A Study in Violence - A Level 1 Encounter for D&D 5E

The study of an unknown ambitious wizard has some unexpected defenses: a group of animated objects! What secrets lie within the tomes of this magic chamber?

Intro. This encounter is balanced for four players of 1st level in D&D 5e.
Background. This encounter occurs in a small office that has been left dormant for some time. It once belonged to a female half-elf wizard who used it for her arcane studies. She was in the middle of designing a series of new transmutation spells to change one type of element to another in an instant (ie fire to water). She hope this work would make her name as famed in spell creation as Bigby or Tasha. The wizard placed an enchantment on the room to protect it from intruders. The enchantment causes several objects in the space to animate and attack.

Hook. The study can be found within any building, new or old, where a spellcaster would have likely made a study. This could be in a mage’s tower, a secret room in a tavern, or even in an abandoned manor.

Encounter. Once characters enter through the chamber’s singular door they find a 20-foot square space with walls nearly filled to the 13-foot ceiling with bookshelves. Two lanterns that have continual flame spells cast on them sit on a simple wooden desk giving the room dim light. Inside most of the books present are notes and studies on arcane magic. Some of these notings contain a series of symbols that can be identified as the designing of new transmutation spells with a DC 13 Intelligence (Arcana) check (see background). Within the chamber are three books which are tiny animated objects and two wooden chairs which are medium animated objects. The objects remain motionless until the characters try to remove any notes or tomes from the shelves or desk, after which they attack. The creatures fight until destroyed, but do not pursue the characters out of the room.

Treasure. A single first-level spell scroll of the DM’s choice can be found among the pile of notes with a DC 16 Intelligence (Investigation) check.

Development. The room could hold clues to finding a missing wizard or perhaps another lair filled with more magic study and treasures.