"I cannot find the Journal in question Kendra, but then again, my eyes are not what they used to be."He takes off his spectacles and wipes them down with a hankerchief from his pocket. Placing them back on his head he asks, "Have you ever seen another key around, something your father would have had? It would be small and tringular at the end. Likely it is somewhat odd looking."
Pan had quietly followed the others upstairs when they came to search for the books, not wanting to spend his time with the people downstairs. He was beginning to like Professor Marklehay. The man reminded him of Professor Lorrimor and, though he had yet to speak to him directly, Pan was already starting to hope that he had found a new mentor.
As a student, or at least an ex-student with a thirst for more knowledge, Pan is in awe of Lorrimor's study. Books everywhere, surely it would be a dream to read through them all. He ignores the chest of odd books, figuring that the Professor and swordsman would be enough to deal with them for now. Instead, he turns to Kendra, intent on inquiring about Lorrimor's collection and the future of the books not being donated to the university.
"Uh, ma'am," he begins, still not quiet comfortable speaking to Kendra given the context of their meeting and the fact that she was still mostly a stranger to him. "Did your father happen to have any texts on alchemy that I could study while we stay with you this month? I know you've had offers from people wishing to buy them, but I only want to study them until we leave, if it's not too much to ask."
Leoben pulls out books, looks in each drawer he can find and even looks under the furniture ... he can't find the missing tome however hard he searches: He has to admit that the book simply isn't there. So ... where is it?
You've just avoided having to spend a whole afternoon rooting through the library to come to that result.
As Pan asks about the key however, Leoben recalls something that might just fit. Pulling out the letter opener he noticed on the Professors desk, he reveals the triangular shape on the end of the handle. Surely enough, it fits right into the book's lock ... which refuses to open. It looks like you need more than just a key to open it.
+2 to thievery checks to get it open- ah, rolled already. One moment - resolution further down.
Kendra replies to Pan, "Well, Professor Harmon has just offered me to pack all of the books up and send them with him to the University when he leaves tomorrow. As he said before, he wants to evaluate their value so he can make me an offer."It was quite clear to you before that he's a rather greedy person, but Kendra seems to be oblivious to that fact.
Leoben meanwhile finds that the most recent journal ends a good year ago. Among other things, it mentions Januarius and how glad the professor is that he's developed so well although he's distressed that he hasn't been able to cure the young man of his shakes.
Jack meanwhile, with the help of the letter opener, does his best to get the book's covers to budge. After a good few minutes, he gives up in frustration: whoever locked this book made sure it takes a real expert to open it without the right method. I only he could find a hint somewhere on how to proceed.
Januarius follows upstairs, eager to see these dangerous books. He is intrigued by the purple book and examines it thoroughly with the others, he takes a moment of quiet, whispering apparently to himself while examining the book. Uncertain of what else may be done to open the book, he decides to peruse the others. Looking them over, he quickly gravitates toward the black leather bound volume, On Verified Madness. He proceeds to begin reading it while the others are searching over the room and trying to open the purple book. He does look up and agree with Markelhay about the books. Professor Lorrimor himself said in the will it was dangerous and possibly illegal to be carrying them around. It is best to leave them here, locked up while we are handling our other business.
When Kendra replies to Pan, Januarius doesn't even look up from the book to respond to her. Kendra, dear, your father specifically charged us with sorting the collection and helping you sell them at a fair price, did he not? Perhaps you should remind Professor Harmon of that fact as well. Given that we have a month, and I for one have taken trouble to search out various tomes of value, we should be able to give him a fair estimate on their worth ourselves. He seems far to eager to acquire them, and I would rather they not leave the house until they have been cataloged.He then falls silent again as he falls deeper into reading the volume.
Minor: Speak with Spirits for +4 to my next skill check. History? to see if Januarius may recognize anything about the purple tome. If there's another more appropriate skill, feel free to change the skill bonus (+3) to whatever it should be for the other skill. History 11(1d20) +3 +4 = 18 Now, if only I had stayed with Deva and could add my bonus d6 to that roll as well!
"He moved and talked fast, like he wanted these books sold fast... We should go through the journals carefully for anything of use. Maybe a note or something, a torn page in a book, something. I doubt anyone would want to buy a library like that for just any reason, even if your father was one of the leading experts on undead."
Leoben takes one of the existing tomes of Petros' journal, but he finds nothing useful at first glance on any of the questions you're asking yourselves right now. If nobody else has more luck, you'll have to spent a few hours reading through them.
Markelhay, other then Leoben, can imagine very well that a 'colleague' - or rather competitor - would love to snatch up the Professor's work and maybe even pass some of it off as his own.
As you point out that you'll have enough time to look through the tomes with care, Kendra nods, "Yes, that's true. I'll inform Harmon of that." Harmon is quite disappointed about the news and excuses himself shortly afterwards now that it's clear that the tomes aren't going anywhere before you're done with them. He does leave you his calling card however.
Kvalca stays a bit longer, but finally bids you farewell too, adding, "I'm sorry I can't stay, but I have business of my own that I can't just leave alone for a month. Take care of yourselves and her, will you? There's danger it in the air. I can feel it."
Januarius has the feeling that he's seen that scarab on the tome somewhere before ... only where?
I rolled perception for Leoben, but failed with a roll of 4.
Perception checks apply to each topic you want to research in Petros' journals (=skimming them fast and hoping to find something interesting).
You can also use insight = getting an idea on what tome to look in for the information you seek.
Also, you can use perception and insightto find a book talking about the right topic which then gives you a +2 on researching that topic. E.g. Januarius should really be looking for a tome that might help him out.
You can also use some other skill if you have an explanation on how it should apply.
And don't forget about aid another to help somebody - but only one person can aid and if you fail by more than 5, I'll substract 2 from the check instead.
Also, it's up to you to tell me now what you're looking for. Just 'I read the book' won't get you any further information as I can hardly actually type the whole books.
Andrezi accepted the herbs with a faint smile, with what little use he could make of them now he figured they might well prove useful with the task set before them by the professor.
He had little to say at this time, joining conversations in a polite way, though he had no real stories to tell of his dealings with the professor. Explaining that the professor had saught him out on hearing of his particular elemental blessings and that they had shared knowledge over the years since.
When the books were examined Andrezi looked away, and he was vigourous in his support for them to be left in the trunk and for either Jack or Leoben to keep the key, all of them made his skin crawl.
It was apparent to him that neither the key or the journal would be present and worse their absence would mean trouble, trouble that the professor wanted these other men to keep from the professor's daughter.
Finally he agreed with Januarius, the books should stay here, all the books, until such time as they were valued properly. He also mentioned that perhaps the Professor might be able to start the identification of the valuable for the merely curious.
By the time they were finished looking at all the professor's books Andrezi had but one question.
"Miss Lorrimor," he asks softly, "when did your father move to this house?"
I'll add that starting "earlier" looking for references to the town and the prison would be a good starting point as that is where the professor died. You can roll for Andrezi (+9 for Perception) if you feel one is needed.