014 - Room: The Temple of the River Goddess - Library
The library is populated by the ghostly temple librarian, Bordia Flowkeeper, kept in the mortal realm by a combination of the High Priestess’s magic and her own unfinished business. It’s in large part thanks to Bordia that High Priestess Elle learned of the oncoming disaster with enough time to prepare for it. Sadly, Bordia did not heed the Priestess's instructions to vacate the temple, and thus was caught and killed in the collapsing building.
As a half-elf, Bordia has had many long years to become familiar with the library’s contents, and a large amount of other information besides. She’s willing to help the party, to the extent of her somewhat limited abilities. The only way that Bordia can physically interact with the world around her is through the handling of books, she can lift them, move them, open them and flip through the pages, and even use them to strike foes (for damage roughly equivalent to a physically weak character’s unarmed attack.) Bordia is also a cleric of the River Goddess, of a power level just a little higher than the party. She can cast healing and possibly protective spells, but cannot use her magic offensively (even against the undead).
Bordia has been frustrated by her inability to communicate directly with High Priestess Elle, but has had a couple weeks to think about the problem, and has come to believe that she is waiting for someone to come. Knowing that the High Priestess can’t possibly sustain much more of her current effort, she’s willing to give the party the benefit of the doubt that they might be the ones.
Bordia’s unfinished business is that she has left no successor to take over her duties as librarian to the temple. When the temple falls, her business will remain unresolved until a successor is found, but she will not be able to travel beyond the grounds of the temple, even after its collapse. Alas, this will be a tough challenge, for all the books in the library were destroyed with the temple, and will vanish as soon as the High Priestess’s spell ends.
Knowledge Bordia Can Provide
The Coins of Many Times
The librarians of the temple have long kept a log of every coin found within the fountains in the courtyard, because due to the blessings of the River Goddess, coins tossed into the pool are brought forward or backward in time. The log contains descriptions of coins of hundreds of mintages, the time they were found, and the suspected time they were from based on their markings. Coins that seem particularly important were physically kept and attached to the relevant page. (worth 7 gold altogether, mostly in coppers). When the fountains were built, the first coin found within them came from a distant future, but Bordia recently identified it as being from around the current time period and warned the priestess. It had been long theorized that that was the “last coin” – meaning the last coin that would ever be thrown in the fountain.
The founders of the temple also made a record of the “first coin” that was thrown in, and it was the sudden reappearance of this coin a few weeks ago, combined with the fact that no coin from the future had arrived in some time, that made Bordia concerned that perhaps the temple’s final days were near – a suspicion that she promptly reported to the High Priestess.
If any of the party members threw a coin into the fountain, the coin thrown in last is attached to the first page of the log as this “last coin”, aged more than a hundred years since the character threw it in the fountain. Bordia will be overjoyed, and immediately return it to the character that threw it in – but its unique journey has imbued it with temporal energies that give it a strange power.
Lucky Coin of Time - Once per day, the character that owns this coin can toss it in the air with a spin, where it glints and vanishes completely – putting the owner every so slightly out of time phase. At any point later, the character can retrieve the coin instead of taking a normal turn, which causes them to snap back into phase, which to others involves them vanishing for a full turn and then suddenly reappearing at the beginning of their next turn, as they are absent from the timeline for the several seconds it takes them to sync back up. During this period, they are completely absent, and no spell or attack can affect them. At the end of this period, they reappear in the exact same spot they left if it is physically unoccupied. If it is not, they will remain in temporal suspension until the exact instant the space is clear, and then reappear.
The party might take on finding a successor for Bordia, or one of the players themselves might attempt to serve in the role. This is a tough challenge, as it involves accumulating materials for a new library. Books worth 200 gold, at least a half of which must deal with religion, and at least a quarter of which must deal with the River Goddess herself. Beyond that, at least one book must detail the secret lore of the goddess’s time aspect, a very hard to find item. Their commitment to the River Goddess and the job must be genuine, not feigned, and the candidate must convert to the religion if not already a member. Upon success, Bordia will depart for the afterlife, and her replacement will gain access to a few time-based abilities (and spells if they are a spellcaster).