Passages of the Great Library

Chapter 3 - Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure - "Pride & Prejudice"
Not all memories are meant to be shared.....

All of our heroes minus young Q found themselves at Coppelia’s desk when a mat sort of hatter attacked the librarian. In the fight, they discovered that he was covered in ink that was somehow controlling him. When they cleaned it off – he went back to his original personality and returned to his book.

Coppelia decided to disguise herself to avoid further assassination attempts. Her disguise was that of a very convincing stereotypical librarian….. in fact, her disguise was so un-nerving that the Cat tried to unplug the printer cord that seemed to be allowing her to disguise herself. When he pulled the cord, she became very upset with him – plus the printer printed an error in the bianary code. The Cat stole the write up of the code.

Our heroes left the creepy scene of perky librarian Coppelia and headed to the “Wonderland section” of the library.

On the way there, they found a computer cafe where Tim Dresden scanned the stolen Coppelia code. The scanned code appeared on the screen as a picture of Coppelia whose eyes followed the page of code when it was handed from one person to the other. The Cat decided to return the code page before returning to lead the others to the Wonderland wing.

He went into the cafe and ordered a cup of tea that read “drink me”. When he did, he arrived at the Wonderland wing. The others, decided that the Cat knew best in the case of this Wonderland stuff and followed suit.

The Wonderland wing gave Tim a horrible headache as it looked far too much like an MC Escher stair room. The cat used his expertise to find the book that had been messed about with. In fact, an entire page had been re-written. Tim ate an aspirin and ended up in the Looking Glass Wars face to face with the Cat and the Red Queen. The Cat was a slathering beast and tried to claw at Tim – who hid behind his shield.

One by one, the other heroes ate or drank something and ended up on the altered page with Tim. Harmonia Hook & Thomas Quick appeared behind the shield with Tim, Codex appeared as a part of the wall, and Cat, well, he was suddenly the slathering beast Cat.

The heroes figured out it was him when he sheathed his claws, turned and flipped off the Queen. As the Queen and Cat argued, Codex tried her best to pull away from the wall and in doing so created a door that Q recognized as a portal. The Red Queen manifested thorns from her hands and threatened to attack…. and our heroes took the opportunity to jump through the portal.

Q went first – and found himself on a train from his 4th book.

View
Interlude 2.4
That's not your locket!

Harmonia works on a series of jobs that teaches her how to be aware of the narrative. She spends six months looting, pillaging, raiding, and swapping out treasure that was in the wrong book.

She mostly tools around in Pirates of the Caribbean books – though one is a 2,000 leagues under the Caribbean book – which got weird because Smee kept getting obsessed over some damn albino giant squid.

View
Interlude 2.3
The great and terrible truth of the wizard

Tim researches the history of Magic on this new earth of his thinking that he may be stuck here for a while and it would be good to learn the rules. In doing so, he learns that on this earth – coven and group magic may be the only true magic here.

He learns the great terrible secret of the Treatise of Logical thought – The interrupted Merlin spell and the balance of science.

View
Interlude 2.2
Journal of an adventure kid

Q’s Journal – Entry 2017.2.20
Well we dealt with that Vizzini I ran into in that copy of "“They Came from Beyond the Asteroid Belt”.( I
mean, what isn’t beyond the Asteroid Belt. Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars? The Sun? The thing was a
hack job from beginning to end.)
Anyway, he’d gone all Ming the Merciless and tried to gather the villains from other narrativs under his
control using a U.S. Army reruitment pamphlet. Honestly the metaphysics of it make my head hurt a bit
but he made it work. Guess he doesn’t understand narrative too well though. We were able to use his
own Narrative against him and Hortencia came back to life just in time to turn the tide in our favor. (Pun
almost totally not intended)
Anyway, I’ve got some time off now. Time off always makes me a bit antsy. Like that line from
Apocalypse Now “every time in the bush I wish I was back here. Every time I’m back here I just wish I
was right back in the bush”. (Script Doctoring she called it. That was intense – “never get out of the boat”,
darn right)
I need to check with my dealers if any of my books have surfaced. That shouldn’t take long. They never
do.
But just researching old editions isn’t going to fill my time. I need to experience something new – I think I’ll
go see if there are any Other World editions of my books on the shelves, see if I can find a new
adventure. Haven’t seen Grampa in a while now that I think about it.
-Tommy

Q’s Journal – 2017.2.21
While we were dealing with Vizzini we jumped into a history text “A History of Italian Mobsters”. I always
find histories a little eerie. I know everyone there is Fictional, but they’re based on real people in a weird
way. It makes me uneasy.
While we were there some mobsters opened fire into a crowd. I froze – I knew I could probably duck and
weave past the bullets but I just froze. All those people being gunned down. I couldn’t help but think
about the real people they represented. I got myself together and tried to play it off to the others like it
didn’t bother me (“It’s the Narrative! It’s OK. This is supposed to happen.”) but it shook me. Haven’t slept
well the last couple nights.
I could really use some fiction.
I heard from Phileas – he says he has a lead on a first edition of “Thomas Quick and His Atomic Airship”.
I hope he’s able to his hands on it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Grampa, and I’m not sure I remember
that one.
-Tommy
Q’s Journal – 2017.3.1
I’m still not sleeping well. I keep replaying the massacre. It wasn’t real. It’s not what happened, it’s what
the author wrote about what happened. It’s not actually the events that happened as they happened.
I haven’t been able to find any new versions of my adventures. Going through the old ones is like just
going through the motions and not very satisfying. It’s nice to see, Grampa though.
No word from Phileas on “Airship”. I wonder why I don’t remember that title?
-Tommy

Q’s Journal – 2017.5.8
I just heard from Phileas! He has the book!
Well, he doesn’t “have” it per se, but he knows where it is! I need to get to New York as quickly as I can!

This is so exciting! A new adventure! A new narrative to lose myself to.
I leave in the morning. I’ve left Copellia with the means to contact me it need arises.
Adventure awaits!
-Tommy

Journal Ends

View
Interlude 2.1
Very brusque ..... for an Ent

Codex spent her ‘spring break’ & ‘summer vacation’ having a single conversation with the Gardener.

Needless to say, this means she is pretty easy to locate if you go looking for her – but not seen “around” if you don’t.

View
Library Memorandum
Books vs Dinosaurs

World G-133: Status—Police Interest

The Traverse to this world is out-of-bounds for at least the next month. This is because the Franco-Prussian Empire’s police force is taking far too close an interest in the site of the gate. We also wish to make it absolutely clear that Agents should not attempt to use the Library to transport dinosaur eggs. And if they do disregard this rule, under no circumstances should they draw official in-world attention while doing so. In fact, we wish to remind all Agents that they are here to collect books, not dinosaurs. Those Agents who have problems distinguishing between the two should take a refresher course in Library basics.

View
Chapter 2 - Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line - "Princess Bride"
Vizzini's recruitment drive

Coppelia gave the group a new assignment – she pulled out a tray of books all connected by bendy straws – a phenomenon that Q recognized with an expression of dread. Before he could explain fully however, Codex got a cut on her arm and started bleeding ink which alerted her to the fact that one of her phylactery books was in the process being damaged. So she used her ability to track her books to lead the group to the one that was being attacked. This brought them to the Villain room and her phylactery book “A History of Italian Mobsters” – which was attached via bendy straw to an Army Recruitment pamphlet.

Codex , Harmonia Hook, & Tim Dresden were all curious about how to enter the book and Thomas Quick suggested that they try to go into Codex’s book as it might be easier for her to make her first jump into.

The jump was successful. Codex and Hook jumped into the previous chapter hoping to avoid the Capone massacre on the straw page and instead landed at the sight of a old age death of a Sicilian mobster. As soon as the man died, they were transported to Chicago at the beginning of the chapter.

The Cat on the other hand, transported himself directly to the massacre where he just walked up the steps toward the door that looked…. “off”. On his way to the door, he wove his way through the legs of a woman chasing a baby carriage and tripped her so badly that she fell onto her face, cracked open her head and died.

Q, jaded as he is, was still shocked by the violence of Capone’s attack and thus couldn’t manage to act until the cars were gone and the police had started to show up. Once that happened, he went after the Cat because he too had spotted the oddity with the doors.
Soon after Tim showed up and opened the door. When he did, the Cat slipped through like a cat does and only because he was expecting a straw and because he has claws was he able to keep himself from sliding down the straw on the other side.

As Tim tried to open the door further, there was a slight ripping noise and Codex, a few blocks away felt her would open further. Q heard the noise and told him to stop – then peeked through saw that the straw was attached to the page on that door but the left door was free and clear. They opened it, found the straw (and thus the Cat).

Meanwhile, with the tear in her wound, Codex was more motivated to move quickly, realized she could move at the speed of thought in her own phylactery book grabbed Hook and ported them to the church door.

The whole group jumped down the straw – some were more dexterous than others and thus did not hurt themselves at the giant accordion bend. Others, face planted into sharp plastic ridges.

At the end of the straw, they found themselves in a strange white void populated by military tableaux. In the void, they found it difficult to move without a narrative to move through. They discovered that minimal movement was possible through focus.

The soldiers were activated via pressure plates in front of them and said things like “SIR YES SIR!”, “MEDIC! HELP ME! MEDIC!”, “SIR WE WILL FIGHT TO THE DEATH SIR! WE WILL LAY DOWN OUR LIVES SIR!”, “CHARLIE SPOTTED AT 3 O’CLOCK SIR!” Codex talked to the scout and learned that Vizzini had been through recently and had “gone west”.

In the mean time, Q was realizing that something was off with the music that was playing. It wasn’t…. army music. And the speakers were Russian. He pulled out his map to try and locate the speakers. It gave him the hint that it’s all about the Morale!

While he was figuring this out, Codex contorted herself through the binding to the next page and Tim followed. In doing so, they found themselves dressed in disco attire. Codex looked around and realized that the page she had arrived on was not about morale, but about the appeals of leave. Time soon joined her – also in disco attire. They quickly agreed never to speak of it to anyone.

Eventually, the entire group was reunited in the last page of the pamphlet – the Morale section. The page read:
MORALE!
Keep it up!
Brainwash!
USE MUSIC!
KILL RUSSIANS!

The same song was still playing over and over – Semper Fidelis, the Marine Corp theme – and the page looked like a dead end. However, a box was discovered by the Russian speakers and it had many buttons – a red circle, a white triangle, a white square, a double white triangle pointing right, and a double white triangle pointing left. Someone hit the double triangle facing right and the song changed. The button was pressed several more times and then “Go West” by the Village People came on and a portal opened up in front of the group. As the song continued to play, the portal began to waver – obviously tied to the song and so they rewound the song and started it over so that everyone could go through the portal to escape the pamphlet. Codex, took the box with the buttons with her… just in case.

When they stepped out of the portal, they found themselves in the middle of what Codex and Q instantly recognized as the Fire Swamp from the Princess Bride – Vizzini’s home territory!

Q told everyone to be on alert for popping noises and ROUSes.
Hortencia asked “What’s an ROUS?”
Q replied “A Rodent of Unusual Size.”
Hortencia activated the narrative by declaring “I don’t think those actually exist!”
Q face palmed just as the obligatory ROUS launched out of the shadows to attack Hortencia from behind.

The battle that ensued was quick and deadly. Tim shot the ROUS in the face and blew its brains out, and the Cat tripped Hortencia who fell and hit her head on a rock and died. Thankfully, it was the Princess Bride and Q declared her “mostly dead” which stabilized her condition and allowed the heroes to escape the fire swamp and head to Miracle Max’s.

With some quick thinking from Q, the group convinced Miracle Max to help save “the dread pirate Roberta”. In payment, the Cat gave Miracle Max Hortencia’s pouch of pirate gold. Max seemed quite pleased with this. Hortencia was given a miracle pill which seemed to do nothing at all – but Q assured everyone would kick in when it was dramatically appropriate.

They left Miracle Max’s and headed to the castle with obligatory lines being called out after them – buh bye! BYE!

Upon reaching the castle the Cat turned invisible and scouted ahead. He brought back the report that Galinda, the Evil Queen, and all the other missing Villains from the bendy straw books were gathered in the Great Hall with Vizzini and Prince Humperdink. He also mentioned that a small orchestra was there playing the Marine Corp song and that it seemed to be helping Vizzini brain wash and recruit the villains.

When our heroes burst in to face the villains, they used the boombox to play a song from the tape to drown out the orchestra to counteract the brainwashing. https://youtu.be/EUcwo_R_8vk began to play and as soon as it did – Harmonia came alive again and…. for lack of a better description – went River Tam on their asses – ‘killing’ all the villains in the room.

View
Interlude 1
What I did on my winter break

Tim Dresden – Wanders the Library looking for the “Theory Room”

Harmonia Hook – Gets a 1.5 month “date” tour of London from “Darcy Pembroke” – he is always the perfect gentleman.

Codex – Finds all her phylactery books and in doing so, discovers that the Library is not a static thing.

Thomas Quick – Investigates continuity errors in the YA Sci-Fi series “Alien Vampires from Space”. Ends up in a battle with roaming Random Name Generators – comes away with only a slight infection and folks call him “R” and “A” and “%” for a while. But he gets better, as well as some hazard pay for his troubles.

View
Chapter 1 - To surrender dreams - this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness - and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be. - Don Quixote
Christmas Future in Cervantes' Spain

Cat had been walking around London minding his own business and began to notice something – it was Christmas, but people were short tempered, angry and… well… selfish as all hell. He started too, to notice that sometimes, he could see a sort of ghost image of the crueler people being nice… and it reminded him of the odd ghost cemetery he had seen a week before – so, he headed to the National Enquirer office to find his way into the Library – to see if this was related.

Meanwhile, Codex was looking after her books when she felt one get jostled and DROPPED. She rushed to see who had done such a crime and found a slightly translucent young woman floating about the shelves and tossing books here and there. Codex picked up her volume, saw that the spine had been bent – and SCREAMED

Cat arrived to find Coppelia telling a young boy that a 1st Edition “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens had gone missing from the Library. Harmonia Hook & Tim Dresden were also at the reference desk when there was a SCREAM from deeper in the Library. The group ran to investigate.

What they found was Codex (whom none had yet met) battling a small pale floating ghost child. Codex was shooting book pages from her hands and the pages were wrapping themselves around the evil looking elfin child ghost thing. It in turn, was screaming at her and trying to bite and claw her with sharp nails and teeth.

Q, Tim & Harmonia joined the frey, but the Cat (being a cat) did not. A second foe appeared out of the stacks – an 8 foot tall broad shouldered man in a worn velvet coat with rotting vegetables making up his beard. The floating elfin child tried her best to take refuge under large man’s robe – but Codex was too angry over the damaged book to let the little girl escape.

Cat, instead of fighting, camouflaged himself and snuck around behind the foul smelling warped version of the Ghost of Christmas Present – what he found in the stacks behind… was an open book.

The tide of the fight was starting to turn. Things were getting ugly….. and then…. the enemies just started to … fade away. Q, Harmonia, Tim & Codex were left with nothing but the view of the Cat – sitting on top of a closed book, flicking his tail and licking at his paw.

They investigated the area – and the Cat found a puddle of blood where the book should have been shelved. Tim, being a handy wizard type, did some woogie magic shit and created a compass that would lead them to the source of the blood. So, they all followed the wizard through the stacks into the darkness.

The book shelves started to look a bit different, and then when people hadn’t been paying attention, they seemed to be replaced with trees and the library gave way to a forest. When they tried to go back, the pathway they had come on was gone. So – through the forest they roamed – following the compass.

The Cat, being a long lived creature, looked around the forest and decided that it was… well…. old. Or rather…. the trees were from his memory – from the 1600’s to be precise. Harmonia, looked to the stars to figure out where they were. Oh, she couldn’t see the sky through the trees – no problem – she climbed a tree and tried again. Oh hey! Stars!

“Spain.” she declared. “We’re in Spain. In the damn middle of Spain.”
“In the 1600s” added the Cat…. not very helpfully.

They came to a clearing in the wood and saw in the clearing a large cemetery. The wizard’s compass started to go haywire pointing all over the place in an arc. As he stepped into the cemetery the arc got wider, and wider, and wider – until in the center of the graves, the compass did nothing but spin in circles. Tim claimed that such behavior from the spell was not normal.

There was some infighting in the group as accusations about bad spells got thrown around and the validity of magic in general…. but then it hit Tim. The blood was a blend – a sample that came from more than one source….. and those sources were now surrounding him – the blood was from ALL of these graves.

The realization seemed to unnerve some of the party and so they looked around with more alertness which is when they spotted the giant Reaper in the corner of the clearing.

Codex, went to try and talk with the Reaper – who seemed amenable to conversation…. albeit telepathically. While she “talked” to giant scary reaper dude, Q was made aware of another figure that had come out of the trees – a grave digger. Skinny, no, scrawny underfed, dirty, covered in blood and carrying a shovel.

So, with a creepy dude in opposite corners, they discovered that the gravedigger’s name was Cervantes – for some reason, lost to time and memory, Harmonia ended up using her sword to cut off one of Cervantes’ legs. He didn’t seem to mind the loss of this limb and continued to stand there staring with menace.

Codex’s conversation with the Reaper was a lot like talking to a zen master spitting koans at you. Which is to say, none of it really seemed to make all that much sense… .until later. Notable here however, is that as a sacrifice offered to the Reaper to talk and to pass by, she gave him one of the dead seeds from her dead forrest.

The group investigated the cemetery a bit more and found that all the graves were for women named Maria and that the oldest grave was for a Maria Ebeneza – they took this as a good sign that they were on the right track to finding the missing Dickens book. Harmonia pulled out her map and discovered that it was different than it had ever been – but it had an X on it, and a trail from the cemetery, to a tavern, to a windmill, to a knight, to the X – so, leaving the Reaper and Cervantes behind, they made their way onward.

After traveling through some very empty, desolate and VERY cold landscape, they came to a tavern. At the tavern they met Dulcinea the bar maid who told them that every Maria who had come to town in the last year or so had been killed and buried in the graveyard. They also learned that the very first Maria had lived up the road at the lending house by the crossroads.

The heroes left the tavern and headed up the road to where Dulcinea had directed them – coincidentally, the path was the same as the one on Hortencia’s map and thus it led them past a windmill. Since the windmill was on the treasure map, the group decided to go inside and check it out.

They found the mill to be abandoned and run down, yet inside it seemed that the mill stone HAD been put to recent use. Investigating more closely, they found that the mill stone had been used to grind human bones into flour. After making this discovery, they all decided it was time to leave the mill – though a sample was taken for further study. Ew.
Before leaving, Codex looked through the “flour” barrels and found that her seed offering was in the flour….. but was no longer a dead seed – but live and viable. Needless to say, she pocketed it right quick!

Further down the road they reached the house they had been directed to – which a sign on the door proclaimed as the “Marley lending house”. The downstairs was a cold and unfriendly business with frozen inkwells and dust collecting everywhere from the months of disuse. Upstairs, was an living space with two bedrooms. One of the bedrooms was clearly meant for a little girl – complete with a knight style rocking horse. In the adult bedroom, they found a series of personal journals that documented Maria Ebaneeza’s descent into madness from her despair over losing her young daughter Maria.

They searched so thoroughly, that under the floorboards of the child’s room, they found what appeared to be a book on how to summon demons. Tim, was able to decipher some of the script and rituals and learned that in this world, a summoned spirit feeds off of two types of energy – their primary energy, the energy that is offered in the summoning – and their secondary PREFERRED energy – that is, the type of energy that they actually want and will accept as a way to end their summoning. Often, these two energies are diametrically opposed.

By doing some comparison between the rituals in the book and the journals, the group learned that Maria had summoned a demon and offered it her sanity and regular feedings of blood. This meant that to banish said demon, they would likely have to offer it life or insanity.

Checking Hortencia’s map, they found that the house was not actually the final X marked on the map, so they continued along the map’s path and found a large stone circle – with one stone tipped over into the circle almost like a diving board. The X marked the center of the circle. Tim was hesitant to cross into the circle, but after some investigation was satisfied that it was not currently active.

Digging in the center of the circle they did in fact find treasure – the missing First Edition Dickens’ Christmas Carol from the Library!

Looking around, Tim realized that this circle was a portal type circle. In the demon summoning book, he found a ritual to open a circle – they’d found a way home! Or… at least… a way out of here. After some discussion, the heroes decided that wherever the portal went would be better than here. So fuck it – let’s do it.

First though, they returned to the bar to get some materials needed for the circle opening. In doing so, they realized that Dulcinea was in fact – bat shit crazy. She was ranting and raving to thin air. The heroes had an idea – bring the summoned demon to Dulcinea and offer it her insanity to banish it.

But wait – the Reaper hadn’t asked for blood OR sanity…. wasn’t he the summoned demon? They went back to the graveyard and talked again to the Reaper. No, he had not been summoned – he had been displaced from his own book by the summoned “demon.” All heads turned toward “Cervantes” who laughed like a madman. They offered HIM Duclinea’s insanity – and he jumped at the chance.

Back at the bar, Cervantes drank away the blissful pillow of Dulcinea’s insanity which banished him back to his book “The Murderous Ghosts of Christmas” and returned her to her sane state in which she again had to face the fact that she was Maria, her daughter was dead and she had killed dozens of people in order to forget that trauma.

The “heroes” left her like that – crying in the bar – awkwardly walking out into the cold towards the portal opening.

Returning to the stone circle, Tim used his occult expertise to cast the spell that summoned the portal. It shot from the ground and each hero jumped into it like a swimming pool – vanishing from that world. Tim was the last one to go – using the diving board rock to hang onto and while half in the portal wiped away the chalk glyphs on that rock to close the portal behind them.

poof

With a lurching snap of reality – they all found themselves back in the Library where they returned the missing book to Coppelia

View
OOC - Prologues
What's the deal? Why so many Prologues?

For those of you reading our logs who may not be players in our campaign – I bet you are wondering why we have so many Prologues – well, let me explain.

As GM, I created a “prophecy” for each character made up of literary quotes. This prophecy was drawn via tarot cards that each had been assigned a different quote. Each character prophecy has 6 different quotes and each game session is meant to use one of those quotes as the guide for what will happen that adventure.

The first quote in each prophecy was not used for an entire game session – but instead to guide a one on one session with me and the one character whose prophecy the quote was from. These initial intro scenes are the 5 Prologues to the campaign – and after these 5 one on one scenes, we brought everyone together for our first group session – Chapter 1.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.