Stolen Lands

A Haunted Tower

As the party crossed the icy lake they were met by a fellow adventurer, named Darrick, who claimed that he was specifically looking for them and that he wished to offer his services to them. Some were a bit suspicious at first but the party agreed that an extra pair of hands and eyes could serve them well, and not just because the monk Aven had wandered off. The island was filled with thick brambles and nettles on all sides. The party was forced to forge a path through the thick nettles with Kanon leading the way.

As they approached the tower though a sense of unease fell over the party and many of them were shaken by the feeling. It was at this time that a floating ball of light, presumably one of the dancing lights that many travelers had reported, appeared and attacked the party. The ball's attacks proved fairly damaging to the party, but more importantly, it proved to be very difficult to hit in return. The party was having a difficult go of it until Kanon at last lined it up and split it in two with a single strike. Kanon was quite excited by this turn of events and even Torm offered him a tax break as a result of his labors.

After defeating the little ball, the party forged on toward the tower. After a few hours of labor they at last reached a clearing that spread around the tower. The party's relief soon turned to dread though as a large group of humans came running through the door, though it remained closed, and through the party. The sight of these fleeing humans terrified Joseph and Torm and they took off running toward the lake. The rest of the party would not be deterred though, and Darrick in particular wished to show his worth to the party, ignoring the strange carvings on the walls of the tower and entering into its main hall.

As Darrick began to explore the entryway, he became paranoid that everyone was trying to kill him. This would prove to be at least somewhat true as Kanon, apparently believing that Darrick was not sufficiently impressed with Kanon's dispatching of the ball of light, came up behind Darrick and struck him down with a single blow, leaving Darrick unconscious in a pool of his own blood. This spooked the rest of the party enough that they remained outside the tower (or running toward the lake) while Kanon continued to explore (though Vlad did at least throw a heal toward Darrick to keep him alive).

As Kanon continued to explore, Cice began to look more closely at the carvings on the outside of the tower, and soon discovered that they were words written in Aklo. Even with the aid of a spell to help her read the language, she still had difficulty deciphering everything, but did catch some references to an entity called Yog-Sothoth. As Kanon was exploring, he located a fancy dagger that appeared to have some magic about it, but as he grabbed it, he felt drawn to a makeshift altar in the center of the room. The party watched in horror as Kanon began to loosen his armor as he stood in front of a bowl-shaped depression in the altar. Despite their attempts to get his attention, Kanon continued to work at loosening his armor, apparently bent on using the dagger on himself. Lucky for him though, Joseph had recovered from his terror and returned to the tower. Joseph soon realized that the tower was infected by a series of haunts and was able to start destroying them, including the one that had taken over Kanon at the altar.

With that the party was able to heal and retreat to the other side of the lake, but they remained determined to continue to explore the tower. They returned a couple of days later after Vlad had successfully summoned a new animal companion and resumed their exploration of the tower. Torm was curious about the altar and attempted to activate some sort of response a couple of times by cutting his hand and letting the blood flow into the bowl, but to no visible effect. As the party explored they found what appeared to be an endless pit in one hallway and then stairs leading up. They chose to explore the upper levels of the tower after making a few attempts to discern just how deep the pit was.

When they reached the upper levels they found what appeared to have once been a library of sorts and another room that may have once been a laboratory. On the final level, they located what was once a bedroom. The walls of the room were scrawled with what appeared to be more writing. Cice looked closely and soon discovered that the writing was again in Aklo. However, as she began reading it, she started to babble in Aklo, despite the attempts of the party to stop her. At last they pulled her out of the room, but she continued to act strangely. She was far more uncouth than before and seemed reluctant, at best, to use any of her powerful magics.

The party decided to spend the night in the tower, but not before Torm summoned an earth elemental to explore the area directly beneath the main floor of the tower. As the elemental was exploring, Torm eventually sent it to explore the area where the pit was, only to immediately lose contact with it. The party slept fitfully that night, with some of them having terrible nightmares, and when they awoke, they decided to retreat once again to the far side of the lake. Around mid-day Cice did begin to act normally again and announced that she could once again cast her most powerful spells. The party at this time agreed that the third time would surely be the charm and decided to once again mount an expedition to the tower, crossing the lake and preparing to enter the haunted tower.


arvola Gargs454