Choose Your Own Adventure Part 91: Flying Rumors
Your decision was to follow-up on the rumors you’ve been hearing around the palace, while waiting for some word on the Emperor’s big appearance in a few days.
After your minimally effective day watching the palace, your main gains have been from overhearing the conversations flowing through the gardens. The obvious next step is to follow up on the more interesting ones, in hopes of learning something useful before the Emperor’s formal appearance in a few days.
With a little bit of wandering back from the gardens, you pass by a large tavern that appears to be frequented by students and others affiliated with the mage’s academy. You’ll blend right in.
With a mild ale and a bowl of hot soup, you quietly listen in on one of the larger groups. It’s a bit of a challenge with all the chatter flowing through the establishment, but a small spell to alter the acoustics around yourself helps quite a bit.
The biggest group is mostly more senior students, some doing advanced studies, based on the technicality of some of the topics of conversation. You sip your ale slowly in the smoky room, waiting for something of greater interest.
One of the students complains bitterly for a little while about her absent mentor, Danika Tarresh. She had gone to another academy to the west on a sabbatical, and then left for a period of independent research. But her student had not heard a word from her in several months, and was growing frustrated. The class Tarresh had been expected to teach this fall was cancelled due to her unexplained absence. The timeline interests you — it sounds like she disappeared around the same time you returned with a certain spellbook. But it could be a coincidence.
One of the others changes the subject to something cheerier — planning for the Emperor’s event. Some of the students are planning a significant display of artistic illusions, and, due to an illness, are going to be one hand short. They discuss altering their routine, and the difficulty of finding a good replacement on short notice.
Option 92: Proffer your services at the presentation of the Emperor’s new daughter. It’ll be a good way to get close, and you’ve got the magic to pull off the tricks needed. Probably.
Option 93: Try to find out more about Danika Tarresh, the missing mage. This is likely to require travel outside of Alederik — you may miss the big event in a couple of days.
Option 94: This wasn’t that helpful. Back to the original plan, of sneaking around the Emperor’s big event when it happens. No distractions.