Ambushed by a group of bandits and Chimeras who clearly had no intentions of holding up their end of the bargain for the party’s work of getting the wagon out of the city, they fought their way through the attack! Finding an old brass key, they decided to enter the dilapidated tower that sat in the clearing, only to discover that once they got inside, some sort of extra-planar magic was at work…for the inside of the tower was noticeably larger than the exterior of the structure should have been able to accommodate.
They found themselves in a weird circular room with mirrors lining the entire circumference. In the room were 4 pillars in a square with a 5th at its center. Off to one side was a grimy cage, inside of which sat a greasy half-orc, covered in hide and furs. Despite his hangry-ness, they decided they could use the help and let the fellow out, learning it wasTrag, a druid of the nearby forest who had come to the Tower to investigate the unnatural magics taking place within, only to find himself ambushed and captured for what he imagined was a week or so.
Returning their attention to the pillars, they saw that the 4 on the outside held rectangular blocks with various symbols on them, and the one in the center was empty. A quick scan of the room and deciphering of the symbols lead them to realize they could “unlock” the blocks using 4 natural elements: fire, water, earth and air. Doing so at first didn’t appear to do anything, until one of the party noticed that what used to be a blank space now held an ornate object, but only in the reflection of the mirror! Looking at the reflection while attempting to grab it was the only way to secure the item, which was used to open the door on the far side of the room, revealing a set of stairs leading up.
Deciding to power on, they found themselves in another circular room, this one lined with murals depicting hordes of Minotaur in battle. Standing in the center of the room was a shadowy apparition of a Minotaur, motionless, seemingly unaware of their presence. In it’s chest where its heart would be floated the outline of an ornate key. Glancing around the room, they found a Minotaur in one of the sections of mural with a key hole in a similar location to the shadow Minotaur’s floating key. Reaching in to try to grab the key only provoked it into substance and it attacked them viciously (also allowing the party to witness Trag’s shapeshifting abilities for the first time). One of the party had the brilliant idea to taunt it into a charge, causing it to run full speed into the image of the minotaur with the key hole, which LO AND BEHOLD, opened the door to the next level!
Ascending to the 3rd level, they found themselves in another make-shift Laboratory, which brought them face to face with the master of the tower, a Human woman in dark robes, black hair and eerily white eyes, and…KEITH THE MYSTERIOUS HALFLING.
Battle ensued, and the party nearly lost 2 of their own in the process, but it was Trag who eventually brought the fight to a close by luring the charging minotaur from the level below up to the 3rd level, grappeling the necormancer and allowing them both to be impaled by the charging beast. They left none alive, rested until all were fit for travel, looted the room, and set out back for…
Sunrise. They had missed the boat they had arranged to take them to Vramora. The boat that Po had (unbeknownst to them) been clinging to the hull of all night.
As they made their way back to their city with their new companion Trag helping guide them through the forest, they devised a plan for re-entry to Mah’ Puana, since they figured they’d not be welcomed back warmly since their violent escape. Grimpem would assume the roll of an eccentric cult leader/noble and everyone else would be his entourage. No guard tried to stop them, and after a brief disagreement about how to proceed, decided the easiest course of action would be to sell their newly acquired horses and use that money to buy passage on a charter ship to the city of High Pengard.
Once safely on board their ship, The Boundless, they left the port of Mah’ Puana and headed east, towards Vramora.
A couple days out to see saw the first action of their voyage.
“Sails ho! 3 points of the larboard bow,” came the cry from the nest above.
“Perhaps its just another charter ship?”
“Maybe its a merchant vessel?”
“It could be a Naval ship…what colors are they flying”
All these questions and more began to ripple through the ship. It didn’t take a discerning eye to figure out that this mystery ship was closing on them, their bearing taking them straight towards them.
A short while later, the boat appeared, a two-masted Brigantine flying neutral merchant colors…but as soon as it was within striking distance, another flag suddenly ran up to join those colors: The crimson flag of PIRATES.
And as fate would have it, this ship was fashioned The Maiden’s Vengeance!
The Captain of the charter ship, along with his imposing first mate Montebank, rallied the ships crew and commanded all the passengers below deck…but was glad to have all the help he could get. Even though the charter ship was larger, the fighting force on The Maiden’s Vengeance was more battle-hardened and vicious, and the odds were not great.
A great battle ensued as the party attempted to repel the boarders and Dubdha, Dwarven pirate captain with whom they had originally made a deal, saw fit to lend them no quarter…but was slain in the battle! They finally managed to repel the last of the boarding pirates, but the captain of the Charter ship was knocked overboard…and despite Trag turning into an otter and jumping overboard, he was lost to Iono, the God of the Sea, Lord of the Grasping Waters.
With the party back aboard The Boundless and Monte now in command, the ship continued on it’s way towards the city of High Pengard on the continent of Vramora.