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Assignment in the Archives

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Colin

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:35 pm

"Hmmm..." Colin mused over this information. "I had heard whispers of this Runelord... but I didn't have much reference to go on. Sounds like a much bigger deal then the stories suggested..."

He gnawed on his lip as he stared off in the distance. Finally he asked hungrily, "Lost library you say...

"I haven't much experience with Thassalon. In my research the farthest back I was able to study, was the libraries of Osirion. However, that nation wasn't founded till the Age of Anquish... Long after Earthfall and the Age of Night. Near as I can tell, they had quite a few theories and interest in undeath... but I couldn't find any kind of origin. Thassalon was much, much older... but what little lore survived... vague clues that baffle a lot smarter men then me...

"If your father has actually found... a real actual library from that time period... That would be invaluable!!" His own voice had risen in excitement. While the other patrons looked up from their own work, nobody shushed Colin. Regardless he lowered his voice.

"I suspect I would very much like to meet this Father of yours and see this library..." He grimaced as he realized something else. "Though I would certainly need some help... A translator at least."
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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:50 pm

Penny grinned to see the man's enthusiasm. Quiet stoicism had been the norm -- at least during classes, and she enjoyed discovering this previously unknown side of him!

"As familiar as I am with the Thassilonian language, the translation is still pretty hard. Even so, I would be happy to assist if the opportunity presents itself.

"About the library though....there's a little catch. Well, two catches I guess," she considered. "One not so small.

"The first is that my father has been very tight-lipped about said library's location but for the fact that it is protected by a city of stone giants. That would be the second catch and the reason so many people think my father's lying about it.

"He talks about the place like he's been there, but he hasn't explained how that's possible or produced an ancient text, though he does have some transcriptions he's written."

The girl sighed with all the dramatascism that a thirteen year old could muster.

"I don't know all the facts yet, but I believe he's telling the truth and I know that dad must have a good reason for keeping something so momentous a secret."

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Colin

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:19 pm

Colin nodded as if these were inconsequential. He was already thinking of ways around them.

"I'm sure you can get the information out of your father... I hear most fathers want their kids to be proud of them and impress them. The fact that you're following so closely in his footstep should only make that easier... The giants? That could be a bigger problem.

He winced as he listened to himself. "No pun intended.

"The biggest problem I could see would be the pathfinder society itself... They seem very possessive. I suspect that they'll want all the originals and that could cause some strife between your father or the giants...That's not a confrontation I'm really after.

"I just want the knowledge. I don't care what second hand journal it's written on."

He nodded and winked at the girl. "This just proves coming here wasn't a mistake. I'm not even official yet and I've already heard about a long lost library!"
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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:51 pm

"Nope, definitely not a mistake. . . Not for either of us." Offering a wan smile, Penny wondered if her big mouth had just made trouble for her father. Perhaps she'd just assumed he wouldn't believe the story, for it had certainly been the way of things thus far. . . Among the many things that the history of the Thassilonian Empire could teach subsequent generations, was that the rabid desire for knowledge and power could corrupt even the most well-meaning of intentions. She decided that it might be best to change the subject.

"Sooooo. . ." The girl drawled awkwardly. She cracked her knuckles and picked up her quill once more. "You must be terribly bored in scrolls class considering your past adventures. At least in our session, Master Shaine -- well, his teaching assistant at least, has us analyzing ancient Osirion texts to determine which are credible accounts based on source evidence. Useful information to my mind, but I'm sure it's all old hat to you.

"Do you have a favorite class so far? There's gotta be something we're learning that you haven't already absorbed in the field."

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Colin Marcus

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:12 pm

"Combat," he replied immediately with slight edge in his voice. "I know too well what happens if you go seeking trouble and have the misfortune to find it. Master Farabellus' training is the most... practical so far.

"I came here searching for scrolls and magic to help my battles... but I'm not foolish enough to believe it will be as simple as that. Regardless of what we run across out on our missions... I have no doubt there will be forces trying to stop us.

"I'm stronger and faster then most," he said without sounding prideful. "It's just a facet of my nature. However there are things out there that toss me around like a stuffed doll." A shadow crossed his face as he remembered again how helpless he'd been in the early days... and the lives lost because of it.

"I may never be able to learn everything about everything... but if I can keep those smarter then me alive... I'll still win the war."
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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:06 am

"That's very pragmatic of you, Colin," she replied thoughtfully. "I can only assume that your experiences have made you so by necessity."

Silence descended for a few moments while she considered what life must have held for him so far; the difficulties such a heritage must have presented at the outset and then where his drive for knowledge must have led. Inevitably, questions presented themselves. Was he seeking this knowledge in order to ensure that no others like him were ever born? Could anyone hate themselves so much!? Or maybe it was due to whatever fate befell his mother. Penny could understand that a bit more easily. She wondered what had happened to the friends he'd lost in this pursuit. Clearly the events still affected him, but not nearly enough to abandon his lofty goals. It was unfortunate that none of these questions seemed appropriate to ask at this juncture in their fledgling friendship. . .

Frustrated by the parameters of social behavior, Penelope sighed and glanced down at the parchment at which she was scratching.

"I'm working on the rapier," she divulged with a grimace. "It's light and fast and allows me to make up with speed for what I obviously lack of strength. I think I'm starting to understand the intricacies of its use, but my body is not cooperating yet. It's very frustrating!" Penny hrumphed and peered up at the man. "However, the idea of something tossing you around like a stuffed doll makes me wonder what such an opponent could do to me in combat. . . I think I may have to start doubling down on my practice time.

"I've toyed around with the whip a bit too. Master Farabellus told me that he was surprised I hadn't put my eye out or broken my spectacles yet." The girl smirked and pushed said spectacles up to the bridge of her nose. "Not sure it was meant as such, but I'm taking that as high praise!"

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Colin Marcus

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:30 pm

"Well... that's good," he said with a touch of doubt in his voice. That didn't sound much like praise to him. "Find your strengths and make them work for you. Everyone has a different style. I'm sure you'll find yours with some practice."

It was easy to say, but he remembered too well his own early trainings. Combat didn't come easy to him, and what little skill he had been taught, had atrophied while in Osirion libraries it seemed. One of the downsides to being long-lived he guessed.

"My only recommendation, would be to familiarize yourself with a few different weapons. Slashing... Piercing... Blunt... When I'm not bound by these apprentice rules," he said with a touch of annoyance, " I like to keep a few options with me. Different problems need different solutions... Rapiers may be great on some things, but next to useless on others. Unless you get access to some power enchantments. That can make all things even again!

"Perhaps you'll get lucky and never even need weapons... That would be nice. However, if these chronicles are accurate, your search for immortality will probably be dangerous."
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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:52 pm

Penelope's face pinched together as if she'd smelled something foul. "I assume as much. . . All the best chronicles -- all the greatest discoveries, are the ones that involve similarly great personal risk to the Pathfinder after all.

"I'm not averse to some danger, don't mistake me, but I feel rather ill-equipped to handle it as things stand," she admitted. "Sure, our classes here will help, but I have no delusions that I'm ever going to become some canny and lethal warrior. Like you, I realize that this goal is hardly something I can achieve on my own, so I hope to find myself aligned with some similarly intrepid adventurers who can learn to work together well and bolster each other's weaker areas."

She sighed, realizing that she had a lot of her own weak areas to bolster before she could be considered someone invaluable to any such foreseen party.

"It's my understanding that we will be assigned to groups during our advanced training. No choice at all! I know that in theory it will help us learn to work together with other Pathfinders to achieve our objectives, but a poor team could hurt any of our chances at graduation." Penny shuddered at the thought of 'group projects'. "I do hope that it doesn't go disastrously."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:29 pm

Colin nodded thoughtfully. "It's not something I'm comfortable with either. Still, I have faith in our instructors. If not faith that they'd mourn us too much before going on to the next recruits... at least faith that they WANT us to succeed and our failing only means one of their precious treasures are not recovered.

"My theory is that they've done this long enough that they want us a little uncomfortable. In groups as diverse as this, it's easy for like minded people to congregate. The Spell casters in one corner, the warriors in another. The bards... probably on stage," he said with a smirk. "If everyone was allowed to chose the group they are most comfortable with... they'd probably be doomed.

"To succeed each group will probably need magic, knowledge, brawn and skill of equal degrees." It was certainly how he had been forming his own lists of potential groups.

"I hope that these Venture-Captains have done this long enough that they'll know what the groups need to succeed. Personality conflicts... Well, that's just something else to overcome sometimes."
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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:38 am

"You're right," she conceded without hint of reluctance. "I'm sure they know what they're doing."

Penelope dipped her needle-like quill in the inkwell and continued scratching at the parchment as she spoke. "Really, the personality conflict is the thing that concerns me most. Maybe I've just heard too many horror stories of adventuring parties imploding because of personal issues or maybe I've just listened to far too much of the gossip around Magnimar. . . . We have so many that come through the City of Monuments and often their doings become part of the everyday public babble," she explained. "Either way, I don't understand it and I just don't have the time for it. Not when there's way more interesting business to be about!" She crossed her 't' with a flourish as if to emphasize the point.

"Maybe it's best that the Venture-Captains are choosing. . ." Staring down at her work, Penny chewed her bottom lip thoughtfully. "The alternative would be to form our own groups and as you have already so kindly pointed out, Mr. Marcus, my social skills are somewhat lacking." She peeked up at him with narrowed eyes, but instead of finding malice within the gray, therein lurked only mirth and mischief.

A tiny giggle squeaked out in spite of her best effort and Penny returned her attention to her work. "As an experienced, 'run-of-the-mill' adventurer, have you had any experience with such figurative group implosion?"

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Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:40 am

"Where I'm from... my kind aren't very popular. Finding the right group isn't always easy." He couldn't help but grimace at ancient memories.

"The only thing worse then having a group thrown together, in my experience... is joining one that's already established. A well trained team has so many moving parts, that's it difficult to find your place amongst them.

"It's even worse if your mere presence causes conflict. That may have been part of the problem with Syfer's group. Syfer, Colleen, Dagmire and Cripsus..." He recited the names without betraying any emotion. "They had hunted for a few years together before I was introduced. Each brought their own skills and fullfilled an important role on the team. I wasn't welcomed by everyone.

"Dagmire and Colleen especially had reason to hate vampires, but Syfer insisted on my potential. It... got ugly. Discipline broke down. They started second guessing Syfer's orders in the field. People split from the party to pursue their own ideas. What was once a perfectly balanced hunting squad spiraled into total destruction.

"The last hunt, Syfer was injured and nearly lost. Crispus died from at least normal wounds. Colleen and Dagmire though were killed by what they hated most..." His mouth grew tight as he recalled the first time he drove a stake. "I was able to make sure they didn't rise again under Syfer's established directions... I at least did that for them.

"There was a time I blamed myself for what happened, many years in fact. However it took a long time to realize that Syfer was right. They got themselves killed. They put personal feelings above the mission and it got them killed.

"That's the best advice I can give to avoid imploding. Figure out what your group is trying to accomplish and put that first. Whether your looking for a lost city or trying to kill and ancient evil... whatever little quirks you hate about your teammates, and there will be some for sure, they don't really matter in the long run."
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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:45 pm

"See there?" Penelope jabbed the nib of her quill in his direction. "It's just that kind of wizened council that betrays your age." Grinning, she returned the utensil to the parchment before splattering ink everywhere.

"Whomever you end up being placed with will be fortunate to have you in their group, Colin. I don't think there are many among the initiates with much first-hand experience in the field, so you can't help but to be a valuable asset wherever you are assigned. As for myself. . . well, we'll just have to see how that plays out.

"I mean, I believe that I can be useful resource on missions -- I wouldn't be here if I didn't," she clarified, "but from what I'm noticing of our fellows, I'll have some serious proving of myself to do in order to convince anyone else of that fact."

The youngest Quink absentmindedly squared her shoulders as if making ready for that challenge that lay ahead.

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Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:15 pm

"You've certainly been useful today," he said scanning over what she'd written. The notes were clear and concise and the translations exactly as they should. Venture-Captain Ambrus would be quite pleased with their progress.

Later that evening Colin pulled out his journal. He flipped through the pages till he found Penelope's name, and tapped the quill along the top of ink pot.

Early impressions.

Intelligent and mostly focused. Curious. Knowledge of ancient Thassilon Potential contact with library of the same!

Aware of her weaknesses with personal doubts of her strengths. Still young though. Hopefully confidence will grow without becoming over-confidence. Seems aware of dangers, but not afraid of them.

Bears further observation.


He was silent for a few moments staring at his assessment. Finally with a hint of a smirk, added a star to the top corner of the page and closed the book.
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