Recap May 18, 2018

The group decided to first head to Neverwinter in search of some items that they could not get at the Manor House. They then set out on the Spine of the World Mountains road towards Luskan. They saw a bit of Luskan and were glad they did not teleport there. Lots of broken down buildings and what were still standing looked well worn and dirty. They traveled on finally arriving in Northswold late in the afternoon and settled into an inn/trading post/tavern close to dinner time. While having a nice meal they made conversation with the locals hoping to get more information about Deldrammon, his tower, his secret hideaway and the Vessel of the Endless Wastes. Over the evening they found out the following:

Deldrammon was a secretive wizard who employed magical guardians to slay any that dared enter his abode.

Deldrammon conducted his most evil experiments in a secret lair in the Nine Hells, powered by a magical crystal of great power. And that is probably what killed him.

Deldrammon had an interest in planar travel and supposedly never returned from one such excursion.

You are not the first to go up there. Powerful magic user lived there. May have had powerful magic items laying around. Some found objects. Others I never saw again. Whether they disappeared or just didn’t come back to town, I cannot say.

His tower, or what remains of it, is located about an hour’s walk north. Talk this road that turns into a path out of town and you will find it.

They finished their meals and headed out. Althea cast Pass without a Trace so they could make good time and help make sure no one would follow them. As they got closer:

“The trail you’ve been following terminates at the remains of what must have once been a grand tower/ A sizable square base still exists, but none of the walls are intact and nature has started to reclaim the area. The earth is littered with fallen rubble, briars, and thick patches of weeds, making for slow going.”

Althea used her Primal Awareness and felt the presence of undead close by but underground. She and Thalaniel and Savitar began to check out the closet walls of the tower. They heard a low growl and looked up to see the wall falling on them, being pushed by a rather large owlbear. It moved to attack them, swinging its wings that ended in talons and snapping its beak as it got closer. Althea stepped back and fired a few shots into it with her bow. Savitar turned invisible to try to get sneaky behind it. Thalaniel moved forward, cast Hex and then swung hard with this new vorpal sword, taking the owlbear’s head right off with one swing!

After a quick search of the owlbear and where it came from, they moved on through the ruins of the tower. Crumbling walls here outline what may have once been a bedchamber or study. Stunted shrubs twist through heaps of rotted wood that may have once been furniture. Thalaniel and Savitar checked out the area to the east while Mason, Eridanus moved south. Thalaniel saw the dull flash of iron and found a large key half buried in the ground. Finding nothing else everyone moved to the south. In the large area they entered they saw:

It appears this area was once the approximate center of the tower. A northern wall is mostly intact and is covered by moss. A path of flagstones, oddly devoid of weeds, leads toward another wall to the east. Thalaniel walked over to the flagstones and saw on the side of the eastern wall parts of a fresco. He cast Mage Hand and removed the moss and saw the image of a robed man standing on a flagstone path (very similar to the one he was standing on) hold an ornate staff overhead with both hands. The frescoed man is human, bearded and has a stern expression on his face. Thalaniel began to walk on the flagstones and he saw a diamond shaped outline start to appear on the wall. It was a glowing shape approximately 6 feet high and 4 feet across. Using Detect Magic Thalaniel he determined that a strong essence of Conjuration magic came from both the wall and the flagstones. Thalaniel said this may be where the mage conjured the devils he consorted with. Let us be careful. Althea said maybe that is a door. Try to use the key. Thalaniel hesitated and she took the key and approached the the glowing shape. Touching the key to to shape, it remained solid. Saviatr said what if we used a staff and held it like the man in the fresco. No one had a staff but Mason had his large mace. Mason held his large Mason’s Mace v2 above his head and walked up the flagstone path. The glowing center of the diamond outline filled with swirls of glowing grey mist. Althea walked up to and reached out at the mist and suddenly she was gone. Eridanus said this must be the entrance to the tower or maybe to the secret hideaway. So, I guess we follow. And he stepped through. Mason stayed behind until all of the group had gone through the swirling glowing mist and then he stepped into it.

The emerged from the swirling mist into a brightly lit, nearly circular chamber. To either side of them were long benches, flanked by tall urns and four suits of plate mail set on low pedestals. The suits are ornate, with fluted features and horned helms. A cluster of driftglobes some 15ft above provided light. Thalaniel used Detect Magic and saw that two of the suits of armor glowed, one on each side of the room. They also saw a large door at the end of the a hallway leading to the east. Thalaniel went over to one of the suits that glowed from his Detect Magic. He saw the armor was nicely made. He then tried to take the helmet off of the armor and the armor came to life and moved to attack Thalaniel with its battleaxe. The suit of armor across from the first one came to life as well. The group moved into action with Althea and Thalaniel concentrating on the first one while the rest of the group turned to the other one and investigated the rest of the room. Savitar moved behind the second one and was able to get a sneak attack causing a good amount of damage. Althea stepped up to the first suit of armor and hit it with her short sword. Thalaniel attacked it with his sword and with one swing decapitated it as well! They focused on the last suit of armor and soon it fell. As it hit the floor the other two suits crumbled to dust.

Meanwhile Eridanus was interested in the benches. He went over to the one in the southern part of the room and sat down. Suddenly, The walls faded and were replaced by a quaint forest vista, replete with twittering bird calls, the faint smell of pine, and a gently blowing breeze. Stunned they investigated a bit and found that it was probably an illusion though a very good one. Not sure what was going on, Savitar stood up and the vista disappeared. Everyone understood now, so he sat back down so folks could enjoy the forest. But as the illusion had gone away a few of the group had noticed something on the wall. Asking Savitar to stand up and they saw a sigil on part of the eastern wall. It looked vaguely familiar to Mason who soon realized it was the symbol for desire and if someone stood at the proper place in the room and desired to go home they should return back to the ruins of the tower.

They checked the large door to the east and found they were unlocked. Opening it they saw a 10ft wide by 45ft long hallway. About halfway down was a hallway to the north. At the end of the hallway was a set of double doors. Eridanus checked out the hallway to the north. It went about 15 ft and opened up into small, triangular room that contained two wardrobes, a padded chair, and several low tables. Extending to the north and south of this room are narrow hallways lined with many hanging robes. The furniture was made of fine rosewood as one both wardrobes. The taller of the two wardrobes contain a number of garments: caps, scarves, belts, gloves and slippers. Eridanus took a belt and wrapped it around his head. Thalaniel used Detect Magic and saw that there was something glowing in the bottom-most drawer of the northern wardrobe. He looked and found below an ascot a tiny leather pouch full of dust. The dust glowed. He gave the pouch to Nameless who put it in his Bag of Holding. Eridanus and Thalaniel moved into the large walk-in closest. Numerous robes and garments hang to either side of each hallway - long ornamental robes with elaborate designs, robes of dark silk, ochre robes of coarse cloth and more. The garments here are hung not on hooks, but rather thorn-like protrusions that emerge from the walls. Thalaniel’s Detect Magic alerted him to a robe tucked beneath another one made of regular cloth. He gave it to Nameless who had the urge to put the robe on. As he put it on the other saw it was a brilliant silvery ankle length robe - a Robe of the Stars. They looked a little longer but seeing nothing else but robes they decided to move on.

Opening the double doors to the east they saw: This area is softly illuminated by floating globes of light and appears to be a trophy room of some sort. A large marble statue of a robed figure dominates the center of the room. Standing 15 feet tall, the figure points a rod menacingly toward the chamber’s entrance. Toward the back of the room is another statue of what appears to be a bull or similar animal, fashioned of bronze plates. Arrayed on the walls is a variety of curious objects: several skulls, a large set of golden-brown wings, an enormous maul, a scythe, two crossed swords, a long snakeskin, a dented shield, a stuffed cave bear head, and a tattered standard emblazoned with a red eye. There are also two small tables, one of which holds a platter of white sticks while the other bears a small metal coffer. Several animal furs lie on the floor.

They all began to investigate the room.

Althea was interested in the golden-brown wings. She could see they were probably from a mountain griffon. When she touched one of them she found herself soaring about the mountains, the cool air howling in her ears as she swooped down from great heights to seize a cow from a field. Savitar touched one of the larger skulls and found himself among ogrekin ravenously consuming a deer hank, hunkering down in a dank cave. After finishing the deer, the ogres rose and set off on a raid. Nameless touched the griffon as well and found himself soaring among the mountains.

Thalaniel checked out the coffer. It was a simple coffer with a latch keeping its lid closed. Using Mage Hand Thalaniel raised the latch and the lid popped open but also a needle shot out from the side of the box. Savitar recognized it as being poisoned. Inside the coffer were three odd broaches laid on purple velvet: a black iron hook, a violet urn, and a coiled bronze whip.

Mason checked out the other table that held a platter of white sticks. He immediately recognized them as fortune telling sticks. A random handful of the 30 sticks are grasped and then tossed in a pile; the selection, arrangement, and layering render a glimpse of the future. He tried to use them a few times but nothing was working so he put them into his backpack.

Thalaniel started to go over to the stuffed bear head on the wall but suddenly noticed a large area of dried blood on the floor. Not wanting to step into it he made his way around the statue of the man and then the statue of the bull. He asked Eridanus to follow him to watch his back. Using Detect Magic he found something inside the bear’s mouth that glowed. He tried to open its mouth but it would not budge. Investigating the bear head he noticed that its left eye twisted and doing so he saw a reddish ring around the bear’s tongue. It took some effort but he was finally able to remove it. Meanwhile Eridanus, Althea and Nameless went to the north door and opened it. There was a 20ft long hallway that turned right. At the eastern hallway terminus is a barred iron door with silver glyphs upon it. Other metal doors are to the north and south. They checked the doors and they were all locked. They called for Thalaniel to bring the iron key he had found. Mason came to them and used his Chime of Opening to open to the door to the south. Inside was nothing but dust. Thalaniel arrived and they found that the key would only fit in the set of double doors to the east. Althea took the key and opened the lock. She pushed the doors open breaking the silver seals that covered it. The iron door opened into a dismal chamber. Slowly an inky mass rose into the air from the floor, its sentience betrayed by two fierce points of amber light that burn with malice. It moved to attack Althea who quickly shot it with several arrows. Thalaniel attacked it with his sword and Mason to position himself to Channel Divinity to attempt to destroy the wrathful spirit. It did not work the first time so Nameless cast fire bolt at it, Thalaniel hit it with his sword and Althea hit it a few more times with her arrows while Mason attempted to Destroy it again. This time he was successful and the wrathful spirited shattered from existence.

They took a short rest as several folks had been damaged between the fight with the suits of armor and the wrathful spirit. Eridanus was able to identify the ring he found in the bear’s mouth. It was a ring of fire resistance. The group then went back to check on the south door in the statue room. They made a wide berth around the statue of the bull. Finding the door open they found another hallway that eventually went off to the west. Down another hall they saw another hallway going off to the south with the main hall going further west. They decided to check out the hallway to the south. It came to door. It was unlocked. With Althea in front and Nameless and Thalaniel just behind her, the door swings open to reveal a high-ceilinged, circular chamber. A round fire pit lies in the center of the area, surrounded by woven mats. Dim but steady illumination is provided by glowing globes of light that fl oat overhead. Squatting near the fire pit are four creatures of savage disposition. Two of the humanoids carry polearms, wear only torn rags over their pebbled, purple skin and sport beards that look as if they were fashioned from wire. The other two creatures are smaller but no less sinister in appearance - red-skinned humanoids held aloft by semi-transparent wings. The numerous long spines on their limbs, their thorny tails, and their forehead horns denote otherworldly origins. Their faces twist into sneers as they catch sight of you. Near the humanoids is a fearsome canine, a mastiff -like creature with sooty skin and eyes that glow like smoldering red coals. Cords in its neck straining, the creature tenses to pounce.

The hell hound exhaled a line of fire catching Althea, Nameless and Thalaniel in it but they were able to avoid most of the damage. The hound tried to bite Althea but missed. The flying devils shot their spines at Althea, Nameless and Thalaniel with most hitting but again not doing much overall damage. One of the bearded devils moved into place and spat a fiery lob at Nameless and Thalaniel doing a little more damage. Nameless cast Shatter doing a good amount of damage to all of the devils in the room. He used a sorcery point and cast Shatter again doing enough damage to take down one of the bearded devils, both of the spiny devils and doing a good chunk to the hell hound. Althea hit the hell hound once and it dropped. She shot at the remain bearded devil. Thalaniel moved into the room and attacked the remaining bearded devil Savitar and Eridanus stayed back but Mason moved forward to cast Healing Word on Althea. The bearded devil attacked Thalaniel with his metal beard and his polearm. Thalaniel counter attacked and soon the remaining devil was defeated.