The Inverted Tower

The King's Roads
Summer 1227 York

Lady Julia arrives at the Inverted Tower with an exciting new plan to fill the covenants missing magi (needing three to be quarate). An old friend of hers called Nona the Weaver (House Ex Miscellanae), has recently suffered a severe twilight that has left her warped in such a way that close proximity to mundane folk is proving difficult. She has long held a small shop in the city of York, where she has a fine reputation for making clothing for nobility, and an even greater reputation among the order as being the finest crafter of magical cloth in the world. She is loath to join a covenant but realizes that the time has come to remove herself from most of the mundane world.

Lady Julia, along with Sophia, Tomas, and Argyle take the "King's Roads" to reach York more quickly. Julia explains that the King's Roads were ancient trods used by the faerie kings of old- and there use is much of the reason for her own mercantile success. Although seemingly deserted, lost travelers can sometimes be encountered who have gone mad. Just such a group is run upon who appear to be Vikings of a bygone age, but whose eyes have turned black and attack with a murderous rage. Tomas suffers a medium wound in the exchange and Argyle a light one before the group vanquish their foes. 

Upon arriving in York, Julia presents Nona with a warehouse worth of Scottish wool carried in a small chest. They can see several odd things about the aged maga, such as her black eyes, 12 fingers and the shadowy spiders that habitually drop from her dress and scuttle across the floor. She seems receptive to the idea of joining the Inverted Tower but also says that she is being courted by several others. In the end, she agrees to come visit in the spring and consider the troupes offer.

 

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Feast of Goblins
Spring 1227- Cumbria

After working hard all winter at restoring the old covenant to its former glory, word reaches the troupe that Agnes has gone missing again in the village of Bayles. Deciding to travel light after the baron has stepped up patrols following last years Scottish raids, so only Sophia, Tomas, Aleesia, Brother Kel, and Argyle make the short journey to Bayles. Along the way they run across one of the baron's knight, Sir Eckbert— who informs Sophia that the baron once again requests her to visit him.

They learn from the villagers that the girl has been missing for four days now, and no sign of her has been found. Aleesia uses her dowsing ability to lead the troupe high into the Fells where her trail ends at the entrance of an abandoned mine. Aleesia then uses her connection to her dragon to send him inside invisibly while she maps the mines interior outside by seeing it through his eyes. Once they have the lay of the land they make a plan to infiltrate the mine, which appears to be overun with goblins, and rescue Agnes once again.

The troupe moves in silently and to deadly effect as the goblins are distracted by an ongoing feast. When they at last attack the feast they quickly overwhelm the startled goblins, including their massive troll bodyguard. Agnes is rescued and Sophia has a long talk with her parents where it is decided that the young girl will return with the troupe to the covenant.

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Into the Dark- Final Chapter
Summer 1226- Cumbria

The final climactic battle had arrived. The troupe had learned that a powerful demon of pride called, Gevah had been the final cause of the covenants destruction. He’d been brought here by the magus August Reign, trapped inside an ancient urn, and used by him to increase his own considerable powers. But it was Amelia, another of the covenants magi, who set it free in a fit of jealousy. Once freed the demon was able to wreak havoc with the already low morale and petty grievances which were rife among the covenant members. Within days there was open fighting in the halls of the covenant as factions turned on one another.

The demon however, did make one critical error- he attempted to possess the most powerful of the covenants magi as he began to slip into twilight from the over expenditure of his power. Avastus was slipping into final twilight when the demons spirit attacked his own. Avastus tried to use his own force of will to pull the demon into twilight with him but the demons spirit was too powerful to be drawn in, and yet not strong enough to escape twilight’s pull. In the end, they were both trapped.

Gathering mighty allies; Julianna the powerful head of Voluntus, Lord Vaul an experienced Quasitor and dedicated foe of the infernal, and Shabah a hoplite and Tomas’ master, the troupe was at last prepared to face the powerful demon. Rounding out their force was the ghostly-spirit of Alastor, one of the magi of the Inverted Tower who has stood vigil over the remains of Avastus until his burden could be released.

Although Gevah towered more than 18 feet in height with a flaming sword and several smaller deadlier demons in tow, he was no match for the combined might of so many wizards. Lord Vaul received a heavy wound from the creature, but it was his spell- fueled by ‘Wizard’s Communion’ from Julia and Sophia, that banished the creature forever. Avastus’ spirit was at last free, and the last of the ancient evils that still haunted the old covenant was gone…

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Rat Hunting
Spring 1226- Cumbria

While Julia departs for an important meeting, and Aleesia and Brother Kel scour the countryside looking for grain and food supplies, Sophia and Tomas descend into the caverns beneath the covenant to clear them of any remaining threats. Several groups of the black feral hrool are eliminated, as well as smaller versions of the giant white serpent (the pale orn) they fought before. A run in with a rogue elemental creature even yielded 4 pawns of terrem vis. After clearing the tunnels, Sophia was able to use Avastus' wand to seal all of the exits, and hopefully prevent anything hostile from attacking the covenant from below…

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Wheat & Wildfire
Spring 1226- Cumbria

Brother Kel, along with Aleesia, Iwlgar, and Sparrow, set out to travel to some of the nearby villages in hopes of purchasing any excess grain they might possess. Julia has provided them with coin although many of the places they visit scarcely have enough for themselves. Only when they reach the village of Croglin do they come upon some villagers willing to negotiate, and only because a plague had wiped out many of the households and left them with a small surplus.

They are given quarters within the manor house attached to the village's peel tower to wait for the headman to return and approve the deal. That night however, the village is set upon by Scottish reavers eager to steal the food for themselves. Most of the village is set ablaze as the villagers themselves find sanctuary in the peel tower. Brother Kel and Sparrow use their crossbows to keep the reavers at bay as the last of the villagers flee inside. It is only when the reavers threaten to execute three of the villagers who did not make it to the tower do the characters leave its protection and sally out to fight them.

There is a short battle where Iwlgar and Aleesia are able to slay the reavers leader as well as several of his followers. With Aleesia brandishing her flaming sword, and her fire drake spewing more flames at them, the morale of the reavers breaks- and those still capable flee into the countryside. With much of the village in shambles, most of the villagers travel elsewhere to find shelter with relatives. A few families, with no where else to go, accompany the characters back to the Inverted Tower and find shelter there.

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Into the Dark- Chapter Six
Spring 1226- Cumbria

Julia spear heads the charge as the group descends at last to the final level of the Inverted Tower. It is there they find the final remains of Amelia and August Reign still locked in the final battle that destroyed the covenant. Julia's powerful magic calls up the spirit of Amelia, but August appears too and unleashes a powerful fire spell that envelopes the room wounding Tomas and several of the grogs. Amelia then uses her magic to call up the dead from the nearby crypts while August uses his powers to take over the minds of some of the grogs.

Argyle, possessed by the spirit of August Reign, attacks Aleesia and leaves her with a heavy wound, while she desperately wields her magic sword against his ghost. Iwlgar leads the grogs charge against the undead, whilest Desiderius calls up his own skeletons to help in the fray. Sophia and Julia face off against Amelia's spirit, alternately draining her magical might and blasting her with Sophia's searing light. Although Amelia unleashes several perdo-corpus spells against her assailants, she is unable to overcome their resistance and she is at last drained of magical might and vanishes. With Amelia gone they are able to lend their assistance in the battle against August and banish his spirit as well.

As the dust settles, the last of Amelia's skeletons are destroyed and the troupe at last feels as though the Inverted Tower is truly theirs, or at least will be when the demon that caused its destruction is finally banished.

 

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Moving In...
Winter 1225- Cumbria

The troupe at last moves their base of operations to inside the Inverted Tower where they occupy the top three levels and fortify their position. Desiderius, a Verditius mage, has arrived from Voluntus and has lent his mastery of spirits and necromancy to the troupes efforts to quiet the spirits haunting the old covenant.

Desiderius takes control of the third level which he wards against spirits as well as animates many of the remaining skeletons to stand physical guard. The shield-grogs cut heavy lengths of timber which they use to seal the central stairwell. Sophia takes the upper most level in Amelia's old quarters along with Aleesia, whereas Tomas and Brother Kel take up residence in Arymiras' old quarters on the second level. The rest of the grogs use the old dormitories for the  coven-folk in the second level outside the great hall.

Desiderius uses his necromantic arts to summon up two of the unquiet spirits haunting the old covenant. The first is the spirit of the autocrat, Ferdina- whose spirit is laid to rest when Sophia agrees to restore the covenant to its former glory, and Ferdina gives her a chime that was used to summon the magi to council. The second proves more difficult, as it is the violent ghost of Josephine who is still seeking her lost son. The magi spend several days looking for the source of the child's laughter they hear within the stone walls of the covenant, they finally discover that he has been merged with the stone wall of one of the workshops- likely by Avastus who sought to protect the boy from the violence that destroyed the covenant. With Julia's help, and a wand crafted by Avastus' hand, they at last free the boy (Gemeric) who is no worse for wear despite nearly a century of captivity.

Julia and Desiderius offer to remain in the Inverted Tower through the winter.

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Into the Dark- Chapte Five
Autumn 1225- Cumbria

Once more our troupe presses their claim on the Inverted Tower and make their way into its dark and dangerous depths. They are reminded once more just how many unquiet spirits haunt this place when a new ghost appeas from nowhere screaming for her lost child before hurling a spear into the group and wounding brother Kel. Determined to press on, Sophia dresses the wound as best she can and the troupe descends further.

The magi are heartbroken when they find the old library is a complete loss having been burned utterly by the conflict that destroyed the covenant. Exploring further they come to the lab and quarters of the magi Alastor. Here they find a glowing portal in place of the door to his lab and up[on entering find themselves in a wooded glade before a massive stone dolmen. The dolmen seems to hold a similiar glowing portal, but guarding it is a mysterious knight in glass armor. As more of the troupe files through the portal, faceless warriors appear next to the knight on a one-for-one basis. Sophia uses her herbam magic to use the trees to block the portal and prevent more of the troups from summoning additional warriors.

Battle ensues with the glass knight and his faceless men, who prove to be exceptional warriors. One by one the troupe is overcome and cut down until only Tomas and the knight remain. The glass knight proves too powerful and at last Tomas is felled as well. The fallen troupe members awaken to find they are not truly dead but have only been rendered unconscious by the illusory battle. Determined to win their way pass the guardians they choose one warrior to face him rather than risk summoning more of the faceless warriors. They choose Iwlgar and equip with with the flaming 'Captain's Sword". 

Iwlgar's battle with the knight is long and hard fought, winning many light wounds against him which begins to turn the battle in his favor. Although Iwlgar suffers a heavy wound (illusory), he does at last overcome the guardian and the knight shatters when the final blow with his flaming sword is struck. At last the troupe is able to enter the second glowing portal and find themselves in the nave of a darkened church.

Upon the churches altar lies a figure in repose, while the only other rises from the pews and turns to confront the troupe. It is the ghostly figure of Alastor who upon recognizing Sophia welcomes her. Alastor relates to her the final days of the Inverted Tower (see HISTORY), and he now stands guard over the fallen figure of Avastus who has bound within him the mighty demon who laid the covenant to waste. The troupe learns that they must find a way to do battle with a powerful demon of the first order if they are to finally lay claim to the Inverted Tower.

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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.

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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.

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