"Mirror creatures." Ode remarked as she sat down. "Came out of a mirrored room and tried to take Mr. Anass. Not too bright; they didn't lure all of us in there before attacking. We didn't see any bodies, but then we didn't look too hard." She hissed as Nuru jumped up onto her lap, wrapping his tail around her midriff and digging his claws into her thighs. "They appeared to know who we were due to having watched us through or via mirrors- it was implied they are watching through all mirrors at all times. We killed one, but the shards of it's body melted and subsequently disappeared."
She paused. "Well, doubtless now all your wizardly suspicions have been confirmed, your experiment giving a fascinating result, all very wonderful stuff- you will be just desperate to pay us and either send us on our merry way or send us on another exciting mission."
Viktor said nothing for about a full minute after Ode had finished explaining.
Then he lifted his head up, away from his book. "Oh, you're alive then? That's a relief to know. I was very afraid, you understand, that I might have to go pay yet another group of adventurers to go find out what happened to you."
Viktor placed his book upon his desk and leaned back, fingers steepled in front of his face. "So I suppose the theories were correct and the Plane of Mirrors exists. Good to know. And, evidently, it is inhabited by malevolent, or at least xenophobic, entities. Also good to know.
I imagine the creatures were telling the truth. It is very probable that they can see through all, or at least most mirrors, and probably have always been watching you."
The Conjurer sat up straight. "I've actually more work for you lot, if you're up to the task. Another simple errand. An artifact I require for my research, among other baubles, was being shipped by boat to me. The package has not arrived, and I understand that the vessel carrying it was waylaid by pirates en route. Fortune, however, has smiled upon me. In what is, I'm sure, a completely unrelated incident, the pirate vessel carrying my artifact wound up meeting with some unfortunate end, and running aground not too far from the city. I want you to go to the wreck of the ship, and retrieve my possession. This is a simple task, and I imagine even you three could manage it. Upon completion of the task there shall be 1000 gold for each of you, more or less the same as before.
Are you interested? Or shall I have to waste more of my precious time sifting through the rabble to find errandboys?"
"Could you tell us more about the artefact?"
"Like will it try to kill, maim or eat us?" Ode nodded towards Anass, "Forgive us being suspicious Viktor, but our boy here did nearly get eaten by a mirror last time we went on our merry way without asking to many questions."
Viktor waved a hand dismissively. "If you insist. The artifact in question is a small monolith of sorts, jet black and unusually light. It has no unusual physical properties beyond its lightness and being cold to the touch, and I assure you that it is quite non-magical. You are welcome to purchase for yourselves a Scroll of Detect Magic if you do not believe me."
Anass could not tell whether Viktor was lying or not, so he did the smart thing an agreed to take the job anyway.
"No unusual physical properties? So it does have unusual properties...? Just because it's not magical does not mean it's not dangerous. Unusually light, cold to the touch... and what else?" Ode smiled coldly. "I agree to this job, of course; you are generous with your payment and despite your personality not overly odious. But please. Be thorough in your briefing."
Ismat was typically late, and spent most of the meeting swanning around Vitor's office anyway, barely paying attention. What was out of the ordinary was the sack of presents she brought with her. Half way through Ode's inquisition, she shoved her way between her two party members and began suddenly doling items out onto the desk.
A small vanity mirror for Anass, two jangling chrome stress balls for Victor, and a mirror-plated jewellery box (containing four suspiciously familiar wedding rings) for Ode.
"Oh, I got you guys some stuff..." A barely supressed grin.
Briskly moving on, the horned girl just braced her fingers behind her back and gave a small look of faux concern. "...A lil' black obelisk you say... It's not related to a lich or some kind of weird devil agreement, is it?..."
"It is a harmless trinket of Illithid origin." Viktor replied drolly to Ode, ignoring Ismat's interruption. "You're not afraid are you? I was under the impression that you Badawi savages were made of sterner stuff.
Viktor turned his attention to Ismat. "Illithids. Mind Flayers. Nothing at all to do with the Baatezu, and I'm sure if there was an infernal connection, you of all people would know, yes?
Still, this object would be difficult to replace. Sending someone else out to find out what had happened to you and my students would have been trivial, but replacing this object would be considerably less so. I have briefed and paid an insufferable young Cleric to escort you to the ship and back."
Viktor waved a hand dismissively. "You have your job."
"Oh how adorable! Silly wizard- fear keeps you alive." Ode answered, amused. "Harmless trinket of Mind Flayer origin," She said, clearly unconvinced but bored of trying to glean information from the obnoxious wizard. "How... oxymoronic."
Standing, she secreted the mirror box somewhere amongst the diaphanous layers of her skirts and slid the rings back onto her fingers. She favoured Ismat with a smile, before kissing her on the forehead and gently flicking one of her horns. "For a kleptomanic, schizotypal dev- forgive me- Tiefling, your sense of humour is endearing."