Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Tower of Mysteries (1) (01/16/2011)

The entire party ("entire" because David was indeed able to join us tonight after all) paused for a moment before stepping into the circle of magical runes in front of them. Gear was checked, belts were tightened, and Miave assured everyone that this teleportation circle was indeed the way to the Tower of Mysteries and to the evil mage Paldemar. Stepping into the circle might be easy, but what lay beyond?

The party stepped into the circle and after a brief moment of disorientation found themselves in a small room in the first level of the Tower of Mysteries. The walls of the smaller room were lined with faces etched into the wall - on some of the distorted faces gags covered the mouths, on the remainder blindfold's covered the eyes. Passageways led off to the north and to the west into a larger room. Outside the two passages the party could see pillars with faces carved into them as well - the pillar faces were all missing one eye.

As the party appeared the ungagged mouths on the walls of the inner room began to moan and speak/chant in an unknown language and the unblindfolded eyes glared at the party in a hideous rage. The noise wasn't shrill, nor did it appear to do any harm to the party, but there was no doubt the alarm had been raised as somewhere to the south several guttural voices could be heard in response to the alarm having been given.

Most of the party moved through the western passage and towards the south, but Oester moved through the north passage in an attempt to sneak up on whoever the party might meet. The northwest and northeast corners of the larger room contained no monsters, but additional "faced" pillars resided in these corners. As the party moved out a bolt of lightning shot out from one of the pillars, nailing Bogar, while a bolt from a different pillar narrowly missed Oester.

To the south Bogar and Renny could see four strategically placed pillars that surrounded a magic circle. They could also see a closed door to a small room in the southeast corner of the room, and while a door couldn't be seen the layout gave hint to another small room in the southwest corner of the room. Bogar and Renny also came face-to-face with three norkers, small grayish goblin like creatures that wielded deadly looking battle axes. Between the lightning bolt and the norkers Bogar was the first to be bloodied. The rest of the party moved up to engage, although Krstic and Jenneth felt the cold fingers of missed mental attacks that came from ... somewhere.

Just about this time three more norkers burst out of the room in the southwest corner. One moved up to support the first three norkers that were holding off the party from advancing further south towards the magic circle and the other two moved up and around to the east hall in an attempt to circle behind the party members.

In the course of sneaking up the east hall the two norkers ran into Oester, who had the same intentions of his own. Deciding discretion was the better part of valor, Oester turned tail and ran back around to the rest of the party, the two norkers in close pursuit.  Between taking necrotic damage from standing next to the pillars, the occasional lightning or psychic attacks emanating from various pillars, the norkers in the front, and with more norkers moving up from behind, the party appeared to be in a spot of trouble. That is when four norker slaves appeared from the magic circle located in the south end of the room. Two moved up the front to immediately engage the party and two others moved up the back hallway to come up behind the party.

DM note: The DM had been able to bloody several party members at this point, but like the battle versus Maldrick it was at this point the DM's dice went cold.

Despite the damage the party had taken to this point they had been dealing some damage of their own. Miave, Jenneth, Akta, and Eldred continued to cast their ranged effects, and Renny, Krstic and Bogar held the line in the front. Oester had successfully led the other norkers around the backside to the party, although he did manage to do 40+ points of damage to one of the norkers with an especially successful backstab.. The norkers finally began to fall, and it turned out that the newest latest arrivals were actually minions, so while they were able to do damage they were easily killed (if they could be killed at all).

But the tide had been turned. The norkers in front continued to fall, the ones attempting to sneak in from behind were nailed, and even the appearance of four more norker slaves could not hold the party back. Oester moved to an as-of-yet unopened door only to come face-to-face with yet another norker. Behind the norker was another creature, one who flung a lightning bolt in Oester's direction - a lightning bolt that looked identical to the ones that had been shooting out of different pillars during the encounter.

The newest norker was tough to kill but Renny, Oester and Eldred put on the finishing touches when the two remaining creatures in the room emerged. Their distorted bodies presented a hideous appearance and they struck with a rage and a fury, but as Renny and Eldred held them off behind them something else had happened.

After a fireball from Jenneth managed to take out most of the third batch of norker slaves that appeared next to the magic circle Krstic has stepped onto the magic circle - and disappeared. Bogar was followed suit, followed by Miave. Then Akta, although his disappearance also took with him the remaining norker slave. Jenneth, Oester and Renny stepped on or next to the circle and disappeared as well, and as Eldred stepped up to do the same one of the Enigmas's of Vecna joined him.

Where did the teleportation circle lead to? We'll find out next week.

DM note: I think I got the order of disappearance above correct. The way we will play this out next week is that the party members will appear, in order, at the new location and we'll just play it out from there. And yes, you can safely assume that second Enigma of Vecna will be close behind. Also, the way this played out the initial encounter has not ended so you are still in the same initiative order, plus you have not had a chance to take a short rest (insert maniacal DM laughter here).

Reminder: We will be at Leo's next week and Brian is bringing snacks.

1 comment:

  1. Scott - I think we are in bit of a spot here. Krstic and Bogar, our best fighter and defender went through the teleportation and we were still fighting. The encounter has not ended and we will find more monsters where we end up, and have to fight them in the same encounter. I know several of us have used our encounter powers and Oester was down to 3 HPs before his second wind. Eldred has no healing powers left so we are going to have to be lucky to make it through the next phase!!