Striking out from Talgyn’s End to the shores of Narl’s Deep the heroes attain the ancestral home of Tiberius only to find it occupied. Resting the night behind a close by hill, the heroes mount an offensive at dawn using surprise to even any odds against them. Successfully they overcome the demon and her two ogre companions.
17th day of 3rd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
Taking pause and assessing the situation at the end of the brief but bloody skirmish. There was some debate as to whether to try and keep the unconscious Annis for questioning. Sirath quickly finishes the debate with a sword thrust. At that point there is a yell from Norhtal, who as far as the others could tell was upstairs. Getting their bearings they bolt upstairs to find Norhtal standing on the upstairs landing looking somewhat anxious. He looks at Reollo and says “Y-y-y-you h-h-had better s-s-see this.” and promptly goes into the room he came from. Following him into the room the party discover a figure sprawled on the single bed in the room. Reollo instantly recognises the man as Brosphor his closest friend
Making some cursory checks of Brosphor and determining that he is unable to be roused at the moment but seems to be simply in a deep, deep slumber; Norhtal is assigned to keep an eye on Brosphor whilst Lucky, Reollo, Sirath and Tiberius search the rest of the manor.
Searching the two upstairs sleeping chambers Sirath finds in a false bottom of a wash stand containing a pouch of Crowns and Marks along with a number of small semi precious stones. They then head down the stairs to search the ground floor.
Finding nothing of interest in the large central sitting room, the next room they try turns out to be what used to be an observatory/library. The walls are lined with shelves of old mildew ridden books. Part of the roof and back wall is made of glass of an un-surpassing quality. Whilst dirty now the large brass telescope, toppled on its tripod, clearly indicates why the expense would have been made to build such a room. The view shows the vastness of Narl’s Deep stretching away from the manor huddled on its shore. Tiberius ever interested in books and research, more so as this was his family library starts a systematic search of the shelves. The others not being interested take the other door out of the room coming into the entry way where the bodies of the two ogres and the Annis lay. They then cross the entry way through an open arch into what must have been the dining chamber. Nothing of worth or merit to be found however.
Tiberius in his search discovers wedged behind a ramshackle bookshelf a folded piece of parchment. He spends a little time reading over the information committing it to memory and then burns the scrap of parchment. By the time Tiberius has caught up with Reollo, Sirath and Lucky they have just finished searching the kitchen without success. as one they turn to the stairs that lead down to underneath the manor. Heading down the stairs sounds of water lapping meet their ears. Before then is a short hallway that at one end opens up to an underground jetty. The wood of the jetty is questionable in places, but tied to it is a boat big enough to suit the party’s needs of getting them across Narl’s Deep to Narl’s Tower at its centre.
Along the walls of the hallway are two doors. Checking behind these doors they find a store/cool room and what must have been at one time a servants quarter. As they turn to go back up the stairs Tiberius’ keen eyes catch something not quite right with the rock wall down behind the stairway. Sirath then spends a few moments assessing the situation and confirms that there is what appears to be a secret door. Then looking further Sirath finds a niche in the stone that seems to hold a switch to open the door, high up on the wall. Without adue Sirath reaches up and triggers to switch. As he does he feels something jab into his finger and a spreading warmth starts to make its way up his arm. There is a moment when he starts to feel ill, then his monstrous metabolism kicks in and the moment is past. The door audibly clicks and grates inwards slightly. The door, on testing it, swings inwards easily and simply into an impenetrable darkness. Striking a light they enter to find largish room containing nothing more than a large chest against one wall. Reollo and Sirath show little interest in the chest, but Reollo counsels caution, which Lucky and Tiberius plainly ignore such is their curiosity.
Almost vying for the opportunity to be the first to open the chest to see what is in it Lucky and Tiberius reach the chest. Lucky tests the lid and finds it locked. He then sets about trying to unlock the chest with an implement ill suited to the job. Surprisingly, or maybe unsurprisingly, Lucky unlocks it with a clunk and a grating of metal that signals that the lock will never be of use again. Opening the chest a white powder billows out and engulfs both Lucky and Tiberius. Attempting to not inhale any of the cloud the two of them step backwards, exhaling through their noses and count themselves fortunate that there appears to be no ill effects.
Returning to the chest they peer down at a chest full of mixed Crowns and Marks. Searching through the contents they are able to find a large ruby, which Lucky pockets, some papers (which turn out to be the household accounts and title deed for the manor) and a leather dual canister bag which Tiberius takes. Inside the canister bag are two fine quality crystal canisters. One holding a greenish light liquid, the second a brownish thick liquid. Tiberius takes these and surmises that testing the properties inside would be impossible without destroying the contents usefulness. He also deduces that the two canisters are meant to be mixed together, likely by throwing the bag.
They then head back up stairs to the sleeping chambers and Norhtal meets them on the landing. “He’s awake,” is all that he says and steps aside allowing Reollo to enter the room where Brosphor was unconscious.
Brosphor looks groggy, sitting on the side of the narrow bed shaking his head. He is thinner than when the party saw him last time if that were at all possible. Through bleary eyes he looks up and sees Reollo and the others. A smile creases his face like he is expecting a punch line of a joke. “Reollo friend, what have you got me into now?”
Reollo slows to standing still, “What do you mean?” as Brospher hacks a couple of times and tries the stand, then thinks better of it and looks at Reollo “Where am I, where are we?”
Reollo unsuccessfully masks an exclamation of surprise and the says “Brosphor, brother, we found you here.” Brosphor’s face quickly loses any sign of hilarity “And here is where?”
Reollo moves in closer “We are in an abandoned manor on the shores of Narl’s Deep.” Brosphor attempts to stand again, succeeding this time and is unsteady on his feet. “What date is it Reollo” suddenly looking stricken.
Lucky moving in closer says, “17th day of 3rd Nimos.”
Brosphor starts to show signs of agitation, shaking his head “That can not be. Last night I was in Fallsea.”
“Are you sure?” Both Reollo and Lucky say at the same time.
“Yes indeed. I remember because I woke from a three day slumber. I have sick a lot lately, I do not know why, but I have been sleeping for days on end. Beldrin says that it will pass in time.”
“So you say that you have made three day journey over night. How is that, brother?” Reollo’s concern is clear in his voice.
“I-I can not say.” agitation playing across his face.
“Are you certain?”
“Yes by the nine planes, I am certain. It is a mystery to me how…” His voice cracking on the last word.
“What have you been doing lately to bring on this sickness?”
“I have been running ‘errands’ for Beldrin. Errands he calls them. I last went to Crestwell. You saw me returning when we met last in Tabott’s Corner.”
“What are these errands he has you running?” Lucky gently pushes.
“Yes errands indeed. I was sent to find a black cube from the crypts from below Crestwell. I barely came away with my life, foul undead.”
The party shifts uneasily at the mention of the black cube. Brosphor notices this saying, “What is it, did I say something?”
Reollo leans in and then explains where the party have been over the deepest Nimos, having met Robeor and the quest that he has sent them on before he was taken. As Reollo explains the colour in Brosphor’s face slowly drains and he mouth becomes a hard lipless thin line, his agitation now coming to the fore.
“So brother” spitting out the words in emphasis, “what you are saying is that you are now working for an aberrant and against the civil order. Surely not even you can think this is good idea to entertain with such as these?” As his levels of agitation start to rise it becomes obvious that not all is well with Brosphor. He starts mumbling to himself, tilting his head to the side as if listening to something. “What no, not now.” he says in a voice most unlike his own. Lucky unsettled by this display challenges Brosphor, “What was that?”
“What was what?” Brosphor says with all sincerity. Tilting his head again and vehemently shaking his head “NO, no. I need to go.” Casting around for his shield and sword, spying them resting beside the bed. “Beldrin will wonder where I am.” Taking up his sword and shield.
The party exchange looks with one another and it is clear to them that something is desperately wrong with Reollo’s friend. Tiberius recognises that the way that Brosphor is acting is similar to ancestral voices he hears, but more and darker. Reollo moves to put a restraining hand on Brosphor’s shoulder “Beldrin can wait. We fear that he may not be all that he seems and you clearly need to rest.” Lucky steps forward “One days rest will be nothing.”
“Beldrin is the Magi Prime. He is the protector of New Ilthium dare not say such a thing again, it would not bode well for you.” Brosphor clenches and unclenches his fists “But one days rest you say?” Brosphor pauses “And then seeing as we have the same goal and the next cube is at Narl’s Tower as you have said, then we can go and get it together.” turning to Reollo “like before serving together and a way to redeem yourselves.”
Lucky expresses everyone’s concern when he says “We are not sure that this is good idea. Do you not think it is strange that you came three days journey to be here over night? That concerns me.” The others agree. Brosphor’s momentary cheerfulness vanishes.
“What now? Back to this? I already told you that I do not know how I came here. It matters not. Let us just get to the work at hand.”
“I think it matters a great deal. Down stairs are two ogres and a corporeal demon that we have just slain and here you are. I do not think it is best that you come with us without being able to explain what has happened.”
“Explain, EXPLAIN! You question me about my movements, what I am doing and here you are confessing to me that you are in cahoots with an abhorrent and breaking the civil order!” A sweat breaks out on his forehead as his voices rises. “You all are the ones that require being questioned. I have had enough and now I quit myself of your company.” And having said that he shoves his way past the party and makes his way to the stairs down. Reollo moves to catch him “Borsphor, you are not well, you must rest.”
“I will not! I…” At this he collapses into unconsciousness, sliding down the stairs his limbs askew but otherwise unharmed.
The party is left confounded with the turn of events uncertain as to what has just happened. There is no way of knowing how long Borsphor will be in this state so they move him to the bed as they had originally found him. They then set about discussing what they are going to do next.
They decide that they can not wait for Brosphor to regain consciousness and they can not delay their quest either. It is agreed that they can not leave Brosphor in the manor undefended. They at this point work out how to use The Bowl and the White Stone, coming to the conclusion that the bowl is for scrying and the stone allows a direct connection feeding back visual information to the one viewing the bowl. It is however decided against leaving the stone with Norhtal as it would be pointless to be able to see what was going on but then being not able to communicate with Norhtal. It is also decided to leave Norhtal to care for Brosphor, which Norhtal has great mis-givings about. So after that without delay Lucky, Reollo, Sirath and Tiberius make their way down to dock below the manor to the boat. Through trial and error they get under way and winging it on Tiberius’ intellect alone over the next number of hours with a strong wind behind them make their way to Narl’s Tower. Making land at a worn and rickety jetty Sirath attempts to disembark in order to tie off the boat and finds himself in the water. He then wades a shore and secures the boat allowing everyone else to make the jetty. Then all of them taking stock of their current situation they notice two things. One the tower before them and the storm clouds closing up behind them.
The tower, Narl’s Tower, looms up before them. It appears to be in good condition. It is seven floors high topped with solid parapets and a wooden dome. About 10 yards from the tower a grey-black shimmering veil enshrouds the area. Lucky and Tiberius are able to walk through it into a prickly, dim “other” feeling place that is the surrounds of the tower. Sirath and Reollo find they have resistance to the barrier. After pushing through into where Lucky and Tiberius are they experience searing pain and their life force is dragged out of them. Seriously hurt they debate whether it is worthwhile to continue or retreat to reassess the situation. Whilst debating Reollo and Sirath experience the searing pain again and barely manage to retain consciousness. Reollo and Sirath are then helped out of the gray area by Lucky and Tiberius and they lay panting on the sparse grass on the rocky out crop of the Tower’s small isle, quite despondent by this turn of events.
Lucky decides to consult with Adaru. She explains that the seal of being a Chosen protected Lucky. That it appears that Sirath and Reollo have not been sealed. They have been chosen, but not sealed, for whatever reason. If they had not been chosen then they probably would have died instantly. The dimness that surrounds the Tower is a dimensional instability, a pocket plane of the same darkness that fills the nine planes. Whatever Narl did it was highly dangerous. Lucky trying to find some way out of a difficult situation asks for the ability to heal his friends and Adaru acquiesces. Lucky decides that it is not worthwhile to drain himself and further weaken the party and so decides against healing either Reollo or Sirath. Then weighing up the options he has Lucky is adamant that he Tiberius can alone go into the tower and retrieve the piece of The Heart of Darkness. The party attempt to use the bowl and stone to stay in contact but they find the artefacts do not work once Lucky and Tiberius go through the barrier. They then attempt to do so with Reollo’s salamander with the same result.
Once these avenues are exhausted, on the premise of just scouting out the tower Lucky and Tiberius enter the tower, moving through the entry way through a set of double doors going straight ahead they encounter two what look like to be bluish/green thin ogres with spears and a battle ensues.
Tiberius darts in under the guard of the creature closest to him and paralyses one of its legs. It falls to the floor. Lucky attacks the one closest to him and jams Zephyr through its eye socket, it falls over from the blow but tries to regain its feet. Tiberius casts the paralysis spell again on the same creature but on one of its arms as it tries to stand up. It falls face down screaming in rage as its limbs abandon it one by one. Lucky jams his knife again into his beast’s neck leaving a gouting wound. Tiberius and Lucky finish off the other one together.