Campaign of the Month: August 2013

Dragons of Autumn

I ain't afraid of no ghost!

Session 5

The group descends from the chimney of the upside inn into a cavern. The walls drip with swamp water from the surface and follows the channels of the craggy floor toward a larger section. The larger cave section has a giant hole in the middle which acts as a drain for the swamp water. The group circumnavigates it with ease and continues deeper into the cave.
The group is surprised to see the cavern floor change to cobblestone and the cavern walls to buildings. A section of Xak Tsaroth lay before them, the buildings on either side of the street at an angle creating an A-frame support over the city street. The doors and window shutters that remain hang down into the street. The group continues along the ruins which have the feel of a cathedral.
They inspect some of the buildings and find either caved-in areas or ruined shoppes. One of the first shoppes still standing appears to have been a bakery. Although the flour has rotted away, the burlap sacks still stand in large pile underneath a sewer pipe that has broken through the wall. The group surmises that this pipe most likely meets the junction they passed in the other tube. The ground is covered in gully dwarf tracks and confirms that their guide must have taken the junction and not waited for them.
The next shoppe appears to have been a bookstore or a library. Two massive shelves still stand with several historical records that have been lost to time. The group attempts to salvage the books, but they have the consistency of wet bread; the knowledge lost forever. Deeper in the bookstore/library, the group finds a ghostly figure sitting in a golden chair. Before they can speak, the ghost holds up his index finger and says, " Please, wait! Before you speak, listen to what I have to say. "
The ghostly figure of an older man brushes himself off and introduces himself as Ossamis. He is bound to remain in his library until he answers a single question from a mortal. Ossamis claims to know much about Xak Tsaroth and gives the group some time to decide on an appropriate question.
The groups asks Ossamis, " We are seeking the Disks of Mishakal. Are they located in the lair of the dragon and, if so, is there a secret means of reaching that lair? "
Ossamis answers, " Down the hall, you will find a waterfall. There are vines that lead downward; it is a difficult climb, so you must be cautious. At the bottom, you will be in a corridor that leads straight to a large hall. Follow that up the steps, and you’ll find the Disks, but you’ll have to fight for them. As for a secret entrance, you’re assuming there is one. I have heard rumors, but I do not know for certain. Look for its entrance among the Aghar. " As his last words linger in the air, Ossamis disappears.
The group continues down the hall toward the waterfall, but finds a standing building across the stream. The building still bears a sign over its massive steel doors. The group can barely make out the word " treasury. " They decide it’s worth investigating so they tie a rope around Riverwind and allow him to ford the stream as high upstream as possible. With Riverwind across, they are able to ferry the rest of the group with ease. The waters flow right up to the doors, so the group slowly manages along the curb of the building single file to approach the door. Fearing the door may be locked, Almaia is elected to go first. When she reaches the door, it is unlocked and opens smoothly despite 350 years in this environment.
As she scans the room, she finds more ghostly figures of a chamberlain and four guards. The well-dressed ghost speaks, " Kathal! It’s about time. Everyone else paid their taxes on time; you’re the last one to settle up accounts. You’re now well over three centuries past due. Are you familiar with the term ‘compound interest’? Well, you will be before you leave here. Including interest and penalties, you owe, by my calculations, one million, three hundred twenty thousand, four hundred seventy culli. That’s Tsarothian culli, don’t try to pass off any of that Istaran gold on us again. There’s no future for gold! May I remind you that you’re late enough that I have the legal authority to compel payment. " The ghost gestures to the spectral guards and awaits Almaia‘s reply.
Almaia objects that she is not this Kathal to which the tax collector responds vehemently, " Then why did you come in here? Guards! Take them. " The four guards attack and the rest of the group enters the treasury quickly to combat them. Yelfis throws his hammer at the tax collector only to have it pass harmlessly through the spectre. The missile attack startles the tax collector who quickly yelps and dissipates. The remaining spectral guards are eventually laid to a permanent rest by the party.
After the quick battle, the group investigates the back of the treasury and finds mountains of coins. Unfortunately, Xak Tsaroth used clay coins as legal tender and not precious metals. The clay coins, or culli, are completely worthless. However, Donegin casts detect magic before searching the room and discovers two alcoves with a permanent spell on them. One is labelled ’Treasury’ and the other ‘Taxes’. As the group discusses what to do about the magical portals, Yelfis decides to probe the alcove marked ‘Taxes’ with his hammer. Yelfis is pulled into the alcove and disappears. The group spends a few moments in a slight panic.
Meanwhile, Yelfis finds himself in a dark, open area. His dwarven senses let him know that he is much deeper now and his darkvision reveals that he is standing on a foundation where a tower once stood. Suddenly, Yelfis spots Riverwind carrying a torch on the far side of the foundation through a doorway. He walks over and enters the doorway only to exit back in the treasury through the alcove marked ‘Treasury’. The group realizes that the alcoves are dimensional doors and decides that it would be safer to use them to travel deeper than to climb down as Ossamis suggested.
The group enters the alcove marked ‘Taxes’ and exits at the foundation of the ruined tower.

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robertkety

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