Add-in #8: The Pegasus Book Shop

Common folks who live in the city assume that this is just a common scribe operation, and many important businesses and people use the services of writing letters and documents of note, as well as notarizing important pacts and promises; but, those few in the know, know that this place of business offers more then just scribing services, for it is the secret headquarters of the Pegasus Wizards Guild.

Very little is known about this operation, and all attempts to get beyond the clerk/scribe façade have been foiled, however through exhaustive research and interviews we have gained some amount of information that may be helpful to those who can use it.

The outside of this building looks typical enough, an unassuming wood and stone structure, the only oddity which separates this building from its neighbors is a crumbling and decrepit tower. It appears to be unsafe, however this is no doubt an illusion, fore mysterious noises and lights have been seen and heard emanating from this place at odd hours of the night, many assume that this tower is haunted, and the clerk inside encourages this rumor, refusing to allow anyone inside regardless of how much money is offered for a bribe.

The name on the swinging sign over the door declares it to be “Lord Gemini, Scrivener: Inscriber of Correspondence & Casting of Treaties”, but an additional sign on the door states that it is also a “Pegasus Notary”. Those who have dealt with this Notary insist that the peoples who deal with it are bound by more then just a promise, but by magic as well.

LAYOUT

Since no maps have ever been made of this area, much of this is conjecture pasted together from old records, rumors, and an anonymous member who states that one requires membership to use the secret services, however it is unclear as to how one goes about joining this guild.

From the rumors and records I have ascertained, the inside of this unassuming building is much, much bigger then what it appears to be on the outside. This may be caused by a permanent gate created by one of the powerful wizards, which links it to a pocket universe or alternative plane of existence. All of these things are to bizarre and complex for me to grasp a true concept of, but my source insists that this terrifying theory is widely understood and even practiced by the mages and wizards of the world.


STORE FRONT: This large room stinks of dust, ink, paper, and age, it is chaotic to the eye; stacks and stacks of letters, and papers line the walls behind the large desk of the head scribe. Books are stacked wherever a place could be found, however I assure you that this system makes sense to the clerks and scribes who work here. They can riffle through papers and make a big show of looking for some fact before suddenly exclaiming that the correct paper was located.

Six desks are scattered around the room, each manned by a scribe who always seems to be deeply busy in writing something, even after the head clerk has directed you to take a seat before one of these men it takes some time before the scribe will acknowledge your presence, and perform the task asked of him. Each desk is covered in papers, and implements that the scribes use to complete their work, i.e., ink, quills, wax and stamps, etc.

An ancient shelf holds hundreds of dusty stamps and signets, vials of colored inks, writing quills, and whatever else that the proprietor could stuff into it, the thick shelves are bowed and almost seem to groan with all of the weight they are forced to hold.

A door is behind the large desk, it appears to be boarded up with a sign marking it as dangerous, however this is an illusion. This door leads to the tower.

(NOTE: Clerks can be retained to manage business’s at the cost of 8gp per month. Material being copied costs 2gp per week. Standard letter writing costs 2sp per letter. Cost of delivery is negotiable if outside of the city, or a strict 2sp if within the area. The cost of Notarizing a contract is 50gp, and the parties are Guised to uphold the contract for an additional 5gp per person.)

BOOKBINDER: The true source of income for this business is binding books of the finest materials possible. Up to 3 bookbinders can work at one time, they make books to order. Major books, large tomes used by wizards to record magical findings and spells take one month to make, traveling spell books, which are more compact and require greater skill to construct take 3 months. No one is allowed back here, as the method of construction is a trade secret, once a book is completed, the book binder takes the book to the main store room where the Head Clerk keeps it until the buyer stops in to pick it up.

(NOTE: Spell Books are large volumes which cost 50gp per page, and can hold up to 100 pages. Traveling Spell Books are leather bound and secured by a button-clasp, Traveling Spell Books cost 100gp per page and contain up to 50 pages. Material for scrolls can be purchased for 25gp per spell level required.)

INK BREWRY: Those who have been in this giant furnace of a room report some kind of bizarre technological wonder. Giant vats and hissing tubing spider-webbing everywhere, dripping liquids stain and puddle the floor while hot gasses steam from the quivering and moaning pipes.

The inks used to inscribe magical writings are complicated and labor-intensive to produce. There really isn’t much of a market for brewing great quantities of ink, as many professional wizards prefer to brew it themselves to insure that the ink is properly made, and refuse to trust anyone with such an important ingredient. Though for wizards who do not have access to a lab, or who are traveling can purchase the house ink, a finely crafted ink of secret ingredients which is capable of capturing the magical impressions of virtually any school of magic, while other, more specific inks can be brewed upon request. It is a rumor that all members who have been magically trained by this guild have had to spend a lot of time in the brewing room. This room is hotter then can be imagined, and the ink requires constant attention and care until it can be poured into a vial. Because of the nature of magical ink, it requires a massive amount of materials to manufacture a small vial of ink. The great vats of brass and gold hold up to 150 gallons of liquid and only yield a small vial of usable ink, thus the cost of the ink is very high. Thankfully the vats and reusable plumbing have long been paid for many fold, and the cost has been reduced down. The house ink has been fixed and mastered by the brewers to produce a higher yield then the specialty inks, but is still beyond the means of most low-level wizards. Sometimes, a price can be replaced with barter, hard to find spell components are more sought after and thus, more valuable then gold.

(NOTE: The house Ink, as far as magical ink is concerned, is very durable stuff, it lasts and holds a neutral enough charge to be able to scribe any school of spell for 1d3 months, and costs 150gp. The vials hold enough ink to write 45 spell levels, i.e., 45 1st level spells, or up to 5 9th level spells. The house Ink is only effective in spell books, a specialty ink is required to write scrolls, this ink is much more expensive 1,000 to 10,000gp a vial depending on the spells required, and can be used to scribe up to 27 spell levels. Specialty vials of ink lose their potency if not used within 1 month.)


WIZARDS LAB: In the tower itself, which is protected by an illusion and is in fact strong and well-founded, is the lab where the Arch-Mage practices his art, he is obsessed with turning average metal into gold, but all attempts to properly figure this spell out has failed. Much of the wizards other spell research has reaped rewarding results, and he is always experimenting with new concepts and discovering new formulas.

This lab is much larger then the average, and supports many experiments at once. Little is known about the true identity of this arch-mage, some claim that he is a quasi-deity, while others say that he is more then just one person, whatever the answer to this is, was not discovered by myself. What is known is that the arch-mage never sells any of the potions or items that he has created, however he has been known to, upon special occasions, give them away or lend them out.

Members of the Pegasus Guild can rent a section of the lab out for a fee, but are responsible for providing their own components as well as replacing any equipment broken while working.

(NOTE: Rental Fees range from 1,000 to 2,000 depending on the Arch-Mages (read DM’s) mood.)

STOREROOM: The arch-mage is known to have one of the largest and most thorough collections of components used for spell-craft in the world. It is unknown if he sells small quantities of these items, or if he simply hordes them, but he is always in the market to buy more, and often charges his apprentices to adventure and collect bizarre and dangerous items. Only the arch-mage knows what is on the other side of the door which links to the lab, and allows nobody, but himself inside.

LIBRARY: This room is for apprentices and members of the guild, it is located at the bottom of the tower. The walls are covered in books and scrolls, some ancient some new, all most all require magic to read. A large table is shared by those who have earned the right to use this room, library time is earned by brewing ink, or adventuring and returning with components or money. Most of the books are written in regards to magical theory, but the arch-mage does supply books and scrolls to his students which they can study and transfer into their own books.

(NOTE: The arch-mage allows 1 spell to be acquired this way per level, the cost is 100 gp per spell level. 1st level adventurers who start off from this mage are taught the following spells: Read Magic, Detect Magic, as well as one first level offensive spell and one first level defensive spell.)

LECTURE HALL: Different classes and skills are always being taught in this room. This is also the secret meeting hall for the members of the Pegasus Guild.

(NOTE: Non-weapon Proficiencies are taught here, classes are usually 100gp a week, and most skills can be learned in that week. Proficiencies are up to the DM, with most being from the Wizard List only.)

SECRETS OF THE PEGASUS

Students and members enter via a secret passage from the Shipping Guild located across the street.

The man who claims to be the Arch-mage is not the arch-mage, he is but a figure-head who handles the Arch-mages affairs. The arch-mage himself has been dead for 400 years, some wizards believe that he is a Lich, but the truth is that he isn’t, he’s just dead and his will (or, interpretation of it at least) is still being managed by people who all claim to have contact with him, or hear from him on a regular basis but in fact are being fooled, just making it up, or crazy.

The Union of the Pegasus, or the Pegasus Guild, or whatever they decide to call themselves that week is Chaotic Neutral in nature, they always believe that some threat is out there which seeks to destroy them, in particular a sorceress named Helena Illephide, what they don’t realize is that Helena died centuries ago, but this doesn’t stop them from constantly seeking out her minions and armies and destroying them. Quests for the Gods are also common, even though none of them are clerics, nor are in favor with any gods. These quests are simply figments of imagination, usually ending in disaster or some other ending which will justify their crazy aims.

Not even the members of this society are aware of this Chaotic Neutral alignment, all of them believe that the Order is Lawful Good or Lawful Neutral. Many will blindly follow orders, no matter how bizarre or outrageous they may be, they constantly turn on each other, believing each other to be one of Helena’s spies, or fearing that their victim really does have contact with the Arch-Mage and that they will be exposed.

The magical arts practiced by the order are quite real! All of the services which they provide are functional. Player Characters who come from this order have no idea of the political intrigue of what is going on above them, nor do the wizards who make up much of the membership, only the top rung of management are the ones responsible for the wild goose chases and blatant fictions, usually running counter guilds of their own on the side. All of them are guilty of miss-management, but it is unlikely that this will ever be discovered. . . .unless they some how get caught trying to silence the wrong people who are starting to figure it out.

The Ink Vat machine was originally designed by a Tinker Gnome named Tittilis, its original purpose was to make coffee, however it was abandoned by the Tinker when he came up with an even bigger and grander idea that involved more lever action. The machine was purchased by the original Arch-Mage for 27sp. Gnomes come in to inspect it once a year and make any repairs needed, per a contract which was signed before the Arch-Mages death, if it is discovered that the Arch-Mage has passed, the contract will end, and the infernal contraption will probably blow up taking out the entire city with it.

The materials supplied to make the paper is from High Elves, it is a mystery as to what it is made out of, but one thing is for sure that it isn’t wood. The material arrives in flakes, these flakes are added to a secret mixture of mostly water and other components. This mixture is boiled under extreme temperatures, and poured into molds. Once cool the product is ran through a machine which flattens them out and workers cut the sections which are then sold as paper. The machine itself is located on a plane called Eroctus and is operated by drone workers. Much of the cost of the paper goes into components and keeping the gate open.

ART BY CLYDE CALDWELL

2 comments:

Pandar said...

Really love this site, never knew anything like this was out there. I have not been able to play 2nd ed except on pbp sites. I have been spending the last few days reading your blog and enjoy it greatly.

Ripper X said...

Glad you're enjoying it, Pandar.

You know, it is easier then ever to get a 2e game up and rolling again. Lots of people who played the system never bought into the 3rd Edition, and instead left the game behind. But now, all of these years later, they are itching to find some excuse to get out of the house which doesn't involve paying much money. A little promise of pirates and hideous undead monsters is enough to bring them back to the table.

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