Both in character and out, it seemed...unwise. (And when it seems unwise to someone who made a deal with the devils by mistake...)
1. Let's see. 50 metric ****-tons of coins and gems, in the first room of a devise/demesne built to be able to collocate with a god's home plane without permission. I vote we leave the very likely guarded trove alone.
2. Also...the devils mentioned before are trying to claim these as fast as we are. Clearly, the thing to do is spend months clearing it out, and thereby give them a head start.
3. This realm doesn't use this stuff as currency. What good is it going to do us, given that no-one wants it?
So, that's the IC and OOC reasoning.
So. The half-celestial girl, Jessica. She's a very good healer, as I would find out several times later. I thought the warlock skill I learned to bind my wounds was cool, but she made it fairly pointless in short order.
Not a complaint, mind you. Better to have and not need, and so on...
Her motives made little sense to me. I'm a terrible at reading people, but I feel like there's something she hasn't mentioned...No one just goes out facing beings that can kill ordinary humans with a glance just because they want to do good. Particularly her, a complete pacifist. But whatever. I'm not telling them everything I know yet, either.
So, we passed the first rooms with the usual lack of difficulty.
Oddly enough, I'm the only one of us carrying any money for the tithe. I wonder what happens when I run out...Problem for later, I suppose.
The first room of tests was simple enough. Two doors, one with the usual portal, one with a library.
So of course we looked in there first. A library used by someone who built a tower like this could have some useful information...
Not a whole lot, actually. Mostly history and alchemy and planar research. Most of it in languages we couldn't read, and the ones we could were things we knew about. Save one amusing example...A book written by Cronc, of all people. Turns out I misspelled his name. Whatever difference one letter makes, anyway. Kol found the book, of course. Must be nice to have vision that strong...
"Cronc's one way to smash...Only one page. It just says 'Cronc SMASH!'...no wonder it was gathering dust."
I had to smile at that. "He didn't strike me as the literary type..."
"Wait...you guys met Uncle Cronc?"
Yes, Jessica refers to that monster of a half-orc as uncle. I didn't ask.
Kol was amused enough by the book to keep it. The only thing really use use was locked in a case. The books inside were quite magical. I even recognized them-part of a series of tomes that boosted the mental or physical abilites of the person that read them. The problem was the case-it was locked, and likely protected. A pity.
So, we moved on to the challenge. Either the designer was a cruel man, or he had a twisted sense of humor...the terrain on the other side didn't bother me or Jessica. Kol and Aileph, however...
Let's just say the Elemental Plane of Air is hard on those without the power of flight.
I caught Kol, Jessica caught Aileph. It surprised me...I have the advantage of magical flight. I wouldn't have thought a slim girl like her would be able to support both herself and the plate-armored paladin...but she did.
Note to self. If one of her kind picks a fight, I'm going to stay well clear.
Anyway, the challenge. Several reptilian, flying creatures. They didn't mean to eat. That was, as we would learn, the only method of combat they knew.
"Kalach, I fight better on the move!"
One shot. We managed one shot before they interrupted us.
It was not a pleasant process. I felt my lower body getting engulfed by the creature, then my arm jarring against it's jaw...the shock caused me to drop Kol, but that was the least of my concerns. Feeling the muscles close around me...the sickly *gluck* noise as it swallowed me. I've known worse, but repetition doesn't make it less of a horror.
Being inside that thing's belly...the acids of it's stomach couldn't harm me. The fell energies that fill me make fire and acid easier to deal with, and my body can't be hurt easily. But that thing was strong. I could barely move my hands well enough to form the focusing runes for my blasts, and it even pressed on my head hard enough to make speaking the accompanying words a challenge. I tried to climb out several times, to no avail...the thing was just stronger than me.
Still. I am a warlock, an arcanist whose destructive potential is unrivaled by any other. I was not going to let an overgrown lizard beat me.
My usual acid blasts won't help here. Let's try...
It shuddered at that. I tried again to get out while it was weakened b the cold, but...no dice.
You wanna keep me in that bad? FINE! I'LL SLAY YOU FIRST!
That did it. The frost and the force weakened it enough for me to escape. I kept focused on that one. The others were flying around too much for me to shoot them well, anyway. Of course, me erstwhile captor tried to get me again. But my flight is born of my will. This thing faster than me-but it wasn't smart or agile enough to handle me rising or dropping to avoid its dive. So it went..we got them all eventually, and were returned to the hall.
The simulacrum called Jeeves helpfully informed us that, by the tower's clock, it was noon, so the table had been set. The food was...enhanced, somehow. It healed my body completely...and Jessica mentioned that it had restored her spent spellpower. Quite useful...though not for me. Drawing my power directly from the Nine does have its advantages.
The pedestal room awaited...though we had a challenge ahead, still. We found several...I assume sorceresses, but I only knew they were arcane in power. And several liches. All frozen in time. While I probed with my magic senses, Jessica and Kol wandered off...and returned with some powder.
"Hey Kalach, can you tell what this is?"
"Oh. I, um...Why don't I try pouring it on these ladies?"
Yeah, bad idea. But I hadn't the least idea of what to do, so I let her do it...