Session map

We set off for the correct tower bright and early in the morning. The ravens flew us south, following the edge of the floating island, and we saw many towers around the edges. There were even ruined fortifications connecting some of the towers. We saw a tower made of sandstone, two more with a strange dome and a peaked roof.

About a quarter of the way down, we came to a river, flowing off the edge of the island and disappearing into mist. This suggests some powerful magic is active here, above and beyond merely levitating the island; the water would surely have run out long ago were it not magically replenished somehow at a rate equal to the outflow of the river.

Just south of the waterfall was the tower we were looking for, made of purplish quartzlike stone. We approached from the air, noting several holes about 50 feet up. They were small but might serve as entrances. The door, guarded by a massive symbol vaguely like a horned face, was intact but closed. We took the opportunity to scout another nearby tower, finding nothing especially noteworthy, but while doing so we caught sight of a captive griffon on the ground below.

The griffon was chained to the ground among a group of strange statues, clearly hurt and hostile. I approached carefully, offering food. It took the food, along with some blood, and didn’t seem any friendlier. Invoking Denara’s magic of parlay (Speak with Animals) I sought to communicate from a safe distance, but it did not seem to understand. Perhaps Selaena the druid would have better luck, or a knight with experience riding exotic creatures. I could see no way to approach it without being shredded, so we gave up on that and returned to the tower of Matwoob. The halfling Falduc was very impressed despite the lack of success.

Our food supplies were running low, so u-Heury took it upon himself to hunt for supplies while the rest of us sought to find a way in. We approached and examined the door, which was made of the same strange material as the rest, with the only distinguishing mark being a circular depression that resembled a smaller version of the symbol above. Elvinia sought to Detect Magic on the door, which gave a positive result – not surprising – but also activated the symbol above the door, which challenged us about our presence there, and when we answered, had quite a lot to say about the “heretics” at the tower of the leaning goose. In fact, the symbol demanded we bring the head of the “heretics” to the tower in return for 5000gp. We retreated to consider the matter.

Neither Stria (who could disguise herself) nor Elvinia (who could convincingly portray a wielder of the arcane arts) nor Falduc (who would fit conveniently in a sack) were willing to pretend to be the head of the order to claim the reward. The symbol had admitted it knew nothing of the current membership or leadership of the order it sought destroyed, however. If we could return later with a convenient corpse, we might be able to collect on that reward.

We resolved to scale the back of the tower to try entering through one of the holes. u-Heury had not yet returned, but a dangling rope would be obvious, and the young man can climb. He would follow soon.

Stria was able to make the climb with a rope and some spikes, which she fixed in place for the rest of us. The climb was 50’, so we had barely enough rope. At the top, we found a room with lit torches and prayer mats; someone was actively living here! I sent Stria to listen at the door for anyone nearby while I readied myself for combat. Luckily we were undisturbed. Taking the opportunity, I cast Bless and Cure Light Wounds. The latter nicely healed the wounds from the griffon, and Denara saw fit to bestow a goldem glow upon me.

Exiting the room, we found a square-ish corridor surrounding a central area, with multiple branching passageways and doors. Stria and the halfling again scouted ahead, finding more doors and a staircase heading both up and down. We prepared to listen at three of them, hoping to locate any inhabitants before they located us. Unfortunately, those inhabitants came from the stairs below us. Stria and the halfling were hidden around a corner, but I was in plain view. I tried to duck out of sight, but they had clearly seen me and shouted out a hue and cry for aid from below.

I waited just around the corner, alerting Stria by gestures to remain where she was and ambush them when they followed me around the corner.

It was a good plan, except I heard the sounds of spellcasting inastead. They weren’t going to follow. Figuring I had the chance to reach them and fight in melee, I charged around the corner – but they were gone. Figuring they had retreated for reinforcements, I dug out my oil flask and approached the stairs, planning to block the staircase with burning oil. Instead I heard chanting once more, and a wizard in robes pointed a baleful finger directly at me from scacely a few feet away. I ducked behind my shield just in time, as a bolt of lightning shot towards me.

My shield protected me from the worst of the blast, and I could feel Denara’s grace guiding the sparks around me instead of into my tender flesh. Still, the pain was terrible, and I must has looked quite intimidating to the wizard, still standing upright after his powerful magic, my whole body glowing with Denara’s grace and all my hair standing on end. Still, the wise course of action in the face of such dangerous magic and summoned reinforcements was flight. I taunted the wizard (“Don’t most men your age have performance problems, sparky?”) and ducked back around the corner, pouring out my oil flask as I did so. The halfling followed and added more oil. Stria ran past and into the room we had come from, heading out.

I yelled at trhe halfling to light the oil with a torch while I poured more just outside the door, but he complained that it didn’t catch. Neither did mine a moment later. Stria still had my spikes and hammer, and used them to quickly secure the door before heading out the hole in the wall. The halfling followed – I heard a horrible scream and then a splat. Then it was my turn; no time to worry about Falduc or shuck my armor. They had already smashed the door down, and the wizard ran into the doorway just as I slung my shield across my back to climb down.

With a parting quip (“Maybe you’ll have better luck with the mistress tonight, sparky!”) I slid down the rope as fast as I safely could. I landed on the halfing’s body; the poor fellow had slipped and the fall was too much for him. On the bright side, we now had a convenient corpse for the guardian doorknocker at the front door to redeem for cash and prizes. A fair trade!

Stria stuffed the body into a sack and we ran off.