It all began several rides ago after the characters arrived at the Damara Gate. Some of them traveled together and others alone. To their dismay, each arrived at the Damaran Gate only to discover that it was filled with 100’s of refugees from various locations within Bloodstone Valley. Consequentially, food at the gate was sparse and good ale was almost non existent. Several refugees were sleeping along the wall and to make maters worse a number of them were suffering from various illnesses.
With this situation in mind, it didn’t take long for each of them to find the kind of friends they were searching for. The six travelers formed an adventuring party and began making preparations to head out into the wilderness to find adventure.
Fortunately, the prospect of adventure came one night when the party overheard a few guards talking about a lookout tower that needed to be supplied with illuminating equipment. The guards, however, had no manpower to spare and they didn’t want to travel in to the valley.
After gathering the group, they approached the Captain on duty and made their services available. With little negotiation, he agreed to let them take the mule and wagon full of illuminating equipment to the tower. He supplied them with a map of bloodstone valley and indicated the towers location. In addition, the Captain made it very clear that the shipment was important. He told the group that if the tower became non-operational there would be no advance warning of an attack on the Damaran Gate.
After a few days travel and several hours searching the party discovered the tower nestled high in the mountains north of the town of Windless. They traversed a mountain path for an hour until finally the party arrived at the base of the tower. Before any of them could even knock on the door, it burst open wide and a dwarf with a long golden beard holding a metal ale stein greeted them all. Grohmbar of Clan Orothiar was overjoyed to see the group and in return for delivering the needed supplies he granted them all a level of hospitality that would rival the feast of a great king.
For a week the party, enjoyed excellent meals complete with a wide selection of Grohmbar’s stock ale, spirits, and wine. During this time the party noticed that every once and a while Grohmbar had a somber expression and stared at one of the crates the party delivered.
After what was clearly an emotional affair the dwarf finally opened one of the crates that the party had delivered labeled “FRAGILE Nanfoodle 2000”. The crate contained a large glass lens and a few brass metal rings. The dwarf took the rings and the lens up to the top of the tower. At the top of the tower the party discovered a very large cylindrical device pointing up into the sky (a huge spyglass). At one end of the device was a small seat attached to the frame. Various levers extended to the left and right of the contraption.
After inserting the lens and rings into the spyglass Grohmbar sat down in the chair and looked into the small end with one eye. He then used the levers to pivot the device around to face the north. Grohmbar stared into the spyglass for several minutes and said nothing. It was at this time that the party noticed a tear run down his cheek, but when the dwarf realized that the party was staring at him he ran to the exit and slammed the trap door behind him. Immediately thereafter the party heard a thud, a crack, and then several grunts. Lead by Remiel, the party arrived at the bottom of the stairs and found Grohmbar knocked out cold and covered in blood. With a combined effort the party healed Grohmbar and saved his life.
At the same time, Chotuk curiously looked through the spyglass to see what had upset the dwarf. He discovered that the dwarf had his gaze fixed on the entrance to the Bloodstone Mines. Further examination revealed the presence of the army of Vassa and a second unidentified group of figures. It was also clear that an organized digging effort was underway.
At this time a massive thunderous bang penetrated the tower. Strangely, the sound even woke the dwarf from his drunken slumber. With Grohmbar’s assistance the party used the spyglass at the top of the tower to discover that the Tower of the Sage had exploded. To the parties surprise, Grohmbar was quite pleased that the tower was destroyed. He told them that the tower was no longer inhabited by the great sage, but was occupied by a wizard named Elzid. According to the dwarf, the wizard was handsome and charismatic, and he used his alchemical skills to seduce wealthy young women with love potions. He also dispersed potions that caused madness, sickness and death.
When the party realized that they had finally found something interesting to do they took off immediately. Most of the party was in such a hurry that they never even bothered to ask the dwarf any questions regarding Elzid or the tower. The dwarf did, however, have the chance to tell a few of them that a young maiden by the name of Erylnn Windfellow went missing from the town of Windless and was believed to have been seduced by Elzid. The dwarf also told them that the Order of the Golden Cup is offering a reward for her safe return, but he didn’t know any of the details. In addition, the dwarf believes it to be imperative that the party finds out what happened to the wizard and the tower.
After a few days journey the party arrived at the hill in the morning. The area was full of grass and wildflowers surrounded by footpaths and copses of trees. Scattered on the hill were the stony remnants of Elzid’s tower. The rings of debris clearly indicated the magnitude of the explosion that destroyed the structure. Tight clusters of black marked the area where the tower once stood.
While searching for tracks, the party discovered the corpse of a woman surrounded by the tower’s debris. The corpse was wearing clothes, but appeared to have no weapons or equipment of any kind. Upon closer inspection the party realized that the woman died from a sting on the back of her neck. Using their knowledge of nature they realized that the wound was made from a poisonous stinger of unnatural origin.
At this time it is unknown if they found the corpse of Erylnn Windfellow. Perhaps the dwarf would have provided a description of the woman, but the party never asked. It also remains to be seen what the party will do. Will they search outside the tower or take a closer look at what remains of the foundation?