The group had been in Fengarth's Tower so many times and had gone into the first 6 levels at least twice, sometimes more, that they had done things and left things in place - but had only imperfect memories of what they had seen. This was evidenced this meeting not only by the constant freaking out of the candles - but also the "things" they had left behind.
The severed hands were perfect. They had encountered them here, "trapped them" and left. And here it was they fell victim to their own traps.
I would like to eventually get to the point where Fengarth's Tower is "done" and explored - not because I don't like it - but because I am tired of drawing the continuous circular structure every time they enter and traverse the levels.
Write up follows:
The party decided that they would finish the lower levels with care, leaving no rooms untouched or unexplored for the time being. From here they checks out the last door on the 3rd level which opened into the tower’s dining hall. It was a beautiful room even given its age and disuse. A long curving dining table followed the wall of the tower, seating for 18. Wheeled carts were stationed near the door to allow servants the possibility of bringing supper in from the kitchen. An open cabinet housed plateware and pewterware for almost 16 and a utensil drawer had matching spoons and forks within.
The fireplace was grand and along the north wall, filled with old ash, the flue closed. What was concerning was the fact that it appeared that at least three of the closest place settings had been used in the recent past. Crumbs and grease stains were testament to it. We checked everything out but although the place was filled with wonderful kitchenware, there was nothing else of interest here. We talked about taking some of it with us when we left and marched back to the stairs and then upward to the 4th level.
Once more we were faced with two doors and after having Draugmor listen to both of them, we opted to go east (as we heard some of the popping and hissing noises of the tower’s ensorcelled candles). The door opened revealing a hallway that encircled the stairs, old blood stains and shattered statuary lining the floor. Along the outerwall of the corridor were 6 doors leading to small rooms on this level, a few of the doors nothing more than splinters and hinges.
We took our time examining each doorway and chamber, the first four offering nothing but a sad testament of the carnage something had wrought in here many years ago. The fifth doorway was different: smaller in height and width. The 6th doorway was perfectly made with no sign of damage upon it.
We approached the 5th door with care, eventually opening it to reveal a room with much less damage, the contents and furnishings in here better suited in size for a gnome or Halfling. And sure enough, there was a figure on the bed. Gnomish, naked, dried and desiccated as if all the moisture had been taken from it. As we observed the chamber though, a black energy seemed to sieve past the party, make its way to the stairs, and disappear down. There was talk on Gwyn (who was in the back) to go and follow it but the pragmatic dwarf came up with some excuses as to why that would be a poor idea and the energy plasma, whatever it was, escaped.
Detheron entered to check out the gnome on the bed while Draugmor and Guyus looked over the chamber with care as Aleron made sure the door would stay open, bracing it with his foot. The druid was able to tell the gnome had died some time ago, under a year, and on the back of the door we saw many scratch and gouge marks in the door. Looking at the gnome’s hands showed similar wear on his fingers. The room was otherwise bare of personal furnishings or adornments. Draugmor looked through the drawers for anything of interest.
It was here that Thurin’s weasel let the mage know that it heard some sort of grinding down the tower’s stairs. What was it? Gwyn, Norris, and Thurin went to check it out, while Mebali passed the information on to the rest of the group checking out the room. The noise was getting closer and it was working its way up the tower. What came around the curve was not a living creature, but instead a bipedal 10’ figure made entirely out of crushed glass. Thurin assumed it was a golem and Gwyn let spill a flask of oil on the steps to make it slip if it came closer.
Short of the oil, the golem stopped, fell forward, and broke into over two hundred pounds of broken glass. Then, it “pulled” itself back together and began to reform itself past the oil soaked area and on the landing itself. Gwyn used Norris’ shovel and scooped up a great swath of the golem and flung it backwards down the steps. This caused the golem to angle towards the dwarf and let fly about 5’ of glass shards at the dwarf, driving him back a few steps.
He was now fully upright and waded into the dwarf, broken glass fists swinging. The blows HURT as they impacted, sending scratches and cuts all over the dwarf. Detheron left the gnome room to run to the battle with Guyus following. And then the gnome room tried to slam closed, but Aleron forced it back opened and Draugmor slunk out, the portal slamming closed after.
Norris withdrew his violin and played a rapid song to inspire courage in the party while Gwyn went toe to toe with the golem. Blows were exchanged and Guyus ran around, Eagletalon leading the way. Mebali sided with Thurin, the two of them busting apart furnishings to make clubs. Glass shards were flying and Gwyn was over 40 points down by this time. At one point the golem push hard and the dwarf stumbled back, cornered in the room with the bard.
Meanwhile Draugmor and Aleron entered the last chamber. The furnishings here were in better condition but there was two drawers on the floor – one on its side and battered and the other face down like a box. There was also a dismembered hand here, scratched and cut and scarred up – just lying in the middle of the floor. Yeah. Right.
The ranger went to it, sword positioned right over the member, ready to plunge it in. Aleron looked carefully and then picked up the other drawer from the floor…releasing a 2nd hand which leapt from the group ala “thing” and grabbed him around the collar, pulling him forward.
Detheron had gotten close enough now to call on Frey where he summoned a huge gust of wind. A 60 mph storm raged from his hand and slammed into the golem – blowing scores of pounds of busted glass everywhere and destroying the integrity of the golem. He stayed at it, shoving the wind lower and lower across the construct until the glass had been disturbed enough and the remaining bulk of the creature collapsed and was blown apart.
When the 2nd hand made a twitch Aleron waited no time and stabbed down, pinning the member to the ground. It spasmed and thrust but unable to extricate itself it tried to cut itself free causing the ranger to stomp on three of the fingers. Meanwhile Druagmor was cutting the palm and tendons of the hand holding him, trying to break the grip. Aleron was able to retrap the hand with the nearby drawer and then went to help the thief.
Guyus was coming back, the threat of the golem gone now. Aleron was able to help Draugmor get free but they lost grip of the hand and it hit the hall. It ran away and back into the gnome room, shutting the door behind it. We took a look at the closed door and figured, “ok. Good riddance.”
Our hurts were healed up and we took stock of the situation before heading back to the stairs and up towards the 5th level.
At the top of the stairs Detheron began to feel ill, remembering the wraith tiger from 2 years ago here. He cautioned us about the southern of the two doors, denying his own involvement and instead said it was Coruth’tae who had triggered the cat. Sure enough, the carpeted room was as we remembered. In it were many posts and platforms and on the south wall was a large picture of Fengarth himself with a large Siberian black and white tiger. We looked around with care until Aleron touched the bin of “cat toys”. Suddenly red fields shot out closing off the exits from the chamber and the spectral cat appeared. We returned the toys to the bin and placated the wraith tiger until it faded away and the fields died down.
This led then to the last chamber on the 5th level – Fengarth’s private chamber. We felt uneasy at first entering but it faded after a few heartbeats. There was a wonderful king sized bed, table, chairs, reading stand, two dressers, a writing desk and a two door armoire/bureau. The party spread out, checking over everything with care. The bed was normal although large and comfortable, the reading stand held two books who’s subject was both mundare and 5 decades out of date, even the writing desk had been plundered of papers, ink, and quills (Detheron remembered Coruth’tae coming in here briefly at one point and he took those items then).
The bureau was another matter. Gwyn was distrustful of it and the dwarf took his time with grapple and rope to open it. Within were three shelves, the bottom held some silvery cloth, the middle three long wand boxes of ivory, and the topmost held a strange stone. It was over two feet oval and bulged to more than 11” in the center and appeared to be a gigantic tiger’s eye gem that according to Gwyn was most likely some 20+ lbs and close to priceless assuming it was real.
We took our time and Detheron was able to tell that all the items were magical. So it was time. The first thing removed were the clothes: wizard’s robes, shoes, and hat. Thurin donned them one after another, the seemingly too large material shrunk up perfectly to fit him. And then it darkened to glistening black with red highlights, chased in silvered stars. The hat and shoes too changed. However while wearing them the wizard felt wrapped in a reinforced cocoon of protective energies and was humbly thankful for the wondrous wares he had gotten.
The wand boxes were next and it was unfortunately that Norris failed to see the poisoned needle, the bard slumped over and was knocked out. Detheron called upon Frey to Neutralize the poison but the bard would be unconscious for some time. It then went to Draugmor to carefully show up how to open the boxes and we found three wands in total: Illumination, Polymorph Self, and Flame Extinguish.
Feeling emboldened by this we then went on, Guyus offering to take the tiger’s eye gem out of the bureau. He reached out, touched it…and disappeared. Holy crap! We looked all over, he was gone, no where to be found. What to do? The thought was he was transported somewhere and Detheron suggested we all go and join up.
Draugmor went next and he too disappeared. Then Mebali shouldered Norris and he too touched the stone and vanished. And then it ended with Detheron, Gwyn, Aleron and finally Thurin.