Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Calling Dr. Jones - Crossroads Campaign - Session 15

I'm writing this from the tower as we've been forced to retreat for the moment. This is going to lose us a tremendous amount of time as from everything I've heard, the practice of plane shifting back to the other world is not entirely accurate. We'll end up somewhere in the mountains in the general region of the Abolist's Tower. We'll still have the benefit of Kelmar's skill in the wilds, but our substantial lead on the enemy has at the very least been shortened as a result of this.
The bone pile trap.

Once we'd gotten past the area held by the goblins, we found the tower past an area of unworked stone. The first room we found was a massive circular room where the walls had been formed of a great single piece of whitish rock. To be clear, this rock was not natural to the location and it hadn't been carted in their piece by piece from what I could tell. It was one massive stone ring in a single piece planted around the boundaries of the under entrance. 

Kelmar was certain that this was the door that the dwarven hero had raised on leaving the tower when the Abolist was originally defeated and the fact that the Halfburnd Talisman worked to open it certainly seems to confirm that theory. Past this, we came to a new room littered with piles upon piles of bones and open grates in the ceiling giving access to the room above. Two great braziers on either side of a pedestal flared to life casting the room in a bright but flickering light. Wendylly and I began conferring on setting about a ritual to detect magic but it was already too late.

Some of the bones in the pile began to come together and rise up as skeletons. I wasn't initially concerned and simply focused on trying to conserve resources while taking down these simple guardians, but more the things joined the fight soon enough. I initially thought it might be just skeletons we hadn't seen right off the bat, but then the shadows started flickering out of the edge of the light cast into the corners and a more dangerous skeleton started firing cursed arrows down at us.

I had the idea to cast detect magic to see what was going on in the room, but more enemies kept coming at us. Nezeri called upon her faith in Istryx but only a small number of the enemy were destroyed with the rest remaining firm against her divine power. Medi, Alwyn, and I had worked our way upstairs trying to beat down the skeletons there when one of the skeletons cast a protective spell and turned invisible before we could destroy it.

Downstairs, a four-armed monstrosity of bone pulled itself out of the piles to attack those below and another skeleton turned invisible. Nezeri dropped a charm of Istryx's silence upon a large portion of the lower chamber, preventing that mage from casting further while the cavalier, lion, and I were bathed first with ice and then with fire, bringing us down.

That wasn't what necessitated us fleeing. 

Kelmar had called for the cursed urn of the Abolist to be placed on the pedestal and Nezeri and Wendylly were able to accomplish that, causing all the skeletons to crumble back to bones. 

I was awakened later to hear that Nezeri had needed to use a diamond to bring Alwyn back from the brink. After an hour and recovering as much as we could from the close call, we proceeded to work on clearing the tower so that we could safely take hold of it in preparation for the arrival of the other team.

On the third floor, we found an old library and devoted an hour to skimming through its contents. We'd found a journal and several books on summoning of demons involved with disease. While Wendylly read through what had to be the Abolist's journal and the other scholars perused the draconic volumes, I applied the use of my magical skill with languages to skim the remaining tomes.

According to what Wendylly found, the Abolist hadn't made the tower, he'd simply found it and assumed it was one of several lost mage towers that had belonged to some long gone mage of great power but little to no historical importance. The journal also spoke of the last few hundred members of the orc tribe whose souls and ashes went into the curse and what became of their bones after their flesh was burned away, explaining the origin of our infinite undead trap below us. Which, by the way, we had eliminated by destroying the magical braziers. That'll leave a trace for our enemy, but perhaps that will work to make them cautious and slow them down.

It was the next floor where things went wrong. We found a magical mark, a trap of some sort. Wendylly and I decided to apply our skill in the arcane to defeat it, but somewhere in our enthusiasm or anxiety, we scratched the wrong rune. Both of us were suddenly overwhelmed with fear and sent rushing down a hallway. Wendylly reacted faster than I did and thus took the brunt of the traps that followed. There was fire, poison, and a massive boulder. 

That is the last I remember and now Wendylly is being prepared for a resurrection ritual, something I'd only ever heard rumors of in my own world but was reasonably more common in the Lost. We'll be returning soon, it's too important to not do so, but first we must see to our fallen friend.

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