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Dec 07 2010

Chronicles of Netheril – December 5th, 2010

Note: One of our players had to absent himself from this game session. Normally we would simply postpone until another weekend because that essentially takes 2 characters out of the story. Because it was at the last minute, we decided to go ahead with the game. But since we did not have the character sheets for the two characters, they were removed from play.

Gameplay wise, the two characters were removed from play right from the beginning of the game session, and the combat encounters were adjusted accordingly.

Storywise though, the characters will be removed a little bit further into the game session.
  

Scepter Tower – Floor 7: Battlements

Once the rooftop archers started their attacks, our priority shifted to getting back inside the guardhouse. Once inside, we were able to regroup and slug it out, to eventually win the day, after a lot of effort.

While we were searching the Guard House for useful equipment, a gnome arcanist that we’d overlooked earlier arrived from the lower floors to warn his teammates that we were coming. Seeing the aftermath of the last fight, he realized he was alone and ran away. But not before he cast a spell that blocked the training room off from the rest of the Guard House using some sort of force field. Since Adrie and Ilikan were in the training room at the time, they were cut off from the rest of us, and had no choice but to chase down the gnome and kill him; hoping that his death would collapse the field.

Scepter Tower – Floors 8 & 9

There was no point standing and waiting for Ilikan and Adrie to return, so we decided to go up the stairs at the back of the Guard House. We would have to proceed more carefully, but by this point, Thoran had to be running out of minions.

Apart from the secure storerooms on the east and west walls, the dark and gloomy 8th floor appeared to be empty. After walking a few feet from the staircase, the light from our sunrod was able to dimly illuminate the far wall, where we saw an ettercap and some spiders.

By making a prayer to Kelemvor, Ash was able to attack the ettercap from far away, using a bolt of holy light. The spiders rushed us but were intercepted and blocked by Eramus, Dirty Pig and Voulge and covered the floor in the centre of the room with webbing to slow us down. Ash, who’d suffered some major wounds while on the battlements, hadn’t had time to recover from that encounter. So, when he was hit by an attack from the ettercap, the pain caused him to lose his self control, and he shifted to his more bestial aspect.

Under the influence of released rage and blood lust, he decided to attack the ettercap directly. In a great display of athletic and acrobatic skill he charged at the spiders, completely ignoring the effects of the webbing, and managed to bypass the spiders entirely by jumping and then running a short distance along the wall of the eastern storeroom. He then proceeded to quickly eliminate the ettercap.

Three dark creepers suddenly appeared from nowhere (probably the floor above) and attacked Ash; thinking to gang up on him and take him out quickly. When they noticed that the rest of the intruders (that would be us) killed all four of the giant spiders and were coming at them, they disappeared upstairs as quickly as they had appeared.

With the immediate threat eliminated, we took a short break and explored the two storerooms. Most of the stuff was junk, but there were two items of value, a healing potion and an enchanted hide armour. The armour was much too big for anyone there to wear it; but it looked like it could fit Ilikan, so we kept it for him. And since he tends to run headfirst into combat we kept the potion for him as well.

Now it was time to move on.

The 9th floor was a staging area of some sort. It was completely dark except for the light from our sunrod. There was a large structural pillar in the middle of the room; probably a support for the spire on the roof. On the back side of the pillar was a staircase leading to a trap door in the ceiling. The six dark creepers on this floor had learned from their allies’ mistakes and stayed as far away from us as possible; attacking with their hand crossbows. They even managed to take out our sunrod with a well placed shot. And while they did have the advantage in the darkness, that didn’t last for very long, because we simply lit up another sunrod.

We defeated them quite easily, and prepared for our assault on the rooftop battlements.

Scepter Tower – Floor 10: Rooftop Battlements

The staircase was very narrow, so we had to go up single file. And because it ended at a trap door, we would have to climb onto the roof one at a time.

The rooftop was small, and because of the spire rising from its centre, it was very cramped. It took a while for all four of us to get onto the roof, because Thoran’s last three remaining followers kept crowding us. The fighting conditions were horrible; we were packed in so tightly there was no space to move around{Editor’s note: think mosh pit, only worse}. Thoran and his people kept trying to push us off the roof; but were unsuccessful because we were either too agile, or to heavy. After exchanging a few blows it was clear that we wouldn’t get anywhere unless we had room to maneuver, so we used their tactics against them. Because they were so small and lightweight, it was easy to push them off the roof. They fell to their death’s on the battlements 50 feet below.

Now that Thoran was alone, we ganged up on him, and he didn’t last long. Before leaving the rooftop, we searched his body and found nothing of value except his journal and a second set of alabaster pieces. We should make sure to hold on to both sets, as they might be of interest to both Curuvar and Lady Moonfire.

Scepter Tower – Floor 5: Arcanist’s Quarters

Withnothing left to do on the roof, we came back downstairs to try and reunite with Adrie and Ilikan. Once we got to the Guard House we noticed the force field had disappeared, so we kept going. On the fifth floor we met up with Adrie and Ilikan who were on their way back up. We decided to hole up in Thoran’s quarter’s and take a good, well deserved long rest.

Before going to sleep, we came up with a plan of action and we read Thoran’s Journal. Most of the journal is nothing but psychotic ramblings; but the following excerpt shed a new light on our adventures in the ruins.

I have been tasked by his royal highness to penetrate the Scepter Tower of Spellgard and to find and bind its powerful inhabitant known as Lady Saharel

His royal highness decided to send one of my followers over to that town of Loudwater to collect some slaves from the region – something about sacrifices being needed for the task

It appears that follower of mine that has gone to Loudwater has built a reputation in that area. I hear the locals refer to her as the Lady of Shadows

The snakefolk of Najara have their own slave trade going on, and they are cutting into our area – perhaps a faux alliance is in order. I will check with my brethren for advisement on this matter.

The tower will be mine. It is barred from the inside; I will have to find an alternate route within. Rumors speak of old sewer systems below as well as burial catacombs that once connected to the tower. I simply need to rid myself of a few kobolds to get there.

I found a way below by going through the battlements to the north. My scouts found a clan of filthy wererats residing in the area. I managed to get them to comply by speaking with their patriarch, Ephram Darano. I had heard about a false wall at the end of the passageway between the ramparts and the catacombs that once hid the route between the two. Once I reached the end of the passage, I simply knocked down the wall that was there.

The old catacombs were there as I was told. During my search for an entrance into the tower, I ran into many undead under the sway of a Vampire Lord by the name of Barthus. I lost a substantial number of my followers to his undead guardians. I quickly made a deal with him thereafter that I would have my minions send him a steady flow of blood to feed on – he seems to enjoy that of the Kobolds, but the succulent taste of the various races of seekers in the ruins sate his hunger (or is it thirst?) even more. My dark creeper minions still fall victim to Barthus’ vampire spawn, so they should start avoiding this area.

Now that I am within the basement of the tower, I discovered a group of ettercaps that had braved the catacombs to lair in these lower reaches of the tower. By slaying two of their webspinners, I was able to sway the other creatures to my service.

I have breached the tower. I knew it would not hold me back for long. With many of my followers slain in the catacombs, I will need to enlist some mercenaries in order to accomplish some tasks.

A thorough search through the tower has yielded some good finds. I will use the old captain’s quarters above and convert it to a holding cell. It will be a good place to hold those annoying kobolds that have been menacing my troops, as well as imprison any other potential “intruders”. Multiple chambers are locked, appearing to require some sort of runic key to access. I believe I have parts of the key, but I will trust these to some of my servants while I make a full set for myself.

I have hired some gnomes to guard parts of the tower. They are a bit eccentric, but will have to do. I have also enlisted some human wizards as underlings. Palagro and Tevinwerd along withtheir wives can guard the area with the magical curtain. Vargus can direct the kobold slaves in the kitchen to cook for my other followers. That other one can lead a patrol through the outer ruins to search for the alabaster pillars.

I have now accessed the rooms that were locked. The master vault downstairs is plagued with traps, so I will not risk life and limb for the trinkets within. I can use the old Arcanist’s chamber that is locked as my quarters. A secure storeroom upstairs, I will use to keep my most valuable acquisitions within.

My servants begin the search for the alabaster pillars among the ruins. I ordered them to take care of any of the seekers that they may come across. With these pillars, I will be able to bind Lady Saharel.

In preparation for my plan to control Lady Saharel, I have decided to use the partial array of alabaster pillars to summon and bind an Oni Night Haunter to my control. I will keep it confined to the laboratory and task it with guarding the area against intrusion.

Perhaps I will get better recognition from his royal highness – I have amassed most of the Alabaster Pillars, but three are still missing, and I can’t locate them. I had thought one of my search parties located one, but I have not heard from them yet.

I was paid a visit today by a dwarf who claims he was working for the Lady of Shadows over in Loudwater. He states she was slain by a group of varied individuals, the Heroes of Loudwater- I laughed in his face and dealt with him accordingly.

I will get the power of Lady Saharel. His royal highness demands it. The alabaster pillars, as mentioned in the analects of Kuryon, must be the key to binding her and taking her power.

I must report back to his royal highness soon, for his patience must be running thin. He sent a Stalker to keep an eye on my progress.

I don’t have much time to write these notes – it looks like these Heroes of Loudwater have come here to oppose me – they are a dangerous lot – the Oni I have bound should be able to take care of them, I have no time to get my hands dirty. At least they took care of that pest who kept following me.