All fell silent when they heard the sound of labored breathing and uneven footfalls echoing up the corridor. Someone was approaching. They all took position to ambush the intruder, with Sklooh serving as the distraction... well, it would have been Sklooh if Lena hadn't frightened herself with her own tail, shrieked, and jumped into a bookshelf, knocking dozens of books (and herself) to the ground. At that, an apparently frail old man entered covered in heavy robes and cloth. He spoke in a gasping and wheezing voice reminiscent of the Magic Mouth spells that were cast throughout the village above. The man apologized for his lack of courtesy and said that he would have been more welcoming if he had known he was going to have company. He introduced himself as the Librarian, and the party quickly learned that he was deathly ill when refused to take Igan's hand. Egg-spiker and Igan offered to use their healing magic to cure him, and he acquiesced, but aside from healing a few sores and boils on the man's skin, they did nothing to stop the progressive and contagious disease. The knew that this was a crippling disease that was--as of yet--beyond their ability to dispel.

Regardless, everyone got acquainted. When Igan asked about the undead men, women, and children upstairs, though, the Librarian quickly changed the subject and led them out of the room towards his primary dwelling place. The room to which they were taken was far larger than the previous and filled with more ornate and greater tomes, though many of the shelves looked bare as though most of the tomes had been removed from the facility. A large bipedal Hyena-type creature was walking carelessly across the room, carrying books about and putting them into crooked stacks. Lena identified this creature as a Gnoll--a sentient inhabitant of the forest, that usually scavenges into bogs and swamps. Sklooh, with a frightened Kasj clinging to his back, strolled over to the Gnoll and attempted to command its attention. The Gnoll continued without taking notice of Sklooh, and there was evidence on the creature of decay. Apparently an undead servant of the Librarian.

The Librarian explained that this room was filled with people who had a wealth of magical knowledge. After some prodding by the group, the Librarian admits to trying to find a magical cure to his infirmity, and also a magical means of restoring the dead to life. As evident by the stack of tomes next to a large writing desk, he had already gone through at least 50 volumes in search of the proper magic. He then asks the party if they will help him with his goals. He told them that he has something to show them--the only thing that could answer their questions about why he was trying to find the secrets to life and death--but that he couldn't show them unless they promised to help him and never endanger himself of his loved ones. Lena agrees, and Igan follows suit with the addendum that they would be unable to keep their promise if it violated their personal morality.

Once the agreement is made, the Librarian tells the party that his name is Segerstrom and that they should follow him into the other room. The iron door opened to reveal a tidy room with nothing but a beautiful young woman resting on a bed on the inside. Closer observation revealed that this woman was not resting, but dead. Segerstrom announces to everyone that this is his beloved and that he intends to bring her back to life. He expresses gratitude to the Pillarmen for agreeing to help him. Lena then revealed that she had been resurrected from the dead. Astonished, Segerstrom pressed the group for answers, and they explained to him how Lena had passed away and how she had been revived. Once he found out that she used to be human, Segerstrom rejected reincarnation as his salvation because he refused to do anything that would compromise his beloved's beauty. He did, however, believe that some secrets may dwell within Lena and he asked to study her at a later time.

Egg-spiker, trying to be helpful, introduced Segerstrom to some literature on Bismuth and his healing powers. The Librarian regarded it as useless to him before turning back to his studies. Sklooh mostly kept himself busy by trying to garner the Gnoll's attention, but was otherwise bored. Igan once more interrupted Segerstom's studies to inquire about the undead villagers on the surface. Perturbed, the Librarian dodged the question, stood up, and retreated to his beloved's chambers. Eggsy, finding this suspicious left to consult his god in private. Once the prayers and rituals were performed, Bismuth seemed to indicate that trusting Segerstrom was a woeful path, and that he ought to be dispatched.

In fervent devotion to Bismuth, Egg-spiker prepared himself for battle, and barged in on the Librarian while the party stood idly by. Segerstrom was dressing the woman when the door opened, and a large puncture wound was revealed on the girl's abdomen. Eggsy immediately attacked with a magical burst of energy, and Sklooh (who had been privately hoping for some action) followed Egg-spiker's lead and joined the assault. As Igan, Lena, and the undead Gnoll came rushing to the fray, Segerstrom vanished from the room and attempted to escape out another door from the library. The four Pillarmen engaged the Gnoll in combat, and after a few minutes, the creature was reduced to an inanimate corpse.

The adventurers burst into the library, and Segerstrom the Librarian was nowhere to be seen.


A GRIPPING TITLE GOES HERE

SESSION 19: The Librarian


After mending the person's torn page, Lena expressed her desire to write the contents of the page back into the book on another page. The the party objected due to not knowing how it would affect the person. Eggsy, disregarding his own advice, sought to perform a little experiment. Finding a prisoner who committed a particularly heinous crime, he wrote a few words on the blank pages. When the ramblings of the consciousness reached that insert, the monologue of the book turned into an inquisition and then a dialog, as it appeared the man could recognize the foreign words on his pages. He asked who was there, where he was, and a number of questions, but could not retain the information given him by Eggsy due to his insanity.

The Pillarmen searched through the books and finds that all of the criminals present were sentenced for non-magic criminal actions taken against the Kingdom. Some sedition, some espionage, assassinations, many rebellions and murders. As Igan searched for information regarding magic, he was astounded to find his own name in the pages. After thumbing through the pages, he found that this was the person whom he had attacked during his first encounter with Kaela--Conner. Without delving too deeply, Igan found out that Conner had begun magical instruction at some point after the incident and after Igan's desertion. He found that Conner became malcontent with the Kingship, and was arrested for treachery. He was taken to this institution after he murdered some officials in an escape attempt. Igan took the book and stowed it in his sack.