Sunday, February 27, 2011

Averlorn Campaign: The Wizard’s Tower of Zingalis

Recap from 2/18/2011

The group awakened in the woods the next day battered and bruised from our encounter with the giant stag beetles.  After some discussion, we decided to fall back to the lake and try to signal a boat to pick us up and return us to Medea’s Gate to rest and heal up from our battle with the giant insects.  Asclepius memorized the Wizard’s Spell Fly and cast it on Arceus, being the least encumbered one of our group, and he flew out over the lake in order to try and flag down a ship to come pick us up.  He went up and looked around and managed to spot a merchant ship that was traveling nearby on the lake.  As he approached the deck, the crewmen weren’t sure what to think of the flying human and had their bows knocked in a defensive posture ready to take him down upon the captain's order.  Arceus pleaded with them not to fire and told them that there was a group stranded in the woods nearby greatly in need of their assistance.

So he managed to convince the boat to come pick us up and we fell back to Medea’s Gate once again to recover from our ordeal.  After healing up and re-supplying for another expedition we decided that the group needed a bit more muscle to deal with the rigors of exploring the wilderness of the Anvil which so far, had proven quite challenging.  So we put up flyers, hired a crier and threw some money around at the local taverns to try to find some quality applicants.  We were hoping to find a ranger to help us find our way in the woods and low and behold two rangers answered the adds in seek of work!  One was a human named Taleth Flavius (a 4th level Ranger) and the other was a human female named Renna Polgar (a 2nd level Ranger) and they were hired on the spot by Sicarius and Kaira.  The other applicant was a human fighter of the Anvil named Kelemeikos the Grim (a 4th level fighter) and he was hired by Asclepius to be his henchman.

Unfortunately, Asclepius and Kaira and their new found hirelings weren’t able to accompany us on our next foray due to unexpected circumstances (the two players had to leave) and so the remaining group was bolstered by Lucias’ hirelings Brummbar the Dwarven Cleric and Cyrcla the Elf and we set off for the tower.  Once again we took a boat and had them drop us off close to where we started before and made good time through the woods to the tower.  Our load had been lightened considerably since everyone had paired down their gear in order to move faster at the urging of the Rangers.

While moving through the woods, the group spotted two Chimera off in the distance that saw us as well and started flying towards us.  We decided to try a new tactic with them that we had worked out beforehand.  Teth-en-Aire would cast Slow on our opponents (the Haste spell reversed) while the fighter kept him covered as he cast his spell and the archers would fall back to pour withering fire on our enemies with their bows.

In this case it almost worked to perfection except that Brummbar decided to stand with the Elf and the fighter in order to bolster them with his Prayer spell.  The evil Chimeras both failed their spell save and were slowed to half speed and their number of attacks were cut in half as well.  Before they could even get to the three that hadn’t fallen back, the archers managed to hurt one of them badly with arrows while Brummbar cast his Prayer spell to bolster the three of them.  At this point the Elf decided to fall back and shoot while the fighter and cleric stood their ground against the two malevolent creatures.  Unfortunately for the dwarf, they both breathed fire and he failed his breath attack save verses both of their fiery breath weapons from the dragon head (they each had three heads) and he was nearly killed.  Lucias fared better since he made his saves and was wearing a Ring of Fire Resistance.

The Dwarf fell back the next round while the archers continued pouring on the fire against the two creatures, this time with the aid of Teth-en-Aire’s bow as well.  One of the creatures was killed by the arrows and the other one tried to attack Lucias and did little or no damage.  Lucias then managed to slay the hateful beast with his enchanted sword Hope Blighter.  The cleric healed himself up and Lucias took a healing potion to restore the damage he had taken from the fiery breath of the Chimeras.  Then the ranger attempted to follow their tracks to their lair in search of loot with the rest of the group behind him.  He succeeded in finding their lair but there was scant treasure to be found there – a mere 500 g.p.

So we continued our trek through the woods in search of the fabled Wizard’s Tower of Zingalis.  At one point we came across a Pegasus (a flying white horse) and tried to befriend it but it flew off seeming to have no interest in the group.  Eventually, we made it to a clearing and came upon what was obviously the Wizard’s Tower of Zingalis.  The tower itself was of an odd geometric shape and looked more like a giant obelisk than a tower and sat upon a raised hillock of sorts.  The tower was surrounded by a circular black basalt wall with at least one gate that we could see.  To the left of the tower and outer wall in the clearing was what appeared to be a large Temple of some sort.

Upon closer observation with the Eyes of the Eagle, the temple appeared to be a temple to the gods with statuary and a pool in front of the entrance.  The statues were of an archaic style and simply carved and one looked to be a wizard with ram horns holding tablets with three acolytes beneath him that appeared to be beholden to him and looking up from a prostrate position.  It was about this point that Arceus saw the Cyclops for the first time using the Eyes of the Eagle.  He appeared to be sitting off to one side of the tower within the outer wall next to a small pile of creek rocks and keeping a lookout in the direction of the temple.

We decided to get a closer look at the temple and tried to stay out of site of the Cyclops by staying in the woods and keeping the temple between us and the tower.  We crept up to the side of the temple and Arceus and Sicarius snuck around the corner to peak inside of the open doors.  They heard what sounded like multiple large creatures breathing and managed to glance into the structure and thought they saw a large lizard type creature of some sort.  They didn’t see any Cyclops tracks outside of the temple but did get a better look at the statues.  The ram horned wizard was undoubtedly Zingalis and the three prostrate figures below him appeared to be orcs that were beholden to him.

So the group snuck back to the edge of the woods and decided to try to get a closer look at the tower itself and the Cyclops.  We stayed well within the tree line and circled around to the right side of the tower where we spotted a group of twelve or so orcs that were keeping an eye on the tower and the Cyclops from the edge of the woods.  Three of their number appeared to be the larger “black” orcs which were undoubtedly Zingalis’ special breed.  Since we saw them before they saw us we had surprised them and Cyrcla cast a sleep spell on them which knocked all but one of the black orcs unconscious.  The rest of the group peppered the remaining conscious orc with arrows and swiftly killed him.  We went to their position where the elves and rangers showed the sleeping orcs no mercy with their blades and then we took what scant gold they had.

We saw another gate at the second cardinal point on this side of the circular outer wall that led into the complex as previously described by Ornascar.  The gate was barred by iron bars and appeared to go into the labyrinth beyond rather than into the open courtyard within the circular outer wall.  This meant that the courtyard itself where the tower was located was actually a terrace level that was above the level of the labyrinth below.  The wall appeared to be about 20’ tall and the Cyclops was about twice that high with the tower sitting on the raised mound of earth well above the height of both.

We continued circling around through the woods sending the rogues out at the third cardinal direction of the circular outer wall were they spotted yet another gate.  Since the Cyclops was sitting on the opposite side of the tower from us at this point, we decided to move towards the wall and gate to get a closer look.  As we approached the wall we noticed some levers on the gate and a metal platform in front of the gate made out of some odd and unknown type of metal.  We also noticed on the wall there was what appeared to be an eye like orb that was rotating around and following us as we moved.  Sicarius moved up to the wall and tried to climb it but failed his climbing role and fell back down taking a little bit of damage.  He said the wall had some kind of slick coating on it and was exceedingly difficult to climb.

So we followed the wall around to the fourth cardinal point and noticed that the fourth gate had been smashed in apparently by the Cyclops.  There was also a large tree next to the wall that the giant had been using as a stepping stone to get over the wall in and out of the terrace area inside.  So we decided to explore the labyrinth beyond the smashed gate.  Inside was a long hallway containing a large door at the end and another statue of Zingalis off to one side.  He was holding a tablet in his hands with a series of commandments from the gods on it.  To the right of the tablets there were three holes in the door that appeared to be key holes of some sort.  There was also another eye like orb with a slit in it that appeared to follow us as we moved around in the hallway.

There was also what appeared to be a permanent sleep spell in the hallway.  The Ranger and Cyrcla both fell asleep repeatedly even after the others woke them up since they were both at or below 4th level and still susceptible to that spell.  The rest of the group backed up away from the door with the two unconscious henchmen and the two thieves started investigating the key holes on the door.  That’s when Sicarius set off the magic missile trap – he was hit with two missiles and even Arceus who was standing further back was hit with one.  So they were a little singed at this point and Arceus took a closer look at the door and realized that it was a fake door and nothing more than a magical trap that set off the magic missiles when tampered with.  They fell back a bit and searched the hallway along with the rest of the group and we found a secret door.  We decided that our scouting mission was complete at this point and began our trek back to Medea’s Gate since we barely had enough food to last us for the trip home.


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