The City of Cauldron
Benadrad's Enrollment in Bluecrater Academy
You go in the front doors and enter a large lobby, similar to something you might see at a museum. There is a clerk there at a desk who monitors people entering into the main part of the building. There is a gigantic archway behind him about 20 feet wide at the base & 20 feet tall. You notice it has some kind of barely visible field filling it. There are two armed guards on each side of the archway. Past the archway you see people going here and there, sitting at desks, exiting & entering doors, reading, bustling about, etc. The clerk doesn’t even acknowledge your presence.
Ben walks up to the Clerk “Happy Flood Festival, Hi how ya doing. Benadrad of Benadrad’s Potions and things” Gives Clerk a business card. “My uncle the noble Bibbford Glimmerwid has sent me over to fetch him some scrolls. There is to be a grand celebration Jzadirton for the Flood Festival”
The clerk looks up at you and gives you a death stare. “Ah yes of course….your ‘uncle.’ You’re ‘uncle’ who was far to busy to deal with such important matters as: relieving our esteemed establishment of learning of it’s invaluable arcane documents, that he sent the likes of you to fetch them.”
“Feel free to enter…” He waves his hand towards the arch and grins wickedly. “…I’m sure your ‘uncle’…. Who of course MUST have GREAT standing with the administrators of the Academy to make such an audacious request… Provided you with the proper entrance wardstone.”
Ben looks back at the clerk. “Why thank you very much. Yes of course Bibbford provided me with everything needed. In fact he also gave me this donation for the Academy.” Ben takes out a small bag and shakes it. “And I must have misspoke, he only want to me look at these scrolls and study them. I will not be removing them from your ‘esteemed Academy’. Did you know I was going to come to this Academy at one point and study.” Ben continues to tell his story of what happened, this takes a few minutes.
He looks at your bag and rolls his eyes. "A ‘donation’ of course…The Academy isof course grateful for any donations generous people like your uncle can offer. Though you must understand, only donations of a certain amount make the processing of said donations worthwhile…Paperwork, Donation Officer fees, etc, etc.
Unless that pouch of yours is holding gemstones or platinum, I don’t think your ‘donation’ will be up for the grueling task of “donating processing.”
He gets what your trying to do and seems receptive, but he doesn’t believe you have enough to make it worth your trouble. He seems to want a rather substantial “donation.”
“But, as I said, IF your ‘uncle’ provided you with his entrance wardstone, then you are free to go in and be about your business.” He leans back in his chair, clasps his fingers behind his head. “Go ahead…walk on through….With the wardstone…One of the wardstones that are soulbound to their owners and deactivate we then are not within 1 foot of them…You know the one, of course.”
He is obviously being sarcastic, and doesn’t seem to care that you planned on going here.
This place is very elitist and already very rich. Ben knows it’s going to take a lot of money, but he also knows it’s probably worth it. This place is a vault of knowledge and resources.
Ben reaches into his pocket as though to bring out the wardstone. He looks puzzled and tries another pocket and then another. “It seems as though my uncle forgot to include his wardstone with his donation.” Ben puts down the small bag in front of the Clerk, it only has about 5g in it.
“You know between us, uncle was always kind-of a cheapskate. I can’t believe he would insult this Academy with such a small donation. He never truly understood the power of magic and how it can change our lives. He is the reason I wasn’t able to continue my learning here but he is not longer able to oppress my studies.” Ben reaches into his back pocket and pours out a pile of gold onto the desk, about 100g pieces.
“I on the other hand understand the importance of learning the arcane arts.” Ben stares at the Clerk.
He gives out a weird chuckle and starts to slide your coins away from him with one finger one at a time as though they are diseased.
“Of course, people can be so “forgetful” at times. So you need your own personal wardstone then?"
“The wardstone itself cost 1500 gp to craft. And there is a 1000gp “application fee” of course."
Ben thinks to himself for a minute.
“Well, I really didn’t want to part with this but I think the Academy would be a great place. I have a heirloom that has been passed down to me. It is of great magical importance and has a value well over the crafting cost and application fee. It is said to have been the first Golem of Jzadirune, removed from the gnomish enclave before the great curse struck. It is of great magical and monetary importance but I don’t have to tell you that. Having this rare and unique item would only add to the gander of the Academy.”
“You say you have an artifact to donate? From Jzadirune? That may be something that my superiors would like to examine.”
He stops pushing the coins away and starts to sweep them back into a drawer in his desk.
“Of course I don’t have the power to grant you membership, it will be up to them.”
“What did you say your name was? And what is your profession?”
“Yes please, My name is Benadrad Glimmerwid of Benadrad’s Potions and Things.” Ben hands him a second card. “Master alchemist at your service”. (Ben believes he is a master)
“Ahhhhh yes….I think I know you…you are that gnome who works for Master Weer, correct?”
“Yes, I used to work with Weer but we have creative differences and I have gone off on my own.” Hands him a third business card.
“Of course, Please wait a moment while I summon the Master of Artifacts.” He closes his eyes and goes into this kind of trance. You gather he is casting a sending spell, Though you doubt he is powerful enough to cast the spell. The academy must have some kind of communication spell system.
After awhile another male human, probably in his 60’s comes down a large staircase and through the archway. With him is Galsaa Furndurg. He approaches you holds out his hand and introduces himself and Glasaa.
“Hello, hello… my name is Roivor Oharis, Master of Artifacts and this lass here is Glasaa Furndurg, Master of Arcane Quantum Theory. It is my understanding you have some kind of artifact from Jzadirune that is in need of vetting.”
He seems very charming.
“Hi, how ya doing. Benadrad of Benadrad’s Potions and Things”. Hands both of them a business card. “Yes I do, it is one of the original Constructs from Jzadirune. It has been passed down in my family for generations. It is the only one known to exist that escaped the curse”. Ben looks over at Glasaa and continues. “I can retrieve the item if you would like to exam it”.
“Of course, of course, if you feel it can be safely transported.”
“On second thought I will bring the item to you. I think the help is cleaning up right now. I wouldn’t want to get in there way. I’ll be back soon”
Ben goes to his house and brings the construct back to the academy.
“Very well…Yes…Yes that is a good idea. That way we can use a lab and equipment to examine it more thoroughly.”
They are waiting for you you in the lobby, when you finally arrive. No it is not that far. But the thing is a piece of shit, and it’s a it bit of a struggle to get it there.
The construct walks into the lobby and the horrendous noise it produces is amplified by the acoustics of the gigantic lobby. Everyone with in sight stops and stares. You command it to approach the two, and a frown appears on Roivor’s face. “It’s…It’s…it’s in very poor condition.”
Glasaa does a walk around, examining it closely. “Uggg….It looks like its fanfangled with a velocimatrix intstagnatizer!”
“I would say the condition of this item is exquisite for its age. You will never see one of these again. And there are no Velocimatrix intstagnatizer, don’t take me for a fool. Beside being an accomplished alchemist I am a master workman in engineering. My great great great great grandfather worked on this construct and has passed down instructions for the care of this contraption. Unfortunitly the tools necessary are still down in the conclave.”
Ben turns to address Roivor.
“The conclave was recently found by an adventuring guild, I believe their name is….‘The unseen hand of justice’. Lord Skellerang ordered for the place to be sealed back up or at least that is what I have heard. If you can speak with Skellerang and have the unseen hand escort me I can retrieve the necessary tools. I have heard they do great work”. Ben walks over to the Construct and opens the chest piece exposing the magical gem. “In the mean time you can do your tests on this and once I have the tool I will come assist you in repairing the item”.
“Exquisite? Hardly… But it does have great historic value…indeed.”
Galsaa peers inside the machine at the gem and beams. She puts on a pair of goggles to examine it more closely.
“BRILLIANT! The hypothrondromic crystalline latticework has been completely restanchioned!”
“You’re great great great great grandfather must have been a genius! How did ever rephlamphen the janxst alingment!?”
Roivor turns to Galsaa. “I’m not so sure Master Furndurg, we need to consider the cost to refurbish the machine…”
He turns back to you and says “…and your asking for a membership to the academy in return for your donation?”
Ben looks over at Galsaa
“Yes my grandfather was a genius, it runs in the family.” Turning his attention to Roivor. “Not only for my donation but my services as well. I am sure we can retrieve the necessary tools to repair this historic item. The cost of the repairs should be covered by my recent donation to the academy. I believe that clerk was responsible for the intake of my donation.” Ben points over to the front desk clerk. “With access to the Academy I can assist Galsaa in restoring the unit.”
Roivor frowns. “Let me speak with Galsaa privately for a moment.”
They both walk through the archway and begin to have a soft conversation. Galsaa is very animated and soon a smile comes to Roivor’s face.
Eventually Roivor walks back over to you with Galsaa behind him.
He extends his hand out to you and says, “Welcome to the Bluecrater Academy, Mr. Glimmerid.”
“Let’s get this thing to a workshop shall we?….Galsaa?”
“Thank you”. Ben reaches out and shakes Roivor’s hand, then turns to Galsaa.
“Let me know when you want to work on the construct. Maybe we could go over the manual sometime…perhaps over dinner?” Ben flicks a business card towards Galsaa and walks out of the academy.