Recap June 23, 2021

The Wizard’s Tower Brewing Co. - a craft brewery known for its hoppy summer ales - is in dire need of help from a band of reliable, affordable adventurers. The owner has posted a job on the local notice boards and is calling in favors from friendly innkeepers all over town to spread the word.

If interested, ask for Glowkindle at the Wizards’ Tower Brewery.

Zia, Leo and Lathias decided this was a good quest to take.

You follow the directions you’ve been given, trudging maybe a mile or two out of town along an old dirt road that winds its way up a low hill.

As you near the top a large stone building comes into view, flanked by a couple of barns. By the door is a brightly painted sign that reads ‘The Wizard’s Tower Brewing Co. For the Freshest Pint in the Realm!’

Leo opens the door. Near a bar they see a fairly young Gnome who nevertheless sports an impressive beard, as well as a white shirt and tight black trousers held up with green suspenders.

Leo says “You asked for help?”

It takes a moment but Glowkindle realizes why they were there. He invited them over to the bar to have one of his Tashalar pale ales and he can tell them what his problem is. Leo asks for a mead and Zia says he will take Leo’s pale ale. While Glowkindle was pouring the drinks they saw a few humans and halflings, dressed much as their boss, wandered about, checking on barrels and vats of bubbling liquid with no sense of urgency.

Glowkindle brings the drink over to bar and pulls up a barstool and offers the group to take a seat.

“The brewery has been doing well and was looking to expand its operations. In order to do this, they first needed to expand their beer cellar. I had some workmen down there, digging out some extra room when they uncovered an old wall - the remnant of some long-forgotten ruin, presumably. Curious, they knocked a hole in the wall, only to be attacked by “black rats the size of dogs! Big dogs too, not poodles, you know?” which emerged from the darkness on the other side. The workmen all managed to escape with nothing worse than a few cuts and bruises, but the cellars are completely unusable. Dispose of the rats, find out where they are coming from and make sure the workers won’t suffer any other similar surprises in the future. In return, I will pay 50gp to each of you.”

I am not sure where the rats came from, but the brewery took its name from the old Wizard’s Tower that used to be on the site, so it may be something to do with that.

Zia remembered that several hundred years ago a wizard tower was located on or near this site. For some reason it was abandoned and went into disrepair. So 50 years ago, someone built a tavern on top of the ruins of the tower. 5 years ago, Glowkindle bought the property and opened his brewery. Business has been really good.

They agreed to take the job. They asked a few questions about the cellar and the rats. No one had been down there since the giant rat incident so they did not get much more information than they already had.

When they were ready Glowkindle took them around behind the bar into a storage area. He showed them the hatch and said. Once this is opened there is a short ladder to a landing.

He thanked them and said I will be waiting. Good luck. We are all counting on you.

He opened the hatch and they climbed down.

The wooden stairs creak as you descend into the cool, dry air of the cellar, which is infused with the smell of beer and damp fur. Somewhere in the darkness you hear the scrabbling sound of claws on floorboards and a faint squeaking noise.

Leo spotted 2 giant rats right away a little ways in front of the bottom of the stairs and thought he saw movement off to the left. Zia threw a handaxe at the closest and then moved down stairs a bit and prepared his rapier for the incoming attack. The giant rats raced forward and bit at Zia with a few getting some nibbles in. Leo fired his longbow and Lathias fired his light crossbow. Leo took out a couple of the giant rats quickly but more rats appeared out of the shadows from behind the stairs. Zia attacked with his rapier and soon all of the giant rats were taken care. Lathias cast Healing Word to get everyone back to full health.

They searched the room:

Much of floor was taken up by barrels and casks of beer that made it hard to see the entire room at once. The only relatively clear area is towards the far side of the cellar, which has a dirt floor littered with stones and workman’s tools.

They easily spotted the hole that Glowkindle had spoken of. It was around 4 ft. high and 3 ft. wide. They looked into the hole:

Through the hole in the wall you can see a dusty stone corridor, its floor lying around a foot below that of the cellar where you stand. Over to the left you can see the start of a staircase buried in collapsed masonry, earth and rubble that block the way completely. To the right the passage heads around a corner, but on the wall you can just make out what appears to be writing in a clear gold script.

Zia went to the left to check out the collapsed masonry. It has collapsed on itself many years before. Zia did not fine any magic in the area so he went to join Leo who was look at the gold script on the wall.

As Leo got closer he was able to read the writing:

“Dawn breaks with stirring air, As sun shines down on new day fair.

“Midday blaze bakes earth and grass, The farmer waits for heat to pass.

“Evening cool brings water, wine, Drink and laughter passing time.

“Night sees shining, roaring fire, as wood and coals burn on the pyre.”

The passageway continues to the left (north) and ends with two doorways, one heading left and the other straight on. In front of them is a 20 ft. section of floor covered in a mosaic that depicts a rural scene (illustrated below). It shows the sun, the sky, a hillside and a river. There are four 5 ft. ‘panels’, each showing the scene at a different time of day.

(see the handout in roll20)

Leo looked at the mosaic and said I do not see any traps but you never know. I will go ahead and you all follow if nothing happens.

He moved onto the first time, stepping into the part of the mosaic with the sun in the sky.

Nothing happened.

He moved onto the next tile. He stepped on the green middle section.

Nothing happened.

The next tile he stepped on the sky section of the mosaic tile. A large blade slashed at him from the walls! And he took some damage. He moved on to the next tile stepping on the dark blue water section. A large blade slashed at him from the walls! And he took more damage.

Lathias cast Healing Word and Leo was healed back to full health.

Zia went next. He made the following steps: The sky, the earth, the river and then the fire. He did not set off any traps. Lathias followed the exact path.

Zia said let us look at this door to the left. He listened at the door but did not hear anything. He opened the door:

The door opens onto what might once have been a lab or workroom. To your left sits a moldering desk and the shattered remnants of alchemical glassware, while the center of the room is dominated by a set of tall bookcases arranged back-to-back. All around, however, are scorch marks and signs of countless small fires and the air is filled with the smell of smoke and burned meat. The wooden furniture is blackened and burned in places, while what may once have been a pile of books has been been reduced to ash. Singed traces of what may be webbing hang from the ceiling.

As you enter you feel something crunch beneath your feet - glancing down, you realize that it’s the charred hindquarters of a Giant Rat.

Zia went to check out the bookcases and Leo followed. Lathias stayed near the door. Years of waste and the flames spread by the rendered most of the books and equipment completely unusable.

Zia spotted a door in the southwestern wall. He asked Leo to keep an eye on the door while he looked around a bit more. Seeing nothing he listened at the door. Hearing nothing he opened the door:

The rear wall of this small room is lined with sturdy-looking wooden shelves. Clearly these were once laden with bottles and glass vials, but over the years many of these have been reduced to glittering shards of glass on the floor.

There’s a flicker of movement among the wreckage and you see a small black rat lapping up the last remnants of liquid left the shattered remains of a dark blue bottle.

Zia was very sure he knew what kind of potion the rat was lapping. Seeing what remained of the label made it positive.

“-tion of Make Giant.”

Zia stepped forward to get a better angle with his handaxe but as soon as he did the regular rat was enlarged to a giant rat and immediately ran to attack Zia. He threw his handaxe and did some damage to the giant rat but it did not fall.

Leo moved towards the door but suddenly he felt a burning bite He looked behind him and he saw a giant spider with flames coming off of it in various places. The spider shot a burning web encasing Leo in it but only briefly as Leo was able to rip himself out of the web but he still took fire damage. Leo shot his longbow but only did minimal damage. Lathias cast Healing Word on Leo and then moved closer in case he would need to cast Cure Wounds on either Zia or Leo. Zia took out the giant rat. He seemed to be beefier than the first giant rats that they had encountered. He then did hit and run tactics on the spider, throwing his handaxe and then moving out of the doorway in case the spider shot another web.

The giant spider focused its attention on Lathias and he was hit hard but he kept standing. Barely. Zia and Leo opened up on the spider while Lathias cast Cure Wounds on himself and then went to engage the spider with his cudgel. Leo and Zia saw it was now a shillelagh glowing green from druidic magic. He swung and hit the spider hard killing it.

They had all taken a good amount of damage that combat. They drank healing potions and Lathias cast Healing Word and Cure Wounds to get everyone back to full health.

They search the storage room. They found another smashed and empty bottle on the floor labelled ‘Essence ofFire Ele-’ and they knew what had created the giant inferno spider. There several bottles in the storage room that they felt confident were potions. Lathias cast Detect Magic and he saw the telltale glow. The found two Potions of Healing, a Potion of Invisibility and a Potion of Vitality.

They left the storage room and the lab and headed to the door in the hallway that lead north. Zia listened at the door but did not hear anything. Opening it he saw:

In the center of the small room ahead of you is a large stone well, topped with a wooden handle and the rotten remnants of a heavily frayed rope that descends into the shaft. In the far right corner the ceiling has collapsed slightly, and a narrow shaft of weak sunlight shines through a narrow hole. To the far left is a plain wooden table, crusted with dirt and dust and laden with old plates, buckets and other strange pieces of tableware.

Zia went to check out the strange pieces of tableware and suddenly two giant centipedes emerged from the well and they looked angry that they had been disturbed or they were hungry. The centipedes did not last long.

They searched the room and discovered that the old plates are made from tarnished silver. Once cleaned up, the set should be worth around 50gp.

They headed back to find Glowkindle. He listened to their story over more drinks. He thanked them and give their 50gp each he had promised. He also gave them a +1 dagger. He then spoke:

I have one more thing you may be able to help me with. “Something unexplained has killed at least one person in Palebank Village. It is not too far down the road to the south. Seek out Elro Aldataur, one of the village leaders. Tell him I sent you.“