Court Archives

Regarding this:

The Court Archives is essentially one giant wood-and-paper Da-Vinci-inspired golem, an entire room set into the castle where the golem’s “skeleton,” the shelves, the floor, all of it, is carved out of one contiguous piece of wood with wooden peg joints and such. Different parts of the archive’s body hang limp until the golem moves its “head” onto another rail and assumes control of its segments. The golem/archive is protected with a Curse of Cold Cinders (trying to burn anything in the room confers an equal amount of cold damage on the caster +2d4). It ‘speaks’ using a method where the PCs blow into a hollow flute that runs through the creature and creates a rustling sibilance that its responses flutter out of.

(For Vornheim and Zak’s stuff I guess replace all the paper components with a room densely cobwebbed with snakeskin, nearly petrified, where each skin has a summoning spell that conjures the snake-book or artifact the skin pertains to into the roll-top-desk-of-holding.)

The archive contains all kinds of important records including a royal lineage that goes back two ages (not just for the king’s line but also for a hundred dukes and a thousand lords), various treaties and compacts, records of dowries, and items pertaining to disputes the king himself has heard and settled.

The golem dutifully transcribes (clones?) original records every five years, maintaining the ancient language and idioms and script and even mistakes present in the originals. A PC attempting to read such a record should roll a d6 to see how much of the archaic ante-lingo they can decipher, with the DM interpreting the comments with the appropriate level of confusion:

1-Understand perfectly
2-Verbs and tenses are weird and confused
3-Get the gist of it but miss specifics and finer details
4-Comprehend a line here and there
5-Comprehend a word here and there
6-Entirely inscrutable

Should the PCs attempt to search the archival artifacts rather than records roll 1d20

1-Half a baby (d4; top half on evens, bottom half on odds)
2-The Dancing Tapestry
3-Royal chastity belt (out of fashion but somewhat sacred and priceless)
4-Sword of Tears
5-Hilt of Fathers (used by king to personally execute traitors by bludgeoning them to death with it)
6-Original wooden-and-lily-leaved crown worn by the first lord of the realm
7-Old throne cleaved in twain (the best way to cleave things)
8-Long-abandoned signet (different from current seal but still retains authority and could topple the empire or start a war)
9-The fifty-years-missing six year old prince of a nearby rival kingdom
10-Sack of salt marked with a red cross
11-Bag of figs and dates whose true magic powers are lost to time and rumor
12-Cursed ballgown made from ashes
13-Blood-stained sheets
14-Chest full of gold (spending a single piece breaks a horrible curse and summons an army of 100 banshee)
15-Randy poem
16-The Woeful Wax
17-Mithril cobra whose bite revives the dead
18-Proof king’s father is not only still alive but 600 years old
19-Thumbscrews with the number 4 written on them
20-The Jester’s Curtain

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