The air was cool and dry, and the smell of parchment was everywhere. The walls were lined with comically oversized books, some bigger than Halfred. I heard the others discussing the rune they found on the odd silver tree in the middle, but I felt myself wondering around the curved hallway of the ancient Cloud Giant library.
I was never one for books, didn’t have the patience for it. But this place reminded of Zephyros. Fond memories began to flood my thoughts as I walked, reading the Giant language on the spines and covers. It was difficult; these were ancient texts and some of them quite advanced.
One book caught my eye. The words glowed with a shimmering script. “A Treatise on the Care and Handling of Wild Creatures.” It felt magical as I hefted it in my hands, and thankfully not one of the larger tomes.
“Ah, that’s a good one!”
A voice rang out, and I nearly dropped the book in surprise. I looked around, though I didn’t feel the flood of adrenaline or alarm of impending battle. Another automated recording?
“It’s good to see someone perusing our wares. We haven’t had a guest in… how long has it been, Gerald?”
“Been quite a long time I must say! How are you enjoying your stay, sir?”
My surprise melted away to bemused confusion. This was no recording; a pair of voices were addressing directly, in the Giant language. Not to raise any suspicions, I responded in kind.
“Yes, lovely place you have here, can you tell me about this library?”
“Indeed we can!” And with that, a pair of books flew off nearby shelves and came fluttering into view, magically flying in place.
This week we spent the majority of our session leveling up and doing a bit of shopping and haggling in Mirabar, before finally securing passage up the river to Raven Rock.
Arriving at Mirabar we were presented with the aftermath of a Giant attack. This used to be par for the course when arriving in a town, though at this point it had been awhile since we’d even seen a hostile, living giant.
Frost Giant warships had sailed West to East across the Mirar River. They were clearly headed to Great Worm Cavern – our next and final relic destination, and where we planned to meet Harshnag after Raven Rock. Poor Mirabar was in the way, and the Giants destroyed the bridges in order to get their massive ships across. Mirabar was forced to ferry people a few groups at at time across the river in boats.
In Mirabar we sold a few trinkets and treasures. T.I.M. managed to sell a single ruby for 1,000 gold! That money would help fund passage on a riverboat to take us all the way from Mirabar directly to Raven Rock. It was expensive, 1 gp per person per mile, but none of us were keen on trekking across snowy, barbarian-filled mountains.
But first we reached level eight. The sorcerers both took their ASI in Charisma, boosting their damage and saves. Korinn would add Wall of Fire to her spellbook while Bryseis took Polymorph, a spell that caused quite a bit of hilarious reminiscing from the latter half of our “Princes of the Apocalypse” campaign.
As the multi-classers, T.I.M. and I both took the third level in our secondary class, awarding several new goodies in our specializations. Kazin went with Oath of Devotion, swearing to fix the Giant Ordning and avenge Zephyros, while T.I.M. went Battle Master, taking all defensive maneuvers: Parry, Rally, and Riposte.
Finally Halfred would pump his eighth level ASI into CON, instantly putting him at the top of the pack with HP over 70.
The ship’s journey was uneventful though we still giggled our way through it. Halfred had a brilliant suggestion for Bryseis: use her Bag of Tricks as an unlimited supply of Polymorph’d creatures!
We wouldn’t actually get a chance to try it yet, as Raven Rock was surprisingly free of any barbarian or other hostile forces. The ship landed within a few miles, and we reached the site of giant plateaus and massive statues and obelisks.
The sole occupants were half a dozen giant ravens roosting around a single, 100 ft statue of a raven. Harshnag’s notes said something about an underground library, so we figured this must be like Grandfather Tree, with a hidden entrance underneath.
We had to solve a simple little puzzle that involved pressing a button on four surrounding obelisks, and the giant raven statue itself (good thing there are five of us!). Sure enough the raven statue slid backward 20 feet, revealing a staircase leading down.
Surprisingly the ravens never attacked us, but they did make a lot of noise. When we revealed the entrance, they flew off toward the east, presumably to warn the nearby barbarian tribe we had been warned about. We left Halfred’s Alarm spell at the entrance, fully expecting an ambush upon our exit.
Inside we were greeted by an ancient automated recording, reminding me of descending into a Vault in Fallout. A pair of statues flanked the entrance, inscribed with runes. We were cautious, but nothing happened until Bryseis crossed between them, activating a terrible blast of light energy. Not too fond of fiend or fiend-adjacent people! Korinn had an equally rough time, as the Ostorian empire had been at war with dragons.
Inside the curving path diverged into three different directions. We went straight head down the middle, toward a circulr room filled with wall-to-wall bookshelves, and a giant silver tree in the middle.
We began searching for books. I found one magical book, and a pair of nearby friendly voices complimented me. I was delighted to converse with an ancient pair of magical talking books, who served as the librarians and custodians of this area.
They were friendly, but limited in knowledge to this library. We gave them a list of pertitnet books to find, but they only retrieved a single tome of history. The rest, they said, could be found in the study or the master’s workshop. They warned us that the tree in the center was actually a defense mechanism, should any harm come to the library.
We haven’t yet found what we’re looking for, and hopefully we’ll be able to delve further into the library without incurring the wrath of the defenses next week.