2/19/11: Sam will be in Cancun next week so we will have a special guest star~
Carric Cendoria - Elf Seeker
Fayte Bonesunder - Human Paladin
Jurod/Jolene - Changeling Mage
The heroes headed to the Inn of the Welcome Wench to unwind and rest and plan for their next excursion to the ruined tower of zenopus. Elmo plopped down at the bar and began to tell the story of their exploits. People began to gather at the inn to hear the latest news. Agents of Baryx and the church of Clarissa were already there, to hear the latest and report back to their masters.
The heroes secured their belongings and headed downstairs. Jolene sat with Mardix, and was approached by a thug in a skullcap called Zert. Zert tried to befriend them, but had little luck. Jolene was only interested in seducing Mardix. Mardix the man-at-arms, however, was wary - he'd seen Jolene change into a man. Still, he bought her wine, and she became pretty drunk before long.
A citizen called Black Jay, friend of the elves, approached Carric. He pointed to the mark on Carric's face and told him he knew what it meant. He told everyone nearby that Carric's family had been cursed by the god of magic, Galasis. Jay told Carric to watch himself. Black Jay then tried and failed to hit on Jolene.
Three of Baryx's Badgers tried to hit on Fayte Bonesunder, but her only interest seemed to be in the Raven Queen.
A woman began to hit on Carric. She wore bright clothing and was of ample bosom.
The heroes tried gambling against Furnok of Korvosa. Jolene played a few hands of One Eye'd Keepsies. Furnok won every time. Jolene pouted. She wanted jewelry. He gave her a cheap necklace from Korvosa.
Jolene drank more wine until she was stunned. Mardix carried her to her room. She continued to flirt with the man-at-arms, and he finally gave in. They made sweet love for a few sweaty hours.
Fayte and Carric decided to go to the Trading Post to make some purchases. Fayte wanted a horse. Ramnos, one of the proprietors, directed her around back, as he had once before. There, 5 vicious cowardly mongrel dogs were chained to a post. The dogs bit and snapped at every opportunity. There were also a number of swaybacked, potbellied horses. Carric noted quietly to Fayte, that the horses looked of poor quality (here's right out of the text: "The horses are likely to stop each turn - aka 10 minutes - to rest, and if pushed by hard riding or a heavy load, 50% chance likely to die - check every turn").
Fayte decided to try out one of the horses. In her platemail, and her backpack weighed down by piles of coins and gear, she rode around in circles (and I rolled a percentile..). The horse keeled over, dead.
Ramnos stammered and tried to charge the heroes for the horse. Instead, Fayte gave it a burial and offered a beautiful prayer to the Raven Queen (rolling a natural 20 on her religion check!). A raven flew onto the burial mound and squawked, then flew away. Suddenly, the mound moved! The horse rose again as a skeletal steed!
Fayte took it as her mount and called it "SkullStrider".
They returned to the Inn. There, Carric found the woman waiting by his door. He took her into his room and made a passion play.
Night came. Assassins lurked in the town, agents of the temple. One was Zert, the scoundrel who had unsuccessfully tried to befriend Jolene. the other was Cynthia Lesion. She was a wererat from the ruined tower (the heroes had found her hairy room after defeating Thameera). She assumed the form of a rat and snuck into Fayte's room. Zert tried to pick Carric's lock.
His lover was long gone. Carric heard Zert's clumsy lock picking attempt. Fayte was not so fortunate. She was awoken by Cynthia biting her on the neck! Fayte stumbled to her feet, bleeding, and swiped at the wererat with her blade.
Carric was stabbed and poisoned by Zert. He let out a shout, which woke Mardix and Jolene. They raced down the hall to help their friends.
Fayte was hurt bad from multiple bloody wounds. Mardix burst into the room and stabbed the wererat. Fayte stabbed her as well. Cynthia turned into a rat and scampered up the wall, trying to escape through a hole in the ceiling. Mardix slashed her again, and killed her.
Carric was in a bad way as well. Jolene stepped into the doorway and scorched Zert with a lightning spell. Mardix charged in with Fayte, and Zert was slain.
The heroes brought the bodies to Baryx and consulted with the town council. Plans were made to question the dead via magic rituals.
The heroes went back to bed, and awoke the next morning. After breakfast, they geared up and headed back to the ruined tower. A thick fog had rolled in, doubling the time it would take to reach the tower. Along the way, Samira began to sing a prayer chant of Clarissa.
To her astonishment, a band of mushroom-people called Campestri sang a similar song, imitating her and giggling when they messed up the words. Samira found them to be blasphemous. Elmo wondered what they tasted like. the heroes opted to leave them alone and continue on.
They got to the fog-choked ruin, and this time spotted no sentry. But there was an eye of alarm set up invisibly by the stairs! When the heroes passed through it, they heard the voice of Rolthar, the ruler of the dungeon. He said: "You are foolish to return! We are ready for you!"
The heroes made their way into the ruined tower and explored some eastern passages. They entered a room choked with rubble. It was home to a bunch of giant rats! Fayte pulled out one of the hceese wheels the heroes had bought and tossed it to the rats. The rats bothered them no further. A brief exploration turned up some treasure.
They continued on and found a room with a number of sarcophagi with heavy lids. Some had corpses with treasure. One had an animated dagger that became inanimate if struck... only to become animate again 15 seconds later. The heroes put it back in the sarcophagus.
Carric had done a thorough search and new that one was trapped. He tried to disable it.. but failed. He was hit with gas (the others were outside the room, outside the radius of the gas). Poor Carric's legs became wobbly. He found it difficult to walk (he was slowed for 30 minutes).
They colleceted their loot and traveled down another tunnel. This lead to a strange, green chamber made up of membrane. It seemed to pulse and exude humidity. Elmo stepped in for a moment, but was disoriented. The heroes did no like it. They surmised that this was the chamber that the demon lord had been trapped in - freed when the wizard Zenopus discovered it.
The adventurers backtracked and headed north. They came upon a room with a sundial in the center and a golden face on the north wall. The face spoke: "I'll answer questions, one, no more. I never speak til it be four." Fayte understood the riddle. She took her sunrod and positioned it so the sundial's shadow rested on 4 o'clock. The heroes asked and received a brief hisory of the ruined tower - Zenopus had freed a demon lord called Nocticula, who was the first succubus and ruled shadow demons. Nocticula went on to found the temple of elemental evil, but her forces were defeated at the battle of Emridel Meadows 10 years ago. Nocticula was sealed in the temple by the Mages of Saruun.
The villains currently inhabiting this ruined tower seemed to be linked to the tower - either they hoped to go there and free her, or they were an extension of the forces already at the temple.
The face's mouth then opened wide, revealin a hall to the north. The heroes crossed more pit traps. They ame to the base of the ruined tower, where the hooded priest and his zombies were waiting!
Fayte rushed in and battled the priest and his two zombies. The other zombie minions choked the doorway. Fayte was hurt badly, but the heroes tore through the minions and made quick work of the hooded priest.
They rested for a moment, and then headed up stairs. At the top was an arcane locked door. It looked impossible to open. Carric pulled out his thieves' tools and tried to reverse the runes... and suceeded with ease! (he rolled a 20).
The heroes opened the door, and found Rolthar, a priest of Lolth, meditating. A white ape was nearby in a cage. Rolthar used the ape rfor cruel experiments, and the ape hated him. It was nearly insane with rage, in fact.
The adventurers rushed in. Carric, slowed, stayed back to keep an eye on the ape. Fayte and Elmo struck Rolthar, who let out a bloinding spell that stole their sight. Then he glared at Jolene and snarled: "You're no match for my wand of petrifaction!". The wand had a mummified human hand on the end. It fired off a beam that missed Jolene.
The heroes shook off the blindness and tore into Rolthar, bloodying him. He began to shout offers of peace. He offered to take th eheroes to the temple, and even to show them a secret passage inside! The adventurers refused.
Rolthar aimed his wand of petrifaction at Fayte and sturck her in the chest. Fayte watched in horror as she became a stone statue, just like the one in the ruins above!
The heroes killed Rolthar, and sadly examined Fayte. They believed that Baryx, back in Holmaren, could restore her. The heroes rested. Their victory was at hand.