Session 2: To the Tower

The adventure began on the 6th day of Gaol, in the year 1275 LP.

After Marlin met with Loras the High Priest of the Hillbarrow Church and Raz had procured 4 horses for the party, the four adventurers set out from Hillbarrow to the ruined tower of Salaran the Mad. Hot on the trail of the criminals who had murdered Delel the Sage, they stopped in the town of Hoppenhead after a days ride. Walking through the simple wooden arch into the courtyard of the small village, they noticed the ancient rune covered stone on the raised platform in the center of the courtyard. After the party checked into the local inn, Raz and Marlin quickly took up a game of knife throwing with two local Kaleromadi youth, Rorn and Valenorin. Meanwhile, Valdis and Rigg sat at a table and made small talk with the locals. It became apparent that the party’s targets had made their way through town the day before.

The next day the party set out for Salaran’s tower, bidding farewell to Foran, the bartender. After traveling for a while they heard music coming from over the hill and they spied a young man dancing wildly on the hill top. As they got closer the sky grew darker and the air seemed to shift slightly. The party dismounted from their horses and moved closer to investigate. White mushrooms sprouted from the ground in a circle around the boy. They could see at this point that his face was contorted in pain and he was out of control. Marlin attempted to throw a grappling hook into the ring and pull the kid out of the circle, but the rope burned almost immediately and the hook fell inside the circle.

At this point a small humanoid appeared from behind the party and introduced himself as Shanter, Lord of the Pujke, the Goblin King. The boy was entertainment for him, he explained and would be returned to his family once he grew tiresome. Valdis sought to secure the boy’s freedom by challenging the Goblin King to a musical duel. Amused, Shanter suggested they play “The Lore Of Gryphon’s Spur”. Valdis lost the competition and Raz offered to humor the Goblin King by answering three riddles. The first two were answered correctly but the last riddle was two parts and one of them was answered incorrectly, so the boy remained with the Goblin King.

The party quickly remounted their horses and headed to the tower. Once they arrived they waited for nightfall, dismounted their horses and planned their attack. It was decided that Raz would look around and then climb to a second story window, scout out the inside of the tower and then signal to the others to storm the front, taking their targets unaware. Once there he realized that there were two targets on the third floor and three on the first floor playing cards. On of the figures on the third floor was involved in some ritual chanting. Rigg climbed up as well and the two set about planning the ambush from above while Valdis and Marlin planned to storm the front.

Valdis and Marlin burst through the front door and the battle was joined as the brigands jumped on the defensive. Raz and Rigg came down the stairs and Raz struck out with his two hand axes as Rigg shot his bow from the stairwell. As the battle was joined, Valdis’ shield began to glow a faint blue, and ancient runes blazed on the rim of the shield. At this point a large explosion was heard from above on the third floor. While the first two enemies fell quickly, their leader proved troublesome as he took on both Valdis and Marlin simultaneously as he retreated towards the front door. Rigg was trying to get an arrow shot in on the leader when he felt a piercing pain in his rear thigh. Turning around he realized in horror that a large multi-legged insect had grabbed ahold of him with his mandibles and was trying to wrest him to the floor. Shouting out in pain, Rigg tried to break free as Raz rushed to his side and attempted to kill the beast with his dual tomahawks. Valdis and Marlin were now left to face the bandit leader by themselves.

A piercing scream was heard from the third floor and then it was suddenly quiet.

As the brigand leader made a dash for the door he was cut down by the party. Raz and Rigg quickly dispatched of the centipede like horror. Rigg’s wound began to fester and ooze, and he felt light headed. After catching their breath for a moment and securing the room, they headed upstairs to the third floor. Valdis led the way to the third floor landing where they saw the damage that had been done. Rigg threw up on the stairwell, overcome by his wound.

They stared in horror at the blown apart doorway to the inner sanctum of the tower. The robed brigand was dead on the floor at their feet, bloodied and mangled with splinters of the wooden door embedded in his flesh. Looking through the now open portal they spied the final brigand, in the center of what appeared to be a massive jellyfish that took up the whole room. The bandit’s face contorted in a silent scream and blood was seeping out of his flaying skin inside the translucent creature. Valdis stood in the entryway, frozen by shock when a sharp pain on his wrist snapped him back to reality. Looking down he saw several translucent tentacles moving across the room, radiating out from the creature. One of them had wrapped around Valdis’ wrist. In the seam from his gauntlet and his arm sleeve, it had worked its way to his skin and he felt a jabbing pain as his skin began to blister and peel away. He slashed at it with his sword and cut himself free. Another tentacle wrapped around Marlin’s leg, and he felt the burning pain and found himself frozen in place, unable to move.

Suddenly, they heard a loud knocking from downstairs, accompanied by muffled shouts. After a few seconds they heard the sound of another door shattering. Freeing Marlin from the jellyfish horror, they dragged his still paralyzed body down the stairs. They had made up their minds to escape with their lives if they could, as the party was beaten and close to exhaustion.

When they looked down the second floor landing into the open entryway to the tower they saw a large humanoid, his body a patchwork of stitches and scars. Long, stringy hair matted his yellowish skull, and his mouth was sliced open in a way to give him a wicked, angular smile. His hands were large, and blood dripped down them. It was obvious that he had come from the splintered door to the tower basement. Taking no notice of the players, he yelled out in agony, “Surnereth!” and bounded through the tower entrance into the night. Valdis made a move to chase him, spurred on by his desire to confront the creature, but Raz grabbed him and told him that the party was hanging by a thread and the poisonous bite that Rigg had taken needed to be attended to. Reluctantly, Valdis returned to the group, but not before promising he would track the creature to the ends of loerth if necessary.

The party examined the basement the creature had come from and saw even more horrors. A large stone slab stood in the center of the room, obviously some sort of laboratory. Broken chains and blood stains covered the slab. Piled in the far corner were a number of small bodies; corpses of children that had been preserved through centuries. A wave of nausea overcame Rigg again. On the wall were a series of swords and shields, all inscribed with the double headed dragon sigil that Valdis had begun his quest in search of. Remembering their original mission, they quickly decapitated the heads of the three brigands they had access to and escaped from the tower into the night…



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