Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Shadowed Tower - 02-03 "A Dark Portal"

Having travelled hard to catch up to his friends, Cinder finds them gathered around the campfire waiting for nightfall. After introductions are made, and he is filled in on the current situation, Cinder joins the group. (The MAGE has joined the party!)

After some investigation of the pond, they notice the reflection of the tower shows a much more complete version of the scattered ruins, and a light shining from the shadow towers window. After some consideration, the groups walks into the pond and comes out undrenched on the darkened shore of the pond. The land is slightly different on this side of the portal, a darker and more sinister version of the plane they obviously left behind. Though they can't be sure, they believe they have stepped through to Cair Nan Arq.... the Twilight Lands. (cue Rod Serling)

Rowen keeps Hawkwing to hand as they advance up the hill toward the tower. The blade remains still. The main entrance is crumbled and broken, but by hunching and a bit of maneuvering, they enter and make their way down a dark and debris strewn hall, Rowen and Cinder's magic light their way. They find themselves in a circular chamber. A large part of the ceiling has collapsed, revealing a shadowed floor above and one likely hallway leads off. Within the debris, they also finds several clues. Dried blood on the stone, and a small bit of torn tartan, which Dags reveals to be Jory Talis's colors. At least partial evidence that the missing laird came this way. They decide to check out the hallway first.

Rowen's keen eyes reveal a pit trap concealed with a bit of camoflauged cloth. An inspection of the pit reveals broken blades at the bottom, and evidence of a collapsed tower basement. While Cinder is reconning the pit, he spies something shiny in the crawl space of the basement. Though its a tight fit, his levitation spell bolsters his adventurous pirit and he glide/crawls further in. Halfway to his goal, he realizes with a sinking heart that the space seems to be lined with some kind of sticky, webbing. Just as he decides to retreat, dark, man sized forms reach out and grab at him. Nimbly dodging their attacks, he hurries for safety, only just realizing that they aren't actually spiders, but some form of dark humanoids. The team pulls him to safety and the creatures don't follow.

Making their way past the pit they next find a relatively undamaged set of stairs leading down. At the base of the stairs is a door that seems to be blocked. After some investigation, they find that a body is blocking the door. It is a human warrior wearing the plaid of a Talis guard. The space beyond appears to be a dungeon, with many small cells. In the farthest cell they find Jory Talis himself, wasted, disturbingly filthy, but alive. As they discuss the likelihood that this IS indeed the Fommish lord and not some demonic doppleganger, Dags drops unconscious, apparently succumbing to a poison that was coated on the handle of Jory's cell. Now burdened with two who can't walk, they fashion slings and decide to carry the wounded back out of Cair Nan Arq.

When they reach the pond, they are disheartened to see that it is a still and solid surface - impassable. Hawkwing gives warning as shadow spawn advance down the hill. While this at first seems bad, it turns out to be an excellent opportunity for Cinder to try out his new fire spell. Several blasts later, dozens of spawn are destroyed and the moon reappears in the sky, opening the portal and letting the group out.


Once out of the portal, they make a trip to the closest village to the North,. Burrin offers to take Jory and Dags to the King while the others return to the tower. interestingly when they inquire about Ferg Wayfinder they learn that he and his wagon never came through the village. Back at the tower, the group finds that Tom's grave has been exhumed and the body is gone.

When the moon rises, they once again enter. No Spawn bar their way as they return to the tower. In the central chamber, Cinder summons his earth elemental and they learn of another stairwell down. They instead climb up. After Rowen is bit by a shadow spider while searching the room, they continue upward In the attic of the tower they are attacked by several more shadow spawn and a much larger, Shadow Troll that seems at least partially immune to magic.

Partial isn't enough however, and they eventually destroy it, find a chest of treasure stowed in the rafters and depart the tower once more. Though they defeated the creature, all seem to think that something about the encounter didn't seem final enough. When we end the session, they are gathered around the fire, once more out of the Shadow Realm.