[Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:08 pm

"Smith, historians through the ages 'ave been tryin' ta find these tomes, even Ah've taken a stab at it," Ruarc said back, moving back to the stove just as the kettle began to whistle. Prepping a french press, and getting some coffee going. "If there's one thing Ah've learned from my tenure here in Japan, it is that sometimes it's the unorthodox options that end up getting things done. As for my rationale in coming to you, well, Ah'll admit to being odd. Hopin' that you lookin' over some of these notes will result in a lucky discovery, like, well, in movies."

Once the coffee was ready, Ruarc poured a couple of mugs and brought them over to the table. "You're magic is an odd one, so Ah'll admit to grasping at straws."

With coffee in hand, Ruarc began to give the run down of of the notes he had been compiling. At the forefront of the notes were details on the life of Saint Patrick and the Catholic Church, and all the recorded correspondence he could track down between the man and other members. The best lead he had been able to find were a couple of letters that were on record that he had received transcripts of; written between Patrick and someone who signed themselves as felicem. Explaining some of his other findings, Ruarc went over the prospect that Patrick had been a Druid who negotiated with the Church to expand the faith, undermine the Druid Order, and secure a position of power for himself. He then brought out an ancient looking book, and gingerly sat it on the table top.

"Had to call in some favors for this one," Ruarc started as he carefully opened to a bookmarked section. "This is the last of the Druid Histories to be written before the beginning of the Dark Age. It was an odd find considering the section was written roughly around the time Julius Caesar was emperor. It's a seemingly inane segment detailing a couple of harvest rituals, but in the margins is the name Padraig, Patrick's real name, is written in the margin with different ink and different handwriting. I have gone over it several times but still have no idea why it is there." Moving the book, he also sat down some paper with the English translations for the Gaelic book.

"Don't hesitate to ask for clarification on somethin'."

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:49 pm

Jane smirked. "Like the movies? Mr. Flynn, my magic ain't like yer average spellslinger. There's no..." She gave up trying to find the right words and soon enough she was following along with his introduction to the documents.

When he finished she asked for the short version of Padraig's life story. "Minus the snakes bit. That part I know," she joked. In the meantime, she scanned through the English copy of the rituals that had the notorious name in the margins.

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:52 pm

Ruarc explained all of the notes in turn, and once he had gone through all of the details he had felt were the most important he settled in and began to read over everything as well; just to see if he noticed anything he might have possibly missed. Settling in, the Druid sipped absentmindedly at his coffee as he reviewed the notes, and waiting for either something to jump out at him, or for Jane to notice something herself. Time passed as the only noise was the rustling of papers and the ticking of the clock on the wall.

After about an hour had passed in relative silence or the occasional small talk, Ruarc tipped his coffee cup back and down the last of the once again cold coffee. Sighing, he pushed his chair away and stood up to stretch. "Help yourself to more coffee, Ah'll be right back," he said as he stood up and went to the bathroom.

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:22 pm

Smith did help herself to another cup of coffee then reseated herself. She spoke loudly so the druid could hear her. "Is it somethin simple? Does Paddy have some connection to these rituals? Did he make them, inspire them, change them? Are they only practiced in a particular place? I mean, why're ye so sure this is yer bandit? Cuz he went rogue? A hundred other nasty spirits coulda had the same notion." A soft note of frustration colored her voice. It was clear her utter ignorance if the topic was getting to her.

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:15 pm

Grumbling on his way back, Ruarc was also getting frustrated. He had hoped something would have happened by now, but determined he was simply misrepresenting Jane's magic. As much as he would wish otherwise, he knew he couldn't very well expect her to produce something from nothing, nor could he expect her to feel invested in a subject that she had no investment in beyond his own personal request. "That's precisely why it is so curious, there were no Druids named Padraig during that specific period, the ritual has nothing to do with a Padraig, and beyond the placement there is nothing of interest that Ah can discern. Hell, for all Ah know it was written there because someone wanted someone to read it later," Ruarc explained. "But if nothing is there, then that's that."

Grabbing the old tome, he sat it gingerly off to the side on a stack of other periodicals. Then reaching over, he grabbed a couple of rolled up maps, sat them on the table and began to unroll them. Whether because of his fatigue or frustration, he didn't check for obstacles, and as he unrolled the old parchment he knocked into Jane's coffee cup and knocked it over. The color drained from Ruarc's face as the dark liquid began to spread out across the table. It seeped quickly into the notepaper, rolled across the maps, and headed for the edge. Ruarc lept for some towels as he saw where the coffee was ultimately heading. Once it reached the edge, the coffee began to dribble down onto the Druid History tome.

"No! No no no no!" Ruarc cried as he tried to staunch the flow of coffee, but was torn between wiping the table and trying to dry the two thousand year old book. Finally, he focused all his effort on trying to clear the tome. The risk of the pages being damaged were slim since the old book was still written on cured sheep skin, but the coffee could still stain as well as spoil the ink. A weird mix of frantic urgency and patient determination sat on his face as he set to the task of avoiding being killed by the Head Librarian.

As he wiped down the page with Padraig written in the margin, he noticed something odd. Where the coffee had touched was more writing that wasn't there before. Tempering his curiosity, he finished wiping off the pages before moving on to cleaning the table. "Well, tha' was, unfortunate, but... interesting," Ruarc said, as he threw away the soiled towels. Moving back to the old tome to inspect what he had noticed. "There's something else written here, and got revealed by the coffee," Ruarc said to Jane. "Invisible ink. Read between the lines. So it either reacts to heat, or an acid wash. Glad the Librarian ain't here to see what Ah'm about to do."

Making sure the table had been wiped down to a satisfactory level, he sat the tome down. Going over to a drawer by the stove, the Irishman retrieved a match book and returned to the table. Lighting a match he began to pass the flame over the page.

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:25 am

Jane thrust herself from the table, narrowly eluding a wet lap. Ruarc went to clean up and Jane opted to leave him to it: the maintenance of ancient books was also not a skill within her repertoire.

As the druid lifted the match, Smith could no longer hold her silence. "Ye ain't about t'tell me ye think I did that, are ye?" Her eyes were on the book though, curious if Ruarc had indeed solved his mystery.

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:56 am

"Ah'm not saying you did tha', but Ah will say tha' you've been 'ere for an hour now an' Ah've made more headway than the past four weeks combined," Ruarc said back as he carefully applied heat to the pages. Looking up from his work he gave the American a cheeky grin. "Pretty convenient, Ah'd say. Even if just as a good luck charm."

Content with his perfectly innocent comment, the Druid refocused his efforts, and was ecstatic to see that new text was appearing. "Alright, let's see what we've got here," Ruarc mumbled as he began to translate the the hidden text out loud. "The Order bends but never breaks. The Noble Traitor unto the Lucky Pontifex. The day follows the night."

"Well, that was... cryptic. Not quite a road map to the tomes. Okay, lets see, new clues. The first part doesn't give much, but the second part does. The Noble Traitor is obviously Patrick, the name means noble, and he was a traitor; real leap of logic there. Lucky Pontifex must be who ever felicem is, since it translates to the lucky one in Latin. A Pontifex was a priest in ancient Rome."

Pausing, Ruarc stood up and started to pace around. "If felicem was the one that Patrick was working with behind the scenes, then they either were high ranking, or became high ranking. Hmm. felicem. Root is felix. Felix? Maybe it was an actual name rather than a handle?" Snapping his fingers. "Of course! Pope Felix the Third. Wouldn't be the first controversy he was involved in. "

Moving to the table he thumbed through some coffee stain notes. "But now for the last part. The day follows the night."

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:52 am

Jane nearly said, "Well I been called inspirational." Instead she frowned and drew revolver as he turned back to his work. For a split second she dreamed of pistol-whipping Ruarc and then reholstered.

To the druid, nothing would be amiss. He would only notice the soft shuffling of metal against leather, and if he looked he would only find a contemplative cowgirl with hands planted on her hips.

"Day follows night... Like light after dark. Is it one o' them glow in the dark tricks? I mean, ye het it up t'get this far. Get the lights."

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:28 pm

"It's worth a shot," Ruarc agreed. Moving around the room, he closed the curtains and got the room as dark as he could manage. Satisfied, he moved back to the tome and inspected the pages. He furrowed his brow as nothing new showed up.

"Maybe a combination?" he mused. Striking another match, he passed the match over the page, but still nothing. Humming thoughtfully, he lifted the page and held the match underneath. Revealed now was a new phrase.

"The truth lies in Gaul."

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:15 pm

Any irritation had evaporated with those words, The truth lies in Gaul. Mystery solved. Ruarc had a destination now, albeit a rather vague one.

She clapped him on the shoulder with a smile. "Congratulations, Mr. Flynn, ye have an answer. Any idea where in Gaul ye might be headed?

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