"You walk into the room and it is like stepping into the grand library. Wall to wall and floor to ceiling is taken up by leather bound loaded bookshelves. All of the tomes are in varying states of decay and none of which are new. The air is bone dry as the parchment behind the covers screams for moisture. It carries the heavy musky odour of aged leather, old pages, and stale ink.
Furniture sparsely populates the room. A leather couch which is a patchwork of repairs and of a colour that suggested it was once a deep red. A cabinet sits nestled between two book cases and provides the only break in the barrier. Astride it is an array of crystal decanters containing liquids that promised sweetly aged liquor, and behind its stained oak doors the discovery of long forgotten secrets from the tobacco trade. This sight is framed by yellowing wallpaper with only a hint of the pattern it might have once proudly boasted.
In the centre, the dominating presence of the room stands a desk. Large and regal, made of an almost black wood, it puts you on edge. This is the desk where decisions are made and documents signed sealing the fates of a thousand unnamed souls at a time. The impression is reinforced by the high backed chair behind it. More in likeness of a throne and made from the same dark wood, it nails home the point you are in the office of Lord Council Corvin. A judge even the kings bow to. A power so absolute, that to say he is above the law would be an understatement. He is the law!"
The idea for this location is to build up some atmosphere for the PC's. This is the office of Lord Council Corvin. Corvin is Head of the Cabal, an order that searches out magical artefacts, and keeps the peace between all the kingdoms of the land. They are not however a religious order. (aside: I'm only beginning to create the order, and the world in which I'm setting this in. More posts will follow this one. This is just where I'm starting from).Do not give your players too much time to explore the office. Firstly it isn't huge. Large enough for the desk, chair, couch and perhaps four to six humanoids standing, depending on race.
A cursory glance across the spines of the books reveal historical records, censuses, law books, almanacs of
the crimes and punishments Corvin and his fellow councillors have overseen, and more than a few ritual books.
On closer inspection they notice that the ritual books are behind protective sigils and glyphs. If one of them gets curious enough to reach for one such ritual book, explain to them it is like trying to touch an electrified wall. (Low damage roll if they persist)
The other books are free to pick up, and Corvin may take a liking to any character showing an interest in
the ones detailing the crimes and punishments of the past. However the books are fragile and if a clumsy character picks one up, he/she may damage it to the extent where a page or two falls out. If Corvin comes in and sees them trying to stuff the pages back into the book (or their pocket) they will be immediately expelled from the office and the conversation will continue without them.
Sitting on the couch will also be a bad idea. Corvin is use to respect, and all should stand when he enters any room. Have an aid or servant warn them of this and not to sit until given permission to do so. This will almost assuredly never happen. Failure to do so will result in expulsion.
There are no drinking vessels for the liquor on the cabinet, they are locked beneath. Corvin keeps these here as a kind of ornamentation or if he has a high profile guest he will offer them a drink but abstain himself. There is nothing magical about the cabinet and a mediocre thief could pick the lock with relative ease. But this will be seen as an attempt to steal and the appropriate punishment will be served on the spot for the crime if caught. Opening the cabinet will reveal two shelves. On the top are eight crystal glasses and on the bottom are three ornate pipes and a selection of fine tobaccos.
The surface desk is bereft of documents, and all that is sitting on top is a small oil lamp on the left, an ink well and a selection of five quills laid out neatly on the right. If a player is bold enough to move around to the other side he/she will notice three drawers built into the right hand side. These drawers are all locked and have similar
sigils and glyphs surrounding them. These do not pack the same punch as the ones on the bookshelves, but are enough to prevent an opportunist thief.