Just to be clear. This tower is red. The tower with the spiders is green. The tower surrounded by water is yellowish green. after the storm has passed, the sun is headed down the sky.
Casdegere Constantine Picks at a frayed edge of his shirt sleeve. It is stained and wet with recent blood.
Bart: Which Way?
Rikard Castleberry: Well, we may as well look around, and see if we can find something.
Casdegere Constantine: How many times do you think these cubes will work? Think we can just run this thing over and over?
Rikard Castleberry: Oh probably, unless, do they look any different?
Mistress Bianca: I think we want to try running the orange stone clockwise around in the green tower.
Bart: I like the purple but any works for me.
Casdegere Constantine: Alrighty, all four of us again?
Rikard Castleberry: Sure.
Casdegere Constantine holds out the orange cube so others may touch it.
Mistress Bianca: And please do not look at me what I think these damn lumps of rock are capable of. The current situation as a whole has me stupefied.
Mistress Bianca touches the cube as they perform a ridiculous parade around clockwise.
Casdegere Constantine: Yah, well, I’m getting hungry yet my appetite is ruined every time we use these damn things.
Rikard Castleberry kind of enjoys the clockwise dancing.
It occurs to you that you have not started up the fog.
Mistress Bianca slaps her forehead.
Bart starts the fog.
So, you all shuffle around clockwise, but nothing happens.
Mistress Bianca: Hmm, I have another idea.
Rikard Castleberry: *Hum, What’s that?
*Mistress Bianca: Perhaps it is limited to two people per stone. Maybe one of us will have to go through with someone, come back alone and go through again with someone else.
Casdegere Constantine: That’s why we pay you the bright gold.
Rikard Castleberry: She gets PAID?
Mistress Bianca: I didn’t say I am right… I hope I am though.
Casdegere Constantine: I can go with you if you want to test it out.
Bart: We could try it with one we know works.
Rikard Castleberry: Do you have the stones to come back?
Tower 1: Red. Second Tower that had spiders: Green. Third tower surrounded by water: Yellowish Green. You are correct.
Casdegere Constantine: This is too much, how about you tell me which cube to hold and which tower to stand in, and what direction to get lost in the fog?
Rikard Castleberry: Hold onto a leaf green stone. (And we start up the fog and go counter clockwise.) Bart and I can hold my green stone if the 2 of you take one.
How many of you? OK. You start the fog and sashay down the corridor. Vigor rolls please. You all make it through to the green tower without incident.
Mistress Bianca: ok we have 2 stones that we should try, the purple one and the orange one.
Casdegere Constantine: Isn’t this the tower that a spider got away?
Rikard Castleberry: Yes I believe so
Mistress Bianca: You let one escape?
Bart: If this one was filled with spiders then why would we think they came this way?
Mistress Bianca: Pets?
Rikard Castleberry: Well, at least we know something was here.
Casdegere Constantine: I’m more worried about the spiders returning in larger numbers. They were very fast critters.
In this tower you found 6 red cubes and 2 bluish purple cubes.
Rikard Castleberry: Did you want to try the orange from here while I stand watch?
Casdegere Constantine: I’d better stay here in case those spiders come back.
Mistress Bianca: Mmmm, no lets all try the orange clockwise from here, and if that does not work we can try the purple.
Rikard Castleberry: All 4 of us? Ok.
Casdegere Constantine draws out his shield and spear, guarding outer intrusions.
Mistress Bianca: You not coming with us Casdegere?
Casdegere Constantine: Sure sure, sec, coming.
Mistress Bianca: Ok, just checking.
Casdegere Constantine joins the others.
Bart remembers to start the fog and you make the walk. Nothing happens.
Rikard Castleberry: Maybe counterclockwise?
Mistress Bianca: Ok I am game just to remove all possibilities.
Again, nothing happens.
Rikard Castleberry: So, 2 each on the purple?
Casdegere Constantine: Okay.
Rikard Castleberry: Let’s do proper clockwise.
Mistress Bianca: *Ok now lets try the purple, Rikard and me, Bart and Casdegere clockwise.
Clockwise, nothing happens.
Casdegere Constantine:* Alright now the other way.
As you reach the halfway point of you ccw walk, you”shift” and are somewhere else. Suddenly, the floor beneath you tilts, and you stumble and slide backwards to slam against the wall. You slam against the wall to the right of the map. You settle there, because the floor of this place is tilted in this direction. There is no external light and the air is very stuffy.
Casdegere Constantine: Looks like this place has seen better days….
Mistress Bianca: Casdegere, I hope that torch is lightable in the dark.
No air circulation. The smell of your sweat fills the corridor.
Bart looks for tracks.
Casdegere Constantine fumbles to get torch lit.
The torch flares but the flame is feeble, weaker than you’d expect.
Casdegere Constantine chkt-chkt-chkt.
. Bart: Cas – Over Here.
Casdegere Constantine: Coming.
Bart: I think we have the wrong tower.
It is getting warmer and more stuffy.
Bart: We are the only ones here for a while.
Rikard Castleberry: This place bothers me. I don’t like being off balance like this.
Casdegere has to climb the incline. He finds the way out of that ring to the south is blocked by a wall of rock. Casdegere finds 2 green cubes and 9 orange cubes against the east wall.
_Bianca feels suddenly weak and gasps for air. Bart also gasps for air and is Shaken.
The torch grows weaker._
Bart: Torch is using up air.
Casdegere Constantine: We got enough orange for everyone, and a couple more greens. Looks like we found where orange might work.
Rikard Castleberry: Lets use the oranges quick and get out of here then.
Casdegere Constantine: I’ll get the fog working.
Bart: Lets leave.
Mistress Bianca: Ok, quickly.
Casdegere Constantine runs hand around circumference.
Rikard Castleberry grabs an orange stone.
Bart struggles to start the fog. Yes, there is a bluish purple ring here.
Mistress Bianca: Clockwise?
Casdegere Constantine: Which color?
Mistress Bianca: Orange.
Casdegere Constantine: Green for back, or Orange for unknown.
Bart takes orange cube.
Casdegere Constantine: (POLL) touching orange-go clockwise.
Mistress Bianca coughs.
You walk clockwise through the fog…and nothing happens! The air is foul. You feel weak and light-headed. Not much time…
Mistress Bianca coughs “gah! counterclockwise, the orange stones!”
Rikard Castleberry: Let’s try CCW with orange and if that doesn’t work, use the green.
Casdegere Constantine: Fine. The Torch ain’t gonna last much longer I think.
Gasping for air, you struggle CCW around the ring. Suddenly, no more fog and fresh air! Though humid, nothing ever felt so good.
Casdegere Constantine breathes in deeply.
Casdegere Constantine: That was close!
Mistress Bianca leans against the wall and breathes deeply.
Rikard Castleberry: That air was a tad thin, yep, not too bad. .Lets take a peek around.
The smell of water is in the air. Yes, the orange tower.
Casdegere Constantine: Bart any signs of passage other than ours?
Bart looks for tracks.
Rikard Castleberry: I’m gonna poke my head out a bit.
Bart: Nothing that looks like our quarry.
Casdegere Constantine: You give me the creeps the way you say that. Is there something else here?
Rikard Castleberry Takes a patrol around the inside ring.
Also, the floor is level. 11 yellowish green cubes and 6 bluish purple.
Casdegere Constantine grabs a yellowish green cube and stows it.
Rikard Castleberry: I’m gonna pass on taking the blue purple back.
Rikard Castleberry looks a bit further out.
Mistress Bianca picks up one of each.
Casdegere Constantine: We have to go back don’t we? We’ve lost our quarry?
Rikard, looks like animal may have nested here.
Bart: Which way haven’t we gone?
Mistress Bianca: 5 stones, 5 towers.
Rikard Castleberry: Let’s take a look around here while we are here guy.
Rikard Castleberry: Something was here, not sure what.
Bart: Some animal.
Casdegere Constantine: I’m gonna go up top and eat some grub.
Mistress Bianca: We have been to each tower we have a stone for.
Casdegere Constantine Casdegere heads for the ladder and roof to eat some food.
Mistress Bianca: I think we should explore these towers more, there may be more stones like how we found the first orange.
Bart: We don’t have a lot of time.
Mistress Bianca: We don’t, This I know.
The stars are coming out, and a fresh breeze blows across the rooftop. It looks like this tower is on a small island, surrounded by water and trees. A little less swamp like than the other areas.
Mistress Bianca: I am open to suggestions.
Bart: Was there a tower with less then two colored stones?
Mistress Bianca: We saw tracks last in what, yellowish green tower?
Rikard Castleberry: Yes I believe so, but a quick look here would be pertinent.
Mistress Bianca: yellowish green tower only had 1 orange.
Mistress Bianca: And we found that on its rooftop.
Casdegere Constantine: Right but we have plenty of Orange now, and we are at the Orange Tower.
Bart: We could check the animal’s lair, It might have taken something.
Mistress Bianca: about 30 millicandles.
Casdegere Constantine: Didn’t we try Orange cubes at the other tower in both directions?
A slight amount of ambient light from outside. All the gems are dark.
Rikard Castleberry: Ok so this is going to sound very strange but what happens if we use the matching color stone in it’s own tower? Like orange in orange.
Mistress Bianca: I will give anything a shot at this point.
Bart: We explode?
Rikard Castleberry: Let’s give it a shot, worst that happens is well…never mind that.
Mistress Bianca: Why not. Clockwise?
Bart starts the fog.
Rikard Castleberry: Sure.
You walk CW with orange to no effect.
Mistress Bianca: Aaaaand now counterclockwise.
Bart: Other direction?
Rikard Castleberry: Oh well.
Mistress Bianca: Well that answers that Rikard, lets do a quick look around.
Rikard Castleberry: Sure.
Casdegere already went to the roof.
Bart: Let me go first.
Mistress Bianca: By all means…
Bart follows track to animal lair.
Bart follows tracks to the windowed room to the southeast. It looks like a bunch of plant debris was piled up to make a bed/burrow.
Bart slowly walks in to get a better view.
Rikard Castleberry: Well it sure looks like something was here.
The lair does not look to be currently used, but was not too many days ago.
Bart checks scat for cubes.
Bart shows scat covered seed to party.
Rikard Castleberry: ...
Bart: Do any of you recognize this?
Rikard Castleberry: Yeah, its crap.
Mistress Bianca: I am not an horticulturist.
This is a disc-shaped object about 2 inches in diameter.
Casdegere Constantine Walks into the room yawning.
Casdegere Constantine: Damn fine outside tonight.
Bart cleans object with a little water.
Mistress Bianca looks closer.
The skin is tough. It might still be fertile.
Bart pockets seed.
Casdegere Constantine: Hrm, poaching now, eh?
Bart: Won’t know until it grows.
Rikard Castleberry: I’m not sure that’s poaching.
Mistress Bianca: If you want to challenge a man who just dug through unknown animals droppings for his prize, well… that’s just mean.
Casdegere Constantine: Well I’m not sure either but that damn sign and Orsova’s words keep me up at night.
Rikard Castleberry: In any event.
Mistress Bianca: You have come a long way these past few days…A long way.
Rikard Castleberry: Let’s look around the rest of the tower.
Mistress Bianca: ok well, lets keep going?
Bart: Lead on.
Mistress Bianca shrugs.
Casdegere Constantine: sips at his water skin. You know, we’ve burned up a day. It’s dark outside.
Casdegere Constantine sighs.
Mistress Bianca heads to the room on the top left.
Mistress Bianca: Err top right.
You’ve basically been on the chase for almost half a day. The first room is wind-swept, with leaves and other debris. The second room has part of a skeleton. Looks like it was gnawed by predators. Maybe, but you’re not sure.
Mistress Bianca: Let’s go down.
You lack the anatomical knowledge. A few animal tracks, but not many. The rooms are filled with rotted trash for the most part. The central rooms do have some tables and open backed wooden chairs.
Rikard Castleberry: Let’s go down!
Mistress Bianca: There may be a stone of a different color hiding somewhere.
You find more rotted organic material and rusted metal. Moldering piles of wood and cloth are scattered about the room. Rusted pieces of metal and metallic objects hang from wall hooks and litter the floor. Nothing retains enough shape or integrity to discern its original purpose.
Mistress Bianca checks each room quickly, kicking apart piles of trash to see if a stone is uncovered.
You find one of the light gems. A sudden cloud of foul air rises after one kick. But you resist breathing. The gem is dark. That is the sum of what you find.
Rikard Castleberry: I wonder what kind of animal could have lived here and then left…
Mistress Bianca: Well did you look while you were up on the roof Casdegere?
Mistress Bianca heads back up to the top floor. continuing the conversation with Casdegere.
Rikard Castleberry: Have we exhausted this tower?
Mistress Bianca: Except for the roof yes.
Casdegere Constantine: Yah, it was a nice balmy starlit night. I didn’t step up to the edge.
Mistress Bianca briskly walks to try to minimize time lost and goes to the roof.
Rikard Castleberry follows to the roof.
Bart: There is something out there to the west.
Rikard Castleberry: Which way is west?
Mistress Bianca turns and as she does notices that Casdegere, herself and Rikard were all looking East.
Rikard Castleberry: Yep, that’s definitely, um, one of those, uh. What is it again?
Bart: I can see the light but not much more.
Mistress Bianca: a campfire?
Bart: It’s moving north.
Rikard Castleberry: Strangest campfire ever.
You occasionally hear the faint lapping of water against the shore of the small island the tower stands upon.
Mistress Bianca: Relay Towers? Maybe that’s what these towers are.
Bart looks for lightning.
Casdegere Constantine seems somewhat agitated. Not that that is anything out of the ordinary for Casdegere.
Rikard Castleberry stands next to Bart, looking like he’s seeing something.
Mistress Bianca: They may be arrayed along an ancient border and coast so if a watchmen sees invaders they can relay and gather resistance quickly.
No lightning. The sky is unusually clear.
Bart: We are far from the previous tower.
Rikard Castleberry: I wonder where the bad tower is.
Mistress Bianca: But maybe not from a tower in between that we have not been too yet. We need to find more stones.
Rikard Castleberry: We also haven’t explored any tower but this one completely.
Casdegere Constantine: I’d say that last tower’s exploration was as complete as it’s gonna get.
Mistress Bianca: Lets first go to the tower we last saw tracks in, the yellow/green tower.
Rikard Castleberry: I wouldn’t mind going back to the green one to finish off the spiders.
Bart: We can finish off the spiders after we stop the war.
Mistress Bianca: Agreed.
Casdegere Constantine: Thank you, Bart. A voice of reason in the darkness.
Rikard Castleberry: But what if the spiders ARE the war?...yeah nevermind, following the tracks is good too.
Mistress Bianca: I think we can get to the yellow green tower from here if the cubes on the ground are any indication.
Casdegere Constantine: Alright then.
Bart: Only one way to find out.
Mistress Bianca: start the fog and let’s go with the yellow green stone counter clockwise.
Bart starts the fog.
You walk clockwise. Plenty of stones for everyone and are back in the tower where you last found the tracks of those you pursue.
Bart: Shall we search this tower?
Rikard Castleberry: Yes.
Mistress Bianca: Ok recap, where were those tracks again Bart?
_The tracks are all over the place on this level. Lots of people were milling about.
Rikard Castleberry: Let’s start with the SE room on this level._
You find puddles that are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and a view of windows into darkness.
It dies and it is now even darker. No, that was the spider tower.
Rikard Castleberry: So, nothing much ere, lets circle around to the west and north.
Mistress Bianca: Bart maybe you can get up to the roof and see if we can see that light?
Bart: What do we do when we find the troops?
Mistress Bianca: Fight?
OK. Those on the third level find nothing of interest. Bart does not see a light, but again he notes the tower is offshore and the land is about 100 yards to the south.
Casdegere Constantine: We kill or disperse them, take the staff, save Kith’takharos.
Mistress Bianca coughs “spear” coughs
. Casdegere Constantine: Right, spear.
Bart: Well, The leader went to the spider tower.
Mistress Bianca finishes exploring the 3rd floor west and northern rooms.
Casdegere Constantine: We know they came here and they didn’t go to the Orange tower. Yes, Bart, but didn’t you say he must’ve come back this way?
Bart: I can’t track these towers. He may have come back here but I am not sure about time. All these other tracks mess things up.
Rikard Castleberry: I’m going to head down the hallway.
Mistress Bianca: Remind me to teach myself a friggen light spell. And not right now Mr. Castleberry.
You’ve already explored the third floor and didn’t find anything.
Bart looks over the edge towards the front of the tower for signs of a boat.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh I see. Let’s head to the downstairs area!
Mistress Bianca: We will need a torch for the lower level…no windows.
Rikard Castleberry: You can’t see in the dark?
Casdegere Constantine stays near Bart with weapon drawn, keeping an eye out for trouble.
Mistress Bianca calls up to Bart and Casdegere, “Got a light ?”
So Bianca and Rikard on on 2nd level. Where do you go?
Bart: By the Spirits of Night. They went this way.
Casdegere Constantine: Give it a minute, Barts lookin’ about.
Casdegere Constantine snaps around towards Bart.
Casdegere Constantine: What? Who went where?
Mistress Bianca calls up “he find something?”
Bart: See that line of spikes in the wall? Only reason that would be there is climbing up or down.
Casdegere Constantine: Yah, he says there are spikes or something in the….Just get up here.
Mistress Bianca shouts down the hall to Rikard, “Bart found something, get up to the roof Rikard!”
Bart: Thank you spirits.
Casdegere Constantine: I wish I had some spirits…
Rikard Castleberry heads up top.
Bart: This way – I believe they are over there.
Mistress Bianca: Yes, thank you spirits!
Bart: Anyone good at climbing?
Casdegere Constantine: You can’t expect us to climb down those spikes in the dark?
Rikard Castleberry: How far is the fall?
Casdegere Constantine: I can climb but at night, I think that is crazy talk.
About 70-80 ft into the water. Can’t tell how deep.
Mistress Bianca: We can try the front door.
Rikard Castleberry: Let’s check downstairs inside, we can always climb down after.
You can tell that not as much of this tower sticks out of the water to make it as high as the other towers.
Casdegere Constantine: Fair enough.
Mistress Bianca: Ok this is the tower with the mud pit at the bottom. Now I remember.
Bart: Anyone have any rope?
Rikard Castleberry: Actually, yeah, 10 feet!
Casdegere Constantine: I have a stretch of it too, if need be.
Bart: Then we can lower us down one at a time and Casdegere can climb down.
Rikard Castleberry: Sounds like a plan to me.
Bart: Rikkard – You First?
Rikard Castleberry: Sure!
Casdegere Constantine: I think this is crazy climbing at night without light. Can you get us some light Bianca?
Rikard Castleberry: Well, I know that down is still down, so that’s something.
Mistress Bianca: If you hand me the torch I can, but can you light it first?
Bart: Casdegere, I’ll climb down after lowering you. A light will let them know we are here.
Casdegere Constantine: A torch is gonna be useless. Okay, let me gear up and string that rope.
Casdegere Constantine lights torch and sets down on ground near edge.
Casdegere Constantine takes out rope, and secures to Rikard’s rope, increasing the effective length.
Rikard Castleberry: Ok. So my plan is to shimmy down the rope and try to use the spikes as footholds periodically.
Casdegere Constantine: Alright, Rikard, you first. We will lower you down.
Rikard Castleberry rubs his hands together and gets ready.
Casdegere Constantine: Bart, yer next, then Bianca, she’s the lightest.
Rikard Castleberry grabs onto the rope and gets into position.
Rikard makes it to the water and finds it is only 3-4 feet deep. But the bottom is muddy.
Rikard Castleberry calls out- can you guys hear me?
Casdegere Constantine: Next.
Bart climbs down with rope.
Casdegere makes it but the going is very slow. He almost falls once.
Casdegere Constantine: Now what.
Bart: That way.
Casdegere Constantine: This is a stupid place to put a tower.
Mistress Bianca: We swim?
Bart: It isn’t very deep here.
Casdegere Constantine wades through the muck.
You fight your way 100 yards to the shore and emerge muddy and wet. That was tiring.
Rikard Castleberry: whew, that gets the blood going!
Casdegere Constantine: Cleans off his gear and clothes as best as possible at the waters edge.
Mistress Bianca pants tiredly.
Bart: This way – We need to follow the trail.
Rikard Castleberry follows.
Mistress Bianca pushes into forward motion off her staff. “Okay.”
Bart heads off down the trail.
Bart leads you along the trail. You quickly move deep into the foliage. After about and hour, Bart suddenly stops. Just in front of him are 3 corpses, and the smell of burnt flesh.
Casdegere Constantine follows the others into the swamp as the torchlight atop the tower fades from view.
Rikard Castleberry hefts his spear at the ready and starts to look around.
Bart checks the corpses.
Casdegere Constantine: What the hell?!?
You hear nothing except the harsh sounds of your breath. Swamp Men. Two were killed with edged weapons, one was burned to death.
Rikard Castleberry: Well, I’d say were on a good trail, were they killed here, or left here?
Casdegere Constantine nods towards Rikard.
Bart pushes forward again.
Bart: Killed here I guess.
No reason not to think they were killed here.
Rikard Castleberry quickly checks the bodies for anything of note.
You push forward and the night progresses. But not yet late enough for fog; or early enough, depending on how you look at it. The swamp men had spears, bucklers and leather armor.
Rikard Castleberry: Can we afford to camp for a couple hours? I know Bianca looks exhausted.
Mistress Bianca: No, we can’t.
Casdegere Constantine: How long since those swamp men were smoked?
Bart estimates 2-3 hours. Maybe slightly more.
Rikard Castleberry: We still have a fresh trail then, which is good.
Bart: Not to long 2-3 hours.
Casdegere Constantine: We can always hope they stumble into more Swamp Men…
Bart keeps foraging ahead, gaze on the ground.
You continue on. Fatigue builds, but you can’t afford to stop. Then, after about 2 hours, perhaps a little after midnight, Bart suddenly stops, almost falling forward in an effort to arrest his most. Before you, there is a somewhat cleared area. And another tower rises from the center of it, arrest his motion.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh look, a tower with land around it.
Casdegere Constantine: Damn.