Gods and Empires

The Lonely Hills Tower

Location, location, location!

CR 1470 (IR 248): M5-D09

Led by their guide Slade, the party spends the majority of the day picking their way through the Lonely Hills, following a route that leads North by Northeast of town. As the sun begins to set, they finally reach the tower, which is indeed a ruin, as a significant portion of the top floors appears to have been demolished. Closer examination, however, reveals that it is likely a more recent structure, and not the ancient ruins that their employer sent them to find. The tower is locked up tightly, but it turns out that it is not completely uninhabited, and the party finds themselves confronted by a pair of small, winged, fire-wielding creatures with obvious magical power. The battle proves rather challenging, however, the would-be explorers prevail and reduce the strange beings to ash.

Though the main entrance to the tower is stubbornly sealed, and there are no windows on the lower floors, the inventive adventurers manage to scale the tower wall and enter the upper floors, where they discover what they suspect to be the charred remains of a former occupant, along with a strange stone disc. A thorough search of the tower reveals some treasures, some mysteries, and a sealed trapdoor leading to an underground level. Curious, but cautious, the party ventures downstairs, only to be confronted by a ravening horror that seems to be composed of equal parts fangs and claws. After dispatching the creature, the party explores the ruins of the basement, which appears to have been largely demolished by the creature that now lies dead on the floor.

Three locked doors remain. Behind one lies what is left of a wizard’s lab, where a thorough search reveals a wand, several scrolls and a pile of research notes. Behind another is a macabre dungeon and a room full of bones, which turns out to be a trap. As the party enters the room of bones, the trap is sprung and the trio find themselves surrounded by animated skeletons. Drawing upon the holy power of his Goddess Liira, the cleric swiftly strikes them down and the battle is over before it had even begun. The guardians vanquished, a small vault is discovered and the wizard’s treasures are claimed by the adventurers. At last, only one door remains: a giant, intimidating pair of reinforced doors that seem even stronger than the entrance to the tower itself. Even more strange is that they appear designed not to prevent intruders from entering whatever lies beyond, but rather, to keep something from getting out.

Rather than take chances, the party elects to rest for the remainder of the day and explore further that evening. A brief examination of the door reveals that it is sealed, but that it can be opened using the magical stone disc that was discovered earlier.Placing the disc in a depression in the door causes them to swing open, into the room, revealing a large chamber with a raised dias in the center. Although the room appears empty, the trio finds themselves greeted by strange laughter, and suddenly a small girl appears in the center of the circle and pentagram set into the dais. Suspecting her to be some sort of daemon, or otherworldly being, the party is torn between fear and curiosity. A negotiation, of sorts, begins and the girl suddenly becomes a beautiful elven woman, claiming to have been trapped these many years and seeking release. Though wary of her, the cleric is unable to bear seeing anyone held against her will, even one who may be evil or dangerous, and so agrees to free her.

What ensues is a dance of words and a struggle of wills, but finally Taran agrees to free the creature, and tell her his name, if she will offer three things in exchange: her name, a gift and the promise that she will return from whence she came without harming him or his companions. A bargain is struck, and so Taran sends his companions away, determined to see this foolish venture through on his own. Following the woman’s instructions, Taran sets about undoing the spells that bind her to this place, only to find that he instead traps himself within her bindings while allowing her to go free. Revealing her name to be Astrith, the woman leaves him for a moment and seeks out his companions, discovering their guide as well, who she enspells and brings back with her to the tower. Holding the ranger’s life as ransom, the being demands that Taran request his freedom of her as his gift, for she declares that she will not remain beholden to a mortal, and so he reluctantly agrees.

With that, the mysterious woman disappeared and the party returned to Cort, questioning the wisdom of their action.

Results

  • The tower was not related to the ruins that the party sought, but the trip proved to be a lucrative venture.
  • The tower seems to have belonged to a practitioner of forbidden arts.
  • A mysterious rune was found carved into a giant circle on the floor of the entrance hall, but its purpose was never discovered.
  • Several new creatures were encountered for the first time.
  • Taran made a new ‘friend’.

People Met

Places Found

  • A ruined tower in the Lonely Hills

Rewards

  • Lucius, Taran and Vyeter each receive 300xp for defeating the winged creature that attacked them with fire.
  • Lucius discovered two masterwork daggers in a small case, as well as a pouch containing two small gemstones.
  • Vyeter claimed an enchanted cloak as well as a smooth wand crafted of a light-colored wood.
  • Taran now bears a smooth, thick bronze ring set with a brilliant red stone. He also picked up three spell scrolls from the wizard’s lab.
  • The party discovers 250gp in a chest in the vault.
  • Lucius, Taran and Vyeter each receive 200xp for defeating the horror awaiting them in the basement of the tower.
  • Lucius, Taran and Vyeter each receive 300xp for overcoming the skelton guardians.
  • Lucius, Taran and Vyeter each receive 275xp for surviving this adventure.
  • Taran receives an additional 250xp for his attempt to hold true to his nature. The wisdom of his actions remains to be seen…

Experience Point Totals

Comments

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