A Trip to the Library

Too many questions are arising in Doc's mind about this mission, and he decides a quick trip to the library is in order. Sure, the entire planet is wired for instant information exchange, but Doc has always preferred the tactile experience of searching through physical pages. Besides, they've got some time to kill.

There is an old public library not far from the cathedral. He parks the jeep out front, careful to lock it after burying their armament beneath their camping gear. He checks the time bomb once more and sets an alarm for ten minutes before it detonates. They have to be back in the jeep by then, or else they may inadvertently take some bystanders for a ride, and worse, be stuck without a jeep.

Although Thunderhorse's literacy program is coming along, he is reluctant to enter into a place filled with so many "runes" as he calls them. The library is its self a converted church with vaulted ceilings, stained glass, and crosses. Thunderhorse remains in the vestibule muttering about wizardry and such, refusing to enter into the place further.

Mark has never been to a library, either. He stops to marvel at the number of books but is eventually drawn to the Children's Literature by the bright colors.

Doc heads straight for the historical reference section. He hadn't thought of the fact that they would all be in Norwegian, but fortunately his sunglasses can translate for him. They also tie into the library's searching program, making it quick and easy to find a handful of titles that might help him in his search.

Unfortunately, there's no king named Nathan in any historical reference. Nathan isn't even a Nordic name. He does find a few references to Haakon the Good but everything says he died at Fitjar in disagreement with Thunderhorse's tale of him being an everliving sorceror. He also finds a lot of information about Harald III, the last Viking King, his wars with the Saxons, and his death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

In their destination time, Norway would be briefly divided between Harald's sons, Magnus II in the north and Olaf III in the south until Magnus "unexpectedly" dies of ergot poisoning, leaving Olaf the sole ruler. Olaf made peace with the Normans who were presently conquering England, learned to read and write, improved relations with the pope, and built churches right here in Trondheim. He is buried here along with his father.

Doc can find no reference to Thunderhorse's home town of Hilton or the Tower of Venis where he says Jazelle was taken. He's not suprised about not finding an ancient village on a modern map, but towers tend to leave remains, have records of their construction or destruction, something like that. But there is nothing.

Doc's disappointement is multiplied when his eagerness to dig further is interrupted by his beeping alarm. The time bomb is going to go off soon. He pulls Mark away from the dirty magazines he's migrated to and finds Thunderhorse wandering near the river.

Doc's imagination is racing. What will it look like when they arrive? What has changed over the years? Who will they meet? ...Who will see them arrive?


ERR said...

Doc Research Check 10 (3+7) vs. DC20, Failed. XP+2

Doc said...

Head for the Jeep! I didn't come this far just to lose my only ride.

Have Thunderhorse tell us about his background in detail. Maybe there are some clues in his story that we have missed, like what kind of "magic" does the wizard use, etc.