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In the Vaults

A Missing Book Reappears

Twenty-Fourth Day of Autumn, Forty-First Turn of the Tenth Pass

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Archive Vault

A cool chamber, lined with shelves. The room is bright and spotlessly clean. The woodwork's new varnish gleams in the light of the glowbaskets, its odour mingling with that of hide. Some of the shelving appears to be newly built. The tables and chairs are in their usual places, but most of the tables are now filled with books and scrolls, some of paper, but mostly of hide. These are part of Ista's Archive collection, though it'sclear that the full contents are not yet here. Some of the shelves bear labels showing what is to be placed there. There is no trace of cracked walls or water! 
The scent of old books and a little bit of must pervades the room, tickling your nose with antiquity.


Realilina walks in from the Main Hall and Ballroom.
Realilina smiles. "Hiya Ylisa!" She says. "So what are ya doin'? I'll help! Well, if you need any that is." 

Ylisa spins round from the pile of books that she's been contemplating. "Oh, Realilina. Thank you. I was just looking for something, actually, but all this stuff needs shelving. I think Master Jueann said she was coming down to get things organised. It looks as if she's been preparing: do you see all the labels. I'm sure she'll welcome another pair of hands."

Speaking of the devil, in walks Jueann. She doesn't appear well rested, more so then usual. She's been traveling the island and it seems to have taken its toll on her.

Realilina grins. "Isn't it too bad we all can't have several pairs of hands?" She says. "It would be so much easier to do things, wouldn't it?"

A couple of apprentices follow Jueann into the room. "Master Jueann," says the older one, "Journeyman Ferdie said you had some chores for us to do in here?"

Liesana is here as well, arriving a few paces after Jueann does, like some sort of outrider. "Well, this shouldn't be too bad," she's murmuring to her superior. "I've got the original layout of the archives written down in my notes here," A book is waved. "And apprentice crews have been working at sorting records into categories for a while now."

Mimi wanders into the room with her oh-so-handy horde (two or three, really) of apprentices following her with their arms full of assorted scrolls and books. Mimi herself has books piled up to her chin,"Ahh...could use some help here?" requests the 
journeywoman over the hides. "Where should we put these?"

Ylisa smiles at the two Masters. "I can give a hand for a while, if you like: I wanted to look for something anyway. Just point me in the right direction." She steps across to Mimi. "Hang on, Mims - how's that?" The question is asks as she relieves the other journeywoman of the top few books of the heavy pile. "What are these, now?"

Jueann tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, looking around. She of course is dropping bits riding gear and dust in her wake. Organized, she isn't. "Report! Everyone!" Waving a traveling bag with hold reports, "What's been happening while I was gone."

Realilina wonders what she can do to help. She sighs and waits to see what'll happen next.

Mimi smiles gratefully to Ylisa and rests her remaining books on a nearby table. "I think they're some farmer records or something like that." She looks over the labels on the top two titles and nods, but gets to the third,"Oh no wait, this one's something from Ista Weyr." She wrinkles her nose up at this find and checks the next to see yet a different source, "I think these must have gotten all mixed up or something." Poor apprentices. More sorting for them to do. Jueann gets a wave,"You're back!" Duh. "Well...A lot." The journeywoman decides to leave it to the others to explain what all has occured.

Liesana helps herself to a seat, spun around so that she can straddle it and fold her arms over the back. "Do you want the short version or the long version?" she wonders. 
"I'm afraid some of my progress reports didn't catch up to you, at the rate you've been traveling. In short, we got a visit from Lord Bramero a week or two ago, we think we've figured out where Alebra is, but I can't tell you in front of apprentice ears,and we still haven't found Denell, or whatever his name is. Oh. And someone left a kitten in a basket in front of your door. I'm feeding her."

Realilina looks around. Did she hear the word "kitten?" Kittens were so cute! "Kitten? Where? Can I see it?" 

Ylisa glances at the spines of the books she's holding. "Advanced Basketweaving. And a chronicle from Little Rock Hold in Telgar - what's that doing here?" She shakes her head in disbelief, then sets them on a table and turns back to face the others. "Though we've discovered tht he was seen nearby a while ago. Dennell, that is, not the person who left the kitten." 

Jueann holds up her hands in surrender, "Hold on! One at a time!" She finds a spot to sit too, although not quite in Lies' style of sitting. "Kitten? Lord Bramero was here? And Who's Denell?"

"Kitten." Liesana confirms with a nod. "Little, grey, fluffy, hobbies include mewing and shedding on Dashvard's dress uniform. I haven't named her yet, since she's for you." A nod towards Jueann, and then she returns to actual matters of import. "Dennell is the name of Lady Alebra's bad-to-the-bone paramour, which I finally got Bramero to confirm for us, after a few minutes of him blustering. Bramero came storming in demanding a progess report."

Mimi begins to take apart her stack of books, waving a hand to Realilina, "Realilina, can you come and sort some of these out?" Mimi motions for the other two apprentices to begin sorting things out as well. "You should name it Controversy." Or something relating to the current situation, except Kidnapping doesn't sound like a good name for a pet.

The apprentices clustered just inside the door must be having a field day. They're certainly watching agog. 

Realilina nods and walks over then starts to sort the books.

Ylisa turns a surprised gaze on Master Jueann, supplementing Liesana's information with, "The man you sent me to Nabol to find out about, in fact. He was in the Mug a couple of months back, it seems." Her lips twitch into a grin. "At least it wasn't rabbits."

Jueann frowns and sighs. "Just what I need is another pet." Looking up as a journeyman enters, whispering into the master's ear, "I need to tend to something." She sighs and stands. "I'll be right back."

Liesana gives a few directions from where she's lounging in her seat, taking advantage of such perks as rank comes with, like leaving carrying heavy grimoires of unknown origin to the more strapping specimens of apprentice skulking around. "Here." she points out a hide map she's spread across a handy tabletop. "I have the various shelves sectioned off on here. Holds, Weyrs and Crafts are the main breakdown, just pile the books according to those three divisions first, and we'll go from there. Start simple, eh?"

One of the apprentices picks up a book and idly starts leafing through it. Ylisa grins at him. "Sort, don't read." Turning to address the whole room, she goes on, "One more thing, though. I'm looking for a book that's not been seen for a while. It's full of maps on hide, maps of the Hold. It was very large." She holds her hands up perhaps fifteen inches apart, then raises thumb and forefinger held as far apart as they'll go."And thick. Sorry, I don't know what it's called, but the size should make it stand out. If you come across it, can you let me know, please."

Realilina looks over and sighs then starts to re-sort the books as specified by Liesana.

Mimi also sorts, more so by directing apprentices than moving things around herself, mumbling about how archivists are mad for being archivists and having to deal with these things on a daily basis.

Ylisa moves across to an empty table. "The craft stuff can go on this one, then." She deposits "Advanced Basketweaving" in the assigned spot, and moves away to do something with the Telgar Chronicle. "It's a shame it took so long to get the place dried out and for the woodcrafters to finish. The stuff was all set out in the order we took it out of here, the night of the flood, but of course, it's been used since. No - there!" The last's to an apprentice who's about to put "Secrets of the Minecraft" in the Weyr category.

"If you come up with anything that's a puzzle to catalogue," Liesana notes, looking for all the world like she's about to start sipping from a glass of iced tea and start awarding points for style, "Just bring the text over to me, and I'll tell you what category it goes in. I trust you to handle the minor mix-ups," A nod to Ylisa and Mimi. 

Mimi flips open the cover of something to see where it should go. She wanders over to the weyr pile while flipping through it idly, raising her eyebrows,"Some people just archive /everything/, don't they?" The journeywoman flips the thing closed with a smirk and a shake of her head and sets it on its assigned stack of books.

Realilina hmms. "Weyr or... Yes, Weyr." She murmers as she sorts the books into seperate piles over by where she is working.

Ylisa scans a pile of dusty tomes that have clearly not been touched for a while. "Ah, now this is all early Hold stuff." She runs her eyes down the spines, but apparently what she's looking for isn't there, so she just moves them into the appropriate spot. "Lennor, Murray, don't fight over them! There are plenty for everyone!"

Realilina accidently knocks a few books she hasn't gone through yet off the table. "Just my luck." She said bending over and picking trying to pick them all up in one pile.

Ylisa looks up from the pile that she's sorting, attracted by the sound of books landing on the floor. "Careful!" she warns. "Some of those look old: be gentle with them." She watches the girl for a second, then goes back to her own stack.

Mimi, having been passing by Realilina when she dropped the books, goes to help, "Here, 
some of those are pretty heavy looking, I'll help." Mimi grabs a couple books from the floor and sets it back on the table,"/More/ basketweaving?" she wonders as she leans over to pick up another couple. "Whoo these are /heavy/." She drops the books on the table, but notices that, hm, there only seems to be one spine. "Wow! That was all one book!"

"If it needs repairs," Liesana perks up from where she's gotten engrossed in 
reading over some paperwork she's brought in with her. "Come leave it over at my 

Book of Maps

A very large book, at least a handspan thick. It is bound in faded dark green hide, with a brown spine. On spine and front cover are tooled the words, 'The Island of Ista.' It appears to be very old. Opening it will reveal that it contains nothing but maps, carefully drawn on hide. They cover the whole island, but go into detail on Ista Hold and surrounding area. The Hold maps bear close resemblance to the Hold of today, but seem to come from an earlier era. However, it is clear that there should be maps of lower levels. These pages have been removed, apparently with a knife. The cut edges are sharp and clean, suggesting that the damage is very recent.

Realilina cocks her head. "Oh! Ylisa, isn't this that book you were looking for? I can't lift it to show you but it says "Maps" on it."

Jueann re-enters the Archives, hoping that she isn't called away for another emergency. "Well, that's taken care of. What did I miss?" She sighs looking for a place to sit and listen.

"Let's see?" Ylisa makes her way over. "Certainly the right size. 'The Island of Ista?' That could be it." She lifts the large book to a table with some effort and slowly flicks through the pages. "Well done, Lina, I think this is it!" More pages turn as she locates maps of the Hold. "And here's - oh!" She eyes the remains of cut pages, then picks up the book and goes to set it in front of Liesana. "Would you say that looks recent?" Turning her head, she adds for Jueann's benefit, "I think we've just found the book that went missing the night of the flood."

Liesana cants her head as Ylisa drops the book in front of her, gnawing thoughtfully on her lower lip and narrowing her eyes as she peers at the damage. "Well, you're lucky it's bound hides. Paper's a wonderful invention, but it's harder to analyze. Get me a glow basket over here?" she requests. 

Realilina fumbles around and finds a glow basket. She brings it over to Liesana.

Ylisa looks down at the book from where she's standing by the table, keeping out of the light. The cut edges appear new, not smoothed by wear. Glancing at Jueann, she explains, "I'm no expert, but it looks to me as if someone's done something they shouldn't to this." She looks enquiringly at Liesana. "Which would be... interesting."

"Well, anyone cutting pages out of -my- archives had better hope I don't catch them," Liesana murmurs an absent threat, busy poring over the desecrated mapbook and eventually looking up with a nod. "Yes. It's a recent cut, done with a fairly good knife, and with a certain amount of care. No unnecessary tearing, and no smooth edges on the cuts."

Jueann frowns, "Who would do such a thing as destroy a book?" Sacrilege for a harper to 
contemplate. "Ideas?"

Realilina shakes her head. "People these days, they have no respect! If whoever cut that out didn't want suspition to arise they should've just copied it onto their /own/ piece of paper. They just want to be found out, don't they?"

"Or they could have been in a tearing hurry." Liesana replies, still absent, but now with the glint in her eyes that signals that legal expert wheels are turning. "Or they didn't want anyone else to have the information. If we can extrapolate from the placement of the missing pages, they'd be maps of the catacomb levels of the Hold."

Realilina eyes the book. "Mabye it wasn't what was on the page, maybe it was something 
/else/? Who knows, that page could've been bound to another page and there was something between them. Oh, that's just crazy though!"

Ylisa replies dryly, "Or somebody who needed a map, and didn't want to be seen copying it. A map of somewhere they didn't previously know existed, that they spotted by accident and couldn't keep for long." She grins at Realilina. "Quite, Lina, that's what you or I would have done. But maybe they didn't think they'd be caught. After all, the book was among all that Weyr stuff, wasn't it? It might not have come to light for ages. And maybe they weren't planning on us tackling them about it." She looks significantly at the two Masters and Mimi. "After all, it's all supposed to be buried or lost. Inaccessible." A glance at the apprentices. "And maybe this isn't a good place to discuss it."

Jueann sighs shaking her head, "Find the person that did this. Also, find Majori, Alebra, this Denell. We have too many mysteries. Now I like to read a good mystery but not living in one."

Liesana taps out the advanced code for, " Jueann, we suspect that Majori and Alebra are 
the same person. I'll discuss things with you later, with no apprentices, yes?"

Mimi, having just been sitting and listening to this, randomly pipes up,"Mystery'd be a good name for that kitten..."

Ylisa taps out the advanced code for, "And Majori was there when this book was found 
before. In which case, that's where she is."

Jueann hmms as she listens to the code. A thoughtful frown creases her brow as she ponders a bit. "Is Lord Bramero still around?" changing the subject. "I guess I better go talk to him."

"No, he didn't linger." Liesana grants aloud, as the tappings and scufflings of drumcode stop. "I had a talk with him, palmed him off on Dashvard for the Guard's report on things, and then he took his leave. I left my report slipped under your door?"

Several of the apprentices are listening eagerly to the conversation, abandoning all pretence of sorting books. Ylisa reclaims the volume of maps. "It might be an idea to keep this out harm's way," she says dryly. "Though it's rather a case of bolting the stable door after the runner has gone. We may be able to glean something from what's left."

Jueann sighs standing, "Well, I have reports to do." Looking around at the apprentices, "I"m sure you all have things to do?" she says in that strict arched voice of a teacher catching a student idling.

Sorting of books is instantly resumed!

"I'll keep a loose eye on things down here," Liesana offers, fixing the chattering apprentices with a smile that speaks of all the ingenuity and creativity she can bring to bear on gossip-hounds. "Just to make sure that I'm left with less work later."

Realilina rolls her eyes. Now they're resorting to drum code! She managed to catch a few words, but not enough to tell what they were talking about. 

Ylisa smiles at the sudden flurry of effort. "Well, I certainly have things to do, whether or not they have. Do you mind if I put this under lock and key in the Office?" She's holding the book tightly. 

Jueann sighs as she heads out. "Well, if you all excuse me? I am sure you all have everything well in hand." 

Mimi edges out of the room too, now that this all seems to be in hand. No more archiving for Mimis.

Ylisa follows Jueann out, still clutching the book. A little archiving goes a long way.

Logfile from Ylisa




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