AAR: The Lonely Tower

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Fortesque
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:55 am

AAR: The Lonely Tower

Post by Fortesque » Fri May 25, 2018 9:43 pm

The Lonely Tower
Time: 2018-05-24@23:59 GMT
GM: Fortesque (Whyr'wyndyl)
Circle: 2
Difficulty: Medium

Player Rewards:
Dubhan: 800 legend, 230 silver, 3 TIPs
Durgin: 800 legend, 230 silver, 3 TIPs
Lasairfhíona Aul’ef: 800 legend, 230 silver, 3 TIPs
Blaethynn: 800 legend, 230 silver, 3 TIPs

Downtime Actions Available:
Dubhan: Downtime: Alchemy 7 (Rank 3, Per 7, Kit -3) : Booster Potion
Dubhan: Research 21 ( Rank 4, Per 7, Speed Read +6, Karma +4) If the 20sp Library Access Fee is covered, Research goes to 24.
Blaethynn: Mapmaking (Rank 1, Step 8 - spend downtime to possess charts of locations and routes)
Blaethynn: Forge Weapon + Karma (Rank 3, Step 14)
Blaethynn: Item History + Karma (Rank 2 step 3)
Blaethynn: Craftsman + Karma (Rank 2, Step 17)
Blaethynn: Alchemy + Karma (Rank 2, Step 10)
Durgin: Item History step 10 + karma
Researchers may spend 20/2 Silver for +3 Steps

Further Information:
A 85' tall, white stone tower dedicated to Upandal has been found and charted (54.11), but not explored fully.
Hystina, dwarven Questor of Upandal, was found and recovered at the behest of dwarf noblewoman and sister, Onnifer Grahlic.
Blaethynn etched a prayer stone dedicated to Upandal and left it for the Tower. (artisan etching, result 9)
Wyverns and Gargoyles spotted hunting near this tower.
Small militia of the undead gathered near the tower.

Reyntrannin
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:59 pm

Re: AAR: The Lonely Tower

Post by Reyntrannin » Fri May 25, 2018 10:45 pm

Dearest mother and father,

I know it's a been some time since I left to find my way as an adventurer, and I wanted to write and ask if you would allow me to visit. I think you will agree that I am well on my way to building my own story, without relying on the names of any of our family, just as you asked. Just read the accounts of what I have accomplished since I left home, and you will see just what I've already achieved.

....
[Several pages of personal comments have been removed, as well as stories that have already been filed in the Great Libraries Archive]
....

But the adventure I have just returned from has been my most enlightening and exhilarating yet, and has spurred me to see my family and the home I left what seemed like years ago, but was only scant months.

It began several weeks ago when a rumor about a lost Questor of Upandal reached me. You know that I could not refuse to follow up on something that touches my own beliefs so closely, so I went to the sister of the Questor to find out how I might serve. A few other Adepts had also responded to the call, but all were new friends to me. Durgin is a Dwarf Troubadour who fights like a fully-fledged Warrior. He's also a mean hand on the lute and very pleasant around the evening cookfire. Dubhan is also a a Dwarf, but a Wizard. Talking with him about the nature of his craft is fascinating, I can almost begin to see how the building of his spells mirrors the building of a finely crafted spear. Rounding out our group was a young Human Spearmistress. She was amazingly fast, and her youth and energy was very clear and refreshing (it's nice to be working with someone else who is still learning the ropes of the adventuring profession like I am).

The four of us presented ourselves to Onnifer, whose sister, the Questor Hystina, Devoted of Upandal, had gone missing some weeks ago. She had left about nine weeks previously with a well-equipped and experienced crew. Amongst their other preparations was a number of messenger bats who were trained to return to the Nethermancer who traveled with her. These bats were used to send regular reports on the expedition's progress to Onnifer, but then, after seven weeks, there was no more word. When the silence reached its second week, Onnifer put out word to find a group of Adepts to track down, and, if necessary, save her sister.

Hystina had been having dreams and visions of a tall tower in the unexplored wilderness, visions she knew were sent by Upandal. With this in mind, she was able to get together a team of experts and a few Adepts to assist her in following her visions to find this tower. Each week she sent updates to her sister with what had been accomplished. Onnifer let us read the letters, but she did not have a copy for us to take. Since Dubhan's magic allows him to near-instantly memorize written words for a time, he quickly read through the letters so that the original documents could stay safe in Throal with Onnifer, then used his facility for gleaning important information from documents to identify landmarks we could use to re-create a shortened version of Hystina's journey.

With the landmarks provided by the letters, Lasairfhíona was able to blaze a route that was much shorter than the original group we were following. It seems that, although they had a Scout to lead them, the visions Hystina received were not easily interpreted and they often would travel well out of their way before finding the correct path again. We had the advantage of hindsight, so after one week's travel we had caught up to the point they had reached after three weeks. While our Spearmistress led the party through the wilderness, I was acting as a lead scout and could successfully circumnavigate several dangerous groups of beasties, as well as a foraging party of Bog Gobs. Durgin, meanwhile, was using his skills to supplement our diet and that of our mounts, so that each night our simple rations were transformed into a feast. I am beginning to think I should learn more cookery skills if I am to be travelling often.

The second and third weeks of our journey passed much like the first. We avoided any truly dangerous encounters, although we did sight a Wyvern a few times. The best part about this relatively peaceful trip was that Durgin and I made nice, detailed maps of the path we travelled, which will help future groups heading out this way. And I mean to see at least two more expeditions to follow our path. You will soon see why.

We were about three weeks out when we reached our first truly notable find. We were following the Serpent river when I noticed a pile of rocks and boulders in the distance. At first, I was going to dismiss them, but then I noticed that the way they had been laid was not possible by any natural occurrence (See the sketch I made for an idea of how it looked). Intrigued, we moved closer to investigate, with me flying ahead to scout for any danger. Although there was no response as I flew near, I saw that as my companions approached, the rocks began to tremble and rock slightly. I called to them to halt while I inspected further.

The rocks making up the pile were smooth and had clearly been worked by tools and then polished. They had been formed into mostly ovoid and egg shapes of various sizes, and balanced on end atop each other in a very precise, balanced way. Dubhan, in the meantime, was examining the structure astrally (which made me wish I had taken your advice to work on my natural talents in that area) and saw that it had both a Name and a Pattern, but was not able to discern it's purpose immediately. The pile was so cleanly built that the stones themselves seemed to almost be defying gravity, and I still can see it in my mind's eye. I wish we had had more time to investigate this phenomenon, but alas, such was not the case.

While Dubhan and I were looking at the structure, a commotion broke out, first around Durgin and then at the feet of Lasairfhíona and Dubhan. A small pack of earth q'wrils burst from the earth with the intent to make us their next meal, or possibly just to make us leave the area. Whatever their reason, they only managed to damage some armor and cause a few scratches before we routed them. After they fled, I found that the trembling we had seen in the rocks earlier faded and then stopped completely. While I doubt that it was intended to detect the presence of such a minor nuisance, it was still an interesting reaction.

There was one problem with finding such an oddity in our path, though. There was no mention of such a structure in any of Hystina's letters, and Dubhan was sure that something like this would have not been left out. Therefore, we determined that we must have lost the path. At camp that night, Dubhan and Lasairfhíona conferred for a while and felt they had found where we went wrong. The next day we left the place for a future expedition to examine, and went on with our mission.

After a short backtrack up the river, we found the last landmark we had confirmed, and continued following the earlier group's route. We were held up at one time by some gargoyles that were hunting in the area. Not feeling up to the task of taking them on, we sought shelter in a nearby cave and camped there overnight, where I was able to make some minor repairs to Durgin's armor. They wouldn’t last forever, but they would do till I could get to a proper forge and do it right.

The next day, the gargoyles had left, and we moved on. That evening just as dusk was falling, I spotted the tower. It was fully thirty yards tall and made of a clean white stone. Since it was so late, I flew in and scouted the place. The situation looked a bit dire. there was a large contingent of the undead (later I would see that it was composed of a mix of ghouls and cadavermen) outside the tower, and the tower itself seemed shrouded in some kind of field and had what looked like an Ork resting just inside it. I reported this to the others, and we decided to make camp for the night a distance from the tower and to investigate after the sun returned.

The "investigation" fell mostly on my shoulders, since my mobility would let me escape much more easily than the others if I were seen. I managed to easily loop around to the back side of the tower, opposite the undead group, and then get a close look at it. The stones were well-cut and set together nicely, which is amazing if it is pre-Scourge work. There was only the entrance I saw the previous evening, and a check showed that the field was not dangerous (or easily penetrable) and covered the entire tower from top to bottom, with one exception I will describe shortly. When I checked the roof, a gargoyle-like shape we had seen turned out to be no more than a statue decorating the roof, which was simply sloped and had no crenellations for defense. Moving slowly around to the front, got a count of the undead, there were thirteen or so that I could see, And I was also able to see the individual in the tower more clearly. Far from being an Ork like I had thought, it was an Ogre, showing signs of having been trapped without food in the tower for some time. The undead creatures finally took sight of me and began to give chase, but I led them away from the campsite we had established, and then returned once I recovered my wind. Before I was forced to flee however, I took note that there was something like a stone box made of a black material set into the wall of the tower next to the entrance, with a set of doors that were tightly closed.

Since there was an easy path to get closer, we moved up to about forty yards from the tower, with a fast moving and deep stream and several clumps of trees between us and the eyes of the creatures. Dubhan used his magical skills to determine that there was some way to turn off the barrier, and that its source did not seem to be tainted, which was a relief.

After some discussion we decided that the others would ford the stream and sneak around to the back side of the tower, meanwhile, I would repeat my performance from earlier and lead the undead away to the north west, buying them time to find a way in. As far as I could see, the plan worked brilliantly. After a bit of fitting about and taunting of the things, the whole group began to give chase, but I held back just enough that they wouldn't lose me. I managed to get a few of them to even fall into the river where they were bashed and battered by the swiftly moving water. Once I had determined they were sufficiently far enough away, I quickly evaded their pursuit and found a place to rest my wings before returning to the tower.

Upon arriving I found that they had already taken a good look at the box and determined from the carvings on its doors that it needed an offering of art. When I looked more closely, it seemed to me that this would be exactly the kind of key my Passion would use, one to test the skills of his followers. I found and dressed a flat stone from the river and began to etch and carve a prayer to Upandal upon it. This took some time, which Dubhan used to examine the box more closely (turns out it was a Nethermantic pathway to something else inside the tower). Once my work was completed, I placed my offering in the box and called upon Upandal to look on my gift with favor. He seemed to be pleased, for within moments of closing the doors, my offering had vanished and the barrier lifted.

My companions quickly entered while I stayed outside to make sure the barrier did not trap them. The Ogre was famished and begged for food, even offering to trade his most valuable rocks with us. Durgin and Lasairfhíona took pity on the poor thing and gave him both food and water. Looking back on it, I wish we had paid more attention to the Ogre than we did, since we never learned what he was called. But then, before I could try and talk with it, I saw that our Spearmistress was about to open a door which surrounded by a rather large amount of blood. Yelling at her to stop, I quickly went over and inspected the door while Durgin took my place outside, finding a magical ward which had been discharged, but could possibly re-arm itself. Dubhan erased the ward, allowing us to open the door and proceed down the stairs behind it.

In the lower chamber, we first found a large open area with a door behind it. Sounds of wailing and moaning came from the other side of the door and something calling itself a 'caretaker' begged to be released to do its duty. We balked as the voice sounded as if it was from a throat long dead.

While the others interrogated the caretaker, I continued searching the area, finding a small hall with a few chambers connected to it. In one of the small chambers, I also found Hystina, emaciated, dehydrated, and in deep shock. I quickly called the others to bring water and food, since I had left mine at the camp so as not to be weighed down during my baiting. She was completely non-communicative, but after talking soothingly to her for a while, I convinced her that we were friends here to help her. She was badly Wounded, and the lack of food and water would have killed her if we had not arrived when we did. Once fed, given water, and with her Wounds dressed, however, she began to recover.

We left the further mysteries of the tower for the future, since Hystina's health was of tantamount importance to us, but there were several things we saw which left some nagging questions. We found multiple works of beautiful art in that basement, including the stone I had offered up to gain entrance. We left them there, feeling that they may be consecrated to Upandal, but I wonder what purpose they served. We also never found a stairway leading up into the tower, so there's even more mystery awaiting us.

We did eventually mange to make it back to Throal, with Hystina improving quickly once she had regular food, water, and rest, but she never spoke once during our trip. it was only after we had taken her to her sister that she seemed to finally let go of whatever had taken possession of her mind and recovered enough to give a simple, “Thank you”.

Her sister made up for any sparseness of words, thanking us repeatedly as the sisters embraced one another and wept tears of joyous reunion. I was unable to speak due to the emotions I felt, and this meeting put me in mind of the family I had left behind. This is what has pushed me to write to you, asking you to welcome me as a returning son you can take pride in.

Please give a sign of welcome to your loving son,

Blaethynn
Last edited by Reyntrannin on Sun May 27, 2018 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BattleChad
Posts: 413
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Re: AAR: The Lonely Tower

Post by BattleChad » Sat May 26, 2018 3:51 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Blaethynn for his contribution.

Journal Rewards: 40 Legend Points and 57 Silver

Slimcreeper
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: AAR: The Lonely Tower

Post by Slimcreeper » Mon May 28, 2018 2:07 pm

Durgin Trotter,
in the company of Dubhan (dwarf wizard), Lasairfhíona Aul’ef (elf swordmaster), Blaethynn (windling weaponsmith)

By Floranuus! This was a grand adventure! And I believe we did some genuine good. Onnifer, a noble of Throal, recruited us to discover the fate of her sister Hystina, a questor of Upandal. Hystina had set out from Throal 9 weeks prior, motivated by a vision from her Passion of a tower in the wilderness. Though she and her crew, including a Nethermancer and a Scout, had been sending regular correspondence via messenger bat, it had been several weeks since a Onnifer had received a message. Fortunately, the sister was an excellent letter writer. Dubhan used a wizarding technique to memorize all of them, so that we could use the landmarks she mentioned in her letters. Lasairfhíona and Dubhan borrowed mounts, we secured rations, and set out immediately.

Our path took us south and east, skirting the wilder peaks of the Throal Mountains, then north again. Truly beautiful country. Blaethynn and I collaborated on mapping the route, so future travelers will have a better time of it. The country has a good selection of berries and nuts and the like, but it also has a good selection of truly scary beasts. Blaethynn was able to help us steer clear of most of them. We spied a wyvern, bog gobs, and gargoyles. Not eager for unnecessary bloodshed - especially our blood! we kept to the trees and avoided them. Lasairfhíona is new to adventuring, but did a marvelous job of interpreting the letters that Dubhan had memorized. If not for Hystina's danger, it would have been a wonderful vacation with only a hint of mortal peril.

The only trouble we ran into was a small pack of earth q'wrill, which were dealt with handily. More interesting was a sort of stone sculpture on a hill near their hunting grounds. It consisted of a lot of polished, smoothed stones of various sizes stacked in a precarious manner. It almost on the verge of falling at any time, but on examination, it had been standing for some time. When the q'wrill were moving underground (they have some kind of elemental earth affinity that lets them swim through earth like water! Most interesting!) the stone quivered in sympathy to the vibrations. The others believed it to be too much trouble to set up for a simple q'wrill infestation, but I am not so sure. Our party was quite well equipped, though not particularly gifted in physical might - I believe Lasairfhíona, our elf swordmaster, to be the strongest. What might have seemed a lot of trouble to us might have seemed trivial to an obsidiman or troll. It was definitely the work of a Name-giver. I wouldn't be surprised to find that a Liferock is in the area, or even a recently opened kaer with trolls.

We did find the tower, of course, and what we say gave us pause. There was a small army of undead, ghouls and cadavermen, clustered around the entrance. Direct confrontation would have easily been the death of our crew. Blaethynn flew around the tower to scout it out. It was enormously tall - surely the direct result of the inspiration of Upandal! and surounded by a sort of force field. Inside, we could see a smallish ogre languishing on the steps. He was so malnourished that we at first thought him an ork. Protruding through the field was a sort of magical wardrobe, intricately carved with symbols sacred to the Passion of craftsmanship. Blaethynn was able to lead the undead on a merry chase, many of them spilling into the little river and washing away. The box seemed to be linked in someway to nethermantic planar magic. I can't pretend to understand it, though Dubhan clearly had a better grasp on it. Lasairfhíona initially tried getting in the box and closing the door, which was quite brave, and perhaps even foolhardy, as everyone knows better than to close oneself in a wardrobe. Nothing happened to her, however, for good or ill. We tried various crafts-related offerings, but it was not until Blaethynn offered a runic carving with a prayer to Upandal that the field dropped. The ogre was famished, and traded food for elemental earth. I regret that we did not interrogate him further about how he had become trapped in the tower, but we still needed to find what had happened to Hystina. Further in the tower, Lasairfhíona found a door where a great deal of blood had pooled and dried we immediately set to using brute force to drive the door open. I was about to have Fortalice smash it open with a mighty kick when Blaethynn intervened and sent me back outside (in case the barrier was to come back up) and checked for traps. He did find a deactivated magical ward, which Dubhan dispelled. I think we would have been fine. At any rate, in the lower levels we found Hystina, nearly dead from shock and malnutrition. More worrying, we found a locked room who's inhabitant seemed to be undead. It claimed to be the caretaker for the tower. Concerned for Hystina's health, we decided to leave that particular adventure for another day.

There are several mysteries yet to be dealt with here. What created all of those undead abominations? Who set up the quivering sculpture? And what secrets do the tower of Upandal conceal? It took quite a bit of travel to get there, but there are ripe opportunities for exploration. Perhaps next time we could take an airship!

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BattleChad
Posts: 413
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Re: AAR: The Lonely Tower

Post by BattleChad » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:06 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Durgin for his contribution.

Journal Rewards: 40 Legend Points and 57 Silver

ottdmk
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:25 pm

Re: AAR: The Lonely Tower

Post by ottdmk » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:43 pm

From the journals of Dubhan Goronich:

My latest travels from Throal came about at the request of a dwarven noblewoman, one Onnifer Grahlic. Her sister Hystina, a Questor of Upandal, had mounted an expedition into the wilderness to find a tower that was the subject of several visions. Hystina had dutifully corresponded with Onnifer for several weeks thanks to a Nethermancer attached to the party, but the correspondence had mysteriously ceased. I and my colleagues volunteered to try to find the missing Questor and her party. In this effort I was assisted by my steadfast colleague Durgin Trotter, along with two Adepts new to my acquaintance: Blaethynn, a Windling Weaponsmith and Lasairfhíona Aul’ef, a Human Spearmistress.

Using my Talents I was able to memorize the letters, which would prove to be our guide in trying to locate the (as it turned out) doomed expedition. After several weeks of traveling, we were able to locate the Tower (and the impressive size of the construction justifies the Capitalization). To our surprise, we discovered a considerable faction of undead laying siege to the Tower. They were being kept out by a field of magical force.

Our resident Windling was able to draw off the beseiging force, and we set to the task of trying to determine an entryway to the Tower. We immediately noticed an Ogre trapped on the other side. Despite its presence, we continued our efforts and ultimately Blaethynn was able to get the field to drop by crafting a lovely offering to Upendal.

The Ogre, weak from malnurishment, did not pose a threat and indeed traded us Elemental Earth for rations. (Why do I run into trading Ogres so much lately?) A search of the tower revealed a door trapped with runic magic, which I dispelled. We eventually found Hystina and, in a locked room near her, another undead. This one claimed to be the Tower's caretaker.

Not wanting to risk the object of our search (who was extremely weak) we left the Tower and its further mysteries for another day and returned to Throal. By the time our journey ended Hystina showed definite signs of recovering from her ordeal, and perked up noticeably when reunited with Onnifer.

SassMolasses
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 10:55 pm

Re: AAR: The Lonely Tower

Post by SassMolasses » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:55 pm

Log

We accepted a request to find in a nobleman's sister. Unfortunately on our way there we got lost. We fought a few naked mole rats. Then we found we our way to the Tower. However it was surrounded by undead. The windling went to distract them and then we made our way to the Tower. It was controlled by Passion and we used a crafted item to gain their favor. There was an ogre standing guard that was hungry, so we fed them before making a way downstairs. Luckily we found the sister alive and brought her back home.

End

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BattleChad
Posts: 413
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:43 pm

Re: AAR: The Lonely Tower

Post by BattleChad » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:03 am

The Great Library of Throal thanks Dubhan for his contribution.

Journal Rewards: 40 Legend Points and 57 Silver

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