Monthly Archives May 2014

Early to start, more waffle before bedtime

The buried tower seems to have only a single entrance and no windows, so we advance towards the door, hugging the side of the cavern in case someone is watching us through the solid metal door. The door is covered in incomprehensible runes. We try to read them, but they are incomprehensible. At a loss for anything else to do we turn the knob and open the door. Beyond is a majestic 30′ high vaulted corridor stretching into the blackness. We note, with interest, that the corridor appears blackened and sooty as if there has been a fire there at some point.

We advance cautiously down the corridor, but are still surprised when two men rush towards us out of the darkness. One wounds Bryan, but not badly, which turns out to be a mistake, as it just irritates him. It does spoil his aim for a round though, so it takes two rounds before we finish them off. They are equipped with leather armour, short swords and shields, and have some coins and two bottles of wine on them, which seems strange.

We continue and enter what would be a majestic octagonal hall, were it not that its roof has caved in, apparently in the same fire. The rubble has been cleared from the perimeter of the hall however, so we can get to the two passages on the side walls and the doors on the far side. We opt to try the passage on the left-hand side. Another vaulted corridor stretches away, again blackened by fire. It ends in a bronze door, with a pair of blackened wooden doors, one on each side, half-way down.

We open the left-hand door, and see a short corridor paralleling the one we are in, with a door at each end. We open the door to the left and see a huge red dragon, which turns, roars and belches flame at us. Half the party are fried and drop to the floor, but Titus, Tanara, Zoe and Hasan realise that there is no way that a dragon could live in such a small room (this isn’t some sort of fantasy zoo-dungeon after all), and the flames have no effect on them. The realise that the dragon is an illusionary trap, and that their companions have just fainted because they think they are dead. They rapidly start reviving them and persuading them that the dragon did not exist. There is a further door from the room, which we pass through, and into a room with a strange glowing wall on the left hand side. We ignore this for the moment, as it looks like another trap, and go through the door on the far side. We enter a long room with a great pile of treasure at the far end. The stupendous amount of moolah on display affects many members of the party who go rushing towards it, only to hit the real wall of the chamber halfway – the treasure is unfortunately just an illusion again.

Disheartened, we decide to rest for the night, as it has been a long time since we last slept. In truth we do not know whether it is day or night in the world above, or how many days might have passed since we entered this labyrinth. We spike the two doors shut and post a guard, but have hardly had any sleep when Zoe is roused by some creatures trying to batter down the door of the chamber. They sound like orcs, and we send Oin and Pavel around through the other chamber to confirm that this is the case. We retreat into the room with the red wall, and spike the door of that chamber as well, to buy time, while we investigate the red wall. Oin walks into the glow, but instantly returns to the chamber through the wall. Tanara tries as well, but at a run, with the same result. This seems not to be an entryway into another part of the tower, as we had assumed. We start to plan a two-front assault on the orcs who are now in the first chamber, and attacking the second door, but while we do, Bryan starts bashing at the spike door himself, as if wanting to attack the orcs. The orcs, frightened that there might be a monster in our room, flee, and we let them go, and continue our night’s rest.

On awakening we try the door on the other side of the main corridor. It leads into another corridor, with a series of doors down the sides, leading into cells. The first two are unoccupied, but recently used, and well maintained, with clean straw and unspoilt food. The third is obviously long abandoned. As we open the door to the fourth, we hear an invocation, and Zoe, Alki, Hasan, Pavel and Tanara fall to the floor, asleep. Bryan and Oin rush in and find a manacled prisoner starting on another invocation. They hit him, quite a lot, but only with the flats of their blades, and subdue the prisoner, who collapses and begs our pardon for his attack. Interrogation reveals that we wandered in here, as most of the population of Mystara seem to do, and got lost, before being captured by two powerful ladies. We show him the sketches of Silver and Melissa and he recognises them, so we assume that two of the witches have possessed these maidens. He also tells us of a powerful magically protected book that he found behind the northern door of the main chamber.

The fifth cell contains an elven maiden from the village who Hasan recognises. It seems that she is being prepared for possession by the third witch, as they are unable to get access to Rahasia.

The sixth cell is full of large cobwebs, so we decide not to investigate it.

Returning to the corridor, we open the bronze door at the far end. Beyond is a large library, heavily burned. The long table and chairs have been charred, and most of the books are cinders. We find one with some text legible though, which says:

Once the three are snared in the trap I have prepared for them, I…after this, I will take it to the throne and.. .the destruction shall signal… banished for all eternity.

We open the other door, and find a map room, lined with map racks and with a large map table in the centre. We examine the maps, and find many of the cubby-holes contain wine rather than maps. Bryan opens a bottle and takes a large swig, and collapses to the floor. We check him, but he just seems to be unconscious, so we continue to collect the bottles. They all have the same strange label, and are identical to the bottles we found on the two men who attacked us earlier.

Finally, Bryan rouses and tells us that he had a strange dream, where three dragons attacked another smaller, one-eyed dragon. He also tells us that the wine is not very good quality.

Tanara tries some wine as well, and it has the same effect. She even dreams the same dream. While she is asleep, the rest of the party check the room and find a door concealed behind a map rack. Beyond it are some stairs going down – obviously long unused.

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