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Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:06 pm
by Ostheim
Wynna is absent from Sarshel for a number of days, spending almost every waking moment in Outentown in the company of the fallen, barely-having-survived ranger Aleira Nemesk. She fetches her water, her food, tends to every necessity of life for the woodswoman, often to the discomfort of her own person to do so. For a short time she might become something of a common face among those in Outentown, frequently stopping by the tavern for water or to have an occasional drink - presumably whenever her ranger friend was safely unconscious and not in need of her.

Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:22 pm
by Ostheim
Following her return to Sarshel, Wynna continues along her pursuits as though the interruption at Outentown had never occurred - armed with a second source of spectrolite and knowing well of a third source from a reliable companion, she turns to the research that will lead her to a fourth gem. With books failing her for the most part, though, owing largely due to the rarity of the gem, she's seen patronizing academic corners all the more readily as she seeks out clues that will lead her to more of the elusive gemstone.

One visit she makes in particular has in large part to do with the water-damaged painting she liberated from the Sunken Ruin so long ago. Though she had at first perhaps dismissed her interest in the piece as fanciful, it would seem more recent developments have re-kindled her interest in it. To that effect, she seeks to follow the advice given to her by Lentian several tendays ago, visiting Windrose Square in the Old Quarter, not far from her home in the very same district. There, she appears to seek out the company of the artist known as Roulette, eager to ask him or her a few questions about the piece she found.

She'd have to find them first, however.

Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:34 pm
by Ostheim
The Midsummer Festival had been a distinct disappointment for her, though Wynna was self-admittedly no great fancier of revels, particularly not when the occasion seemed so mired in false optimism. There was no warmth to be had that day, and she could not easily slough off the cynicism that had rooted itself in her as the winter soldiered on. That all aside, though, her hopes of discovering a link to the Relindar family and their Lord's recent find at the festival had proven yet again that certain hopes were all too idealistic for this dreary country to entertain. After spending the day drinking herself stupid, she retreats back to Sarshel in pleasant company and spends the following few days considering a new step to take.

Her usual contacts, jewelers and small-time fences, had been all too happy to let her know about the spectrolite find that Lord Ashkyr had discovered; they just weren't as forthcoming about ways to procure it. Wynna was no cat-burglar, not anymore; those days were behind her, behind her as soon as she had come into her own as a scholar and seeker of old places; that was her passion, not liberating nobles and merchants of their wares.

The thought of rekindling old habits was a tempting one, though, but ultimately a foolish notion. She knew nothing of the manor, nothing of their security measures, nothing of where the gem would be. She considered sending a letter out to the manor, but... to what end? What noble would ever be swayed, particularly this one? If the rumors were true, he would have little sympathy for her 'mundane' troubles. Coin wouldn't sway him, she knew that much; not even her entire purse would suffice, likely. Appealing to his sense of decency?

When had that ever worked?

With a building sense of resignation and ennui, Wynna settles for looking into the next best thing; knowing that a small criminal network does, in fact, exist within Sarshel, she could only hope that she might get in touch with them and arrange for the gem to be confiscated for her own ends, to be used towards an actual goal and not coveted possessively by a noble who had seen death too many times to care anymore.

And so she gets to searching for the men and women who might be able to help her, because she certainly does not trust her rusty skills, weathered by obsession with history and scholasticism, to retrieve the gem. All the while she keeps her ear to the ground, waiting for word of other sources to be found, ones less likely to get her head loped off by angered nobility.

Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:36 pm
by Obsidian Sea
Pursuing knowledge, and a darkened path that leads to answers, Wynna Blackwing turns her eyes upon the path that few take: for fear of the risks, or for lack of means. But she is resourceful, and owing to her skills past and present, and the rising influence of her name within the confines of the city, Wynna Blackwing is among the best equipped to negotiate passage down such a path.

But will it lead her where she wishes?

Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:11 pm
by Ostheim
Having set her plans into motion, Wynna proceeds towards upholding her end of the deal - beyond the coin that will doubtlessly be necessary, she works towards discovering as much as she can about Lord Ashkyr's family as she can, as well as that of Drumaire Manor. She travels to Songhall over the next few days in order to commit to her research in relatively familiar and comfortable circumstances, poring over floor plans and noble chronicles. By now a well-established scholar, not to mention published, she seems to bank on the assumption that the scholars there are well-aware of her diverse and many interests so as not to ask too many questions.

Thinking towards each and every contingency, too, she pursues slightly darker research material, seeking out proven methods of warding off shades and shadows, the extraplanar minions of Shar. And should all else fail, a few trail maps of the Impilturan countryside hardly go amiss; she might very well need them should things go poorly.

Perhaps the Dales would be more pleasant this time of year. Hopefully she wouldn't need to find out.

Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:05 pm
by Kilaana
(( Click to enlarge ))

Researching in the House of Many Tomes was, by any scholar's account, a neverending task, for the library grounds alone occupy three times the size of the Triadic Temple, precariously perched on the cliffs of the lower Earthspurs. Contrary to anyone's ideals of a library, it would not take a visitor long to discover that there was a lack of an alphabetical system in the order of book arrangement, but at least most of the tomes were contained in their own sections. A section on local history, for instance, would span the length of one of the upper west chamber walls, while the other half of it would be elsewhere. Surely there was an abstract pattern to such a system, the way the mind worked from one train of thought to another.

By the end of the fourth day, Wynna had managed to locate a thin volume containing an account of the construction of Drumaire Manor. It appeared to be a journal with various piecemeal illustrations that went into the design of the house, meticulous calculations which laid down the framework of the three-storyed mansion. Its chief architect, Uzhail Ossuyn, favoured a practical modest outlook, but it was the twin sweeping stairway and the embellished fireplace in the central foyer that spoke of extravagance somewhere in the family. The final icing on the cake was a cross-section diagram of what appeared to be a tunnel network like a small-scaled sewer system beneath the house, circumventing the family crypt, with an access point some hundred paces beyond the perimeter wall, presumably for maintenance workers to save them the trouble of knocking on the door. A full floor-plan of the estate grounds however, was unavailable no matter how much Wynna would search.

Of the family, this proved to be more of a challenge. At least ten different volumes by different authors each one had to be hunted down to piece together a jagged picture of the Relindar family line in the form of correspondence, land deeds, half-preserved documents and retold accounts by witnesses who at one point or another felt the need to make mention of their experiences with a member of the Relindar household. House Relindar, as it turned out, was one of the two dozen or so surviving noble houses in Impiltur that would date as far back as 1024 DR, though this would only be an estimate. With many of its tenureholds located in Lyrabar, the old estate would fall under the care of High Lord Tulrod's eldest son Riking while the head of the family oversaw affairs in the capital. An official-looking document, perhaps a duplicate copy of the original, mentions the gift of a cage constructed with dragonglass to House Relindar, though its reasons seem difficult to trace. House Relindar made its profits in exotic goods, wines and perfumes, though the trade documents would date at least two decades back or more.

Research on shadow-warding methods proved more challenging, not because of its lack of, but for its abundance. Wynna would spend hours sifting through one tale after another, of creeping doom that followed the man who held a black heart, going to bed one night and never waking again. There were children's poems about a pair of celestial swans - one white and one black, who vied for precidence over the skies while men suffered the consequences. There were songs of the Lady of the Night, beseeching her to take away the unfaithful lover, or to ask her to barter with an entity known as the Eater of Souls, so that the more powerful one would not come to take away their loved ones. In the end, she was forced to narrow the myriad of solutions that were sieved. The most obvious of all was, of course, light. But light cast its own shadows, so that was questionable. A treatise on the nature of shadow-beings suggested that it was the imprint of the once-living, turned into void because they had lost their memories, and a suitable method to ward them was to name each one and list their achievements in life. A third solution involved holding up a mirror to the perceived shadow, while standing in a circle made of scattered hyssop, turmeric, marigolds, agrimony and crushed quartz combined in a mortar and pestle. A final suggestion involved a scroll of Dismissal or Banishment, but these would be outside the means of the ordinary folk to acquire.

Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:43 pm
by Ostheim
Meticulous copies are made of all the relevant information and safely stored away on her own person for transport back to Sarshel. Particular care is given to the construction information on the manse, as well as the account concerning the dragonglass cage; both, she figures, might very well be critical to know about if the heist was to be successful. Her own fair knowledge and insight into architecture is quite useful here; knowing how the place was constructed offers insights that could end up being crucial, and she makes pain-staking notations based on her own conclusions that might be useful to the thieves.

Though reluctant, she also pens in a few suggestions regarding the banishment or warding against the shadows that have been plaguing her pursuit of spectrolite since the get-go; she had little reason to believe that her hired thieves would be spared their gaze. Questions would come, doubtless, but those could be handled. Utter failure, on the other hand, due to the meddling of Shar's minions could not be. When the time came to offer a written explanation, the most she offers is her own account of having dealt with the things when engaging in the assault on the Wood of Tusks; highly publicized and well-known thanks to Jerek of Ilmater. Prudent preparation for all eventualities, she writes, is better than nothing.

Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:14 pm
by Ostheim
Wynna's information gathering work continues; though the bounty at Songhall was invaluable intelligence that she likely wouldn't have gotten anywhere else, the scholar seems to deem it insufficient for going ahead with the plan. As she had by now exhausted her preferred avenue of acquiring knowledge, she would switch to a more hands-on style of operation, one she was no less familiar with after her many nights on the streets of Suzail, both as a young woman and a sufficiently notorious illegal ruin diver.

She'd need to act a bit.

Not to a terribly strong degree, of course; all the best lies had grains of truth in them. Though she was well aware that the manse was not accepting visitors, or at least Lord Ashkyr wasn't, she was hoping that someone at the home would be willing to entertain the questions and prying of a relatively well-known scholar of Sarshel that had more than enough prior evidence of interest in the pursuits of local nobility. Whether they would know that or not was irrelevant; Wynna was quite interested as a matter of course, and if such interest allowed her a few choice glances around the manse, or knowledge from any of the staff, all the better.

She knew it was absurdly risky, to show her face just before sending a hardened squad of thieves to ransack the manor. But if all went well - and it had to go well - then that wouldn't be a problem. She would just have to be subtle. Very subtle.

Gods, she missed Abigail in moments like this, she reflected as she walked up the snowy path in her mid-day best, a heavy cloak wrapped about her shoulders. That woman could talk circles around any noble who had even one eye capable of working, to say nothing of the staff members.

All the better, though - even if it was Abi, she hated risking others on her own whims. She'd have to do this herself... and she was still capable. Right?

Even if she wasn't, she hoped Lady Luck was smiling on her despite; she was being terribly bold right now, as she approached the manse she wished plundered.

Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:42 pm
by Ostheim
A rather dubiously annoyed and bemused Miss Blackwing makes the rounds of Sarshel's sculpting circles, shopping for a particularly good master of the craft; with all the new statues that have been erected in the city recently in the shadow of the 7th, she's quite certain the market is open on that count. She makes it rather plain to any who ask that this is in aid of a discrete project in a potentially risky location, and that she will first need to escort the builder to a site before they can begin their work.

All in all, perhaps not an entirely too shocking line of inquiry from the scholar, whose tastes and whims have by now likely been ascribed to be thoroughly eclectic.

Re: Wynna's Research and Routines - A Hands-on Pursuit

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:41 am
by Kilaana
Artisan workshops had made themselves scarce since the 7th of Mirtul, particularly those which specialized in the art of sculpture. For it was not merely a craftsman that she sought, but also one who was perhaps proficient in the difficult art of restoration. Sculpture was not a major export, and it was no surprise then that contacting a master artisan of this scope, with little room for mistakes, took longer than expected. The few craftsman she painstakingly located would have refused to comply unless they were provided more details - it seemed a risky project after all, and none were willing to lose more than they had already lost. The new statue that had been recently put in place at the city gates had been brought in by ship from Lyrabar, which was some twentyscore or more miles west down the coast, which in turn had had it imported from Yhaunn, the quarry-town on Sembia's eastern shore.

In the end, the Threespires Laern offered up its best apprentice - a bright-eyed, eager Impilturan boy of suitably eighteen summers. His resume comprised of small-scale figurines for the graves, but what he lacked in experience, he made up in enthusiasm. Jenrey Mesyym would call upon the scholar at her home and arrange to prepare for the journey to the ruins, expressing his hope that they could return by the same day so that he could return home to care for an ailing younger sister.

(( Either online or offline RP for this is available, though not at the time of this posting, but I am hoping to wrap it up in one hour-long session if it is the former. ))