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).