The Inverted Tower

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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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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