Eberron - Dreams of Xen'drik

The Everice – A Sunken Wizard’s Tower

Session Thirty

The next morning, the group woke to find that Tierel was gone. Ral was certain that she had taken off looking for her mother on her own, and decided to try and track her down. He left the group and headed back north, intending to stop at Stormreach in case she returned there. Mysteriously, she left all her belongings as well, which Ral gathered up and took with him. As the days progressed, the rest of the group found it more and more difficult to remember Tierel’s face, and eventually her name. Much like Garignak, only Ral would remember her in time.

Leaving the village of Tilkatukus, they decided to head towards the wizard’s tower of Delzomen. According to Old Will Dyer, the wizards of Delzomen were mostly hermits, although they would occasionally accept a visit from a visitor who was polite or interesting, and would not disturb their studies. Malaxder felt sure he could get along with the wizards, so they made their way there first.

The tower itself was no longer a true tower. During the age of Giants, it was definitely a tower, but the epic magics cast by the giants to rid themselves of the Quori shattered the southern part of Xen’drik, and much of the land sank beneath the ocean, becoming frozen in the ice. 40,000 years later, only the top section stuck up out of the ice, although the lower levels were secured against the frozen water, and were occupied by the reclusive wizards.

Approaching the tower, the group was surprised to find that only a small section remained above the ice, barely enough to offer shelter against the cold winds. Approaching the structure, they spotted several rough-looking figures lurking inside, possibly preparing an ambush of some kind. Malaxder called out to them while Dor and Shackleton snuck around the side, hoping that perhaps they were simply guardians employed by the wizards to keep undesirables out. Seeing them closely, they didn’t seem like guardians after all. Speaking to them, they seemed to know nothing of the wizards, although they tried to lie to Malaxder about their reasons for being there. Unfooled by their lies, Mal called them on their bluff, and they gave up any pretense and attacked. Roaring with a fierce rage, icicles formed on their fists, and they flew into combat with the group in a terrible battle fury. They were quickly put down, however, and the group scoured the rest of the area for clues as to what they were doing here. Anton theorized that they might be the wicked Frost People that Old Will had warned them about, and their presence here was probably not a good thing. The group decided to descend into the depths of the tower, and see what they could find.

Going down into the tower, the group found the place trashed. Shattered containers of supplies, shredded scrolls and books, broken furniture and other detritus littered the entire place, punctuated by filthy stained mattresses and sleeping nests, obviously once occupied by the barbarians above. Exploring further, they found a chamber of horrors – the torn and shredded body parts of various humanoids were hung from the ceiling with some kind of string, dangling in a horrific mobile all around the room. The floor was slick with frozen blood, and piles of bones and viscera were shoved into a corner. The few heads that remained, the faces were frozen in terror, obviously the remains of the wizards. In the back, a pile of valuables lay beneath a strange symbol on the wall, one that Anton almost recognized. As Anton and Dor moved into the room to examine it, some of the corpses stirred to life, pulling themselves from under the piles of gore and attacking the group. Baph was again frustrated by his mental power’s ineffectiveness against the undead, but he lashed out with his other weapons. Shackleton quickly found that even drawing near these monsters caused the heat and life to drain from his body, and the group fell back to try and fight them with ranged weapons.

Finally destroying the deathless terrors, they made their way down to the next level of the tower. Here they found more living spaces, as filthy as the ones above, and more scattered trash from the Frost Folk’s rampages. The windows of the towers seemed to be frozen over somehow, creating a “plug” of ice that kept the water from coming in. The constant freezing temperatures served to keep the ocean from washing away everything in the tower. However, the pressure of the water outside was definitely still palpable in the air, and it seemed to some that they could hear something as they went deeper, something on the edge of hearing but somehow audible in the bones, like a strange chanting.

Further exploring this level, the found another charnel room, only this one seemed to be lived in. Within the cramped chamber there were skulls of all shapes and sizes tucked into every nook and cranny, and a cocoon-like net hung in front of the frozen window, a collection of femurs and vertebrate sticking out of it, looking like twigs caught in a spider web. Scattered around the room were balloon-like chunks of ice, each containing a small animal or bird, frozen in movement, some with bite taken out of them. Searching the room they found a small amount of treasure, and Anton noticed another of the strange symbols on the wall. He finally remembered where he had seen this image before – it was the symbol of Ibhorighu, a terrible god of madness and slaughter, which most scholar supposed was simply an aspect of the Fury.

Proceeding further downward, the pressure and the strange noise were growing greater. On the next level they found more living chambers, another slaughter room hung with grisly trophies, and a kitchen for preparing food. Strangely though, they were not finding any people. Only the guards above and the undead had accosted them thus far. Going down to the final level, the chanting below was now becoming audible. As they entered what was once the grand entry chamber for the tower, they saw the remaining Frost Folk worshippers and the evil cleric leading them, engaged in a terrible sacrifice. The great door of the tower stood frozen open, the water stood frozen in the act of spilling into the room thousands of year ago. Stuck in the icy wall created by the doorway was the last wizard, his hands and feet frozen into the ice. As the group entered, the cultists finished their chanting and a dark, shadowy shape could just be seen moving beyond the ice. Suddenly, the wizard was pulled through the ice, screaming as he went, disappearing beneath the surface and leaving no mark of his passage. Their final sacrifice complete, the barbarians and their leader turned on the intruders, and the battle was engaged.

Malaxder spent his efforts countering the spells of the high priest, preventing him from bringing his magic to bear on the group. Meanwhile Baph, Anton and Shackleton engaged the warriors, while Dor slipped unseen around behind the battle, meaning to put an arrow into the skull of the cleric. Before he could act, however, a pair of terrible shapes stepped back though the ice behind him. Towering humanoid shapes of ice and blood, the figures of the sacrifices could be seen within them, frozen corpses granting terrible life to these abominations. One of the grabbed Dor before he could escape, and began to drag him back into the ice to a frozen death. Thinking quickly, Baph time-hopped Dor, robbing the creature of its prize while Shackleton moved to distract them and Anton and Mal finished off the last of the cultists and their wicked leader. A combined group effort finally managed to destroy the horrible undead, and Dor popped back into the time stream immediately after, saved from a horrid death. Looking up at the frozen doorway, the group could just make out a tremendous fish-like shape in the darkness beyond, which flicked its tail and vanished into the inky depths. Having barely survived, the group quickly abandoned the depths of the terrible tower, and decided to head to a more hospitable region of the Everice, away from the unspeakable terrors beneath the waves.

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MightyBakuDan

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