It seems my suspicions were correct. This Citadel truly holds secrets worthy of apprehension. It’s been only a couple hours since writing my last missive and it’s been bad. We entered into a (linear) branch of rooms behind one of the doors, and a room of long neglect with a newly conflagrated rat. The single other exit was a large ebony door of Akvartalon, though it was magnificently kept. The juxtaposition odd and disheartening, but after some investigation we opened it into a nearly bear room with a few long-cracked sand crystals. When I entered I heard Bethrynna’s 67th symphony in pianissimo, very beautifully played like when Lia brought us around her 180th birthday. While the Shirn heard, what I believe to be by his description, Eisai’s original composition Jitsugetsu upon a Jeongak. However the Orc was not so forthcoming with what he heard, though I’m quite sure it heavily featured drums in allegro. We shared some wine and smoked herb during our appreciation before the Engineer destroyed the source. While most of the anger was provoked by the spell, I couldn’t help but want to criticize him for his lack of appreciation for the arts. Though he was extremely interested in the source, he says its a discovery of incredible import so I hesitate to describe it, but he is certainly eager in his assertion despite a complete inability (likely magically implanted, so I may have to try some telepathic probing if he would allow it) to explain himself.
Another well kept door that hid a hallways with an ancient, well-hidden, spike trap where the spikes were long-since settled with a steel to glass spell. Nearly perforated the Murchint due to his haste; at least he was able to figure out how to disarm it. It was about this time when Ad Hawk discovered a group of lizardmen transporting Free Island stamped goods (In addition to a flash of a spell, but I’ll get back to that). A trio of crates between 5 to 10 hundred cubic feet accompanied by a group of 20 lizardfolk. Ambushing them will be difficult, we could attempt to impede them further by blocking access. The next pair of doors opened up to a small chapel with a clear statue of Akvartalon. It was quite unimportant except for it’s simple riddle on stars which revealed a hidden doorway to the final chamber of this branch.
A long fabulously decorated room with an antechamber separated by a large pit. In 6 alcoves sat a variety of armoured statues (3 Dragonborn, 2 Elves, and a Shirn). In the antechamber a large coffin with a dragon in ouroboros. While the Engineer, Orc, and Murchint made thoughts on jumping across the pit I was dealing with the flash from earlier. Ad Hawk, while keeping an eye on the lizardfolk (who had finished loading one of the crates onto the stairway), noticed footsteps from an invisible pursuer behind us. I asked, by message, it to identify themselves to me. Apparently it succeeded, but not after impediment (probably from the amount of stone scattering the magical array) that lengthened the travel time to nearly a minute both ways. Though they just responded with an expletive, I remembered the voice from Arventa Plata. Though I just realize writing this, I had not informed you of the shenanigans of the librarian’s grandson in Arventa Plata.
While inquiring about information regarding the Ashen Plain we utilized the library within Arventa Plata. While the Shirn inquired about having a set of scrolls (which were in terrible condition jammed together with many other scrolls haphazardly) translated, a silver Dragonborn by name of ‘Tammokan’ attempted to sell his services to the destitute shirn. This would have been fine had he not pretended to be the head librarian despite clear lack of knowledge in navigating via sorting codexes. Apparently he was quite the trickster arcane user and grandson to the true headmaster. I found him after I heard about the impersonation and seeing more important tasks than some prank to attend to I mentioned the occurrence in passing to the head librarian who quickly disciplined the youngling.
I had Ad Hawk begin masking his dust trail where I began giving him instructions to avoid further detection. The trio ultimately wanted to jump across, but they were dissuaded by the thoughtful interruption of one of the statues. An extra-planar being named Jot from the plane of fire was bound to the statue by the dragonpriest Kavas (which is the one entombed in the aforementioned casket). After talking for a bit we learned that it had been bound to attack anyone who crossed the threshold into the antechamber, however if anyone happened to cross back over they would be released. Of course realizing this danger we didn’t want to take such a route. So we performed another examination of the room, and behind the highest ranked warrior I found a stanza orientated incorrectly detailing a story of the Elf infiltrating an enemy lair (with hints from Jot it was clear that there was an internally designed alternate route). This was the point that Tammokan finally decided to drop his invisibility. So after using the characters in the stanza I entered the the Elf’s name and revealed a hidden tunnel.
While the antechamber detailed the religious workings of Akvartalon, in the center crafted with augured iconography (a dragon in ouroboros hinting at self-betrayal) a casket latched closed with adamantium. Our curiosity got the better of us, the dungeon’s inexplicably cleaned and maintained machinery ensured our interest in clearing the dungeon, which included this casket. When it was unlocked we discovered that the reason for Kavas’ entombment (we learned his name from Jot), he lost a battle and was given a commander’s discipline. I attempted to establish a conversation with him, but was met with an unceremonious firebolt. Oddly enough, I believe it killed me. I don’t remember anything too specific, but a disembodied voice spoke (as if to another) that a rule had been forgotten and I was sent back to life. Upon my awakening, the others had come to my aid blasting chunks off of Kavas, however not before I was able to glaciate him.
At least the party is figuring their roles. The shirn and engineer appreciate a location near the rear, watching for pursuers, The orc and murchint up front, and myself in the center. With what we have it’s a decent setup, the martial capability on either end gives myself time to formulate a counter-plan if we’re ambushed while maintaining a decent vanguard with mobile flanks. And theres the possibility to Tammoken aiding us as well.