Riding comfortably through the western foothills of Mount Stowadale, the trio enjoyed a few days of uneventful and restful travel with Madame Wanderjoy’s Traveling Cavalcade and Minstrel Revue. As the caravan rounded a corner, the party noticed an approaching bridge that spanned a deep and craggy ravine that was guarded by a very large and old Ogre. As the party approached, Madame Wanderjoy explained that they had reached an agreement with Ugrot, the Ogre. In exchange for hassle-free passage across his bridge, Ugrot accepted an offering of various food and shiny trinkets. She assured the trio that while he may look frightening, she would consider him more “grumpy” than actually malicious. He wasn’t their friend by any stretch of the imagination, but this truce was as close as an Ogre probably had ever come. But as Rolph rode out with the offering and tossed it down at the feet of Ugrot, Ignacio noticed a sudden change in the Ogre’s demeanor. Ugrot straightened up, his right eye sparkling, his hand gripping the club…all things pointed towards an attack! Ignacio called a warning to Rolph who BARELY managed to leap off his horse just as the Ogre’s greatclub smashed down, splattering the poor beasts brains onto the ground! Running for his life, Rolph began heading towards the relative safety of the wagons as the trio burst into action. A fierce battle with the monster ensued, and as the Ogre seemed to be approaching death and it’s baser instincts began conflicting with whatever was compelling it into a rage, a loud screech from the skies above filled the ravine with echoes. Looking up, the party and the monster beheld a large winged Wyvern circling overhead, clearly perturbed by the disturbance. The Ogre’s instincts finally won out and the Ogre fled into the maze of canyons, leaving the Caravan to reorganize and continue on their way. No sooner had the ogre fled that Madame Wanderjoy came out from one of the wagons, her body glowing brightly with Illusion magic (to Lanth’s Detect Magic gaze). The instant the glow left her, the Wyvern puffed out of existence. Madame Wanderjoy’s mighty illusion had frightened the old Ogre away!
A few more days ride and the Caravan arrived at their destination, the city of Stonehaven, home to the renowned The Supreme Atheneum the greatest collection of knowledge of all things Arcane in the known world. Madame Wanderjoy gave them a contact at The Pilgrim’s House and the trio took their leave of Madame Wanderjoy’s Traveling Cavalcade and Minstrel Revue.
Snaking through the streets of Stonehaven, the party came across The Pilgrim’s House and went inside. There, they found the contact they sought, the Elf Rhistol, Innkeeper of The Pilgrim’s House. Through conversation, they wrangled a group room for a VERY good deal, and Lanth expressed interest in playing in the Inn’s common room for the patrons, and Rhistol agreed strongly to the idea. But more pressing matters where at hand, and no time could be spared getting to the Supreme Atheneum. The arrived at the library and pushed open the great heavy doors and found themselves in a small antechamber, in which there was a small desk manned by a youngish human, scribbling away on a piece of parchment. The opening of the doors (or the slamming of the doors, for that matter) didn’t draw his attention, but he finally looked up from his work and inquired about the purpose of the group’s visit. They expressed their interest in books on Enchantments and artifacts that might enhance Enchantment magic. The young librarian handed them a gemstone with a rune engraved on it . He explained this stone would act as an identifier/location device for the wards of the library whose job it was to retrieve the books. The trio paid their fee and stepped through into the Grand Hall of the Supreme Atheneum.
As they walk through the small door and into the great domed central chamber, the first thing that greets them is the green glow of the large orb that sits in the center of the main chamber. A 6-foot wide orb of crystal houses a swirling green energy that gives off a faint hum of arcane energy. Above the hum, the could hear the crisp flutter of tiny wings flittering overhead. Looking up, they saw a host of small, winged Pixie-like fey creatures circling in the great dome…some held books and appeared to be flying with purpose while others seemed to be wandering aimlessly in circles waiting to be commanded. From this central chamber, the party could see the various “sections” branch off from the main room (although “sections” seems such a paltry name for the size of these sections). As they approached the wing of the building whose great arch has chiseled into it the words “Arcane Knowledge” and crossed the great seal on the floor, the runestone they carried began to glow faintly and one of the pixies swooped down from its aimless circling in the dome above to hover behind them as they walked.
Once inside the “Arcane Knowledge” section, the layout changed greatly. This wing, a long straight hallway 3 stories high that stretched as far as they could see, and lined on all sides on every level from floor to ceiling were bookshelves, each one filled to bursting. Tens of thousands of books, and this was only 1 wing, and only a seeming fragment of this wing. Small walkways criss-crossed over the central corridor at various intervals and from the ceiling hung many large chandeliers glowing faintly. Dotted along these balconies were tables and chairs…places to sit and study. Small signs hung out from the shelves like signs above merchant shops, each one scribed with and odd set of symbols and numbers (obviously part of the organization of the library). To call this sight “overwhelming” (especially for non-scholars like our party) was quite the understatement. Any questions about why the Pixies would be necessary vanished from their minds instantly. The pixie zipped around to the front of the group, faced them, and waited patiently for a request.
After giving the pixie some areas of interest, it flew off and returned with 2 books, The Compendium of Enchantments and Cone’s Parchments of the Celestial Planes. Both Lanth and Stevil were in a great state of mind for their research and gleaned the following pieces of information:
Compendium of Enchantments:
- Enchantment spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior. All enchantments are mind-affecting spells.
- Two types of enchantment spells grant you influence over a subject creature: Charm and Compulsion.
Charm – A charm spell changes how the subject views you, typically making it see you as a good friend.
Compulsion – A compulsion spell forces the subject to act in some manner or changes the way her mind works. Some compulsion spells determine the subject’s actions or the effects on the subject, some compulsion spells allow you to determine the subject’s actions when you cast the spell, and others give you ongoing control over the subject.
- Enchanters are fiercely protective of the realm that is their home; they understand that the passion and spirit possessed by mortals because of their mortality is what makes them stronger than any being. They are not huge fans of the meddling in divinity or outside agencies, and their pride in their own mortality means few if any ever actively seek immortality through undeath.
Cones’ Parchments of the Celestial Planes:
- Those who dabble with Celestial Planes employ the school of Conjuration and one of its 5 sub-classes (Calling, Creation, Healing, Summoning, Teleportation)
- A “calling” spell transports a creature from another plane to the plane you are on. The spell grants the creature the one-time ability to return to its plane of origin, although the spell may limit the circumstances under which this is possible. Creatures who are called actually die when they are killed; they do not disappear and reform, as do those brought by a Summoning spell who simply return to the plane from whence they came when killed.
- Only the most powerful of mages can conjure a being from another plane, but then even if it is successful, it is even harder to get it to obey commands, and the hardest command to get the creature to obey is that of possession of a mortal. It requires the amplification of magic through an artifact. Enchanters cannot combine their powers together like with other schools of magic…effectively, 2 people cannot possess 1 being at the same time.
As they studied (and Ignacio meditated), the Pixie returned with the third book, The Eldritch Fragments of Duli, but as it neared the balcony where the group sat, something changed. The pixie froze, it’s right eye sparkled, it hovered in the air for a moment, but then turned to flee with the book. As the party scrambled to their feet, another sound greeted them…the building buzz of the swarm of pixies from the grand central chamber! The angry mass of pixies flooded into the hallway and attacked. In a desperate attempt to not lose the book that someone/something was so clearly trying to keep out of their hands, Ignacio leapt over the railing! But he did not plummet to the ground…no, instead, Ignacio seemed to walk on the air, snatch the book out of the fleeing fey-creature’s hand and grab hold of the nearest chandelier! The group fought darted and dodged to avoid the swarm, and a well placed sleep spell dropped the lone pixie to the ground. Confusion spells were cast, pixies were swatted away, a perfectly-timed casting of the Feather Fall spell was executed, and eventually the party found themselves on the ground floor, book in hand, sprinting towards the main central chamber to escape the cloud of buzzing pixies. In an attempt to hide the book and deceive the swarm into following the wrong book, Ignacio attempted to substitute The Eldritch Fragments of Duli with another from a shelf, but just as he was making an attempt at the switch, portals of Teleportation swirled into existence in the hallway, surrounding the party. . The trio found themselves surround by a group of robed mages, hands extended in poses of casting. One of the mages shouted a command, and everyone in the hallway was frozen into place, held by a powerful spell…pixies and humanoids alike!
“STOP! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?”