Libraries of Dalen

Dalen Agricultural Region
Day 1, Noon

"What about you, dandy man? Where would a follower of the Being go?" Horo asked Chi.

Chi blinked. "Back on topic then? Excellent." He rubbed his hands together and glanced at Horo, deciding to take the dandy man comment as a compliment rather than an insult, "Now then, since I have a very fundamental understanding of this world, as with any world I travel to, I suggest we start at a library. The Being decided it was a good idea to chuck us unprepared into a new world and I'd like to do some background reading. A few history books, a small walk around the city, I'll be set."

"A library?" Orla said, digesting the idea and trying to recall the last time that she'd actually been to one. It must have been a century ago in Verden, decades before the purges following the Kelmoran Uprising. She was not sure how a visit to a library would help them locate Aiden Brennus, but she was prepared to graciously accomodate Chi if that was where he wished to go. If he had a fundamental understanding of Dalen, a library was obviously the first stop. "Hmm, we do have a few libraries, don't we?"

"The people of this kingdom are mostly illiterate, so they're not in much demand," Horo said cynically. "But yeah, I think we have a few."

Orla ticked them off with her fingers. "Well, let's see, there is Bards' College's Maughan Library, the Royal Art Library, the Haringey Library, the Soldor Library, and the Queen's Personal Library in the Royal Palace." She looked to Chi. "It is thought by most in the know to be without peer."

"Well, we're not getting in there," Horo remarked of the last one. "The Soldor library is also privately owned by Count Soldor - who is a git. The Haringey is closed for renovations, and the Royal Art Library is only good for reading about things like elven oil painting and orcish wood-carving."

"So that leaves the Maughan Library at Bards' College," Orla said, glancing at Chi. "My cousin tells me they've a huge collection of tomes, manuscripts and folios pertaining to the history and literature of the Two Kingdoms."

"But only students and faculty are able to get in," Horo reminded her.

"Yes, however, I do happen to have a friend who used to teach there," Orla said breezily. "I'm sure he can arrange to give us access."

"If you're speaking of who I think you are, that man is not a friend of anyone, but himself."

"Randel Cartwright owes me a favour, Horo. I'm sure he'd be only too happy to return it."

"Only too happy to get his dirty claws in you, you mean," Horo said with disapproval. "You're playing a dangerous game with him, Orla. Are sure you want to involve Cartwright with--" he gestured at Chi "--these people?"

Orla shrugged unconcernedly. "Randel doesn't have to know about them, only that I want to visit the library with a couple of friends."

"And by the end of the day he'll have a detailed report about all three of us given to him by one of his spies. Guaranteed."

"Well Mister Kobayashi wants to go to a library and the Maughan Library is our best bet... unless you have a better idea?"

"I have a few books in my shop he can look at," Horo said.

"Oh! You should see it!" Orla said, suddenly turning to Chi, exuberant. "Horo owns a shop of curios, which has all manner of bits and bobs for sale stacked from the floor to the rafters, including lots of books as I seem to remember. But if you're set on going to the library we can certainly do that too. Horo's Curios is on the way."

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