After finding the staircase down, the group decided that they were too beat up and worn out to safely continue, and agreed to set up camp nearby. They were able to spend this time camping to talk with Zelgadiss, who was interested in the unusual nature of Turk’s weapon. Turk did his best to explain what his world was like, but Zelgadiss, not understanding that these people were from an entirely different universe, simply assumed that he was talking about a land outside of the barrier that many of the kingdoms of this world had been trapped within until recently. As they talked, however, they began to notice a problem. Shimazu, having not expected to be away from the base for more than a few hours, had not brought any supplies with him, nor did Mr. Smith have any with him. Turkquoise had brought some snacks and water, but hadn’t expected to be gone for more than a day. Zelgadiss agreed that after they were finished in these ruins he would lead them to a nearby village where they could find some supplies. In the meantime, he gave Shimazu a piece of his rations, so that he at least wouldn’t starve. Mr. Smith didn’t bother eating anything. As Zelgadiss began to eat, he pulled down the cloth that had been covering his face, revealing a rather unusual sight. His skin was blue and appeared to have rocks embedded in it, plus his hair was stiff and sharp as needles and his ears were pointed. He quickly re-covered his face when Shimazu commented him on his appearance, and said that this was the reason he was here looking for lost knowledge, so that he could find a way to return to normal.
In the morning they all felt rested, and Zelgadiss used another healing spell to bring Turk closer to full health. After packing up, they finally headed down the staircase, descending into the ruins’ deepest chambers. The stairs went down for a very long way, taking over a minute before it finally opened up into the massive grand library. This library was enormous, with a veritable maze of bookshelves covering not only the floor, but several overhanging balconies as well. On top of that, there were large clusters of glowing crystals jutting from the ceiling, providing easily enough light to read by. Turk and Mr. Smith decided to stay at the stairs to protect their escape route in the event that there were any guards or traps in the library itself, while Shimazu went to search with Zelgadiss, who told him to look for any books on transmutation, chimeras, or the like.
As they were searching, Shimazu suddenly felt his foot become very cold and was stuck in place. He looked down to see that it had been frozen to the ground in a mass of ice. At the same time, Turk and Mr. Smith heard a sound and turned just in time to see a ball of flame flying at them, and they dove out of the way as it exploded between them. It was at this point that the party as a whole became aware of the presence of five large constructs, likely golems, that had surrounded them. These golems were mostly made of stone, but also had several crystal sections as well, and were easily distinguished from one another by the fact that these crystals glowed different colors on the different golems. A golem with red crystals and one with yellow crystals stood on balconies on either side of the stairs where Turk and Smith were, while a blue one stood on top of a bookshelf near Shimazu, a green one came around a corner to confront Zelgadiss, and a white one stood on a bookshelf in between the two groups.
It immediately becomes clear that these golems prefer to fight using magic, as the red golem opens up with a Flare Arrow spell that launches a flurry of fire bolts at Turk and Smith, who manage to mostly dodge that attack. The yellow golem then casts Bomb Di Wind to try and knock the two off the stairway, though they manage to resist the burst of wind created by the spell. Zelgadiss notices the pattern in the golems’ abilities, and tries to electrify the blue golem with a Digger Volt spell. Turk also realizes that the golems’ color represents what type of elemental magic they use and immediately focuses his attacks on the yellow golem, fearing that it may be able to cast lightning spells. Mr. Smith joins in, and the two of them pick this one apart before it can do anything else of any relevance. Shimazu enter into a running battle with the blue golem, who attacks him with ice spells, while the green golem engages Zelgadiss with earth magic. The white golem hits Turk with a shot that not only deals damage, but drains his energy and temporarily weakens his soul. Mr. Smith steps in to get the white golem off of Turk, while turns his attention to the red golem, realizing just how problematic that fire magic could be in a library. Meanwhile, Zelgadiss, after avoiding another earth attack hit his opponent with a Freeze Brid spell to encase it in ice while he prepared for a more damaging attack. Mr. Smith, in hid duel with the white golem, had brought it to the point where it decided to focus solely on defense, and raised a glowing white force field around itself. Smith looked at his weapon, realizing that he didn’t have enough shots left to finish this opponent, and turned his attention to Turkquoise’s fight. Turk had dealt a fair bit of damage with his arrows while also avoiding the worst of a flurry of fire attacks being launched at him via a Rune Flare spell. Smith exchanged his rifle for a black-bladed katana, which seemed to almost radiate darkness, and leaped down to finish of the red golem up close. Between his own strength and the sword’s power, it took only two blows to finish the job, but he had to quickly jump back, as the golem exploded upon death. Shimazu, still in a running fight the blue golem, tried to us Grasshopper to lay a trap for his pursuer, and while it noticed the trap and didn’t step on it, its hesitation gave Shimazu an opening for a damaging head shot with Lightning. The hit staggered the golem, who was them blindsided by a couple of Turk’s arrows, causing it to power down and fall apart. Zelgadiss, having empowered his sword with an Astral Vine spell, moved in and dealt a devastating blow to the green golem. When it tried to retaliate with a crushing melee attack of its own, Zelgadiss was unphased by the force of the blow, catching it on his left arm swinging his sword for a finishing strike. He then turned to the still-defending white golem and cast a Flare Lance spell, shattering its shield and forcing it to retreat with a teleportation spell.
The group gathered together, having defeated their enemies and preparing to continue searching the massive library. However, there was a sudden rumbling that filled the room, and the crystals on the ceiling changed color to red as a large magic circle appeared before the party, summoning yet another golem, this one more than twice as large as the previous ones, and with black crystals outlined with a hint of red. Zelgadiss leaped back and blue energy started to gather in his hands as he began the incantation for his most powerful spell. Mr. Smith then jumped forward, grabbing on to the golem’s arm from below and swinging up to stand on its shoulder, before then kicking off and jumping back down to the party, ans as he did so, however, the golem’s arm fell to the ground, appearing to have been cut cleanly off by something. Shimazu then managed to find a weak point on the golem’s body with his sniper shot, dealing a fair bit more damage to the behemoth. Unfortunately, Turk was unable to do any relevant damage in melee as it began to raise its remaining arm and the glowing runes indicating a spell being cast appeared before it. A large and very complex magic circle made of dim silver light appeared int he area surrounding the group, and as the runes finished appearing before the golem, the circle grew brighter, building up energy, and then in an instant, it dissipated, having no visible effect. The original trio was surprised and confused, but Zelgadiss realized what had happened, and even stopped casting his spell. As he finished it off with a weaker Astral Break spell, causing it to collapse to the ground, he explained that the black magic which the golem had tried to use was based on outdated information that was no longer valid. The spell it was casting was called Ragna Blast, and was powered by drawing power from an extremely powerful High Rank Monster called Hellmaster Fibrizzo. This Monster had semi-recently been destroyed by an extremely powerful sorceress (*cough*maincharacter*cough*), and spells based on his power could no longer function.
The party didn’t have much time to celebrate their victory, however, before they noticed another major problem. There was a low humming noise coming from the fallen golem, and the slight red glow that had been present on its black crystals was now slowly becoming brighter and more pronounced. They all realized that this was probably a very bad thing, and Zelgadiss shouted for them to run. They used just about every method they could muster to get up the stairs as quickly as possible, and Zelgadiss led them out of the ruins just as they felt the shockwave of an explosion behind them, and many sections of the ruins collapsed. Disappointed that they didn’t find what they were looking for, the party decided to head to the nearby village to rest up and find supplies. When they mad it into town, however, they realized that none of the main trio had any of the local currency, and Zelgadiss was running low on funds as well.
Their original plan for dealing with this problem was to try and find work with the local inn keeper, but a mysterious man in a black outfit, complete with a black cloak, stopped them. He said that he had another job for them. One that he claimed was more fitting for “adventurers” like the party. The party, and Zelgadiss in particular, didn’t really trust this man at first. His plan was to attack a massive bandit stronghold, one that was said to be so dangerous that nobody who has ever gone after it has ever come back. While the party was less phased than some might expect by the menacing description, Zelgadiss was more concerned as to why someone would want to take a risk like attacking this place. He was certain that this man must be after something very special, and probably very powerful, to be taking such a risk. The man admitted that he was looking for something powerful, no saying exactly what it was, but claimed that there was also something in that fortress that Zelgadiss wanted as well. He mentioned a manuscript of something called the Clair Bible, a tome said to hold all possible magical knowledge. This truly caught Zelgadiss’s attention. The information he sought, the ability to transform himself back into a human, was surly held in the Clair Bible, and possibly in this manuscript of it, but he was still wary. He said that this would not be the first time someone led him to one of these manuscripts, only to steal it away at the last second. The man assured him that he had no such intentions, and Zelgadiss reluctantly agreed to go along with this mission.
And so the party, now with this new face aboard, began to plan their assault. The man said that he had already scouted the outer sections of the fortress, and how heavily guarded various sections were. It was then that Shimazu suggested that they try entering through a window above ground level. The man, and the party as a whole, agreed that this could be a good plan as long as they did it stealthily.
And this is where we left of…