Temple of Elemental Evil

2. The Ruined Tower

2/11/10: We got in a short session... it was late and I was in the middle of a 4-day string of work days.

Carric Cendoria - Elf Seeker
Fayte Bonesunder
- Human Paladin
Jurod/Jolene
- Changeling Mage

* They also have three NPC Hirelings: Elmo the pandaman, Samira the cleric and Mardix the man-at-arms.

The adventurers had escaped the ruined tower and were making their way back to the village of Holmaren in the rain. Carric awoke from his magical slumber. A band of goblin hunters were heading the opposite way on the path, returning to the tower with two slain boars. The groups spotted each other at the same time...

Fayte charged the goblins as most of them ducked behind boulders and fired arrows into her. She was bloodied quickly as she slashed into their leader. Jolene used an arc lightning spell to kill a pair, while Carric summoned elemental spirits to slay three more. The heroes made quick work of the goblin hunters.

There were no further incidents during the walk home. The adventurers returned to Holmaren. They visited with Baryx the wizard. He identified the potion they had found as a potion of growth - it would double the drinker's size... but their armor and gear would not grow with them.

Then they visited Nira Melubb, the moneychanger, and dumped all their silver for smaller coins. Jolene wanted to buy some jewelry, but the cheapest piece was 900 gold. 

The adventurers then headed to the Inn of the Welcome Wench, where Elmo told th evillagers of their exploits thus far. Jolene ate with Mardix and tried to flirt with him, but Mardix was thrown by the whole "changes-into-a-man" thing. 

They briefly visited the widow Birta. Jolene forgot she wasn't in her male form and tried to hit on Birta, which confused the widow. She reminded the heroes that she believed her husband Bergus was still alive.

The adventurers rested for the night and woke the next morning to see that the rain was stopped. A rainbow appeared not far from the village. Mardix told the heroes that Anjou, primal spirit of storms, often rewarded those who could find an end of a rainbow before it faded.

The heroes decided to give it a try. Carric lead them through the forest west of Holmaren. They saw a number of flying cats pass over head (housecats with wings.. and sometimes black panthers with wings). Mardix grumbled that weirder creatures were coming out of the nearby chaos scar every day.

They found the rainbow's end. It was on a ledge, on a cliff wall next to a waterfall. At the base of the cliff was a seemingly endless chasm, with many vines dangling into it. To climb up to the ledge looked deadly...

Fayte decided to try. She removed her armor, as Elmo cheered and ogled. The heroes tied two of their 50 foot-long-ropes together. They tied one end around Fayte, and the other end around a tree. Fayte began to climb. A flying cat swooped up to her, mewing softly. Fayte intimidated the cat, forcing it to flee. She continued her ascent, coming upon wet stone from the mist of the waterfall. She carefully continued, and made it to the ledge. She found a pile of gold with magic items sticking out of it! 

As she began to collect it, a cloud formed a bridge over the ledge to provide her a safe way back down. Mardix was certain that Anjou had blessed them all this day.

The heroes divided up the gold and magic items, and headed to the old road that lead back to the tower. It was sunny out, which made for a pleasant walk back to the ruined tower.

They came upon the ruins, again spotting the strange stone statue of a bandit in fear. They heard snoring as well... 

Carric crept closer, and saw a green foot sticking out from behind the statue. He crept closer and saw a goblin fast asleep in a sitting position. He had a horn in one hand. Jolene turned into a goblin and crept adjacent to the goblin. Fayte crept close as well. Together, they all swung at the goblin and killed him (actually, all three missed, rolling 2's! But then Carric used a re-roll to kill the goblin). 

They made their way down the steps. They saw the trap door pit at the base was open. Fayte activated her sunrod, which cast bright light for 100 feet in all directions. She began to approach the pit, not realizing that a horde of bandits lay in wait, guarding the entrance!

There were bandits with bows on each side of the intersection, and even two bandits disguised as the corpses the heroes had found straight ahead. Many fired arrows. One dumped a barrel of oil into the pit, while two others lit torches and set the oil ablaze!

The door down the hall opposite the heroes opened. That was the goblin room with the magic ballista! Two bandits were in there. They aimed the force ballista at the heroes on the stairs and fired, injuring the adventurers.

Fayte crossed the fire pit and waded into the hallway to the left, which was filled with bandits. She began to hack her way through them. Elmo did the same in the right hallway. The pandaman was quickly bloodied by a cutlass swipe. Carric took aim on the stairs and sunk arrows into the bandits manning the ballista. 

Jolene sent her magic eye forward, to increase her range. The eye hovered over the fire pit, causing all of the bandits to admire the flaming eye - a symbol which seemed to be of importance to them. Then she fired off an arc lightning spell, targeting the archers lying near the ballista.

Fayte picked up the oil barrel and lit it on the pit flames. Then she threw it at her enemies in the hall, causing a small explosion that killed three. The leader was all that remained. "Raven Queen, let my blade swing true with this valiant strike!" she shouted, and bloodied the leader, who backed away in terror. She cut him down moments later.

Elmo finished off his enemies, and Carric and Jolene took out the rest of the archers. 

The heroes bandaged their wounds and contiuned to explore the dungeon. They came to a room with a fast-moving underground river with weird white fish in it. Noone liked the idea of diving into the river to see if it lead anywhere breathable.

They backtracked and took a different path. They ended up in a small room with a statue of Zev in it. In order to open other doors in the room, they found they had to swivel the statue in that direction. 

They came to a room with a symbol of a seven-pointed star in it. There were stair leading to an elevated section ten feet higher, where there was a bed, a beautiful woman and her fighting-man thrall. She was Thameera, a magic-user. She told her thrall that if he disposed of the interlopers, she'd reward him with love-making. He responded with a monotone "Yes, mistress Thameera, as you command".

Fayte's eyes went wide as she saw the man's brown beard and wedding band - this was Bergus, widow Birta's lost husband!

Thameera chanted and called on "Lady Nocticula, mistress of shadow demons" for aid. The symbol glowed, and out of it came four skeletons with shadowy weapons!

Fayte raced up the steps and battled Bergus. She was careful not to cut him, but rather to simply knock him out. He had no such compunctions. He took a mighty swing, bloodying the paladin badly with a single swing! (he got a critical for 23 points of damage!) Thameera used her magic to dominate Jolene. She forced Jolene to cast arc lightning, striking Elmo and Mardix as they fought the skeletons. 

Elmo absorbed it and dropped three skeletons with one swing!  Samira healed Fayte. Fayte pummeled Thameera. Jolene shook off the domination spell and fired of lightning at Thameera, which finished her. Bergus was at last free of her ontrol. He collapsed to the ground shrieking when he realised what he'd done over the last six months.

A room beyond held a pink bed and a lot of loose fur. The heroes surmised this was a room for some kind of animal. 

They decided to take Bergus back to Holmaren. The trip back was uneventful. Bergus entered his house alone, and had an intense conversation with his wife. In the end, Birta forgave him and all was back to normal for the family. Jolene had wanted to go in to help the conversation, but Bergus insisted that he go alone...