Beyond the junction, Switch finds three doors, with a faint noise from behind one. Round the corner is another door (all sounds quiet) and at the end of that corridor another. All doors have a small mark chalked on them, which Ozzie thinks is to negate a magical element of the Library.
Switch opens the door at the end of the corridor, revealing a dusty sitting room with rotting bread on a table (maybe the mark negates the Magical Cleaner..?). Behind a curtain is a bed chamber with elven-style furniture. Clothing in a chest suggests the occupant was female.
A journal is found, containing concerns about some of the Library staff, including a Ludmiller Glinker (a Traladaran name). A jewellery box adds 10k GP for party treasure. Leaving the room, the party removes the chalk mark from the door (NOTE: check if the room has been cleaned at a later date).
Another door reveals a large L-shaped room, with three further doors leading from it. One of these (which is locked) has 4 circular depressions set in the stone above it, matching the size of the silver medallions found. A roster is also present, revealing the name of the Chief Librarian to be “Ghestrath”.
The three medallions the adventurers have found are inserted and Switch tries to pick the lock. He fails and a flash and spark rob him of a healing surge. A second attempt picks the lock and the door opens to reveal a spiral staircase leading upwards towards, the light there tinged with purple.
At the top of the stairs another, unlocked door opens. Switch sneaks in (falling over his own feet NATURAL 1!) finding a large table with 5 chairs, a corridor off to the left and a leathery sack of a monster that attacks with tentacles and a domineering gaze. Tol enters, bowfire forcing the creature back, but a second slithers into view from the far side of the room.
Ozzie enters too and is momentarily shocked by the alien essence of the Beyond that is present. Memnon and Kathra join in the battle, the Tiefling soon going diabolic as their foe’s fearsome nature and powers become evident. Switches wounds are slowly mutating him and soon after, both Kathra and Memnon are bloodied too and Ozzie is temporarily blinded playing with his orbs.
Switch and Kathra attack other members of the party whilst under the tentacular monstrosities’ influence, but Memnon’s Healing Circle cures the worst of their ills.
Returning to her senses, Kathra spies a female Librarian, who briefly opens a door in the corridor to peer out. As one of the injured creatures schleps close to her, she strikes at it with a weapon, slaying it, before darting off down the corridor. Ozzie burns the second creature away with a fireball (NATURAL 20!) and as Tol sets off after the woman, the others retrieve gold arts and medical medallions from the remains of the creatures.
Tol pursues the Librarian, finding a female elf, who attacks him. After a few seconds of avoiding blows, Tol is able to reason with her and the Elf introduces herself as Aralia. Switch is till mutating and begins to attack Memnon. As the Tiefling tries to reason with him, Ozzie senses a psychic link between the Hinn and the Elven Librarian…
As Switch begins to attack Kathra too, Aralia morphs into a jellyfish-like creature and attacks Tol. Switch shakes of the domination and Memnon tears off down the corridor in response the Tol’s startled cries, blasting Aralia with a Lance of faith fuelled by the Black Wrath of Hell. Kathra follows, charging aralia (NATURAL 20!) and forcing her to retreat up a stairwell.
Regrouping, the Heroes of Dymrak cautiously advance up the stairs; conscious of the fact their powers are all but spent. They find two statues, arms outstretched. medallions look to fit perfectly into their palms. After a quick debate, it’s decided to fall back and take an extended rest. The party retreats back downstairs, laying down caltrops and blast patches behind them.
There is no rest to be had though, as something roars ad pounds at the door, stopping short of opening it and a blast patch goes off. The adventurers fall back further into the Library and are able at last to get some rest.
Setting off again, the sense of the wrongness of the Beyond has increased significantly. Retracing their steps back to the stairwell and two statues, the party encounters more Fiends, who have now found their way deeper into the complex than before.
During the short vicious battle to destroy them, Memnon glimpses aralia (once again in elven form) down a corridor. Fiends begin to break the down behind the party and Kathra overturns and sets fire to a table to block their route into the chamber as her companions set off after and engage with Aralia, who again shifts to her hideous tentacled form.
The walls around the combat seem odd. Flexible..? And do eyes occasionally open in the mortar to glance around, blink and vanish..?
Aralia tears into switch (73 damage!!!) and immobilises Memnon. Ozzie’s Winged Horde holds back most of the Fiends that clamber over the burning table as Tol marks Aralia for death and actually hits her (10 bloodying her (40 damage!). Switch falls back to take a second wind and receives further healing from a now mobile Memnon. Aralia retreats up yet more stairs, the heroes noting a light spilling from a (previously) hidden door in the corner of the room as Memnon protects them all with a Shield of Faith. (NOTE: go back to investigate this!)
Grimly advancing, the adventurers fine Aralia in the corner of the room beyond, bare but for two doors. A Crushing titan’s fist from Ozzie holds aralia fast. Even so, she manages to daze to, and sow Ozzie before switch (NATURAL 20!) slays her with a well-placed arrow.
Her dissolved remains yield a gold Faith medallion. Beyond the two doors is a sitting room and yet more doors. The Heroes travel back down to the two statues, placing the three gold medallions in their hands. Ozzy attempts to work his magic but (NATURAL 1!) is blasted off the platform. Switch’s talents yield results (at the cost of a healing surge) – a door opening revealing steps g down. A sickly purple light pulses. Ozzie proclaims his belief that they have found the gateway to the Beyond. Down they go….
The steps lead down into a large space, shaped like an inverted pyramid. Racks with scrolls and crystals, glass cabinets and paintings line the walls of the first tier. Everything feels slightly… wrong. From this level is a ten foot drop down to an eerie tableau below – robed figures gather around a crackling purple sphere. Their apparent leader bears a silver medallion.
Wearing the gold Faith medallion, Memnon realises he knows how to create mystical ladders in this place. Tol’s medallion has gifted him the same ability and as Tol pauses to create a ladder, his companions leap down into battle.
Ozzie’s magics blind several thralls and slay another, but two hideous creatures appear from nowhere and begin to counterattack. Tol slays two thralls as matters quickly escalate. No sooner has Ozzie cast Visions of Avarice, dragging the creatures and thralls away, then the purple light from the sphere expands, washing over Switch, who vanishes. The thrall’s leader sprouts facial tentacles, looking more and more like he could flay minds and the purple light expands again and again. All the heroes of Dymrak vanish from the chamber.
Somewhere… else, the party find all their number stood on an eerie plain. Blue and purple rocks litter the ground. Pallid weeds scuttle about, small mouths at the end of their fronds snapping at ankles. Above, a portal casts down a green light as some distance away. No, close by – wait –yes, far away; two monstrous forms close in on the group.
Time and distance warp, stretching and contracting from one moment to the next, as Ozzie consults the Book of the Beyond to try and master the gate above him and his comrades attack. The fight is difficult and the creatures huge, but they are held off as Ozzie slowly gains control of the portal and begins to expand it.
The others focus their efforts on one creature at a time, Tol bravely doing so even as the second one bears down and looms over him. A chest from the library falls through the portal, closely followed by a bookcase, the books all animated, snapping their covers like gnashing teeth and screeching their contents in disturbing voices.
One creature dies, exploding into droplets, followed shortly by the other, burnt away to a fine mist by a combination of Kathra’s Victorious Surge and Ring of Fireblazing. Now for the journey back and to face the thralls, creatures from Beyond and their tentacle-faced leader…