Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 3)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 3), with familiar Hermes, and henchman Xavier (Swashbuckler 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 3), with familiar Pretty Bird, riding hound Stinky Dog, and henchman Dudley (Cleric 1)
Torak (Cleric 2)
Beuford Bumbletoes (Halfling 2)
Using the great brass horn, the party summoned the whale, which dutifully deposited them back at the anchorage after a voyage of 5-6 days. Disgorging them just outside the little cove, the party could see right away the place was nearly deserted. Just a single vessel rode at anchor, a small dark ship called the "Nights Dark Angel". Luckily Nalco's boat was still there, so they rowed over to their employer. Who was both surprised and irritated at their appearance, having gotten tired of waiting around and pretty much given the party up for lost. But he immediately got down to business, reviewing all of the magical items they'd brought back. The adolescent mage took the skull, the spell book "On The Witching of Stone", the mystery mirror/painting, and the erstwhile stone wizard Nysul (assuming the former mage was loaded with magic items that could be recovered once he was turned back to flesh). Nalco also claimed the ebony fly, but Chaff convinced him to let the party keep it for now. The vivimancer proposed that the party return to the Magic Isles for another run, and the fly would be of great help in their exploration. To this Nalco agreed, and further agreed that at he would consider letting the party keep the fly if they brought back sufficient magical goodies satiate his needs.
The party took leave of Nalco and rowed for shore, bringing the now somewhat decayed Abdul el Abdul to Bellaphrone the Incontatrix, to see if the witch could bring him back from the dead. This she agreed to do so, in return for the sarcastic magic goblets and the various medusa parts they party carried. She had the party dump Abdul el Abdul into a large cauldron steaming over a low fire, and told the party to return in a few days. Before leaving, Kwinsea requested the witch's help with curing Xaviers rotting disease. Bellaphrone laughed at her, and told her to go speak to the whiskey priest; her dark arts did not extend to such matters.
|Nilex of Velas|
Taking leave of Nilex, and leaving him with wine and gold, the party next had to figure out how to resupply since there were no merchant ships in port (a result of Xin and Chan'rk being once more at war, so it was not safe to sail the seas unescorted at the moment). Nalco was able to provide food, but the greatest gap right now was some armor for Abdul el Abdul. Eyeing the "Nights Dark Angel", they figured the adventurers aboard might be willing to part with a spare set of armor if they offered the right price. They rowed out to the black ship, and were met at the rail by some of the crew and several of the adventurers. Abdul el Abdul made his plea, and in return was mocked by the arrogant and haughty pair at the rail. In the end, however, they did agree to sell some battered chainmail and a shield to Abdul el Abdul for the usurious sum of 500gp! Muttering under his breath, Abdul el Abdul had little choice but to agree. They also learned the "Night's Dark Angel" was off on an expiration to capture some great monster or beast, the ship being laden with nets and ropes and cages. Chaff, meanwhile, had taken the time to summon a new familiar (a less scrawny parrot he named Pretty Bird), as well as recruit a somnolescent cleric of Nod by the name of Dudley to replace his lost henchman.
|The Lightning Tower|
They pulled the boat up onto the island, swampy and hilly like the isle of the Blue Tower, and headed towards the lightning. Reaching the spikes, they could see inside the ring, the ground was blasted into a fine grey powder and nothing grew. Everyone dropped to the ground and crawled towards the stairs that they could now see. The air around them came alive with lighting and the smell of ozone. Luckily for all, no one was struck, and the party made it to the top of the stairs with no problem. There they found a set of heavy iron doors, each of which had a serpent shaped handle and a large knocker. Before letting anyone near the door, Kwinsea closely examined the handle, and discovered it was in some way magically trapped. So Abdul el Abdul and Beuford pulled out hammer and spikes, and knocked out the hinge pins. The great door fell with a "BOOM!", but once the dust settled the party was able to walk right in. The first room was an entry chamber of some sort, quite clean but largely empty. Torak cast detect magic and noted the entire room gave off a faint glow. Not really comfortable with that fact, the party moved through one of the two doors exiting the room. They found themselves in a cloak room full of old clothing, both in condition and style wise. With nothing of interest there, they passed out through the entrance again and headed through the second door that led deeper into the tower.
|The Snake Handle|
This room was a siting room, with a large table and chairs and a staircase going up. Along one wall was a hutch with fine china and four bottles of wine (claimed by Xavier). At the other end of the room was a statue of a medusa embracing a king, and behind that a pile of boxes. Kwinsea immediately rushed over to the statue and brandished the crystal heart.The statue came to life, but given it's strange form it had trouble moving about. However, it was mounted on wheels and rolled around the room following Kwinsea's mental commands. When it did move, the party could see that it had been covering a trap door. Meanwhile, Abdul el Abdul had gone to examine the pile of boxes, and found they were just a shell covering a second trap door. Opening the two trapdoors, they found the one under the boxes had a set of stairs going down, whereas the other was going to requires some other means to access the lower level. Abdul el Abdul started to get out a rope and tie it to the banister of the stairs going up, while the rest of the party headed down the stairs under the second trapdoor. They found themselves in a room filled with hundreds of crates, labelled with strange contents: "fingers of a musician who loved dragons"; "shoulder blade of a merchant who loved butterflies"; and so on. After cracking a few crates to confirm, yes, they all contained a variety of body parts, the party headed for the only other visible entrance, a large iron door on the east wall. This was locked, but with Abdul el Abdul now joining them, the beefier members of the party were able to smash it open.
On the other side, they found four stone tables, each holding a preserved body. One of which was human, and showed signs of having been cut open and then stitched up again with gold thread. Choosing to not mess with those, Chaff went to check out a side table that held a microscope, box of slides, and a rack of stoppered vials holding what appeared to be blood. He took out one of the slides (on which were also drops of blood) and placed it under the microscope and had a look. The vivimancer immediately tore the slide off the stage and proceeded to lick at the blood, then started grabbing the rest of the slides and doing the same. Everyone recoiled in disgust and turned to explore the rest of the room. Torak noted a short hall filled with mirrors at the north of the room, but no one was interested in examining those too closely. Kwinsea meanwhile checked out a narrow opening in the east wall, find a space filled with machinery and a circular hole in both ceiling and floor. And Xavier went to listen at a door in the south, on the other side of which he could hear tortured moans.
Wary of disturbing anything in this creepy room, the party waited for Chaff to finish with his blood lust, then head back upstairs and down the rope into the other trapdoor. They had to leave the statue behind, as it had now finished it's animation and was stone cold once more. Down below there was a short corridor leading north, which ended at a closed portcullis. On the other side was a room, containing a crevasse from which wafted the smell of blood, while against the far wall sat a bucket. Abdul el Abdul easily lifted the portcullis, and everyone else started to file into the room. They were surprised when a stone colored spider dropped on them from the ceiling, but were able to make short work of the crawly beast. Exploring the rest of the room, the crevasse they found was narrow and extended well beyond their lights, while the bucket was coated in dried blood. There were also two doors, one each in the east and west walls. The east one was labelled "Workshop" while the west was labelled "Treasure Room". Humm, which to take ....
4 bottles of wine