In Streissen, on Backertag Nachgeheim 17th, the first day of autumn 2523, less than a week after news of the outcome of the war in the north has reached Averland, the leading characters of this story gather – a group of Brash Young Fools.
At the Crossed Keys Inn, close to Count’s College, in a snug (private room) five people meet with two professors who are seeking help.
How did these characters come to be the people here?
- Matthias Hofmeister and Harek Harginson were asked by their professor at Count’s College, Professor Freidrich Ursinus, Professor of Logic, Geometry and Astrology, to assist two colleagues of his from other colleges.
- Matthias was also told by Professor Ursinus that something may have happened to Franz Bessels, an Owl’s Inn College student who is also a member of The Ravens Fraternity along with Matthias.
- Otto Lutterberg has heard that his sister Mina’s professor is seeking assistance and that acquaintances of his will be offering their’s. His sister is safely occupied spending her summer assisting at the Verenan Temple of Balance.
- Erasmus Sprinthoffer has been wondering where Gustave Hesse has gotten to and was told when asking what has happened to him that “he should seek out Brother Baldurich” and been invited as a result.
- Brunhart Katzlmacher hears that Professor Helmgarter seeks a strong arm to for some work and recalls he was a good sort for his help to Gisila – he also is wondering what happened to his friend Vilmar who left town on some job for the Professor.
Professor Oldric Helmgarter (the Owl’s Inn College) and Brother Baldurich (the Sigmarite Torch College) are worried about two students sent to track down rumours of a historically important site in the mountain foothills of eastern Averland.
The professors are recruiting individuals that the university can trust to search for the students: Franz Bessels of Owl’s Inn and Gustave Hesse of Torch College, who were sent with a mercenary bodyguard Vilmar of Dorfbach.
To those who can be trusted to keep confidence, the professors explain they are looking for the site of the Tutis Bibliotheca, a hidden library built centuries ago by an obscure branch of the Sigmarite monastic Order of the Anvil (most professors at Torch College are monks of this order, including Brother Baldurich).
The library’s location is unknown and its existence is disputed but if it exists it would hold records from the early Empire and Church of Sigmar, documents of great historical and religious interest – records lost in the civil wars of the Time of the Three Emperors and the WAAAGH! of Gorbad Ironclaw.
The Professors found a clue suggesting the library lies in eastern Averland and that a dwarven prospector may have found its site. They sent the students to follow up. The students were not to go spelunking or exploring ruins just confirm if there was a site to explore.
- The clue was a silver ring with the anvil and quill emblem of the monastic sect that was supposed to have created the library (Helmgarter shows it and a sketch of the symbol is given)
The Professors were being discrete both for reasons of academic competition and to avoid the attention of would-be censors. One reason for the library’s value if it exists is that many records from the Empire’s first millenium and a half were lost in the civil wars and greenskin invasions but also as religious conflict (primarily Ulrican-Sigmarite) lead to the destruction of records each sect deemed heretical or insulting.
The students are overdue, a letter to a monastery in region confirms they passed through but nothing more has been heard. The professors now fear that wild animals, bandits, goblins or some other mishap has claimed them.
- Matthias recalls goblins are said to be more of a menace of late, but then also that they are spoken of as more dangerous in the Border Princes territory beyond Black Fire Pass. Why great hordes of them seem to always appear in regions beyond the Pass and the goblin tribes of the mountain foothills and regions on this side never seem to come together in such numbers is one of those mysteries of the Old World.
The mission the professors are now recruiting for is to find what happened to the students, and their guard. If they are still alive, get an explanation of what is keeping them, if some injustice was done them correct it if possible or bring it to the attention of proper authorities – the University has an interest in not letting its students be preyed upon with impunity.
The original task of locating the possible site of the Tutis Bibliotheca remains, though it is not as important as finding out what happened to the students.
For those recruited this task should be of natural interest.
Nonetheless, a ‘modest fee’ is offered of 30 shillings each – 10 shillings down and 20 on return (plus some expenses including coach fare and basic living costs equivalent of 5 pennies/day for stews and fresh or yesterday’s bread, costs are hand-waved as long as living at social level up to silver).
An added reward (total, to be divided among PCs) of 30 shillings is offered for the recovery of Bessels alive or 10 shillings for his remains’ proper interment, a reward of 20 shillings is offered for Hesse’s living recovery or 5 shillings for his proper interment.
Actually finding the Tutis Bibliotheca would be worth a total of 120 shillings, assuming the information is kept confidential.
Brun, being a distrusting sort, is watching the professors closely during their explanation but sees no sign they are being deceptive – it appears they are legitimately more worried about the missing than about the library. (Intuition 1 success)
Matthias asks how much they can reveal when seeking the missing party. The Professors say they can reveal they are looking for a ruined monastery or similar building – they don’t want to reveal the possible existence of the Tutis Bibliotheca but it’s such an obscure matter (not taken seriously by many) that they doubt anyone will connect looking for a ruin with it.
Harek tries to recall if he has heard anything about this library, having had a year of study at the university and recalls he has heard about it, in fact he knows the name of the obscure branch of the Order of the Anvil that was supposed to have built it – the Ordo Scriptoris. He recalls that the Ordo was suppressed sometime around the Great War Against Chaos (200 years ago) and its properties confiscated when it was revealed it had become so enamoured of books and learning that its members had converted to following Verena instead of Sigmar. Hammelfels Monastery was actually one of these properties. (Education check using Student background benefit and making what may be the best roll he ever will, 5 successes and 2 comets, though two chaos stars).
Harek is so startled by what he recalls that he exclaims, “The Ordo Scriptoris!” (chaos stars) which the Professors acknowledge – they hadn’t planned on bandying about the name of a suppressed order, Professor Ursinus must be lecturing broadly.
They have about half a day to make any preparations as the professors have booked them on a coach for Averheim that leaves the next morning, to make a connection to the coach for Grenzstadt (which they have sent word ahead to reserve space on). The trip to Grenzstadt should take about 9-10 days by coach.