9th World -- A Conference with Cook (28 posts)

thread created on 7/13/14 at 20:10

A Conference with Cook - Conference with Cook continued... - Re: Conference with Cook continued... - The Orb - Re: The Orb - Re: The Orb - The Jovic Maps - Kek's Request - The Orb's Will - Re: The Jovic Maps - Cook's Downtime - Re: A Conference with Cook - Re: A Conference with Cook - Cook's downtime - Re: Cook's downtime - Stonefane locale - Re: Cook's downtime - Re: Cook's downtime - Re: Cook's downtime - Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Next post - Liveried Druid - Re: Liveried Druid

John Smith, 7/13/14 20:10
A Conference with Cook

After the teleportationâ¦

John Smith pulls Cook aside for a private conference.

" Cook you seem the most reasonable of our small band and I feel I must confide a few matters with you. First is the matter of my mind. When we first met and traveled to the Grave I was ordered in thought, cautious, and disciplined. After the Crucible, I changed. I have become impulsive, risk prone, and hyper, and I don't know why. I feel another change coming on and I don't know what it will bring.
The second matter isâ¦. I've seen things. Times, and places, in the past in dreams both in slumber and awake. Each time they seem less like dreams and more like memories. Perhaps I am just mad, but then I can teleport, and with a touch read men like a book, or incapacitate them with laughter.
I tell you these things because I fear what I am capable of. Though both are capable of great power; Chokobo is perhaps more insane then I, and Kek seems aimless and touched by darkness. Both can be manipulated. I feel that only you have the strength of character to stop me from doing any thing extreme."

John Smith, 10/19/14 21:17
Conference with Cook continued...

A connection: Xenophontes, the acid elemental, the Arcane Confederacy, and the Orb. The orb is intelligent, and most probably a construction of the Arcane Confederacy, and possible found in the area where the acid elemental was. (The gnolls were ransacking the area for artifacts.)

The orb seemed to dislike Xenophontes immensely. Enough to force a battle of wills with me, which I fought off once, but failed to when I touched his corpse. The orb had never attempted to challenge me before, so it must of been quite important to hinder Xenophontes. (A prudent decision, I believe, with the information that has come to light.) The orbs abilities definitely point to divination, perhaps there was another underground structure devoted to that branch of magic.

It feels that there is something at the tip of my mind that eludes me that will connect the events we have shared since the Grave. Perhaps all of our encounters are related. Perhaps it is my addled mind making connections that matter not. I will continue to meditate on our travels, and welcome any input you might have.

cook, 10/20/14 19:21
Re: Conference with Cook continued...

What did the Gnolls actually find there? If I recall correctly, the savages we freed indicated that the Gnoll King was searching for something, but hadn't found it...the only location in that complex that the gnolls hadn't penetrated -- to my knowledge -- was the room with the acid creature. The creature was clearly involved in the history of Xenophontes, but he attacked us on sight and didn't have anything of interest (he did have a small golden orb that can generate light at will, I don't recall who took that?).

I agree that the will of the orb did not seem to be unreasonable in this instance. Still, I find it disturbing that it attempted to dominate your actions, even under such circumstances. Be careful, my friend!

The notion of another complex dedicated to the school of Divination is intriguiing. The Gnolls had come up from the deserts, right? I shall look into the possibility of such additional complexes in my Jovic maps, though my guess is that the Gnoll set his tribe upon the trek to the north after finding the Orb in his native desert, which would seem to indicate that the complexes are spread far and wide, and will be difficult to find.

[Ed -- I believe that we found the Highspeech map of the Abjuration-dedicated ruins in the cache of maps from the Jovic crucible, right? And we have a few weeks, right? I will look through those maps to see if I can find anything that looks related. More specificaly, I'm looking for other complexes, such as a Diviniation-dedicated complex in the shattered lands. But make note of anythin close -- maybe maps annotated in Highspeech, or detailing complexes of similar age and design, etc. I'll start in the Shattered Lands, where the dance commander hailed from. I think we spent a few weeks with those barbarians -- maybe they provided some clue as to whereabouts in the shattered lands they were from?]

Edited by: cook on 10/20/14

John Smith, 10/20/14 20:35
The Orb

If the orb could win a contest of wills with me, it seems reasonable that it could do the same with the Gnoll King. Perhaps the Orb plays a bigger part in this than we think. To my knowledge the Orb hasn't influenced my actions, but if it has, would I know?

Perhaps the Orb was seeking something in the complex. It might be worth a future return trip.

Edited by: John Smith on 10/20/14

Dorgrim Kek, 10/20/14 22:04
Re: The Orb

I have question; where is a place that monsters rule underneath which ghouls die?

cook, 10/21/14 19:50
Re: The Orb

Quote:
I have question; where is a place that monsters rule underneath which ghouls die?
As a guess, maybe some dungeon underneath the Western Wilds? I get the impression that the jungle there is teeming with monsters and devoid of civilization. But I don't know anything about there being ghouls under it. Maybe Ed can make a knowledge check for us to see if that rings any bells.

9thdm, 10/21/14 22:21
The Jovic Maps

The infamous "map" of the area the gnolls were excavating was indeed found amongst the Jovic Maps, which seem a basically random collection of unrelated maps, blueprints, and sketches, which vary in age, quality, and provenance; all, however, bear pencilled notation which hints at some categorical system, as well as some rare instances of more extensive notes in a language Cook has yet to identify, though it seems to bear some resemblance to the Dwarven alphabet.

If you wish to spend your downtime on Godfall sifting through the maps in an attempt to organize/catalogue them in a meaningful way, it may bear you some profit. Let me know.

As for the gnolls themselves, they heralded from the northwest Shattered Lands, an area of arid plains to the southwest of the Blue Desert. They had apparently traveled for several months before meeting their end at your hands, and had excavated at least one other site along the way, though the slaves you freed did not seem to think the sites similar in construction, peril, or layout.

Edited by: 9thdm on 10/21/14

9thdm, 10/21/14 22:31
Kek's Request

Kek's request to know of a "place where monsters rule underneath which ghouls die" sounds familiar to Cook, not as a geographical location but rather the words themselves. He believes them to be close to something he's either heard or read, but he can't quite place them.

9thdm, 10/21/14 22:43
The Orb's Will

When the Orb won the battle of wills against Smith, he was not conscious of his actions taken while the Orb was in control; he effectively had a single round of "lost time". From his perspective the events of the round before his "possession" inexplicably led to the effects of the round after it - the disconnect was very noticeable.

He cannot be sure that the Orb has not controlled him at some point during his long hours spent studying it and simply returned him to the same position before relinquishing control; certainly the disconnect between sitting alone in a room staring into the Orb only to suddenly find oneself still sitting alone in a room staring into the Orb would not be nearly as noticeable.

Either way, the Orb's first failed attempt to control Smith upon touching Xenophontes' host was in fact the first time it had ever failed to control him, ie the first time Smith had ever succeeded on a Will save against it, whether or not it was the Orb's first attempt overall.

Edited by: 9thdm on 10/21/14

cook, 10/22/14 07:11
Re: The Jovic Maps

Ok. Cook wants to spend the downtime looking into:

A) going through organizing the Jovic maps.

B) Looking through my library (and maybe Una's, if she's amenable) for references to:
B1) "The man without a throne is King of everywhere."
B2) "A place where monsters rule underneath which ghouls die."

I figure sometimes if you are working on two things at the same time for several weeks, it keeps you from getting bored to switch back and forth. And sometimes connections jump out at you that way (e.g. maybe there is something in one of the books about a location he saw in the maps last week, and it gives some extra information, etc)

9thdm, 10/22/14 14:05
Cook's Downtime

I will work up and post what Cook finds. Current downtime estimate is roughly 10 days; researching the two items mentioned will take three days each (due to quality/organization of "library", at a proper library such as in most Monarchy capitals it would only be one day per subject), leaving him four days to work on the Jovic Maps.

Also, the small golden sphere which produced light at will that was found inside the acid elemental was taken by Zarzuket as part of his share from that excursion, before he headed off into the Wilds with the freed gnome slaves. The party intended to sell it off, and he thought it matched rather nicely with the small multi-colored sphere which prestidigitated at will (acquired by the party inside the Grave and taken by him as part of his share at the time.)

cook, 10/27/14 19:19
Re: A Conference with Cook

So, Smith, why are we trying to find this Clay fellow again?

Dorgrim Kek, 10/28/14 17:30
Re: A Conference with Cook

Quote:
So, Smith, why are we trying to find this Clay fellow again?


I think una asked us to find him and his party from the grave.

9thdm, 10/28/14 21:35
Cook's downtime

Cook's research into the cryptic "The man without a throne is king of everywhere" proves fruitless; however, his research into Kek's request bears fruit. Una, who seems infatuated with story and legend, recalls a few verses of song which ignites Cook's memory. The lines are from the DelMostran "Axe of Arcanfoe", a sort of nursery rhyme that native dwarves use to scare their children. Cook believes it to be a modern adaptation of a much older dwarven epic, but it goes thusly:

"The Axe of Arcanfoe"

He dwells beneath where monsters rule
From on high within the Jewel;
Ancestral halls lost in Shadow
Entomb the Axe of Arcanfoe.

Executioner to Dwarvish Lords,
Protector of their treasured Hoards,
He fought Eight Gods and Wizards both,
Alone in honoring his Oath.

His Lords hid deep beneath the Fane
To cheat their Doom, but all in vain;
Terra herself they did betray!
She crushed them there, and there they lay.

His Kingdom and his people lost,
His soul turned black, his heart to frost;
The Waystones from the gates he ripped,
And Stonefane did become his crypt.

Amongst the dead, a hunting ghoul,
He treads forever, cold and cruel;
On all trespassers doth he prey,
Within for purpose or astray.

His Axe drips blood, a hungry drool,
It feasts on flesh of Thief and Fool;
His armor red, from blood it rusts,
And turns aside all swings and thrusts.

He feels not Love, feels not Remorse,
No plea can sway him from his course,
So tread not in the dark below
Food for the Axe of Arcanfoe.

Edited by: 9thdm on 10/28/14

cook, 10/29/14 07:03
Re: Cook's downtime

Ha! Well, that's terrifying. I'll pass that on to Kek. "Where did you ever hear about that?"

It's still not obvious to me what the location is.

I think that as we travel, Cook will keep an eye out for books about dwarven history from this period or dwarven fairy tales, as well as books about the last Giantish kingdom (Xenophontes' era). Maybe something will turn up.

9thdm, 10/29/14 13:19
Stonefane locale

The ruins of the dwarven city of Stonefane are believed to lie just outside (and well beneath) the DelMostran capital of Turano. Discovered 102 years ago early in the reign of the current Tyrant, Giovanni Borza "Manticoro" Del Mostro, it was initially believed that the ancient stronghold would provide a great source of free wealth; however, after several hundred workers died or went missing in the first few years of exploration, public sentiment turned against the project, with the entire dwarven community swearing off any further assistance. The Tyrant supposedly remains obsessed with the ruins, and some believe that his reinstatement of the Consulati (a priveleged class of scholars, on par with aristocracy) some 80 years ago was primarily to aid in his quest to plunder Stonefane, though the nation has since flourished in art and culture while no real progress has been reported on the dwarven excavation. The site remains closed to the public, though it is commonly believed that the Tyrant hires mercenaries to explore the dwarven depths and retrieve any artifacts found there, with few ever returning.

Dorgrim Kek, 10/29/14 17:52
Re: Cook's downtime

Quote:
Ha! Well, that's terrifying. I'll pass that on to Kek. "Where did you ever hear about that?


A dwarf clad in bloody golden armor had a drink with me at una's. But the but the encounter seemed like a dream. Stonefane seems like it could be right up our alley. could be worth looking into.

cook, 10/29/14 19:20
Re: Cook's downtime

Quote:
A dwarf clad in bloody golden armor had a drink with me at una's. But the but the encounter seemed like a dream. Stonefane seems like it could be right up our alley. could be worth looking into.
(wisdom check) Well, after due consideration... I say, that sounds like an deed worthy of the explorers who unearthed the Asterthrone! What do you say, Smith?

Ed, is DelMostro on the way to Southwatch? Just asking.

Edited by: cook on 10/29/14

Die rolls attached to this post:

  • 1d20 - 1: 4 = 1d20 (5) - 1; by cook on 10/29/14

Dorgrim Kek, 10/30/14 16:59
Re: Cook's downtime

In rereading that sonnet. I believe that the dwarf that visited me at una's was the the axe of arcanfoe. (But that might requirean intelligence roll)

Edited by: Dorgrim Kek on 10/30/14

John Smith, 12/17/14 21:29
Concerning Exeter and the Shroud.

I lament not discerning the magical properties of the shroud before it was used. It is possible that the corpse was not destroyed, but rather transported. I feel that Exeter is not trustworthy and perhaps has some questions for Clay to answer posthumously. I believe I did assure (by performing last rites on Clay) that answers from Clay will be difficult to procure.

This might provoke Exeter, so we must be cautious in our next encounter with him.

-'Some may question your right to destroy ten billion people. But those who understand realize that you have no right to let them live.'

Edited by: John Smith on 12/17/14

cook, 12/18/14 06:59
Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud.

Admittedly, you are a better judge of mens' character than I am. And some degree of caution is always warranted when one is dealing with arcanists.

But I think this scenario rather unlikely. His recruitment method seemed specifically aimed at finding men of wit who may be able to improvise in a situation, rather than brutes who would follow orders by rote. And he explained to us the goal of preventing anyone from extracting information from the body. So I think your last rites were perfectly in line with that, and he would not have any any different expectations on the matter.

In any case, I think that attempting to recover the information he promised us is worth some risk. I would say that we should attempt the meeting.

cook, 1/7/15 20:44
Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud.

Smith, what do you think we should do with Copperwood? I thought that we might bring him back to the Winter Grove, in the hope that he would find some respite there. I figure that after a short time, some druids would return to the area and take care of him. But I suppose it could also expose him to further interrogation by the Infernalists, since they would look there if they were trying to find him.

It seems to me that the druids would probably return before the Infernalists did, and that the Infernalists may no longer have an intense interest in him, having already extracted whatever relevant information (likely, not very much) they were after. In any case, I don't know what else we could do with him.

Unless any of you have a better idea, I propose that we send Sir Gustav ahead with the jewelry box, return Copperwood to the grove, and then either catch up with Gustav on the road or meet him in Redbush.

Edited by: cook on 1/7/15

John Smith, 1/8/15 18:51
Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud.

Quote:
Smith, what do you think we should do with Copperwood? I thought that we might bring him back to the Winter Grove, in the hope that he would find some respite there. I figure that after a short time, some druids would return to the area and take care of him. But I suppose it could also expose him to further interrogation by the Infernalists, since they would look there if they were trying to find him.

It seems to me that the druids would probably return before the Infernalists did, and that the Infernalists may no longer have an intense interest in him, having already extracted whatever relevant information (likely, not very much) they were after. In any case, I don't know what else we could do with him.

Unless any of you have a better idea, I propose that we send Sir Gustav ahead with the jewelry box, return Copperwood to the grove, and then either catch up with Gustav on the road or meet him in Redbush.


I believe we should return Copperwood to the Grove. I think we should keep Gustav close. (I don't trust him) Perhaps he would travel with us to the Grove, then we will travel with him to his Locksmith.

cook, 1/8/15 21:09
Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud.

Quote:
I believe we should return Copperwood to the Grove. I think we should keep Gustav close. (I don't trust him) Perhaps he would travel with us to the Grove, then we will travel with him to his Locksmith.
All right. Let's go with that.

Dorgrim Kek, 1/8/15 21:16
Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud.

I believe we should return Copperwood to the Grove. I think we should keep Gustav close. (I don't trust him) Perhaps he would travel with us to the Grove, then we will travel with him to his Locksmith.

Mr Smith hasn't led us wrong yet. And he seems a good judge of character. I'm ok with them following us to the grove.(Braxacor makes me slightly uneasy)

Edited by: Dorgrim Kek on 1/8/15

9thdm, 1/12/15 07:45
Next post

I was incorrect in my time estimation; an extra 5 days will be necessary to get Copperwood back to Grove. Since this requires the wagon, I'm going to assume everyone travels together to Rosewall where the wagon is. I should have a post up by wednesday to move us forward.

Edited by: 9thdm on 1/12/15

cook, 1/20/15 21:26
Liveried Druid

I say, Smith, what was that fellow going on about?

Edited by: cook on 1/20/15

John Smith, 1/21/15 20:42
Re: Liveried Druid

Quote:
I say, Smith, what was that fellow going on about?


That man was Martin, Druid of Kings. He politely asked if we would bring Copperwood to Count Baer. Just over a week ago he tracked what he believed to be a contingent of Infernalists a dozen strong, but in reality proved to be but a trio using magical deception. He was then forced to slay all three, but it seems likely that several men escaped from the temple prior to our arrival. He has put the word amongst his flocks that he seeks news of any strangers upon the road in Southwatch, and when he receives any more information as to their whereabouts, he will pass it along to us should we still be within his domain.

I was brief and deferential with Martin. Further conversation might have proved hazardous.

A Conference with Cook - Conference with Cook continued... - Re: Conference with Cook continued... - The Orb - Re: The Orb - Re: The Orb - The Jovic Maps - Kek's Request - The Orb's Will - Re: The Jovic Maps - Cook's Downtime - Re: A Conference with Cook - Re: A Conference with Cook - Cook's downtime - Re: Cook's downtime - Stonefane locale - Re: Cook's downtime - Re: Cook's downtime - Re: Cook's downtime - Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Re: Concerning Exeter and the Shroud. - Next post - Liveried Druid - Re: Liveried Druid