Warlocks Home Brew

Session VI: The Road to Brakken and the Tomb of the Iron God

Our party headed back to the city of Caladan with the body of Arvin Ardmore, acolyte of Mithra, along with their prisoners Sgt. Morak, a city watch-guard and a pirate. Escorting the mourning Lady Lemunda, they also carried back the body of Capt. Conik . Upon entering the city they were escorted to the Merchant Guild quarter and Lord Osric.

As the news traveled through the Merchant Guild, a servant was found murdered and one of the guild members, Uthari, could not be found. Osric believed that Uthari may have been behind the overall kidnapping plot and is believed to be allied with Kushanna, the Stygian Witch of the Southern Empire who’s ambitions are to gain influence in Caladan.

Father Halford of Mithra is called to tend to the body of the fallen cleric. He is accompanied by a good friend of Arvin’s, Gnarly Blunderbrush. They will bury Arvin Ardmore within the Crypt of St. Vergan beneath the temple of Mithra.

Morak and the conspirators were imprisoned in the dungeon. A grateful Lord Osric rewarded our heroes and asked if they would accompany him and Lemunda to the town of Brakken to lay to rest the body of Captain Conik within the Tomb of the Iron God.

The party returned to the Cloven Hoof Tavern and spent the next two days recovering. Joined by Gnarly, they all toast Arvin’s bravery. Gedleesmote is approached by a number of rough looking characters who were seeking repayment of the Dwarf’s gambling debt. The confrontation is taken outside where the largest thug, Moar who is sporting a tattoo of a black hand on his shoulder, and Gedleesmote prepare to duke it out. Slick Vinny, down from studying his magic books, enchanted the gang leader who then proceeded to buy the party a round of drinks. Needless to say, after the evening of drinking, both parties broke into a brawl after Tibag tried to pick the pocket of one of the thugs.

The next morning the party sets out with Lord Osric, Lemunda, and Tero and escorts Capt. Conik’s body south along the Great Coast Road towards the city of Brakken. Along the way they meet a couple of travelers, Barnabas and his mother Anna. They are bearing the body of Artemas, Barnabas’ uncle who fell in battle while exploring the Endless Tunnels of Enlandan near the town of Nibblet, to the Tomb of the Iron God as well.

They all decided to travel together and, at dusk, arrived before the gates of Brakken. There they learned that the Tomb of the Iron God, which has stood for thousands of years, is no more. It was destroyed by a violent storm, with some thinking it was the wrath of the Iron God himself.

After checking into the Chalice and Bucket, Geedlessmote and Tibag head over to the Shrine of the Iron God and find that it has been abandoned. They opened the sacred doors that lead through a tunnel and to the steps that switchback up the mountainside towards the temple itself.

Meanwhile, Slick Vinny, Gnarly and Wolfheir sought out the old Gypsy woman hoping to buy some magic items. They didn’t find any items for sale but the Gypsy read Slick Vinny’s fortune. She reveals that he will speak directly to the Iron God himself and she gave them a warning about a fountain that can protect oneself if they are pure and good and to not harm the Guardian in the Darkness.

They all met back at the Inn and discussed their findings. They were interrupted by Father Harris, a follower of St. Mellon. He says that some of the priests may have been corrupt and that the temple was obliterated, but the priest’s chambers, where they embalmed the bodies, and the catacombs themselves were below ground and possibly intact.

The party decided to head up to the Tomb the next morning. Father Harris asked to accompany them as well.

They wound their way up the ancient steps to the top of the steep hillside and into the Iron Hills. By midday they approached the ruins of the Temple of the Iron God. There was nothing left but blasted stone and ruin. The party discovered a shuffle of tiny booted footprints leading down to an opening below the ruins. Descending the stairs they enter the Tomb of the Iron God.

SPOILER ALERT: This portion of the campaign deals with the adventure module The Tomb of the Iron God and will contain spoilers. If you are _ever planning on being a player of this module, avoid reading at all costs. Your DM will know if you are cheating and will not hesitate to deal out the most harsh and painful circumstances for your characters. Ahead lies doom. You have been warned. My players and all others, please read on._

Upon entering the large dim hall, they observed an object in the center of the room that rose up off the floor and warned the party that they enter their doom. Ignoring the warning, like a good party of adventurers would, they crossed the chamber and stood before the statue of the Iron God who was depicted holding an axe and a large bowl. Placing various objects into the large bowl in the hopes of triggering something, it is the dwarf Geedleesmote that placed himself into the bowl. The bottom of the bowl opened and dropped the startled dwarf below. Calling down to him, the party discovered that he was alright and proceeded to follow him down.

In the chamber below, they find what appears to be an embalming room. After going through a couple of storerooms they came across a library where they found a book which talks about animating the dead. The party began to figure out that the Priests of the Iron God were selling the offerings of the dead for silver and gold as well as other dark happenings.

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Beneath the Tower of Zenopus V
The Fall of Arvin Ardmore, acolyte of Mithra

When we last left our party, they had just finished off an attacked by a trio of crypt crawlers. They explored the large chamber with a channel of deep running water cutting through it. Sending a lit arrow across the water they discovered that the channel was over 50 feet wide and that there was a landing on the other side. After discussing that this channel may be used by the pirates and trying to figure out a way to get across but not coming up with anything, they decided to leave the chamber from the way they had come and continue down the hall.

At the end of the hall the party found steps leading down to a door. Throwing caution to the wind, they entered the room. Inside was a stone throne ornately carved from the floor and walls itself. Opposite the throne was a gong floating between two stone pillars.

Tero, of the town watch (skillfully played by Max, whose regular PC, Slick Vinny the Medium was back at the Cloven Hoof Tavern studying his treasures and spells), wanted to press on and discover what Sgt. Morak was up to and possibly find a clue to Capt. Conik’s whereabouts. The others explored the throne and gong. They all felt that the gong and the chair were connected and speculated on what would happen if one was to sit in the chair while the gong was hit. Death, teleportation, or increased skills were all discussed.

Tero was getting anxious to get moving once again but as Gedleessmote the dwarf sat in the chair, Skwanky the halfling, in a fit of mischief tapped the gong, and in a rippling of reality, the Dwarf was gone! Much yelling at the halfling ensued and it was decided that one by one they would each sit in the throne and be dealt the same fate as the dwarf, but Tero wanted nothing to do with this and instead wanted to press on. As the debate when on, one by one each character sat on the throne and disappeared until Tero was the only one left.

Tero pressed on by himself and opened the opposite door to find the hint of damp salty air coming from the natural stone southern passage. He followed to the opening and heard voices coming from the large cave. Fearing that he would face alone what was beyond, he quickly made it back to the throne and tossing a dagger at the gong, felt an odd sensation as the world around him warped and twisted and he was pulled beyond…..

Gedleessmote the dwarf found himself in a pitch-black room. Lighting a torch, he found that he was standing in the middle of a 15 foot circle scrawled on the floor in chalk. As he explored the room, one by one his companions appeared with Skwanky wanting to ‘ride the throne’ again.

Heading through one of the openings they found an open chamber. As four skeletons charged at them from the darkness, Tero materialized in the center of the magic circle just as a zombie burst through the opposite door.

Arvin held the skeletons at bay with his symbol of Mithra while Tero battled with the Zombie. The skeletons were beaten back and the zombie was finished off with the help of Gedleessmote and Skwanky (who accidentally pegged an annoyed Tero with a slung stone).

Exploring the hallway from where the zombie cam from they entered a chamber where they had been once before. The chamber with the 3 stone statues and where they had fought the buccaneer captain and chased the wizard down a secret passage. They knew where they were once again!

Pressed by Tero, they quickly retraced their steps and made their way back through the gong room (having to drag Skwanky through) to the opening into the large chamber. Peering around the the corner they saw an expansive natural sandy cave with a shoreline and an underground lake. Pulled up on the shore were three rowboats. One had two pirates sitting in it, outside another there was little Jack tied up. There were two pirates digging a hole in the sand. Across the chamber was Sgt. Morak and two of the town watch talking with a half-naked man hanging by chains from a large outcropping of rock. The man was none other than Capt. Conik!

It was decided that Tero would pretend to have captured the Halfling snooping around and was bringing him down to Morak while the others would slip around behind the rocks and try to ambush the pirates by surprise. When Tero stepped out with the halfling and announced himself, the pirates and guards were taken by surprise. The watchguards stepped forward towards Tero as Morak ordered the guards to kill the two witnesses.

Just then, from hiding, Tibag and Gedleessmote let fly their arrows surprising the two guards. Two of the pirates let fly their crossbow bolts hitting Tero and the halfling in the backs as they tried to run back to the cave opening. The dwarf and half-elf fired their arrows, killing the two pirates digging in the sand and pinning down the two guards. Morak raised his sword and killed the helpless Watch Captain and makes for one of the boats. Meanwhile, Arvin, lighting a flask of oil, with Wolfheir run around the rocks to try and outflank Morak and the guards. Arvin lets fly his flask, missing the first boat but igniting the second, setting ablaze one of the pirates who splashes into the water dead. Tero rushes back to the last pirate to make him surrender. Tibag fires arrows at Morak while Wolfheir and Arvin engage in melee, with Wolfheir taking on the two guards and Arvin fighting the treacherous Sergent. It is a savage battle and the viking was close to death before defeating one of his foes. Gedleesmote rushes to aid his companions.

The pirate, surrendering, helps a woman out of the burning boat. Lord Osric’s daughter Lemunda! Skwanky and Tero helps the woman ashore. Morak and Arvin battle. Arvin is knocked back into the water and, Sgt. Morak, towering above him, delivers a fatal blow, killing the cleric. Tero yells to his fellow watch member to surrender, his cause lost. The watchman, seeing that he is becoming outnumbered, lashes out in anger at Morak who tumbles into the water. Wolfheir dives in after Morak and lifts him up in a full nelson that the Sergent tries in vain to break out of.

With Morak and his watch-guard companion and pirate captured, Lemunda in tears over the death of her beloved Conik, Wolfheir mourns the death of their brave companion, Arvin Ardmore, Acolyte of Mithra. Gedleesmote and Tibag lift two treasure chests out of the hole that the two pirates dug and discover the pirates booty.

Tibag exclaims that with Arvin dead, there’s more treasure to go around!

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Beneath the Tower of Zenopus IV
...of severed heads and carousing and more mysteries beneath the tower.

Session 4 began with the party cleaning up their loot in the ground level of the tower and then heading back to town to sell their gains and recover their wounds. At the main gate, they were stopped by the town watch, who found the party suspicious being bloodied and carrying around two severed heads.

The party mentioned that they found the missing Capt. Conik beneath the tower. The watch guards called over Sgt. Morak accompanied by three other guards. Morak questioned the party but didn’t believe their story and thought them vagabonds and highway men robbing and murdering traveling merchants. Gedleesmote recounted their battle with the wizard and ape and told the Sergeant that there would be remains of the the battle back in the tower as proof of their story. Arvin also mentioned that he was a follower of Mithra and that the head priest of Mithra would vouch for the party. One guard was sent to the temple of Mithra to gather the head priest, Father Halford while Sgt. Morak and two guards made their way to the tower to seek out the evidence that would exonerate the party. The other two guards gave the party water but to Skwanky’s disappointment, no food. The party also noticed that little Jack, the stableboy, had slipped away.

After a while, Sgt. Morak returned and denied that he saw any evidence of battle or of a ship off shore and ordered the party to drop their weapons to be arrested. The party quickly came to the conclusion that Sgt. Morak was now somehow involved in the disappearance of Lord Osric’s daughter but being worn out and wounded were at his mercy. Gedlee and Wolfheir cause a commotion by getting into a scuffle with each other. As the Guards tried to break it up, Tibag made a dash for it but fails to break past the guards and instead climbs up and over the wall into the city. Morak sends two of the watch after Tibag just as the other watchman returns with Father Halford.

The priest questions his follower Arvin and vouches for the character of the party. Father Halford vows to be responsible for them and will answer directly to Lord Osric. Sgt. Morak begrudgingly submits.

Once at the First Temple of Mithra Reform, the party is healed (for a donation) and fills Father Halford in on the events. The priest tells them that Capt. Conik is of good character and couldn’t possibly be involved in Osric’s daughter’s disappearance for he loves dearly the maiden. Father Halford asks Arvin and his companions to find out more about the goings on beneath the ruined tower and to protect the city of Caladan while he goes to speak with Lord Osric.

The party leaves the sanctuary and proceeds to sell their found items at Master Bringham’s Curiosities. After dividing up their treasures, the members goes their separate ways. Skwanky heads over the the Black Anvil to purchase some halfling sized plate armor, Arvin heads back to the Rolled Scroll to have a wand identified and meets Aelyina, daughter of Arvik, and Gedleesmote and Wolfheir head over to Willy the Tanner to get some snakeskin boots made from the remains of the giant snake they killed earlier. Drunk Willy, the best boot maker in all of Caladan, offers the adventures a glass of his homemade hooch.

Heading back to the Cloven Hoof, they run into a cloaked Tibag and the three began to spend their gains on wine, women and song and a night of carousing. Skwanky is quite fine with a tasty meal from the inn and polishing his newly acquired armor and Arvin heads back to the Holy Temple of Mithra. Slick Vinny retired up to a room to begin his long studies of the books that he has found in the dungeons.

In the morning, a very hungover Wolfheir the Viking meets up with the rest of the party in the Cloven Hoof. Gedleesmote lost a bundle the night before gambling the night away and is now indebted to some shady characters. Jessi, the barmaid, asks the party if they have seen Jack the stableboy and they say that they haven’t. They promise to keep an eye out for him and head out, once again, to the tower ruins.

Back at the ruins they find that there are two city watchmen standing guard. The guards were placed there by Sgt. Marak who went down beneath the tower with a couple of other guardsmen. The two watchmen are having their suspicions of Morak’s motives and state that Capt. Conik is a good man and find it hard to believe that he would be tangled up in any schemes against Osric and the city of Caladan. One of the watchmen decide to accompany the party below the tower to see what Morak may be up to.

Entering the ruined tower, the party brings the guard upstairs to see the remains of the battle fought. Sure enough, the bloody evidence is plain as day. Sgt. Morak was indeed lying.

Descending the stairs, the party, along with the watchman Tero, is once again below the tower and in the room with the black alter. Gedleesmote drags down his handcart to load up on loot while Tibag tries to discover the secret door. He is unable to do so and the party leaves through the west door. Coming down the hall towards them is a pirate carrying a sword and candle. After a brief exchange about meeting in a cavern, Tibag fires an arrow, hitting the pirate. The wounded pirate turns and runs for the door, dropping his candle. Gedleesmote, in hot pursuit bursts into the room and sees the pirate desperately trying to feeling up a statue in the center of the room. Gedleesmote swings at the pirate who blocks the attack in a desperate maneuver causing the dwarf to tumble to the ground. Arvin rushes in and splatters the pirate’s skull.

Exploring the room they find 4 doors, one on either wall. Tibag discovers that the statue pivots on it’s base which unlocks each of the doors. After much debate on which way to proceed, searching for the cavern which the pirate mentioned or avoiding any confrontation and just continue exploring the catacombs, it was decided to head through the south door to seek out the watery entrance to the caves.

Extinguishing their light, Tibag journeys down the hallway, alone. He finds that the passage continues south but to the east is a door. Listening to the door he hears running water. The party opens a door and enters a large chamber with a wide river running through it. Sipping water at the river’s edge and now alerted to the party are three cave crawlers, thin grey-skinned, sharp clawed underground dwellers. They rush the party. Arvin and Wolfheir make quick work of the creatures but one leaps onto Tibags shoulders. Skwanky bonks the creature in the head with a stone and Gedleesmote finishes the creature off.

The party begins to explore the room…..

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Beneath the Tower of Zenopus III

..of carpets, apes and wizards!

Our last session left our party of intrepid adventures exploring an oddly furnished room beneath the ruined tower of Zenopus. Wolfhier was guarding the door they came in from, while the rest of the group looted the chamber. Gedleesmote rolled up the ornate carpet, while Arvin and Slick Vinny looted the bookshelves and writing desk. Tibag, while listening to the western door heard voices on the other side.

They debated a bit on what to do and soon decided to try to draw the occupants out. Everyone gathered along the walls by the door to surprise whomever was on the other side and Tibag cracked the door slightly to peer in. He saw another lit chamber and in the distance three unmoving figures. But the voices weren’t coming from those figures, the voices were coming from a portion of the room around the corner from the door. He heard three distinct voices, murmuring about the city of Caladan, Lord Osric and the Merchant Guild, and a payment of sorts. The game is, indeed, afoot!

Tibag turns to tell his comrades just as the voices stop. Bursting into the door way was a burly Buccaneer in Chainmail wielding a sword! Slick Vinny, in an uncharacteristically not so slick manner, yells something about having the gold for the payment but the Buccaneer just calls them thieves and rushes in to attack. The stout dwarf Gidleesmote blocked the doorway and the two go at it while Tibag tried to get a couple of arrows off without hitting the dwarf. Wolfhier came rushing in to aid his companions. After a brief melee, the pirate lay dead and the dwarf near death. Arvin aids Gidlee with one of two healing potions he received from his order.

Upon entering the chamber expecting to confront more foes, the party finds a deserted room. Only three very lifelike stone statues (leaving the party to believe that there may be a Basilisk hovering around), a table full of alchemical equipment, a couple of chairs, a very large sack and a hanging tapestry. Tibag looks behind the tapestry for a door only to find a blank wall. Arvin and Vinny gathered the items on the table and found a scroll. Wolfhier guarded an open passage to the west while examining the statues when he heard a slow shuffling coming down the corridor. Seeing a sole Zombie and feeling frustrated in his lack of usefulness in combat, Slick Vinny grabbed a torch from the wall and rushed over to burn the creature. Surprisingly, the Zombie lashed out at the rushing wizard and deals him a devastating blow leaving him unconscious and very close to death! Wolfhier rushes the Zombie and decapitates it while Arvin uses the last of the healing potion bringing the Magic-user back from the brink!

While this is going on, Gidleesmote opens the sack to find a neat little halfling warrior who introduces himself as Skwanky Furrytoe. It seems that Skwanky had been drugged and shanghaied from the Green Dragon Inn and brought aboard a ship! After a couple of days in the hold, he was shoved into a sack (a very insulting predicament!), placed upon a small dingy and rowed to what sounded like a cave. He was dragged around until he ended up in this chamber with the three voices. The first had a thick accent from the southern Desert kingdoms, the second was more aristocratic and from Caladan, while the third didn’t say much but was gruff, short and spoke in the dialect of a Buccaneer.

Not having the slightest clue to where he is at, Skwanky decides to join up with the party.

Tibag finds a hidden latch which opens a secret door. After Gedleesmote rolls up the tapestry along with his carpet the party enters the long narrow passageway which ends against a wall. Another search reveals another hidden door.

Beyond the door the behold a strange site. A lit circular room with a polished black solid stone alter in the center of carved runes on the floor. A stairwell spiraled up around the room to a hatch in the ceiling. Arvin examines the alter while the party moves up the stairs. Suddenly, a giant snake rises up from behind the alter and lunges at the cleric. A battle ensues and is ended when Wolfheir swinging with his battle axe split the snake’s skull.

It appeared that the hatch was locked and after Tibag failed to open it, Wolfheir and Gedlee used their backs to bust open the hatch. In the round chamber above, they found a sparsly furnished living area, cooking pot, cot, etc. and a latched door leading outside. Another staircase lead upwards to another wooden hatch.

Climbing the stairs (while Skwanky searches the cooking pot for food) and coming to the trap door, Tibag opens it and pops his head in. Unbeknown, to the rest of the party, the thief is put under a charm spell by the dark wizard in the room above and is whispered a command to get the others out of the tower. Tibag tries to pursued the party that there is nothing up there but an empty room and that they should just leave. The others know something is up with the thief but don’t quite know what to do. This threw everybody into a confusion. Tibag wouldn’t let anyone up the stairs.

After much debate and argument, the party ventured outside. Geddlee said that he would climb up the tower. Tibag pointed out that, being a dwarf it would be quite hard for him to do that, so the thief volunteered (the player, Brian, did a great job playing the role of the charmed Tibag). Tibag climbed up the tower, over the ruined parapet and then disappeared on the other side! More party confusion as the whereabouts of their comrade, Tibag, was unknown. After more argument and debate it was decided that the only option was to burst through the trap door and face whatever danger was in there and try to get their companion back.

Back inside the tower they climbed the stairs and tried to open the trap door only to find it locked. The dwarf and the viking started splintering the door with their axes. Then Gedleesmote, sticking his head through the portal sees an odd site; another round chamber with stairs leading up to another hatch, a large gorilla in a cage, Tibag targeting him with an arrow and a robed magician hurling a magic missile at the dwarfs face. The dwarf tumbles back onto the stairs, wounded but alive.

The party decides that there is no other option to save Tibag but to just storm up into the chamber and take what is dished out at them. While Slick Vinny prepares a sleep scroll, Wolfheir and Arvin rush up into the chamber. Tibag lets loose an arrow at the Viking while the wizard unlocks the cage, releasing the ape. Wolfheir rushes the ape while Arvin charges the wizard who dodges the blow and sticks a dagger into the clerics ribs. Tibag lets fly another arrow at his viking friend but misses, and hitting the ape, killing it. Vinny finally gets his head up into the chamber, reads his scroll and puts the wizard to sleep.

After binding the wizard they searched the room finding a couple of spell books, a scroll, another map and a wand. Tibag, now released from the wizard’s charms, and Slick Vinny question the sorcerer about the where-abouts of Lord Osric’s daughter. He reveals that she may be somewhere near-by and that Captain Conik is the one that kidnapped her. Beyond that he would not say much else but insult and doom the party. Frustrated with the lack of information, Slick Vinny murders the wizard in cold blood angering Tibag who wanted to deal with the wizard himself and who is a bit confused by being susceptible to a charm spell even though he believes himself to be an elf.

The session ended with Wolfheir, upon the roof of the ruined tower spotting a ship off in the distance, Giddleesmote trying to figure out how much the ape cage might be worth, Skwanky searching the chamber for any food, Arvin, battered and wounded, and Tibag and Slick Vinny not on the best of terms and little Jack watching all the events with glee!

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Beneath the Tower of Zenopus II
..of The Fog of Battle and Other Missteps.

When last we left our faithful party, the Gedleessmote had been paralyzed by a ghoul attack, the later of which had been dispatched and Slick Vinny had set fire to the last two wooden coffins.

As the room began to fill with smoke, the party thought it best to exit the chamber and rest in the hallway near where they entered (always a good thing to do in a dungeon) while the Dwarf recovers and the room airs out. On their way they ran into a couple of wandering giant rats which they made short work of.

After having rested in the hallway for an hour and the dwarf fully regaining his faculties, the party stepped forth once again. Rounding the corner they see, blocking their way, six giant spiders feasting on the giant rats and not paying much heed to our stalwart adventures. Deciding that the only way to continue their exploration is through the spiders, Tibag begins firing arrows at them which agitate the over-sized arachnids. Now, Tibag is usually a good shot, mind you, and the only one with a ranged weapon (unless you count Slick Vinny tossing darts into the darkness in vain), but the gods did not smile upon him this day and the arrows just flew into the darkness, mostly missing their targets and killing only one. People are starting to panic a bit as these 5 spiders, climbing along the walls, floors and ceiling rush closer. Slick Vinny tosses a flask of oil in front of the oncoming horrors and Wolfhere tosses the torch to light it but…..misses again (see last session). Now the spiders are upon them and things go from bad to worse!

Wolfhere, Tibag and Giddle take the front rank, and Arvin, protecting Slick Vinny stay back. That doesn’t stop the spiders as the ones crawling on the ceiling drop and attack the two in the rear! Tibag is the first to slay a spider but Gedleessmote is the first to feel the pain of the creatures fangs. But the poison sting doesn’t seem to affect the dwarf and he continues the melee. Next it is Wolfhere that feels the bite of the spider. The Viking slayed his spider and, turning pale, spins around to help Slick Vinny who just had a spider land on his face! Wolfhere, keels over and becoming violently ill!

Arvin’s spider lands next to him, and being unable to land a hit was also bit by the eight-legged creature. The Cleric shortly keels over as well, puking all over the place.

Vinny, pulls the spider from his face and tosses it on the ground, and turns to aid the afflicted Arvin. He swings with his staff and misses the arachnid and slugs the poor cleric in the head!

Tibag and Gedleessmote continue to struggle with their spider, Wolfhere and Arvin puking all over the hallway, and Vinny swinging wildly at the spider until finally breaking his staff. Things are looking grim, indeed, until Tibag slays the last Spider in the front and the dwarf turns and slays Arvins spider and Vinny turns to finish off the last one but splinters the remainder of his staff. Gedleessmote lunges at the remaining spider but slips in Wolfhere’s vomit and lands flat on his back in front of the remaining spider. Finally, Tibag slays the remaining spider as it’s climbing up the wall.

Wolfhere and Arvin recover from their bout with spider poison but are still woozy. They decide to head back to town to lick their wounds but are disappointed that they didn’t pick up any loot on their first foray into the depths of the ruined tower. The companions decide to return to the room where they killed the two ghouls and burned the coffins and see if they could find anything of value. Indeed they do and recover a handful of gems and some coin.

They return to the surface and are happy to discover their mule safe and tied to the cemetery gate (having spent a mere three hours in the Underworld, one of which they spent resting).

Heading back to Caladan and threw the southern gate they notice that the town watch is a bit agitated and learn that they have been seeking the watch captain (Capt. Conik) who went missing shortly after last week’s Harvest Festival along with Lord Osric’s daughter. It is thought that the two were having an affair and ran off together. Furious, the leader of the Merchant Guild is having the town watch search for them.

The party heads back towards the Cloven Hoof Inn and on the way find a small shop called Master Brigham’s Curiosities. Slick Vinny enters hoping to stock up on some magic scrolls he can use. Thus, Master Brigham has no scrolls to sell save a map of the area which Vinny purchases. Also, traded for first dibs on the curiosities found beneath the tower is some tobacco that can lessen the affects of poison. They also learn that six years ago, six adventures found their way beneath the tower never to return.

After some healing at the Temple of Mithra (donations accepted, of course), the party returns to the Cloven Hoof Inn to clean up and rest for the next day’s return underground. It turns out the orphaned stableboy, Jack, is enthralled by the exploits of our adventures and asks if he can come along. Vinny invites him and purchases some armor and a short sword for the young lad.

After a night’s rest, the party returns to the tunnels with little Jack in tow carrying the torches. They retrace their steps and continue to explore the room with the dead ghouls. Opening on door, the party discovers a flight of stairs that lead down into the darkness. The air is very dry and stale and the darkness foreboding. Thinking it best to leave that for a later foray, they head through the eastern door. Down a corridor they find a small room with an armoire of shrunken heads and magical doors that lead them back to the corridor which they entered from. After spiking the doors open, breaking the spell, they proceed east down another corridor and enter another room filled with refuse and garbage and rummaging Giant Rats. After making their way to the other side of the room, they decide to dispatch the rats and do so easily. Searching through the refuse, Jack finds the rats nest and pulls out a leather belt of one of their victims which contains a silver dagger and some more coin. Hooray for Jack!

The party enters an open tunnel and travels down a long corridor which ends at an ornately carved wooden door. Beyond the door they find a furnished room lit by four beetles with red glowing bellies in small cages suspended from the ceiling. As Wolfhere guards the door, the others explore the room. There are books and scrolls and a writing desk with parchments. Gedleessmote rolls up the ornate rug stating that everything is loot! Vinny (finally) finds his two magic scrolls. Tibag listens to the western door and beyond hears voices speaking in the common language…

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Beneath the Tower of Zenopus
Of bells, dead cats and Ghouls.

Our stalwart adventurers have, by one means or another, ended up in the port city of Caladan and have become slightly acquainted with each other while spending their evenings at the tavern of the Cloven Hoof. Having found out that they are not cut out for the day to day labor of working odd jobs, they decide to spend the afternoon gathering some information around town about the mysterious ruined tower just south of Caladan.

That evening, over some tasty brew, our party discusses the various stories and rumors about this ruin – a tower that was once the abode of Zenopus. They have heard that Zenopus has unleashed unspeakable horrors below the once tall tower, but also there are treasures and sparkling jewels to be found as well. Having questioned Jessi, the bar-wench about the tower, she pointed them to the corner of the tavern where sat an old blind man. He seemed to know much of the tower.

After a cup of some fine wine, the old man revealed that the tower was destroyed by a decision of the town Merchant guild. He told that he once use to occupy the tower and study his arts there when one day a pupil showed up – a beautiful woman named Zenopus. She was a Stygian witch who stole his tower and his magic and explored the secrets below the tower. The old man was blinded by Zenopus and banished from the tower. The tower was destroyed after it was engulfed by strange green flames. Zenopus was never to be found.

With suspected treasure and a possibility of life-threatening danger involved obtaining it, our party makes it’s plan to head out to the ruins in the early morning. Well, not too early, Tibag planned on sleeping in.

So Slick Vinny talks the serving wench (Jessi) to share her room, Tibag sleeps up a tree outside, Arvin spends the night in the temple of Mithra while Gedleessmote and Wolfhere spend the night on the dock fishing.

In the (late) morning, the party leaft the comfort of the Cloven Hoof Tavern and worked their way up to the tower but decided to explore the nearby cemetery first. An exploration which leads to two crypts and an encounter with a feral Zombie cat. Arvin, raising the holy symbol of Mithra, tried to keep the cat at bay, which appeared to have worked. So Arvin tries to put it out of it’s misery but the cursed cat leaps out of the way and towards Wolfhere’s throat. The Viking swings his battle-axe splattering cat all over. After some debate about whether the cat was indeed a walking corpse or just a ferrel cat, the party moves to the second crypt. Inside, it is much like the first; cold and empty with but a single stone sarcophagus. Upon lifting the lid and tapping the bottom and opening was found to a natural cave below the cemetery.

A torch was tossed down into the pit to see if anything else could be seen. Secure in the knowledge that the chamber below was empty, they extinguish the torch, and Tibag was sent down to explore while Slick Vinny secured the mule to the cemetery fence. A tunnel was found while the rest of the party descended the rope into the room.

Now the thief took the lead just out of the range of the torchlight exploring with his 10 foot pole. After proceeding down a long natural tunnel they came to a door. After some careful examination of the door they opened it and discovered a man-made corridor of black tight-fitting stonework.

Continuing down the corridor they found another door that they were too afraid to open. So Tibag and Slick Vinny tied one end of the rope to the door they just entered and the other end of the rope to the second door. On the rope they tied a bell to warn them if any of these doors were being messed with.

After a few turns down some corridors, they came to another door. This one they opened. Beyond was a very large chamber. Our fearless party was only able to glimpse some pillars at the edge of the light but no walls or ceiling. That was too much for them. They decided to close that door and continue down the corridors.

Finally finding another door, they entered. Coming out of the darkness into the torchlight, were, of course, two Ghouls. Arvin raised the symbol of Mithra towards the oncoming fiends but to no avail. Slick Vinny threw a flask of oil in between them and the ghouls but Wolfhere missed the oil with the torch. Tibag fired his bow but after the first hit the bowstring broke and the Ghouls moved in to attack. Gedleessmote stepped up to attack the first fiend. After a quick exchange the undead creature was only slightly wounded but the dwarf was clawed in the shoulder and stood frozen in paralyzed horror! While Slick Vinny hopelessly tossed darts at the second ghoul, Wolfhere lifted his axe and separated it’s head from it’s lifeless body. Meanwhile, Tibag ran around behind the first ghoul and sliced the thing dead.

While Arvin tended to the wounded Gedleessmote Hammersend, Tibag, Woldhere and Slick Vinny searched about the room and turned up a couple of smashed and open wooden coffins and two that were closed. Not taking any chances, Slick Vinny dumped a couple of flasks of oil on the two coffins and lit them.

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