Friday, 6 June 2014

PotS 1x04 - The Paladins' Nest

These posts are from our DnD group's latest game. The current adventure is a return to the world of Eberron, and specifically Xen'drik. After taking over the Watchtower, and being touched by Xoriat's foul presence, the crew search for information that may be used to rid themselves of their monstrous deformities.

An Unnatural Mist
The crew reached the Kami Kaze at early dawn, and quickly readied it for their trip to the islands.  Hassan was able to reach out and confer with Kami some more, guiding them quickly to the most obvious location of the garrison.  In his Watchtower-aided-searching, he had come across a large expanse of mist that had not evaporated with the rising sun.  Able to get a high view of the cloudy expanse, he could also tell that it seemed to sit neatly in a circle, as if magic was involved.

Indeed, once Kami had led her ship into the fog, it was clear that the oppressive vapours were magically aided.  They dulled all sound, and shortened all sight -  not even Regdar could pierce it, nor convince any of his feathered friends to scout much farther ahead than they could already see.

By late morning, they had passed two smaller islands, and confirmed they were empty.  The third one, large enough to actually contain a small camp, they sent the rowboat to investigate further.  Ogg, Tvennr and Galinndan joined Kami on the away-mission, and moved over sand that had no trace of guests for many a year - indeed, the only life they found on the entire island was a few birds roosting atop the broken tower.

Their first stop was the garrison proper - the ruined first floor of a structure that once, centuries ago, held a portion of the paladins' order.  Now, its mostly-crumbled remains were guarded by the wraith-like form of one of the former soldiers, and an enchantment-bound door that stood against the test of time.  "Only the Lonely Sword can pass!" and "Gordian must open the seal!" were the only information they could get from the poor individual.  Not wanting to disrupt him further - at least, not for now - they moved off and searched the rest of the island.

Unseasonably Chilled
Moments later: the "statue" icons turned into the gargoyles (portrayed by Chima ravens)The only other thing of interest was half a wizard's tower (the bottom half), which seemed to be built to overlook the garrison.  The ground floor was a macabre laboratory, complete with a twisted, grotesque cadaver upon a fallen pillar.  The chaotic magic that danced about the lab lit the golem-creature, and as Tvennr disturbed it, revealed its violent nature.  Joined by two gargoyles from outside, the battle was dangerous, but whatever had given a false life to the poor individual had not restored its mind - it fought with ferocity, but not with skill, and was soon put to a more permanent rest.

Crazy wizard...Radagast feels like a good fit!Upstairs, Gordian was finally discovered - though, the fellow was clearly not the same as the wizard who originally built the tower and set up the protective wards over the paladins.  Time, heartache, and a whole heap of broken magic had warped him and his study, which was now filled with the frozen forms of past 'guests'...and he wanted to add more. 

His work with animating the dead was not restricted to Elaida downstairs - he was currently working on two corpses as the team broke in, and after Tvennr went to smack him with his axe, the two mummies joined the battle, spreading their curse and their rot to the party.  But once the frail, lifeless form of Gordian was put to rest, the team were able to gather up enough of his writings to open the Garrison, and hopefully, restore all those touched by Xoriat's influence.

The Paladins' Chest
...yes, the duplo block was the chest.  I couldn't find an actual chest in a reasonable amount of time!The garrison had its own bound demon, as well as two paladin-wraiths, but after the horrors of the tower, they were easily dealt with.  The chest within, however, was not so easily bested.  Four intricate locks, each needing a separate key, ensured the chest stayed closed, whilst intricate and powerful spells woven through its very structure kept out less-physical options of opening it.  Without the ability to investigate further, Kami had the chest moved to her ship, and set sail for the mainland once more.  Her crew needed to be strengthened, and these ruins weren't going to investigate themselves!

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