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Friday, August 10, 2012

Rappan Athuk Castles & Crusades Campaign - 5

While Lucien was in the Tomb of Sigyfyl, our other heroes panned the town for clues as to the whereabouts of Gritznak.  The barbarian of Altanis was highly successful in the information that he gathered and was also able to befriend a leper named Kiint.  Kiint often kept his distance from the townsfolk, in order that feel no fear of him.  Due to this fact he roamed the country side.  He had seen the comings and goings of the goblins and had a rough idea of where they were coming from.  Kiint told them of an ancient tower of magic on the other side of the river.  It was his belief that this tower was the "temple of evil" that the party had learned about.

Guruck, Lucien and their new found monk companion headed off with Kiint while the Farseeker stayed behind to gather any more information about the area's history, and the ancient cult that had dwelt here.  Kiint guided the companions through the wilderness for several days, across the river and into the hills.  When the sun set at night, they could see an eerie blue glow, which they knew to be the tower, in the distance.  After a few days of this they arrived at the foot of a hill upon which the tower stood.  The tower was, in truth, a ruin.  There was not roof, hardly an interior left, and crumbled debris surrounding it's base.  Moss and plants grew up around the ancient site.  Lucien, however, noticed that this was an ancient elven ruin, not dissimilar to architecture that he had seen more recently in the Woodland Kingdoms.

The three companions chose to enter the ruin to see if there might be some secret pathway leading to a dungeon beneath.  They found none.  What they did discover was the source of the lights that they had seen in the dark of night.  They searched the interior for some time to no avail, until a dark shadow from outside of the tower crossed over them.  The party made note that the creature appeared to be a large feline of some sort.  They were under the assumption that they would be faced by a manticore.  Guruck went out one direction while Lucien sneaked out behind the shadow.  To their surprise they were instead confronted with a lammasu.  The creature introduced itself as Nephratel.  He explained to them the history of the region as he understood it.

At one time, the open and empty country side that they were in contained a vast elven empire.  Then came a dark time.  Some of the elves fell from their stations in life and began worshiping a dark deity, in the hope of bringing it forth from the bowels of the abyss to usher in a "golden age."  In a hidden temple they did just that.  orc worshipers of the Prince of the Undead came to their aid and began storming the elven empire.  After "The Summoning" the armies of the Prince of the Undead marched across the empire like a plague, destroying the once lush countryside.  The elves fought hard against the dark tide, but for everyone of them that fell, a new foe rose as well.  This tower was one of many, built in a circuit to channel the power of the World Tree.  The towers held out, but their power was not enough and the empire fell to ash, making way for the kingdom of Orcus manifest.

Nephratel did not know if other towers still existed but did know where the temple was.  He offered to carry the three there to save them time.  Kiint had no desire to go to such a place and bid them farewell.  The three companions then took to the sky with the great leonian beast.