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
Torak (Cleric 2)
Beuford Bumbletoes (Halfling 2)
The party made several more attempts to figure out the telescope, including throwing some of the frozen blood into the coal pile. All that happened in that case was the blood animated and tried to bludgeon Chaff to death. They also went back over the tower, looking for secret doors in likely places, convinced the wizard still had a stash of treasure hidden somewhere. That lead to hours of futile searching which revealed nothing, except an old diary and key which Abdul el Abduel found in one of the servants rooms. The search also revealed that the pool in the telescope room was acid (as it was emptied to look for a secret door at the bottom), and that the fish turned into a protein goo when placed in regular water. The diary revealed nothing they didn't already know i.e. Calcidius was a raving lunatic. Then someone realized the elevator had 5 settings on the dial, and they had only used it to access 3 floors. So Kwinsea and Xavier squeezed in and went to look at floors "1" and "2". Floor "2" proved to be the morgue/laboratory they'd already explored. But floor "1" was certainly more promising. Peeping out of the elevator shaft, the duo spied a largely empty room with a dozen large chests at the far end, and a quartet of levers on the south wall, just a few steps away.
Sensing a trap, the two weren't about to go into the room alone, and instead went back to gather the rest of the party. When they all stepped out, the first thing they noticed were shimmering curtains of light stretched across the room. Kwinsea scooped up a handful of dust and dirt to throw at barrier, and the debris exploded in a flash of blue light. Trapped it was then. Attention turned now to the levers. No one was really keen on playing with the levers, but Torak was convinced to 'volunteer', while everyone else hid in the elevator shaft or an alcove just around the corner. The rest of the party coached the dark cleric on various combinations of the levers to try, which he dutifully did to no ill effect. Except for a bad shock at one point, and at various points when he trapped himself and the others where they were behind new force-fields. But it also seemed to do nothing to the shimmering curtains of blue light. Then Kwinsea thought that maybe the force-fields were changing, but visually stayed the same. She directed Torak to go back to levering, and she started tossing coins at the force-fields. And found she was right; different combinations of levers raised or lowered different force-fields. That figured out, Abdul el Abdul ran up to the pile of stone copper pieces and filled a bag to use in place of their precious coins. And after burning through several dozen stone coins, they figured out the right combination to lower all the fields and give them access to the treasure chests.
Once everyone made it to the other side of the room, Kwinsea started checking the chests for trap. As the aquamancer gave each a thumbs up, Abdul el Abdul would carefully open the chest away from him (just in case Kwinsea missed something). And inside they found a mother load of treasure; piles of gold and silver coins beyond their wildest dreams. They also found a curious set of crystal dice (which detected a magic when Torak checked) and a small black box filled with black lotus powder. In fact there was so much treasure, it wasn't going to all fit in the boat. Still, the party began the laborious task of hauling chests up the elevator shaft, and then dragging them across the lighting blasted moonscape that surrounded the tower. Which took some time, and resulted in Torak and Beuford both getting zapped by lighting as they toiled with the heavy chests. But soon it was all on boat, and the partly gingerly placed the heavily laden vessel in the water. Abdul el Abdul then hauled out the horn and summoned the whale, who dutifully swallowed them up up and brought them back to the anchorage.
There they found Nalco waiting for them, and they settled down to business, negotiating for magic items. In the end, the pre-adolescent wizard took the Dice of Many Things, Demon in a Jar, and Magical Ice Chest. He also wanted the ebony fly, but Abdul el Abdul eloquently convinced him to let the party keep it, and maybe they could work together again. To which Nalco agreed, but at this point he was no longer interest in sponsoring further exploration of the Magic Isles. He was instead headed back to his permanent tower to study the items the party had already recovered. When asked about the stoned-wizard Nysul, they were informed the blue wizard had been brought back to flesh, several magic items taken from him, and he was then 'sold' to some unspecified entity for an unspecified purpose. In the end, it was thought best not to pry.
Now the party was left with the problem of how to lug all that treasure back to Xin, as they now had visions of buying their own boat to continue their explorations. They learned that war still raged between Xin and Chan'rk, and the ships currently at the anchorage were there only because a warship from Xin had escorted them. It appeared the Faceless Inquisitor saw value in the continued exploration of the Isles, even in time of war. At the anchorage, in addition to Nalco, were the merchant Marios in the "Magnificent Marios", the long suffering "Divine Providence" and a new ship in a grey and white camouflage pattern, the "Waverunner". They had a brief conversation with the captain, a fellow with all gold teeth by the name of Atli the Golden. They got the impression he was a shady opportunist looking to a make quick gold piece under questionable circumstances. Atli had no current plans, and was just looking for hints of where to go to explore/loot. The "Divine Providence" was likewise between jobs (and once more without an away crew), but the crew had been around for a long time and had a few rumors to trade. In particular:
- Another ship reported finding a long sand bar connecting a series of small islands. And run aground on that sandbar was a huge golden barge that sparkled like gold in the sunlight. The ship tried to approach but were driven off by humanoids that looked something like elves in weird armor.
- The party's old employer, Loremaster Yorik, was no more. He'd found information on a place called the "Temple of the Sea-Mother" in which could be found the "Egg of the Sea-Mother", a huge flawless pearl worth a fortune in gold. Yorik wasn't interested in going after it (no knowledge to be had there), but his away crew mutinied and killed him. Now they're trying to find the temple, as are several other vessels to whom they drunkenly blurted the story.
- There had been a series of ships exploring some southern jungle isles, and there they'd found dinosaurs. The uber-rich of Xin were outfitting expeditions to capture some specimens for their extravagant palaces and wildlife enclosures that make up the Decadent Menangerie district of Xin. The ships had brought back no dinosaurs as yet (and several have not returned), but they have brought back rumors from the natives of the isles. In in a particular tells of a temple of gold set in an extinct volcano in the centre of one island.
Crystal Egg (5000gp)
Box of Black Lotus
Dice of Many Things
Flask of animated blood
Some poor little fishes