SC8.03: Thalivar’s Tower

The level 8 Rusted Silvers for this session

In order of Initiative

Vernon, wizard/Conjurer;
Dakeyras, rogue/Assassin;
Roscoe, rogue/Arcane Trickster;
Richlen, paladin/Oath of Glory;
Garth, fighter/Battle Master

The Rusted Silvers begin 140xp below level 9, and end on 130

Prep

Gallio Elibro retires to sleep, and in the barrack-room below, the talk of their guard comrades fills in quite a lot more detail:

  • The soldiers were working on the tower’s reconstruction, and they saw a ghost.
  • Before seeing the ghost, they experienced many odd occurrences: missing tools, strange chills, and spooky whispers.
  • The ghost manifested as an old man with wild hair and burning eyes. They were working on the tower’s third floor when it appeared.
  • Gallio Elibro stays too long up the tower. The soldiers are too scared to go up and check on him.
  • The tower hasn’t been in use for eight generations, since it cursed all of Leilon.
  • The heroic adventurers named the Swords of Leilon probably lifted that curse, but they are long dead.

“I have to see a man about a dog,” Udag excuses himself, whistles Kio up, and leaves. He’s actually worried about Murcomb and those goats, but doesn’t want to let on that he thinks Murcomb can’t handle the dangers of the roads.

The others prepare very simply, stripping down so that items like heavy armor or extra weapons won’t catch on scaffolding or clatter loudly. Roscoe, while privately vowing to steal something valuable, offers Dak a rope as a sign of goodwill. He intends to rely on his wits, spells, and magic dagger.

“I haven’t taken this armor off for, wow, since we were in Neverwinter,” reminisces Garth. Several feet of clear space around him endorses this. Not taking offence, Garth sets his shield on his back, just in case.

Roscoe looks excitedly up at Dak:

“How about we go first? Between the two of us we are sure to spot danger!”

Dak gazes down at the halfling. Gazing down at a party member is such a novel experience he forgets what Roscoe is saying, he’s just enjoying the sensation.

“Dak?”

“Oh! Yeah sure… you first.”

First floor

Stone steps lead up from the barrack room into what the guards have turned into a common room. There are rough and ready daytime brew-up materials, a large hole where some windows ought to be, a draft from the stairwell, a passage away, and a closed door.

The door has a sign pinned to it, in common:

DO NOT ENTER! WIZARD’S STUDY!

Roscoe pokes his way down the passage, finding two rooms, both lacking a door. The room on the right has a great clutter of building materials, but a small inner door beyond beckons. He wanders in…

CLATTER!! Timbers fall, Roscoe leaps aside, the guards below grumble at the noise.

Undeterred, Roscoe climbs over the junk and peers into the inner chamber. It may once have been a store or pantry… black mold seems to have taken over. Roscoe checks that his Goggles of Night are just so, and begins poking around…

Roscoe fails his CON SV

“There’s nothing much in here except mold… <kaff, kaff> Dak? Dak are you there?”

Roscoe walks back out trying to locate his partner in scouting. Dak is still way back in the common room, leaning casually at the passage entrance, watching. The others have all crowded in by this time and are discussing good excuses for invading the study. And bickering.

Dak, do you think Rich’s ears are getting rounder?” – Garth

“I think your’e just going blind from all that not bathing – the stink is clouding your judgement” – Rich

“You’re just jealous of my manly musk.” – Garth

“If you two don’t stop.. we’ll turn around and go back home” – Vern

Hmph” – Rich

Roscoe crosses the passage and next examines what will most likely be a kitchen. There’s a good size fireplace against the outer wall, but the rest of the room is bare, with only one empty shelf installed. Dust is everywhere.

He returns to report, and is invited to “check for traps.”

“Dak, uh, do you have any advice, I mean, what do you usually do?”

“I have very little experience.”

Roscoe studies the door. It seems safe. But then a wizard-warded door would look safe.

“Uh, I can’t detect magical traps…”

“Hey! I have this wand!” Vern exclaims. “Wand of Secrets, I wonder if this would do…”

“That’s the very thing!” Roscoe exclaims. “Is it vibrating and pointing?”

“No.”

“Then I pronounce this door safe.”

Vern and Roscoe gleefully invade Gallio’s sanctum and loot it while the others grow impatient. After 9.75 minutes Vern finds a Potion of Superior Healing, and confiscates it.

XP: lvl9-135

Loot: Potion of Superior Healing

Second Floor

There’s a little discussion about taking the scaffolding as a path up, but they are here with permission. Rich walks up the steep stone stairs. Each floor has a very high stud, and Rich performs a double helix ascent before he reaches a library floor.

There are three intact separate rooms, each with a weather-stiffened door requiring Garth’s boot, each with high stacks containing poorly-preserved volumes, each with a stone statue of a woman making a shush gesture. At the scaffolded end of the tower, two further chambers are open to the elements, and allow a slightly tricky scramble out onto the scaffolding. Or plain tricky, if you are halfling size.

Groin Punch!

Garth makes his way to that end, pushes aside a simple warning sign preventing access, and peers around. The ruined room hard left still has a statue. The other is so ruined it has only some remains of shelving.

“Hey,” Roscoe calls from back behind him, “there’s a lucky horseshoe on these three rooms’ lintels.”

“None here,” Garth reports, “The lintel has been ripped away. I wonder what could have caused this kind of damage? The whole wall has been wrecked.”

Garth fails a background: Soldier check and Rich makes a very good one

“It’s well beyond what engines of war can do, and it’s a wizard’s tower, so probably magic,” Rich calls.

“Eight generations huh, I guess something pretty bad happened back then.”

“Speaking of, I’ve been reading this journal,” Vern interrupts. “Eight generations ago the wizard Thalivar was messing with a ‘Planar Beacon’. Summoning monsters for lols and studies. He was trying to find the ‘Ruinstone’… doesn’t say if he did… then the same handwriting starts again when Gallio arrives here… he seems to not know the tower is ruined, thinks he’s dreaming.”

Still feeling that he’s missed something, Garth walks into the room nearest the stairwell and unlatches a makeshift shutter, peering into the night. The remains of the storm is still throwing misty rain about. Then below him he spots…

“There’s something on the wall! Guys! Something with glowing eyes is climbing up!”

A general movement of weapon readying, but nothing attacks. The thing is gone when next someone peers out.

“If it’s headed up, I’m going to be there,” Rich exclaims, heading up the stair.

XP: lvl9-134

Third floor

The third floor appears to have a very similar floor plan as below. But a very large pile of bricks stacked only a few feet along the next passage blocks Rich’s view of all but the top of a mound of rubble ahead. He braces against the wall and heaves. The top bricks tumble away beyond. Yep, definitely rubble. But no doors. There’s a wide space left, about halfway along. Beyond the rubble, scaffolding.

Roscoe squeezes under the others to emerge beside Rich:

“Anything I can do to help?”

He finds himself abruptly on the far side of the stack of bricks, peering into a rubble-strewn room, again wide open to the elements, save for some scaffolding. He clambers over to the scaffolding. Lighting strikes, he leaps safely back in. A beast of some kind howls in the town below.

Then a ghostly form leaps in from around the other side of the wall! Its sharp fingers punch into Roscoe’s jerkin and he feels his skin sloughing away!

Roscoe succeeds in resisting Fear and being Possessed, thanks to Richlen’s proximity

Vern eases his way through and uses Rich as a ladder, clambering over the bricks. Then he gets stuck. Dak has no choice but remain below on the stair. Roscoe Disengages, casts Invisibility, and runs around the ghost to relative safety. Rich heaves against the brick pile again and, wizard and all, it pitches forward, giving Vern some painful bumps and scrapes. The paladin advances to get in the ghost’s face. Alagondar connects – it’s a solid target!

Garth squeezes up to the passage, as fast as he can, races along to the fight, and clobbers the “ghost.” From where Garth trampled across him, Vern gasps:

“That’s Gallio! He’s possessed!”

“You! Thief! Give me back my journal!”

Gallio/Thalivar leaps atop Vern, who Misty Steps back down by Dak. Dak draws his shortsword and stabs the wizard. Roscoe maneuvers for a good spot, misses his step, and falls, cannoning off the scaffolding to thump down onto the Second Floor.

Rich uses Divine Sense, and confirms that Gallio is possessed by Thalivar’s ghost. He tries to reason with Thalivar, and even offers his own body as a vessel, but Thalivar is oblivious to the trade, still trying to get to the journal. Garth is reluctant to swing the Ungart Hammer – he re-stows his shield, ready to grapple.

“Kill him!” – Dak

“He’s our patron, senior wizard of Leilon, Dak” – Rich

“Whenever we make peace with someone they stab us in the back – kill him.” – Dak

“The power of Ilmater compels you!” – Garth, insincerely, failing an Intimidate check

Thalivar Misty Steps out by the scaffolding and throws a powerful Fire Bolt at Garth. Garth’s shield saves him! Thalivar hurls himself back off into space…

Landing in good view of Roscoe who has been innocently beginning to search the chamber he is in for any loot. Roscoe suddenly learns he has lost that Invisibility.

Vern picks himself and the journal up, walks shakily along to Rich, and passes him the offending article.

“Maybe with this, the ghost will accept a bargain” – Vern

Rich skips neatly onto the scaffolding, neatly completely misses the next step, and after bouncing off various bars, lands flat on his back next to Thalivar! The wizard snatches at the journal! But Rich is VERY strong and his grasp on it does not relax!

Rich also makes his SVs against Fear and Possession

Thalivar stabs Rich with necrotic damage, but Rich levers himself to his imposing height and glares back: “You aren’t getting this journal – give up on Gallio!”

Vern makes his way along the library floor to the fight. Dak makes his way along to the scaffolding and climbs, trying to get a good shot. Garth scrambles athletically down too. “I think we are going to have to knock him out,” he yells. From up behind him Dak slams a longbow shaft through the wizard, who staggers and bleeds heavily. Roscoe casts False Life on himself – the damage is mounting up! Rich stays locked with Thalivar, and has him ready for Garth, who rushes and smashes the wizard unconscious with non-lethal damage!

“Tie him up! Rope – who had the rope?” – Roscoe

Victory!

XP: lvl9-131

Loot: nil

Inspiration all round, now the ghosts won’t delay construction!

Epilogue – Storm Over Wayside

Richlen and Vernon try their best to explain his situation, but Thalivar only hears thieves trying to excuse their thievery. But it all takes time, enough for a

Short Rest – Roscoe makes some lousy HD rolls and needs all of his HD. Vern and Rich roll half theirs. Arcane Recovery where relevant. Rich uses Lesser Restoration to remove Roscoe’s fungal problem.

Come the dawn Gallio awakens and is ready to be handed over to the Town Council. They loosen his feet and make their way out.

There’s a hail from the gate. Some fuss or other. Rich heads north (it’s a very small town). Some of the others trickle over after him.

Villagers with a wagon plead to be let in. The gate guards are suspicious and Sgt Yorum fearful. Rich asks the wagon party to explain first. A matron stomps forward and plants her fists on hips:

“We was jest about to Wayside Inn, to pick up produce from the farmers. A frightful storm hit. The more we went on the worst it got. One of the horses was hit by lightning, poor beast. That there elflike feller, Taba, says he’s gonna check things out – then we saw in another lightning flash he’s a-fighting with armored folks! We come back as fast as ever we could – but he may be dead long since!”

In the gathering Vern finds genteelly dressed Aubrey at his elbow. The old-fashioned store owner leans close:

“I gather you are off to Saltmarsh now?”

“Nothing’s decided” – Vern

“Ah, well, should you be decided, be sure to drop by my Pecularities shop before you do go, you may find all sorts of useful things.” – Aubrey

“What was that about?” – Roscoe, suspiciously

“Oh, just that junk shop dealer, he has bric-a-brac, but maybe some magics, we should swing by” – Vern

And as our heroes ready to head north, the session ends.

XP: lvl9-130

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