The following takes place after Loic separated from the group, while they were on their way to the past section of Gravenhollow:
Something in his spine, something made purely of instinct, warned the young half-elf that, whatever happened behind this door, it would be one of the few remarkable, defining events which would ultimately create part of who he was going to be. He was either going to live a very long life, or a very short one. It would be a life of heaven-bound reaching, or it would be extinguished like a fast-burning candle, and his spirit would be plunged into the deep caverns, a place that was a perpetual Underdark, but with exponentially more dangerous denizens.
…But if the wizard could accomplish what he intended to do this day, then perhaps the world could be saved. Perhaps they would not have to sacrifice as much, and perhaps, with help, he could give Lolth a dramatic middle finger and humiliate the wretch enough to force her to think twice next time before playing with the Material Plane again. She thought she controlled this war? Oh, no. Loic was about to strip her of that pedestal in a most insulting manner.
He took a deep, long, meditative breath to steady himself, and then opened the door.
“I seek That Which Lurks,” he called beyond.
As you enter the room everything suddenly changes, it no longer appears as though you are in a room in a library, the walls are bare and cold stone, everything is light by the fire of torches and you can see 50ft before you is an altar of pure dense blackness.
On the floor between you and the altar is a circular marking which can only be described as some form of summoning circle. Resting on top of the black altar is a very old book, from this far away from the book you can hear faint whispers at the edge of your mind, the words are sporadic but you can make out 2 words: dangerously powerful.
He took one reluctant step, then another and another. As he grew closer, he could hear his blood pulsing louder in his ears. Eventually, he was standing before the book. With determination and a final deep breath in acceptance of whatever may come, he put his hand to the tome and opened it up.
The moment you touch the book, your mind goes black and you see the vast cosmos in an instant within your mind. Your vision clears and you see that the book has turned to a page of a ritual to speak to the object of your plans
It simply requires you to stand in the circle while holding the book and call out the person you wish to converse with 3 times, then state your desire and your message will be received and you may gain a response.
Loic stood for a moment, with the book, and reveled in the sense of cosmic unity that holding the object imparted. It was beautiful, and this place was incredible. He would be back many times in his life, he silently swore.
The wizard looked around his feet to ensure he was properly placed in the ritual. Then, he closed his eyes and opened his mind, ready to receive the telepathic words and thoughts of the ancient god he sought.
“Ghaunadaur. Ghaunadaur. …Ghaunadaur.”
Silence. Loic opened one eye and looked around, then promptly shut it again.
“Salutations, Ancient One. Please forgive my insolence for disturbing you. I have brought you something you may like very much. I do not arrogantly presume to know, and so I am here to ask.”
“…Lolth has been busy. She is making a play for the control of the entire Abyssal plane, your former home. She has fooled the demon princes into abdicating their realm, and now seeks to populate it with only her kind. I understand this goes directly against how you know the universe works. It should be survival of the fittest, not something inherited by “mommy”. Help me, Great Ancient One. Help me send her grand plan into ruin. Together, we can remind her who is really in control, and you can have your revenge, from ages ago, when she pushed you into the Deep Caverns."
“I will feed you information, all that I know about the current situation. If we are to do this, I will require a way to contact you in the future, or you to me. If prayer works, just say so and I’ll use it.”
Both of his eyes opened. “Come, Ghaunadaur. You obliterated your own ranks, and it’s been ages. It’s time for you to regain your strength and kick her bulbous spider ass right back.”
A few moments go by and your hear the sounds of someone laughing off in the distance.
“You must be very brave, to contact me directly. If you were smart, you would not meddle in the affairs of the gods.”
“Your declarations interest me. What is that you wish?”
At the distant echo of something sinister, his heart felt like it had shot up into his throat. A bead of sweat ran down the side of his face, and his breathing became shallow. It might not be him, Loic thought. Maybe it’s only someone that works for him… Of course, this notion fled when he heard the voice.
The wizard was determined. He shoved his fear far, far down, cleared his throat, and stood tall in the center of the ritual circle.
“The gods meddled in my affairs first,” he stated, nodding with certainty. “And won’t it be delicious when all of Lolth’s enemies hear she was beaten by insignificant mortals? I imagine anyone who’s ever had it out for her will be knocking her door down. Yourself included, if it is your will. Devouring her would surely promote your worship in an astounding way, and then no one would dare contest you, in any realm. They would never again be able to tell you where to go or what to do, or put you in a dark hole.”
“In the immediate future, your part would be to help us navigate away from Lolth’s will. I know that she watches us as we try to undo her work, and she can predict us. We cannot keep many secrets from her, but in a similar way, perhaps you can use your might to cloak us in obscurity? When a new challenge arises, I will seek your guidance regarding whether or not we are playing into her hands, and if so, how we can use it to our advantage. It would be spectacular if we could set the demon princes upon her when they return, too. I believe Lord Juiblex is within your direct control, if you so desired to control him. Perhaps we can use him to sow those seeds.”
“Speaking of which, and I understand I’m throwing a lot out here, and this is all just for the entertainment of Your Unholiness (I do not presume to expect you to do anything, of course)…” He cleared his throat again. “In the Underdark, there are many aberrations. I understand it is within your power to control them too, to some extent?”
“If I were to shield you from the view of Lolth, I would require something from you…”
One dark eyebrow raised. “What do you have in mind?”
“To show me you are fully prepared to do what is necessary, I require 3 sacrifices. Spill the blood of three servants of Lolth, and collect a vial with their blood mixed together. Once you have the blood, drink it as you pray to me and I will hide you from the interactions and plans of Lolth.”
“Will you do this?”
“Of course!” the wizard said excitedly. He couldn’t believe this was really working. It wasn’t only priests, after all, that could channel godly power. And here, a year ago, he wasn’t even sure if such entities existed.
“Yes, yes, that is a small price to pay. To be clear though, would you prefer if they are open and willing servants of Lolth, or would unwilling and unknowing pawns also be acceptable? …And do you want them completely dead or is the blood the priority?”
“…You are truly fascinating.”
“The manner of how their blood is spilled matters not, and as long as the blood comes from someone whose actions are part of Lolth’s machinations willing or otherwise.”
“Perfect. This will take no time at all.” Loic’s face split into a positively insidious grin. He then curled up into a very low, graceful bow. “I’m humbled by your counsel, Ancient One, and it has been my absolute pleasure and privilege to entertain you.”
His voice trail off into the distance as you hear him saying, “Be careful, little one. You’re playing a very big game…”
The black tome closed with a heavy thud, and he placed it back where he had found it, understanding that last line of warning to be a rhetorical statement. It was oddly comforting that the entity of ultimate evil cared enough to even say that much. Loic already knew Ghaunadaur was capable of more than simply the confining limitation of strict evil intent. At one point, the deity had loved someone. This was one of the reasons why he had chosen this particular god. He had a passion in Him that Loic could understand on a profound level, and that the wizard could fundamentally identify with – the thirst for more. Always more.
Before long, Loic was standing in front of the door that would return him to the library proper. It took a good, long while for him to compose himself. He thought of the lie he’d tell about how he got “lost”, and he smoothed a hand back over his hair to fix any stray locks. Finally, his breathing returned to its normal pace, and he stepped back through the threshold of the cosmic closet to rejoin his companions. Eventually, he’d have to tell them about this, but he would likely try to put it off for as long as possible. He didn’t see it sitting well with at least half the members of their little troupe.
Too bad for them, he countered to himself. It was done.