posted by wererat
January 31, 2006, 16:09
Category: Vasha's Journal

Growfest 7, 593 CY, Ruined Tower

We followed the tracks south for a day, and by early evening, found that they lead us to the ruins of an old tower. The crumbling foundation, measuring about forty feet in diameter, had only a few feet of wall left standing. No sooner had I said, “There must be some stairs that the kobold used around here somewhere!” than Grundl called out that he found a slab over some stairs, complete with the telltale footprints heading downward. Since it was already dusk though, and we wanted some fire for our camp, we decided to stay in the ruins for the night, taking turns watching both the underground stairs and our above-ground surroundings. Strum took first watch.

It was only an hour or two later that I woke to the sounds of Grudl swearing– we were being attacked by three huge spiders that had come from under the tower! Thankfully we were able to dispatch them without too much damage to ourselves. We kicked their corpses down the steps and went back to our scheduled watches.

At dawn we broke camp and I crept down the tower stairs, stopping now and then to keep my companions up-to-date on what I was seeing. There wasn’t much at first– just three little rooms leading off of a narrow tunnel. Two rooms just had a well and some old moldy sacks of grain and barrels of vinegar. The third was more interesting– two sarcophagi for, judging by the relief carved into each, a male and a female wizard. The female’s sarcophagus had a heart-shaped indentation in the top, and it was clear that the kobold we followed had set the Heart of Truth into it briefly before leaving the room via a hole it the wall. Before following, we determined via one of Ben’s magic spells that there was something of magical value in each stone box; surprisingly, Strum had no problem with us opening them. Neither did I– dead people don’t need stuff like that, and if they come back as undead, one certainly doesn’t want them to have magic at their disposal! The female’s contained a crystal heart pendant (not magical, which surprised us), a magical ring, a wand, and two gold rings. The male’s contained a magical cloak, magical dagger, a silver headband and two silver rings. I got the dagger, and I also removed the non-magical valuables from both tombs, telling my friends that they didn’t need them any more than they needed the magic items. I have no idea what the magical nature of the dagger is. Strum tried the heart pendant in the depression in the female’s sarcophagus, but nothing happened. So, we headed through the exit the kobold had used, down some stone steps, arriving at a large chamber.

Unfortunately, the chamber, which we believe had been the destination of the kobold, was being guarded by four heavily armed and armored skeletons. We weren’t having a lot of luck with ranged weapons, and every time one of us attempted to enter the room we were physically attacked by the skeletons. The undead guards would not leave the chamber though, so Strum gave me three vials of holy water we’d found in the kobold mines. I threw them at the skeletons, destroying two outright and weakening the other two enough that we were able to finish them off in melee combat.

We’re not really sure what they were protecting, as we didn’t find anything of interest in the chamber. The next chamber we came to, however, had some arches formed by some ornate columns; the kobold footprints lead up to an arch and seemed to disappear as they passed between; Strum threw a few copper coins through the arch and could not see where they landed, so he and Grundl ran through as well! Ben and I looked around the room for a few seconds, perhaps hoping they’d reappear in a corner or from one of the other two passageways leading into the chamber, and then walked through ourselves.

All four of us were together again, and we could still see the other side of the archway. However, we couldn’t find a continuation of the kobold footprints; perhaps we aren’t carrying a proper “key” for wherever the kobold ended up.

We decided to check some more of this ancient structure; a few steps led us to a balcony over a great hall which had stone statues of armored warriors bordering two walls, and three sets of doors, all below us. We found our way down from the balcony and I was attempting to look for traps in the great hall when I stepped on a pressure plate. The doors at either end of the hall were blocked by portcullises that dropped. In addition, the floor began to lower, and all of the statues along the two walls tipped forward! We each jumped to a statue and stood on its back until the floor finished moving. Then, Strum tied a rope to his and lowered himself down– we each hopped to that statue to shimmy down the same rope.

This portion of the “lower” great hall had four archways in the two walls below the statues. Each had closed metal doors, and four wolf skeleton guards blocking whatever lay beyond. Unlike the last skeletal guards, these appeared to be properly dead and did not move. I was able to pick the lock on the first set of metal doors I tried; the passage beyond contained some wheels, chains and a lever– a mechanism of some sort– and a ring of keys.