The Devil’s Riddle: Session 65

“This’ll be the place” announces Idril, gesturing up at a shop sign that reads “Tumbleswitch’s Bibliagora” with her walking cane. Heaps of books are stacked up in neat piles behind lead pane windows, and a wooden sign by the door is inscribed “Grethelbert Pogo Tumbleswitch, Scrivener, Cartographer, Bookbinder, Bookseller. No time-wasters.” in meticulous copperplate script.   

A tiny bell tinkles as Rufus pushes the door open, and a bald head appears over the top of a small mountain of books and scrolls. “Yes? Can I help you?” frowns the shopkeeper, a small golden-skinned gnome with half moon spectacles on his nose and ink stains on his fingers. He puffs absentmindedly on his pipe, which seems to have gone out. Noticing, he attempts to relight it without success.

Tumbleswitch’s Bibliagora

“I hope so.” smiles Lisandra. “We seek a young lady who may have have visited your shop very recently, or more specifically we seek the book she had with her. A half-elf, probably somewhat worse for wear. Can you help us?”

“I’ve seen no-one matching that description” the gnome sniffs, still attempting to relight his pipe. “If that is all I’ll bid you good day.”

Lisandra sighs and turns to Rufus. “Let us hope the others had more luck.” The taciturn warrior grunts in response. “Let us hope the others don’t get themselves killed. Blast that girl! Where could she be? Where would she go, with stolen goods?”

Lisandra shakes her head. “Perhaps Tomas was right. If she didn’t come here then maybe he she did seek out a fence. Unless Mr Tumbleswitch here can think of another possibility?”

The gnome, who still hasn’t got his pipe lit, glowers at them from over his stack of books. “Perhaps I didn’t make myself sufficiently clear. If you are not here to do business then I really must ask you to leave. Some of us have jobs to do. Good day to you!”

Rufus bridles at the shop keeper’s rudeness, but Luanda puts a hand on his arm. “Come my friend. There is nothing more to be learned here. Let us go.”

The three adventures depart. Alone once more Pogo Tumbleswitch relaxes back into his chair, puts his feet up  and finally succeeds in lighting his pipe. It erupts in a roaring tower of flame, burning off both his eyebrows and leaving a black scorch mark on the ceiling. After a moment of stunned surprise he leaps to his feet, shrieking in fury and shaking his little gnome fists. From somewhere overhead a high pitched giggle can be heard.

One Response to “The Devil’s Riddle: Session 65”

  1. I send the other, more presentable half of my party to a bookshop, because it seems like a logical place for a thief with a book to go. I could check Mythic to see if the town has one, but I think if I were DMing and a player asked “Does the town have a bookshop?” I’d immediately say yes, because it gives the player more agency, because it fleshes out my town, because it moves the story along in a new and interesting way, and because, well, why not? I will ask one question though:

    Q: Is the shop open? (Likely) YES

    A random NPC generator and a gnome name generator along with a little tweaking give me Grethelbert Pogo Tumbleswitch, 161 years old, a male forest gnome scrivener, cartographer, bookbinder and bookseller. He has a bald head and green eyes. He wears half-moon spectacles. He has smooth golden skin. He stands 3’4″ tall and has a beefy build. He has a soft, average face. He has a low-toned voice. He twitches frequently from his right foot. He doesn’t worship any god. He rarely thinks ahead. He is a perfectionist. He is always scribbling notes. He has a high opinion of his own intellect. He doesn’t like parting with his money or possessions. He doesn’t like his profession, and has always dreamed of becoming a bard. He disregards poorer people. He is being constantly pranked by a boggle. I decide that when he succeeds at lighting his pipe it will explode, as it has been filled with flammable oil by the boggle.

    The shop name, Bibliagora, is a portmanteau of two ancient greek words, biblio (book) and agora (assembly place). A slightly pretentious shop name for a slightly pretentious bookseller!

    Pogo’s Attitude (DMG pg 244): R: #8: 3/6: Indifferent
    Q: Seen Ranji? NO
    Lisandra Insight: 7
    Idril: Investigation: 25
    Q: Any sign of Ranji? NO
    Q: Does she find anything of note? EXCEPTIONAL NO.
    Q: Any ideas from bookseller? EXCEPTIONAL NO. That pretty much nails it. She didn’t come here, and the bookseller isn’t going to help us.
    Roll to light pipe (DC 13):
    R: #1: 6/20
    R: #1: 10/20
    R: #1: 8/20
    R: #1: 18/20: Boom!

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