The Village People into the Library
The next morning the lizardmen offered to act as guides to avoid the trolls. Taking 4 canoes they took Ukla, Shalla, Mala, Lenny, Angela, and Tuccia; leaving the other henchmen to guard the barge. During their approach they heard the sound of wings and scattered as they saw a black dragon fly overhead. The dragon circled a few times before flying away into the swamp.
The party and the lizardmen guides made it to the ruins of the library. After debating which entrance to use, they ended up going up the stairs into the main entrance. The light streamed through the tattered roof above the open foyer. The party was scared away from an open office seen through a half-door by a patch of mold (remembering how they almost died from spel casting mold in Dwimmermount).
Moving past the foyer stairs into rows of damp books, they were attacked by arcane cadavers (adherers from the old fiend folio). After handling them, the party heard voices whisper “come on, let’s move the gold before they find us” from over heard. Suspicious, they sent some summoned berserkers upstairs through some closed doors. After hearing some sounds of a struggle, they heard footsteps as 4 very quick emaciated creatures leapt from the balcony above and joined in combat. These creatures were tough, hit hard, and as some blood spilt onto Lenny, he found himself losing points of wisdom!
During the fight a large bolt of silvery black energy blasted through the party, taking down most of the henchmen. Illyrio immediately tried to track it to it’s source and moved in the direction indicated by the ancient letter from the Termaxian mage. He turned the corner to face a partially skeletal creature glowing with arcane power. Tendrils of azoth flowed from it’s hands as it tried to wrap around his throat. He made his saving throw, however, and battle was joined.
Meanwhile Lenny eventually was reduced to 0 wisdom. His visage changed, and he began to cry out in agony. When he glanced up, the same strange silvery glow was in his eyes, as he moved to attack. Luckily one of the party mages was able to summon some berserkers to assist Illyrio, while the rest of the party took on Lenny and the rest of the termaxian husks.
After a pitched battle, the party was victorious. After the battle, they attended to the wounded. Lenny was dead, but Dave cast Cure Disease immediately in an attempt to have him brought back to life. Shalla was severely injured and Mala was scarred. Many of the party’s healers were not with them, however, and most of the healing magic (pootions, spells, skills, etc) were used up. The party moved into the open secret door disguised as a book shelf. They found an alchemical lab, the personal chambers of the termaxian skeletal-mage, 10K gp worth of tomes for a magical library, and a fair amount of treasure. On the body of the mage they found some fancy boots. They also found a gallon of raw azoth, a spellbook, a scroll, and a giant bronze head of Terms Termax.
After they closed up the secret door and prepared to search upstairs, they heard a large splash from outside. They quickly moved to hide as the main doors burst open and the head of a black dragon peered inside. After a few breathless moments of the dragon sniffing around, they saw it leave and heard it take flight.
A search upstairs found a locked office. A search revealed a hidden safe, which Eduardo opened. They also discovered 4 adjoining rooms loaded with books. Unlike the books downstairs these books were in good condition because of magical de-humidifiers in each of the rooms. The party spent some time going through the books and discovered that each room covered a different subject – history/other worlds/astral theory, divine topics, animals/monster/natural world, and everything else. They found books on all of the known world, and lots of special books as well. Some highlights:
- Mice of Gold – a book describing a lvl 8 arcane ritual that can turn mice into gold!
- A book detailing the fall of Termagant and creation of the eld
- Parts is Parts – with this book (and the right equipment) anyone can get special components from dead creatures (not constructs, extra planar, or dragons).
- Draco’s Guide to Dragons – ‘nuff said including the formula for a potion of dragon control.
Of special interest was a book with the divine spell formulas for 2 new spells, Ox’s Health (18 CON (and resulting increase in HPs) ADV on spell saves).
While they were looking through the tomes they heard a cry o f alarm from one of the henchman. The party heard the roof creak as a large figure landed on the roof. The head of a black dragon peered down from holes in the foyer roof. A second, slightly smaller black dragon head came in through the main entrance! This dragon spoke, demanding that the party show themselves, or the dragons would tear the library to the ground.
Illyrio and Tariq spoke to the dragon in the doorway. The dragon asked what happen to the Termaxian Berol Kral? After a few nervous looks the party told the dragon they had killed him. The dragon congratulated them on their victory and thanked them for their assistance in collecting some treasure for the dragons. The dragon demanded that the party give them 10,000 GP worth of treasure and first pick of all of the magic items recovered. The party agreed, but asked for one hour to get it ready. The dragon agreed and both of them flew away.
The party went over their options. They decided their only course was to comply. The party quickly collected up enough treasure and put all of the suspected magical items together. When the dragons came back (one on the roof, knocking a few support beams into the foyer) they brought some goblin servants who took the treasure. The dragon choose the spellbook of the mage (and scroll). Illyrio asked what the name of such magnificent and beautiful dragons were, rolling an 11 (+1 for CHA). The dragon was more than happy to speak of the power of Onyx and Deathclaw and was pleased with the party’s deference to their betters.
Illyrio took advantage of this good will. He got Onyx to agree to have Deathclaw watch while the party removed the books out of the library circle overheard in return for a promise that he would speak well of the dragons to the lizard men and promised to bring several cattle in tribute the next time he visited Lloreac. As a result the party was able to retrieve their remaining , the barge, and the marines. They spent 12 hours boxing up the majority of the valuable books. Deathclaw watched with minor interest from the roof, keeping the trolls, ogres, and goblins away.
Jace managed to figure out how to remove the de-humidifiers, only damaging one in the process. They put them on the barge as well.
The party shared some of the recovered trade good treasures with the lizard men. Although they had some difficulty with weather, they made it back to civilization with their books and treasures intact. After a quick trip upstream to Adamas, they paid for Shalla and Lenny to be risen. Shalla was shaken and left the employ of Tuccia. Lenny was shell shocked and started easily when ever confronted with a bright light or loud noise. Lenny choose to retire and Tariq offered him (and his sprite familiar) a job as a gardener.
A few PCs and henchmen leveled up. Jace made plans to build a separate library in Muntburg near Illyrio’s orphanage. Eduardo asked Ukla to let Barnabus go, but Ukla liked Barnabus, so he remained in Ukla’s employ. After some time spent learning spells, the Village People returned home to Muntburg.