Boneswa (Elf-F2/MU2): Tim (+Gothridge Manor)
Corder (Fighter-2): NPC
Rosalind (Cleric-1): NPC
The Rumor Mill:
- With the Bugbear menace gone, the market for Grim Forest wolf pelts has picked up again.
- Karl Nobbins and his band of adventurers, regulars at the Surly Dragon Inn, went into the Black Tower three days ago. They haven't come back yet.
- A green dragon was spotted flying westward from Dankmarsh, over the Sundered Hills, toward the sea. Boneswa the elf and his band were the first to spot the dragon outside of Dankmarsh. A merchant caravan from Mudport spotted it again just days later, confirming Boneswa's observation.
- Creighton (recently entered into Boneswa's service) reports that Durston Lowell has been doing business with gnomes -- greedy, unscrupulous, unprincipled gnomes.
Boneswa and his henchmen head once more for the Black Tower, this time in the hopes of finding Karl and his company. This is their first return since hearing the rumor of rumblings and tremors ("as if stone and earth were being moved") and since hearing the rumors of Simon of Bellamy's return.
Climbing to the top of the hill, Boneswa immediately notices two things:
1. The tower ruin has changed – what once was a round tower ruin no more than knee to waist high is now an octagonal tower ruin, roughly chest to head high.
2. A set of boot prints makes a beeline for a patch of trees and brush just north of the tower proper.
Boneswa follows the trail and comes to the remains of an old cistern, once overgrown, but now cleared away. The trail seems to end here. Corder and he lift the lid, revealing a completely dry cistern with ladder leading down to an iron maintenance hatch. They climb down, open the hatch and find themself inside the dungeons once more.
The dungeons themselves are different. The halls here are dimly illuminated by phosphorescent moss, and the walls are smoother than they had been on Boneswa's previous visits.
The band's exploration leads them mostly eastward.
Encounters of note (numbered above) included:
1. A run-in with two known NPC adventurers of ill-repute: Orthelm and Rathilda (and their seven henchmen). This involved an uncomfortable parley and a rapid parting of ways.
2. The discovery of Karl Nobbins' body along with his henchmen and a host of dead goblins. Examination of the bodies indicates the henchmen and the goblins killed each other off in a fight, while Karl survived with cuts and bruises – but was subsequently killed with his throat slit from behind. The bodies of the adventurers and the goblins had been picked clean. Boneswa picks up Karl's broken shield to take back to Ravensburg.
3. The discovery and liberation of some sort of "creature of light" apparently imprisoned within the masonry of the dungeon itself.
4. The discovery of an area to the east where the phosphorescent mold disappears, only to be replaced by an uncanny green witch-light.
5. A fight in the latter area with an animated statue of Vecna (perhaps a vestige of the dungeon's original builders defeated long ago by Simon of Bellamy and his allies?) resulting in victory and loot in the form of a 500 gp ruby.
Returning to Ravensburg, Boneswa heads to the Surly Dragon and tells the innkeeper, Big Willie, of Karl's demise. He also mentions his suspicion about Orthelm and Rathilda. Big Willie vows to find out ("I know people in this town, people who will talk to me") and, in short, wring Orthelm's and Rathilda's necks if Boneswa's suspicion turns out to be true. Boneswa also hands over Karl's broken shield. Big Willie, an ex-adventurer himself, keeps a "wall of honor" in his place, where he hangs momentos of lost comrades. Willie gently places the shield on the wall, and Bonewsa buys a round for the house before leading a toast to Karl's lost band.
Boneswa then goes to Natalia Stoynich's shop to cash in his ruby, and to let her know of the changes to the Tower. Natalia fears she was wrong and that Simon may well have returned. She says she'll keep buying items from Boneswa but will have to examine them extra carefully to ensure they're not cursed.
And here we ended the session.