From the Client

So, found this thing out in the field a while back, and made a trip out to the House of Splendors after a meeting in Mor Dhona (that honestly could have been an email). Rowena and her girls took a look at it, and said they didn’t recognize it, and none of her equipment could pull anything from it.

Looks plain enough, black/blue tomestone, but I’m not versed enough in tomes to know what’s what with them. So I started working down the line through my contacts and they recommended me to you. If you guys can’t figure it out, it’s either going in my forge or my junk drawer as a paperweight.

Tea’s not really my thing, too rich and fancy for my blood, but, I’ll pick up an Earl Grey Esoterics for the road. Uh…I’ll kick in 5k, seems about right for something so specialized.

My name? Oh right, Torvan Hillway, I work for Tenth Round Security Consulting, and am contracted with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.

Tome Attributes: No, just not readable by Rowena

Gil Donation: 5,000

Tea Order: Earl Grey Esoterics

“Greetings and well me, Mr. Hillway! ‘Tisn’t every day I have a client of your importance call upon my skills. You can rest assured I can figure your Tome out, even if Rowena couldn’t,” Amon gave a polite half-bow as he took the Tome and carefully inspected it with a glance.

Though the fellow was right – this did look like a plane Tome – he got the sense that he might be in for a bit of a challenge. That thought sparked a bit of excitement. Especially should he be able to show up Rowena to someone that works in close with the Scions!

“No worries about the tea. You can help yourself to whatever snacks we have out on the table. Some sweets, some small sandwiches. Hopefully you’ll find something to your liking.”

Amon headed behind the machine and opened a special slot on the side. He had a hunch that it would take more than a normal reading for this… but he had just the thing!

Appraisal Outcome

You did bring me a challenging one, my friend. I can see why Rowena had a time with it – ’tis encrypted with an Allagan cypher, which requires a specialized program to crack. Thankfully, this cypher was nothing on a professional level, just enough to deter the average individual if the Tome had fallen into outside hands.

So what data was so important that the Tome was encrypted, you might ask?

Well, this seems to be a set of documents and journals written by a group who called themselves the Philosophical Forum. In fact, the folder names itself as: Studies of the Philosophical Forum.

That may not appear to be top secret information to you, but looking through this content, many names are listed of individuals involved in this Forum. In the final days of Allag, those who had different thoughts from the leadership could find themselves… disappearing… If you know what I mean.

So encrypting this data was one way to keep the names and their beliefs hidden from the wrong parties. That being said, the encryption also worked to keep the data very well preserved as it could not be accessed. I’ve cracked the cypher for you and made the copy of the data you requested. But should you try to read the Tome again without the proper machine, you’ll run across the same issue.

I’d wager, however, those interested in learning about encryption placed on historical data formats would be very interested in trying to reverse engineer how it works…

“This Tome could be worth quite a bit to those who are looking to learn about encryption and security of data.” Amon handed his client the Tome and the backup of the data. “Though if you do decided to sell this technology, choose your buyer wisely. If someone figures out how to crack an encryption, they can eventually decipher how to create an encryption… or even spin-offs of it.”

Amon gave a grim nod to Torvan, all the while thinking maybe it would be good to invest in strengthening his own cypher programs. He’d not expected to run across an encrypted Tome so soon. Thankfully, this was only a minor encryption that took him little time to crack.

“‘Tis up to you, but seeing you noted that security is in your realm of interest… Mayhaps yours is the safest hand to keep it.”