Well, I don’t have much time as we’re camping for the night in a small cave in the middle of this frozen wasteland, but I wanted to try and write down a bit of what has transpired this last day.
We camped in the library like I last noted, and a good night’s rest it was after trekking through that tower all day! I’m ashamed to say that I had no luck figuring out that daunting puzzle, but luckily Q worked on it during his watch and was able to get them apart! I feel somewhat embarrassed that a simple-minded dwarf bested me, but I’m sure I must have loosened it for him or something. We awoke the next morning to sounds from below and outside the chamber, but could see nothing. Later the sounds disappeared and we never really found out what it was. One odd thing I noticed was that all of the books we had taken down the night before had all been replaced onto the shelves. I assume there’s either an enchantment on the books to return (to keep the library tidy) or an invisible servant is responsible. Either way, I took the books back down and placed them securely into my backpack.
We decided to try the portal out. Three of us placed the symbols into their respective spots at the same time, and lo and behold the portal activated. We hesitantly tested it before actually going through, just in case. You can’t be too careful when dealing with portals, as I have found out the hard way! On the other side of the portal we found a secondary library, this one much cozier. It had a reading chair and automated light system as well. Thoben cast detect magic and we found several magical tomes on the shelf, as well as a few more books inlaid with the Dove that we took with us. There was also a broach with a depiction of a castle on it, it appears to be well made but has no magical properties we can see. I did not memorize a read magic spell so have no idea what the books (some of them spellbooks) entail, but I’ll be doing that as soon as I get a night or two of peace and quiet! We gathered up our stuff and headed back through the portal, and out through the room we camped in. Zurn and Q stayed on the outside and noted that something blocked out the light, so we thought it prudent to check out what was going on. Outside we could see a chariot with several unfriendly looking individuals coming towards the castle. One appeared to be a mage , there were a couple lizard creatures and a skeleton, as well as a lumbering frost giant. These looked like a group we should avoid if we plan to see another day.
We proceeded to make our way down through the rest of the tower with the intent to get out as carefully as possible, and pick Wilber up on the way. At one point we ran across a magically barred door that presented us with a riddle. After trying nearly every idea we had (Q even tried to use his thick skull), we finally figured out the riddle and it let us pass. Further down we went until we were one level from the bottom. We found a room with an Ion stone of which Thoben donned. We have no idea yet what it’s use it, but I assume it will present itself when needed! Q found a dwarven ring that looks to be of some special importance, but non-magical. Oh, and Q also ran across an old relative of his, long since desiccated but luckily for him still wearing a magnificent piece of platemail. Anyway, I digress. Back in the room we were presented with another riddle. It appeared that our challenge was to play a game of chess with an invisible or non-existent opponent. Not an uncommon trick for a wizard when they spend a lot of time alone, it seems less lonely this way I would assume. The twist here was that once you sat down, you got punished when you made a wrong move. After several hits of electricity through my already tired derriere, we finally solved the puzzle. Once solved a chest full of valuables appeared, more so than we have found yet. I could see the gleam in Q’s eyes as he eyed the shiny box of coin! But this wasn’t that easy to focus on as during the game, four gnolls apparently were planning on coming through the room. They picked the wrong door and my comrades made short work of them as I sat in the electric chair! We noticed that they appeared to be wearing red capes/trim just like the chariot of people that was coming near us. We assumed they were part of the same contingent, but once we went down another floor to gather Wilber, we could hear shouting outside hollering for the “traitors”. We then assumed they were deserters of some sort.
We desperately needed to get out of the tower, but upon looking outside we see the giant frost wyrm fighting the people on the chariot! Several lay dead but the wizard, his skeleton and the frost giant were still standing. That is, until the dragon used its breath weapon to freeze and completely devour the giant from his ankles up. Apparently the rest of the group lost their nerve after that, they left in a full retreat. Once they were gone we moved as quickly as we could back towards our ship, finally making it to this cave. Now we’re all getting ready to bed down and bundle up for the night, then head back to the ship tomorrow. I’m going to put my quill away as my fingers are nearly frozen!