The descent to the top of the tower proved easy enough. So did the first foray into what little remained of it – the place, save for evidence of the gryphon, seemed empty of potential foes.
In order to save time, our heroes split their efforts, opening doors into rooms which held, respectively, writing desks and utensils, a lectern and chairs (which, when one of those intrepid heroes took the podium, were filled with a ghostly audience providing rapt attention to the speaker), a room full of mirrors of various shapes and sizes, and a room with a single stool.
Thoven, when faced with this seat, immediately sat himself upon it, whereupon he was lost in lengthy thought, quite oblivious to the remainder of the world. Only through the efforts of Anonda did Thoven finally alight from his perch, seemingly none the worse for wear and unaware of how much time had transpired (which turned out to be quite a while, as fugue-states go). Anonda, who had a glimpse of the stool’s effects, later confessed that he had a disturbing vision when forcing Thoven from his seat – for a moment, Anonda felt like the only real thing in the world. It was a heady experience, and one that was obviously too much for the halfling to handle alone.
Given what they had seen so far, our unnamed heroes came to the conclusion that this tower was dedicated to Self Confidence, though obviously that sentiment had at some point become no more than pride, with all of that sin’s particulars. It was decided that they would continue exploring, beginning with a one-story drop in the middle of the floor.
Moving downward showed a series of rooms connected by open arches, with functions similar to the rooms above. However, every wall of the tower level was covered with floor to ceiling mirrors. The mirrors proved high quality – high enough quality to see all eight members of their seven member group.
The eighth was an imperious looking woman with red hair, dressed in what could only be described as ancient fashion. She mouthed commands at the group – some quick lip reading showed she “spoke” a stilted form of Auld Valerian – demanding that they recite the “first rule of self confidence,” and the “fifth precept of righteous anger.” Failure to correctly answer these demands ended with Sushalla’s image in the mirror bound by leather bands, and with Sushalla herself floating in mid-air.
The woman – who Vecca believed to be none other than Lady Firebaugh herself – then demanded her scepter and footstool, and caused a fog to pour from the mirrors. The fog had no effect at first, but after a moment, the group was wracked with… pleasure. Some were brought near incapacitation, being somewhat “weak in the knees.” But the Lady’s point seemed to be made.
The group retreated to the rooftop of the tower again, resolving to obtain this footstool and scepter, if only to trade for Sushalla’s freedom. Vecca – using a whispering wind, kept in contact with her paramour, who proved… distracted… but seemingly non the worse for wear.
And so our intrepid heroes flew from the rooftop, toward the ruins in the center of the rift.