The party moved from the fallen knight Alain to the library. Upon reaching the library they heard signs of battle so decided it would be best to take a longer route rather than march in through the front.
When they arrived at the back end of the library, Ash noticed Bringers (stitch-faced guys) and demons fighting at the front of the library, though the party could not see what they were fighting over. Deciding to avoid the battle and let them sort out their differences, the party successfully snuck into the library to find the book Alain pointed them towards.
Alain’s clue pointed them towards one of the basements of the library where the children’s books were held. Upon finding the book the party found out that it was fairly worthless and only had a brief mention of something that could be The First. The story spoke of The Queen of Lies and told children not to steal or else she would come and take their souls. The only real connection to The First in the story was the picture that looked like the shadowy figure they had seen of her earlier.
The only thing of real interest in the area was the cracked floor that showed a glimpse of an unnaturally cold room below that looked as though it had not been disturbed in 100’s of years. Gate broke the floor with his hammer and 422 Maintenance shimmied down to investigate the area.
The room was covered in dust and broken debris with a door on either side of the room. Behind one door was a sealed that looked as though this room had been sealed from the outside 100’s of years before so that the room could just be forgotten. The other door led down to a man-made hallway that looked like the rest of the library.
The party followed the hallway down and after a small turn they felt a large rumble and noticed several funny things. The hallway slowly started to twist as it became even colder, color started fading away, and Voltaire started to become overcome with sadness.
Eventually, the party came to a large hole at a dead end. The hole was far deeper than they could see so Voltaire bravely stepped up and volunteered to be lowered down. The party tethered him to Gate and slowly lowered him down the deep dark hole. The hole was so deep that the party was forced to use two ropes but Voltaire finally managed to reach the bottom.
Upon reaching the bottom, Voltaire saw more hallway that looked like the rest of the library and heard a strange humming coming from all around. The party attempted to pull Voltaire back up to safety but he quickly untied himself from the make-shift harness since he was still curious about the ghostly, eerie humming.
Worried, Gate and 422 decided to go back to the library to find someone they could tether a rope to let them all down but they quickly found that the way they entered from had vanished and was replaced with a T-section. Curious, they further explored the labyrinth letting Gate’s hammer be their guide. Though it behaved oddly when dropped, the hammer eventually led them to Voltaire with the 100 foot hole somehow above them.
The party members at the bottom of the hole shouted up at Hammurabi, Ash, and Phaetari and they made their way through the pitch black labyrinth. Slightly confused, the party explored the large area and eventually found a large iron door with a hole bored more than foot in it with a handle.
Hamm tried to turn the handle but the devious device quickly showed it’s true nature. Whoever wanted to open that door would have to sacrifice their arm since turning the handle that opens the door makes spikes extend into the arm of the user. The party tried to force the handle with walking staffs but in the end Hamm decided to take the hurt and opened the door.
The door lowered and the party was confronted with a large row of books in a large ring shaped room. Upon setting foot in the room, the whole part heard a ghostly humming as if someone was humming some sort of twisted childrens rhyme. Everyone except Voltaire heard humming and gibberish but Voltaire could actually hear the words being sung to him.
It’s later than you think
While you’re still in the pink.
The years go by (laughs)
as quickly as a wink.
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself,
It’s later than you think.
The last line sounded as if it came from directly behind him and Voltaire felt an icy hand on his shoulder. Before he could react he felt a knife slide across the side of his neck and nick him. Quickly turning, Voltaire barely noticed the shadowy figure of The First fading away.
Putting the strange event behind them, the party explored the cylindrical room. There were four rooms each with a different colored jewel nestled into the large door, a door on the inside wall, a crank that rotated the inner wall, and a lighting mechanism. The group quickly figured out that they must rotate the room so that the lighting mechanism matches the jewel on the doors so they can open each room one by one.
While the group opening the first room, Hamm noticed The First looking over a book. She looked at him and dropped the book on the ground asking him is this my dream or yours? before fading away. Hamm took the book but it seemed to be filled with gibberish so he stowed it in his pack.
The first room they entered looked like a small torture chamber. On the ground a small plaque had the following inscription etched into it:
People with petty greed ~ how much do they get
Not all people have big-sized greeds
We are very ordinary
The room had potions lining the walls of many bright colors but the group ignored them and found a key to one of the inner doors. The group took the key and left the suspicious room.
Unlocking the next door, the group came into a room with five large four armed statues each holding a box. Another plaque was on the ground that read you get what you put in.
The group put in a normal staff to get a common magical staff and then coin purse to get a magical purple coin purse. When Voltaire tried to place his arm inside the new coin purse to his surprise he found out it was cursed and it tried to eat him. Phaetari tried to heal Voltaire but her staff ended up being cursed as well and hurt Voltaire further. The group finally managed to stop the devouring coin purse. Voltaire sacrificed his lock pick set and was able to get a key from the room.
The next room had a long narrow hallway with a moving panel, button, and a timer on the end. After pressing the button, sand started flowing into the room and the timer started counting down. The party tried pressing the button again several times but this only restarted the counter back to 15. 422 wisely told the party to let the counter tick to 0 which disarmed the trap. The group retried the key and proceeded to the final outer room.
The final room had a large spike pit with two rotating platforms. The group jump from platform to platform to get to the other side but not without 422 and Hamm falling into the spiked pit first. Upon trying to climb the walls with the provided handholds, they found that each handhold has a poison spike trap and the group was forced to use a rope to help them up. With the entire party over the trap, the group retrieved the final key and Voltaire flew the group to the other side.
The group opened the final inner door and found a large obelisk. Using the final key, the group opened a door located on the oblisk to what looked like a portal to Hell. When they opened the door, the group could see the enigmatic man dart across a corner and the doomsday clock in the background.
While this was happening Voltaire heard The First humming again and saw her sitting on the obelisk. This time, however, she didn’t appear as the same shadowy figure and could make out some of her features. She appeared to be a beautiful elven maiden covered in darkness and still had the same penetrating white eyes.
She jumped down in front of Voltaire and said “it’s almost too convenient” while drawing a silver dagger. “He shows you the way to my wolrd. Was he leading the lamb to the slaughter or was he really trying to help? No, that isn’t the question.”
The First walks over to Phaetari who is oblivious to The First’s presence and places the silver dagger on her neck. “It would be too simple to kill her now…but I think there’s more work she can do for me.”
She looks over the group and then focuses on the dagger on Phaetari’s neck again and then back to Voltaire “It’s such a hard choice. You did invade my home, I’ve spent the last several thousand years preparing it, but you’ve also given me an entrance to another plane.”
“To thank or punish you…” she said pausing for a second.
Voltaire tried to warn the group of what was happening but before he could The First plunged the dagger into Phaetari’s throat causing her immense pain. The group then saw The First standing with a dagger in Phaetari’s throat. They tried to retaliate but The First went insubstantial and floated above them, mockingly humming the song she had been humming earlier.
Hamm decided it would be best to run and quickly ducked into the portal to Hell. Ash followed suit and Gate stayed behind to protect the group. Before The First could kill her, Phaetari stepped through the portal and The First shrieked in rage as she disappeared.
Since most of the group was already through the portal, Gate and 422 decided to go through the portal before The First returned deciding that facing Hell was better than facing her again.
Voltaire was not so quick to decide since he had recently been to Hell and didn’t enjoy the experience. Since the immediate danger was gone, Voltaire started working on collapsing the roof so a rogue gateway to Hell wouldn’t stay open. During his work, The First appeared again and attacked.
Voltaire tried to bravely stand his ground and question her but it appeared The First wasn’t in the mood to talk anymore as she quit humming her song and had a look of anger on her face. Before The First could kill him, Voltaire stepped through the portal while bringing down the roof. A large stone hit him on the head and he was knocked out as he was sent through the portal.
Meanwhile, the group waited a few short seconds as one by one each member appeared. When they were all there, they saw that the enigmatic man was nowhere to be found and could see the doomsday clock standing above everything miles in the distance.
While the group was deciding what to do, they could hear the clock spring to life even from miles away as the time moved from 11:54 to 11:55.