Well, I do say I had the strangest experience of my life today. I was talking, well drinking really, with one of the newest members of our little band. Odd girl likes to use a sword and a dagger at the same time. Who does that?
Anyways she reminded me of some missing members, people who had found some sort of secret thingamajig in the library and gone to explore it and never came back. So we walked the company dog Snausages over to the library and negotiated admittance. The sticking point was Snausages, and I told them how much I loved the dog and how he was my emotional support animal and threatened to cry. I think it was the last part that got them to let me in, they’ve never seen a paladin cry before.
They did make me cut his lead down to 5 feet from 50.
So they let us in and guided us to the architecture section because I asked about doors. Why did I ask about doors? It was what the note said to look for. We looked for hours, but finally, Lyrian found the door. She said something about looking for where people aren’t, which makes so sense to me?
But she did find a door and we went through it. Behind it we found a hallway with a door at the far end and a heavy vault door to one side. The vault door had a combination lock and a key, but Lyrian had a hairpin and I remembered that there were only a few possibilities to check. Turns out the combination was 1-2-3! We got the door open!
Inside the new room we found 5 vats of ink being stirred by some strange mechanism. Black, red, blue, green, and … Iridescent?
There was also a mess of papers over the floor, from which emerged a massive bookworm. I struck It a firm blow with my sword, and it nibbled on my big toe before Lyrian killed it. For a brief moment I was almost paralyzed! But I comforter myself by imagining filing a form to Denara for relief of paralysis, and it worked! We shoved the body into the tunnel the worm came from to block it off, in case there were more.
Brad eth Bard wandered into the room about that time, and was able to decipher a little bit more from the discarded papers, but nothing useful. He did experiment a bit with the ink, and it turns out that anything you coat with the blue ink turns invisible! I dipped my sword in, leaving only the hilt uncoated, and now I am The Man With The Invisible Sword! I’m going to be famous!
However, all the poking and prodding woke up an ink elemental and we fled out the door, locking it behind us.
The passageway continued, oddly getting smaller and smaller, until finally we came upon a door only four feet tall. Lyrian and Brad went through while I stood watch. They found a bunch of maps, including one of the caverns of Archaya, which would be very useful to the other Butchers. But I sternly reminded them whole keeping watch that we are not thieves, we are only here looking for our friends. I didn’t notice anything missing when we all continued through the tiny room.
The next room was some sort of bizarre mechanism powered by undead turning wheels and gears. I wanted to destroy them, but that would be vandalism, and they seemed… Tame? At any rate none attacked us and we did not attack them. I’ll report the skeletons to Oscar later. He will know what to do.
After that a room filled with boxes. Lyrian opened one, checking for our friends, and found candles… And bees. Lots of bees. We left quickly.
The next room had a lectern with a book chained to it. The book was open to a passage about initiation rites for St Ygg. After a few minutes there, a mist monster formed, so we ran.
The next room contained a strange sarcophagus with musical notation and instruments carved into it. Lyrian and Brad lifted off the lid to make sure our friends weren’t inside while I examined the carvings and tried to remember whether they were representative of a particular deity. (No, they are not. At least I couldn’t think of one.). They found a skeleton inside, with a pouch around it’s neck.
Brad did something horribly noisy, too. I’m not sure what, just that it made quite a racket. I cringed but didn’t look. No respect for the dead! Anyways, Lyrian distracted me by offering a pretty gemstone as a gift! I wonder where she got it, and why she chose this exact moment to give it to me, but clearly she is the soul of generosity and friendship. Or perhaps this is a courting gift? I will never understand women.
Nor do I understand how to donate ten percent of a gemstone. Perhaps I keep the gemstone and donate ten percent of its value? It would be crude to sell a gift from a friend. Perhaps I shall wear it around my neck in a pouch so I don’t lose it until I figure out how to properly handle the matter. Oscar will know, he understands women!
I met up with Frederick, another probationary member of the Butchers, at the tavern. He was feeding a dog. The company must be okay if they have dogs. Frederick seems like a nice sort. He has stories for everything. I like the stories. Frederick wanted to visit the library. Something about missing Butchers. Then he forgot all about wanting to go to the library. I had to remind him, and then he took a note from under his helmet and he remembered. We went to the library. Frederick conned the guards at the door to let the dog in with us. Something about an emotional support animal. Never head of that, but if it lets us keep the dog, I’m all for it.
The librarian at the desk wouldn’t let us browse around, but Frederick said we wanted to look at doors, so she led us to the architectural section and left us alone. It took several hours trying to figure out where people didn’t want to be to find the door we were looking for. Through the door was a hallway and a vault door. A vault in a library was too much of a curiosity to ignore. Frederick said he had gone to something called math class and learned all about combinations. He fiddled with the circular handle and figured out the combination, then he picked the lock with my dagger. Amazing! I was really impressed with that math stuff.
Inside the vault were five vats of ink in suspended cauldrons with spouts underneath, being stirred by giant whisks hanging from the ceiling. I have no idea why ink would need to be in a vault. We didn’t have anything to put ink in, and we were about to leave, when a giant worm came out of a bunch of papers on the floor. It attacked Frederick, he hit it, and I finished it off. Dual wielding is harder than it looked when the swordmaster did it. I’m gonna keep trying, and I’ll be the best swordmaster ever. Brad was very clever, and dipped string into each vat of ink. The blue ink made the string invisible. Ok, maybe that deserves to be in a vault after all. The boys dipped their weapon blades in the invisible ink, and they became invisible. I didn’t want invisible blades. I want everyone to know I’m armed and I’m coming for them. The multicolor ink probably did something too, but I couldn’t tell what. Then something started to come out of the ink, and we ran and shut the door behind us.
We went down the hallway, which became short. It led to a small door into a tiny room with lots of maps in frames hanging on the walls. I found a cavern one that looked important, and took a few others. Frederick grumbled about not being thieves. They certainly aren’t doing anyone any good hanging down here in a room you have to crawl to get into. Besides, they might be worth money. A former beggar never turns up an opportunity for money. We left the tiny room from the door on the other side, and the hallway became big enough to stand up straight again. It led to a room with lots of steam and noise and equipment, run by skeletons. Luckily, they weren’t interested in attacking us, being busy making the equipment run, so we sidled by and out the door on the other side. Distressing lack of architectural diversity in this library.
The next room was another vault. Frederick picked the door with my dagger again, but cut himself this time. This vault had a bunch of locked books hanging from chains from the ceiling. Somebody does not want whatever is in those books to get out. I looked in one of the crates along the wall, and it had candles … and bees the size of my hands. I put the cover back on fast, and ran for the door. As we got out the door, the bees were buzzing louder and starting to crawl out of all the crates. Yikes.
More hallway to another door. This door opened into a sort of meeting room with a book nailed to a lectern. Again, somebody does not want that book going anywhere. Seems awfully weird for a library to be confining books so much. The book was about initiation for St. Ygg. Frederick was complaining about wanting to go back and turn the unnatural undead skeletons in the other room, and I said go ahead, but I wasn’t dealing with skeletons or bees, and to let us know how it turned out. We turned back around and saw a mist coming through the closed door at the other end of the room. The mist floated towards the lectern, which began to rattle and shake. The mist became thick fog, and we couldn’t see. Brad sang that he was making his way along the wall towards the far door. I made my way to the wall on the opposite side and felt my way to the door. Split up the targets. Frederick must have charged down the middle, because he bumped into us soon after. We stumbled out the door as the fog started to solidify, and slammed the door behind us. Fog tendrils caught by the door fell to the floor and disappeared. That’s some scary shit. Bet it would have suffocated us, if we’d stayed in the room. I can’t figure out for the life of my why such a room to St. Ygg would be in a library that is a temple to a different god.
More hallway to a small square room. On one side was a black sarcophagus. On the other was a staircase down into depths we couldn’t see the bottom of. In front was another door. The boys insisted on checking for traps or whatever. Finally I was able to open the sarcophagus. It had a skeleton holding a pouch. Frederick inspected the lid of the sarcophagus, so I grabbed the pouch when he wasn’t looking. At the same time, Brad, paranoid about the skeleton animating, pulled off it’s arms, and got bones all over. There was no need to desecrate the corpse like that. If the skeleton animated, Frederick could try turning it like he wanted to with the others. No problem. I opened the pouch and found gems. I gave one to Brad and one to Frederick. I’ll keep one, and we’ll split the sale proceeds of the other one. The door led to more boring hallway, so of course we’re going down the stairs. It seems the most likely place to look for the missing folks.