Belmarniss can now sorta muddle along in the local common thanks to aggressive use of comprehend languages to hand-translate books after roping a local into teaching her the alphabet. Also she hates teleport traps with every fiber of her being. Also she has figured out at this point that she somehow leveled in sorcerer instead of wizard during the business with the pirates and has no idea why that happened or whether it will happen again. And she has sold this stupid arrowhead to two different curio shops and given up as it seems to be cursed. And she just needs to keep doing what she does, she guesses, till she can teleport herself home. The Yawning Portal is a nicely ironic name.
Time to barge right in, they're in a bit of a hurry and the Valsharess's agent won't have any trouble finding them even if they try to be low-key.
The library smells like smoke. A male avariel stops them in the antechamber. "You can't come in! This is a public building!"
Garrus sighs. "Not that this isn't charming, but we're trying to save you all. Please let us in."
"But - but we're in the middle of renovations!" the elf says frantically. "Major renovations. It's very important you not go in without protective gear."
"What kind of protective gear?" Garrus asks.
"Blindfolds. But it'd really be best if you didn't go in at all."
"Are you a librarian?" asks Belmarniss.
"Yes?" says the poor confused elf.
"What are you doing here in this library, then? There's books! Everywhere! You're surrounded!"
His eyes widen. "Yes, but - but my wife - I have to go, but please, wear a blindfold, you mustn't look at her! For her sake as well as yours!"
"- heck, now we don't know what the deal is with his wife. If we're lucky she's just very pretty."
Jojo hums thoughtfully, looking at the blindfolds hung on pegs on the wall. "I'm very tempted to take a look inside - I'm probably the most resistant member of the party, and for most possible effects Deekin can break the enchantment."
"Little Deekin not able to cure dead," Deekin points out, blindfolding himself. "Wear blindfold."
"It's going to be very annoying to find a shard of mirror blindfolded." But she takes one.
And Jojo opens the door.
The smell of smoke gets much thicker, as does the sound of crackling flames. There's a lovely but tuneless humming wandering through the room. It stops when Jojo steps through, and an equally lovely speaking voice says "Visitors! But I haven't even finished organizing the books!"
"We're actually here for a shard of mirror, do you suppose you could help us with that?"
"Oh - but I can't give up my most prized possession," the voice frets.
"Your prized possession is a piece of broken glass?" Garrus asks dubiously.
"Well, when we all came down here I was turned into a medusa," she says unhappily, "and I was terribly sad about that. And when I found this piece of broken glass, I looked into it, hoping it would turn me to stone. But it didn't work - perhaps because the glass was broken, perhaps because it was magic - and that moment of despair was what it took to remind me that even if I'm sad, I'm a librarian. I have a job to do."
Something thuds into one of the bonfires around the room, and there's a whump as the flames reach higher.
Belmarniss suspects that 'what are you, a librarian, doing surrounded by books' will not work since it sounds like she's handily taking care of the problem where she's surrounded by books. "Perhaps since it's your most prized possession it only makes sense to give it away to the first pack of adventurers who want it," she suggests, which is a bit of a stab in the dark, she's still trying to get the hang of the opposite day curse.
"I'm not sure that's how it works," she says dubiously.
Deekin speaks up. "Medusa lady need help organizing books?" he asks.
"Oh, would you?" she asks. "That would be so darling of you - there's just so many."
"Deekin just cast book-organizing-helping spell," Deekin says. He incants something and scurries over next to her.
The librarian collapses in a heap on the floor.
"Cloak of Dreams good spell," Deekin says happily. "Somebody take off blindfold, help Deekin tie up librarian and take mirror bit?"
Belmarniss can do this. They can drag her out of the fire afterwards, even.
Fortunately, the library is neither principally made of wood, nor carpeted, so the fire has not spread, but it's probably a good idea not to leave her in the smoke inhalation hazard area.
Deekin finds and retrieves the mirror shard in short order, then looks around sadly. "Deekin wish Deekin had time to fix books. Oh well."
"Yeah. Maybe they can do it themselves later. Thoughts on taking down the book sign so our competition can't find the place? Might just send her somewhere we haven't been but it'd slow her down if she were determined to find the library."
Garrus extends his ten-foot pole and hooks down the sign, then places it next to the librarian, legend side down.
"On to the... merchant? I hope there's just one."
"It'd simplify things. Do you suppose we want someone who's giving stuff away, or stealing it, or subsistence farming, or..."
"Iiinteresting question. Let's see what's on offer."
They head out the front door to the library. There's a naked avariel walking down the street.
Garrus waves at him. "Good... hello, sir. Could you point us to the local merchant?"
"I certainly can," the nudist says happily. "You're looking at him!"
"Oh," Garrus says dully. "Great."
She will take "exhibitionism" over "pyromania". "Hey, we're looking for a mirror shard. Do you know where we could get one?"
"What a startling coincidence, I just sold my mirror shard to another drow woman in exchange for, and I quote, 'the continuance of my worthless life'! It was philosophically fascinating, really gave me a new perspective on value and-"
"Great," Garrus groans.
"-it really made me question, what is my life worth? Less than a piece of broken glass? Apparently!"
"Please shut up."
"That does sound fascinating, which way did she go?"