About a month has passed since the Fellowship returned to Blackmoor from the Tomb of Xagyg. They have settled into their assigned chambers within Castle Blackmoor. Some have been relaxing and enjoying the relative safety of their new base of operations. Others have busied themselves by seeking employment, volunteering with the Free Companies, or mastering their trade. But today is different. Word has been sent that Lord Faedorn of Alfheim wishes to send some of you on a quest to the Cairn Hills. You are to seek out the ruined Tower of Damara where you should seek an entrance that will lead you to the passages below. There you will seek out an Orb, once used by the Witch Damara to scry out hidden and lost places. Upon finding it, you must return it with all haste to Castle Blackmoor and give it to Lord Faedrun.
Answering the call were: Seraphine, Lucian, Perigen, Tathar, Sir Robert Hull, Gaelion, and Etienne.
The companions gathered, and headed off towards the Cairn Hills. They travelled by horse, shortening the time. Upon reaching the Cairn Hills, they scouted out the area near the Tower and made camp for the evening within the woods not far from the Tower. In the morning, they set off refreshed and ready for adventure. Leaving the horses behind in the care of Lucian and Seraphine, the others entered the Tower.
1. Entering the Tower
- They found themselves in a small chamber with a single door leading into what was once the tower. With some investigating, they discovered that a small group of Goblinoid creatures had camped there the night before. They had built a fire in front of the door. They also found that a large boulder in the chamber was actually a Galeb Duhr which has taken residence in the upper ruins of the tower. The creature is neutral towards them, neither offering help or hindering their quest. The creatures does tell them at a band of “little orcs” camped in the chamber last night and entered the door after asking him about the same Orb they are seeking. It also wandered them that an evil wizard named Bargle is using this tower, and that going below would surely cause them to meet him. The Fellowship continued on, thanking the Rock-Herder for his advice.
- Entering the Tower, they found a stairway leading down and a small door set into the floor. They also noticed that webbing covered the ceiling. As Perigen tugged with all his might on the cellar door, a small hairy spider fell from the ceiling on to his back. Sir Hull knocked the spider from the cleric’s back, and it scuttled away up the stairs. They opened the door to show a ladder leading down into another larger room.
2. Damara’s Resting Spot
- Leading the way down the ladder, Perigen found that the ladder ended abruptly and would require a 10 foot drop down to the floor near a large stone coffin. Carefully dangling and dropping down into the room, they found that there was a door to the right, a statue to the left, and a stairway leading down across the room.
- Investigating the statue they discovered it was a statue that resembled the Dwarf Hero from the Tomb of Xagyg. (Zigby the Dwarf) although none of them could recall his name at the time. Attention was drawn from the statue when the Paladin attempted to open the lid of the stone coffin. (Tathar had determined that it radiated magic inside, and Robert found that it also radiated evil.)
- Robert Hull began to lift the top off of the coffin, and a screeching shriek pierced the air. Two red glowing eyes met his gaze, and he was the form of a Black Skeleton glowing within the coffin. Robert wasted no time in slamming the lid shut. (This is the Lich form of Damara the Witch.) With the lid shut, the Lich returned to its endless sleep again.
- At that point, the ceiling began to descend on them. They noticed that indentations were in the ceiling to allow the fixtures (coffin, statue) in the room to slide into place as the ceiling met the floor. But if they stayed where they were they would be crushed. Quickly, they rushed for the stairs and descended into the darkness.
3. The Stairs
- Heading down they found that the stairway ended in a wall of magical darkness. Before they could formulate a plan, they heard footsteps and voices coming from the darkness towards them. They listened, and found that it was squeaky voices speaking in Goblin saying “Quick up the stairs! Back the way we came! Before it gets us!” The footsteps were moving rapidly and getting closer. They tok up positions, and prepared to engage the creatures when they emrged from the darkness.
- Four Kobolds, armed to the teeth and laden with many adventuring supplies, ran out from the darkness and skidded to a halt in front of the adventurers. Without a moment to waste, battle was engaged. The Paladin swung his sword in a wide slash, killing three of the Kobolds. The other two were dispatched just as quickly with a combination of arrow, hammer, and magic missiles. But then they heard it … lumbering footsteps and a growl. Something was coming up the stairs and it sounded big … and mean.
- Within moments, a huge Troll emerged from the darkness as well. The five companions joined their combat arts to defeat the Troll but not before it bit mightily into Robert’ shoulder, rending both metal and flesh. It thrashed its head side to side, nearly killing the Paladin. Finally, it fell lifeless on top of the wounded Paladin. Freeing Robert from beneath the beast, they wisely used their oil to set it aflame.
- Now during the battle, something curious happened. A Web spell was cast from an unknown source, and momentarily trapped Etienne and Perigen within it. With the aid of Tathar cutting the webbing loose, both the Ranger and Cleric were able to force their way out. With the Troll dead, and on fire they now became aware of a low voice chanting in the language of magic somewhere beyond in the darkness.
- Tathar focused his concentration on the voice, and cast Charm Person. The spell seemed to have no effect. Etienne raised his bow and fired three arrows into the darkness where he believed the voice was located. The first arrow clattered against bare rock, but the other two thudded soundly into flesh. The chanting stopped, and they heard a thud like a wet sack of potatoes hitting the floor.
4. The Gaping Hole
- The darkness fell away suddenly, revealing the passage beyond. The stairs extended on to a ten foot gap. Beyond they could see an open archway that led into a room. The room appeared to be a wizard’s chamber complete with a glowing circle scribbled on to the floor. They thought they saw something fluttering inside the room. Something the size of large bats casting shadows as they moved around the room in the glare of the glowing summoning circle. On the other side of the gap, they saw the body of a man wearing blue robes laying in a pool of blood. The Ranger’s arrows had struck the chanting Wizard in the shoulder and neck. (With modified rolls due to the darkness, the Ranger’s player still rolled a miss, critical hit, and perfect hit for the three arrow shots.)
- Robert tossed a stone down the hole, and listened. It seemed that there was at least a 150 foot drop, if not more. They dragged the burning body of the Troll to the hole, and kicked it in. The foul smelling beast was filling the stairway with black smoke that made them choke. Watching the burning Troll fall, they saw it hit a small ledge about 120 feet down, and then bounced off to drop another 50 or so feet into water.
- To cross the gap, they used a combination of a rope bridge, belay, and a Spider Climb spell to move each of them across the hole safely. It took some time to do so, but none of them ended up falling into the Pit. (Refer to pages 17-19 in the AD&D Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide for more information.)
5. The Wizard’s Room
- Here the companions met two Imps. They managed to kill one, and dispelled the other when Tathar began to nullify the summoning circle by kicking over the braziers at each sector of the circle’s edges.
- With the Imps defeated, they looted the room finding two rubies (one worth 100 gold and the other 1000 gold.) They also located the Orb of Damara on a table in the room.
- They also beheaded the Wizard, taking his head back to Blackmoor Castle in the hopes that his was Bargle. (It was not. It was one of Bargle’s many apprentice’s.)
6. Going Home
- The companions departed the Tower the way they came, finding the ceiling trap had reset itself. They journeyed forth victorious, riding with all speed towards Blackmoor with the Orb.