Chapter 32: Enter the Librarians
- 1 About the Saga
- 2 The Saga
- 3 Experience
- 4 Treasure
- 5 Resources
About the Saga
- Campaign Date: Readying 7-9, CY 516
- Real World Date: July 3, 2016
- Read other Obsidian Frontier Sagas
Cast of Characters
- Burgell Nackle (Damon), a gnome bard with dubious ethics.
- Darogan Ferventfire (Nate), Paladin of Delleb.
- Zaphrym (Tom), a Gnome Sorcerer obsessed with magical tomes.
- "There is a risk of knowing a thing and having it control you." -- Librarian Edrid
What Has Come Before
Itching for adventure but knowing that his regular adventuring companions were settling in for long nights of training and/or paperwork, Burgell sought out new heroes using his contacts in the Griffins Guild. He found them in the form of Rinnadar Tinugelydh, elven eldritch knight from Celene and Zaphrym, gnomish wild sorcerer from Verbobonc. Together they set out in search of bandits who had been ambushing adventurers along the Great Southern Road. After a minor setback in the form of a flock of cockatrices, they succeeded in defeating the bandits. They've returned home to report their success to the Griffins Guild.
Readying 7, CY 516
Meeting the Prior
Once back in town, Darogan Ferventfire sets out to talk with Prior Rel Evering, the representative of the church of Delleb in the city, about ways that the paladin can help in the city. The prior asks him to attend the upcoming "Cornerstone Gala" being held at the Matterhorn estate by Lady Holder Matilda Matterhorn. Lady Matterhorn, along with famed bookWright Edumond Pagewright and the noted librarian Eldrid, have established the Obsidian Bay Library Company to bring a quality library experience to the fledgling city.
The gala was aimed at generating interest -- and donations -- from the adventuring class. Prior Evering asked that Darogan attend this event on the church's behalf.
That conversation complete, Darogan heded out to talk wtih Sir Obrin of the Church of Heironeous, about local threats to the city. Obrin, relieved to be speaking with another capable warrior, confided that the Wyvren Empire, and it's leader "General Kor", were one of his greatest concerns. The presence of a powerful Hextorite force on the Pomarj is worrying, all the more so since Kor appeared to have "friends" in the city in the form of Burgell Nackle.
The Cornerstone Gala
After reporting in at the Griffins Guild, Burgell Nackle learned from Telathanas that an elderly, insane beholder that people were calling "The Mad Eye" was floating around to the north of the city, posing a threat to travellers (as well as anything else that go to close to it).
Telthanas also told the gnome about the "Cornerstone Gala" and Burgell immediately seeks out his finest clothes and prepares to attend.
Once at the party, Burgell went from partygoer to partygoer, before finally meeting up with a drunken male human adventurer who, in a belligerent, slurred voice, demanded to know when the Griffins Guild was finally going to call in the heavy hitters to deal with the aboleth threat to the east.
Burgell disengaged himself from the individual as quickly as he could, then found himself in a different conversation discussing Lady Estrada van Strand successful recapturing Ostrand Keep with the help of the Crescent League.
Meanwhile, Zaphrym had also arrived at the party and struck up a conversation with Librarian Eldrid. Zaphrym asked the learned man about genealogies, particularly esoteric genealogies (including demon and fiendish course breeding). Surprised, but eager to talk scholarship, the librarian told the gnome what he knew, then warned "there is a risk of knowing a thing and having it control you."
Continuing his tour of the room, Burgell learns that a triad of aboleths rules the the Purple Squids Hobgoblins to in the next bay over. Rumor has it that the Griffins Guild *has* unleashed its big guns on the aboleths, but while they were able to drive the hobgoblins beneath the waves, the aboleths repelled their attack. There are foul rumors that the creatures all serve an ancient demon-god known as Dagon.
At this point, yet another male human patron approached Burgell and demanded to know the real story about "General Kor", whom everyone knows was once a friend of the gnome.
"How do you explain his rise to power?" the man asked.
"Oh, that's because he's likely under the the influence of one or perhaps more evil arficfacts," Burgell responded.
"How did he get them?"
"We gave them to him."
"We didn't 'know' they were evil at the time..."
Eventually Burgell was rescued from the engagement by Zaphrym. As he retreated from the fight, and apologetic Burgell explained that they meant to deal with Kor but got caught up in the Feywild...
At this point Sir Darogan, having seen the confrontation, approached Burgell, who introduced him to Zaphrym. Their conversation touched on many of the night's revelations before Darogon revealed his own reason for being in Obsidiain Bay: his mentor is held by the Circle of Blue -- an arcane association of some power -- who accepted servitude on the condition that his apprentice be allowed to leave the city. Darogon is now pondering ways to get him back.
They managed to find their way to the founders of the library company and, after a brief round of introductions, Burgell pledges 1,000 GP to the cause. That earns him and his companion's breakfast with Lady Matterhorn the next morning.
The Night without Memory
After the party wound down, Sir Darogan left to retire for the evening, but Burgell and Zaphrym decided to go off carousing. They wake up the next morning with no memory of what happened and short 40 gp. They run back to the guildhall for a fast breakfast, and manage to get themselves together and head down to the breakfast at the Matterhorn Estate.
Readying 8, CY 516
The next morning Burgell and Zaphry met with the founders of the Obsidian Bay Library Company. They learn that there are two, perhaps three, factions trying to find the fragments the shattered Crystal Skull of Charax.
At least two of these are "adventuring" groups; the third appears to be a well-funded sect of Nerullites. The Library has them all beat because it knows the secret lore of Charax ... or at least how to find it. The Ghostbane Scrolls of Ryda recount how the hero Telan and his warband hunted down a sect of necromancers intent on unleashing an undead plague upon the land. These necromancers wielded a powerful crystal skull, which Telan shattered in his climatic battle with the sect. He then hid the fragments throughout the Pomarj in an attempt to prevent them from ever being found again. The Ghostbane Scrolls may provide clues as to the location of these fragments. The Scrolls are said to reside in Telan's Tomb, located in the Drachensgrab Mountains.
Unfortunately the exact location of that Tomb isn't known, they may be able to find it: the ruins of the Tfinnan estate. Hegil Tfinnan was a powerful merchant lord prior to the fall of the Pomarj. He was fascinated with Flan history and believed that Telan was one of his ancestors. He was obsessed with finding his final resting place, and spent considerably gold sending scouts into the interior looking for evidence of Telan's resting place.
As luck would have it, he mounted his expedition to the tomb as the Pomarj was being overrun. Most assume he and team died in the Drachensgrabs. The manor house -- located outside of Blue -- was likely sacked during the invasion, but it's possible enough of his research remains to figure out where he went.
They ask the heroes to find these scrolls and -- if possible -- secure the fragments before the other groups do.
The founders also mention they are looking to secure the Manual of the Ironbound. Crafted by the clerics of the Steel Skull Mercenary Company, this tome explains how to create a particular variant of flesh golem that's been reinforced with bands of iron. The constructs have greatly bolster the Wyvren Empire's effectiveness, with many of their patrols on the Great Highway accompanied by one of the creatures as an enforcer. The Library's founders explained they were intensively interested in acquiring the book, a golem created using it, or (preferably) both.
The heroes accept the quest. Each member of the group is given a 'potion of healing.' After leaving, the two gnomes immediately sought out Darogan, knowing that his knowledge of the undead, of Blue, and of scholarly things might come in very handy on this quest.
Readying 9, CY 516
On the 9th of Readying, they headed out on their expedition to Blue. During the trip north, they got into a conversation about the threat that Kor and his Wyvren Empire pose. Burgell tried to convince Dargan that Kor might be worth saving, if he could be divested of his evil relics.
They disguised themselves as haggard, scruffy travelers -- tattered cloaks, worn-down clothing. It took most of a day, but they finally arrived at the Great Southern Road.
As they approached it, they saw the reflection of green flash from two hills over. They move toward it, cresting a hill to find a beholder arguing with a collection of rocks, one of whom has just been disintegrated. "I am the Arbiter of Reason! Who are 'you' to argue with 'me'?!!" Its eyes we touched by cataracts, seemingly impeding the vision in at least some of its eyes.
They ducked backdown the hill to confer about what to do. Darogan was worried; although the creature is clearly dangerous and insane, it should not be left unchallenged ... but it was very dangerous. He argued in favor of fighting it from horse-back while gnomes will stay at the top of the hill.
The heroes agreed to the plan, and move to execute it. Darogan makes a horse-back charge at the beholder, but misses badly. Meanwhile the gnomes rained down fireballs. A surge of wild magic from Zaph suddenly caused his enemies to become more susceptible to his attacks.
Daragon made another attack in between the fireballs, hitting, but weakly. The Arbitor of Reason responded firing a ray of eneveration at the paladin, striking him with necrotic damage.
Burgell casts faire fire on the beholder, making the aberration easier to see while Zap casts a minor illusion of another beholder proclaiming "you're a milky eyed failure!"
The beholder strike a bone-white beam strikes Burgell. The blast should have petrified him, but he was able to shrug it off. Zaphrym retaliated, boiling its eyes with ray of flame. The thing slumped to the ground, quickly consumed by a pyre fueled by its own flesh.
The heroes decided to camp among the boulders ... but as they do so they found the opening to the beholder's lair -- a 10-foot diameter, 40-foot long shaft that opens into a larger room.
Zaphram tries to make his way down the shaft, but falls into a crevice about half-way down. He finds himself in a 20-foot deep crack in the earth, his flesh sliced by numerous sharp crystals. Burgell follows, hoping to help, but stumbles and causes a small cave-in that pummels the gnome with rocks. Wiser for their failed explorations, Zaphram cast fly, and they glided into the larger room below without further difficulty.
In that chamber they found a number of items: See the treasure section.
- Burgell Nackle: 3100 xp
- Darogan Ferventfire: 3100 xp
- Zaphrym: 3100 xp
- A silver mirror (25 gp)
- Copper chalice with silver filigree (25 gp)
- A gold locket, the painted picture has been reduced to paste. (25 gp)
- Carved bone statuette of a drow (25 gp)
- Wave motif long sword: +1 to attacks and damage, this sword's blade has a wave motif engraved into it. The hilt's pummel has a turquoise gem that occasionally pulses with a faint blue light.
- Petrified stone short sword: +1 to attacks and damage. The sword seems remarkably resilient to scratching and abrasion given that it is made from sone.
- Amulet of proof against detection and location: This amulet contains a black tourmaline gem in a steel setting that contains swirls of red in the metal.
- Bracers of Archery: tight, ropey bands wrap around the bracers. When placed near the wearer's wrists, the bands slowly shift, forming tentacles that reach out to embrace the individual's wrists and lower arms.