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.
"North, I believe," he says. "Seemed to have business at the temple of Talona."
"You guys want to try to beat her there or get shards she's not after yet and confront her later?" Belmarniss says, striking off north. Fortunately everything is northish.
"It would be nice to stop her at the temple... but if she's quick about it, she might have already moved on," Jojo muses. "I vote for the wizard's tower."
"Deekin agree. Wizard's tower, then palace throne room for frame?"
"Alrighty." She bears right.
They come fairly shortly to a tall tower built of white marble, contrasting with the general gloom of the Underdark. There are windows at the top, which flash with bright, unnatural colors like a lighthouse.
There's an elderly avariel leaning against the wall and smoking something out of a long pipe. He waves. "Hail and well met!"
"Hi, are you the wizard?"
He chuckles. "Could say that. Raised this tower, didn't I?" He slaps the stone, then shakes his head. "Don't know what I was thinking. Wasted the best years of my life playing around with the fabric of reality instead of getting out and seeing the world."
"I wish you the best of luck in any travels you may undertake! Can we have a shard of mirror you might possess?"
He laughs. "You sound like my apprentice - well, more polite, but still. He practically snatched the shard from my hand, then ran up the old tower to the sanctum to study it. He used to be such a lively boy, now he's gone completely obsessive." He shakes his head. "Terrible thing to happen to a young man."
"Is anything stopping us from going and meeting him, wards or whatever?"
"Oh, conjured wards and summoned guards and - well, I had some rather nicely worked enhancements to the tower that made it easier to do magic in there, but something seems to have scrambled them rather badly. It's a primal magic zone everywhere but the sanctum, at the moment."
Hmm. If she stands back can she catch a Message-able glimpse of the apprentice through the window?
It looks like he's somewhat farther in than that.
"Do you reckon I'll be able to see him if I fly level with the window?"
"Probably not; I was an awfully paranoid sort back when I was practicing, and those windows don't admit of line of effect. And I don't think he looks out them much, either, in case you wanted to sign at him."
"Can I convince you to go in and ask him if he'll talk to us? We're expecting to be attacked at any moment and I'd rather not run down resources getting around your protections, which might be silly enough to still think you belong in the tower."
He sighs. "Oh, I suppose. Do you have fifteen minutes for me to prepare Sending?"
"I'd sooner not? Can you just go upstairs and ask him?"
"I mentioned the guards, did I not? Frightful things. I think he has a balor in there. I'm agnostic as to the defenses, but his summoned muscle doesn't know me from Elminster."
"Oh, these are - new? As of your change in career ambition?"
"Oh, yes, I never trucked with demons. Inevitables and devils only. Demons are simply more trouble than they could ever be worth."
"Ah." She glances at her party. "It would probably take more than fifteen minutes to fight our way up."
"Also the balor might stab us, which would be unpleasant. On the other hand, I don't know if this guy will start off very cooperative, and Sending diplomacy is my least favorite kind."
"Deekin think Garrus and Jojo probably do okay with primal magic zone, and Deekin can still sing... and, uh, Belmarniss can cast long buffs before we go in?"