The party gains some valuable information and continues exploring Tsar’s wall-fortress. The party’s techslinger, Neptune, narrates. -GM
9th day of Sarenith, 4717 AR
We left the swamp, muck still clinging to our armor. Personally, I hope we never return. I hate mud and smelly swamps. We returned home, and while Nonek and Nirot were having their mummy rot and swamp sickness cured by Father Death at The Camp, Dio and yours truly made a quick trip to the capital to sell the spoils of our adventuring. It took two castings of teleport, and the second one landed us about a mile off-target. I pointed out that a technological teleportation device would never do that, but Dio ignored me. We also stopped in at the local library, to ask about the artifact we had recovered after the fight with the iron devil and the weird blade robot.
The historians told us that long ago, Orcus had a competition to decide his “Grand Cornu,” which is a weird way of saying second in command. There were 11 priests, and after competing, Orcus gave the title to the weakest and turned the rest into these statues. Orcus seems to have a pretty twisted sense of humor.
We returned to The Camp, and the night before we returned to Tsar, the weird old peddler who told us to not sleep in Tsar or “to darkness we would awake” decided to stop by. My keen ears heard him first of course, and as soon as I heard the squeak of his cart, I sighed, wondering what ominously cryptic information he would give us.
He repeated his silly little ritual of sticking out his wrinkly hand and groaning “Buy.” I handed him another fifty gold, and he produced an old, worn stuffed owl. Then he gave us his message.
“Ten little blackbirds sitting on a hill, nine want to fly away, one stands still. Reunite nine with one and return their home will.”
Being the sharpest-witted of our little group, I immediately realized he was talking about the statues, and I realized that the rest of the statues are likely scattered throughout Tsar. Our cryptic friend then wheeled off into the dark and disappeared in the fog.
The rest of the night was uneventful, and we set off for Tsar in the morning. We decided to venture back into the tower with the iron devil and the blade robot. The room below where the fight had happened seemed to be some sort of torture room, as it was filled with painful looking implements and shackles. Two of which gave off magical auras, according to Dio. They were Dimensional Shackles, magical manacles that block the wearer’s dimensional travel and teleportation. The next room down was the end of the staircase, with one door in front of us, and one to our left and one to our right. The left door was very hot, and so with the keyring we had gotten off of the iron devil, we tried keys, until finally the lock clicked. We were greeted with nearly empty weapon and armor racks, and dust. There were a few Unholy bastard swords and a Keen battleaxe that Nonek was keen to grab. We searched it thoroughly, but there was sadly nothing else.
The next door was a bit more challenging to open, however. This was mainly due to the door being hot enough to cook on. Nonek, of course, went right up and started trying keys. He took his time, and finally the lock clicked on the second to last key. Nirot had to heal him using his healing wand, as his hands we badly burned. I expected even more loot, hopefully more valuable than that of the last room, but no such luck. An empty room awaited us, with a stone chair, quite a few scratches in the walls and ceiling, and a few stone shavings on the ground.
The final door awaited, and so we opened it up to find ourselves on a battlement with ballistae, which were sadly broken, as there were plenty of zombies milling about below to use as targets. I shot a few, but with them not being a threat and seemingly always being there, I quickly got bored.
We found another door on the opposite side of the tower and went down again. We found a room with a statue of, according to Dio, a Retriever, which are commonly made of stone and used to guard a wizard’s treasure. To me, it just looked like a big spider that needed to be put down. We all got in battle positions, and Nirot cast a few spells, and his bird became twice the size and his claws grew. He smiled and sliced off one of its stone legs, and it animated with a screech. Nirot’s bird Donkey screeched back even louder, clawed it, and bit off and ate another of its legs. Nirot whipped around his deadly scarf, and it reeled as it started bleeding. One more cut with the scarf, and it stopped moving. I was disappointed, as I was looking forward to disemboweling it.
We moved on though, and the next room had interesting tapestries with demons and angels. Suddenly, eight wraiths floated out of the walls. One drifted over to me and I felt its cold hand reaching for my heart. I jumped back and shot it, and it dissipated. The battle had just begun and I was already annoyed at these stupid undead. Why couldn’t they just stay dead? Dio cast a spell, but something was off, and suddenly the wraiths without any clothes looked a bit tougher. We were all a bit confused, but we wanted them back where they belonged, in the ground. Jackie Sparrow danced through them, slicing ghostly heads and limbs, while Nirot and his bird made mincemeat of ectoplasmic ghosts. Soon, they were all back to their correct state, dead.
We must now continue, and I will write more when we have more time.
Dio, elven diviner 11
Jackie Sparrow, hobgoblin swashbuckler 11
Khithni, undine beast-master ranger 11
Neptune, undine techslinger 11
Nirot, undine hunter 11
Nonek, human armor-master fighter 11