Title: Library of Kaerling
Date: Mid Dalan, 1333 Avard
Synopsis: William gets word that another cache of documents has been found in the sewers of Chasadan. The monk grabs whom he can of the company, and sends them down into the sewers to face the remains of Yatindar's Day.
Evening of Dalan the 18th, 1332 Avard.
Greff and Ryviik had gone down to the Scarlet Armor tavern to drink a bit and relax, when Roswyn and Varis rushed in. Behind the two shorter-than-average individuals, was a man Ryviik had never seen before, and the man seemed excited, veritably pushing the two ahead of him. Ryviik half rose, bow in hand, but Greff stopped him. The strange man was William Kavriss, brother to Hershel and part owner of Meridian Explorations.
William was nearly unintelligible in his excitement and worry, and Roswyn and Varis explained things as best they could while leading Greff and Ryviik out of the bar. Together, the five of them headed towards a section of the city where the sewers were being installed beneath a number of tenements and apartments.
The Church of Mikindim consisted of engineers and architects, and served as the great builders of the world. Working hand-in-hand with the church of Whalin, sewers were designed into most cities of the world – and where not designed in, were installed. The church's work men had been installing new sewers into the older sections of Chasadan, in a region that had once been called Kaerling. The workers had uncovered a library of sorts, but before they could plunder the hidden room that should not have been there, they were chased off by carrior crawlers.
Carrion crawlers were large creatures that infested the sewers of most lands, and occasionally were found in shallow cave systems. The big maggot-like beasts scurried along walls and ceilings with equal ease, and had long tentacles that could paralyze a man, allowing him to be eaten alive. One of the miners had been carried out of the sewers unconscious, and only the sheer numbers of workers with picks and shovels had kept the crawlers from killing anyone.
As it all happened close to sunset, work was suspended for the night, and the workers evacuated from the sewers and tunnels. Guards had been posted around the construction sites, and were expected to invade the sewers in the morning en masse to clean them out and let the miners get back to work.
William had gotten word of the incident, and feared that the library would be half destroyed by morning. The workers had broken into the subterranean library by accident, and the sewer's waters and filth could destroy the books even without touching them. As a monk of the Church of Lul, William was intimately familiar with those things that could damage libraries, and humid, filthy air against old documents terrified him more than death itself.
Varis, having dealt with dopplegangers before, worked closely with Ryviik to make sure that the odd man was, indeed, who he claimed to be, and not someone leading them off into a trap, or worse. Greff and Roswyn, however, were quite convinced it was the real William, a mousy man that cared more for information and knowledge than women or ale.
Greff and Ryviik took the lead down into the tunnels, after getting general directions from the guards posted at the entrance. William would remain up top, and was so agitated that he was practically dancing from foot to foot with worry. The guards, for their part, had a healthy respect for Meridian Explorations and the Ducal Mage's people, and let them in without a second thought.
The ladder down was almost slippery with frost, as a late-spring cold front had come in. Their breath fogged before their faces as they slid down into the depths, weapons at the ready.
Roswyn's robes provided illumination, and they made it to the indicated junction without any difficulty. Rats' eyes met them in the distance on the right-hand passage, and the rats ran away from the party. Peering ahead, and avoiding the sewage as best they could, they found carrion crawlers rushing towards them.
Greff held the passage, with Varis aiding him, when an otyugh – known more commonly as a 'shite monster' – erupted out of the sewer waters and attempted to gobble up Varis in one bite. Ryviik slid down the side passage, arrows blazing into the shite monster, while Greff and Roswyn continued to deal with the carrion crawlers.
The poison of the crawlers was a liquidy purple-white muck that seeped into Greff, even as he used feet and fists to keep the giant maggots back. Roswyn tossed Greff one of the Meridian Masks, and the hand-to-hand fighter quickly donned the mask. The Meridian Masks, gifts from their employer, protected them from poisons and poisonous vapors, and seemed proof against the worst of the carrion crawlers' nastiness. It did not, however, protect Greff from the paralytic nature of the poison.
Varis and Ryviik took the otyugh down, together, in time to help Greff with the remaining crawlers.
Roswyn's infusions and spells armored Greff and did considerable damage to the crawlers. Two crawlers exploded in goo, and another's body formed a dam of sorts, blocking up the sewage line behind it.
Greff, the danger contained, fell face-first into the sewage, the paralytic nature of the crawlers' poison too strong for even the Meridian Mask. Roswyn and Ryviik managed to get Greff out of the sewage, and clean his face off so he could breathe. Slowly but sure, feeling returned, and he could move, with their aid.
Roswyn used her spells to clear aside the dam, allowing the company to pass. They knew their primary task was to save to books William so desperately wanted, and they did. Beyond the mass of crawler corpses, they found stacks of bricks where the workers had been, shovels, picks, and a passage into a small room.
The room's shelves were of wood, and still intact, and there was a door out of the room. There were books and tablets and hides rolled into scrolls. There were bookends of quartz and of marble, and other semiprescious stones scattered throughout the room as ornaments and place-keepers. Roswyn's spells clean the documents as they went into Hershel's enchanted pouch, while Ryviik and Greff tackled the door.
There was only mud and debris on the other side of the door, and using the abandoned tools, they dug in to see where the door had once gone to. Shoveling aside mud, they exposed stone stairs of the same type as the walls of the library, and at the top of the stairs, found fresh wood. Someone had lain a floor over mudded-in steps, unaware that a written treasure of sorts was beneath their building.
More carrion crawlers began to arrive, and rather than battle their way through the crawlers, the company elected to escape up the stairs and through the floor. Roswyn used a spell through the floor boards to show others where to get them out, garnering the attention of several dwarves. The company, with Greff as their shield, held the library against the crawlers.
The dwarves, thinking undead were loose in their building, broke into their neighbor's apartment, and attacked the floors, intent on destroyin the undead. They paused in their anger when Roswyn appeared, followed by the rest of the company.
The crawlers had had enough, and those that remained retreated about the same time as the company rushed up the stairs.
The party, and William, went to the Ducal Mage's tower. They found permament guards assigned to the Ducal Mage, and introductions were made. The guards knew the company by reputation, though they knew William on sight.
Hershel, upon opening the door, refused to let them in until he had used his arcane powers to cleanse the filth from them. Greff, in particular, was rather nasty.
Inside, William let Hershel know what had happened, and Roswyn brought forth from the enchanted bag the many books and scrolls and stones they had found in the library. Most of the documents appeared to be shipping logs that fascinated William and Hershel.
The company, however, was more fascinated by a homestone that Roswyn had found. The homestones, when Galgiran's 'prayer of homefinding' was uttered, would gently light the way in the direction of its other half. The other half of a homestone was usually placed into the hearths of the dwarves that used them, and could provide a gentle light and the direction towards home, no matter where they were.
There was a set of stone tablets with the prayer of homefinding, as well as other prayers of Galgiran. There were scrolls in the elvish script, written on hide, that detailed powerful rituals such as communing with nature and striding through trees. And, written in the olde common tongue, was a mage's book with several spells written down in it.
All that Hershel kept of the stones was a marble set of book ends, but everyone would be allowed to peruse the prayers, rituals, and spellbooks, while William and Hershel would read through the myriad logbooks and see what they could find.
Greff wanted nothing more than a long bath. He and Varis both were feeling particularly nasty, and neither realized they had picked up filth fever while down in the nasty depths of the sewers.
Very early morning of Dalan the 19th, 1332 Avard.
Dinner was cheeseburger soup, courtesy of Sommer. Mrm… I think I had four servings, that night.
Dave was feeling under the weather, and so he couldn't attend. Cailebe was more than happy to take his place, though he seemed rather annoyed at having to battle shite monsters. “Seriously, Joe?” Oh, yes – quite seriously. :) And if I had managed to kill one of the company with shite monsters or carrion crawlers, then I would've giggled for some time.
I have to say that having three strikers in the party is fantastic. They do considerable damage to any target, and Bill's monk Greff is just amazing in how much damage he does. Sommer's artificer Roswyn seems a more powerful healer than any cleric, and she does well at keeping the other three on their feet.
All characters have 13,000 experience points and are 8th-level. Level up!