After interrogating the party, the wizard Radamyn, apparently satisfied by their answers, allowed them access to his library and storehouse. Radamyn, still cautious, also assigned a young female scribe to serve as a tour guide (and ensure our intrepid adventurers didn’t cause any mischief). The group immediately proceeded to Radamyn’s massive underground storehouse, where they found a museum-like catacomb stocked to the brim with Mirrenwaldian books, manuscripts, statues, antiquities and even a few sets of armor, accompanied by ceremonial weapons.
After thoroughly pissing off their escort with unwanted advances, the group gets down to the business of researching. The party spends several hours gleaning through Radamyn’s small section on the desert nation of Harazeen—on a hunch that the words “sand” and “sun” in their rhyme referred to the desert nation.
During their research, the party was interrupted by Ozran, the only other “guest” captured that week by Radamyn’s forest patrols. Ozran asked several prying questions, which raised the hackles of the more suspicious party members. When confronted, he claimed he was simply a courier for a noble living in the Inner Circle of Palisade Head. Sent to deliver a message to Lancet, he was waylaid by a group of Nyhelm mercenaries and took refuge in Radamyn’s forest.
Perhaps driven off by the party’s cold reception, Ozran retreats for a time, and the party returns to its book-reading—with the exception of Ugagn, who announced to his somewhat amused compatriots that he was illiterate. Thursten promises to teach Ugagn the basics of reading during their travels.
Finally, the party discovers a scrap of a clue that seems to point them in the right direction.
In a dusty, shabby book entitled “Tracks in the Sand,” the group finds this passage:
“Only once did I travel into the High Desert near Haroun. Accompanied by a guide, we reached the great glass city of Iskandar, whose ruins can be seen like a glinting green light from miles away. I spent two days in the city, and barely returned with my life. Respecting the wishes of the Sufia, who have closed the ruins to foreigners, I will not write more of my findings there.”
Deciding that Iskandar fits the rhyme’s description of a place where “sand, sun and glass” meet, the group retires for a formal dinner in Radamyn’s suite. The wizard spends the dinner questioning the party members about their motivations—and about a few of the more curious items in the group’s inventory.
Halfway through the meal, Thursten excuses himself from the table. He doesn’t immediately return, and when the players retreat to their quarters for the evening, they step into a dangerous trap.
Across the room, they see Thursten prone on the floor, with a surprised but surprisingly quick Osran brandishing two stiletto blades. Fortunately, a potentially serious fight is brought to a quick end by a lightning-fast Hold Person spell courtesy of Pall-Bar. The party, still unarmed as per Radamyn’s rules, rushes to disarm Osran.
They do, and Pall-Bar’s spell fades. Osran struggles, but then, in Draconic, utters the words: “I have failed.” Immediately, a strange red gem in an amulet around Osran’s neck drains to a clear color, and Osran slumps, dead, to the floor.
The stunned party demands attends to the mostly unresponsive Thursten, who appears to be poisoned. They then turn their wrath on Radamyn, who confesses he isn’t entirely sure how Osran broke into the storeroom containing Osran and the party’s gear.
The gem is examined, and Radamyn determines it is a gem of spell-storing that, although empty now, used to contain a powerful death enchantment, which was apparently triggered by Osran’s words.
The party slowly revives Thursten, only to learn that the poison in question weakened Thursten’s will to resist, and Osran was able to successfully interrogate his temporary prisoner. Thursten, still woozy, vaguely recalled that Osran seemed to be speaking to an invisible presence in the room, though he couldn’t understand what was said.
Suddenly aware that their mysterious opposition may know the answer to the riddle, the party makes haste to leave the library. That evening, the group begins the three-week trek to D’jamena, the capital of Harazeen.
They eventually arrive at the great gates of the city, which they learn dwarfs even Palisade Head in sheer size, and make their way to the traveler’s section of the city. There, the group stocks up and begins its search for a guide to take them across the desert.