So, 5 dead poachers lay upon the stones. At least 3 or 4 escaped, including Lenar Hoyt. They fled up the ramp to the 3rd floor.
Rikard Castleberry: Ok guys, I am so NOT going around the next corner first.
Mistress Bianca turns to scan the carnage. She leans on her staff to balance as she keeps herself from retching.
Mistress Bianca: I hate death.
Casdegere Constantine looks back, and here I thought you would take more fire for us Rikard, now I’m disappointed.
Bart: We have no choice but to move on. I will lead around the next corner.
Casdegere Constantine: I saw something strange.
Casdegere Constantine tries to muffle his voice.
Rikard Castleberry: Was it a fireball?
Casdegere Constantine: It was burst of fire from thin air.
Mistress Bianca perks up gathering her wits, taps her staff on the ground and bounces it up higher into her hand.
Bart: Are we ready?
Mistress Bianca: As I ever will be. Let us finish this.
Casdegere Constantine wishes he had a helmet and a sword like his Father.
Bart picks up one of the corpses and moves forward.
Mistress Bianca: Know that with every ball of fire, he gets weaker. He cannot last forever Casdegere, he will tire.
Casdegere Constantine: Perhaps but he is crafty, I have yet to set eyes upon him.
Casdegere Constantine keeps his eyes fixed on the corridor in front of him.
The corridor ahead is empty. Place yourselves on this new area. It is the ramp to the 3rd floor. No one around the corner, but you do see many footprints.
Everyone except Bianca hears a low hum from up ahead.
Bart pushes the corpse he is carrying out into the corridor.
The corpse topples over and lands upon the floor, throwing up puffs of dust.
Casdegere Constantine sets his back against the wall and inches up to the edge of the corridor, he turns his head and looks to his left.
Empty corridor in both directions except for the dead guy.
Bart picks up his corpse shield.
Casdegere Constantine follows close behind Bart.
Looks like the other towers you have visited.
Casdegere Constantine whispers.
Bart looks for traces of fog.
Casdegere Constantine: I’m going to check around the bend, incase they try to flank us as we move.
There is no fog in this corridor. Casdegere, it is pitch dark and you see nothing.
Casdegere Constantine feels his way around, his arm touching the wall as he moves.
Maybe Casdegere sees a faint glimmer somewhere around the bend. The light gets closer Casdegere!
Bart sees fog to his left in the corridor surrounding the central chamber.
Casdegere Constantine: You scared me Bart, I thought you were a guard.
Bart: They are getting away.
Casdegere Constantine: How, where?
Mistress Bianca: Gah you idiot!
Bart walks into thick fog.
You hear a deep humming from the corridor leading to the center.
Casdegere Constantine: They activated the portal thing.
Casdegere Constantine runs into the center, looking for cubes.
Bart: I was wondering about the fog.
Casdegere Constantine: We gotta get some cubes and follow them.
Bart: They have to come out to get anywhere.
Casdegere Constantine: They probably already activated it.
Mistress Bianca whispers and the fog would be gone if they were.
Casdegere Constantine: Then that would mean,,,they are in there?
Rikard Castleberry whispers back, “Do we know it disappears when you travel?”
Casdegere Constantine ducks to the side.
You find no cubes.
Mistress Bianca whispers we have seen it disappear when we stayed behind Casdegere and Rikard no?
Casdegere Constantine: Yes, it only lasts for a while regardless.
Casdegere Constantine moves around the rings, keeping to the wall and swinging in the air as he moves.
Bart yells “All who surrender shall live.”
You find no one.
Rikard Castleberry watches from the entrance.
Casdegere Constantine: It could also be…a diversion.
The hum dies and the fog vanishes.
Rikard Castleberry: Well then.
Bart: Shall we check out the side passages?
Casdegere Constantine: Indeed, quickly.
Casdegere Constantine stops and stays in the corridor incase someone tries to get away.
This room looks like other similar rooms you have seen. The roof hatch is closed.
Bart climbs up leaving his shield behind.
Bart tries to open the hatch.
It opens easily.
Bart looks to the roof.
Bart climbs up.
Rikard Castleberry also climbs up.
You see no one up here.
Bart listens again.
Bart hears the sound of trees bending in the wind, insects chattering and birds crying.
Mistress Bianca climbs up and looks around.
Rikard Castleberry shrugs.
Mistress Bianca: Check the walls.
Casdegere Constantine stands at the ready in the dark, angry that Hoyt may have gotten away.
Rikard Castleberry starts to walk around the side.
Bart yells down “Cas, Check the last corridor.”
Casdegere Constantine: Um…ok.
Mistress Bianca: He has no light Bart.
In a few minutes, you find the rooftop is empty of people. There is some food trash and a couple of crossbow bolts.
Casdegere Constantine: ON IT!
Casdegere Constantine uses the wall and moves around to his left.
Bart: He is smart enough to light another.
Rikard Castleberry: Well, this appears to be a wash.
Bart: The mage is good at making things invisible.
Casdegere Constantine stops as he gets out his last torch and lights it.
Rikard Castleberry: Yeah, but wouldn’t he have hit me with another spell by now if he was here?
Casdegere Constantine he sets his shield on his back and lifts up the torch in his left and, his sword in his right.
Bart: He is a bit of a coward. He may be hiding.
Mistress Bianca: Not if it is his last one.
Bart looks for recent tracks.
Casdegere Constantine cautiously he heads toward the last corridor.
There are relatively fresh tracks near the edges.
Mistress Bianca: If we leave this tower it will be difficult to get back should we need to.
Bart follows tracks.
Casdegere Constantine grumbles something about much pain coming to someone who greatly deserves it.
Casdegere Constantine steps around the corner and investigates the last corridor.
Mistress Bianca screams into the air in her harsh and raspy voice. A voice that sounds like stone grating on stone when she yells. “COME GET US YOU COWARD!”
Ahead of you, you see a wet and moldy room.
Casdegere Constantine searches.
Rikard Castleberry: I don’t see anything special up here.
Casdegere Constantine creeps up to the room ahead.
You see faint moonlight ahead Casdegere. The sky must be clearing.
Casdegere Constantine heads back out to the entrance and gazes out the window near him.
Mistress Bianca heads down the ladder to the 3rd floor.
Bart looks over the ends for signs of the bandits.
You are above the trees. Nothing out there reminds you of civilization.
Rikard Castleberry: I think they went away using the fog thingy.
Bart: Anyone here them yell out a color?
Bart sees nothing that appears human.
Rikard Castleberry: No, I did not.
Bart looks for anything in on the walls that would have allowed them to climb down.
He finds nothing.
Mistress Bianca rifles through her bag and pulls out the light gem. She leans against the wall trying to figure out how it works.
Casdegere Constantine: What the hell are you doing!? Let’s go already!
Mistress Bianca: And go where?
Casdegere Constantine yells from below.
Bart heads back to Casdegere on the teleport level.
Casdegere Constantine: Back, use a cube and go back.
Mistress Bianca: Back to what?
Casdegere Constantine: To another tower, Rikard has many cubes.
When she touches the gem, it gives off a very faint glow.
Bart searches for a cube.
Rikard Castleberry: I has many cubes.
Casdegere Constantine walks past Bianca and climbs the ladder.
Mistress Bianca thinks about the light gem puzzle, touching it makes it glow a little bit hmm? She grips the gem harder.
Bart searches the inner ring.
When her fingers brush it again, it goes out. Bart finds no cubes.
Casdegere Constantine gets onto the roof and heads toward the cistern.
Casdegere Constantine searches the cistern for cubes.
Casdegere Constantine he tests how deep it is.
Casdegere Constantine: uses his blade.
Bart searches each of the side rooms for a cube.
The water is deeper than the length of your sword. After a search, Bart finds no cubes on this level.
Casdegere Constantine takes off his armor, drops his belt, shield, torch, and his boots and you guessed, gets into the cistern.
The cistern is one of the most foul things imaginable. About five foot deep.
Casdegere Constantine uses his feet to feel for cubes.
_Casdegere holds down his dinner. His feet brush muck, sticks, probably bones.
Nothing that feels like a cube._
Casdegere Constantine gets out, disgusted.
Casdegere Constantine looks for a puddle on the stones.
No water substantial enough to clean himself.
Mistress Bianca continues with her puzzle.
Casdegere Constantine wraps his gear in his chain armor and balls it up with his sword in his sword hand, torch in his offhand.
She finds that touching the gem once turns it on, touching it again turns it off.
Mistress Bianca is not satisfied.
Casdegere Constantine goes to the trap door and drops down his gear and climbs down
. Rikard Castleberry: Can you guys smell that?
Rikard Castleberry: Something smells like ass wrapped in bad covered in yuck.
Casdegere Constantine collects up his gear and angrily heads down the corridor.
Mistress Bianca stuffs the gem back into her bag.
Casdegere Constantine begins his descent to the exit.
Bart studies the ground for the most recent tracks not from our party.
Casdegere Constantine continues downward.
By now there are so many tracks its hard to make out any sort of pattern. In a few minutes, Casdegere is at the entrance.
Casdegere Constantine drops his gear and heads out toward the water.
There are lots of footprints all over the place. There was a lot of traffic up here, including you.
Mistress Bianca: Speaks slowly, quietly, not even knowing if anyone is in earshot. “Every tower we have been to have had 2 stones, one forward, and one backward. We didn’t come here by stone, but do we have a stone to leave here?”
Rikard Castleberry: We could just keep trying stones.
Mistress Bianca: Walking back to the last tower is not a prospect I would particularly enjoy Rikard.
Rikard Castleberry: No, I mean try stones here.
Mistress Bianca: I know.
Casdegere Constantine washes himself in the cleaner, water.
Mistress Bianca: Casdegere wants to go back.
Bart: We have no blue stone.
Mistress Bianca: We may not need one. Blue gets us to this tower.
Casdegere gets the muck off, but he still smells.
Casdegere Constantine heads back up and puts his gear back on.
Mistress Bianca: We have a bluish purple stone.
Rikard Castleberry: I don’t think that worked before, did it?
Mistress Bianca: I do not think so.
Rikard Castleberry: Well, what’s the worst that can happen by giving it a try?
Mistress Bianca: Aside from accidentally being right and falling into a trap?
Rikard Castleberry: Or ending up in a tower with no air, yeah.
Mistress Bianca: Bart, you are a spiritual man. Do you think we have been put here to fail like this?
Rikard Castleberry: Well, I’m all for going in and mass killing, and sort it out after.
Mistress Bianca digs through her bag and pulls out the bluish purple cube.
Bart: No, but that does not mean that we close our eyes and try without thinking first.
Mistress Bianca: Yeah, that is the conclusion I came to. Unfortunately this is the best idea I have come up with.
Rikard Castleberry: Well, if we wait too long, we will lose our chance to maybe catch them.
Casdegere Constantine heads back up quickly.
Soon Casdegere is back with everyone else.
Mistress Bianca is overjoyed.
Rikard Castleberry: You uh, smell.
Mistress Bianca wishes her mask didn’t impede holding her nose closed.
Casdegere Constantine: Shut up or what Hoyt didn’t finish, I will.
Casdegere Constantine flashes him an angry look.
Casdegere Constantine: Now why are we standing around, he is getting away.
Mistress Bianca: Because we are thinking.
Rikard Castleberry: Well, let’s give it a go and sort out whoever’s there.
Mistress Bianca: A practice you may wish to consider before…doing whatever it was you did up there.
Mistress Bianca holds up the bluish purple cube in front of everyone.
Mistress Bianca: Well?
Mistress Bianca: If anyone has any better ideas I am more then willing to entertain them.
Casdegere Constantine: Bart, do you think they could have gotten past us and gotten outside?
Casdegere Constantine: Then we must move on with haste.
Rikard Castleberry: So, lets do that fog thing.
Mistress Bianca: Who else has one of these? (Indicating the cube)
Mistress Bianca: (POLL) I have a bluish purple cube.
Casdegere Constantine: I do not.
Mistress Bianca: Ok then Bart and I, Rikard and Casdegere.
Bart yells quickly “I’m with Bianca.”
Rikard Castleberry sighs.
Rikard Castleberry: Ok let’s do this
. Mistress Bianca: Bart, bluish purple ccw.
Rikard Castleberry grabs onto cas and the stone.
Mistress Bianca hold up the stone for Bart to touch.
You walk CCW, and pass the midpoint with nothing happening.
Mistress Bianca: Ok then…other way.
Again, no teleportation.
Mistress Bianca: Well that was fun. I am out of ideas.
You try the orange cube with the same results.
Mistress Bianca: Well, lets search the lower rooms.
Rikard Castleberry: Ok, well, did we search the bodies for stones?
Mistress Bianca: you do that; I will search the rooms, Bart? Care to join me?
Bart checks shield corpse.
The backpack holds a red and a purple cube.
Mistress Bianca: Son of a bitch!
Bart: Good thinking Rikard.
Rikard Castleberry: Let’s get a quick look over the other bodies.
Rikard Castleberry: See if there are any doubles.
Each corpse has a red and purple cube.
Mistress Bianca at a run heads to the other bodies hoping someone with a torch follows.
Rikard Castleberry takes one of each.
Casdegere Constantine takes one of each.
Rikard Castleberry: Well, shall we try red or purple?
Bart: Shall we try red or purple?
Mistress Bianca takes a purple one as she already has a red one…so nyah!
Mistress Bianca: Purple.
Bart starts the smoke.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh hell no, we all have our own.
Rikard Castleberry: Ill go first I guess.
Casdegere Constantine shoves Rikard behind him.
Casdegere Constantine bravely strides forward.
Bart uses Cas for cover.
Like last time, you first go CCW. At the halfway point, Casdegere disappears. Does Bart continue?
Mistress Bianca takes a very deep breath before she goes…just in case there is no air.
Suddenly, you are all falling! You tumble through the air, it seems forever, before striking stone very hard. It is still dark.
Rikard Castleberry: Ow!
Casdegere Constantine growls.
Casdegere Constantine struggles to get to his feet and readies himself.
You are about 60 feet above the ground, obviously standing atop the remnants of a truncated tower. The tower occupies a small peninsula. To the north, east, and west, thick fog emerges from the shoreline, rising higher than the top of the broken tower. The wall of fog appears stationary and, at least over the course of a few minutes, does not advance inland. To the south, the dense greenery presses against some invisible line in a perfectly even and unnatural demarcation. Between the fog and the trees, only short grasses grow. Massive stone blocks are scattered around the tower, obvious remnants of the upper floors, flung away by whatever forces tore the structure apart. Casdegere notices a person reclining upon the stones about 15 feet away.
Bart picks up Rikard.
The moon is full. You think it is near morning. Wooden posts bearing strips of cloth and leather or other decorations are interspersed amongst the blocks. Swamp Man bodies lie atop many of the blocks, most in advanced states of decay.
Casdegere Constantine rushes the person he sees.
The man’s head is twisted and his back bent at an odd angle. He is dead.
Mistress Bianca picks herself up and dusts off.
Casdegere Constantine looks him over to see if it is recent
Very recent, it looks like a poacher.
Casdegere Constantine steps away hoping he did not cut over the tracks.
Bart looks for tracks.
Casdegere Constantine heads back to the group.
Casdegere Constantine: Can you heal him?
Casdegere Constantine speaks to them both.
Bart: I tried, It is beyond my ability.
Casdegere Constantine: Then ill have to carry him…there is a dead poacher nearby, he was killed only moments ago.
Bart finds some nearby blood not caused by your group. It look like the tower was cut in half, and the interior filled with rubble.
Casdegere Constantine: I think they did come this way. Bart….are you well enough to look for tracks?
Rikard Castleberry mumbles in his sleep.
Bart: That is what I am attempting.
Casdegere Constantine sheaths his sword and sets his shield behind him.
Bart: I have found some blood but not an actual trail.
Casdegere Constantine leans over Rikard and gingerly lifts him up
. Mistress Bianca looks up to where they must have fallen from.
Mistress Bianca: It was a one way trip.
Casdegere Constantine: Well we are here now, Bart, fan out and pick up the tracks.
Mistress Bianca: Lets hope…he did not go the other way.
Casdegere Constantine: It is irrelevant now.
Casdegere Constantine: Hope is for poets, I want his head on a pike.
Mistress Bianca: Then you should hope he went this way.
Casdegere Constantine: Well one of his men did not fall well.
Casdegere Constantine: He and the last of his men survived if they are not here.
You are atop the remnants of a tower 60 feet above the ground. You don’t see any. Looks like they are filled in by rubble.
Bart looks for a way down.
You see no corridors or rooms.
Casdegere Constantine looks for an easy way to use the rocks to climb down.
Bart: Follow the posts?
_The tower occupies a small peninsula. To the north, east, and west, thick fog emerges from the shoreline, rising higher than the top of the broken tower. The wall of fog appears stationary and, at least over the course of a few minutes, does not advance inland.
To the south, the dense greenery presses against some invisible line in a perfectly even and unnatural demarcation. Between the fog and the trees, only short grasses grow. Massive stone blocks are scattered around the tower, obvious remnants of the upper floors, flung away by whatever forces tore the structure apart. Wooden posts bearing strips of cloth and leather or other decorations are interspersed amongst the blocks. Swamp Man bodies lie atop many of the blocks, most in advanced states of decay. You can see the tower in the middle of the map._
Casdegere Constantine looks over the edge.
Mistress Bianca (mutters): He’s here…he must be…he came first. Came down, blew off the top of the tower so…so that we would not follow so easily.(looking to the dead poacher) his man was still up there. Ohhh (chuckles lightly) he is good, very good.
Casdegere Constantine sets Rikard down and drops his pack; he fishes inside and pulls out his rope.
Casdegere Constantine: Then let’s waste no time.
Casdegere Constantine ties off the rope around a block.
The wreckage looks very old. Moss grows over it, and there are pools of water.
Casdegere Constantine cuts off enough rope to tie Rikard’s hands.
Casdegere Constantine: Bart…Bianca, we need to get down.
Mistress Bianca: Let me go first, then Bart, Rikard will need our help else more damage to his leg will result.
Casdegere Constantine: I’ll lower him down to you by wrapping the rope under his arms.
Bart: How did they get down?
Casdegere Constantine: I don’t know.
Mistress Bianca wraps the rope around her arm several times and holds on tightly for Casdegere to lower her down.
Casdegere Constantine steadies the rope for Bianca.
Mistress Bianca: My guess… the tower was intact when he went down.
Bart: There are old bodies on top of the rubble and moss growing on it.
Casdegere Constantine: You sure, there is moss on some of the blocks here and look, they look weathered.
Casdegere Constantine lowers her down, slowly.
Bart: Could they have gone up?
With Casdegere’s strength, and steadied by Bart, you slowly lower Bianca to the ground. There is just enough rope.
Casdegere Constantine: Up…where?
Mistress Bianca: Of course I am not sure! For all I know we are still in Kith dreaming this whole damn thing alongside the swamp man!
Bart: The other side of the tower.
Now that Bianca is at ground level, she sees a little more. Although the distribution of stone blocks follows no clear pattern, every one has fallen flat with the largest face against the ground. Each has suffered cracking and chipping, with broken corners and irregular lines, and yet all have landed in such a position as to furnish a convenient platform. Most are about three feet high, at least eight to ten feet long and five feet wide. All display streaking due to rain and weather but no moss or mold.
Casdegere Constantine: When you get down, look for tracks.
As mentioned earlier, some blocks hold bodies.
Casdegere Constantine pulls the rope up for Bart.
Bart climbs down and starts looking for signs of passage.
Mistress Bianca waits for Rikard to come down.
Casdegere Constantine ties the rope around his torso and knots it, then ties the end to his belt securely.
Casdegere Constantine: Ok, here he comes.
Casdegere Constantine slowly lowers Rikard.
On the way down, you see occasional scuff marks where moss was scraped off. And at the bottom, at least 2 sets of tracks head southeast. As you lower Rikard, the rope gently swings from side to side. His head bounces against the wall, and you hear an “Ow!” Rikard, you wake to find yourself suspended in the air.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh what the F is going on now?
Bart: Flap your arms.
Rikard Castleberry: ...
Mistress Bianca (shouts): Rikard, careful of your leg. It is near ruined.
Rikard Castleberry: Who jacked up my leg?
Casdegere Constantine: You did by falling like a sack of potatoes.
Mistress Bianca (shouts): Gravity.
Rikard Castleberry: I’m gonna hunt down this Gravity guy after Hoyt and take care of him.
Casdegere Constantine decides to climb down the rope while they get Rikard off of it.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh, would you mind letting me down all the way?
Rikard Castleberry: Just hanging here isn’t real fun.
Mistress Bianca helps Rikard’s balance on his one leg.
Casdegere easily climbs to the bottom.
Rikard Castleberry: Ok, now let’s see if I can do something about this
. Rikard Castleberry digs in his backpack.
Gathered at the bottom, Bart shows you the tracks he found. And you get a better look at the stone blocks from ground level. Although the distribution of stone blocks follows no clear pattern, every one has fallen flat with the largest face against the ground. Each has suffered cracking and chipping, with broken corners and irregular lines, and yet all have landed in such a position as to furnish a convenient platform. Most are about three feet high, at least eight to ten feet long and five feet wide. All display streaking due to rain and weather but no moss or mold.
Bart: They headed south east.
There is one block about 10 feet from you.
Casdegere Constantine: Can you walk, Rikard?
Rikard Castleberry: Kind of, a tad slower.
This body is mostly a skeleton with only a few strips of flesh.
Casdegere Constantine: Then I’ll have to carry you.
The legs are straight and the arms close to the torso, with the tail extending out from between the legs.
Rikard Castleberry: Fortunately my spear is good for balance. There’s no way it would be faster for you to carry me, than me to just go a bit slower.
Casdegere Constantine: Very well.
Bart looks for clan markings.
Bart hears a caw sound and looks up to see a raven descending with the gibbous moon at its back. It flies over Bart and lands on a wooden post set in the ground beside the block. A tattered leather thong flaps from the post.
Bart: This is not good.
Mistress Bianca: What isn’t good.
Bart: We are not welcome here
. Casdegere Constantine: We are leaving.
However, as Bart inspects the dead swamp man from a distance, the body sits up and swings its legs over the block, ready to step upon the ground.
Casdegere Constantine: Bart, move ahead, but keep in sight of me, Bianca, move with Rikard in the rear.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh that’s weird.
Mistress Bianca: I suggest we don’t touch anything… especially YOU Rikard!