Day 237 3:30 PM Dwag and Damiano spoke to the unknown individual who was on the other side of the door. The man was scared, having been assaulted by visions, and by great spiders – they all attacked him at every turn, every evening. He had traps, he had spells, he had a shortsword, but he still couldn’t protect himself. He was unsure if Dwag was another figment or voice on the other side of the door or a real threat seeking to cause him harm. He expressed to the party to simply leave him alone. They did not. Dwag opened the door and noted that a slim piece of metal protruded out from under the area rug – a trap perhaps – he pointed it out to Damiano. The man was worn-down and wild-eyed. He wore leather armor and he was armed with a short sword. He had a backpack slung on his back and a small monkey on his shoulder.
The party started filtering upstairs except for Mittens who monitored the situation from downstairs in the wrecked quartermaster’s office. Dwag moved to the western door and began searching for traps and investigating the rooms beyond. Damiano stepped into the room, and deftly avoided an unnoticed lightning trap that surged across the chamber. Damiano skirted the room, approaching the panicking man. The monkey leapt from the man and hunkered down on a high book case. From across the room, Pyrlig blasted the man with a ray of non-lethal damage, knocking him off kilter and he went into a tirade knowing that the party was out to get him the whole time! He cast a spell at Damiano, but was foiled by Temujin who was prepared and countered the spell. The man wiggled his fingers and another lightning trap went off, lightly singeing Damiano, who barely noticed it and closed in, striking the man repeatedly. Feeling pressed, the man leapt through the window, preparing a spell as he fell, however Damiano was on his heels and smote him, knocking him out. The man fell two stories and hit the ground soundly. Damiano climbed out the window and picked up the prone form and carried into the quartermaster’s office where Mittens was waiting.
Dwag searched the surrounding rooms, disarming traps and unlocking doors until the entire building was secured. Nico transferred his essence into his soul gem and reached out for nearby bodies to inhabit, he occupied the monkey until Damiano snatched him up and secured him in a sack. They learned that the man was one Ederleigh Baines, his monkey was called Dolo. They stripped him down and left him in his room as they went across the alley to the easternmost building inside the compound. They found themselves in a barracks, recently occupied by the pirates that had moved in here, but outside of a few footprints that matched Ederleigh, they found little else. The proceeded upstairs. The party found an armory room, with no windows and a stout steel door. They retrieved Ederleigh and the monkey and deposited them both in the armory, and locked the door with they key that they picked from Ederleigh’s body.
Day 237 4:30 PM Moving behind the quartermaster’s offices, the party investigated two small outbuilding against the southern wall and found them to be lockable slave quarters, which were stale and unused, and likely built by the original Chelish inhabitants. They moved on heading west towards the main tower.
Day 237 6 PM As the party approached the tower, Nico stretched out his senses, still resting in the soul gem – he sensed beings, flitting about around him, throughout the tower, but was unable to lock on and control their bodies. He did take over a rat upon the second floor and do some light reconnaissance.
Dwag led the party up to the main door of the tall cyclops-built tower. As Dwag pushed the door open, a gong resounded through the tower. Carved staircases rise from either side of the double doors entering this tower. Both lead to landings halfway up the walls holding tall doors, then disappear into the tower’s upper levels. To the southwest, another flight of stairs leads below ground. Dwag stepped into the massive hall with Damiano right behind him. From out of thin air, large spiders with hideous human-esque heads appeared about them, lashing out at the party with their fangs.
Dwag, Nico and Temujin were bit. Temujin was protected by his magics but luckily Nico and Dwag did not succumb to the venom in their veins. They party quickly slew three of the spiders, and the remaining three vanished as quickly as they appeared.
The party descended into the basement. Collapsed rubble fills this dusty cellar, spilling from the east and northwest walls. Dozens of pale quartz crystals lie scattered among the rocks, and several more decorate the perimeter of the room. A single carved column supports the twenty-foot-high ceiling overhead. The cave-in to the northwest seemed complete and time consuming to clear. To the east the party could make out gaps in the stone-fall to a chamber beyond. Nico and Mittens noted that the small pinkish crystals held the slightest of magical dwoemers. The party proceeded up to the second floor/roof-top level of the tower, while Dwag lingered behind investigating the basement. Dwag found a recently made secret door in the north eastern wall of the basement – a very narrow chamber led beyond the panel. Dwag held off investigating further, as a chill went up his spine and he lost consciousness.
The party investigated the open second floor of the tower. Two balconies open from stairwells ascending to the roof. Inside a vaulted room separating the two balconies, a fist-sized chunk of rose-colored quartz sits atop a silver pedestal. The ceiling above this central chamber is capped by a similar chunk of rose quartz, but a hundred times larger, towering another twenty feet above the central spire. Two large statues of cyclopes stand at opposite ends of the northernmost balcony, overlooking the fort and bay. The party realized that this tower provided a commanding view of the southern harbor and beyond to the sea – which would be very useful if the Chelish fort could be secured and made safe.
As the party prepared to head back downstairs, they wondered where Dwag was – and there he was at the top of the stairs! He seemed to be holding himself strangely. “I need you to get the dreamstone and bring it here!” Dwag commanded, “I am Bikendi Otongu – I settled here some months ago with a pirate crew – captained by Fargo Vitterande of the Jester’s Grin – who even now is off at the Rampore Islands gathering more men and supplies.. I sought out a stone that I heard was held by the cyclops, that with my magic arts would allow me to pass into the dreaming and experience life beyond as an immortal. I stole into Sumitha and stole the stone from the sacred chamber called the Eye of Serenity. Once I had the stone I needed help and communed with a hag that would aid me, but before I could finish the crafting of the stone, the damn hag, Lodhotha, double-crossed me – the stone was tainted and I died in the chamber below. My man, Ederleigh, stayed away. He was a good man, but he wouldn’t come to the tower for fear of the spiders, so I sent visions into his mind in an attempt to drive him here. He didn’t heed my clues that I needed him but perhaps my visions had a bad effect upon his mind. If you can bring the stone here, then I can be released into the dreaming and the fort is yours. But beware, that treacherous bitch, Lodhotha may be at Sumitha – and beware of her sister Haetenga – I never met her, but when I summoned Lodhotha, her sister came too.” The party agreed that they would do what they could and this appeared to appease the spirit within Dwag’s body, which relaxed and Dwag was again in control of his faculties.
Mittens gathered one of the small pink crystals from the basement and used his arcane power to detect thoughts – he sensed the coming of the pirates to the fort, and the bargain struck between Bikendi and Lodhotha – for lives, such as those sailors that didn’t pull their weight maintaining the fort or the lives of the few cyclops that they managed to take alive – these were given to the hag for her help.
Day 237 7 PM The party pulled back to the armory were Ederleigh had been secured, and decided to take their rest for the evening.
[end of session 79]