Chaos In The Aftermath

The Master or the Puppet

As the spiral stairs pass through the next floor the party sees what appears to be a T-shaped corridor tiled in charcoal gray. There is very faint light filtering in from the floor below but not enough to see clearly by. In the dim light emitted from Baldur’s armor, the party can make out threadbare black curtains hanging along the walls seemingly absorbing the light cast onto them. To the west and north stand two single doors. To the east, a wide alcove holds an elaborate double door. A panel set within it is engraved in the shape of a claw. A diminutive shape suddenly unfurls from the darkness, shadow cloaking it as it draws a dagger and attacks.

The adventurers engage another group of dark creepers that are soon joined by a large, vicious dark stalker. After weathering the initial onslaught, the party hits its stride and connects with a series of devastating attacks. Tevinwerd also connects with a series of deadly blows helping to quickly vanquish their shadowy enemies.

As the battle seems near its end, the dark stalker rears back and looses a screeching howl giving the adventurers pause. As the horrifying sound subsides, a spill of light suddenly appears. One of the eastern double doors has opened revealing a shadowy, backlit form. “Who dares interrupt my work! I commanded I not be interrupted.” Dancing shadows from the candlelit room reveal a humanoid figure shrouded in billowing black robes, dark chainmail visible beneath them. His head is shaven except for a single gray braid extending from the top of his skull. The wicked-looking blade he wields burns with black fire. “Ahh, I see the interruption is warranted. You will drink the darkness from my blades and I will banish you to the shadows for eternity. That is the price you shall pay for trespassing in MY tower.”

The group tries to finish the dark stalker quickly as Thoran engages them in battle. After a some devastating strikes from Thoran, the group dispatches the dark stalker and turns all their attention toward their Shadar-kai foe. Tevinwerd shows a strong fear and expresses his doubt of success against Thoran. He prepares to run but Baldur once again steadies him with some strong words of encouragement. Tevinwerd follows with a strong attack and settles himself. The tables quickly turn and Thoran finds himself on his heels. He attempts to turn and flee but is quickly cut down. Thoran falls, his dark cloak spilling around him. He drags himself toward the nearest wall, gasping for air, wet sucking sounds emanating from the wounds in his chest. He reaches to a gash across his face drawing a trembling finger across it. He reaches out and draws a single character on the wall in front of him. He looks back over his shoulder toward the party; the corner of his mouth curls up slightly and he begins to laugh. No sooner does the laugh begin than Thoran is overcome by choking, gasping spasms… his eyes roll back in his head and he collapses to the ground.

Upon Thoran the group finds a letter on crisp parchment, “My dear friend Thoran, Our plan proceeds as envisioned. We understand the difficulties described in your last letter but we strongly urge you to make the most of your resources. We have already provided you with vast funds and support, our investment will not increase further; your mission is critical; the power of the Lady must be ours. May your sword taste blood, may the darkness guide you, may your coffers flow with gold, The Emissary.” The group also finds a leather pouch containing more alabaster talismans. They use the talismans to unlock the runic lock on the eastern door and raid Thoran’s stash of gold. The letter from The Emissary sits uneasily with the group, but they are troubled even further when Baldur recognizes the symbol Thoran drew in blood to be a draconic “T.” That bloody letter and the content of the letter lead Baldur to suspect the involvement of Tiamat.

After a short rest the party continues up the spiral stair. The spiral stair ends on the next floor. A wooden stairway similar to those seen on the lower floors climbs along the tower’s north wall. Between the two sets of stairs stands a circle of eight stone plinths, five of which are topped with beautifully crafted 10-foot tall alabaster pillars. These pillars glow with a silvery light, showing where the stone floor is etched with sacred circles.From the darkness to the south, a frail voice cries out: “No more, please! I know nothing, I tell you!” In the shadows, an elderly human male in tattered clothing lies on the floor, his hands bound behind him. When he sees you, he stares in astonishment. “You are not the dark ones, Pelor be praised! Help me, friends!” The group seems wary but asks the man to identify himself. He calls himself Hector and claims he is a legendary seeker ties up by a jealous Thoran, afraid Hector would unlock the Tower’s secrets be he himself did. The group continues to be wary but becomes more so as Hector’s claims increase in grandeur and decrease in believability. Baldur presses Hector further and finally Hector becomes irritated and abusive. Suddenly the guise falls away. The vision of Hector melts away and a gaunt, ogre-like creature stands before them, muscles twisted and gnarled beneath its green skin. Its hair is a shocking yellow, its teeth and nails as black as pitch. It swings a heavy iron mace set with spikes, a cloud of noxious fumes pouring forth from its mouth as it attacks. Meriele falls unconscious under the creatures vile breath. The party ensures a long painful battle but is finally triumphant, thanks in large part to some steady help from Tevinwerd. They treat their wounds and turn their attention to the mysterious stone plinths and alabaster pillars.

Comments

nbulat

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.