[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 Jan 24, 2018 11:22 am

"What? You never went to Shakespeare in the Park? Say it ain't so," Ruarc said in mock sarcasm. Taking out a pencil, Ruarc made a quick sketch of what Julius Caesar would look like, pleased with himself at the general quality. "Pieces with someone resembling this guy, or ancient Rome in general." The Irishman ushered Jane along as he casually suggested areas within the palace to go check out as he pointed to a small pamphlet map he had been given when they paid for their passes. The areas included a few gardens, a grand hall, a large library, a small private study, and a few rooms that brought them close to the areas that were still off limits. Passing through the front chamber, they then made their way through a long arched hallway adorned with gilded pillars, and numerous busts of long dead popes.

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

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:36 pm

The American set the image of Caesar and the map of the ancient locale to memory. Looking up and noticing the busts, she had a thought. "Ye know who the pope was back then, Mr. Flynn? Mightn't there be a clue or some such therein?"

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Straken
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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:07 am

Ruarc slowed his pace and looked as though he he had been struck. Putting a finger in the air, he gestured at nothing and then tapped his temple; giving Jane a sign that that was a brilliant suggestion. Flipping back through his handy little book, he thumbed over a few notes. Then spinning on his heel, Ruarc walked a short way back to the first bust in the row; belonging to Clement IV.

"Well, the pope during the, uh, transfer would have been none other than St Paul himself," Ruarc said indirectly to the American. "That was back in Seven Sixty-Two, when he relocated several artifacts to Rome. The Avignon papacy started around, tsk tsk tsk, the Fourteenth century, when Pope Clement relocated the Curia to the palace. And, while it is at most simply conjecture, he relocated more than just his pontiffs. Now, if we limit our research to areas he would have been involved in, so, pre-expansion, then we can cut out these areas here." With that, he brought out the map again, and placed his hand over a large portion of it. Thanks to Jane, the search area was reduced by easily forty percent, and of the areas Ruarc suggested there was still the library, two gardens, the private study, and two side rooms. The Irishman looked invigorated.

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

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:14 am

"Right," Jane assented, as if she actually had followed his series of deductions. "I think it's safe t'say yer best suited for the library and the study. I'll start with the gardens. At least then I might know what I'm lookin at." The mental map led her outside effortlessly, and she began to stroll without the slightest hint of what she was actually looking for. Julius Caesar, Saint Paul, Pope Clement, three wise men, and a rubber cigar... She joked silently to herself to preserve what moxie still lingered. At least with a needle in a haystack she knew what she what to look for; here, in this relic of another world beyond her own, Jane Smith was lost. She knew her cardinal directions, could estimate the time of day, and even give a good ballpark on the wind speed, but Rome, papacies, and druid scandals were far beyond her. For all she knew the roses held some secret meaning that only Mr. Flynn could glean, since they were originally bred by his fourth great grandfather for the cousin of the daughter of the twelfth pope of Nova Scotia or some such nonsense.

No, focus. Statues and monuments. Jane recentered herself and resumed her hopeless game of hide 'n seek.

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:23 pm

Ruarc was rather caught off guard by Jane suddenly splitting up. While it made sense to cover more ground, it also meant splitting up assets. He was about to stop her and suggest otherwise, but stopped himself; he brought Jane along because he put faith in her intuition, so if she felt this was the best course of action then he was going to trust her. Adjusting the strap of his bag, the Irishman went his own way towards the library.

Back outside in the garden, Jane would indeed see some rose bushes, along with several marble statues and granite benches for seating, and right in the center of the square garden was a gilded sun dial. There were a number of other visitors out in the garden, but fewer than were inside. Most of the people were sitting on the benches, but a several were making rounds to the seven statues spread around the edges; three along the East side, three along the West side, and one in the center of the North side. Each statue was unique in its own way, but the three that stood out most and drew the most attention were the three center ones. The East one was hold a staff in one hand while pointing across the courtyard with the other, the West one was holding a down-turned sword in one hand while pointing to the North wall with his other, and the North one was holding a scroll spread between both hands.

A cursory inspection of the statues would reveal that none had plaques to tell their names. There was a guided tour passing nearby the garden though, and chance eavesdropping would reveal that at least one of the statues was on Saint Paul.

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:52 pm

Unconscious plodding led the American to the north side of the garden. Three statues in poses that suggested a pattern drew her from absentmindedness. A preliminary examination suggested she wasn't going to deduce anything without some additional context. Thankfully, a tour was coming by about the same time. She let the mass of foreigners absorb her lone figure like an amoeba. When the guide mentioned St. Paul, she raised a gloved hand. "I'm sorry, ma'am, which one did you say is Saint Paul?" Her accent was thick, but her French was good enough.

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:21 pm

Perking up at the sound of a question the tour guide looked over at Jane, and Jane would notice that the visual pat down seemed to linger a moment longer than if she was just being recognized as a new face in the group. "Of course. Saint Paul is that statue right over there," the tour guide responded with a sharp smile, squinting slightly as she motioned over to the West wall and the statue holding the sword. "Across from him is Saint Felix, and Saint Peter is the other central figure."

As she continued on filling in the history of the statues and the times they were sculpted and moved to the palace, the group rounded one of the corners of the garden; passing now along the North wall. Out of the corner of Jane's eye came a glint of light as the sun reflected off of a golden disk in the central sundial.

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:48 pm

Jane thanked the guide with a smile and watched them depart. Might as well start at the bottom. She moved east, inspected it with mild interest and then headed for the sundial, which stood between Felix and Paul. After some scrutiny, she pressed on, intending to gather all the data before jumping to any conclusions. Paul was the next victim of her visual vivisection, and Jane liked to imagine he flinched slightly beneath her stare. Peter was last. The only additional effort she made was to read the scroll. Then came the time to deliberate.

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Straken » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:55 pm

Jane's search produced various tidbits of information as she inspected the statuary. Each of the saints in their own right were well crafted and well maintained throughout the centuries. Felix revealed nothing notable, Paul likewise seemed to give up nothing even under the intense glare from the cowgirl, but Peter seemed more willing to contribute to the search. As Jane looked over the scroll the bearded man was studying, a page of eroded Latin adorned the stone. Most of it would be nonsensical to Jane, but along the top of the scrolls were a few Roman numerals.
VII
V
IIV
While at the sundial, Jane would have found that the glint of light came from the late afternoon sun reflecting off of a series of three variously sized golden dials centered in the elaborate sundial. Even a cursory glance would show her that the dials were out of alignment as it certainly was not either ten in the morning or night. As Jane finished her inspection, the tour group passed out of the garden, the tour guide giving Jane another subtle glace as she led the group back inside.

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Re: [Prelude] In the Pursuit of Knowledge

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:39 pm

Feeling pretty confident that she had what she needed, Jane retreated to the confines of the museum and sought out Mr. Flynn in the library. She found him there as expected, trawling old tomes for clues.

"Mr. Flynn," she murmured. "I've definitely got something. In the garden, there's some statues: Paul, Peter, and some other French fellow... Ferdinand? Felix. In any case, Peter's got some numbers that I can only imagine are meant to adjust the sun dial out there. It's a classic hidden puzzle trick. The only thing I don't get is why the roman numerals are written as they are. They're 7, 5, 3, only the three is written IIV.

She gave him a moment to mull it over before remembering another thing. "Oh, and we've got trouble. At least one member of the staff is onto us, which suggests to me that a number of the staff are in on this game y'all playin."

((Forgive lack of formatting and such. Really hard to write her properly on drugs.))

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