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[PQ] Rise of the Loreseekers - Printable Version

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Rise of the Loreseekers - Jigano - 01-28-2019

{{A request for any who wish to join this thread: I often have trouble loading/reading posting tables, so I would appreciate if people don’t use them here. Thank you!}}

1. A Question in Need of an Answer

They were going to need a place to call home, where those seeking knowledge could find them – and where they could easily find each other. It needed to be someplace near – preferably in – the Atheneum, but sheltered from the weather that the structure’s gaping hole let in. It needed to be large enough for several tables to be placed, with room for them to lay out books and do their work, and sturdy enough to store any of the sentient books that were deemed too dangerous to leave to their own devices. Besides, Jigano was curious how long it would take the ones they’d already encountered to recover and start moving again, and for that he needed them somewhere he could keep an eye on them.

He had considered trying to have an addition built onto the damaged side of the great library, both to shore up its wall and to provide a separate space for their guild, but the work would be difficult in winter, even with those they had rescued offering their assistance in gratitude. For now, at least, it was probably easier to find an existing room inside the library to begin with, and perhaps when the weather warmed again they could expand – both in membership and in space, as well as doing something to repair the dome.

Which is why he’d been prowling around the Atheneum’s edges, looking for doors that might lead somewhere he could use. Some led to small chambers, storage areas that held only rotting shelves and dust, or places that had once, perhaps, allowed for private reading. A few had led to slightly larger rooms, but these were either filled with debris or held even more books, with no room for what he had in mind.

And then he’d found a large door mostly-hidden behind a collapsed bookcase that led… down. Down into darkness and musty air, and his long hair had stirred in the light breeze blowing up from below. The shallow stairs were a broad stone spiral, the wooden railing rotted down to the rusty brackets, and the dust on them was thick. The only print on them was his own as he was drawn down the first step, curiosity tugging hard to know where they led—

But pragmatism pulled him back. He didn’t have a lantern with him, and it would undoubtedly be dark down there. Nor did anyone know where he was in case something happened. And hadn’t he wanted to form a guild of several people for just such occasions? With a sigh he’d reluctantly backed up, closing the door… and turned immediately to contact his friends and gather supplies. The call went out, asking for members and potential-members of the Loreseeker’s Guild to help explore a new area of the Atheneum (bring lanterns, cleaning supplies, and weapons) and, if it proved suitable, to turn it into a home for their little organization.

Two days later he stood by the door, propped open and wide enough for two people to pass through at a time. The door itself was thick wood, but a thin panel of hammered metal was riveted to the inner and outer surfaces; the inner was a simple geometric design in base metals, but the outer, once Jigano had cleaned and polished it off, showed an open book: copper bound with steel pages and with brass rays of some sort – a sun motif? – in the center. It was a good omen, he thought, admiring it with cleaning rag still in hand as he waited for the others to arrive.
Welcome to the PQ for the opening of the new Loreseeker’s Guild!

Quest will update every 48 hours or once everyone has replied, whichever comes first. You must have at least 3 posts in this PQ to gain credit for it.
1. Isla
2. Samuel
3. Amalia

No Posting Order

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Samuel - 01-28-2019

Sam had never been a part of a guild before. It felt almost too grand for him, a title that sat awkwardly on his shoulders, even more so because he felt he had not done anything to earn it yet. As always he doubted that he would be of any use here; Jigano wanted real adventurers and explorers, real scholars. He was sure his presence in the guild was simply a matter of charity.

But he was not in a position to turn it down. He needed friends, he needed purpose. While he didn't have much in the way of weapons he came to the Atheneum holding a basket filled to the brim with cloths, water flasks and other cleaning supplies, something he had in excess after preparing his bookshop. He also held two lanterns in his hand, old ornate wraught iron things he'd bought from the market because they were beautiful then had never done anything with.

The door was open as he approached and Sam could see Jigano, stood over a book with a cloth in his hand; oh. Were his supplies going to be of any use?

Walking in awkwardly, only just able to see over the basket, he set it down on the table and leaned over to make sure the lanterns were steady before looking up to Jigano.

"H-hello. I brought some things to help. it just me so far?"

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Amalia - 01-28-2019

Though her time in the Antheneum had been limited of late, the old library remained near and dear to Amalia’s thoughts, and she tried to stay attentive to the goings on within. So when the notice for loreseekers, she could not help but pay attention, her curiosity and interest piqued by the promise of new happenings in her beloved haven. On the designated date she closes the shop early, wrapping herself in furs before stepping out into the cold, ready to make the familiar trek.

Armed with her customary basket of snacks and the trusty lantern she is never without, Amalia enters the Antheneum with resolution tempered by curiosity, and an eagerness for new adventure. There is a change to the old building, a marked liveliness lacking in the last few years, and at once the girl finds herself swept up in emotions bittersweet, yearning for the quiet past yet piqued and pulled by this vibrant future. The soft clatter of footsteps draws her forward, toward warm light falling from a previously unopened door.

Amalia pauses as the assembly forms before her, two men at once familiar yet still rather unknown. The pale-haired bard and the fiery Ascended: the girl winces inwardly, memory of that night underground flooding her mind with unpleasantries. The wound on her shoulder twinges in sympathy: though the gashes have healed, the muscles are sore. For a moment the girl considers a hasty retreat, but she quickly chastises the urge. She is going to be brave this year- and anyway, this is her library. Nothing can harm her, in this place.

Awkwardly the baker strides closer, clearing her throat to make herself known. “I’d like to help- I’m familiar with the Antheneum,” she says by way of explanation, turning to hang her cloak on a shelf. Her clothes are plain, a long green tunic and grey breeches tucked into the well-worn boots, a brown-fur lined vest tight across her breast. She holds up the basket of rolls and hardened cheese, almost abashedly. “And I brought food.”

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Isla - 01-29-2019

Isla arrived after the others on sluggish feet; it was the second time in a very short space that she had pottered to the Atheneum when the sun was still up. Hopefully that would change soon, however, and as she stepped inside she lifted the fine veil from her face, settling it about her shoulders. "Hello," she called softly, walking slowly forward and spotting the trio before a door leading... downwards? That immediately sparked her interest, and the Ascended paused before them to smile.

"I brought only myself, I'm afraid. But if anyone gets hurt... well, you know the drill." Or they ought to, by now. And whilst she didn't need food, what Amalia brought smelled fantastic, Isla nodding to her politely and moving up to stand beside Sam. "So what are we to do first, Jigano? I trust that door merely leads down, and not into another story? Not that I would begrudge a second adventure when the first was so thrilling."

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Jigano - 01-29-2019

2. What’s Behind Door Number…?

Jigano’s expression brightened as Samuel appeared, and he grinned broadly at the cleaning supplies. ”Samuel, perfect timing! And I hope those will come in handy. I’m not sure what’s down here, but if it’s a useful space it will definitely need cleaning. The dust on the stairs alone is more than a century thick!”

No sooner had he spoken then he noticed Amalia clearing her throat and stepping forward. ”All are welcome, when they bring a sense of curiosity and desire to help others,” he greeted warmly. His eyes sparkled at the food, and seeing that they had four lanterns between them was definitely a good sign. ”Thank you, Amalia, for your kindness – and your pragmatism! I’m sure we’ll work up an appetite, whether exploring or cleaning.” He looked between the two, oblivious to their past history and seeing their awkwardness as simply the timid natures both had shown in the past. Pleased with his first two arrivals, he chuckled and offered them both a smile. ”I consider this a good omen. Having two natives familiar with this place, as well as two outlanders to bring a different point of view to our studies, is an excellent beginning. And speaking of two outlanders…” He looked up as Isla approached, offering her his hand in a clasp that would be warm, at least on his part.

”Isla, you know Sam already, but this is Amalia. Amalia, Isla works in the Infirmary, if you haven’t had a chance to meet her yet, and Samuel is a bookmaker and seller.”

Introductions complete, he turned to lead the way, lifting his own lantern as he pushed the door open and stepped once more into the single footprint in the dust. The stairs led down in a shallow curve, the tall ceiling growing higher as they descended beneath the floor of the Atheneum. Jigano led the way with an oil lantern, followed by his intrepid companions. ”We’ll need to figure out a lighting system,” he murmured, though he thought he saw a glint of something higher up on the walls – glass, or maybe mirrors of some sort? ”Ideally something nonflammable. Perhaps we can make a deal with a mage for some sort of magical item…” His musing trailed off as he reached the bottom of the stairs and held his lantern up. Light gleamed dully from dusty, cobwebbed stone and ancient wood. It revealed a large hall with twelve foot ceilings, well-buttressed with arching stone. Four closed doors were visible in the shadows, two on each side. A chandelier of dusty mirrors - presumably to gather and amplify light – glinted above them, and as Jigano stepped further into the room sparks of reflected light danced from a sequence of mirrors to spread a faint twilight glow around. A large table of petrified wood stood in the center, capable of seating a dozen comfortably, and rows of shelves of the same material around the edges of the room – but they were all empty, not even a scrap of paper remaining.

Jigano exhaled softly, eyes brightening in excitement as he turned slowly. The movement of his lantern caused the shadows to dance wildly, but nothing moved to leap out at them. At the far end of the room a large, well-grated fireplace yawned in cold splendor, and the bard took a few tentative steps towards it. ”I wonder,” he murmured in awe, ”if this was a meeting hall for the librarians of this place, before the cataclysm that shattered the wall upstairs? It would be perfect for us. It will need dusting and sweeping but…” He paused, an almost giddy grin spreading over his face. ”Does anyone have any objections?” He tilted his head at his friends, a charming, coaxing gesture. As they filtered into the room with him he set his lantern down on the table, positioning it so the some of the light reflected up to the chandelier, and the room brightened a little further to a dim but serviceable ambience. ”A pity all the books are gone, but perhaps they were stored in the side rooms for safe keeping?” His grin turned roguish and he gestured to the mostly-wooden barriers. ”Four of us and four of them! What say we all grab a door and see what’s inside?”

Door 1: On the left side of the hall, nearest the outer perimeter of the building above, the first door is dark with age and looks a bit flimsy with dry rot. Warping has swelled the top into the frame, and the hinges look rusted, but the brass knob is intact and looks sturdier than the wood around it.

Door 2: Further back on the left side, the second door looks less warped, but a large hole has rotted away from the upper corner near the hinges. The knob is the black of age-tarnished silver, but looks like it will turn with some rattling and a bit of effort.

Door 3: Closest to the entrance on the right, this door is sturdy and whole, unwarped and lacking the rot seen on the doors across the room. The knob is green and pitted with verdigris, however, as are the hinges, and it will take a solid shove to open it.

Door 4: Farthest from the entrance on the right, this door is sheathed in steel with a keyhole below the knob. The steel is darkened and covered in grime, but looks strong and whole in the flickering light. The frame and hinges are similarly metal and set firmly into the stone around them.
Choose a door! There is no posting order for this round

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Samuel - 01-30-2019

"A century? Wow." He said with a little quiet smile, glad that his presence was appreciated. Sam gave Amalia a little nod as she came in, then a brighter greeting to Isla with a smile; to actually have people he recognised and could consider friends still felt odd, but he was beginning to get used to it. Amalia seemed...anxious of him. He supposed he couldn't blame her; he was often anxious of himself.

Sam followed at the back of the group, as normal, trying to swallow down the fear in his throat at the sight of the dark descending stairs. His fear was replaced with amazement as he saw the hall they entered, the idea that he was a part of something wonderful entering his thoughts.

"I-it's beautiful. I think it's perfect." He said, craning his neck up to look at the chandelier. He wondered if Jigano would let him come here sometimes just to read and sit.

He was told to pick a door. Sam looked over all four of them, then went to the second. The amount of rot on the first door made him anxious he might find a skeleton in there, and the next two doors seemed like they'd take more strength than he had. He set to rattling at the handle, trying to push with his other hand to get it open.

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Isla - 01-30-2019

Grinning, Isla clasped Jigano's hand back and nodded to him in greeting, though her grip was weak in his. The sunlight, it seemed, was still playing havoc with her. Luckily it didn't seem as though they were going to be doing much by way of fighting anything (hopefully). Nodding to their other two companions, she picked up a lantern even though she wouldn't need it, and prepared to follow Jigano down into the dark.

As they descended and the large hall appeared before them, Isla let out an impressed exhale, blinking up and around at the archways and the mirrors, before letting her gaze fall to the doors instead. "Perfect is the word I would use, too," she murmured in agreement with Sam, watching the other Ascended move to the second door and picking the first quite without thinking.

Wrinkling her nose at the scent of the rot, Isla grasped the handle and tried to give it a firm open. She didn't have much strength right now, but perhaps the sorry state of the thing would assist her?

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Amalia - 01-30-2019

Amalia smiles in greeting at the newcomers, still poorly at ease, surrounded by near-strangers in a familiar setting. "Hello," she murmurs softly to Isla, her attention flickering back to Jigano as the bard continues to explain their goals. Gripping her lantern and the basket of snacks, she falls in line among the troupe, behind Isla and before Samuel, a perfect quartet of adventurers investigating some new revelation.

Descending into the abandoned room, Amalia cannot help the intake of breath. It is beautiful, accented and decorated as it is, and for a moment the girl loses herself taking it all in. To think this had been here, hidden away for years-! She turns, gazing from shelf to ceiling, her attention drifting from anxiety to excitement. The room is dotted with four disparate doors, and as Jigano directs them to inspect them the golden girl nods.

Still gripping the lantern (but having set down the bread), Amalia approaches the third door and lets out a curious hum, her slender fingers curling around the nob. The door does not give, and so she shifts, leaning her narrow shoulder up against it and preparing to try again, this time with a healthy burst of force.

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Jigano - 01-30-2019

3. This Might Sting a Little

The first door broke as Isla applied pressure to it, the wood cracking around the handle and crumbling inwards. Some planking still remained attached to the hinges, but they were rusted solid and no longer turned. Inside the room she would see cobwebs and debris from what had once been wooden shelves and a table with a chair, now little more than piles of splintered wood and mildew. Mice squeaked in panic and scurried for cover as the dim light filtered in from the main hall. Panes of thick glass high up on the wall might have once let light in, but were now covered by dirt and snow.

The second door opened with only a little effort, revealing a similar scene to the first room – collapsed shelving, wooden furnishings reduced to kindling – but one of the upper windows was broken, dirt having trickled inside before the window well had filled up and packed closed. To the right of Samuel was an odd lump, nearly as tall as he was and tucked into the corner away from the dirt and water damage of the far wall. Closer inspection would reveal what, at first, would appear to be a massive pile of books, their covers spread and haphazardly stuck together in a giant misshapen ball. Except there were no pages left, and as light and air circulated into the room, a faint buzzing began to sound from within…

The third door opened with a tortured shriek of metal, the hinges crackling as they turned for the first time in years. Amalia ’s shoulder would have a bruise in a few hours, but the sight that greeted her was a mirror of the room across the hall, without the rampant rot. Wooden shelves were still intact, and the table and chair were still quite sturdy. There was less dust in here, though the cobwebs lacked residents and there were no signs of mice.

Jigano went to the last one, of course. When he put his hand to the knob and his shoulder to the metal, the fourth door – didn’t move. It was locked solid and no amount of pressure would budge it while the lock was turned.

Everyone would have a minute to look in their rooms before the buzzing from the second room grow noticeably louder. Samuel would see movement rustling within the pile of damaged, stuck-together books before a creature crawled out from the top of the hive, ancient papery wings buzzing fitfully. The size of a clenched fist, it resembled a giant wasp in form, though its exoskeleton looked to be made of thick paper rather than chitin. Black, multifaceted eyes caught the light and reflected it back a flickering orange as it rose into the air, a little wobbly but growing steadier by the second as the breeze from the open door upstairs brought the scent of fresh books wafting deliciously down. A second wasp was already emerging as the first began to fly towards Samuel. The second moved faster, and was soon joined by a third. The fourth and much larger wasp to emerge did so with great difficulty, tearing its way out of the top of the nest with a dry, rattling chitter. The size of a man’s head, the queen was a rainbow of faded colors, like a living illuminated manuscript. She was beautiful and angry, and though she flew slower than her children, her stinger was much larger.

The room filled with the sound of buzzing, echoing in the subterranean silence. One of the first wasps headed for Samuel while the rest flew towards the door, their large size slowing their flight, but their stingers glistening with black venom.

Samuel is in trouble! Quick, to the rescue!
Posting Order:
1. Samuel
2. Isla
3. Amalia

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Samuel - 01-30-2019

The room Sam revealed wasn't too much of a surprise, at least at first. It was run down like the rest of the place and desperately in need of repairs, but Sam could see a nice study in here if the care needed was taken. He did not notice the wasp's nest as he surveyed the room, too busy wondering if the window would be difficult to repair.

The buzzing made him frown and look out of the room, wondering if one of his fellow guildmates had begun to make the noise somehow...then he realised with horror it was coming from inside the door he'd chosen.

Sam forced his eyes back into the room just in time to see the paper wasps begin to emerge and fly towards him; a strangled wail left his throat as he stumbled backwards from the door and hit a table behind him in his panic to get away. "W-WASPS! Help! Help!" He yelled, trying to throw a chair towards the flying monstrosities so they would not come near him.

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Isla - 01-31-2019

Isla wrinkled her nose and coughed as the door all but disintegrated open before here. Wafting the dust and stale air away from her face (by instinct more than necessity, since it no longer bothered her at all), she narrowed her eyes and peered inside. Easily able to pierce the darkness, she found a whole lot of nothing much. It would be a nice private study area, perhaps, when it was cleaned up, but otherwise nothing special.

The same was not true, evidently, for her companion. Sam's cry for help drew Isla's attention immediately, the medic rushing back out in time to see him throw a chair(?) at what looked like large insects. How had they survived for so long down here? Realising with a start that they seemed to be made out of paper, Isla wasted no time. Opening her lantern to expose the flickering flame (and ignoring to cold drop of fear that filled her, mysteriously), she rushed forward to try and swing it at one of the creatures.

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Amalia - 02-01-2019

She immediately regrets putting pressure on her shoulder, because now it hurts as much as the other - but alas, such is life. Amalia inspected her room with interest, pleased by its condition and the lack of dust or rot. About to enter and evaluate further, a flurry of noise and activity distracts her; turning, the girl's eyes widen as Sam stumbles back, a great cloud of buzzing paper in hot pursuit.

Fear grips the baker, hot panic welling in her as the chaos unfolds. Paper wasps- the bane of many a librarian past, the girl had in her time at the Atheneum suffered the business end of their stingers more than once. Her usual solution to the little pests was water: saturate them before they had a chance to swarm, drown them in their own nests and wings and then run far away. But there is no apparent liquid in sight, and Isla has already sprung into action. With a deep drop of dread Amalia sees the medic's plan, crying out too late, "Wait!" Fire would work in the long run, but the threat of a spread is massive, and Amalia fears for the books more than herself.

"Shut the door!" the girl cries, leaping forward to try and close the door they came through, to keep the fiery beasts from causing more damage. "They can't hurt you, Samuel - don't let them ignite the books!"

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Jigano - 02-01-2019

4. Feeling the Burn

Samuel ‘s cries echoed throughout the dusty hall, but didn’t seem to deter the wasps at all. The chair, however, thrown with his enhanced strength behind it, did make an impact, catching the second wasp before it had quite recovered enough speed to dodge. The heavy wood crashed against stone, crushing the fibrous insect – and earning the anger of the queen, whose buzzing took on a frantic, enraged note.

Isla ‘s quick thinking and swift reflexes were a match for the first wasp. Her lantern caught its wing as it tried to fly around her, and the crackle of bright flame lent a new source of light to the scuffle. It buzzed in panic, its flight becoming erratic as fire raced along the length of its wing and began burning its thicker body. No longer able to steer, it bumbled towards Samuel on a helpless collision course.

Amalia was the only one who knew what they faced, and her feet would find no obstacle to rushing up the shallow, winding stairs. The door was heavy, but Jigano had oiled the hinges while he’d been cleaning and if she chose to try and pull it closed it would move easily to trap the four Loreseekers in with the pests that threatened them.

Jigano had the advantage of seeing the danger of fire and the wasp that wasn’t dying fast enough. But he also had to believe in the good sense of his friends, since there was more buzzing coming through the door. Trusting Amalia to get the door upstairs and keep the rest of the Atheneum safe he instead focused on the next wasp to buzz angrily out of the room Samuel had opened. Twisting his cloak from his shoulders he flung the heavy garment over the third wasp as it emerged, the thick folds of fabric bearing it to the ground. He pounced to stomp on it –

Just as the enraged queen freed herself and rose into the air, multifaceted eyes reflecting red in light of the fire and lamps. Jigano fell flat on top of his cloak, crushing the third wasp as the queen winged by overhead, barely missing him with her stinger. Keeping a wide berth from Isla’s fire, she banked and began to head back at the bard for another, faster pass.

No Posting Order

RE: Rise of the Loreseekers - Isla - 02-01-2019

Chaos was unfolding rapidly, and Isla was only thankful that the Atheneum wasn't made of wood, or they might all end up as cinders. Throwing a chair at a wasp was a good idea - apparently. As was fire, but Isla's eyes widened as she noticed that her opponent hadn't quite died, and it was making a beeline for Samuel. Her fellow Ascended would be as susceptible to fire as she was, and alarm buzzed through her, blaring at her to warn him.

"Sam, duck!" she called, running by to grab up one of the chair legs that had splintered off when the bookmaker had thrown it. Feeling a sudden and strange surge of energy, Isla gripped the chair leg in one hand and the lantern in the other, darting across the room to swing at the wasp with the former.

Just as the queen emerged. "Watch out!" she called to the group, ducking low after her swing and hoping it had downed one of the minions, at least.