Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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kipper
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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Kane heads straight for the tower, but instead of inspecting the front door he inspects the breaks in the sides for an alternate entrance.

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badams30
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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Kane circles the tower. It looks like an ancient tower constructed of smaller bricks and covered with a stucco/cement like covering, much of which is flaking off or has fallen off altogether. In the areas where the covering is gone, the masonry is badly worn and crumbling. While this tower is well-built, it is clearly not a defensive structure, rather it seems to be more of a residence. That might explain its poor strategic position within a bowl.

There are some large holes at the second floor level, and the third floor has entire sections missing on the right side. At ground level around the rear of the tower, there is a hole that looks like it has been excavated and enlarged, it's big enough for a human to kneel and enter, and there is a very crude frame and beam wedged in place to keep the crumbling bricks from collapsing. It is a rickety hole, and would likely be quite dangerous to enter if the bracing wasn't in place. As it is, it's a bit questionable looking, but seems sturdy enough for careful entry. Peering inside, Kane can make out some piles of wet, decaying wood, and some moss covered lumps that were probably furniture (looks like a medium sized dining table and a handful of chairs). He thinks he can make out a door that is slightly ajar on the far wall. A torch would probably illuminate the whole room. As Kane examines the entry further, he deduces that judging by the condition of the bracing wood and the masonry damage, this hole looks to have been created recently (as in a year-ish, at the most)

Zapolas, accompanied by Theo start picking through the ruins. After a short time (about 20-30 minutes) Zapolas is trudging through some weeds and pieces of broken wood when he hears a "SCRUNCH!" and feels something breaking underfoot. Looking down, he sees a broken femur under his boot. Theo says "Whoa, Master Zapolas, it looks like another skeleton." Indeed, it is a skeleton, and after spending about 2-3 minutes pulling weeds and wood out of the way, they find a body clad in scraps of clothing and some shoddy looking leather armor. The armor has a broken blade (about the size of a short sword) stuck in the back of it. There is a canvas backpack sitting nearby that has started to fall apart, and there are some unremarkable ruined possessions around it (flint/steel, a waterskin, some moldy clothing, and what looks like a tinderbox that's broken).

The interesting thing is that the skeleton doesn't look like it's been there much more than several months to a year. It's weathered, but only moderately. Theo is pushing the remains into a pile and he says "What do you make of this?" He carefully picks up a bone, but it's a piece of bone with teak plugs driven into each end. A bone scroll tube. He hands it to Zapolas.

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kipper
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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Kane walks over to Zapolas and Theo and announces his finding. "... and I'd bet this is the guy who made it," he concludes after seeing the skeleton they discovered. "We should check it out next when we're done out here."

Kane then walks over to the ruined outbuilding and investigates it next.

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connivingsumo
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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Zapolas
Image

Zapolas isn't quite ready to charge into a dilapidated tower supported by damp, rotten timbers, so he thanks Theo for the 'tube' and pops a Teak end off to have a look inside.
Last edited by connivingsumo on Wed May 31, 2023 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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badams30
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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Kane, Albrecht and Theo search the area and don't find much except a fair amount of rusty spikes, nails, hinges and other basic building materials. The outbuilding has high sidewalls, and examining the area inside it, you find evidence of a fire pit, some sticks and logs that had been placed at an angle over the corner to make a large shelter (it looks like it collapsed from wind or maybe was pulled down) the fire pit has enough ashes to suggest it was used for several days. A small stack of firewood remains nearby as well. Underneath the jumble of sticks and small logs, you find two picks and two shovels, all fairly new, with just a light coat of surface rust on them.

It takes a few stout pulls before Zapolas dislodges the wooden plug from the tube with an audible POP. Inside is a single rolled piece of parchment. It seems dry and undamaged. Unrolling it, it's covered in very legible writing, easily read in common. It says:

This deposit should cover your services, get what you need, but do not hire any locals and keep your party limited in size, we can't afford to draw attention as we're so close to our goal. And stay away from that damn town, the Burgomeister is a brainless fool, but we can't risk the wizard catching wind of what we seek. My contacts have informed me he is looking for the book - you remember, the one we discussed. The tome is of no use to me. If you find it, I'll pay you for it, but you must focus on the stone. Once you've located it, make haste to bring it to me at Corbah. But as I've told you - DO NOT REMOVE THE STONE FROM ITS BOX. The glyphs restrain the powers within, and if you tamper with it, you have no idea of the mess it could create.

Depart as soon as you can. My sources tell me the wizard is close to finding out the book is at the tower. Once he does he'll have some one going for it, so time is of the essence. My benefactor is very anxious to move things along, and he'll see to it that you and your men are handsomely rewarded for your efficiency and secrecy. Best of luck on your journey, and remember to destroy this once you've finished reading it. We've come too far to have any locals interfering now.


The letter concludes with a large, flowing "B"

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kipper
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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"Hmph", Kane grunts, "It seems we have some competition... or had, if these skeletons mean anything. And judging by their age, either the wizard has taken his sweet time getting a group together, or we're not the first." He pauses to spit upon the ground.

"Either way, it's time to investigate inside the tower now."

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connivingsumo
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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Zapolas reads the scroll aloud to his party members, thinks for a moment, then rolls it back up and into the scroll tube. After replacing the teak stopper, he puts the entire scroll tube in his back-pack. "I think the Wizard and the Burgomeister will want to know about this." The Elf then nods to Kane in agreement about heading into the tower.

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tumblingdice
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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Albrecht thinks for a moment. Here we are with "the stone" again. Now we have some idea with what that other poor skeleton was talking about. The cleric then prepares to enter the tower along with Kane and Zapolas. and Theo, of course!

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kipper
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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Kane will lead the way into the tower through the opening he found earlier. He takes Theo's lantern for light. If Theo complains, Theo is welcome to lead the way himself instead!

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badams30
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Re: Chapter 1: We're off to see the wizard

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Theo offers to hold the lantern for Kane as he enters tower through the break in the wall. Being quite nimble, Kane ducks and deftly climbs through without touching the edges of the opening. Inside the damp room is as described earlier. It appears that this was a small dining room with a table and some sturdy looking chairs, now spongy with dampness and covered in moss. You can see some old footprints that have disturbed the moss on the floor, but as you'd assume, it was some time ago. There are some signs of rodent tracks in and about the room, but nothing alarming.

The tower is surprisingly small, and from inside the room you would expect this to take up about 1/3rd of the first level. A single door is in the west wall, it is open just wide enough for a person to squeeze through. As Kane examines the room, Theo carefully enters, barely able to fit through the hole, but with enough room to spare. Albrecht and Zapolas enter last.

As the others look about the room, Theo draws his sword quietly and approaches the door, peeking around it. He lowers his sword and says "This leads to the main door to the outside, and another door straight across from this room. That's all I can see. There's a little light coming through the window at the end of the hall."

A brief search turns up a couple rusty and disintegrating metal candlesticks, and some cutlery rusted into a solid pile underneath a corner of the table.
Theo tries to fit through the ajar door, but can't, and he puts his weight into the door, and after a moment, the damp, swollen door moves about 2 feet, groaning in protest as it moves. It's now open wide enough for everyone to go through. The area is as described, a 10' wide entryway leading to the main door (which is closed) and a door across from the doorway you're standing in. And the end of the hallway there is a small narrow window letting in a little light. While damp and smelling musty, this area is free of moss. There are no signs of stairs.

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