Midnight at the Oasis

November 27, 2011

In which the party breaks and enters

Fortari gathers the party together and lays out the plan: To access the secret library hidden under the Temple of Heroes in Balic, they’re going to go in disguised as Fortari’s servants to access the main library. Redhorn will join them through a different entrance; he’s cast a ritual on Fortari’s noble robes to enable him to sneak the party’s weapons and armor in, and he’s also got a portal ritual to enable them to teleport out of the Temple once they’ve got the books they need. He also explains that another cell of the Veiled Alliance is going to provide a distraction somewhere else to draw most of the templars away, and they’ve also loaned them one of their personnel, a human shaman named Gerxis.

Despite some harassment from a voidsoul genasi templar, the party finds the hidden passage that leads underground. The first level underground reveals a throne room with a fountain, a large barracks (complete with armory, which Fortari and Redhorn loot), and a very powerful map room that shows the entirety of Athas, the Lands Within the Wind, the Grey, the Elemental Chaos and the remains of the Astral Sea. The map also shows that Andropinis is currently with a group of praetors in the Astral Sea, and not actually in Balic. The party considers destroying the map apparatus, but finds it’s out of the range of their abilities.

Serge inadvertently figures out a sigil puzzle that allows the party to descend to the next level. The entrance room is a crypt with 20 sealed coffins, each decorated with a statue holding a blue-purple orb. Kaddim-sul and Alanna explore the other two rooms: one is a portal room (where the party quickly dismantles the portal circle), and the other is a magical workshop, full of half-finished items, a font of primordial energy, and a rust monster. Kaddim-sul and Alanna quickly finish off the rust monster and locate some magical items; Kaddim-sul also finds the rust monster was a female and takes one of its eggs for himself. Meanwhile, the rest of the party finds that the blue orbs on the coffins allow them to communicate with the spirits trapped inside — Andropinis has entombed many of the greatest heroes of Balic here, and prevented them from traveling on to the afterlife so he can continue to draw on their knowledge. The party mercifully decides to smash them, after the spirits reveal that one of the walls is actually illusory.

Through the fake wall leads the lowest level: the long-awaited secret library. They’re greeted by a human slave, who takes them to his masters — two librarians and their cadre of slaves. The librarians say they refuse to grant knowledge to any but Andropinis, as he has gifted them immortality in exchange for their services. A battle is joined, revealing that the two librarians are in fact oni, terrible ogre-like creatures with soul-sucking powers. The party quickly dispatches them, however, and begins looking for the translation books they need.

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BentonSancho

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