Old School Hack--the Fictive Way

The Heart of the Matter

Adventuring in the Awesome Isles

The company approached San Pascal, a terraced city backed into hills. From the south, on a ridge 500 ft. above sea level, they looked down at the port. Seismic activity had battered this place as well.

Across a narrow channel, they saw a ramshackle fortress on the island. A bridge was under construction, but not far enough along to be useful. The company didn’t see any ships in the harbor.

Rather than risk people getting the wrong impression, Spender asked Captain Cadaver to wait in the hills. Also, the priest of Kytanlisk left us, but with bugs to keep us company. As they seemed harmless enough, no one objected.

The Finders Guild

The company (now composed of Wolf, Noran, Cole, and Spender) navigated the slums of the outer ring of the city, and as they moved into the more solid neighborhood with stone buildings, they interrupted a handful of looting wights that were picking through the ruins for coins. Casually dispatching them, the company investigated further and found a secret passage built into the street, a diamond with a circle within, and a water symbol.

Moving down into the tunnel, the company found a barred door, guarded by Bria, a woman in a turban and veil armed with scimitars. She let us in, explaining we had found the base of the “Finders Guild,” a group dedicated to fighting slavers and freeing slaves. Norrin was very excited, asking after his clan, but she didn’t know where they might be now.

Moving through the Finders tunnels, the company noted that they were blessed, by allies of the Finders. Saegrak and Mulvask were represented, but not officially affiliated. Bria explained that there were undead and demons plaguing the city now.

Pooling Research

The company moved up into a tower, where they met Headmaster Kenneth, a holy warrior of Saegrak. He explained that they sent a delegation of Mord and 3 others north to talk to the Disciple Malfas, but no word yet. Spender explained about the Assail and the wakening dragon. Everyone felt a pulse of energy from the north…

Kenneth suggested the company check out Nighfang Spire, Malfas’ tower. Over 1,000 years old, it was first occupied by a nameless cult in ancient times, worshiping an elemental dragon from the formation of the world. The cult was conquered by vampires at some point, led by Gulthas (who had delusions of godhood.)

Malfas, Disciple of Ezras, cleared out the vampires and took the tower for his own. His protective reputation and his fortune invested in San Pascal allowed it to grow. As a background figure, he was fair enough. Over time, he was increasingly distracted by his experiments, absent from city affairs, taking on the occasional apprentice. Then he disappeared about 20 years ago (it took years to even notice.)

After about 10 years of Malfas’ absence, a black dragon moved in to fill his role, providing a reputation to back off the neighbors. The dragon was allowed to raid neighbors and criminals, but it grew more bold, starting a cult and raiding more broadly. Just as San Pascal leadership was beginning to worry, Malfas returned. There was a huge battle, visible from the mainland, about 2 months ago.

One crazed cultist escaped, but the authorities executed him without finding out what happened in the spire. Then undead and demons started cropping up. A week ago, there was a pulse from the tower. A highly unusual hurricane hit, followed by earthquakes. Even with diviners providing some notice, it caught the city by surprise.

Nightfang Spire

The company socialized with the Finders until dusk, then took a ferry across the channel. The ferryman gave them 5 glow rods. Cole scouted out a spot to wait until morning, and they passed the night quietly.

In the morning, they followed the old road to a valley, where the walls towered around the spire. It was ugly, black rock with fangly protrusions out the top and an open roof. The company approached, and Cole’s scouting revealed carnivorous plants crooning, rooted in corpses. Spender suppressed the effect, and the company all approached a chalked outline of a portal.

Stepping through, they found themselves at the top of the tower, with the corpse of a dragon on its hoard and a few looting wights. The company made short work of them. Cole got a few gems, and Spender picked up a couple potions. The company explored deeper through a hole burned in the stone floor. Wolf’s fairy Ivan provided all the meager light the company needed.

Below, they ran into feral vampires, and slaughtered them out of hand. They found Mord, praying and repelling the undead. Convinced of their alliance, he noted he overheard the head vampire talking to one of the spawn in Draconic. All he caught was a name, “Gulthas.” Mord explained that the delusional vampire once worshiped Mulysantir, an ancient entity buried under this tower. The dragon was destroyed long ago, but its energy was part of some primordial power.

The company continued exploring, finding stone coffins with the likeness of mixed races atop them; elves, orcs, and humans mixed with reptilian features. They also found a tomb to Oggun Sathar, behind a scary door, and they left it alone.

They battled a sandy mummified creature and its minions; Noran charged through most of them, a hail of arrows from the lethal Cole cored their leaders, and Spender dispatched the sandstorm effect of their strongest.

Cole found a chest with some gloves that allowed him to store his longbow in an otherdimensional space. The company also found a terrifically expensive comb, and a ring that stored energy.

On the third level down, they encountered a workshop with unfinished sculptures, and also disturbed a mass of orcs. The gorilla-like monsters charged at them with abandon, and were hewn down. Berserking, the orcs refused to fall, but as Cole cored them and Noran crushed them with his bare fists, Spender sent a hail of explosive runes into their ranks. After knocking 11 of the orcs down, the breathless party withdrew to rest and heal.

After a brief discussion, the company agreed to send Cole and Mord out of the Spire. In case the company fell to whatever was below, that way some word would make it back to San Pascal…

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