Characters' Actions since the Tomb

The next adventure will commence immediately after characters depart from the Tomb of Lord Talcet. [Although we did play a couple adventures, for continuity and also because we’ll (hopefully) be adding new players, I think it makes the most sense to just pick up at the end of the last full adventure.

Tower of the Moon
The Witch

I. Adventure starts as party left Lord Talcet’s Tomb
a. En route to the village of Sky Haven
II. (#1 on map) As the party makes its way along a narrow trail, a small boy, perhaps eight, comes charging onto the path ahead and seeing the adventures, yells for help.
a. The boy, Caleb, is very agitated, tears streaming down his face which is marred where branches have whipped him as he ran through the woods. He is barefoot and his clothes are torn with thorn branches still clinging to his tunic and hair.
b. Caleb, gesticulating wildly and hopping foot to foot, says that the party has to come with him and rescue his little sister as their farm is being attacked by a monster. He ran out the back to get help.
i. The party, having lived in Skyhaven for years, is aware of scattered farmers, hunters, etc. and their families that live in the surrounding area.
c. Racing through the woods along the trail, the party hears as it draws closer, a ferocious screeching, a strange growling, almost like the sound some monstrous bird-like creature might make. They also hear the splintering of wood and high-pitched screaming.
i. “Alana!” Caleb yells darting forward…
d. (#2 on map) The woods open into a small clearing. In the center is a wooden cabin surrounded by a split rail wood fence that encloses a small yard and garden. Heavy wooden shudders barred from inside prevent a view into the cabin. Wisps of gray smoke rise from the chimney and dissipate against the pale blue sky.
i. The party can see the hindquarters of a large bear-like animal protruding from the rear of the cabin. The creature trampled through the fence, collapsing a section in the back, and has smashed its way through the rear wall of the cabin and into its interior. The creature was an owlbear, which the party drove off. Strangely – the monster seems to have crashed through the woods, trampled the fence, and smashed into the log cabin…ignoring the livestock. It also broke off the attack when wounded.
f. The children revealed that their farm has been cursed, but by whom or what they don’t know. They reveal that their father, Travkin, went hunting nearly a week ago and has yet to return. Their mom left yesterday to seek help from a neighboring farm but hasn’t returned and told them to remain locked in the cabin.
i. The mother, Elwith, returned and runs the house some time later
iii. Elwith confirms that she went to a neighbor’s (Rustoff’s) seeking help after her husband failed to return hoping the man and his two sons and dogs would be willing to search for Travkin, but she found the cabin abandoned. The kids believe “the witch” has cursed all of them. The party discerned that Elwith was withholding something…she reveals ultimately that the cabin was not abandoned, but rather that she found the Rustoffs dead.
i. Th enxt morning, the party venturd to the Rustoffs cabin, leaving Elwith and her two kids behind at their cabin. It was immediately apparent that ‘abandoned’ in inaccurate. While structurally sound (meaning no holes in wall as happened at Elwith’s cabin) the wooden door has been torn off its upper hinges and hangs ajar. The corpses of three dogs, mauled, are strewn on the covered porch and about the dirt yard. Tracks of a large lupine creature were found.
1. Inside, the party finds the remains of Rustoff and his two boys, torn and savaged; the youngest boy., 10 or 12, has been partially devoured. A fired crossbow lies near one of the bodies and the elder’s hand still clutching a morning star.
2. Scrawled in blood in wooden floor by Rustoff, whose throat was torn out, are the words “TOWER” and “MOON”. He must have lingered after the attack long enough to write that.
The party returns to Elwith’s cabin to find it empty…

The Party travels north to Sorrow’s Chasm, which extends the length of the map (miles in each directions) and is appx. 100 yds wide and three times that deep. A wide but shallow river flows over bleached rocks below; this river over millennia must have carved the gorge. Small metallic items strewn on the rock glint in the sunlight.
1. A close look suggests some of these items are pieces of armor, broken weapons.
ii. Extending the width of the gorge is a narrow wooden suspension bridge. The bridge consists of wood slats on the bottom between two ropes and then two upper guide ropes and waist level. Four posts, two on either side of the chasm, support the bridge. It’s looks structurally sound…for the most part.
iii. The terrain on the other side is the same height/level. What look like cave openings are visible in the side of the cliff on the opposite the party.
iv. Lurking with the largest of these cave was a Peryton, which the party defeated.

Tower of the Moon Part 2

i. Ambush – After defeating the peryton, the party was ambushed by one dire wolf and three wolves
j. Subsequently, they happened upon a small and impoverished hamlet. Nestled in the shadow of the plateau, are several hovels. In addition to normal crops, vast fields of bright purple pitcher-shaped flowers growing on one-yard tall green stalks surrounds the hamlet. These are the fields of wolfsbane and they are in bloom. Bundles of the flowers are hung above every doorway and window on each of the decrepit hovels. A grizzled peasant, Augustin, approached the party clutching a sickle. Augustin had much to convey. The region is cursed.
k. Tower of the Full Moon – The party scaled the plateau without incident and as the party watched, a bright moon rose, pale yellow with tinges of red-orange. A stone tower suddenly shimmers into existence, the Tower of the Full Moon. A baying of some gigantic wolves was heard in the distance. The tower is surrounded by skulls of gigantic wolves stuck on poles, eyes aflame, that howled as the party approached, alerting an archer on the roof who attacked the party.
L. The party cleared the first level of the tower, battling an animated suit of armor, a rug of smothering, a bucket full of crawling hands, and an animated cleaver. It appears to the party that the Tower might once have been dedicated to the kind fey faerie, Lunitha, but may now be under the control of the foul lupine-headed Ravanor.
M. Importantly, Augustin warned the party that the tower disappears at first light. They have to clear the rest of the tower before dawn and who knows what awaits them in the upper reaches of this dismal structure?

Tower of the Moon - Part Three

Yesterday, the party continued its exploration of The Tower of the Moon ascending to the second and third levels of the tower.

On the second level, the party discovered an alchemy lab and found a potion of healing a nearly drank acid. Unfortunately, the mage sprang a trap and plummeted through the floor to land, wounded but alive, the foyer of the first floor below.

They also encountered a mausoleum of sorts holding a ghast and three ghouls. The turned the ghast and two ghouls and destroyed the remaining ghoul. The gnawed torso of some victim still wore a necklace which they retrieved. It was a Necklace of Beheading hat grant the wearer—on a critical hit— a 20% chance of decapitating a bipedal human (humanoid like) foe. They spiked the door shut with a javelin upon leaving.

Continuing, they discovered a barracks full of rowdy gnolls and, they think, bugbears. Wisely, they decided to not engage the creatures and instead also quietly spiked that door shut also with a javelin. Will these doors hold as the party progresses higher into the tower?

As they ascended the narrow, winding stairwell to the third level, they triggered a trap releasing several poison darts. The barbarian was hit hard but survived the encounter.

On the third level, tragedy struck. The party had just entered the foyer when a stuffed wolf, some kind of sentry, emitted a mournful and deafening howl that echoed throughout the tower. Two minotaurs, frothing and bellowing, charged into the foyer, swing blood-encrusted battle axes. A melee ensured. The ranger’s panther companion perished during the combat, but before it inflicted grievous damage on one of the minotaurs. The dwarf cleric was nearly killed, collapsing in a heap under a savage blow by one of he minotaurs. Fortunately, the rest of the party prevailed, killing both minotaurs.

In exploring the remainder of the third floor, the party found a boarded up shrine to Lunitha and a statue of her within that fully healed them. The also discovered a cell holding the remains of “a priestess” [possibly “the witch”] and, under a loose stone, a ring of sacred moonlight.

The parlayed with the ogre jail keeper and avoided a potentially damaging fight. They also learned that ‘the masters’ are on the levels above them…

Tower of the Moon - Finale

Well, it wasn’t easy, but last night the party cleared the dreaded Tower of the Moon. When we rejoined our adventurers, they were ascending from the third to the fourth level of the tower. As soon as the reached the stairwell landing on the fourth floor, a massive Gnoll pack lord—wielding a poleaxe, its fur teeming with lice and singed in places—greeted them as intruders and attacked. The party killed the humanoid and then entered it’s lair where a massive (giant) hyena attached them. Again, the party prevailed.

After clearing those areas, they discovered a temple dedicated to Ravanor in which a juvenile Shoosuva, a wolf-like creature with glowing eyes, spines along its back, and a scorpion-like tail, was chained in front of a 10’ tall bipedal statue of a man-like being with the head of a monstrous wolf and over-sized claws, which commanded the room. The barbarian retreated and tossed the severed head of the hyena into the room. The statue, seemingly sentient, filled the party’s heads with rage and vile threats and it was all too clear that Ravanor himself now knows the party’s identity. The Shoosuva advanced in toward the party and attacked. While the party was fighting the monstrosity, a priest of Ravanor, Malachi, crept out of his room and attacked. All members of the party survived this encounter, and Malachi surrendered (and was interrogated before fleeing into the shrine only to be killed by the party in front of Ravanor’s statue). The statue, before crumbling in rage, promised them they would never leave the tower alive.

The adventurers then climbed the stairs to the top level of the tower, five stories above the cold moonlit earth. As soon as the opened the stairwell door, they were greeted with a fusillade of crossbow bolts from three wolf pelt wearing guards. The guards fired, dropped their crossbows, drew scimitars, and attacked. After a pitched battle, the party prevailed, killing all three of the cultists.

As the barbarian approached the wooden door leading to a room on the west side of he tower, a ghastly demonic howl pierced the heavy veil of silence that had descended on the tower after the battle, which caused the barbarian to flee in terror toward the stairs. The elf Ranger pursued his friend and while consoling him heard the sounds of a door splintering apart and the echoing footfalls of humanoids as they raced up the stairwell. The gnolls and bugbears sealed in their barracks by the party had escaped.

Thinking fast (well not too fast has much ale had been consumed by this point), the adventure barricaded the door with corpses of the three slain guards. This only forestalled the inevitable as the the bugbears, leading the charge, forced the door open. The party killed the lead bugbear and then cast web, choking the narrow landing and stairwell with a mass of thick web that engulfed the creatures, trapping them at least temporarily.

Wasting little time, the party darted into the western room from which the awful howling had emanated and encountered a four post bed, surrounded by an opaque curtain. They could heard something shifting on the bed. The ranger charged forward, scimitars slicing through the curtains, but they passed harmlessly through the not fully material flesh of a monstrous hound with a human-like face. The hound lunged forward and seized the ranger in its jaws causing a shocking amount of damage. Fortunately, the party had enough magic weapons and spells that they were able to prevail.

From the doorway leading into an adjacent room, they heard tiny voice complaining as saw Caleb and Alana…as well as their sinister mother, Elwith who ordered her children to transform into wolves. She then changed into a horrific bipedal werewolf and advanced on the party, still wearing a golden ring. The adventures realized that they were lacking silver weapons and also did not want to kill the child werewolves, only their mother who they recalled had almost certainly butchered her neighbors and also tried to send the party to its death by directing them to Sorrow’s Chasm where they were attached by the peryto.

Fortunately, the ranger was wearing the Ring of Scared Moonlight which he had found in the tower. Its power, gifted from Lunitha herself, was that it causes lycanthropes to involuntary return to human form (if fail a save). After a ferocious battle, the children were transformed back into small children and fled the battle. Elwith raged on but with the party’s full rage directed at her, was grievously wounded and bolted through the window diving headfirst toward the ground five stories below. By the time they looked out the window, she was gone. Only faint tracks visible. Elwith may have abandoned her children, but not her lord, Ravanor.

The party then, bypassing the stairwell that was still full of struggling bugbears and gnolls, entered the eastern room, which was something out of a Frankenstein-like nightmare. A mad alchemist (Reinhold), in the thrall of Ravanor, had been experimenting and creating flesh golems in the image of his master. He ordered the automaton to attack the party, which ultimately defeated it and killed Reinhold, but not before in a senseless rage it went berserk and smashed a still living human subject strapped to a table into pulp.

The party claimed a Figurine Bronze Griffon [(DM p.169) AC12 HP 75 MM p.174] and using the griffon was able to escape through a window just as the 13 surviving bugbears and gnolls were breaking free.

The adventures and returned the Tower of the Moon to its rightful owner, Lunitha, and for that they would have her gratitude. But Ravanor will not forget this transgression and he has marked the party. Elwith also survived and similarly will not soon forget them. And what to do with Caleb and Alana whom the party rescued? And, one among them is even now infected with lycanthropy. Can it be cured and how long do they have until the next full moon?


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