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.
"Deekin can put mirror frame in bag telekinetically?"
He does so. The frame goes in without complaint. Then, back down the stairs and over towards the tower.
The erstwhile archmage lies on the front step in a pool of blood.
"Not great," Deekin comments.
"Agreed. Poor guy."
Jojo grimaces. "Hopefully they have someone capable of resurrection, or will once the current issue is resolved. There is a great deal to be fixed here."
He goes to open the tower door, then stops and looks thoughtfully at the balcony above. "I know he said the window doesn't admit line of effect, but I wonder if we could get up there and just... break it? It seems easier as a first try than dealing with the whole tower."
"Not a bad idea. And if the bad guys are still busy dealing with mid-tower beasties we can end-run around them. I don't have enough Fly for everyone though."
"We can do what we did last time, lizardfolk as beast of burden?" Garrus suggests. "Unless we've gained a significant amount of weight, which I don't think we have."
"I have to watch it when I have regular access to fresh fruit and sugar but down here nah." She casts Fly on him.
And he gets everyone in position and flies up, up, up -
and, about twenty feet from the top of the appallingly massive tower, there's a wash of abjuration magic and they are no longer flying, and the dull, staticky feeling of an antimagic field springs into place.
Garrus manages to toss a grappling hook onto the balcony. It latches onto a rail after a few sickening seconds of freefall, and they swing gently in place.
"Fucking hell," Garrus says. "Everybody alright?"
"Just startled - what kind of wizard does that to their tower -"
"Guessing the field doesn't extend to the interior," Jojo says tersely. "But it may have set off an alarm. Garrus, bring us in - carefully, watching for traps -"
"Teach your mother to suck eggs -"
But he does begin to climb the rope. "Really wish my belt was still online," he pants. "I can handle it, but losing the strength boost does not help."
Belmarniss dismounts as soon as possible.
And they're on the balcony. The antimagic field doesn't extend this far up; there's a collective sigh of relief as magic items come back online.
Garrus beholds the opaque glass door leading in. "Sanity check me here, I'm tempted to knock and see if that gets a better response than breaking in. Thoughts?"
"Response from whom?"
"The erstwhile apprentice who's been running the magic tests on his shard? ...on the other hand, you don't want to give a wizard time to prepare, if he doesn't feel like a friendly chat. Breaking and entering it is."
Jojo centers himself and strikes the door with an open palm, splintering the glass into smooth, oddly un-sharp fragments. Then he hops inside.
Belmarniss follows, listening for any goings-on in there.
There are some drow battling a balor! There's an avariel mage flinging spells out of a staff at said drow!
Jojo looks back and forth between the balor and the drow for several seconds, then goes to flank the drow, reluctantly leaving the balor alone. "We're here to help!" he calls to the mage.
"Fuck off!" the mage says, tossing another Fireball.
"Why?" Belmarniss asks, plopping a Haste on her party members.
Garrus stays outside to shoot drow, as is his role.
"I can handle them myself! Just - just leave me alone!"
"Hear us out," Garrus says, nocking another arrow. "Maybe you'll like us."
The balor cleaves a drow male's head from his shoulders, and the fight is over. "Master," it says blandly, "shall I slaughter the second group of interlopers as well?"
The avariel flinches. "I - n - stand by for further orders," he says. "They haven't hurt us yet."
The balor rolls its eyes. "Yes, master."
"Thank you," Jojo says politely to the mage.
"What do you want," he asks dolefully.
"You have a shard of the Mirror of All-Seeing," Jojo says. "We need it to repair the artifact."
The mage pales and grips his staff tighter. "No! I - I can't die!"
"- wild guess, are you attached to your new personality and concerned that the reversal would be like unto death?"
He nods frantically. "I - he was stupid. I can see everything - the world is so much bigger now -"
"...well, fuck. Can you - summarize what exactly changed, we didn't know you before -"