Chapter 12: Vigilant Librarians and Orb-Throwing Guards

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Session Number: 212
Date: Sunday 6 July 2014
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Breg Rog3/Clr10 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Calico Drd13 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA6 (Ash) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal13 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz13 (Densial) (kills: none)
Violet Drd13 (Tammi) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

Violet touches the spine of the red-bound book. Nothing happens. She touches the black book. It looks as if she has moved her hand into deep shadow as she does so, but the book itself feels normal. She pulls the red and black books off the shelves and switches them back to their original positions, then floats to the left to keep an eye on the librarian.

Breg's Detect Magic spell senses multiple emanations of various strengths on his allies, and a lone, moderate emanation on a bookcase on the northern half of the west wall. "There's a magic item in the bookcase behind the jawbone," he says. He moves in that direction. Troll's spell senses the same emanation. He moves to the bookcase, pinpoints the source as being a leather scrollcase, and covertly pockets it. Breg does not immediately notice. Lionel continues covering the robed figure and moves to the doorway. He glances behind through the door; all looks clear and as it was. Rowaine steps sideways and keeps the robed figure in her sights.

"So what are we doing in here?" Calico asks.

"I'm looking for objects that may be helpful to get us through the next door," Breg replies.

Calico steps back and keeps careful watch on the figure. It continues searching, then straightens up and moves on the other side.

Troll spends some time looking at the scrolls he picked up. He determines that there are three spells enscribed: a conjuration from the subschool of creation, a necromancy, and an abjuration. Breg maintains his Detect Magic spell, looking south. He cannot see any magic in view.

Rowaine moves carefully around the webs to keep the robed figure in sight. It rummages around for a while, then moves past her and heads towards Lionel, who backs through the door. The creature starts looking at the shelves to the north of the doorway, the same place where Troll found and took a stack of magical sheaves of paper. It moves things either side, apparently looking for something. It then turns around, unsatisfied, and moves west towards Violet. Lionel reenters the room and Rowaine tracks the creature.

Breg searches the walls, looking for anything interesting. He doesn't see anything that looks out of the ordinary. There is a table in the centre of the west wall with a large book on it that catches his eye.

The creature moves to the southwest corner, sits at the desk and starts opening drawers. Lionel follows him and prepares to interrupt anything that it does that appears threatening. It finishes looking through the drawers, then turns and looks at the party members. It growls, then starts moving past Calico who moves out of the way. The creature moves all the way along the south wall to the eastern corner, then starts coughing. It crouches down and starts picking up books, putting them back on shelves. It looks over at the creature that lies dead on the floor and strokes a portion of its back, almost lovingly. It returns to its task of placing books on shelves. It dusts off some of the books as best it can with its robed arms.

"Is there any reason for us to remain here?" Calico says.

"I have the feeling that we should leave." Violet agrees.

"I can go," Troll replies.

"There seems to be two reasons," Breg says. "One: there might be another exit out of here. Two: this book on the table seems like it might be important." He examines the two pages the book is open at, but cannot understand the text. "Troll, can you read this language?" Troll approaches and looks at the script. "Nope."

The robed figure grabs two of the pincered limbs of the fallen creature and drags it towards the door. Lionel and Violet move out of the way. "Do you need a hand?" Violet asks. The figure does not respond. It looks like hard work but the figure works tirelessly, dragging the spider-like creature past narrow bookshelves and through the entrance, leaving it on the left wall of the corridor outside. While it is away, Calico searches the desk where the figure was sitting. It has two drawers, right and left. He sees no magic about the workplace. He opens the drawers. Inside the left drawer are unused sheaves of paper; the right drawer has another stack of paper that bears writing from a very neat hand.

Troll continues to read the scrolls he has picked up: one is a divine scroll with Cure Moderate Wounds, Speak with Dead and Spell Immunity. The other is an arcane scroll enscribed with Mind Blank. "Who wants this?" Troll says, holding up the bundle of divine scrolls. It goes to Breg, who finds a scroll case on a nearby shelf, empties the contents and places the scroll within.

The figure comes back in and finishes its task of returning books to shelves. Breg asks Rowaine to check for evil on the scroll; the paladin doesn't find any.

Violet looks along the bookshelves for anything interesting. Most of the titles and script she cannot read. She spots a violet-bound book that looks to be a beautifully illustrated and illuminated children's picture book. The story is well-written if odd; about a brother and sister, both vampires, that are pursued by a dastardly character in silver armour. They run away and finally lure their pursuer into a forgotten dungeon where they turn on and overcome it: a happy ending. Violet thinks the book is probably worth a fair amount of money.

The creature finishes tidying the books in the southeast corner. It takes one of the books that has been burned and carries it back to the table at the other end of the south wall. It sits, opens the book, opens the left-hand drawer, pulls out a sheet of paper, takes a quill and dips it in ink, and starts penning words onto the blank paper. Calico Detects no magic on anything save the creature. Breg sweeps past the creature, continuing to look for things unusual about the walls. Rowaine keeps Breg and the robed figure in sight.

"Excuse me," Violet says to the figure. "Can I borrow this book?" She holds up the violet-bound storybook she has found. The seated robed figure turns at the address and sees Violet holding the book. It motions wordlessly for her to put it back, an expression of alarm on its cowled face. "OK," Violet says, floating back towards the bookshelf where the book came from. The figure follows her.

"I don't think he wants us to take any books!" Violet says.

"I'd be interested to see what would happen if we tried to remove anything from the library," Breg says.

"Perhaps he's been cursed."

The figure watches closely as Violet returns to the shelf and slides the book back into place. It nods and starts to turn. But Violet's avarice gets the better of her and she snaps the book back under her tunic. Too fast! The movement catches the figure's attention and it swings around. Alarmed, Violet freezes.

"Put it back!" the figure says in a voice as dry as autumn leaves. It is the first time it has spoken. Violet puts the book back and flies towards the door. "Leave!" the figure says. It then looks to all the party. "Leave!!" it commands. "NOW!"

"Do you have a book of Chalychia?" Calico says in a last-ditch effort.

"LEAVE!!" the figure shouts in a voice devoid of life and empathy, as it closes with Calico. The druid retreats, as does everyone else. Rowaine stays at the door and is the last to leave. A moment later, the figure shuts the door in her face.

The party move east towards the door with the face on it. Breg motions them to stop, then searches for anything dangerous in that direction. Finding nothing, he approaches the door. Calico does likewise, looking through the holes in the door. They are curved; he cannot see through. Breg motions him to step back, then pushes on the door. It opens.

Beyond the door is a chamber. The raised obsidian dais at the far end draws everyone's eyes. Two steps lead to the top, in the centre of which sits an exquisitely wrought bone throne inlaid with gold. Before it is a matching stand that holds an opalescent white globe. On each side of the dais stand two 10-foot-tall bulky humanoid figures. Each holds an inky black globe. Troll immediately wonders whether they are Spheres of Annihilation… They are indeed magical, but he has never heard of this many immensely powerful objects ever being in the same place at once.

"What was that thing we heard about crystal?" Breg asks in a quiet voice.

"Encased in a crystal prison with no door, but only the first for there are five more," Calico quotes. It is one of the phrases the unbalanced vampiric monk uttered.

"That sounds about right," Troll adds.

Calico and Troll sense magic in the room. Breg checks the floor immediately inside the door for danger. The hair on his neck does not rise so he moves inside. At the same time, Troll Dimension Jaunts to the centre of the room.

Breg senses a tingling, believing he has fought off a hostile magical effect. Troll appears and has the same experience. "That wasn't me," he says.

Lionel and Violet wait. Breg checks the area in front of him, finds it safe, and advances. Troll appraises the white globe before him. If it were solid glass or stone, he reckons it would weigh a good 25 pounds. He wants it. He moves and grabs the globe. He feels a tingling almost on the verge of pain and knows he has fought off hostile magic - he sees the translucent script of a Glyph of Warding on the floor that has triggered a failed Hold Person spell. He takes his prize and backs the hell away! Rowaine moves up to the entrance and readies her bow. One of the four gigantic figures to the right of the throne opens its eyes and a yellow glow emanates from within its eyes. It raises its arms and throws the black globe it carries. The globe arcs and smashes on the floor between Breg and Troll, releasing a brown liquid that quickly covers the surrounding floor where Troll and Breg stand. The liquid is immensely slippery; Troll loses his footing and falls down painfully. The figure then closes the gap. Another of the four figures opens its glowing yellow eyes, raises its arms and throws its black globe. The orb shatters and splashes another pool of slippery liquid on the floor. It too closes, treading through the oily liquid that the first creature released. It slips and falls to the floor. A third creature awakens, moves closer and hurls its globe through the door. It smashes just outside the chamber, releasing the same brown, viscous liquid over the floor where Rowaine and Calico stand. Both fall prone. Calico changes form to a Blink Dog and teleports into the room, upright. The area contains hostile magic that he resists. He then casts Splinter Bolt, sending two piercing chunks of wood towards the remaining creature's black sphere and a third towards the creature itself. The first two shatter the orb in the creature's arms, showering the creature in oily brown liquid. The third stabs the creature through its upper abdomen, inflicting 14 damage. It splits apart and falls to the floor, utterly sundered. Out of it, a swarm of yellow and black winged creatures take flight, heading towards Troll. The swarm passes Breg who slaps at the cloud. He swats one unfortunate bug into the wall but the others rejoin the swarm and surround Troll. Troll takes 7 HP and 4 Dexterity damage.


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