After an extended rest, the party assessed its situation. N-Gram was not in a state to be repaired immediately. Meanwhile, a search of the room yielded a magic helm of acid resist and a secret door. This door led to a much better appointed room which seemed to be the head librarian’s study. And it was inhabited.
Evie attempted to get the drop on the inhabitant, but Dr. Roderick Smith, the eminent adventuring treasure hunter and scholar got the drop on her. Dr. Smith offered his help in securing the book, as this was the mission of his ill-fated party as well. A search of the room yielded enough evidence to point to the head librarian being Evie’s grandfather.
On their way through the restricted stacks, as this obviously was, the party was able to recover two books from the Abbey of Dun Helm, Scarfell’s now hard-pressed institution. At the center of the inner sanctum of the restricted library they found an elaborate baldacchino over a well alarmed trap door leading father down into the library. Frankie was able to disarm the alarm, and the party proceeded down into what they found to be the vault.
After cleverly avoiding a particularly well-hidden trap that would have activated guardian automata, they were able to perceive in the center of the room a lectern holding a black book, in front of which stood the leader of Smith’s party, swaying in trancelike silence. But to get to the center of the room, the party had to make it across three moats. The first, a green bath of acid, disgorged a yard of skeletons which the party neatly disassembled. The second, a ring of water, roiled with passage of a massive creature. After a couple of passes, the creature raised it’s fearsome maw above the water—a plesiosaur! The monster’s appetite was not sated by Scarfell’s attempts to distract it with rashers of bacon, but rather enflamed. After taking a couple of devastating nibbles of the party, it was luckily held back by a nymph whom you persuaded to let you take the book somewhere secure where it cannot fall into the wrong hands. The final moat was filled with lava—and with angry fire elementals.
Meanwhile, the trancelike state of the other party leader was reveled as a dominance spell cast by a nefarious presence—an intelligent gelatinous cube which had, like the slimes above, taken on the characteristics of the book it ingested, in this case one of the evilest books of charms and domination spells in existence. Luckily it proved no more resilient than a normal gelatinous cube and, after a tense fight in which a spontaneous rainstorm created a lava bride for party to reach the cube, the party triumphed, rescuing both the book and the party leader.
It quickly became clear, however, that the party leader was in fact a Red Wizard of Thay, bent upon securing the book for the Red Wizards! The party, exhausted from the protracted fight with dinosaur, skeleton, fire elementals and gelatinous cube, cannily entangled the Red Wizard so that they could escape to higher ground in the restricted library. The Red Wizard extricated himself and followed in hot pursuit—too hot, perhaps. On running up the stairs and catching sight of the party he let lose a devastating spray of flame, entirely missing the fact that he was standing under a wooden baldacchino whose roof was an elaborate and heavy set of alarm bells. The baldacchino collapsed in a cacophonic tintinnabulation, stunning the equally exhausted Red Wizard and allowing the party to secure him.
With Red Wizard and nefarious book in tow, the party returned to Tethyr in triumph, delivering their charges after judging that the Tethyrian Institute was on the level about actually burying the book.