As you may recall from my last entry, our group – the Rogue Collective – had just aided Jax in completing a hunt at the behest of Dziewona to take down a Stone Giant. As we contemplate our next step in our continuing efforts to track down the Necrodancer to retrieve our souls and put a stop to his plans to release the Nightmare Anathema, I thought back to a journey some of our group took by way of a “rest”. This occurred before we lost our friend Tyvarius when some of us decided to go on a little vacation to Low Torch. I now ponder on those events wondering what we might glean from those memories that would be of use to us going forward.
This tale opens in the pub in Low Torch as I sit with Melody, Tyvarius, Jax, Shady and Tally – the rest of our party remained behind at Serpent Bloom recovering from some illness that befell them. As we enjoy some stout drink, we are approached by an old man. He tells us a tale of an ancient wizard who built a tower in the Tangle to pursue a variety of experiments in the arcane arts. Alas, he was killed by his own creations and the tower collapsed. According to legend, a Tome full of deep, mystic secrets and a key to the outer planes is present in the remains of the tower. However, all efforts to retrieve the Tome have been unsuccessful with the scant few survivors to return telling tales of rock monsters come to life.
As I weigh the old man’s words while he draws a map for us, I begin to suspect he is talking about the wizard Iglinoor said to possess the Tome of Planar Conjuration. That would certainly be a work I would like to investigate and perhaps even get my hands on it.
The tower appears to be slightly less than half a day’s journey away, so we decide to wait until daybreak to head out. Before retiring for the night, Melody tries to tell a tale for those in the pub. Alas, with her rudimentary language skills she garners a mere 5 gold pieces from the crowd – a paltry sum for such an accomplished bard.
Working our way through the Tangle, we come upon the remains of the tower right where the old man said it would be. By my calculations, the tower would have risen a good 100 feet into the air when upright. Now it lays at an odd angle on its side. It is covered in shimmering energy of magical nature – something I verify with a detect magic spell – but there are no signs of entry except for some disturbed dirt near the base.
As we move up to investigate and see if we can dig our way through, an explosion erupts around us and I am seriously injured (16 points). Before we can do anything else, a seemingly continuous hail of arrows falls from the sky upon us. This injures me mortally (-35 damage) and as I fall to the ground I sense several of my fellow party members are joining me at the gateway to the netherworld.
My next memory is coming to and I sense that perhaps Tally has worked some of his peculiar brand of magic to heal me. I immediately cast invisibility on myself even though I now find myself in the Tangle at the edge of the clearing by the tower. I see several of our party in the Tangle as well. However, Shady lays lifeless, still in the clearing. I immediately run out to him with the intent of dragging him back to cover and rendering what aid I can.
As I tend to him, Shady comes to and I can tell he uses his own powers to turn himself invisible. Leaving him now that he appears to be able to take of himself once again, I proceed back to the disturbed dirt to see if I can find any signs of a trap that may have triggered the attack and if one is found, how to get around it so we can get into the tower. My investigation tells me that whoever set us up has retreated across the clearing and is likely launching attacks from there.
At about that moment, I hear a voice from that direction yelling at us to come out. In response, Jax steps into the clearing and issues a stern, if spiteful, challenge. This draws out a dragonborn individual. After Jax and this dragonborn trade more words, I see Tyvarius rush across the clearing in a rage ready to do battle. I move closer to Jax and use my Haste spell on him so that he will have additional advantage in this battle. Jax does indeed strike a mighty blow on the dragonborn. Whether mortally wounded or realizing the battle was more than could be handled at the moment, the dragonborn flees. In a bit of an unusual move, Jax does not rush off after the dragonborn recognizing instead that the rest of the party needs aid and healing. Perhaps there is hope that Jax is beginning to recognize the value of strategic decisions that take the bigger picture into account.
We take a short rest so that our party can heal up from their injuries. We then proceed to clear out the sole opening to the tower where the disturbed dirt was located and enter the tower.
With the tower toppled, we find ourselves essentially standing at the top of a floor that slants down at close to a 45 degree angle. At the bottom is a pile of rocks and I detect bodies mixed in with them. Overhead, a giant chandelier hangs from the ceiling. Scattered about I also spot some geodes that I realize hold Mephits – we definitely want to avoid those.
Tyvarius quickly slides down the floor to the bottom. While the rest of the group tries to decide what to do, I grow impatient that my fellow wood elf is down there alone and slide down to join him. Soon the rest of the party joins us. Once down there, we spot an opening at the top of some stairs to the next level. However, they are blocked by rubble. Only Shady appears to be small enough to fit through, so we send him through to scout ahead. He reports there are some glass partitions and books and materials suggesting some experiments were being undertaken.
Before we can try to join Shady, the rocks start moving and form themselves into a Galeb Duhr. A battle ensues and I get off a Ray of Frost (18 damage) as the Galeb Duhr starts to roll around the edge of the room. The one good thing about the Galeb Duhr rising is it opens the way to the second floor. Jax, Tally and Melody all quickly scamper up to join Shady. Tyvarius, who was across the room with the Galeb Duhr takes a final strike and I fire off another Ray of Frost (19 damage).
Tyvarius then makes a dash across the hall heading for the opening. Just as I am preparing to cast a final Ray of Frost before abandoning the floor myself, Tyvarius tries to grab me throwing off my aim. This causes the Ray to strike the floor above, dropping our party back down. This gives the Galeb Duhr an opportunity to attack, harming our party further. Some of us are able to flee to the next floor. Then Melody, in an unexpected yet creative move, casts Leomund’s Tiny Hut to protect those in the path of the Galeb Duhr.
Having prevailed in a way, we take advantage of the Tiny Hut to get in a long rest.
We continue up the tower and come to a study at the top. Within this room we see a book – surely the Tome of Planar Conjuration – floating in a magical ball of some sort. Before the book sits a decrepit old man that I surmise is the source of the ball.
He introduces himself as Brikshire. He tells us he is working to seal away the powers of the Tome so that it will not cause any further damage to our world. He also tells us that he cannot let us take the book and he needs at least six more months of work before his efforts will fully seal off the Tome.
Although hesitant to enter an area full of anti-magic powers, Brikshire says I and Shady may inspect the Tome and read from it. I go through the pages of the Tome as quickly as possible and manage to retrieve the following spells from its leaves:
- Create bonfire
- Produce flame
- Fog cloud
- Ice knife
- Dust devil
- Flaming sphere
- Create food and water
- Sleet storm
- Tidal wave
- Conjure minor elemental
- Watery sphere
I think these will prove most useful to me in impacting the battlefield when we engage opponents, so I will spend some time considering strategies and tactics for their use.
Having satisfied ourselves that we have discovered the truth of the Tome and the tower of Iglinoor, we exit the tower, grab some dirt from the clearing, then proceed back to Serpent Bloom.
That was certainly a good adventure. Now I must turn my attention back to the task at hand – the Necrodancer.