Great fortune, Fate has finally been kind to me! With coin purse depleted from recent travels, I headed home to Hindfell. There, I paid a visit to my father, but for an unimpressive supper, though, he had not the time for me. I subsequently took to singing for my future suppers at the Wayfarer’s Inn. But, alas, let me get to the best part: death came calling but not for me!
Without going into detail, one night, the 11th of Firebloom, to be exact, was magnificently eventful. Spells were thrown, skin was charred, and blood was spilled. I watched the events unfold before me as a group of what seemed to be inauspicious travelers were targeted by the Vermillion Mage and his cohorts. By the gods, could these travelers handle themselves! They might very well be my means out of town if I could but persuade them to let me join them…
The next morning, the inn was in shambles and the bar was closed. I descended from my room to see further divine luck! Those same adventurers were seated round a table! But how was I to convince them to allow me into their ranks? They hadn’t noticed me yet as I skulked from around a corner, eyeing their demeanor. On second thought, had they caught me looking, things might have turned out worse for me.
Unannounced, a Tharbrian Chieftain named Mauric and his retinue entered. The barkeep, Varlec Threefingers immediately served him a drink although previously he had declared the bar to be closed. The travelers stated they were bound Northeast to Catalin to seek some druid. Mauric was heartened to hear this and encouraged them to leave forthwith. He also warned them to beware the Xosa clan, notorious reavers and raiders.
From previous passerby, I’d heard of an ivory tower just west of Catalin that was said to be haunted but laden with spoils. I figured this information, along with my scintillating companionship, would entice the group to let me join them. Who could say no to having Magnifico the Magnificent around them at all times!?
As I formulated my persuasion into words, a wizened figure suddenly appeared in the shadowed corner of the room. I watched he & Taron discuss some matter. From what I could overhear, something about replacing animals or magical beasts, I couldn’t quite catch it all. The group turned to discuss amongst themselves, then turned back to the mage who then cast two spells of great power on two of the adventurers. So great in fact, I could not tell what magic it was! The mage then vanished into the shadows.
Now was my chance! I moved in and introduced myself. They were not overly impressed by my previous night’s performance but I could not blame them, for I was uninspired and Fate had chosen them as the stars of the evening; it’s the only explanation of how they could have escaped that battle alive! Further using my charming personality, I convinced them to let me join them. Oh fortune’s favor, the future adventures that await!
We set out into the pouring rain to the marketplace. The group split up and visited various shops. When the group reconvened, we all agreed that everyone should have horses or some type of transport. I threw in my contributions but the elf, Valas, covered most of the cost. I received quite the spirited palamino but the beast learned to accept my commands. From there, we got food and drink supplies then headed out towards Catalin.
Fate would have us off course as we headed towards our destination, instead ending up at the ivory tower. We soon found out the rumors to be true, that it is haunted by a robed ghastly apparition.
As we approached closer, a ghastly shriek filled my ears. The next thing I remember, I was back outside the keep’s ruined walls with some of my allies who experienced the same thing. We would be brave this time and I led the way, filling my allies’ ears with harmonic melody and drowning out all else. The ghost continued to shriek but this time it affected no one. As we got closer, we inspected the tower and noticed what seemed to be a transparent wall of blue force magic preventing the ghost from reaching us. The figure gazed at us with malcontent as we were clearly disturbing his sanctuary.
As we further explored the ruins, we took up arms of steel and magic against the creatures that made the rubbled keep their home. Beetles and other foul insectoids the size of dogs spit bile and clawed at us, only to be defeated by our group’s superior strength and tactics. I played my mandolin and filled the air with poetic inspirations that further led my allies to an overwhelming victory.
Valas then noticed something in a unkempt orchard on the far side of the tower. As he approached, thorny vines entangled and lashed at him. The orchard was alive! I swung desperately as the hedges as did Nigel the dwarf but to no avail, we could not cut him free. Valas managed to escape but the orchard continued its onslaught of vicious whips. Thinking quickly, Valas covered the plants with oil and Spark lit it ablaze! Feng, the Half-Orc, and Taron, the other elf, charged in and cleaned up what remained of the orchard.
I don’t remember much of the last battle. A beetle the size of a horse emerged from the rubble. We readied for combat and some of our attacks glanced off its carapace as it charged our group. I awoke to Spark’s healing touch and they explained I was trampled by the beast and thus, missed Valas’s perfect arrow shot that found a small gap between the massive chitinous plate.
From the ghostly shriek, we lost 2 horses and those in better shape went and tracked them down. As dusk began to fall, the group agreed it was time to rest before even considering exploring what has turned out to be quite the dangerous place.