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This refers to the Age of Enlightenment expansion of Rivals for Catan. When discovering the Islands of the Scholars, it says you can choose two cards from one draw stack. Does that mean you can look through the stack and choose, or do you just get to draw the top two cards of the stack?

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The game makes a fairly clear distinction between "draw" and "choose". This page has the rules in pdf form: http://www.catan.com/service/game-rules

In the rules for the base game, on page 10, under the exchanging a card from your hand portion, you have two options (emphasis added):

Take a random card. Draw the top card from a draw stack of your choice.

OR

Select a specific card. Pay any 2 resources of your choice. Choose a draw stack and look at all of its cards. Then take 1 card of your choice from that stack.

The same document describes Game Rules for the Theme Games (starting page 14). Preparation step 4 (page 15) says (again, emphasis added):

Choosing the Starting Cards. You don't draw your starting cards randomly from a stack like you've done in the Introductory Game. Instead, beginning with the starting player, each player chooses a Basic Set draw stack and selects 3 cards for a starting hand. You may not change the order of the cards in the draw stack.

These are about choosing draw stacks, not cards specifically, but the language appears to be consistent in the expansion. For instance, the Grove of Fraternity says "You may draw 3 cards from any 1 or more draw stacks..." whereas Grove of Freedom says "Choose 1 card from a draw stack..." We've always interpreted "choose" to mean pick a stack, look through it, and take card(s) of your choice.

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Look through and choose

Choose is clarified under the rules for Grove of Freedom:

When choosing the card, you may not change the order of the cards in the stack.

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