The Inverted Tower

Fall & Rise- Chapter Six
Summer 1228, Cumbria

As the troupe return from the Cave of Leering Faces they encounter Benedictus and Denoument, Perinpetia's daughter- now a young lady. Benedictus approaches under a flag of truce to parlay with the characters. He wishes to warn the characters of Perinpetia's grand scheme which threaten not just their covenant- but all of England.

Benedictus reveals that Perinpetia has seen to it that Eleanor of Brittany, a prisoner of the crown (for having an arguably greater claim on it) has become pregnant and that her future son will be the king of England. She enchanted a faerie knight to lie with Eleanor and her son will therefore be half-fey. Perinpetia will use her claim upon his blood to bring much of her own realm to the earthly plane. She will also use her new found power to depose her father and make herself queen of the Unseelie court.

The troupe is now left in the difficult position of having to choose whether to do nothing and risk both English civil war and a faerie invasion, or risk all that they have worked for by breaking the Peripheral Code and risk being marched by the Order.

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Fall & Rise- Chapter Five
Summer 1228, Yorkshire

Traveling into the southern Penines the troupe makes their way to the Cave of Leering Faces where they fight their way into its depths against the Crusciator's servants and faerie knights. Unfortunately, they are overcome in their first assault and are forced to retreat after fighting a faerie giant which leaves Aleesia and Kel with heavy wounds. 

After retreating to York to recover they once again make their way into the Crusciator's lair where this time they are able to bring him to battle. Using a combination of Nona's strangling vines with Severen turning them to iron, they are able to capture the Crusciator who agrees to provide them with information in return for his release.

The Crusciator tells the troupe that he is, in fact a servant of Perinpetia and captured Severen on her command. He was able to ambush Severen with the help of a traitor from Lux Draconis, a Merinita mage named Benedictus. In return for the knowledge on how to transform himself into a faerie, he betrayed Severen. 

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Fall & Rise- Chapter Four
Spring 1228, Cumbria

The troupe is able to use Severen's talisman to locate him in his bolthole but find it surrounded by malicious faerie creatures led by another called the Crusciator. With some difficulty the troupe is able to over come the faeries and force the Crusciator to flee, but not before he inflicts several serious injuries. Inside the bolthole they find a semiconscious Severen suffering from the severe injuries he suffered when he attacked the troupes covenant. Sophia is able to stabalize him and they bring him back to the covenant. 

The characters once again encounter Perinpetia and her daughter, now grown into a small child, from whom they learn that the Crusciator has Severen's familiar and can use it to continue to attack and torment him. She provides the characters with a map to the Crusciator's earthly abode and encourages them to destroy him as an enemy of her father (the Prince of Black Thorns).

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Fall & Rise- Chapter Three
Spring 1228, Cumbria

The troupe arrives at the abandoned covenant of Lux Draconis where they hope to secure an arcane connection to Severen, the Tytalus mage who attacked their covenant. Night falls shortly after their arrival and a frightening apparition of a ghostly woman rises from the center of the lake. The apparition summons forth a horde of drowned bodies from the depths of the lake who quickly begin to overwhelm the characters. They are forced to retreat into the caves that hold the covenant proper, and only manage to bypass its dark guardian through the use of Sophia's sunlight.

Once inside they overcome many of the ghostly remnants of the covenants former inhabitants and begin to learn the grizzly story of its fall. They learn that the covenant was destroyed by locals led by agents of the church who learned of human sacrifice to the mysterious apparition in the lake. All of its former magi appeared to have been slain save for one they find still living in the caves, and still offering up sacrafices. She is a decrepit Bjornaer with a raven heartbeast, she attempts to barter with the characters for Severen's talisman, but after learning of her dark deeds they do battle with her and quickly overwhelm her with superior numbers. Tomas ends her life at the point of his sundered-lance.

Still fearful of the undead, outside Sophia flies back to Voluntus and gets assistance from Julia who uses the kings-roads to open a portal in the covenant and lead everyone back to safety. 

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Fall & Rise- Chapter Two
Spring 1228, Cumbria

 

Sophia, Kel, Aleesia, Tomas, Nona, Argyle, and four grogs set out for Lux Draconis in pursuit of the mysterious Severen. Along the way they are accosted by some of Baron Giraud's men who inform them that the Baron has had reports that Sophia's men have been poaching in the king's woods. He has offered to intercede on her behalf but insists she visit him at his manor very soon.

Just before they arrive at Lux Draconis they are met in the night by a faerie procession. At the head of the procession is a faerie princess called Peripéteia who is holding an infant while being carried upon a palanquin. The troupe learns that she is Nona's sister by the same faerie king, and very little love is lost between them. The princess informs them that Severen is not at the covenant but his talisman is, which can be used as an arcane connection to find him. She also tells them that he was held in Arcadia by an enemy of hers called Crusciator, and she will help him them defeat the creature if they wish.

The princess departs and the troupe arrives at Lux Draconis…

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Fall & Rise- Chapter One
Spring 1228, Cumbria

Nona the Weaver arrives to spend a season at the covenant and decide if she might join. Festivities for her welcome last late into the evening and as many pass out and wander off to bed- Sophia, Kel, and Nona- realize they are the only ones conscious and everyone else has fallen into an enchanted slumber. Soon they hear the march of wooden feet as the covenant is attacked by an army of oversized chess pieces!

The trio manage to beat their way past the attacking pawns only to emerge and see a 15' chess queen scaling the walls of the covenant carrying the Bell of Ibn on her back. Deep below they see another magus directing the attackers. Nona and Sophia are able to trap the queen in entangling vines and Nona frees the bell by rotting the wooden queens hand. The bell plummets downward smashing into the magus who vanishes- but not before being grievously injured. The statues cease their attack and become dormant.

Upon investigation they find the magus' staff and Nona recognizes it as having belonged to her ex-lover, Severen of Tytalus- lost more than 60 years ago. Nona and the others decide to investigate, going to the only place they can think of to which he might have fled, Lux Draconis- the former covenant of both he and Nona.

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A Stranger in the Night
Cumbria, Spring 1228

After several months of quiet the troupe is awakened in the night by the sounds of screams and the beating of many wings. A storm of massive crows descended into the Inverted Tower and were attacking everyone. The sound of steel on steel deeper below made the troupe realize that these were but a diversion for attackers who were searching the bottom level.

Sophia was the first to fly down to them where she found one of the grogs lying in a pool of blood and four intruders. There was a black knight, a female archer, a man dressed as a monk, and lastly a dark sorcerer to who they seemed to be in service. While the rest of the troupe joined the fight, the monk and archer uncovered the ancient reliquary that once held the demon that led to the covenants downfall. Sophia was able to capture the knight in her entangling vines while Aleesia and Tomas were able to stop the monk and the archer and recover the reliquary. The sorcerer disappeared during the battle, while Brother Kel and Sophia decided to fly the reliquary to Voluntus for safe keeping. 

Several people were wounded, Sophia had suffered a heavy wound from the sorcerers cold spell and Aleesia had received a broken arm from the black knight. The troupe was able to tie up the three remaining attackers and imprisoned them inside the old vault in the council chamber. However, when they went to question them they'd all been strangled by an enchantment upon their own steel necklaces- each of which bearing the image of a silver scorpion. There only clue about the attackers was a grogs mention of seeing large crows in the marshlands south of the sisters convent nearby…

 

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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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