Session Log 2022-04-20

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Robin awoke in an unfamiliar room containing an array of black metal pillars. Her hands and feet were tightly bound to one such pillar behind her. She had been relieved of most of her possessions but curiously still had her illusion-amplifying charms. She felt a foreboding sensation, but was unable to decipher it.

There was no sign of her captors, but she did spy a fellow captive tied to another, though she couldn't discern their identity given the angle and distance. She carefully extracting a sleeve-hidden knife and immediately set to the task of freeing herself. A loud jolt of energy ripped out of a pillar and surged through the other captive, causing them to convulse and Robin to hurry.

Once freed, Robin took in the room. In the center of the pillars stood another spire, matching those seen in the centers of other rooms throughout the tower. Unlike them, this spire still seemed active and functional - beyond its door, Robin could see another room as if looking through a portal. A circle of runed crystal was embedded in the stone floor surrounding the central spire, with a matched perimeter on the far side of the portal. The dim, irregular sunbeams failed to illuminate anything further.

She circled around to free the other captive. There, she found Heiras the Cyclops, the pilot that had ferried the party to the tower, unconscious and bound in much the same way she had been. She woke Heiras as she cut the binds, and asked after her capture. Weakly, Heiras told her that unseen infiltrators had stolen the Aether Core from the Stormjumper the first night of the expedition and attacked her the second. Once loosed from the pillar, Heiras was unable to move without Robin's support. Her flesh had grayed and gnarled where it had been in contact with the black metal. Robin examined her own person and found herself unaffected.

Uninterested in passing through the field of mysteriously-charged pillars to enter the spire to who-knows-where, Robin searched the room for signs of other passages. On a circuit around the field of pillars, she found what appeared to have once been another person, halfway fused with, halfway twisted around a metal pole. The figure responded with twitches to Robin's call and nudge, but their face was buried somewhere in the pillar, and they were beyond Robin's ability to communicate further.

Unable to find any obvious clues to the exit, Robin examined the room as a burglar might, and spotted a hidden trapdoor where trails of dust hinted at the bodies dragged through. She peered through and found a short chute terminating in another trapdoor. Through that, she caught a glimpse of the second mezzanine of the library, and her pack lying amidst the rags on the floor. However, in so doing, she accidentally let a beam of light cut through the opening, revealing her presence to any lurking in the shadows below.

She closed the door behind her and climbed out of the chute, covering the top with an illusory copy of the trapdoor. She could not see anything in the darkness below, or hear any movement, so she reasoned she might have a shot at escaping.

She opened the lower trapdoor and sent an illusory Heiras before her to test the waters. She heard a rush of movement, and had her fake Heiras feign damage and try to escape. However, the illusion was torn to shreds by a particularly gnarled hand reaching out of the shadows. As another hand reached up to sieze her, she created an auditory illusion of her teammates arriving on the scene. This distracted it just long enough for her to haul herself out of the chute and crush the wrist under the stone trapdoor. It limply receded as she considered her options.

Undeterred, Robin had the real Heiras rest on top of the trapdoor to keep it sealed. She disguised herself as an elongated figure as best she was able, drawing on her dexterity to mimic their insectile movements and her trickster's imagination to sell the deception. In this guise, she climbed down to the second mezzanine and surreptitiously grabbed her pack. She anchored a rope from it to the second mezzanine, then leapt down, having her illusion suddenly lunge as if siezing something from the mezzanine below. She swung to the first mezzanine and found herself standing before the hidden balcony that Klaitos had discovered, left open from her teammates misadventures.