Tuesday 4th July 1498
Rested up and having recovered some of our excess bravado and good cheers, we journeyed back to the tower to explore the lower limits that the workers had uncovered.
The last few souls were still toiling away when we arrived and we instructed them to wait on the floors above whilst we explored the newly accessible rooms. We questioned them on whether they had been disturbed at all during their work, but the most they could offer was that there was a high pitched, plaintive voice coming from behind a locked door to a Western room.
Naturally we started on the East side then.
In the West we came across a kitchen, a sensible inclusion in a place that would be inhabited for extensive periods. All the foodstuffs were long perished and the cookware corroded.
In the South we came across a room that looked to have been set up as a mortuary or dungeon. Skeletons of victims lay upon slabs of stone and horrific implements lined the walls. Upon one of the slabs, having consumed the skeletal remnants that had lain there before, a great ooze of bone and slime came for us. Hard to tell whether it had been created here deliberately or maybe it had found its way here some time passed, attracted by the stench of death.
Guillaume swiftly set about dismantling the unholy creature and when it latched hold of my arm Shanae ended it's meager semblance of life.
With the time to explore the room more thoroughly we uncovered notes belonging to Arzhur with lists of deaths upon it – split between those sho had been killed for crimes real or perceived and those who had died of natural causes. It seems that he was experimenting upon the dead, reforming and reshaping as he deemed fit. It is without doubt that he was practicing necromancy within these walls.
We moved onto the Western room where the high pitched voice of a creature called out to us. Opening the door we saw a library lit with blue, mauve and yellow lights and with an impish looking creature perched upon a desk at the far end. It asked if we were it's master, returned after so long. We told him that was not the case, but we were seeking some of his work in order to help his people and clear his name.
The Imp, a Homunculus really, was a gruesome looking creature, fully six feet tall and made of all but unrecognisable parts of other creatures. Maddened by centuries of isolation and imprisonment it brought a roiling elemental of fire into being which rapidly caught the books alight and then attacked us. From the bookshelves sprung glowing, insectile creatures which saw us as threats too.
I set about dispatching the tiny, magical aberrations whilst Guillaume charged into the fray, ignoring the burning books all around him and cutting the familiar in twain.
The fire was spreading through the library though and I rushed to save what I could from Arzhur's desk. Guillaume swung at the troublesome elemental but it was a burst of acid from Lydia that detonated it's smoldering heart. We fled the smoke filled chamber, opening the doors to the stairwell to let the room clear.
A half hour later, after catching our breaths and having some lunch we climbed back down to continue our investigations.
The remains of the library revealed a few items of precious worth, a spellbook (not Arzhur's!), notes on raising the dead and a number of other potentially valuable tomes. I think we ought leave such things behind as they would no doubt form part of the Brehan estate now.
The last point of interest in the room was a magic circle made of embedded rose quartz which Lydia recognised as being used to increase the power of necromantic magics cast within it.
The final room on this floor, to the North, was dominated by another such circle this time inlaid with copper. Again Lydia was able to identify it, this time as being used for teleportation. Such magic is thought to be exceedingly powerful and I know of nobody who has used such spells across significant distances in living memory. Lydia could not divine where it might lead, but perhaps after much study it could be activated?
On the lowest floor there were only two rooms of note, the others having been caved in by whatever fault had opened the tower up to us.
Beyond the Western door on this floor was long-unused alchemical laboratory and a trio of undead! Around the feet of these abominations spread pools of burning acid, corroding whatever, or whomever it touched.
It was a desperate fight, which Shanae bore the brunt of, but between Shanae and Guillaume's swords, Lydia crossbow and my alchemical creations we were able to dispatch these silent guardians. Exploring the room yielded nothing of interest – the only surviving books were rudimentary and outdates treatises on alchemical methods long surpassed.
The final room, to the South, contained only the entrance to a vast tunnel leading away into darkness. Finally it is clear how this place became so infested without so much as a door or window to enter by…
We sit, recoup and fill our aching bellies before venturing forth into the gloom.