They easily made it through the mirror into the Wasp’s strange extra-dimensional hideout guided back to the mirror in the library closet by Fauna.
Szoo (mesmerized by the vaulted ceilings more than 20 ft. above him): “Whoa.”
The trio had the previous instant just been in a tiny closet and walked through an out-of-place mirror as if it were a thin veil of shimmering mercury and found themselves here. The walls were nearly featureless vast swaths of smooth cold beige. The magic sconces, large dragonflies of colored glass mosaic far up the walls lit by flickering golden magic flames. They lit the hall before them well enough though they were all made nervous by the fact the magic light also seemed to deepen the numerous shadows.
The trio looked down each side of the cross-hall, it seemed to continue both left and right into unlit sections which prevented them from seeing how far the cross-hall went. Jirek, the cabal scribe, was close but apart from the group.
Cris (Excor’s Player): “Crap, that’s right. Jirek’s still with us.”
Before them was a set of winding ivory stairs that rose to a spacious mezzanine, all the floors were a polished marble tile mosaic. In a niche under the stairs were stacked books and piles of scrolls, several of which were strewn about the floor along with several open books next to an oblong case.
Excor (to Fauna): “That it?” He pointed to the case.
Fauna: “I dunno, probably is.”
Excor looked at the green lacquered double door under the mezzanine ledge.
Fauna: “That leads to a library… I think.”
They turned around. Behind them was a large built-in mirror rimmed in gold with a sapphire and emerald dragonfly at the top edge. This main hall area was of considerable size.
Excor, not wanting to appear over-eager to get the case in his hands, starts questioning Fauna about what’s here – bedrooms up there and a bath, a kitchen somewhere (she had no idea), the library there beyond those doors, and that’s all she knew.
Szoo: “Should we start exploring this place?”
Excor: “Yeah, yeah… pick a hallway, there’s three ways to go. We kind of know what’s up there.” He pointed at the mezzanine and the main hall. He turned around to face one of the side hallways.
Szoo: “Um, the right one?”
Then as a group with Excor in the lead, they started to go down the dim hallway, the lights began to light up as they moved down. They continued for several minutes only noticing after they had made a long distance that the lights were progressively dimmer than the previous. They pushed on eventually stopping about a dozen feet or so from a virtual wall of darkness.
The trio each in turn tried to penetrate the impenetrable shadows with their eyes. Neither the druidess nor the naga could see a thing. Excor, however, thought he saw “something moving in there”. It was shapeless.
As a result, They began lighting torches and lamps, casting light spells, and trying to penetrate the supernatural darkness. It was as if they had come face to face with a brick wall but of solidified shadow instead of masonry. Fauna was prodded to “poke” her torch into it. When the flame submerged into its depths, its light was completely obscured. It came back out extinguished.
Excor: “Great. It probably has energy drain on it or some sh*t like that.”
Fauna: “What do you think it is?”
Excor: “A wall of shadows or something…”
The four mages, the trio of adventurers with Jirek following far behind, went in the opposite direction to the same result.
Excor: “Man! There’s gotta be something good back there. Ah! Do we wanna die trying to get it?”
Cris looked over at me with an accusing glare. I could only shrug and signal a “who me!?”, then wave my hands helplessly in the air.
Cris: “Yeah, yeah, I thought so.”
Excor (aiming his question at his companions): “So, do we try to get through this thing?”
Szoo & Fauna (in unison): “Screw that!”
Excor: “Cool, cool. We’re getting sidetracked, let’s get that f@*#’in wand!”
They retreated to the box.
Cris: “Yeah, I don’t want to mess up my royal clothes!”
Excor was still in his royal duds; an embroidered silk robe with a black silk sash at the waist over a buttoned undershirt, black silk shoes on his feet, a black felt pork-pie hat with a peacock feather on his head, and the magic blue cape on his back.
Cris (to me, the GM): “Yeah, I need to get back into my adventuring gear, I need to keep my noble clothes clean.”
Isis (Szoo’s Player): “What!?”
Jenn (Fauna’s Player): “Oh! He’s a fancy lad!”
That’s when they noticed that Jirek, who was with them when they entered the Wasp’s strange extra-dimensional hideout, was already on the case trying to suss out how to open it.
Excor: “Hey! You get back from there!”
Szoo: “Don’t make me burn you, man!”
Jirek backed off with his hands up, “Just curious, this is it though!”
Excor: “No kidding!”
Then Excor sidled up next to the case and began carefully inspecting it. Shortly after a concerted effort, they spotted a white outline of a keyhole under a seal. Excor had the other three stand back while he used his magic platinum key (see Cabal of Eight – Pt.17: Fight for Sleep) to temporarily open the magically sealed case. They were all stunned for a moment standing transfixed as he gazed upon the treasure within.
There, sitting within the small but long black case, was the wand that every power player in Ezmer was desperate to get their hands on. The scepter was almost as long as a short spear with a shining pearlescent twisted alicorn consisting most of its length. The horn was set in a polished platinum horse-head guard with a polished jet grip and large polished azurite pommel stone.
Both Jirek and Excor grabbed the wand. They stared each other down for a moment, then Jirek reluctantly let go after Szoo threatened him.
Excor: “Okay. We need something to wrap this in.”
The case snapped back closed. They could all hear the locking mechanism reengage.
Fauna: “Got it!” She darted up the stairs and then after a few brief minutes ran back down the flight of stairs with a delicate silk blanket pilfered from an upper bedroom bunched in her arms. Then as they wrapped the glorious object in silk, they noticed that Jirek followed every movement of the wand with his eyes.
Isis: “Aw man, the wand’s got Jirek!”
Jenn: “Oh no, do we have to kill him?”
Cris: “Naw, we just have to keep an eye on him, don’t let him be alone with it… Damn.”
Cris: “We’re all wizards.”
Cris: “None of us can really outrun him, if we were faster, we could lose Jirek on the way.”
Szoo: “Wait. Where are we going?”
Fauna: “Duh, the safehouse man!”
Isis (to Cris): “Wait. Why did you invite Jirek anyway?”
Cris: “I forgot.”
Without analyzing anything further they fled back through the mirror leaving the empty case behind. They were going to run all the way to the safehouse set up for Fauna by Vor Jetl hoping that they could avoid the Blue Dragon’s servants, the two pirate crews, and the Wasp.
To Be Continued…