Devils in the Library

Breakfast is very chaotic. Marybeth says our attackers should not have been working together like they were. They’re from different factions. Warring factions, even. She hasn’t ever found information about them in the library, but has learned from her contacts. When Klyce joins us, Nat asks about using her dreams to could guide us. The Knights and Aranea attacking the clones? Or, could the cult of the not-Dawnmother have something to do with Marybeth’s Grandfather. What about the Library dream, is there something there we need to find. Is it Grandfather who burns the book, or Marybeth.

Remy interrupts, asking Dalish about getting us more mana and spell scribing materials, so Dalish and Gerhardt head off to see what they can get.

Then we devolve into discussion of our military service, the government, and what if they split us up again. But Nat pulls us back on course with her Library dream. It could be that we have to go in and stop Grandfather, or it could be that we need to go burn a book before he can get to it. We have to find him, could we scry on him without just finding Marybeth? Can we somehow break the bond between them? Marybeth wants to think about it, she’s worried about us getting hurt trying to save her.

Dalish and Gerhardt return with 20 motes of mana, but no more scribing materials. This kicks off a discussion about resources. Wizarding, as always, seems a very strange thing to deal with. Glad I don’t have to do all that.

Marybeth pulls us back to the library. She wonders if she can find a future book about how we solved this problem of her Grandfather. We have to stick together, so we decide to all go to the library. I try to convince everyone to stick together and pick one goal, but they just won’t listen. Marybeth, Remy, Gerhardt and I head off to look for the future answer. Nat, Klyce, and Dalish head off to try and specifically find the burning book from Nat’s vision. We all write in the books, and head off in two opposite directions.

We walk for a long time, and eventually come upon a tower. The pull leads us up quite a few levels, but what we find there is only soot and ash. Everything on this level has been burnt. Written in the ash are two words: Too Slow.

Then a loud shrieking noise rips through the air. I pull away from the group, looking for where the attack is coming from. Remy pulls up light to see better. Marybeth and Gerhardt prepare for an attack. Suddenly, there is movement at the windows around the tower, and purple spines come shooting in at all of us. From the stairs come two large creatures who immediately attack. Remy dimension doors away with Marybeth, and they turn on Gerhardt and me. I fall under their blows, but Gerhardt revives me inside a wall of force. The creatures are gone, and I grab his hand and dimension door us all the way back to the Library entrance in one jump.

The others aren’t there. I send to them, but somehow they’re still in the tower. Gerhardt and I wait, but I’m barely alive, we can’t go back. We dont wait long, what if the things come after us? Gerhardt and I leave the library, there’s nothing we can do to get back to them in time.

A short time later, the rest of them pile out of the Library, bleeding, but alive. Gerhardt sets to work, patching up wounds, while Remy explains that they wanted to make a deal with him. They were only after Marybeth. They didn’t seem to care if they died, as though they would just come back again. We try to ask Marybeth, but she says she can’t talk about them. Klyce asks if she could talk about a hypothetical contract, instead of her own, but she won’t. Nat says her other planar contact always tries to make deal with her, too. Marybeth says this is different because the contract was made by her Grandfather, long before she was born. Remy explains that they offered to let him take the debt of 200,000 souls, but he refused. Klyce asks if Marybeth can set up a meeting, and Remy suggests bringing a lawyer along. They’ve got to be violating terms of the contract, surely we can get them to stop?

Marybeth says she has a handler, and spoke to them the night before. Soemething is happening, some sort of revolt or civil war. There is chaos wherever they are, more than usual. We ask if she can talk to them again, we have to figure this out. Maybe we can help settle things? She says she will try.

Dinner With the Enemy

A bit later, eight guards show up and ask if we’ll come quietly. Gerhardt nods, so we are ushered out of our fancy prison and down to dinner with the rest of our group. It’s a bit long table full of food, and we are offered wine and water. Not allowed to turn down anyone’s hospitality, I dig in a bit, while most of the group awaits our host. We don’t have long to wait until a older gentleman arrives, dressed for the fancy dinner and introduces himself as Ernesto DiRudio. He welcomes us to his home, and the joins us in tucking in to the meal.

After we have eaten, he acknowledges our situation. American mages come to pursue the very same people as himself. They were his guests and stole his research. He says that research is dangerous and incomplete, and he has a deal to offer us, instead of finding and killing them. He suggests that if we get his research back for him, return all that they have stolen, he will let us all leave Italy. Never to return. We try to ask about the research but he brushes us off, best not to ask. We decide this is what we came for, so it works for us. Chirina doesn’t want to object is such powerful company, so we all agree and sign a contract with him.

Once we are bound to him, he provides more information. There are five groups in pursuit of Philomena’s family. The Sardinia Military, the Magia, the Church, himself, and there might even be more. He cannot protect us from any of them, and urges caution, given the feelings in Sardinia. The military itself binds mages with magic, and they have mage hunters in their ranks. He suggests that the lasst information he had was that our quarry was in the southern tip of Italy. He offers us horses and supplies to speed us on our journey and we head south.

There are more and more troops as we get further away from Rome. Chirina learns that Sicily is in open rebellion, and we are going to have a bit of trouble getting to where we need to go. We get by Napels on our tourist status, and on down to Solerno. Here, we stop to get rooms for the night, tired of sleeping on the ground out in the open. The city is very quiet, not a lot of people, and there are rumors of folk disappearing.

That night, we are attacked in our sleep. Four strange humanoid beings sneak into our rooms and two of them are wielding magic! It is quite the fight for our lives in the otherwise silent inn, but we manage to kill two of them while the other two escape. Their bodies are strange, and Aranea is terrified of them. She says they are filled with death. When Chirina goes downstairs, she finds everyone else in the place has been killed. We have to go, now! So, she smuggles us out of town through whatever contacts she has in the dark and we get away before camping again, this time under the dome.

Once rested, we head on, but we have to go slower, avoiding troops of soldiers, even going off the road. Still, we are spotted and told to turn back. The soldiers shadow us for a little while to make sure we do, so we decide to travel at night. Strange noises give us pause. A large man approaches, with a smaller, collared man.

“Fall on your knees, the beast is upon you. Quake and Tremble, the Beast has come.” Oh man, this guy is huge.