Fengarth's Tower. Even the name itself causes my group to shudder and drool. It is the defacto place that the group has had 4 partial adventures in so far to date. They have found items, run screaming, and returned time and again to this long abandoned mage's tower on the far end of the borderlands. They haven't plumbed even a fifth of the possibilities of the place and in reality have faced - TWO monsters there. Two. T'Nagrath the Forest Troll, and a tired mimic hiding in one of the bedrooms. There was a wraith/tiger but that was not a fight - only one of the party members getting the short end of the "being an ass stick".
So they went off, this time to get a copy of a spellbook they were assured was here on the 6th floor. Our party mage was suffering without and we were also hoping to bolster his skills. However it was upon arrival at the tower that the group became fearful of EVERYTHING. The wet floor, bone fragments, broken glass. There wasn't a single thing that didn't raise their hackles and make them second and triple guess their decisions.
I look forward to having them continue to mentally fuck themselves over during the tower crawl. :)
Write up follows:
On the last day in Cymbarton, Thurin organized a meeting with interested parties to swap and trade scrolls in order to further streamline his spell book. Trading got hot and heavy between him and 8 other mages but in the end, he did walk away with a series of spells he’d rather have and some names for future contacts. In addition, Draugmor also sought to trade out his own scroll of enchant and item – hoping to get something thief oriented if at all possible. At the 11th hour he did get a buyer willing to trade a set of enchanted elven chainmail for the scroll and the king’s thief took the deal.
Then it was the long trip back to Orihalcus where Thurin then spent the next serious length of time rewriting his spellbook from the spells in his memory as well as the new scrolls he acquired. Then he spent time making a copy of the maker’s potion book and sold it to One-eared Quint in Orihalcus, the journeyman apothecist thrilled to have such a tome at his availability.
Mebali and Guyus completed their training, Aleron completed the repairs on our paladin’s sword “Eagletalon”, and then it was time to discuss what our next move was. The month was drifting to an end, already the third week of Spiritmonth. The snows hadn’t come yet, but we did a few days of freezing rain and heavy frost in the early hours. We debated for a while and settled on going back to Fengarth’s tower and see about getting to the library room on the 6th floor and get a copy of Magrath’s spellbook if we could.
It was a cold 40 degrees on Spiritmonth the 23rd when we set out, arriving at the tower about 10:30. The tower stood as both Detheron and Gwyn remembered it with the single exception being the hole that had been blasted in the wall was now an obvious repaired section of stone. Mebali bound and hobbled the horses and we gave the structure a once over. There was a fetid stink there now that we did not recognize and it made the group cautious. Draugmor took point and checked out the place carefully before daring to enter.
The main room was wet and moldy, and there were hundreds of bone shards and splinters in the soiled carpets. He did look around, noting the long ago fires and obvious sacking of the place. Sure that the main floor was empty, he invited the rest of the group in and we followed with weapons out. The party had no desire to go to the lower level and wanted this excursion to take them to the 6th floor and out only. We approached the stairs.
Draugmor took point with Guyus right behind. The paladin was getting a slight headache from the constant “detecting of evil” he was doing, but his Odin blessed senses had to the point revealed nothing yet. On the landing for the 2nd floor there were two doors. Listening to them, the eastern door was heard some strange hissing and faint popping sounds while the south was nothing. We opted to go south.
The door had showed some battering in the past; the bottom hinge not actually attached the frame. Guyus lifted the door bodily off the floor and carried it on pivot into the chamber. Splinters and ruined furnishings were scattered in the corner but it was the sheen of crushed glass that dominated over 70% of the floor that gave the party pause. What was it, where did it come from? We thought about it and decided to leave it alone. There was another door in here and he checked it out before opening.
It revealed a circular hall that followed the central stairs of the tower, with 4 possible doors along the outer wall. Listening to each revealed nothing except the last door where we did catch the same hissing and popping sound we had heard earlier. We decided to open each door one at a time. The first one showed a smaller chamber with a pallet, a bureau, and a short table with a clay basin and pitcher. It was after the door was opened that the single taper on top of the bureau hissed and smoked and then lit – a taper of small flame burning with a fitting and hissing pop now and again. We gave the room a quick look, the bureau drawers were filled with old beddings and little else. What about the candle? Did it stay lit? Guyus offered to stay in the room and the door was shut.
Upon closing the candle stayed alight for a few seconds and then guttered out. And when it did the chamber was not only dark, but also the temperature dropped a fast 10 degrees to around 35. A rime of frost covered the paladin’s armor and then the chamber door was reopened. The candle relit and the room warmed back up. The group was happy to see Guyus was unharmed and we went to the next chamber.
This was like the last, except the candle on the bureau did not light and the bureau was the type with two doors and a single drawer. Our lantern was taken out and the lodestone with the continual light spell was set within. Draugmor and Guyus went to the bureau and together manhandled the stuck doors opened. And there was a blast of foul smelling spores coming out. The cloud hit the two party members and Draugmor was struck hard. The paladin pulled him out to the hall and he was cleaned quickly with water. Blood was coming from his nose, eyes, and ears and his breathing was shallow and labored. Detheron cast cure disease on him and the yellow mold spores were dispatched quickly.
After a few minutes he was feeling much better and Guyus gave the room a last once over – confident there was nothing of value in the bureau (the spore not affecting him). We then went to the third door. In this one was a skeleton on the bed, his head facing the wrong way – looking at the party. We gave it a wide berth and Draugmor looked at the bureau – finding nothing. The skeleton’s skull did turn slowly on its neck bone – it could be from vibrations in the room. Maybe. We decided not to stick around and left.
This left the last door – which opened to the game room. Cabinets with puzzles, games, boards, you name it were here, half a dozen table and a dozen small stools – over 8 of the candles were in here hissing and burning. We spent twenty minutes looking the chamber over – hoping to find what Detheron and Gwyn called Magrath’s charm – a shaft of black crystal about 5” long, wrapped with a silver wire on a chain of some sort – would need it to get to the library level. The charm was destroyed with Coruth’tae almost 7 months ago and we hoped that its destruction would cause the tower to either call it back – or have another one available.
Not finding one here we decided to go up to the next floor. Third landing – two doors. We opted for south once more and with a careful push, Draugmor revealed the chamber to be the tower kitchen. Two long counters with cabinets below were on the left and a big stove was on the right. There was a larder beyond in which were bags of potatoes, onions, and other greengrocer items. Where did it come from? We did not know. While we were looking about the stove made a slow groaning noise and then lit – the coal box burning to life and the temperature in the kitchen climbed ten degrees. Norris wanted the stove but we had no idea how we would go about getting or taking such an item.
The thief then went to the cabinets and after confirming they were not locked began opening them from right to left, cognizant of potential yellow mold again. As he was opening them, they did squeak, and we also heard a giggle. Hmm. Moving slower he went to open the next when a cleaver from the counter took flight and almost killed him before burying itself in the wall. What the hell? Guyus took all the cutlery we could find as well as the chairs and moved them into the larder. Then he held his shield up while Draugmor finished his searching.
He founds pots and bowls and assorted other bits of broken kitchenware meanwhile the “whatever” then hurled the stove’s firebox across the chamber, Guyus’ blocking most of the hot coals with his shield and only getting slightly burned. Then the paladin called to Odin and attempted to “turn” whatever poltergeist was here – and it seemed to work.
It was in the last cabinet that Draugmor found a black crystal with a silver wire wrapped around it – and we were satisfied that we had uncovered the Magrath talisman. It was now 12:15 and we were talking about going right for the 6th level or making sure all the chambers between here and there were cleared when we ended it for the night.