Chapter 19

Bookshop of Horrors

March 28, 2020

The adventurers got to know Cascaveda, City of Wizards, over the next few days. Situated six miles above sea level, the city has the highest population of wizards and tinker gnomes in the world, resulting in a place awash with magic. Levitating gondolas move people around the city served by a slave populace of kobolds, while clockwork messenger pigeons compete with pigeons and bats for air traffic and marketplaces hawk potions and magic rings.

Docking the Black Acacia and paying for refits as well as giving the crew their back-wages were head-aches for Captain Beltroth, eased somewhat by cashing in the Cloud Giant’s head-dress for 75,000gp, which was shared among the party members. Everyone promptly went shopping and spent their fortunes on magical gear to aid in their adventures.

Enquiries were also made about Tolok, who was known to frequent O’Blessed’s Book Emporium, a shop with a shady reputation for losing customers to the Infinite Library through its twisted aisles. While Salbrizaar went browsing there with a ball of string to find his way out again, Konnifer talked to the owner who promised information about Tolok’s whereabouts in exchange for a sacrifice, specifically her tiefling wizard companion.

Creeped out by the unblinking stares of O’Blessed and his disparate sons, the party reconvened to make a plan wherein Konnifer would deliver Salbrizaar who would, using Raz’s recently purchased Cloak of Invisibility, then escape from their clutches. The duo went in the next afternoon with Theren, Raz, Mora and Naliyi on stand-by out front of the shop to run in to the rescue if needed.

Salbrizaar was alone among the bookshelves when two of the O’Blessed boys confronted him, one of which seeming to melt into a jelly-like version of himself when he attacked. The intense psychic damage inflicted had the unnerving effect of stripping the wizard of parts of his memory. He was able to Misty Step his way to the lobby of the store and bolted out the front door, telling everyone to run and they all did except for Konnifer.

Instead, the cleric calmly talked to the bookstore owner, who seemed a little upset at losing the sacrificial victim. Konnifer flatly explained that she had held up her end of the bargain, delivering the victim, and was in no way responsible for anything after that, such as his escape. This appeal to O’Blessed’s Lawful Evil nature resulted in the information Konnifer was looking for: Tolok left Cascaveda five days ago to visit the Demiplane of Grimanski, which he portaled to with the help of Jackerel, also known as the Lord of Doors.

When Konnifer reported all this to the party, Raz and Naliyi’s blood froze in their veins: the monster they thought they had escaped in Bendajee seemed to have a residence in this very city! More information about both the Demiplane of Grimanski and Jackerel’s true nature could be bought from O’Blessed, but at a price of sacrificial victims for him to feed on.

With the Black Acacia two days into refitting, the party isn’t going anywhere for at least another five days.

Chapter 20: Monster Mountain