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Month Index: October, 1994


From:     RJPugh@???.com
Date:     Fri, 28 Oct 1994 17:36:49 -0400
Subject:  Re: library 2/6
        The Library
        ---------------

Half of the library is built over the edge, creating an amazing view
for the northbound windows. The window is built from sandstone - a
light enough material to be carried from the Slubia - there's no
real fear of erosion here since the planet is perfectly dry and the
wind carries no loose particles.
Near the library-building lies another big structure, an open-topped
dock-building built from the same materials.
No lights can be seen in the library windows, the doors seem closed
but a ship is visible in the dock.

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

Once the PCs land their ship in the dock (a huge one easily able to
accommodate ten ships at a time that, surprisingly has two huge
pools for ships that able to land in water only) they discover it to
be completely deserted. The other ship is a white-painted nautiloid,
but of the crew's whereabouts there's no sign.

On a careful search the nautiloid, bearing Falx colors, is indeed
found to be deserted. The ship shows some signs of recent combat: a
torn mainsail, scorch marks on deck, purple and whitish stains. The
twin series helm is at its usual place. The oddest thing about the
ship are the multiple thick black ropes securing it down to the dock
tightly. Every rope goes from wall to wall (or floor to wall) - and
is not easily cut, it tends to absorb most of the blows kinetic
energy instead of breaking. If the rope is inspected by a
knowledgeable character (rope use proficiency) it is found to be
made of thousands of very thin strings (human hair).

All other docking places are empty, the slots are badly in need of
repair - they are full of scuff marks and broken spars. One of the
pools is nearly empty, only the deeper side has some water - the
other is full of inky-black murky liquid. There is no living monster
in the pool but a search turns up a dead mindflayer - disgustingly
bloated due to drowning. The corpse has no treasure - but a greedy
PC could be get some disease from touching the carcass.

When the party has had enough of exploring the dock, there's a faint
shuffling noise and a contingent of monks arrives in the dock
chamber bearing long stretches of rope. They all wear a full length
<<<<< kaapu <<<<<, covering the body from head to toe - a large cowl
makes the face hard to see. The monks proceed toward the characters
in silence and start to attach their ropes to the huge metal <<<<
awks ??? <<<< on the floors and walls. If the PCs try to hinder
them, one of them waves his hands emitting a shushing noise at the
same time - obviously their ship is in considerable danger from an
upcoming storm.

The monks take a long time in their toil to tie down the ship -
working in complete silence and perfect synch all the time. Unless
the PCs do something, their ship is going to be tied up quite
tightly. Outside there's no wind in the air and they might like to
leave their ship parked outside the main library building. On the
other hand, should they attack the tiny monks or even try to have a
look at their faces, they are in for combat. As soon as a PC touches
a monk they all throw down their cowls, revealing their faces, pasty
white bloated caricatures of the human head - no ears or hair
however. Each 'monk' grabs a dagger from its belt and joins the
combat. Everytime a monk-thing is hit with a non-blunt weapon
there's a popping noise and some white viscous liquid partly oozes,
partly flies from the wound. The grubthings silently fight until
they all are destroyed (shouldn't take long). When the corpses are
searched, no treasures or possessions (apart from the common
daggers) are found, but the things themselves are discovered to
consist mostly (if not even wholly) of fresh pus.

On the roof of the dock-building are two rotating turrets with heavy
ballistas, the library has never been attacked but the Seekers
bought these "just in case".


The Entrance
-------------------

The library is built from fresh-hewn granite, all hallways and rooms
have an eerie light to them (unless otherwise notified in the
description). The air is old and musty - but not a lot of dust has
settled on the furniture and bookshelves. There are traces of
earlier explorers; tracks in particularly thick dust (not all made
by human soles), scorch marks in furniture from spells that missed
their targets, fallen furniture etc etc, but all in all the place
seems to be as it was twentyfour years ago.

1. The entrance hall is a large room, having just exits in many
directions and a visitor's log book on a table. The book (entitled
simply 1432-) is thick, almost full of entries made by
the reception. Up till year 1459 the descriptions seem to be in
order (date + ship + transactions made by crew/passengers), but

after the date of 1.7. 1459 all log entries have been written in the
same handwriting and their messages are quite uniform (date + ship +
how many "victims" + what was done with them). The last entry is
dated six months back from now and details the arrival of
Mindreaver, a nautiloid, all of whose 46 crewmembers were
"mutilated". No mention of the PCs ship is on the log... yet.  It
will appear come next morning (if the ship was left in the docks),
with an accurate census on crewmembers (the pus-things do capture
the ship sooner or later).

<<<< Note <<<<
Every stairwell in the building has had a variation of the distance
distortion spell cast upon them (permanent duration). The first time
the PCs clamber up or down the stairs (and in all chase scenes) the
spell's effects might cause trouble. If any PC fails a save vs.
illusion, he falls down (taking d3 - 2d6 damage (main stairs - the
tortuously steep spiral staircase). Any PC following (or in front
of, depending on direction of travel) a fallen one has to make a
DEX-check to avoid fallling too. The Tanar'ri spent considerable
amounts of power when creating this effect and he has got much
enjoyment from watching visitors falling more or less seriously -
sometimes he has even "aided" them with a slight telekinetic push.
<<<<

2. The guards' chamber

A vacated room containing beds and some tables. Some leftover

weapons and pieces of armor on racks and shelves, non-magical,
somewhat rusted and worn.

3. Servants rooms

These large dormitories have both been victims of a huge
conflagration - walls and ceilings are blackened by smoke and soot.
Within the ashes and charred remains of furniture lie some
skeletons. If the PCs spend too much time here it's entirely
possible that an overhanging beam is disturbed by their efforts and
it falls, bringing half of the ceiling along (save vs. DEX to avoid
pinning/damage/whatever).

4. Servants mess

<<<<<
A down-to-earth meal hall. A foodstained oaken table rules the room,
in which nothing of interest can be seen.
<<<<<

Nothing special.

5. Kitchens

This huge room served as the only kitchen for both the employees and
visitors to the library. Its first attention grabbing feature is a
big oven probably able to roast a whole hog.

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

<<<<< The flying knives scene shamelessly ripped off from Bane of
the Shadowborn.

Since there's no means to grow anything but herbs and some small
vegetables on Pladic - all food had to be imported by ship. All
foodstuffs were stored in a large compound beneath the kitchen -
unfortunately dust has camouflaged the trapdoor in floor and made it
quite easy for someone to step on it and fall through - save vs. DEX
to grab a rim of the door - otherwise unlucky PC falls onto the
stairs and bounces into the pitchblack cellars (taking 2d6 damage).

6. Cellars

The rats living in the cellars have propagated greatly after the
tanar'ri took over the library - only now, after 30 years, the food
storage has begun to run out. The rats don't present a big danger to
a well armed party (they shirk away from torchlight - they've been
living in darkness for decades) but an unfortunate falling through
the trapdoor is in for rough treatment. First he takes 2d6 damage
from the fall and is almost immediately overwhelmed by rats (biting
for <<<<<< Summon Swarm <<<<<<) per round, standing up requires a
STR-check, finding the stairs is difficult unless someone lights the
room from above (otherwise 1-2 on d6), climbing the stairs while
carrying a full load of biting rats needs a successful DEX-check.
Fighting the rats is useless - there's simply too many of them to
replace any fallen ones. Of course a cloudkill, sleep or somesuch
could take care of them all easily.
The cellars consist of some six rooms - all doors have been chewed
through and any packages destroyed. Thankfully only some dry
material remains - the meat storage was first to be raided.

7. Loading dock + Well

This small dock located some 20 meters below the surface of Pladic
is able to accommodate a tradesman-sized ship (25 tonner). The ships
were unable to actually land here - they were fastened with thick
ropes to the firm bollards while hanging over a 100 meter drop. All
cargo was quickly removed by carrying it - for moving the weighty
sacks within the cellars there are two wheeled carriages present.
The main well for the building is a big hole drilled to one corner
of the dock, it hasn't dried out, but the waterlevel seems to have
receded badly - no bucket lowered from the kitchen can reach the
surface, a dropped stone gives a 'plop' noise only after some six
seconds.
The PCs' ship cannot land here - the original ropes have been
removed by the grubkin and it isn't likely that their own ship is
carrying that tough ropes.

[handout-7: the dock- with and without a docked ship]

8. Dinner Hall

This large room has a very nice glass window overlooking the Fault
and an immense redwood table encircled by scores of chairs. The
golden dinnerware is worth 600 gp, but selling it on open market is
very difficult due to the Seekers symbol embossed on every piece of
cutlery.

9. The Membership files

In this room's shelves are neatly arranged the patron books from
three and a half centuries - every year a new book was begun. The
last is from 1458. The books are bound into varying colors of
leather and are each of similar size. The book collection is very
hefty (takes up five tons of cargo space and a score of manhours of
diligent work), and not worth a lot to anyone else than the seekers
themselves, and they certainly expect to have the collection gratis.


10. Storage

A simple storage/broom closet. Unless the PCs require cleaning
materials this is going to be pretty useless.

11. First Librarium

A very large library hall, dozens of ten feet high oaken shelves
full of books. This room contains books from A to L. No maps nor
books exclusively related to magic are found here, a successful INT-
check reveals that.

Booke of the Ogri Kynde can be found in its rightful place. Trying
to carry it or any of the other book off has the usual consequences.

12. Second Librarium

A sister hall to the previous room, this one is even more spacious,
having books from M to Z. In meticulous condition, except for one
shelf that has suffered massive water damage years ago, and badly
rotted since. Bloodstained floor near the moldy shelf. One of the
investigative groups met their doom here, but the party's mage
managed to blow up a water elemental sent to hinder them. No matter
how hard the PCs look, the Treatise the elf sought cannot be found
here (it is in the Tower of the Art).
On a successful secret door-finding check (or some other method that
you use as an analogue for CoC's "Spot Hidden") a character finds a
tiny, but wellcrafted metallic chest under a shelf. It is, of
course, magical (chest of containment) and contains the spellbook of
a long gone wizard - it's not a traditional spellbook, but a very
long and narrow strip of some paperlike material that can fit into
the chest when it's rolled tight. The spellscroll contains the
following spells:
        I - Read magic, detect magic, magic missile, mending, seek
unlife +3
        II -  Detect invisible, shadow, levitate, +2
        III - Fireball, dispel magic, fly

13. Librarian's Hall

<<<<<
You push open the double doors and a horrible stench slaps against
your noses. This is a gigantic room, without any furniture but large
piles of rubble. The ceiling has fallen in in some places and all
<<<<< vdliseind <<<<< have been ground down. The occupants of the room are
the ghastly white childsized creatures you fought earlier - this time they
are not wearing their stolas and you can all too well see the liquid pus
flowing under their flabby skins. The nearest
pusheads chitter in anticipation while shuffling toward you -
there's an uncountable number of these things in the room - most in
a humanlike form but some shambling in some primordial guise.
<<<<<<

This is going to be a long battle for the PCs - but if they are
successful here they won't have to suffer any more attacks by the
'monks'. There's indeed scores of the pudgy pus-creatures in the
room and the fight is made much more dangerous by the fact that
their number is large enough to warrant some special effects.

The first ten rounds go very well for the PCs - they are able to
slaughter the gruboids left and right - after that the floor begins
to get slippery from all the secretion (if a PC misses a melee
attack he has to make a DEX check to remain standing, if he slips,
he has +2 to his THAC0 and AC during the next round).
After ten more rounds (and a score of slaughtered pus-things) the
sludge on the floor is some two inches thick - now the creatures are
able to regenerate 3 points of damage per round - play out the
horrible feel when the PCs see the gunk flow upwards into a gaping
wound on a grubling.  After ten more rounds the battle reaches its' climax -
now there's at least four inches of pus flowing freely on the floor - some of
it streaming over the doorstep and noisily dripping down the stairs.  Slowly
the PCs see the liquid stir and bubble - suddenly the encrusted surface
breaks up and an immense version of a grub thing erupts from the sludge. It
seems to integrate the life force of its' smaller brethren into itself - they
dissolve into the floorwide pool of pus and are sucked into the larger
entity. If the PCs are able to defeat this grubmonster on steroids (it DOES
resemble the marshmallow man from Ghostbusters a bit) they won't have to
endure any of the 'monks' shuffling attacks. No material rewards are found -
the disgusting things are just unintelligent servants.

14. Illumination Room

<<<<<
The large windows in this smallish corner-room have a magnificent
view over the glassy plains of Pladic. The furniture consists of
small pulpits with sloping <<<< tasot <<<<. However, no books to be
illuminated can be found, and all the paint pots and tubes have been emptied
against the north wall, making up a really chaotic figure that seems to turn
your stomach.
<<<<<

The psychedelic colour collage on the wall is indeed awful to look
at and it has a weird effect on the PCs' nervous system. If they get
into a fight (or engage in some other physical activity) in the
following hour, each character must save vs. spells or suffer the
effects of ___confusion___ spell.

15. Bookbinder's Room

<<<<<
This small room having a big window overlooking the docks houses the
bookbinding facilities of the library - a score of workbenches with
repair equipment on them are arranged in straight lines. In one
corner is a large pile of books all in quite horricfic state of
disrepair - their pages ripped to shreds and the covers badly bent.
<<<<<

On closer inspection the ravaged books are all found to be of the
same subject - interpretations of the Celestian (or some other
religion that you've used in space) mythos. The books are beyond
repair and no useful information can be gathered from them. All the
strings in every bookbinding bench have been carefully tied up to
resemble an unholy symbol (pick one appropriate to your campaign).

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

16. Main Hall II

Another big library hall, this containing fictional books from all
over the Known Spheres. How the Seekers have divined which of their
collection were fictional, and which ought to be classified as fact is a
sheer mystery, certainly they haven't investigated the
background behind all of them.

17. Atlas Hall

<<<<<
You're standing outside Atlas Hall - which, if you are to believe a
map-symbol on the door should contain folios full of maps from all
seven corners of the Known Spheres. You push open the door and enter a large
room, dimly lit by light streaming in from windows. There are stairs leading
up in the center of the room, at their foot
stands a large stone statue - the Olympian god Atlas of course,
bearing a worldsphere on his shoulders.
<<<<<

If the characters merely glance at the room, without pausing to
browse through the countless map-books, they are not going to
discover anything special. On the other hand, if they approach the
statue or linger in the room, they are in for a nasty surprise. The
Tanar'ri animates the hulking stone statue, causing it to throw the
globe at the PCs. A successful DEX-check means that a PC has nimbly moved
aside - a failed one causes 4d6 damage. The statue becomes rigid again, but
trouble is caused by a duo of air elementals who react to the destruction as
the ball crushes a few shelves, destroying books and splintering wood.  If a
PC succeeds in Planetology check, he recalls the stoneglobe to depict Moeth,
an advanced world in an Inner Sphere.

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

As mentioned in the Head Librarian's notes, the Seekers' treasure is
hidden inside the globe (which, despite being hollow) doesn't
shatter when it impacts with a wall. The ball is quite impossible to
open unless the PCs are familiar with the locking mechanism - a
knock spell won't work as they cannot see the lock to be opened.
<<<<
Oma tulkinta, pdteekv - lue pariin otteeseen ynnd kysy nyyssissd
<<<<
Should the PCs press firmly down the button hidden beneath the city
where the HL was born, the sphere creaks open and an ancient
mechanism within majestetically slowly splits the globe in half.
Within is discovered a king's ransom - coins from a score of worlds
made of at least seven valuable metals, gems and jewelry in several different
styles - this all totaling 23'000 in gold pieces.
The Tanar'ri has possessed the statue many times, but this is the
first occasion when he uses the globe as a weapon - previously he
fought with the statue's fists.

18. Hall of Fellowship

<<<<
This is the room where the researches converged in the evenings -
all trappings of an excellent gentlemen's club are found here - a
fireplace, portwine, stuffed animals,  comfortable chairs and some
decks of cards.
<<<<

Excellent port stored in a rack (25 bottles, each worth d6-1 x 30

gp), valuable silverware and porcelain stored in shelves (total
value 3900 gp, very heavy and easily broken, play out the difficulty
of transporting a 3' wide cup) . Paintings very imaginatively and
humorously disfigured but they still have value (and gain the PCs
the enmity of the descendants of those depicted - some major
families in multitude of spheres take offense, unless the PCs
recover and subsequently destroy the paintings they are going to get some
uncomfortable company - worth 6500 gp, 4500 gp without the thick frames;
heavy and difficult to move).




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