Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Session 7 - The Necromancer's Tower

Earthday, Readying 13th, 595 CY (con't)

It had yet to reach the hour of noon as group made their way towards the old observatory outside of town. Kullen the orc had revealed it as the location of the necromancer and the remains of the Land family. The observatory was situated at the top of a steep hill overlooking an abandoned mine, the dilapidated 3-story tower attached to a single floor outbuilding. The only approach was a single narrow stairway carved into the cliff-side. After cautiously making their way to the top, they discovered a small leveled off area under the stone landing of the main entrance, and a single wooden door. The door led to a small work shed beneath the landing, which double as the lair for a tomb mote, a small undead creature composed to bone shard, teeth, dirt, and bits of tombstone. Ashbourn made short work of it, sending it bouncing down the cliff with one well placed kick!

After getting rid of the tomb mote and finding nothing of interest in the shed, they moved to the landing. Ash made quick work of picking the lock while Bolero oiled the hinges of the old mold-covered double doors so they would open soundlessly. Beyond the door, sunlight spilled into a dark room packed with broken furniture and busted crates, making it difficult to cross. Even more difficult were the animated skeletons armed with crossbows that opened fire upon them from behind a barricade of overturned tables as they entered he room. After dispatching the skeletons, Snuffy noticed abnormal deformations in the bone structure of the smallest two, a sign of the effects from the Red Plague. From what they had found out about the Lands, the family had been wiped out by the very same plague, so the group carefully gathered the bones before moving on, believing they had recovered the bones of Alastor’s father, mother, and brother. One set was still missing, the sister, and the necromancer still needed to be stopped, so they continued onward.

Through a door they found a hallway. Bolero sensed evil through a door at the end of the hall, so the group skipped exploring and headed straight for the entrance to the main part of the tower. Through the door, they discovered a disturbing scene. It appeared to be a dinning room, but in each seat slumped a corpse, all in various states of decay and dressed as if for a dinner party. The seat at the head of the table was empty. The corpses radiated both faint evil and magic, but did not animate and attack as they expected, simply sitting there as the group took to the grim task of butchering each of them. When they had finished, they made a quick search of the adjoining rooms before moving to the stairs, discovering a silver utensil set and some brass candleholders. On their way out, Rowdy bumped the chair at the head of the table, and suddenly the decapitated heads began speaking, singing the praises of someone named Filge, most commenting in one form or another how they had been wrong about him and how he had taught them a lesson. The voices continued their disturbing conversation as the companions made their way up the stairs.

On the second floor, they discovered a large sleeping chamber. A spellbook was discovered on the nightstand beside a huge bed. On a desk they found various papers detailing anatomical diagrams and ways to improve undead through mundane means, a scroll of animate dead, and several strange glass vials filled with colored liquids (potions). They also discovered a note addressed to Filge, arranging his services and leading to some interesting questions for the group. It was signed with the initial “S”. Against one wall was what appeared to be a mummified halfling dressed in a coat and hat, wearing dark colored glasses and carrying a silver tray with a severed human woman’s head on it, a single platinum coin resting on her extended bloated, purple tongue. They did not touch the display at all. In another corner stood a statue of an angelic man, complete with wings, resembling some sort of cemetery statuary. The base had a single word on a plaque: Filge. The closets contained simple clothes. The group followed the next set of stair up.

The topmost floor of the tower, its dome ceiling bisected by a huge opening that once must have held a device for stargazing, now served as a laboratory for the necromancer, hard at work on a purple skinned corpse laid open on the table. The animated skeleton of Gerti Land was serving as lab assistant. Outraged by the intrusion, Filge called to his servants to kill the group as he himself made for cover. A trio of troglodyte zombies and a single bugbear zombie burst forth from fluid filled glass chambers and attacked the party. Using their superior speed, Ash and Rowdy closed the distance on the necromancer before he could take a defensible position, while Ardynn, Bolero, and Snuffy made short work of the zombies. In no time, Filge was on the ground begging for mercy. Bolero shackled him and knocked him unconscious.

With the necromancer dealt with, the group spent several hours making a complete and thorough sweep of the observatory, finding a few small catches of valuables. Filge, himself, carried several potions as well as a strange syringe for delivering them, an amulet of natural armor, and a master key to all the doors of the building. In addition, they discovered a small vile containing a single green worm, the same worm referenced in the note from the mysterious S.

The looting done, the company turned their attention towards the captured wizard…