The party decided to spend some (i.e. almost all) of their wealth on magic items and upgrading weapons in New Dwarf City (see episode 39 b for individual items and upgrades). While Dez’s and Ryder’s weapons were being upgraded, the party made a quick trip to Maethylburg to drop off the books with Devlin’s Grandfather. They returned to New Dwarf City to resupply and pick up the, now magic, weapons and departed for the Lonely Tower.
The Lonely Tower
The party cautiously used the road to approach the Lonely Tower from the east. Before they got to the tower, Amazones heard something(s) approaching, so the party prepared to fight. Two Owlbears appeared. Belramos was able to use a scroll to cast a spell to Speak With Animals before a fight broke out. The party was able to ask about the Owlbear whom the party had previously freed from the Caves of Chaos. Brell remembered that his fur was the color of darker brown toast. The Owlbears were apparently surprised and indicated that the Archdruid in the Great Forest instructed the Owlbears to let no one pass without her permission.
The Great Forest
The party decided to leave the way they had approached and then head north to the Great Forest to ask permission from the Arch Druid to enter the Lonely Tower. They were met at the edge of the forest by Celebor and Santeline, two Eleven archers, and a number of other elves that were probably present, but not seen. Brell requested an audience with the Archdruid. The elves were uneasy about letting armed foreigners into their lands, especially a dwarf and half-orc, so Dez, Ka, and Ryder waited at the edge of the forest with all of the party’s weapons, while Amazones, Belramos, Brell, and Threll were escorted toward the center of the Great Forest and met with the Arch Druid.
The Archdruid asked the party to deliver a message to the Rangers to the west before giving permission to enter the tower. The Archdruid wants to establish trade with the Rangers in Sodderheim. The four accepted the scroll and two weeks worth of Elvish food before regrouping with Dez, Ka, and Ryder. The party headed west for two weeks across the great expanse before arriving to Sodderheim.
The Rangers in Sodderheim seemed hesitant to accept the trade agreement. The party accepted a dangerous quest to retrieve a sword from Mellain’s Tomb. There was a life-draining presence around the tomb that killed everything in the area, including vegetation in a 250-foot radius. The Rangers provided an escort to the area.
As the party approached the tomb, Belramos used a divine prayer to create a Magic Circle of Protection Against Evil. Despite this protection both Ryder and Threll were unnerved by the area. Belramos murmured another prayer that helped Ryder overcome her fear, but Threll was not able to proceed. The party told him to wait, and proceeded without him.
The party approached the tomb. A spectral presence was just inside the entrance. When Amazones tried to get by it, she was overcome. She lost strength and collapsed. As Belramos and Ka went forward to assist Amazones, they felt the severity of what had overcome Amazones, but they were able to endure it. Amazones, though weakened was able to get to her feet.
Belramos invoked the power of Pelor and drove the being back, deeper into the tomb. The party proceeded into the crypt and found a coffin in the center of a large (roughly 60-foot radius) room. Belramos kept the undead at bay while Brell attacked it with fire spells. Ka’s bolts did not even hit the spirit. Dez discovered that her ranged attacks did no damage. Ryder and Amazones waited, ready to engage in melee with the spirit. As Brell engaged the spirit with more Scorching Rays and Fireballs, it kept striking against Belramos’s magical barrier weakening it. Belramos kept the spirit at bay for some time, while Dez discovered a trap with the coffin.. Amazones was able to detect poison in the coffin and cast a protective spell on Dez. It turns out that Dez defused the trap by causing the poison dart trap to trigger and shoot into the lid of the coffin.
Belramos could tell that his turning magic was waning even before the spirit came forward and struck Ryder. The undead’s touch caused Ryder to lose about a third of her life energy (2 levels of experience). Ka made a mighty Leap Attack with his Greataxe of Sharpness and missed. Brell finished off the Spirit with a Magic Missile spell.
Belramos restored Ryder’s life energy and Amazones’s lost strength. Amazones used her magic to levitate the rusty sword out the coffin without touching it. Ka wrapped the sword in small sacks, also without touching it. Dez then discovered that there was a false bottom in the sarcophagus. She found another corpse with an obviously magic sword and other items. Amazones used her levitation magic again on this sword. Dez looted four goblets, some crystal ware, and two gems … We just said we would get the sword. We didn’t say anything about shiny objects we may find … Belramos cast a spell to Speak With Dead and the party learned that Mellain desires that his sword be passed to his son, Mellon, that the town of Sodderheim has been in danger from pirates, and that the Lonely Tower used to be a developed area in the past as opposed to what it is now.
Dez put the false bottom back in place as best she could, and Belramos Consecrated the sarcophagus, before the party left the tomb.
[Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure….]