The set piece for Redbrick Tower aka Cornelius' Tower was set up actually a very long time ago, prior to this group. It was sitting there and was supposed to be a launching point for the expansion of the mage's guild this far west in the duchy (kingdom now). However, the 2 adventuring parties (going back a bit) that were here - the first never stayed long enough to set up roots in Shakun, and the second lost their mage before the possibility of taking over the tower ever came into place.
So Cornelius' Tower has been percolating for some time...until now. If it works out well, the party will have the possibility of using the mage's tower as a focal point and base (for the party's magic user). It will need to be re-equipped and restocked in some places, but it's a big coup if they can pull it off.
I had a good time writing this last part of the adventure and look forward to the party plumbing the secrets and heights of the tower.
Write up follows:
The group was pretty keyed up from our trip to the goblins and Berrycleft Hill, but we expected to go and visit Cornelius’ Tower tomorrow (21st) or the day after (22nd) so we sort of kept ourselves closer to the Hall of Heroes and raided the closets for replacement clothing as well as have a decent meal and shoot the shit with Avidius’ wife and kids. The group that had gone out after the goblins to raid them (Marshall Westwinter, his deputies, Kalt and the First Sons of Shakun, and a host of mustered militia men and Homesteaders totaling perhaps 60) was supposed to come back this evening and Steiner was going to keep a weather ear out for their return and maybe get some information.
Erd though went to the Militia and spent another large swath of time with Scarene. They shared stories, jokes, and even the desire to continue communication after she is let go (her hopes – maybe not reality). Eventually Erd did go back to his home where a number of squatters were still living until the all clear was to be given tomorrow to allow people to return to their Homesteads. During his conversation with the tenants, a family referred to as “Sheepshearers”, he lamented the fact that he needed a maid to help to keep up the place and to take care of some day to day issues.
One thing led to another and when it was all finished, Erd hired Julaine Sheepshearer, a 15 y/o daughter who was 5’10”, 165 lbs, and big and anxious to work. Not quite sure how it works, Erd actually paid the apprentice fee to the girl’s father (instead of collecting it) and then spent some time filling her in on what her duties would be over the next 6 months.
Steiner was at the Hospice where he did learn that the posse did return but it did not go well. 15 of the riders had been wounded and 7 had been slain. Three were pretty bad off and seemed to have been hit by a series of goblin slingers at terrible close range. The sling bullets were small and yet penetrated deeply in the flesh of the men. One was shot in the shoulder, another in the guts, and the last in the leg over the knee.
Father Gavilerin and Steiner did what they could to work on the men but admitted that even their skill was not enough. So a runner was sent to the Hall to request Flimflam to come and help out. Flimflam though was having a nesting moment and was cleaning out the last room where he had been growing hallucinogenic mushrooms. The beds were pretty full and he had a crop there, but the squirrel that lived there for the last few months and had developed a taste for the mushrooms stayed local – eventually the two of them befriended one another (thanks to a charm animal spell) – but unlike the relationship with his dogs, the squirrel was fiercely independent and made its will known to the gnomish druid.
Flimflam did go to the Hospice where the three men worked hard for almost 2 hours saving the lives of the 3 wounded men. Their injuries were systemic of some of the goblin strange weaponry and refused to heal with divine aid while any source of the goblinoid crud was present.
We awoke the next day and after breaking our fast had some errands to run before we were going to get together for lunch and then go to Cornelius’ Tower. There were some trips to Pelis the rug merchant to talk about the town and some of the people in it, as well as a need to buy a rug (that was waved over and the priest in question was told to wait until and if he eventually opened a covered shrine or small temple to Apollo). The militia was visited and thanked for their efforts in watching the tower, and Captain Thragriel let it be known that Erd had been to visit Scarene a few days in a row now.
At Marig’s Trading post a loom was purchased but would need some work as well as some other supplies. Julaine was become besotted with Erd and the fighter showed the impressionable young woman where his secret stash of coins was hidden, giving her the right to go and take “if needed.” A visit to the fletcher had us with no stonebiters to purchase. A visit to the Baron had us talking about Tanner’s Way and the need to improve the block. 100 crowns was tossed about in the possibility to set up a soup kitchen and smaller hospice there. Casel’s Carpentry was visited for an armor stand. And lastly we went to the Town Hall and formally filed a charter under the name of the Peacemakers with Cornelius’ Tower as an adventurer party location.
We then met back at the Hall where Senna had a big lunch for everyone and we all geared up for our trip into the tower. We had learned that there were some soft attempts to get into the Tower, and suspected that Kalt and the First Sons of Shakun would be trying again in greater numbers today. More of a reason for us to get their first.
Once prepared we went across Town Square to the Cornelius’ Tower where we addressed the two guards there and admitted we were going to enter. It was 1:30 @ this time and we peered within. The door was open, propped in place by a cobble as we had left it. And from our place we could see the floor was somewhat screwed up and littered, and in the back a looming set of stairs hugged the far wall winding up into the ceiling.
A light spell was cast upon the lantern and we entered with care, giving the cobble a firm “step over”. There was a closet along the far wall, the door of which seemed to be smashed and lying partially inside. Broken shelves littered the place, whatever was on them have been destroyed some time ago. The place was cold – maybe a few degrees below freezing. We were all wearing cold weather gear and cloaks, so for now felt ok. The stairs went up to the next floor and there were the odd stains upon them. The closet seemed to have clothing in them.
We pulled the clothing out of the closet with a sweeping of poles and spears, everyone looking around with care for anything of interest. When we had a chance we switched over to infravision (those who have it) and saw the air was filled with odd eddies and whorls of cooler air. Steiner did a detect undead spell and although he saw no undead – he DID see spectral signs that there WERE undead here not too long ago – or maybe just one.
Eventually we sorted out the clothing – most of it vests, shirts, breeches – but there were 2 warm weather linen cloaks, each lightly colored and having a stylized hand reaching up on the back design rimmed in flames. The back of the closet was searched and we found signs of a secret door that led down to the basement. Even opening the door let up some very cold air.
We sampled the cloaks and by putting them on and pulling them tight around the front with both hands, the flaming hands on the back lit up and the wearer felt like it was 50 degrees instead of mid 20’s. However only 2 of them, and to work properly, the wearer had to use both hands to hold it closed. We took them and turned back to the basement.
The air was even colder down here, the temperature dropping to teens and then single digits. The basement held a large furnace along the south wall, a wood and coal bin were situated near the metal structure. The center of the floor was dominated by a 15’ diameter circle along with a pentagram within – both of them made of paint as well as chalk line. A 6 ½’ tall brown bear in a seated position was in the corner. There were also a number of pipes sticking out of the ceiling and walls in strange places. Lastly the west wall was dominated by 12 wooden crates – each one roughly 4’x4’x 4 ½’ tall. With the last of his detect undead spell still working, Steiner was able to let us know that the undead presence had also been down here – but again – not here now.
We looked for traps for a bit until we were convinced there were none. A detect magic spell let us know the box’s contents might be magical. By now it was after 2 and the decision was made to open the boxes and see what the held. With crowbar in hand we pried off the wooden struts and then the top and revealed…Bark. Chunks and sheaves and layers of bark – assumingly in the entire box. It was easily 80-90% filled – but it was a bark. Magical?
We opened the next box and it was filled with…Leaves. Oak, elm, poplar, birch, all sorts of leaves. Some green, some yellowing, some crinkly red. But leaves. This was getting a bit odd. The third box held a…font. A water font – and from the markings on it, came from a temple of Artemis at one point. The group remembered that Shakun once had a Temple of Artemis on site (in fact, the Hospice and Temple Grounds are where it used to be) but they left Shakun perhaps 40-50 years ago.
The 4th box had part of a bench within, and a cylinder with two wheels each just barely large enough to fit within. Obviously it had to be built or reassembled, but for now we didn’t know what it was.
The cold was getting to most of us so we went back up the stairs to warm up where we noted…the cobble from the front door was no longer blocking the door, instead dumped maybe 5’ further into the room. And the front door was closed.
We were talking about lighting the fire in the furnace somehow to warm the place and maybe opening other boxes. Our light spell was about done and we might be trapped inside the tower – but we would have to go to the door and try it out to make sure.