Elder Players' - Interlude Eight


(by Scott)

The party gathered to examine the key that the wizard Vavasha had relinquished to them, all except for Kit who approached the mage. "My Lord, if it is not to much to ask and if your time is not to filled might you take a look at a page I have copied from a book that was my fathers and see if you could shed some light on how to decipher the code it has been written in?"

Vavasha smiled and nodded with affirmation and held out his hand. Kit handed the parchment to him and continued, "This page has a drawing of a Troll's heart and I hope that that might be a clue as to how to break the code it has been written in."

Vavasha examined the writings for a few moments then smiled and said, " Ah, yes this should be easy enough." He walked to a table stacked high with a jumble of books, scrolls and all manner of charts and pulled forth a round flat object like two thin boards attached in the center with writing on them and started spinning the top one back and forth, " No, that's not it. " He then pulled out another glancing back to the parchment then back to the circular chart and moving it around, " Aha! No not quite right " he said and moved on to another this went on for some time till he finally picked up one the the first discs he had looked and exclaimed, "Yes! That's it! Very clever." He seemed to examine the scroll Kit had given him the turned to Kit with a serious look. "You say your father gave this to you, might I inquire as to his identity?"

Kit did not pause but stood firm and stated "Murkarik Xeraz...I am Kitzarnic Xaras and I did not say he gave it to me. He was poisoned by agents of my stepmother and I took the book as my birthright being his only blood offspring when I escaped the domain of the Drow."

Vavasha examined Kit closely for a minute then replied, " That would explain how you came into possession of what seems to be a page detailing the components of a potion of regeneration. I had heard that Murkarik had perished at the hands of a half bread slave who died while trying to flee the Underdark and his book of potions had been destroyed in a explosion while trying to gain access to them where he had secured it. The word of the loss of the potions of youth and rejuvenation he was so famous for was very distressing to the Nobles both in the Underdark and above ground that would pay any price to keep their youthful looks. As with most news that comes from the Drow realm I would suspect that the truth of his demise would be covered by some story and since you seem in possession of this copy from his book I will give you the benefit of the doubt." He gave a wry grin and continued on, "The code was a common one with a few very baffling twists. The troll clue was helpful in breaking it, you see it is written in Drow which being a intricate language has 62 letters but it translates to Draconic which only has 28. So you take the number of the Drow letter and count through the draconic alphabet looping around till you find the proper letter."

Kit seemed perplexed and exclaimed, " I tried that and it did not work!" To which Vavasha replied with a smile, " That is what I had trouble with to begin with but I found the match to the troll heart and was able to decipher that the last letter of each line pointed to where you started in the Draconic alphabet."

Kit took the paper back and looked it over saying, "How was my father ever able to read this with such ease and speed, why did he continue to use his book for potions that he could have had memorized?"

Vavasha explained, " Eventually this will become like a new language to you but before that, once you have deciphered any portion of the book if you use a read language spell you will be able to read through it...though that is no guarantee it will work. If he used the book that much it may be it has a spell upon it to help focus on the work at hand so as to increase the success and potency of the potion. Also each alchemist usually has his own way of measuring components so it may take some time to get them figured."

Kit gave a girlish grin back and replied, " As I told you, I am his daughter and it was my job for 50 years to measure out the materials for his potions, so that piece of the puzzle should fall into place. Though my father was a master at what he did, he did occasionally fail...so I know that this is no guarantee to creating a potion...and I always wondered why the book had a magic dwoemer about it. I believed this had something to do with the code but now I see otherwise. Thank you for your time, if there is anyway I may repay you in the future I swear I will return this favor for it means do much to me."

Vavasha motioned to the rest of the party waiting with varying looks of annoyance about them. "I may take you up on that favor, and I did find the solving of the puzzle a nice break from my work at hand. Your friends seem to want to get on with their quest and I must return to my projects. Beware, though your stepmother will probably be looking for your head and that book should word get back of your existence."

Kit nodded and smiled " I know, and look forward to the family reunion." With that she turned and left with the party through the painting on the wall.

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