One chamber contained a bound Arclight spirit and the acolytes drawing power out of the spirit. When its jailers were vanquished the spirit did its best to tempt Edmund and Maxwel Gramaracy as they scoured the laboratory for valuable arcane tomes. For the time, both arcanists set aside the fiends request.
A torture chamber was next pacified by the heroes. There they found a surviving knight who had failed to slay the vile magister who once dwelt in the tower. Promising to succeed where the Imperial soldiers failed so many years ago, Kael vowed to put down the wizard as his half brother put the man out of his misery; with unsettling haste.
Finally, they marched into the library and confronted the magister and his burning spirit underlings. Ser Frederick Held the burning spirits at bay while his allies struggled against powerful magics.
Caught off guard, Magister Vorian Harkend pushes his hands forward to ward off Maxwel Gramaracy‘s spell. The swirling energies prove too much, and Harkend’s feet scramble to find purchase on the stone floor. Eyes wide in terror, the Magister begins to bark an incantation of warding, the syllables choking off in his throat as he slides backwards towards the clerestory’s balustrade. His shrill cry fills the hall amidst the stirring dust and the flamekin’s roar.
‘It was never supposed to be like thiii…’
Cut short suddenly, his last word is replaced by a meaty, crunching thud as the mage crashes head first into the stone floor nearly three fathoms below. Taciturn, Eamon is spattered with gore, and turns his attention from the effervescing flamekin to the mound of blood and bones that marks the end of the Magister. A bonfire roar fills the room as the flamekin are pulled through the vale, back to their homes. A burst of fire licks out and kisses the library shelves, setting off a conflagration.
The din of battle gives way to quiet, punctuated only by the low rumble of the fire and the intrepid heroe’s panting and grunts of pain as they gather on a landing.
Kael’s firm voice cuts through the confusion, ordering the group to retrieve the Librum Philosophia Hermetica Arcanum Natura. Tall as a man’s forearm, nearly as thick in the spine, lead bound and secured with a heavy, wrought iron chain, the librum weighs as much as a stone of equivalent size. Resting atop the Magister’s desk is found a copy of Die Corpus Seramie Patentum – the very text requested returned to the church of Sera in Sonnelinde.
Within only a few moments, the lower library is awash in flame, the fires singeing clothes and hair at a distance of ten feet.
Retreating back upstairs, the heroes flee the flames. Already, the floor of the upper chambers is buckling, the living rock cracked by the intense heat from the fires below.
Seizing upon their pile of pillaged books and arcane instruments, the heroes gather up as much of their looted goods as they can manage before plunging through the portal back up the stairs.
The building heat of the lower levels gives way to a sensation of wind blowing across the skin. An utter loss of balance brings on a sense of sickness reminiscent of recently wretching. In the blink of an eye, the heroes find themselves on their hands and knees, the stairway back to the upper levels of the tower’s bowels unfolding before them. The intense heat of the inferno has left them, and only the cold stones under their hands remain.
From behind them, a cold wind suddenly blows, blustering their clothes about. Carried on the light wings of the wind are the scents of ash and dust, of ancient tombs and mold. Looking down at the goods plundered from the library, hardly one in ten texts has survived the return to the present time and place. The rest have given themselves over to the inexorable call of time, fallen to dust in what seemed an instant.
‘You have returned.’ The Oorog shaman’s gravelly monotone cuts through the confusion.
’I’d put odds against you, actually. You all owe me fifty solid sovereigns for coming back in one piece!’ Garen’s toothy grin greets them atop the stairs.