth dropped open as Cato continued his tale.  “You brought back . . . a weapon?  From the complex?  From a statue?”  The old scholar looked remarkably like a ten-year-old boy at this moment.  “I certainly will ask him if I can examine it!  Imagine, Cato!  That polearm must be thousands of years old!”

Sage Quink nodded as Cato mentioned the funeral ceremony.  “Just so, let’s talk as we walk, shall we?”  Energized by the thought of scholarly exploration, Cato’s employer nearly hopped to the door.  He opened it and both scholars walked out onto Tower Street.

“Thistletop, eh?”  Said Brodert as they turned right and headed for Northchurch Square.  “Well, I am certainly no expert on goblins, as you might expect!  Shalelu Andosana would be the one you would want to talk to there!  However,” he looked up and down the street, lowering his voice, “I have a theory.”  A smile creased the older man’s face.  “Now, hear me out.”  He turned around and pointed to the Old Light.  “You know that I believe that the Old Light, and other structures like it, used to be war machines for the Runelords?”

He moved forward as Cato nodded.  “Well, I have a theory, a theory that you’ll be able to test, mind you, that this ‘Thistletop’ actually used to be the head of The Old Light!”  He held up his hand, as if expecting Cato to object.  “No, wait and hear me out.  From what I understand from my conversations with those who would know, Thistletop is prime goblin real estate because it came pre-made with underground catacombs.  Wouldn’t that be the case if the statue was a war machine?  Its operators would probably need access to the head, which is where I believe the weapons were.”

The scholar rubbed his hands together.  “I think that whatever attack destroyed the upper portion of The Old Light caused the head to detach and fall into the ocean, and that it is now being used as a home for goblins.  Now, I don’t know what advantage that might grant you in your adventures, but I will be even more interested in the results of your exploration tomorrow than I was from your visit to the Catacombs today!”

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 580 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Tue 22 Jul 2014
at 18:04
Re: Chapter #7g:  All Academics (Cato)
Cato grinned at his older companion's eagerness to the story.  In particular, Cato knew that the news that an ancient weapon from the complex would excite Brodert, and enjoyed the reaction from him.  Even the young wizard was surprised at the sudden burst of energy shown by Brodert as the pair strode out into the streets of Sandpoint.

Cato listened to Brodert's theory.  "Interesting.  So, it's possible we might find more of the same construction at Thistletop.  I suppose it would be fairly easy to tell if all the rooms were oriented in another direction.  What are the odds the detached top of the Old Light would fall in precisely the same way as it was originally constructed.  Not that finding slanted floors or non-perpendicular doorways would necessarily be surprising in a goblin structure, but it should be obvious that the goblins weren't the ones who built it, if your theory is true.  Well, I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.  It should be relatively easy to disprove your theory.  Perhaps harder to actually prove, but I'll be interested in seeing if anything is there."

As the pair drew closer to the funeral, Cato lowered his voice, anxious to avoid anyone who might listen in, suddenly paranoid about more possible human collaborators with the goblins.  "But it also means there's a possibility there might be additional entrances at sea level...or even below.  I wonder if there's an effective way to search for that?"

Cato trailed off as the pair finally entered Northchurch Square, and the crowd had started to gather for the funeral.  He struggled to retain an appropriately somber expression, a feat made all the more difficult because Brodert was still visibly excited, and the sage cut quite an interesting figure in his academic regalia.
The Raconteur
 GM, 1074 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 24 Jul 2014
at 18:11
Re: Chapter #7g:  All Academics (Cato)