The High Clerist’s Tower
The party entered the HCT and searched it from top to bottom. They found an ancient map room, a group of gully dwarf squatters who had been attempting to find a special marble. They were lead by the “fearless” Highphlug the Two. They were friendly, but frustrated they had made little progress finding the orb. (This is largely because they had made little progress pass level one of the tower and were quickly left behind by the party, rather easily)
The group saw several ghosts and specters who had previously lived in the tower. One particularly dangerous undead experience involved a group of “Revelers” who had a strange temptation ability that caused an afflicted individual’s soul to join them in their celebration, leaving their catatonic body wherever they encountered the group.
The group continued up the level’s of the fortress running into a group of Knights who were locked in a continual battle against dark soldiers, forced to fight and die and do it all over again the following day. The group aided them in one battle, and were told about a new figure that recently showed up that had fought against them that showed up about the same time as the Gully dwarves…
The bypassed several traps, and located the Altar of the Orb room, and the (Blue) Dragon Orb. They paid particular interest to the orb rom which had been creatd to lure dragons in to a gruesome death through one of the tower entrances filled with spikes, razors, and hook chains.
The party bypassed a hall of mirrors and had some trouble in a guard room filled with iron golems that temporarily drove half the party back, but others managed to get past them and locate the treasury room, while the Iron Golems were deactivated. (The group found a book of infinite spells, Staff of power, and a set of +2 Plate armor, a +3 long sword, and 23,5000 in stl (Jewelry)
As the reached the top of the tower they ran into a “Philosopher Minion”, a ghost who was aware he was dead who seemed to favor intellectual conversations with an emphasis on historical aspects. He gave them information on the Crown of Kurnos, and the Crown of Yarus which had been in dispute by more than one source… in the next room the group found the remains of the last game played between the great clerics of good and evil, Yarus and Kurnos. The party placed the crown of Yarus on his skull (after a debate) and this released all the spirits from the Tower, brought forth the spirit of Virkhus the Avenger, who offered to aid the party… and unlocked the tower for the Knights camped outside.
The party made their way from there to the top of the tower… The sound of distant thunder rolled across the plains. From their look out position they could see an army with dragons moving in from the south. A solid wall of draconians and kobold archers crashed across the plains. Their ranks broke against the wall, lead by ogres attempted to cave in the front gates. The party exited the tower and made their way to the front to meet up with their allies who had already been placed in positions by Laurana (Who the men referred to as the Golden General as she was the only one to take command after Lord Alfred Markenin road out to parlay with Lord Soth and the Blue Lady and was slain and drug back to their armies front lines.) and the steadfast Solamnic 2nd in Command, Lord Aurik Archuran.
Knights! Men-at-arms! Free people of Ansalon!! I will take up the leadership of our forces, knowing it to be a burden to bear and not an entitlement bestowed upon those who send you to die in their stead. Not for power or glory. I will fight and die beside you if you will do me the honor of standing at my side! in the face of this brutish and unreleting evil. I will honor you by facing it head on untilt he bitter end. We will not leave the people of Palanthas to torment and turn away from the despair of Ansalon. I say this place and no further. Not an inch of leniency will be shown to our enemies.
I say they have taken enough from all our people! I say the only thing they will receive this day will be our fury!!! Our defiance to their queen!!! This place, no further!
Est Salaries Uth Mithas. Est Salaries uth Mithas!! Est Salaries uth Mithas!!!!!!!!!
(My honor is my life; Solamnic motto)
Shortly after the speech the party emerged from the tower and began defending the fortress. Several spells were cast from the white and black robe wizard including protections spells such as invisible hounds, illusionary and real changes to the environment, which caused the terrain to become a huge obstacle to the approaching army. The gate of the fortress was animated into a terrifying face of the infamous bard, Paul Giamatti which began crushing ogres and draconians and then using their corpses like putty to patch up the holes in the fortress wall!!!
The Noble Ranger Longshadow slew draconians and kobolds by the score, while the warlock activated the Dragon orb in the orb room, calling for one of the blue dragons to crawl (ala SAW) through the tube of doom, meeting a horribly gruesome, and messy end. The Knight “The Answer” eventually road out with a squad of Calvary and broke the Draconian ranks, road over the top of the enemy archers, and slew the Draconian Captain. After this feat, he was noticed by Lord Soth himself, and challenged to a charge which he met head on, leading his men against the infamous Death Knight.
This is where Soth transported the Solaminc Fighter who was pressing the attack with a group of his men to Dargaard Keep in Nightlund, a human land that shares a border with Solamnia. There “The Answer” struck a barin with The Knight of the Black Rose. In exchange for his mens lives, he would agree to serve Lord Soth. True to his word, his men were allowed to leave with minimal provision and weapons (among them Sir Hank’s mighty sword and famous Armor of Vinas Solamnus); he was then given the option to return to his friends as a spy, or become one of The Black Rose enforcers. He choose the later, and was forced into armor too small for his size “Smedium” battle armor, to begin his lesson in pain and submission to his new master.
You must know that the act of courage is only the beginning of achieving a victory, not it’s end.
With Soth departure, the slaying of one of her Dragons, and vanquichising of her Draconian Captain, the Blue Lady had no choice by to call for retreat. But not before striking out at the groups “Gold General” first. Her attack was interrupted by Sturm who suffered a mortal wound from her, and would have surly died if the remaning members of the party had not immediately intervened. The sounds of cheers arose from the men at the sight of the Blue Lady flying away and her army defeated.
The group took a few days for themselves in Palanthus and met some interesting people… a monster layer from an ancient order, Sir Gregory. A plainsmen looking for noble Silvanesti elves, allegedly to murder them… a shifty looking gnome salesman who promised to meet the group in Sanction with an air ship. A group of gnomes who had a uranium powered camera. A noble on the Palanthus Council who made Longshadow an Earl and gave him land inhabited by a small group of Vikings. And they drove out Sir Brian “Lyin” Williams who had been telling tall tales at many taverns about the group. He was given the option of death, recant publically, or exile. He choose exile.
I was there in the HCT with the Warlock. He turned to me at a moment of despair, and that is when I told him to use the Dragon Orb. Use it now. And he did.
Prior to leaving many of the party found an INN; Goatwhore. Where Honkey Tonk and Techno ruled!!
The group met up at the docks of Palanthus, and sailed away for Sanction.
On the trip they encountered a rogue dragon, were attacked by Sea-Trolls, and suffered from the effects of housing a vampire on the ship (which lead to two deaths, one of which was the Captain of the ship Happy Widow). The 2nd mate took over, and the Vampire (who had be-witched the party Ranger) made himself known to the group when an infamous Minotaur pirate ship attempted to overtake the group. The group Black robed wizard El Morte used an illusion spell to hide the vessel and gain the upper hand for his side, when his ship crashed into the Minotaur vessel after the Vampire “Dracco” flew a delayed blast fireball conjured up by Ash to disabled the enemy ship. The Minatours fought fiercely, but were defeated by the party who had the upper hand after the one two shot before the fight started, it was already over… The infamous Bor Es-Drago, Minotaur Pirate was slain.
The group found 4 chests with 22,000 stl pieces. A charter, signed by the Dragon Emperor Ariakas, commissioning Mad Boris to scourge the seas in the name of the Queen of Darkness. A ring of fire resistance, two rings of protection, and assorted battle axes and swords.
The party managed to sail through a small gap east of Sanction with night covering their entry, as they hugged the coast and bypassed the Emperors’ Blockade. In the distance, they could see their destination. The city of Sanction.