Tulukaruk decide not to awaken his companion and returned to sleep for what remained of the night. He felt reasonably certain that the Cthulu-ites were not out to sacrifice he or his friends. The next morning, the party met up with the fisherman, paid him his 10gp and reiterated the other terms, 10% of the haul. The skiff was turned over to the party and they headed out across the inlet, East, towards the Tower of the Black Pearl.
Several hours later, they spied the Tower, barely poking up above the surface of the water. It was a large, square structure with con-caved walls and reportedly, 100' tall, though nearly all of that must be below water. A menacing gargoyle was mounted outward at each corner. What appeared to be a Viking long-ship was moored to the Eastern wall and a large plank connected to the top of the tower from the boat. The party guided their rental-skiff <snicker> along-side the long-ship and stealthily climbed aboard. The boat was deserted and nothing of value was found. They quickly and quietly crossed the plank to discover 3 pirates drunkenly snoozing on the top of tower. They were wakened by the noise of the party but were soon dispatched.
A trap door in the roof of the tower was discovered with little effort and the party soon descended into the top-most floor. This strange room held a large black onyx pedestal and hundreds of candles, mostly lit but at varying intervals of burning, as well as a staircase that descended. Upon the stand was a very large tome, which when opened, revealed the names of some 500 persons. Thinking it a guest registry, Korumora entered his name at number 501. The party investigated the candles. Tulukaruk attempted to extinguish one of them but was violently slapped by a strange force resembling flaming hands.
Fearing the unguessed true purpose of these candles, the party descended the wooden stairs, which were clearly worn and weakened with age and moisture. While carefully heading down, they noticed some strange statuettes in little alcoves of the wall along the steps. They came to a breach in the stairs and had to take a leap to cross the gap. Unfortunately for Lykos, he did not clear the gap as well as the others and fell 10' below on to the bottom of the stairs and into another chamber. Slightly injured from his fall, Lykos recovered and the rest of the group caught up to him. The room they found themselves in was another strange one full of obvious sorceries which made the barbarian quite uncomfortable. (In an amusing effort to help the barbarian become more comfortable around magic, particularly that of the Pyromancer, Korumora developed a "safe word" for Lykos. When spoken, "brussel sprouts" was intended to warn the barbarian that magic was about to be in use or was already in effect. It's kind of funny to hear my players yell out "brussel sprouts" in the heat of battle...)
This room contained 3 great arches, one in the NE, NW and SW. Each had the carven image of a dragon in dark mahogany and bound in bronze. A large symbol was carved into the floor and near the NE arch, fresh blood was pooled there. The NE dragon carving had a set of pearls for eyes, the NW one's eyes were missing and the SW dragon had a matching set of small emeralds for eyes. The party spent a solid hour trying to figure out the room before realizing that the blood was a sacrifice required to activate a gateway beneath the arches. Theron sliced his hand and dripped a fair amount of blood onto the floor before the NW arch which quickly shimmered. Bounding through one after the other, Theron, Birigir and Lykos stepped into another chamber and were immediately beset by a band of pirates. Tulukaruk and Korumora quickly followed suit and immediately found themselves engaged in a melee.
5 opponents faced the 5 adventurers and blows were traded. The pirates were soon dispatched, being meager opponents to these rapidly seasoning fighters. The bodies were scavenged for valuables and this new chamber was surveyed. A set of stone-carved stairs descended to the North and a stout-looking door was set in the East wall. A symbol, similar to the one on the floor of the previous room was likewise etched into the floor here. The East door was opened and the room beyond was investigated. This cahmber contained some rickety, badly-aging shelves upon which sat 5 golden bowls. A 6th golden bowl containing a ceremonial knife was sitting on the floor. The contents of the bowl turned out to be desiccated human organs... Finding this to be foul and wrought with sorcerous peril, the party elected to leave the contents of the room undisturbed.
Descending the stone staircase in the previous room, they got the sense that the interior of the tower was larger than the exterior showed it to be. The stairs went down for 60-80 feet before turning East and debouching upon a dock before a misty lake. It was only a few moments before a ferry materialized from the mists and floated to the dock, a solitary pilot aboard. The boatman reached out with a bony hand and it was then that the party realized that the boatman was entirely a thing of bones. It did not seem hostile and the party quickly deduced that it was seeking payment for the journey ahead.
Depositing 5sp into the boatman's hand, Theron bravely stepped forward on the boat. Each party member did the same and when they were all aboard, the boatman dumped the coins into the lake and then proceeded to pilot them onward. The trip lasted 30 minutes and towards the end of it, the party passed beneath a rope and plank bridge. The lake had narrowed at this point and 20' cliffs to either side anchored the bridge above. The cliff walls were slick with a nasty-looking much and the party elected to not try to climb. They soon reached their destination as another dock emerged from the mists. As the boatman steered them to it, the mists cleared a bit and a group of people could be seen standing in front of 2 great iron doors 20' from the dock.
The group turned to meet the arriving boat and party members. The party debarked onto the dock and the ferry slipped silently away into the misty lake. The group ashore consisted of half a dozen pirated as those that were bested earlier, as well as another that was clearly their leader. The lead pirate introduced himself as Black Quenn.
"Perhaps you've heard of me? I am a scourge upon the coasts of Dagon Bay; the locals all fear me! Clearly, to this point, you've bested my men. Perhaps we should form an alliance rather than continue this conflict? What say you? Shall we work together to figure out these great doors which surely hide the treasure of the once great Sezrekan? I shall grant you first pick of the treasure and you shall take all magic discovered save for the Pearl itself. That is mine."
Unimpressed with the offer and the opponents, the party debated the deal. The decision was made for them as, suddenly, Lykos was filled with a murderous rage and charged into the group of pirates with a blood-lust greater than that of a normal barbarian warrior. With nothing left to do but fight, the party followed their barbarian into battle. The fight was a difficult one, though Lykos landed a terrific blow upon Black Quenn that split him left shoulder to right hip, causing his body to fall asunder. There were but 2 remaining pirates when this happened and the fight quickly left them. Lykos dispatched them but not before receiving a few wounds as well.
After the battle, the insane rage in Lykos retreated and he seemed to return to normal. A guess at the source of the insanity was made of the strange mask that remained attached to his face, but none could be certain of it. They all silently hoped that this rage would not be turned upon them... With the battle over and the spoils split, attention was turned to the great iron doors before them. The doors stood 20' tall and there was a graven image of a dragon head at door-handle level. The one on the right door showed a small key hole. Lykos attempted to fiddle with the lock but failed to open it. He was successful, however, at enabling a trap! A scything blade swung out from the ceiling and caught him upon the breast. The cut was deep and the blood flowed. Thankfully the flow was staunched but not before most of his life had flowed from him. Knowing that he would only slow his companions down and fearful of a resurgent rage, he gathered the acquired belongings of the party and called for the boatman to return. It was not long before the ferry returned and Lykos made his way back to the pirate's longship, preferring it to the skiff, where he proceeded to rest.
The rest of the party continued to seek a way to open the iron doors and after much time wasted, managed to do so. Korumora investigated the room beyond which was decorated with the bones of many victims. Small holes in the floor and ceiling dotted the room as well. A set of stairs rising up were across the room. They ended at a landing before a door that the Pyromancer could not open. Not long after he began investigating the door, water began to fill the room below. Korumora quickly retreated when he noticed the iron doors begin to swing closed on their own. No amount of force from his companions could stop them from so doing.
30 minutes later, the sounds of water draining were heard and they were once again able to open the iron doors. This time they sprinted across the room and battered down the door at the top of the stairs. The door gave way to a small, bare chamber with an exit to the East. They took it and the opening gave way to the rope and plank bridge which they had spied form below while on the ferry. They quickly crossed the rickety bridge. Theron stepped on a weak plank and plunged into the lake below and, weighed down by his armor, quickly sank towards the bottom. An Atlantean by birth, the doughty Cataphract slipped out of his chain armor and skillfully swam to the surface. A rope was thrown to him and he quickly climbed the slippery cliff with the aid of his companions.
Now across the lake, the inspected the chamber they were in and found a large sarcophagus in it. They searched it and decided to open the great stone box. It took all 4 of them to push the great stone lid off and when the task was completed, they found the skeleton of Sezrekan inside. His wizardly robes were moldy and tattered but a thin gold crown was atop its head. The party snatched the crown and careful not to disturb the body, searched the rest of the sarcophagus, finding a pair of small rubies. Disappointed at not finding the Black Pearl with Sezrekan's body, they searched the chamber and discovered a hidden door that opened into the room containing the golden urns full of desiccated human organs.
The party put two and two together and realized that the rubies belonged to the NE dragon carved alcove back in the portal room and quickly returned there, as time was running out to find the Pearl and escape before the tower once again returned to its watery depths for another decade. Korumora placed the rubies in the empty sockets of the carved dragon above the alcove and Theron made the blood sacrifice again. The alcove shimmered to life and the party stepped through into a large chamber some 100' across and 40' wide. A large pool of water occupied the majority of the room with but 20' of platform on either side. Across the pool was the statue of a large dragon, and resting in the dragon's mouth was the Black Pearl.
Not believing this room to be without trap or hindrance otherwise, Birgir tossed some food scraps into the water. It was immediately beset upon by a very large number of swarming aquatic snakes that tore the food to bits. The party conceived of a plan. They retreated through the portal to break apart the fisherman's skiff in order to construct a hasty smaller raft from the wood planks. They also snatched the dead bodies of two of the pirates. Butchering the bodies, they tossed them to a far corner of the pool to draw the snakes away, successfully. Theron set out on the hastily built raft and managed to cross unmolested as Birgir chummed the waters away from the skiff. Theron stepped off the raft and reached out for the Black Pearl, snatching it from the jaws of the draconic statue.
Shortly after its removal, the tower began to shake. Sea water began to pour in through tiny cracks in the stone and the party had to make haste to escape the tower. Theron discovered yet another symbol carved into the stone floor before the dragon statue and bled himself yet again. He was transported back to the room of arches where he met up with his companions and they raced up the stairs and ladder and back to the long ship where Lykos was patiently waiting for them. They cast off from the tower and watched it sink back into the waters of Yys Inlet once again.
Last edited by Druvas (3/21/2017 7:04 am)