GREYHAWK 2000 - Stories|
ADVENTURE 9 - The Tower of Keraptis
Starday, the 22nd of Ready'reat 592CY|
At a nondescript inn on our way back to Greyhawk we were visited by a Baklunish mage who told us to look him up in Greyhawk, that he had a proposition for us. We might have ignored his offer except for the fact that his bodyguards were wielding Grock's flaming battle axe and Draedyn's ghost touch mace! The weapons that we thought had been lost in White Plume Mountain.
When we got back to Greyhawk we had Virgil resurrected. As I had suspected, Virgil was disgusted with Grock and left the party.
After our parting with Virgil we went to visit with the mage who we had met on the road. While journeying to his home in the warehouse district, we were ambushed by a monk of the scarlet brotherhood and his lackeys (a rogue, fighter, and fighter/mage). The battle opened up with the monk beckoning Zensun forward. I suspected foul play and immediately began casting a fly spell. Foul play was right! Half way through casting my spell I was shot in the back by a rogue who had been hiding nearby. The pain from the arrow was excruciating (Draedyn later told me that my lung had collapsed and I had been poisoned all at the same time). I collapsed to the ground barely able to move. The rest of the party rushed in to fight these evil opponents. I could do little but watch and cast a few magic missile spells. Draedyn summoned a horde of creatures to fight for us, Grock was tearing through the fighter until he was held by a small wand wielded by the fighter/mage. The monk was beating the piss out of Zensun, and the rogue dropped in about 5 seconds under a hail of weapon fire and magic missiles. Eventually the tide of battle began to turn, the hold spell on Grock wore off, the fighter/mage was weakening, and the monk was temporarily blinded. The monk called for a retreat, he and the fighter/mage escaped invisibly while the fighter was forced to surrender to Grock. We turned him over to the authorities (after relieving him and the dead rogue of his gear).
We were fairly beat up, but decided to continue to our meeting with the Baklunish mage. The mage informed us that he was the one who destroyed Keraptis' volcanic stronghold in White Plume Mountain, he also informed us that he recovered our lost magic items and would be willing to return those items in return for a favor.
He informed us that Keraptis was a one time friend of his but was now a rival and enemy. He told us that Keraptis was released from the weapons that we had found and allowed to join and his shade would travel to one of his many secret strongholds to possess or activate a clone of simulacrum of himself. The mage informed us that he was attacking the most powerful and likely refuge, and that we would be infiltrating a secondary base in the bright desert. We agreed and after some bargaining we were given our magic weapons in exchange for collateral (the deck of many things).
Starday, the 1st of Sunsebb 592CY
We traveled to Ub-Bakok, a city bordering the bright desert. We have heard that a group of adventures has already headed into the desert for the brass hills (the supposed location of Keraptis' Tower). We were also warned of scorpions larger than horses roaming the desert.
Moonday, the 3rd of Sunsebb 592CY
We were successful in tracking the other party into the desert for a day and finally found the sole survivor of a fierce battle with giant scorpions. This Baklunish man, Ali, is a part fighter turned paladin of Rao. He told us little of his encounter with the scorpions or of his background. After some chit chat with Damoni, who knew very little about the desert, we soon realized that his limited knowledge was leaps and bounds more than our new "desert expert" knew. So we continued on, traveling at night and resting during the day. In fact, I am writing this just as the sun is rising and we are setting up our tents.
Waterday, the 5th of Sunsebb 592CY
After the second night of travel, while we were sleeping, we were set upon by a gargantuan scorpion 40' long. Fortunately, Ali, Feanor, and I were on guard and detected the creature 400' away. Unfortunately the enormous scorpion was able to cross the distance in about 10 seconds.
The scorpion quickly began snatching up party members and stinging them with its deadly poison (actually Grock was stung twice and hardly fazed) after a fierce battle we finally overcame the huge monster, but we had to rest a little extra so that Dreadyn could get restoration spells as the after effects of the poison left me and Zensun too weak to travel. When we do get back to traveling we think that we will make it to the Tower of Keraptis in a about a day.
Earthday, the 6th of Sunsebb 592CY
The next day we arrived at the magically crafted home of Keraptis. It was a huge sink hole in the desert, with a massive sandstone keep supported on a large basalt pillar. The only means of entrance were narrow pillars of stone spanning the crevasse. We crossed it without difficulty and found large iron doors ahead of us, with massive statues on either side depicting fierce chimeras. There was also a balcony with an opening leading into the tower, and we opted to enter from that direction.
Within the opening into the tower we could see a fountain of such singular design as to be memorizing. The fountain was actually a shallow pool (about 5' deep with short step leading into it), but the figure of a beautiful woman constructed wholly of water rose out of the pool, dancing and frolicking within her confines. In a rash and surprising move, Ali strode confidently into the room. As he passed the fountain, the watery sculpture turned to face him and drew itself to its whole height drawing strength from the pool it was standing upon. It then smashed him into the walls with a watery fist. Grock, Feanor, and Zensun all rushed in to combat the creature, while Ali, once he recovered immediately fled the room (not to return for the entire battle). Feanor sought to flank the creature, but was unable to find a vital area in its ever changing form, and paid for his efforts with 3 mighty blows from the creature, the second or third of which killed him. Grock continued to battle it and Dreadyn began summoning magical creatures to fight it, however neither Grock nor the summoned creatures were able to hurt it much and we began to retreat slowly out of the room.
During the hasty retreat Zensun swears he saw some demonic creature and shot it with his crossbow forcing it to retreat, however no one else was able to verify his claims. In fact we had much more pressing matters, the watery creature, now a massive tidal wave, surged from its pool and cascaded down the corridor towards us. Damoni quickly tied a rope for a hasty exit from the platform, and I cast a protection from evil on Grock so that he could act as a shield for our retreat. The creature appeared to recoil from Grock, however it easily flowed around him to attack Me, nearly killing the me with a couple of well placed blows.
Our weapons were having little effect on the creature and Grock realized that he would have to recover Feanor's magical long sword to battle the creature. The elemental for its part ignored him in favor of attacking other party members less protected from it. We began a hasty withdrawal down the ropes attached by Damoni, while Grock recovered the sword. When he returned he and the creature began to battle trading blows, the two were evenly matched until I was able to slow the creature with a spell, after that the battle was very one sided. With the my magical protections, Feanor's superior sword, and the elemental slowed, Grock was quickly able to overcome the creature.
Now we are back on our way to Greyhawk to get Feanor raised from the dead.
Waterday, the 5th of Fireseek 592 CY
Our return trip to the tower of Keraptis went much better. We fought a stone golem guardian and a demonic guardian on our way to destroying Keraptis' clone. The stone golem was 9' tall and terribly strong. It also had some sort of supernatural ability to slow those who got near it. I cast an improved invisibility spell on Grock who was then able to easily overpower the thing despite being slowed by it.
The demon was even more terrible. The thing stood 8 feet tall and looked like a cross between a large human and a vulture. Its strong, sinewy limbs were covered in fine gray feathers and it had a long neck topped with a vulture's head. Its claws and beak were wickedly sharp.
We returned the head of Keraptis' clone to the Baklunish mage in Greyhawk. He warned us that agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood were looking for us.
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