Sorry, had a very tiring couple of days. The post is up!
Regarding the reluctance to just read the scroll: i'm not trying to be that dude who delays the plot, honestly. I'm just trying to profit from it, and avoid the unhealthy "first they try to kill us, then they give us quests" dynamics. )
But if that's obstructing the game, you can assume that if the party gives him a look and insists to just do it, Sohwa will just do it.
When Sohwa'll have some quiet time, he'll thoroughly examine the onyx and the scrolls. He will try to determine things like: what kind of component (Arcane, Nature, Religion, universal like Residuum) is that onyx? Does it have hidden downsides or dangers to its use? (Is it brown or black? If black, does black onyx have a connection with necromancy in this universe, like it has in many D&D universes? If it does, is Sohwa aware of it?) Which kind of a caster wrote those scrolls, and can anything be surmised from his handwriting/magic signature/style/whatever? Are the materials used (paper/parchment, ink/dyes) same as what Mahara commonly use, or remarkably different?
To avoid slowing the game down, I'll roll the Arcana and History checks in advance. I will only look up the answers once Sohwa actually does examine the items, of course.
Some random mechanical reminders to people:
atlastrembles, don't forget that you can speak to the spirits, to get +Wis to a skill check. That's comparable to a skill training, and can let you try nearly any skill-related task if it's not continious, including passing for arcanist if needed. )
You can also Cast Fortune before putting much on the line, though that's harder to benefit from properly.
Snowbluff, keep in mind that your "shadow walk"-"one with the shadow combo" is not without a drawback. You have to keep moving at least 3 squares from your starting position (not just move 3 squares, either; it has to actually end 3 squares or more away) each turn, in order to keep this up. While this does not make you "dither" in and our of stealth (both effects seem to be until the end of your NEXT turn, so plenty of overlap), moving more than 2 squares in a turn makes you roll Stealth at -5. (And if you move less, the concealment from Shadow Walk is gone, so you have to rely on allies or environment.)
(Which is also why i think that Perception vs. Stealth thing a while ago had probably resulted in Sohwa being aware of Quippothlothl, btw.)
Should be safe enough for scouting, though, since natural terrain usually has enough cover and concealment to move around hidden even if you do not have any supernatural cover-making abilities. ) The rangers manage somehow.
Felhammer, i think we are supposed to avoid direct links to certain websites that might, or might not, provide access to the 4e rules to people without making sure that these people are legal owners of 4e books, like us. Let's just assume that we all have our books close enough to reference them?
And yes, Sohwa is totally an arcanist.