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Beacon at Enon Tor...retooled for 5th level Party. 
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Ungern

Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 67
Post Beacon at Enon Tor...retooled for 5th level Party.
crosspost from Dragonsfoot.

Beacon at Enon Tor: Campaign Journal.

Part One: PCs are sought out by Lev Dromilov, Lord of Dmitrov.

It all starts in a tavern.

PCs are traveling through to Specularum arriving in Dmitrov by sea two day earlier.

They spend the next few days resting and listening to sailors and farmers worries about goblin raids to the north and the

Beacon not being lit. With the weather turning bad and heavy fogs moving in the Beacon must be relit to see the ships safely past the rocks.

As they absorb this two town guardsmen enter and announce the arrival of Lord Lev Dromilov, Lord of Dmitrov.

He seeks out the PCs at their table, acknowledging Ben as a member of the Order of the Griffon, of Miranda as a skilled Wizard, and of Kellak as a stout Dwarven companion.

He then sits, ordering a jug of wine and shares a tale:

About 15 years ago, the Wizard Karthedon arrived here at Dmitrov, which he proclaimed an ideal site for his magical research. Quiet, out of the way, and an open seaport. The Wizard announced his intention to establish a laboratory in the town. However, although honored that Karthedon had chosen Dmitrov, I and the Guilds were not so keen to have unpredictable and possibly dangerous research in the midst of our quiet town.

We came to an arrangement with the Wizard. Karthedon would be welcome to carry out his research in a tower which the Guilds would build at Enon Tor, a hill just to the west of the town, overlooking the sea.

In return, he would operate a navigation beacon at the tower and his magical abilities would be available to the town should his help ever be needed. The tower was built, Karthedon moved in, and the arrangement proved beneficial

to all involved. Fewer ships were lost in the dangerous shoals and Dmitrov was even more prosperous.

One week ago, however, the whole of Enon Tor was surrounded by a strange shimmering light and that evening the beacon was not lit for the first time in 15 years. The foghorn in the tower, which had started to sound when the fog descended in the morning, continued to blow for the next two days and was then suddenly silent. It has not been heard since.

A patrol was sent to the Beacon but the tower was securely locked. None could enter.

And now, goblin raids to homesteads in the North have increased and so I am forced to send most of my guard out to protect the farms and deal with the raiders. I currently have but enough men to guard the town and seaport. I cannot spare anyone right now.

We must have the Beacon functioning again and we must know if Karthedon is injured or dead. Heavy fogs are moving into the coast this time of year and without the light and foghorn many ships may break upon the rocks. The Duke is aware of the situation and is sending troops to aide my men but that will take a few days and we need that Beacon now!

You are the most capable adventures available to me. I must go north to deal with the goblin crisis so I ask of you will you aide us?

Dromilov offers the PCs 300gp for their troubles. He obviously expects Bens Griffon Knight to help anyway.

He also give them a scroll he acquired from a man who bought it at the Wizards School in Specularum, a spell of opening locks, a Knock scroll spell, to help aide them in entering the tower where his men failed.

The PCs agree immediately to help, Miranda is thinking of all of the Wizardss spells she can possibly acquire from the Wizards spellbook.

A farmer, Oleg, is assigned to show the PCs through the two-mile path in the Western Woods to Enon Tor. He is an older superstitious Traladar who wants nothing to do with wizards, goblins, dwarves, and haunted towers. He looks as if he will drop dead from a heart-attack at any minute.

THEN THEY WENT OFF SOMEWHERE I DIDNT EXPECT:

After checking supplies they went to find the Stone Masons Guild to see if someone was available who had helped in the construction of the tower fifteen years earlier. For a layout of the tower.

Oleg showed them the guild hall and they were shown to former-apprentice now-master Snorri. He was the apprentice who oversaw a lot of the crew when his former master, Gannon (who died in a masonry accident five years prior) designed and had the tower built.

I ruled the Wizard kept the tower plans since he was the owner but Snorri could remember roughly the layout which he drew on a crude map. He admitted the Wizard could have added many things over the years but this is how it was then.

So, armed with a general idea of the layout and with the dwarf buying a mule to ride they were off.

Part Two: Into the Western Woods.

Oleg is in front and about to jump out of his skin. The path is a nice dirt one, well-trodden, surrounded by a lot of leafy tall trees and some undergrowth. The dwarf Kellak on his mule and Ben and Miranda on Bens warhorse.

They continue on for the next mile and a half until they are about to round a bend. The warhorse suddenly becomes nervous and not too happy about going forward. They round the bend and see a small 20 clearing torn apart. Earth is torn up, small trees are snapped off, and eight dead goblins lie torn apart amidst this carnage, weapons and arrows broken around them.

The PCs dismount and have Oleg hold the horse and mules reigns.

The dwarf and fighter approach a dead goblin as Miranda pulls her wand of magic missiles and covers them.

The goblin is badly clawed and bitten. The Kellak finds long brown hair on a corpse and a partial track: it looks like a huge grizzly bear. They look at the broken black arrows and see and smell sticky poison on the end.

Miranda makes a wisdom check and notices leaves and undergrowth moving behind Ben and Kellak.

She begins to shout a warning as a massive grizzly charges, tearing up earth and roaring madly. It has been shot a few times by the arrows and the poison has driven it mad!

Miranda fires off a volley of magic missiles and wound the beast. It turns to charge at her, foam flying from its fangs when the fighter puts an arrow up to its feathers in its ribs. He then realizes he left his shield on his horse!

The grizzly turns back and charges the dwarf and fighter. It barely snags a claw on the Bens clothes and bites down on the Kellaks leg, drawing a cry from the dwarf.

Miranda fires off another volley of magic missiles as Ben pulls his broadsword free. The dwarf darts in but misses with his war hammer. The bear rears up and comes down on Ben hitting with a claw swipe and crunching down on the fighters chain mail covered shoulder with its teeth, doing lots of bloody damage. With a cry of pain Ben nearly splits the bears skull with his broadsword.

Miranda casts magic missile from her daily spells this time (shes burning through wand charges!) and the bear gives a final cry falling over nearly on top of the fighter.

Amazingly Oleg didnt bolt with the mounts.

The PCs take stock of themselves and decide they are well enough to continue, wishing to save healing magic until they are in worse shape.

Oleg has had enough. He is quivering with fear as he points out the tower is but a half mile down the path and then takes off running for home, even as Ben is trying to tip him for his help!

A short ride later and they smell the sea-salt and exit the forest near the tower.

Part Three: Entering The Tower

The Beacon is located near a 100 foot cliff overlooking dangerous shoals.

The tower is built into a hill. A door and stonework are seen in the hill side and , about fifteen feet up to the top of the hill, sit the three stories of the tower-proper. A tall iron tripod, the Beacon, is seen from a distance, unlit.

The third story has a walkway, open to the air and with a four foot high outer wall.

Vultures circle high above the tower.

AND THEN THE PART DID SOMETHING I DIDNT SEE COMING.AGAIN.

I, and apparently the author, figured that the PCs would enter through one of the doors, right.

Nope. They pull out rope and grapple and try to hook the low wall on the tower second floor walkway.

Crap.

I panicked and then I railroaded. I wish I hadnt but I did.

So I do what many DMs have done over the years. I BS my way out. The description given by Lord Dromilov said that a strange shimmering light appeared over the tower. So I ruled that part of the mishap created a magical field around the tower. Doors or other normal exits worked fine but anything else couldnt get through the field.

So they threw a rope and grapple and it hit an invisible force, causing a blue shimmer where it hit and the grapple fell harmlessly. Experimentation with a rock yielded the same result.

It was a lame decision and I wish I could take it back but it did work out. Its been a few months since I DMd or played and I am very rusty;.

Anywayto the doors.

The crude map drawn by the Stone Mason showed a tower door and a hillside door. They PCs explored the non-existent tower door and found their hands sinking into an illusionary wall. They felt wood and metal. The door WAS there.

Not wanting to waste the Knock scroll Ben and Kellak but their shoulders to the door and manage to batter it down. (They rolled very high.)

Miranda sees them fall through the illusion into the tower.

The two land, man atop dwarf, in area 6, the storage room.

Its pitch black as the illusion keeps light out. Kellak, lights a torch and they holler for Miranda to enter. She does and they grab more torches from the room supplies and are on their way through the stairwell door and up the L-shaped stairwell.

The emerge in area 7, the tower garret. Ben goes first followed by Kellak and Miranda, all with torches.

A desiccated orc corpse lies on the floor.

The ceiling is about 15 high. Other than the corpse all seems normal. They proceed with caution.

Then Miranda and the dwarf notice a small squeaky noise above. She begins to move her torch up to investigate when Kellak quickly grabs her arm and gestures for her and Ben to lower their torches. He then gazes up into the black ceiling and softly curses.

Stirges.

The others begin to softly swear and move towards the south door as the stirges begin to awaken from the torches and soft noise. Beedy little eyes open and close sleepily. They are about to swarm!

Miranda begins a Web spell. Kellak takes her torch from her. Ben draws his sword.

The PCs gain iniative and Miranda webs seven out of ten to the ceiling. The remaining three begin to flit about, looking for blood!

They attack Ben, one digging into a gap in his armor. He manages to pull it out before it can begin to really drain his blood.

Kellak grabs Miranda and shoves her to the door. They throws his torch into the web as Ben slices one stirge into two pieces. He manages to get out of the fiery room as Miranda shuts the door.

Squeaks and burning is heard from under the door.

They are standing on the open walkway, area 8, that hey originally wanted to rope and grapple onto.

Vultures still circle overhead.

Cautiously, Ben pulls out a metal mirror and peers around the corner, looking for the iron ladder the Stone Mason described. He sees another orc corpse at the foot of the ladder. The body has literally been folded in half, arms and legs broken and crushed. Two vultures are feasting on the body.

He passes the mirror to Miranda and Kellak. They wonder where the hell the orcs came from and how they got in.

They soon come up with a plan. Miranda casts invisibility on Ben and he shoos the vultures away and climbs the ladder.

He hears a rhythmic creaking coming from the top of the tower just above him.

At the top he finds himself face to face with another dead orc. Crushed, eyes and tongue bulging.

Ben raises himself above the body and spies the unlit Beacon. He also takes note of a pile of firelogs and a crude mechanical lift in a corner.

What really catches his eye is the tall metallic figure working the bellows attached to copper pipes running to the copper foghorn. The pipes have been cut (by the now dead orcs) but the stature mindlessly continues to pump the bellows.

Ben retreats and reports in. They decide to leave it alone and go to see if the Wizard is alive downstairs.

They go back through the gooey burned stirges and orc corpse, down the stairs to the store room stair well door and continue down the stairwell into the lower levels, emerging at area 4, the barracks northern hallway.

Part Three The Lower Level

The party creeps down the north hallway from the stairwell, the still invisible Ben in the lead.

What appears to be a dead orc arm is lying halfway around the corner, the forearm and hand visible from the hallway.

The rest of the dead orc attached to the arm is lying stripped on the floor just around the corner. There is another dead orc, stripped, in the middle of the room. Both bodies have vicious axe wounds.

Arranged on the south wall they see several bunks, chests, and drawers. Clothing and other personal trinkets are scattered throughout the room. Two large hinged crates stand empty leaning against the north wall.

Wall torches are still burning low in their sconces.

Streaks of dried blood are splattered all over the walls and floor.

They party hear noises coming from under the south door ( from area 1 living room), near the door to the cellar. They can make out orcish words and what sounds like a small riot of yelling, breaking wood, and chanting.

From under the west doorway (area 3 bedroom) they can make out several deep voices speaking in ogrish.

Not wanting a confrontation just yet they head through the east doorway into area 5, the pantry.

They go do a quick run through of the supplies in the pantry (missing the giant rats hiding there) and are surprised to find the west hallway leading to the kitchen. It wasnt on the Stone Masons crude map.

They quietly enter area 2, the kitchen, through the doorway at the end.

They can make out the orcs still causing a ruckus in the next room. Looking around Ben and the dwarf take the four foot chopping block from the corner to use as a barricade to help fight the orcs if it comes to that.

They then make their way back through the pantry and hallway back into the barracks.

They are planning on investigating the cellar door when the ogrish voices in the bedroom become louder. One is approaching the door and about to open it not ten feet from the party!

Miranda quickly opens the cellar door and hides there with Kellak the dwarf. They barely get the door shut as the bedroom door opens. Ben is still invisible so he simply backs against a wall.

A large gray bugbear in a dented breastplate strides halfway in the room before stopping and asking a question in ogrish to the others in the bedroom. He has a battleaxe on one hip and a shortsword on the other.

Ben creeps a bit closer and gets a good look in the bedroom.

Sitting on a large bed is an ogre dressed in furs and leaning on a metal-banded wooden club. Next to the bed are two chairs. One is occupied by another bugbear who is dressed identically to the first one (they are twins and leaders of the orc marauders.) Sitting on a chest by the others is a good sized orc shaman dressed in patched robes , pouches, feathers, and strands of teeth. A wickedly curved scimitar is at his side.

The bugbear then shuts the door and proceeds towards the pantry.

Ben takes the opportunity to slip onto the cellar stairway and report what he saw to the others.

Torches held high they head down the stone stairway to the cellar.

All around the walls are wooden shelves with boxes on them. A wooden trapdoor covers a well in the corner.

To their surprise is a door in the east wall (area 11 the wizards workroom) not on their map. There is also a large hole in the north wall, barricaded with several broken cabinets and bits of stone. Wall stones are piled on the floor near piles of earth. A dark tunnel can be seen between the wood and stone barricade.

Scattered around the room are four rotting human corpses and three more orcs, all covered in hacking wounds. They bodies have not been stripped but are quite foul.

Kellak peers down the tunnel but sees no one. They do not hear anything.

Questioned by his companions the dwarf is able to tell that the tunnel is not typical of orc or goblin digging.

Miranda and Ben then begin to search through the boxes while Kellak keeps watch. They discover an amazing variety of Wizard spell components and contraptions, much to Mirandas delight. They also find a fancy locked wooden box but decide not to mess with it.

Ben then opens the trapdoor to the well. Holding his torch low he discovers a floating body fifteen feet down. As near as they can tell in the torchlight the skin is grayish, the eyes are wide and sightless, the hair long and black, and it has black claws. It is wearing rags and has long stringy black hair.

Ben recognizes it as a grimlock and begins cursing softly. Kellak recognizes it and isnt too happy about it. The tunnel makes sense now. He explains what they are to Miranda.

They cover the well again.

Preparing their weapons and shields they move through the east door into the workroom.

The walls are covered with shelves of bottles and boxes filled with all manner of potions and powders. Cabinets stand in the corners amid what appears to be various broken pieces of wooden and metal devices and junk. There are two long wooden workbenches against the eastern wall, each with a set of four stools. One of the tables is covered in parchment, pens, intricate glassware, and two candlesticks with burnt out candles. A body, dressed in long, filthy robes, is slumped over the workbench.

EDIT: Forgot two sliced and diced grimlocks lying on the floor. One towards the door and one next to the wizard.

It is Karthedon, mindless from the feeblemind backfire and covered in filth. He is kept alive by his ring of sustenance.

Unnoticed by the party is a large oily rusty mechanical fire standing partially hidden behind a tarp and junk pile. It is the wizards guardian: a mechanical golem. It will not attack unless the party touches, attacks, or casts a spell on Karthedon.

Realizing what is happening, Miranda begins to cast a Dispel Magic. Her chances arent very good at dispelling the feeblemind but they arent terrible. (Mirandas Int +3, level+5 vs. Karthedons Int +2, level 10).

She rolled very well and the feeblemind was dispelled.

As she was casting however, the golem took this as an attack and stomped out of its hiding place springing its arm blades and gaining surprise.

It went straight through the dwarf and the still-invisible the fighter to get to Miranda.

Ben managed to damage it with his broadsword but was shocked (literally figuratively) when the golems electric shock ability took nearly half of his hit points. Beautiful electric flash and all of a sudden theres a now visible smoking warrior with an amazed look of pain on his face.

Not realizing what was happening Kellak connected with his hammer and was blown back several feet by the electrical shock as well.

Miranda was desperately trying to rouse Karthedon who was barely able to whisper for lack of real water down his dusty throat. She gave him a waterskin and he began to drain it so his voice would return to call off his guardian.

She knew she had no way of hurting this thing and the wizard was their only chance.

By this time golem had shoved past the fighter and dwarf and bearing down on Miranda (whos attempts at aiding the wizard kept registering as attacks) nearly killed her with its armblades. She was cut very badly.

Miranda was positive she was about to die, lying there bleeding on the stone floor. The golem raised its bladed fist, preparing to pin her to the floor when Karthedon shouted Stop!

The golem immediately stood at attention as Ben and Kellak slumped to the floor in relief.
_________________
Hey now,

I've stepped into the black

I say hey now

I wont be coming back

I say hey now

I've left it all behind


Tue May 08, 2007 5:00 pm
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Hlobane Orc
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:00 am
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Location: Sidney, OH, USA
Post 
Now that's how to CK a scenario!!

Great job Baran! I love how you modified the scenario with the golems and all the dead orcs. I am disappointed that you railroaded the PC's. What they were trying to do would have made the scenario fall into place very dramatically. They would have gradually moved through the tower meeting more and more powerful creatures until finally rescueing Karthedon. Although, the force field is a very realistic defense on an open tower. Permanent wall of force or some such wizardly trick is very useful and very likely in this case. So it didn't ruin the game at all, but actually gave it more umph.

Good on ya!
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later

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Wed May 09, 2007 11:07 am
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Red Cap

Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:00 am
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Post 
Well done! I have got to run that scenario!


Wed May 09, 2007 1:07 pm
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Ungern

Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 67
Post 
Quote:
StealthSuitStanley wrote:
Now that's how to CK a scenario!!

Great job Baran! I love how you modified the scenario with the golems and all the dead orcs. I am disappointed that you railroaded the PC's. What they were trying to do would have made the scenario fall into place very dramatically. They would have gradually moved through the tower meeting more and more powerful creatures until finally rescueing Karthedon. Although, the force field is a very realistic defense on an open tower. Permanent wall of force or some such wizardly trick is very useful and very likely in this case. So it didn't ruin the game at all, but actually gave it more umph.

Good on ya!



yeah it is to my deep regret that i didn't let it go that route.

my only excuse is it has been many months since i last ran a game and i panicked. badly.

i wish had let is stand.

ah well, it certainly will the next time i ever run it.

Quote:
Tank wrote:
Well done! I have got to run that scenario!



yeah it is a good scenario easily ported into existing gameworlds and modified for level and personal needs.

after i get the last installment put up i'll post the adventure rewrite i did.

thanks for reading!

dave

dave
_________________
Hey now,

I've stepped into the black

I say hey now

I wont be coming back

I say hey now

I've left it all behind


Thu May 10, 2007 4:50 am
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Ungern

Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 67
Post The Grand Finale!
Part Four Retaking Enon Tor
The cleric-dwarf Kellak used a cure light wounds on Miranda to help bring her back to her feet. Karthedon, once he regained his composure, led the party through area 12, the study, to the secret door into his secret chamber. He immediately granted Ben the +2 broadsword, a pouch of dust of appearance for Kellak, and Miranda a scroll of dispel magic and another of fireball. All three party members were given a potion of healing which they immediately swigged and were promised 1000 gold pieces once the tower was cleared of invaders.

The clearly embarrassed wizard shooed them back into his workroom while he quickly changed into a spare robe and wash the filth from himself in private.

When he emerged he told them of the grimlock tunnel they hit and what he could remember.

They then formed a plan of attack.

Realizing the grimlocks would probably attack at any time, they decided to order the Mechanical Golem to defend the tunnel entrance while the party and Karthedon clear out the marauders above.

The four ascended the cellar stairs towards the barracks room as the golem clanked over and took up its post in front of the tunnel, blades flipped open.

They quietly entered the barracks. More talking in ogrish could be heard from the bedroom and orcish from the living room. The party decided to take care of the group of orcs they could hear in the living room. So off they went around an through the east hallway, through the pantry, and into the kitchen where the butchers block was still in front the door connecting into the living room and the orcs beyond.

The fighter and dwarf readied shields and weapons as the wizards readied spells and Mirandas wand of magic missiles.

With a loud creak the pushed the door open, swinging into the other room.

Amid torn tapestries, chewed bones, pens, parchments, candles, broken plates, and utensils eight orcs dressed in patched chain and rags sat at an oak table and benches across the room, in front of a fireplace.

Their mouths were open in shock as they sat there, food and drink falling from their mouths, looking at the four intruders.

With snarls they began to snatch up scimitars and spears.

Miranda cut loose with her wand and Karthedon let fly with his own magic missile spell.

Three orcs fell dead and two were wounded by the darts of light. The remaining five staggered into the middle of the room just in time for Ben and Kellak to slip past the butcher's block and charge them. Ben cut ones head cleanly in two but the cleric missed his hammer swing!

The orcs attacked, missing the fighter and dwarf in their confusion and fear!

Miranda let fly with her wand again and two more orcs fell. Karthedon waited, watching and preparing another spell.

Ben quickly killed another orc, slicing through its rusty armor and torso. Kellak flattened the head of the last orc.

And then a big gray bugbear kicked open the bedroom door to yell at the orcs for being so damn loud.

The party was caught napping as the bugbear gave a yelp and jerked its battleaxe free, heading for Ben.

The ogre on the bed picked up his big metal-banded club and gave an ugly roar, heading for the doorway. The second bugbear pulled his axe and looked anxious to enter the fray.

Ben recovered and began to duel with the bugbear in his face. Kellak circled around the humanoid.

Karthedon let loose with a fireball, streaking past Ben and his foe, exploding on the back of the bedroom wall, filling the whole room with fire, a billowing jet shooting back from the door barely missing Ben and his bugbear.

The ogre fell dead with a screech. The second bugbear began staggering around the bedroom covered in burnt fur and singed armor. He fell over dead in a puff of smoke. Then the whole bedroom was dark and smokey.

Miranda held a spell in wait.

Suddenly a faint chanting was heard and a lightning bolt blasted out of the bedroom and nailed Karthedon in the chest! The wizard was fairly blasted but still in the fight and now really pissed off.

Ben chopped the bugbear and Kellak, deciding not to be fair, hit it from behind.

Miranda caught a glimpse of the barely alive and badly burned orc shaman and pierced it with her own magic missile spell, killing the nasty beast dead.

Ben took a minor cut and managed to spear the Bugbear through the chest, killing it at last.

With a sigh of relief the heroes checked the bodies to make sure they were all dead.

Later they went downstairs to check on the mechanical golem. It was a bit banged up and covered up to its knees in diced up grimlocks. They retreated down the tunnel when the realized they couldnt get past the construct.

The party and Karthedon cleaned up and went to town for food, drink, and a hot bath.

EPILOGUE:

The PCs will be rewarded the gold they were promised by Lord Dromilov and by Karthedon. Not a bad haul!

Plus Miranda will be allowed to study and copy spells from Karthedons own spellbook.

THE END.

I have to thank my players, Deb and Ben, for the entertainment and challenges they gave me. It was a blast! The most fun I have had DM/CK ing in a very long time.

I look forward to our next adventure this weekend!

Dave.
_________________
Hey now,

I've stepped into the black

I say hey now

I wont be coming back

I say hey now

I've left it all behind


Thu May 10, 2007 9:06 am
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