Monday, September 29, 2014

Wolfgang and the Silence from the Tower

After the catastrophe with the singing bird-woman, Wolfgang committed himself to the mission of destroying it. Gold Hill sent out a plea for assistance and three adventurers heeded the call. Mark the Magician, was lured by rumors that the tower was originally constructed by a powerful wizard; he was told he could keep any magical artifacts recovered from inside. Korito, a lonely ranger of the wilds had tracked the hobgoblins to the area, and offered his services in driving them from the community. Finally, Thoric, exhibited natural leadership and was deputized as a sergeant and given a command of exceptionally brave six deputy constables. The newcomers listened to what Wolfgang had to say about the bird-woman—or as he called her a “harpy.” He explained that her hideous appearance was combine with a beautiful voice such that few men would be able to resist the sound of her singing. His propsed defense was a simple one—candle wax to plug their ears.

The group ventured toward the tower. They plugged their ears with wax as soon as they caught sight of its battlements above the treetops. They reached the tower without seeing anything. And of course, they heard nothing, but could not, without risk, confirm that there was anything to hear.

The tower had huge doors of thick wood, and was barred from the inside. They divided into two parties, with one group remaining to batter the door, while the others, circled the tower from the edge of the clearing. Those circling the tower caught sight of the Harpy peering over the battlements. Mark the Magician blasted her with a bolt of magic energy. She descended on the group and killed one of the deputies, while also sustained several wounds herself. She flew back up to the top of the tower. Covered by the deputy archers, Mark moved to edge of the clearing where he could shott the harpy again. This time, his magic killed her.

Using a combination of vines and ropes, practiced climbing skills and the assistance of others, most of the group climbed to the top of the tower. A few deputies, plus Wolfie the wolf stayed at the bottom. 

At the top of the tower, the group found the Harpy’s nest, a noisome nest of bones and filth. Under the debris, they found a trapdoor leading down into the tower. A couple of the archers removed the wax from their ears; doing so, they heard commotion from below. Hobgoblins had burst out of the bottom of the tower and had put the rearguard to flight. The group on top of the tower surprised the hobgoblins from above, quickly downing all of them. But very soon after, more hobgoblins attacked from inside the tower. But again, the heroes had the advantage of position. Mark directed his magic at the very large hobgoblin who seemed to be the leader. That monster’s sudden death put the others to flight. The party tended their own wounded, and ensured that their fellows on the ground had secured their position at the bottom of the tower. 

They were surprised to find no sign of hobgoblins in the first two stories of the tower. They found the undisturbed furnishings of the former inhabitant—even several portraits of the wizard himself. They made a careful room and deduced that a secret room existed somewhere in those top floors. They were not, however, able to find an entrance.

And of course, there were still hobgoblins to contend with. Attacking the hobgoblins from above and below, Wolfgang and his fellows quickly killed the remaining hobgoblins. They looted the chief’s treasure. The deputies noted several items that had once belonged to their fellows who had been ambushed in the forest. The group returned to Gold Hill in triumph, to be feted and rewarded by the Head Constable and the people of the community.

The next day, Kiroto and Wolfgang discussed their adventures with Gerilynn. She asked about what treasure they had found in the Harpy’s nest and they realized that in the heat of the moment, they had forgotten to search thoroughly. The trio proposed to the Constables’ office that another group should make an expedition to the tower. The Head Constable praised them for their valor the previous day, but reminded them that the tower was under his jurisdiction. He would not send more men with them and in fact he forbid them from returning on their own. Gerilynn made a show of agreeing, but of course, the three adventurers decided they would disobey the HC and return to the tower alone. A quick trip to the top of the tower and back was likely to yield great profit with little risk. On their way out of Gold Hill, they were pursued by a single deputy. Delta, one of their comrades from the previous day, said he wanted to go with them. He didn’t want pay, he wanted a full share of whatever they found. Admiring his spirit and his frankness, they agreed.

The plan went as expected. On the way there, Topher asked for Kiroto’s assistance in dealing with some giant bees. Kiroto agreed, but the others convinced the ranger that recovering the treasure ensuring that there weren’t any more hobgoblins was more pressing.

Reached the tower, the group climbed up the outside as before. They fought off the giant flies that were devouring the harpy’s corpse and searched her nest. They collected hundreds of silver coins and also found a small pouch full of garnets.

Back in Gold Hill, things didn’t go so smoothly. Delta collected his share before they reached town and took off down the highway. Gerilynn, reading his cue, returned to town, but retired to her room at the inn. Kiroto and Wolfgang headed straight for the trading post to sell the gems and buy new weapons. The would-be sellers were ushered to a back room, and they were soon joined by the Head Constable and several deputies. Belligerent at first, Wolfgand and Kiroto at last had no choice, but to admit the obvious. They agreed to pay a “tax” on their unauthorized treasure-hunting. They proceeded to sell the remains of their booty and Kiroto acquired a new bow, but on both sides, good will was replaced by suspicion.