The Bursar's Tale
In which Our Friends Acquire a New Friend and Anvarr Acquires a New Name
In the aftermath of the battle in the Great Hall, Redmane finds two ladies of the kitchen staff. They inform him that the feast had suddenly appeared in the hall and that the glass spiders had come to life without human direction. Realizing that the delicious feast was illusionary, Redmane hastened to stop the rest of the party from gorging themselves. Only Bozydar and Braanx were unable to resist. Redman soon realized the illusions hid horribly ancient and decaying offal. Braanx received the news with aplomb, rangifers often scavenging on dead carcasses in the worst seasons. Bozydar, who had to be dragged from the table did not take the matter lightly but began vomiting prodigiously. To spare everyone else, Redmane teleported the captain into the middle of the dormatory quad. There, Bozydar completed his deposit into the lap of a young apprentice who was practicing a folk ballad on her mandolin.
The rest of the party decided to set up their camp in the abandoned Echodrome to take stock of their situation.
Meanwhile, back in the library, Anvarr, who had been deep in study, realized he taken on an ethereal form. He could see his inert body still present in the physical realm of the library but his spirit was on a different plane. He suddenly was aware of another form nearby. The dark and faceless entity introduced itself as the dread Malcor, former Chancellor of the Pentangle and executed leader of the rebellion against the School's administration some 70 years earlier. He said he had been watching Anvarr since his arrival, recognized that he shared Malcor's disdain for the School's present leaders, and called upon the Summoner to join him. As Anvarr debated the terms of that service, he became aware of several other spectres were hovering about him. Suddenly a great whirring sound emanated from the ceiling and a sudden tear in the fabric of reality appeared.
The stranger was Professor Reichfield, the sub-chancellor of Distortionism of the now-defunct Pentangle. He was from the time of Malcor's Rebellion and had inadvertantly time-traveled when he used his Planar Tear spell to try to get rid of an unwanted table from his office. Not being a Chronomancer, the Professor had been unable to return and had endured strange travels on the ethereal plane. Seeing his old enemy, Malcor, he instinctively attacked the wraith.
Anvarr realized that the Professor's story did not match the official history of Malcor's Rebellion, which told a story of the Inner Circle versus the Pentangle. According to Reichfield, the situation was much more confused, with many of the Pentangle fighting against Malcor and many of the Inner Circle serving him. Anvarr said the party's investigation could use his assistance.
"Oh good," responded the professor, "but could I get some hot chocolate first?"
Redmane left the Great Hall and sought out his former mentor, Neulien, sub-chancellor of Illusionism. He expressed his concerns about the possibility that one of the Great Council might be aiding Malcor's attacks. Neulien was less than forth coming but said she would meet him later this night in the Echodrome, which was the only location on campus that was not under the Scribes' observation.
In the meanwhile, Bozydar confronted the Arch-chancellor in his office, finding him panic-stricken and guarded by his two nephews who also served as his apprentices. Bozydar rashly proposed raiding the Bursar's Offices and striking against the Scribes. A greatly disturbed Arch-chancellor dissuaded the captain from this course and said he would come to the party that night in the Echodrome where he could speak more freely.
The party gathered in the Echodrome, a feeling of great depression settling upon them, caused by the mornfull songs that seemed to permeate the structure. Anvarr Nine-toe introduced Professor Reichwald to the rest of the party.
Reichfield was able to relate the sad tale of Florisa Undine, former sub-chancellor of Sonomancy and how she had led the fight against a horde of demons that had attacked the School. In the fight, she lost the use of her hands and, having lost the ability to play music, she killed herself. Her spirit still haunts the Echodrome. Describing one of the wraiths they fought in the Great Hall, Reichfield was able to confirm that one was the spirit of Florissa, who now had somehow fallen under Malcor's control.
About midnight, a large enchanted Porter approached the party's camp. It soon disgorged the Arch-chancellor and his nephews. Seeing Reichfield, the shocked Arch-chancellor confirmed that the true story of the Malcor's rebellion was different from the official version. In order to defeat Malcor, the Grand Council had had to agree to the suppression of the Pentangle. The school was too unpredictable, its powers too erratic. Before he could reveal with whom the agreement had been made, a sudden screeching signaled an attack.
A great hole opened in the floor and another Major Demon appeared from the tunnel below and seized the Arch-chancellor. Before he could be dragged below, Bozydar and Reichfield combined a devastating attacking on the creature.
Braanx strikes down the last of the imps.
As the battle subsided, Neulien appeared at the head of a group of mages and proctors. Was she here to help or hinder?