The Inverted Tower

The White Wyrm
Summer 1225- Cumbria

As spring blossoms into summer the troupe suddenly finds a wagon-train on their doorstep. Five nuns have arrived with a host of workman to rebuild and reoccupy the old monastery at the expense of Baron LeCornu. It seems obvious the Baron has used the nuns to get rid of the magi and their armed host who have consternated him for sometime. With no choice but to leave, the troupe packs their things and move into the forest, making their way into the Woading Wood. Here they establish their new base of operations in tents and under the canopy of trees.

Toward midsummer a sudden storm erupts which leaves much of the encampment in shambles. While the tempest rages, a great white serpent almost fifty feet long steals into the camp and into Sophia and Aleesia's tent. It is apparently drawn to the sack of vis stored there. Sophia stops the serpent from devouring the vis while her shadow-wolves hound it and keep it at bay. Aleesia delivers a powerful blow with her flaming sword and the serpent flees into the night shrouded forest.

In the morning, the troupe gather and decide to track the beast to its lair. Sophia elects to take the entire troupe to fight the massive beast. They find that it is living in the caverns below the Inverted Tower and cautiously enter in pursuit. After tracking it through numerous twisting caves and past many dead and devoured rat-creatures that the serpent seems to be surviving on, they are ambushed by the monster. Although he gains the advantage of surprise, only one grog is injured before the superior numbers of the troupe beat it back. The serpent attempts to withdraw but the grogs corner it and at last kill the creature. 

In the creatures gullet they find a magical spear, as well as harvest the creatures eyes and fangs for vis— in its lair its long shed skin also contains vis, which they gather and return to camp with.

Into the Dark- Chapter Four
Spring 1225- Cumbria

Once again the troupe sets out to explore the Inverted Tower in hopes of clearing out level four. As they make their way down the central stair they are confronted by another ghostly apparition of one of the covenants former inhabitants. This time it is the spirit of a soldier shrouded in flames and wielding a sword identicle to the one they had recovered on a previous exploration. The spirit challenges the troupe to produce a warrior to match him in one-on-one combat. Iwlgar (grog-captain) answers the call and Aleesia loans him the sword that matches the spirits own. The combat is fierce although Iwlgar quickly gains the upper hand and vanquishes the apparition- who in the end seems grateful to have been defeated in honorable combat as he reveals the dagger buried between his shoulder blades that had been his original demise. He leaves behind a gleaming set of armor.

Further down they once again enter the council chamber where they had once recovered the covenants old charter. When they arrive a fierce battle is already being fought between more the the violent grey-hrool who are battling the peaceful white-hrool. The troupe intercedes and quickly defeat the grey-hrool despite the treacherous and crumbling floor. The white-hrool are grateful, and their leader- a female called Hookla, swears to help the troupe anyway she can in the future before disappearing with her kin into the walls.

Finally, the troupe explores the quarters of the wizard Auryn, who seems to be the only one of the covenants former inhabitants who escaped alive. Much of the rooms are collapsed although they do encounter the ghost of an apprentice whose legs were crushed by the falling debris and slowly starved to death while trapped. When they offer some food to the apparition she smiles gratefully and disappears. The troupe is able to uncover more books and scrolls from Auryn's lab and they once again return to the monastery.

Misplaced Monk
Mid-Winter 1224- Northumbria

Returning the next day to the Moonlit Maze, the troupe attempts to locate their wayward monk in the seemingly endless labyrinth. Alessia, as she did before, uses her dousing skill to lead the way. Although they encounter more of the wood-blights, they overcome them relatively easily this time— except fpr a brief battle with twilight when Sophia miscasts her spell and spends the melee recovering her magic.

When they finally locate Brother Kel, he has lost himself in his stag form, and worse— been captured by a twenty-foot giant and is being prepped for a fine meal of venison! The giant's two massive hounds alert him to the troupes arrival and a great battle ensues. Sophia is able to slow the giants progress with repeated castings of her wall of thorns spell, meanwhile Sir Robert, Aleesia and her fire drake are able to accumulate numerous light wounds on the creature. Argyle leads the shield-grogs against the massive hounds that they slowly overcome in a protracted melee. The giant is at last defeated in a nickle-and-dime accumulation of wounds that finally overcomes even its great strength. They are able to rescue Brother Kel and make their way out of the faerie regio, but not before Sophia gets a glimpse of its mysterious lord who gifts her a single black rose as the gate closes.

Lilly's Labyrinth
Mid-Winter 1224- Northumbria

Tomas remains at the monastery with Sparrow, Iwlgar, and two shield-grogs to watch over the Inverted Tower while the rest of the troupe journey to Voluntus to spend the winter. They settle in comfortably and Lady Julia uses her own considerable mentem abilities to uncover more of Sophia's lost memories. 

An unexpected visitor arrives in the form of Sir Robert, the Baron of Wark. He begs assistance from the magi there in helping him locate his missing nine-year-old daughter who had fallen down a mysterious hole and vanished. Sophia sets out with Aleesia, Brother Kel, Argyle, Hawk, and three grogs to investigate. They arrive at Castle Wark late in the evening but press on to investigate, rather than taking their rest at the castle. In the hole they discover a piece of chalk containing vim vis. Using the chalk to draw a small door, they find the entrance to a faerie regio called the 'Moonlit Maze'.

Along with Sir Robert they set out to explore the maze and run afoul of several wood-blights, seemingly evil versions of the dryads they are more familiar with. They defeat the wood-blights although Hawk is severely wounded in the battle. They push on and find Sir Robert's daughter, "Lilly", playing in a clearing with other children. As they press on, two of the surrounding scarecrows attack along with a third— even more hideous scarecrow called "Mr. Shuck". They defeat the scarecrows and banish Mr. Shuck, as well as kill the hideous playmates masquerading as the other children. They recover Sir Robert's daughter although in the process Brother Kel has run off into the maze and vanished (flaw- Susceptable to Faerie). The troupe retreats from the regio and recovers the night at Castle Wark.


A Bothersome Banquet
Late Autumn 1224- Cumbria

Reluctantly, the Sophia decides to make good on her promise to visit Baron leCornu at Irthington before the snows come. She takes Brother Kel, Argyle, Hawk and 4 of the Gallowglass with her- Tomas comes as well, but disguised as one of the grogs (do to his familiarity with the Baron, see Tomas character description). The journey is uneventful and the troupe arrives after only a day of travel. They are escorted to the Baron's manor and given comfortable quarters.

Their visit is not unpleasant although sometimes tense, the Baron's is intensely curious about Sophia and her men staying at the old monastery and the troupe keep up their pretense that Sophia is in religious seclusion under the tutelage of Brother Kel. They add to the story that she is from Toulouse and a widower following her husbands death in the war. The Baron's wife, Lady Eloise does her best to mitigate matters and seems genuine in her desire for friendship. Much more uncomfortable, is the presence of Sir Gilbert and Father Luc- the two charged by the Bishop of Anglia to hunt down Aleesia. 

The troupe make their stay as brief as possible and do all they can to assuage the Baron's suspicions. The Baron's son, Artur, is smitten with Sophia and proves a nuisance during their visit. Unbeknownst to the others, Tomas steals into the Baron's quarters disguised as a servant and steals to of his fathers swords leaving behind his fathers crucifix on the Baron's bedside table. The troupe departs after two days without incident. 

Into the Dark- Chapter Three
Mid-Autumn 1224- Cumbria

Once more the troupe sets out to explore the ruins of the Inverted Tower, but even as they gather outside the old monastery- riders approach from the north west. It is the Baron of Gilsland and his hunting party. He introduces himself as Giraud de Cornu and inquires as to the ladies name (Sophia) and why she's staying at a ruined monastery with armed men. Brother Kel steps forward and explains the lady is a nobleperson of Toulouse, and here on a religious retreat under the instruction of himself. The Baron lets the story go unchallenged, and instead invites her to dine with him at has keep in Irthington before the snows come. Lady Sophia reluctantly accepts and the Baron departs.

The troupe arrives once more through the Woading Wood and sets out to explore the towers third floor. It becomes obvious to them that a battle was fought on this level amongst the grogs and their are more than a score of skeletons scattered about. In the old barracks they encounter three large spiders and one very huge one. They overcome the creatures and discover their bodies contain perdo vis (6 pawns). As they arrive in the gymnasium they once again encounter the ghost of Amelia who animates all the dead soldiers around tham and a battle erupts. The grogs and companions do an excellent job overcoming the skeletons while Sophia and Amelia dual it out in the center of them. Amelia attempts to choke Sophia into submission, but before passing out she is able to drive the spirit away once again wth her searing light.

The last area to explore on the third level is the quarters of Sophia's long lost lover, the Tytalus mage August Reign. She is surprised when his ghost meets her at the door and invites her in as though no time at all has passed. He converses with her briefly before vanishing after leaving her with a kiss. The magi discover a hidden compartment in his bedroom- but it is empty. Sophia suspects something important to what happened to the covenant was once hid there. The grogs gather up scrolls and books left behind in his lab and they make their way back home as the two magi are on the verge of exhuastion.


Mid-Summer 1224- Cumbria

After spending several weeks continuing to study from the tomes recovered from the both Arymira and Amelia's labs, the troupe finally sets out to explore the third level of the Inverted Tower. The magi set out with their companions and most of their shield-grogs into the Woading Wood. They are quite shocked that upon arriving they find two guards stationed at the entrance. Captain Iwlgar recognizes then as grogs from the covenant of Ungulus (he being from there himself). The guards inform them that they are there with two young magi seeking admittance into Ungulus, who are at that very moment making their own exploration of the Inverted Tower.

The trespassers had not gone far and the troupe finds them still exploring the first level. Things are immediately tense as Sophia makes it clear that the covenant is hers and off limits to other wizards. The two mages are Imari of House Merinta (an expert in unseelie faerie)  and Emory of House Tyltalus (a wizarding thief). Imari and Sophia take an almost immediate dislike for each other and their exchange quickly grows quite heated. They exchange insults until Imari grows so enraged that she uses a perdo-terrem spell to destroy the stone walkway upon which Sophia is standing. Sophia, Argyle, and Iwlgar are all injured by the exploding stone and Iwlgar and Argyle fall to the level below while Sophia saves herself by levitating.

A battle breaks out among both groups with the troupes grogs giving hard press to those of the two trespassers. Several spells are exchanged between the wizards but a well placed arrow from Aleesia's bow turns the tide against Imari. Emory attempts to turn invisible but Aleesia shoots him for a heavy wound still able to see him with her second sight. Sophia seizes the opportunity and imprison both wizards within a wall of thorns, further entraps Imari with a tangle of vines. With both wizards wounded, trapped, and their grogs outnumbered- they surrender and are allowed to take their men and leave.

The troupe decides to wait until fall to explore further needing to come up with a solution for a third wizard so that their covenant might be validated by the next tribunal…

Lost in the Woods
Early Summer 1224- Cumbria

The troupe spent the rest of their Spring and into early summer studying the papers and books recovered from the Inverted Tower. All is quiet until early one afternoon Argyle returns from hunting in the forest and informs everyone that there are numerous villagers combing the forest looking for a young local girl who has gone missing. 

The troupe heads out with Argyle and two shield-grogs to see if they can help. After speaking to the villagers they begin to suspect the girl has slipped into the Woading Wood (the regio tied to the forest). They also learn from the villagers that the girl is thought "queer" by many of the locals- and folk have a tendency to act very strangely around her. Aleesia uses her dowsing talent to follow the girls trail through the regio. 

When they finally find her she is surrounded by a group of satyr's dancing and drinking, although they mostly ignore the girl. Sophia attempts to parlay with them and is roughly drawn into their dance, when the satyr grows rougher with her still she badly burns him with her searing light. A battle erupts with the satyr's who are easily beaten with no injury to the troupe. They know from the villagers that the girls name is Agnes.

Agnes is hungry and tired but otherwise unharmed, which is surprising given their own rough treatment by the satyrs. It becomes obvious however that there is more to this girl than she seems when she begins making demands which no one seems able to resist (entrancement). She often orders someone to do something but then quickly apologizes for making them do it and it seems she is conflicted about her powers and not able to completely control them. They learn that she is friendless and often ostracized by the locals, although her parents seem to care for her deeply.

Sophia extends the offer for her to visit them any time she wants and Agnes seems very grateful to have made a friend. She allows the troupe to lead her out of the Woading Wood and she is reunited with her parents. As they walk back to the monastery the magi discuss that she quite likely has the gift and will someday soon need a teacher…


Into the Dark- Chapter Two
Mid-Spring 1224 Cumbria

After taking several weeks to recover from their last venture, the troupe once again returns to the Inverted Tower in hopes of clearing the second level. Hawk remains behind due to her injuries and Argyle offers to take her place as Sophia's shield-grog.

They first begin by exploring the dormatories of the former coven-folk where they encounter another of the old covenants ghosts. Sophia recognizes her as Ferdina, the former autocrat of the Inverted Tower. She first asks if the lady (Sophia) requires anything, but soon becomes distraught when she seems to briefly comprehend the state of the covenant. She soon vanished with a heart-piercing shriek.

Next they began to explore the great hall which had seen considerable damage as there were holes in the floor and a great deal of collapsed rubble. More rat creatures emerged, but grey and larger than the others they'd fought— and much better armed. They lay in ambush, but the troupe quickly go the upper hand on them with only one of the Gallowglass suffering from heavy wounds. One of the rat creatures wielded a flaming sword to which they discovered a matching shield which they took to investigate further.

Lastly, they began a thorough examination of Arymira's (Bjornaer) quarters and laboratory. They encountered Arymira's spirit as well as a third breed of the rat creatures, this type solid white and much more intelligent than the others. The creatures, at the bidding of the spirit, gave over several magical tomes as well as Arymira's own personal journals. The troupe then returned to the monastery to read more of what they'd discovered.


Into the Dark- Chapter One
Early Spring 1224 Cumbria

With men and supplies from Voluntus, the group returns to the Inverted Tower once more. After settling into the nearby ruined monastery, a large group sets out to clear the first level of the Tower. Things go well at first as the group vanquishes a large bear that had wandered into the first level and then defeated a revenant guarding the ancient entry hall. They later discover the remains of two children's skeletons in a store room beyond the hall, who had apparently taken refuge when the covenant fell, but were unable to make their escape. The last door of the level leads into the mage quarters of Amelia, the former seneschal of the Tower. 

Things prove far more dangerous when a lightning bolt erupts from the door and inflicts a crippling wound upon one of the Gallowglass mercenaries. Inside they find Amelia's quarters in the same state of decay as the rest of the covenant. In her lab they are attacked by three skeletons whose bones had been wrapped in iron bands making them very difficult to destroy, although the party does eventually succeed in doing so. 

They return to the monastery victorious, and Brother Kel prosides over a ceremony burying the two children in the monasteries graveyard and freeing the spirit of the revenant they fought earlier. Their jubilence is short lived however, when the Gallowglass who was severly wounded earlier finally succumbs to his injuries two days later, becoming the first fatality in the efforts to reclaim the Inverted Tower.



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