The party arrives at the front side of the tower shortly taking note of a cellar-entry portcullis that leads into a dirt wall. They knock on the door, but receive no response. After waiting a little bit, Ramsey forces the door open, and they make their way inside.
The tower had a room to the back, behind a closed door, and a room off to the side with an open archway. It was filled with crates, broken crates, rubble, and useless relics of ages past. Ramsey finds a trapdoor inside one room, as Leona and Varus decide to head upstairs.
The two of them notice tracks leading up the stairs, and stopping abruptly. Varus points out the spot where the tracks stop, but Leona points out that Varus’s arm doesn’t appear to be there anymore! Astonished, he yanks his arm close to his body, and it reappears. They yell for the others. Mishanna quickly leaps up the stairs to join them, and Ramsey follows, decidedly not inspecting the trapdoor.
After some looking around, going up the stairs and not disappearing, they notice a hairline crease in front of them when they’re looking towards the upper stairs. Intrigued, Varus sticks his arm in, and they find it is similar to that of a curtain crease- but the curtain being the mere fabric of reality. (Fancy term for portal, honestly. Much cooler to me though.)
Through the curtains, they could see the tower in more opulent detailing, rising up to a doorway. They all proceed inward cautiously, and enter in through the door. They decide that it would be wise if Collin stayed outside, and he agrees.
In the room, they notice very ornate decor, lit braziers across the room, a workbench with a tall stool, and tools seemingly scattered about, and a blue orb of light enveloped by a swirling cylinder of magical letters and symbols in the center of the room. They see another staircase up, and in front of it stands a large figure, mechanic and metal in nature, with a dangerous looking face, and bloodied gauntlets.
They proceed forward, triggering a gentle alarm spell in the doorway. As they go up the stairs, the mechanical guardian figure’s eyes glow, and it’s head turns to follow them.
At the top of the stairs, Leona reaches out to open a door, but it opens before she can get there. They enter into a round room with shelves on either side, parlor furniture in the middle of the room, and a desk with a bearded dwarven man sitting behind it- posed elegantly in front of a window, with what looks like the cosmos behind the glass.
He asks the party to make themselves comfortable, and introduces himself as Theomon. They discuss the situation at hand with Theomon, who handles it quite well, despite being a very serious dwarf. The party becomes momentarily distracted with a black pseudodragon named Simon as well.
Mishanna points out the curse to Theomon, and he does his best to decipher what it is. He believes it to be a demon marking, but determines that if it was a full scale mark of a demon, Ramsey wouldn’t be alive to speak with him. He justifies this claiming that perhaps the mark wasn’t created by a demon. He tells the party that he would know more, but is more concerned about his griffon.
He tells the party that he would accept payment for the griffon, but as that sums out to about 350 platinum (3,500 gold), they simply cannot. He then offers them a deal, detailing a powerful magic staff that he’s looking for, across the lake from the tower, inside a large temple. If they fetch him the staff, they will be square. In addition, he promises to research Ramsey’s mark.
After much debating, the party decides to take up his offer for this quest, and invite Collin into the tower. As Theomon claps his hands, the room transforms into a quarters room, and the party hangs out and sleeps for the night.
The morning is host to a sorrow-filled moment as the party parts ways with Collin. Before they head out, Theomon hands them a block of wood and a small scroll, telling them to speak the words once the cube is in the water. They leave the tower and do this, and the cube miraculously transforms into a self-rowing rowboat of sorts.
(Guys, I can’t remember the command word. I didn’t write it down. D:)
They row out into the lake, which slowly covers them in a light, non-magical mist. They notice a splashing sound, and find a trail of smoke creeping up towards the boat. Varus casts hunter’s mark, arriving at the odd conclusion that the spell re-targets to Ramsey. In a moment of realization and fear, the mouthless man appears before them all at the front of the boat. Angry, Varus yells at him, asking him why he’s a part of Ramsey.
He answers, “Because, I find him a suitable host.”
They have a tension-filled conversation with the mouthless man, and ask him many questions. They don’t get any useful results. It appears as he is unsure of who he is, why he is there, but wanted to inform the Party that he has always been there, putting them all at reasonable unease. They can’t determine whether or not he is being entirely truthful, although he is thoroughly convincing.
He then says, “Oh, oh no. This is no time for conversation,” and attempts to dive into Ramsey, who resists. The party becomes surrounded by hostile merfolk, and have a fight with around a dozen of them. They try leaping out of water to drown them, stabbing them with spears, and they even target the mouthless man, who had somehow doubled in size. When they do, he explodes and disappears in yet another horrific way, and then a hulking Merrow punches the boat out of the water and flips it over, posing a menace with vicious claws and a chained harpoon. The party is victorious, narrowly losing Mishanna.
They flip the boat back over, catch their breath, and continue rowing towards their destination.
To be continued in Session V