Session One Hundred and Twenty-Five Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)

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Session 125, February 8 2023



We continue at 7:10PM on the 23rd of Denrilden ( on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party inside the secret archive hidden below the Inquisitorial Citadel in Gharmarost. Despite some close calls and severe losses, the group has made their way to this library without alerting Geryon and his forces to its existence. Now, the party only needs to find the books on other dimensions that drew them here in the first place and then escape undetected ...

Larry's Summary

Khelratha is dead and must be raised by either Lambertus in 7 days or less, or by Felix in 8 days or less, most likely at the Dwarven Embassy in Malgrim.

Kauri saw 9 volumes glowing with transpatial energy. Tried looking in the catalog, a series of books to the side, but they are organized by data of adding to the archive. The catalog is about 30 volumes. It is written in common.

Druul suggests Kauri finds a date in the nanocarbon book - Dwarven Empire pre Dragon Empire.

Initial donation that launched the library to determine the oldest books in here. Alphabetical inside of date, then a quick note of a theme, like Map, Magic, and shelving indication. Each section has a letter, and a number for each shelf, then a number for the title. For example, P-3-15 = Section P, shelf 3, 15th book over. Provenance is NOT a guarantee on any title.

There are marks on some of the entries. Some looks like a cross and some have an 'X'. A minority of the titles have these marks, more crosses than X's, which are pretty rare.

Druul suggests taking 5 books marked with crosses and 5 with X's to try to determine a pattern, looking in the early volumes.

Felix and Druul will grab books that are Crosses and X's that are in the catalog, and Felix will grab books that are Crosses and Druul will grab X's.

The X shelf books seem to have triple letters on their shelves, it is single letters by us. The triple letter shelves are different, and further shelves have a letter and a number.

Druul - The *Forbidden Dimension* by high inquisitor Cassiel. Has a Cross and is not to be found. Cassiel is the original high inquisitor and came over with Azrael, as per Ithirialma. Something happened to him, that he is probably dead. Druul looks for context clues, and patterns. Another early X is "Secret Mysteries of Draconic Spells." - Druul writes down magic, dimensions, etc.

Also some Ancient Dwarven stuff - *Observations Regarding Miniature Water Mechanisms* *Clockwork Mechanisms.*

Lambertus - Skim for titles for Blood Magic, Magical auras, different types of magic.

  • Native Theories of Hexcraft* - notes "Blood" Cross next to it.

Velkin reviewing catalog

From last session the book next to Comprehensive catalog of Enchantments and Charms next to 9 volumes that have transpatial energy.

Kauri - Is investigating the volumes that glow blue. He asks Tik Tok out and looks around and says, "It seems peaceful."

Tik Tok points to one that is *Blueprints for Efficient Clockwork Mechanisms* that could be a translation of an ancient Dwarven work. But Kauri directs him to the glowing volumes. He cups his hands and shouts out, "Hey, hello?" He waits, then says, "There might be somebody up there?"

Kauri asks is that usual, I thought you were unique. So Kauri goes up with Tik Tok. Kauri just about reaches those volumes.

Across the library a hoarse voice calls out "Stop!" Just past Felix, illuminated by a Continual Light coin, is a closed Iron Gate and looking down on him, there is a very scraggly, gaunt looking fellow holding a translucent ostrich egg, like he is about to smash it down on Felix.

Felix says, "I stopped, please don't throw that." and he backs up. Good. The old fellow looks like he is in his undershirt and hasn't eaten or cleaned up in a long time.

Druul grabs his lute and heads towards the gate.

Velkin hides in shadows and tries to get closer to him.

It is about 130 feet between where the man is and Kauri. The man is on the balcony above the Iron Gate. There are shelves behind him, but none stick out like the other side.

Lambertus asks Ithirialma if she knows this guy, and she doesn't, maybe you should talk to him.

Velkin tries to sneak up.

Kauri says, "Wait, the emperor sent us." And who are you?

You know Jardin, that explosion?

Where's the high inquisitor? Kari - Jardin is the one causing the rumble out there.

So you're re-taking Gharmarost? Not quite. We were asked to retrieve something for the Emperor. Looking at Felix and sees the holy symbol. Well, why don't we wait for Lord Jardin.

Kauri - he's creating a distraction. He - while you get the books? Yes, there is someone here who you may know. Ithirialma stands and says, I don't know you, but I know the emperor, I am Ithirialma.

He says, OH and carefully lowers the egg.

Lady Ithirialma, you, I recognize, you were here many years ago, I was a junior librarian then? I trust I can believe the words of your companions. She nods.

I am Head Librarian Ignatius Bharamzal. Kauri says that he imagines he is quite hungry and says supplies are ridiculous low.

He turns to set down the Phoenix Egg and sways but does not drop the egg as Velkin asks to handle the egg. He fails a save as Druul and in his weakened state, his eyes roll up in his head.

Velkin hopes to shadow step to catch the egg. Velkin reappears to snatch the Phoenix Egg away as Ignatius falls unconscious.

Velkin then gets a wiff of the corner where he's been living, including all his business.

Lambertus runs over to attend to him.

Ignatius keeps mumbling, "Such beautiful music, I never thought I'd see such things ever again." Druul says, but you have all these books. Yes, but no light, but he sits up looking for the Phoenix Egg, Druul gives him his Continual Light coin.

So it's safe, so I can rest. Kauri brings over the ever full teacup. I will definitely take the food and water. If Lord Jardin is holding off the DVLs, ask the questions.

We need to recover items past the Iron Gate. The Poison Cabinet? I have the Key.

Will that allow us to remove books, You mean the Poison Well. Those books can't be removed, but that's not something I have control over. I guess you'll see it, if what you need is there.

What happens if someone tries to remove a book from the Poison Well? They are dumped into acid.

WE don't have a name of a book, we have a type and a theme. We are looking for books regarding the planes, time travel, any tomes with true names of DVLs. The poison cabinet definitely has things on blood magic and

The most recent thing we have from Inquisitor Jaeger on the *Fabric of Reality and Spaces Inbetween* it is in the Poison Cabinet.

Any other books like it in the well.

Poison Cabinet is crosses and Poison Well is X's. Most of the books there, Lord Azrael personally consigned them there. I'm happy to open the door. Oh, in the corner over there should be a ring of keys. The two big iron Ones, one to gate and one to door to Poison Well, other keys to other parts of the Citadel, mostly up above.

I don't know anything about time travel, but I think there is a book on dimensional travel in the well, from the first Inquisitor, the one who disappeared. Metatron, also known as Cassiel wrote it.

There are some books on Blood Magic in here, and Poison Cabinet has more details, extracted from interviews with prisoners from ancient times.

Velkin asks about the mechanism - If the weight is incorrect my understanding is it drops us in the acid.

Lambertus mentions that we talked about using the portal. How big is the lift? It is about 5 feet across. Different levels and shelves all the way around.

Lambertus muses that we should gather all books that the DVLs could benefit from and put them in the portal.

You're saying the creatures above will find this place, they can't find this place, they must be destroyed, take what you need, leave, and I will ensure they don't find anything.

Druul asks Ignatius what his favorite book is, *The Map of Worlds* We guarantee it is one of the books we will keep safe. I don't know how it will help, it is more of an artistic representation.

Maps of Medeia were upstairs and have been destroyed, there may be some maps downstairs.

Kauri asks what makes these 9 volumes so dangerous. He goes over to look, "Oh yes, as far as we know that is a complete collection of all the magic in Medeia, although it doesn't work."

Kauri decides he wants to "talk to the book" when he is alone.

Kauri tries to talk to the book.

What is the Map of Worlds? I'm feeling a little bit better, would you like me to show you, and asks Velkin for the keys and leads us down to the gate.

Kauri knocks on the books and says, "Hello, anyone home?" There is a slight rumble that goes through the shelves. Tik Tok says, hmm, that's kind of rude, and says, excuse me, hello, and a voice says, go away, these aren't yours? Whose are they? Masters. Who is he? The Master, he'll be back.

How long have you been waiting? Not too long, he'll be back at any moment, we don't want to hurt you. There is no tower. A tinier voice says, that's because of the illusion, you are in the Master's tower.

Kauri says, so his tower is in a library hundreds of feet underground in a collection of books that were taken.

You do know what has occurred lately? Yes, the master went out, he'll be back soon.

How do you know that I'm not your master? We'd recognize him.

Stay back or we'll call down all the power reserved to us. These books are protected.

You didn't heed Azmodeus' call? We can't we have a job to do.

There is more whispering. They haven't gone away yet. Kauri said that I do need to talk to all of you, "You do know I can see you right?" A partial face peeks out and immediately hides when it sees Kauri look at it. "It is the mask, it allows me to see and speak with you."

"You've been here hundreds if not thousands of years?" "Dragons?"

No one's this good at illusion, unless you mean all of reality is illusion. Debate of whether their master could have created a new reality.

Kauri shows them his spell book. A couple of partial faces pick out. And here's one from Edan with even more spells, and he wanted to learn about your people but he didn't have a mask like I do. Haste, we have that.

Fine, if you want to talk, that's not against the rules, but it you touch us, we will use all the power available to us. Will you destroy them? We wouldn't have to, we would wish you gone. Kauri says, I believe that is in volume 9, No comment.

Ignatius uses iron key to unlock the gate with a small library of 6 shelves with an iron bound door at the opposite end. This is the poison cabinet. Books deemed dangerous for those that could peruse the Secret Archive. He makes a beeline to a shelf with a pile and scrolls laid out and one large one, less dusty than others, like a big folio book. "The map of worlds here."

Velkin opens it up on the floor and takes up most of the space between the bookshelves, about 10 feet long and 4 feet high. The entire thing is a huge illustration. It is a bit overwhelming until we realize that the center is Medeia and attached in different ways, Shadow Realm, City of Brass, Astral Plane, elemental planes, etc. It is abstracted so not sure how to use to navigate.

He kind of points, I read some of Master Jaeger's works. These are the anchor points where the medial dimensions are connected to ours. They can be used to travel but also ties them to ours.

He goes to another shelf *On The Fabric of Realities and the Spaces Between them.* And you wanted books on blood magic, and pulls down two volumes. That's probably the most, and one is high level theory and the other is a practical guide. Lambertus starts reading the practical guide.

Skips over notes on interrogation, seems to have been done in Xen Khel when taking prisoners from Native Spellcasters. It looks like someone broke and provided all kinds of information on how to access blood magic. Quite a few spells here. Ignatius' says, "yeah, that's the part you'd find interesting, just be careful, you can kill yourself."

Chapter in high level book is interrelation of phases of the moon and blood magic.

Ignatius' is trying to weigh which books to save. Draconic Magic Book

Druul asks if there are any books on Bard Songs. There's a song that I was always asked to play, the Ballad of Xenilum Khel? A book of music? Yes, and he runs over and pulls down a volume, not sure what it's doing here. Bound book and sheet music bound into it.

Anything on the Mother's and materials invisible to DVLs.

I don't want to give the impression that I have encyclopedic knowledge of what's here, but I've spent my life here and been head librarian many years.

Crosses in this room and X in well beyond the iron bound door.

Velkin asked how sensitive the weight measure is? Ignatius said that it was designed well before his time.

Velkin suggest taking similar sized books with use and replace them. No one has ever tried to take a book from the well. Adding a book, only the high Inquisitor or Lord Azrael would handle that.

--- Kauri looking at books and Tik Tok shrugs. Kauri finds Ignatius and asks about the DVL glowing books. To be honest, I was told by my predecessor to not ever touch them. He was told by his predecessor, I think they killed someone once. As far as when they were brought in, it wasn't the early collection, but at least a few hundred years ago. I think they came from out East from the Conquered Territories. There were many other Kingdoms across the continent, until recently. In fact, Master Jaeger was instrumental in overthrowing one of those kingdoms before his retirement. As far as I know, no one has ever tried to look at them. The Catalog entry may explain where it is from.

Kauri asks where it might be in t he catalog? It has to be between volumes 20 and 24.

Ignatius grabs the volume on Draconic magic. He looks at Ithirialma, I suppose this is redundant and puts it on the table.

Maybe defenses vs. DVL magic and how to neutralize it? If you don't have a title and a guess when it was added, it is very difficult.

Any possible way there is a book on how to strengthen oneself?

Kauri asks any volumes on Dwarven machines very early in their invasion, machines that worked without DVL power. Maybe that's in the *blueprints for efficient clockwork mechanisms*.

  • Dangers Attendant to Electric Dynamos* on the pile.

Velkin asks about herbalism and poisons, different ways of poisons and different recipes, alchemy.

I think, this is the one Alchemy title that I know. May be some poison in there. No index.

Lambertus asks if there is anything on Prixithalma's efforts to make a virus vs. DVLs. Yes, in the well.

Velkin asks in the Dwarven volumes anything about working with nanocarbon.

In the catalog they finally find them, it says "Archmage?" and some lettering not in common and in parenthesis "Eastern Province" Ignatius is not familiar with the language, maybe it's the name of the Archmage or the province?

Tik Tok doesn't know. Kauri goes over to the shelves and shows it to the books, "Is this the guy? This is from the catalog and when it was brought here." A voice says, "So you can't read that?" Kauri - "Is that the safe word?" Shhh, that's as good as giving the answer.

Kauri casts Comprehend Languages with blood magic, and then can read the word, "WALRUS."

Kauri says, "Look, is it 'WALRUS?'" Then a voice says, "I'm afraid that doesn't count, you didn't say it right."

Kauri asks if Lambertus sees a spell about Tongues. Lambertus looks as it is called "Speak Any Language Blood Magic." 3rd level. The blood has to come from the tongue.

Kauri slices his tongue and spits out a lot of blood near the shelves while comprehend language is in effect "Walrus" in the other language to the books. A very guttural harsh sound comes out of Kauri's mouth, and Velkin tries to write it down. The authoritative voice says, "Boy's we're done here." and the glow fades away.

Kauri grabs the books. "Ithirialma says, Oh, we need to go then." He unlocks the door and we can see the shelves and the well beyond.

Lambertus grabs the 5 large sacks in Khelratha's backpack. It holds 8 books but weighs 6 slots.

Velkin wants to ask if there are any books on making magical weapons.

We divvy up the books.

Is levitate a blood magic spell? Lambertus flips through the book and does not see levitate or fly.

Metatron's book is the bottom tier, large green volume. Cassius / Metetron's book *Forbidden Dimension*

Velkin asks if there is any other book he'd like to see survive? All of them. The book of Prixithalma is also on the bottom tier, I think it is red and in two volumes.

The elevator is not big enough to hold us all. The elevator is a cage with a gilded top, but too narrow to fit through. The platform is solid but the roof is not. Ignatius' thinks the whole thing falls. It only triggers when try to come back up.

Felix follows Ignatius out with the Phoenix Egg and Felix locks the gate then the iron bound door on his way back.

Velkin goes down while the rest of us prepare to unfurl the portal and jump in. as he Shadow Steps up starting with the most important books at the bottom (10th level). Then raise the elevator to the 9th level and grab more books.

We can't see below the floor of the elevator.

We need to burn the portal as we step through to block our way.

  • Lady of Fire* should have left with the explosion(s) and collapses. Forcas is still in the submarine (*MAY* have felt vibrations of what occurred.)

Means of Egress is either the Web Portal or the Spider to take us to Lolth.