The wayfinders of the floating tower

THE WAYFINDERS OF THE FLOATING TOWER
“ANCIENT TRINKETS ”
SEGMENT 022
11/26/11

RHAAN 01, 998 The Next Morning

They awake and gather their goods to go down the next and last hallway. They trigger the expectant summoning trap and being prepared, they easily destroy it. Looking down the short hallway there is a spiral stairway that goes down. The Dragon shaman goes first to look over the stairs. “We could really use a rogue.” He says as he reaches the stairs. His foot touches the top step. Suddenly realizing he was holding his breath, he lets it out and puts his weight down on the step. Gas begins to eject from the cracks in the tiles of the floor. “oh crap.” Whispers Jasyne.

A spark ignites the cloud and everyone begins to burn. They rush and hurry down the stairs quickly. The burning cloud remains above. Blaze can hear water trinkling as he nears the bottom of the long stairway. The tiled floor remains golden and highly reflective within this lower room. A large basin of sparkling clear water is on one side of the room and an exit on the other.

They check out the basin. It is crystal clear and the water seems to go on forever. Not thinking much of it, they move onward to the archway that leads to another large room. This room has a white and purple carpet that reaches from the entrance to a raised base with two medium sized throne-like chairs. On the side of each is a small end table with a leather and wood box. Lia and Magnus each go to these. The Magnus smirks at Jasyne then opens the box. Within is a large 3inch egg shaped jewel wrapped in precious metals of silver, gold and platinum. Within the metal are smaller jewels and gems. Awed, Lia takes it up and looks at it carefully. Then pockets it.

Mage blood looks it over. A Luck Blade AND this. The gods favor him.

Filo asks if he can look at it. He looks at him carefully and slowly hands it to him. Filo looks at it carefully. “Runes…. Hmmmm…. Draconic…..”

“What does it say?” asks The human Magus.

“I am… the master of …Black fire and…” he looks up with concern, “ the evil that fuels it.”

“Cool” says the swashbuckler. “What does mine say?”

Filo hands the ancient relic to the Magus and holds out his hand. She takes it back out and gives it to him. “Draconic also…. I am … the mistress of the…. Evil of one’s…. own mind and control of it’s… actions.”

“I wouldn’t want to hold onto those for long.” Says Jasyne.

“Why?”

“They are obviously items of evil. Maybe cursed.”

The elf’s eyes grow wide. The human merely shrugs his shoulders and puts it into his pack. She follows his lead and keeps it also. They begin to look around when suddenly Blaze stops. “What is that?”

They follow the sound and see the water basin is flooding. The water is dark…. Dirty. Sewer water. “Time to go.” Demands Jasyne.
 

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THE WAYFINDERS OF THE FLOATING TOWER
“WET RETURN ”
SEGMENT 023
11/26/11

RHAAN 01, 998 Late Morning

The group begins a forced march back. As they cross bridges that were once over the water they find bridges that are on the verge of being flooded or even washed away. The goblin toll collectors are gone. The one bridge has a giant mutated crocodile at it. (Lolth- Touched) Jasyne makes short work of it as the bridge is cracking from the strain of the debris catching on the bridge creating a dam effect.

They reach the section where the aberration killed the first two members of the PC team. They find the overhead tunnel and go to stay there. They find two things- the section below is fully flooded and very deep. Within the tunnel is a body of a bug bear. Looking it over, they find it was a victim of a vampire. Two drain marks on its neck and bloodless. Then Filo notes the similar appearance of Lia’s scarf and a wrap the dead bear has. Jasyne leans down and sighs with a smirk.

“What?”

Jasyne looks up then back to the scarf. He picks it up in his hand and smells it. “perfume. Unique… especially in the sewers. I would go so far as to say as a tracking beacon for… the vampire that killed him.

Filo shakes his head in concern. He looks the body over. “The bite… it’s small. Not a human. Smaller like a Halfling or… a goblin. He then looks at other areas of the body one can feed. Both wrists have puncture marks. “Make that plural.”

They rest there to regain their strength. They take turns watching for anything at all. Anything.

Now it is RHAAN 02, 998 and the PCs continue they steady forced march to the surface. In some areas the hallways are beginning to have water within them. Soaked rats are seen scurrying occasionally out of their lights.

Now late afternoon, they near the area of the bugbear toll attack. The water is seen dripping everywhere in rapid drops and ripples. Puddles of water lay under the broken wall. Jasyne looks up at the remaining wall. It is cracked and streams of water run down sections of it, especially the bulging areas. “Uh…. Guys…. We better get going.”

“Why?” asks Filo.

Even as Jasyne is about to give a warning the wall cracks and groans. As everyone looks to it, it bursts. 1000’s of gallons of storm water runoff bursts through the wall and washes over the five adventurers.
 

THE WAYFINDERS OF THE FLOATING TOWER
“TO DROWN OR NOT TO DROWN”
SEGMENT 024
11/26/11

RHAAN 02, 998 Afternoon

The entire world is a dark swirl of water and bubbles with deep thundering thuds of bodies and bricks tumbling within the water. The current comes and goes as the wave of water rushes around corners and down sloped hallways only to then break through walls into new unexplored areas of Undersharn. They break surface for a quick gasp of air before the current takes them under and along again.

The Magus bounces off of the bottom and surfaces. There is a dim glow rushing at them. Lines are in water and the edge of the light. He reaches for it and it smacks him but holds him. As he tries to climb to the light he is hit by debris and…. Jasyne. He then grabs the same line and climbs. They break the surface and gasp for air. Chains go from the floor to the ceiling far above. The water is emptying into a waterfall and a grate. Lai misses the chains and smacks up against the grate- while still being under water. Blaze strikes her and knocks the air out of her. Her eyes bulge as she begins to drown. Filo grabs a chain but no strength to climb. His head is just under the water’s surface. He can feel his strength leaving him. He is drowning also.

Gasping…. Mage Blood struggles up the chain enough to get his legs out of the water. Jasyne can just see Filo and Blaze in the water. He cannot even see the elf. “Do it.”

“What?”

“Do it. Use the Blade.”

Using whatever strength he has left, he struggles with his equipment and touches the elven blade. “I wish we were at the Broken Anvil tavern.”
 


My group and I agreed that two games of the Hidden were going to tire us out quickly. So asked them- "What would you like to play next?"

Sharn.

They wanted to explore how a campaign worked if it were entirely within a city.

It sounded like a challenge which I gladly excepted. I thought I would finish what I wanted to do in my Wayfinders of the Floating Tower that I had started years ago but never finished.

So it was agreed and I began to layout the campaign. That is when I found out what the players wanted to do. They wanted to try roleplaying non-standard characters with unique backgrounds. Sounded great. Awesome. lets do it.

So as I generally do, I created the first adventure and planned on writing the second one once I got a feel for their characters. Easy.... right?

So...... I have a Lawyer, A Garbage man, an Alchemist student and a warforged that specializes in bear hugs.

wow

So.... a challenge has been issued and the following will be the results.

I hope you enjoy it.
 

THE WAYFINDERS OF THE FLOATING TOWER
“THE ROAD OF SLAVERY”
SEGMENT 026
12/13/14

VULT 22, 999 Nightfall in Sharn

Vydaer Medina begins to finish off his last ale. Happily, he has learned the rumors are true, the ale at The Broken Anvil Tavern is quite good. He may have to come here again when not working. Mortar, a goblin, is impressed also. Though some of the customers have given him a sideways glance, for the most part no one has bothered him. It is a pleasant change. Gabriel Nocke, a human with an interest in law, listens with boredom as Vydaer finishes up. The group’s muscle, Bore, a rather large warforged with spikes, waits patiently as his friends finish their business with Baron ir’ Demmons.

Demmons had hired Vydaer to investigate the disappearance of his sixteen year old daughter- Lidda. When last seen, she was in the wrong circle of friends and experimenting with the drug Dreamlily. Two weeks ago she just disappeared… along with 500+ gold. Wishing to keep it quiet (and cheap) the merchant leader of rare silks from Sarlona hired Vydaer whom then hired his friends to help him.

It took time but they did find the girl. She was working in the skin parlors in a poorer section of the city. The money was nowhere to be found. Most likely it was used for drugs or stolen by her supplier whom then sold her into prostitution.

With visible pain, they are paid and the case is closed. Which is good, Vydaer wants to check on his mentor still- the cranky ol’ bastard he can be. They pay for their drinks and wish him a good night. He gives the slightly drunken warrior a nod goodbye at the next table also. He raises (and spills a bit) his mug of ale in return.

“Thank you again everyone. If I ever need your services again I hope I can contact you.” offers the group leader.

“Yes. It has been slow in court as of late. House Sivis is still sore at me for beating them earlier this year.” Offers the slightly arrogant human warlock. Gabriel was born with a silver tongue. His studies in law and being a warlock certainly hasn’t hurt him either. He has let his legal victory over house Sivis involving a Boromor halfling go to his head.

“You know where to find me.” Offers the goblin. He enjoys this work over his work in Sharn’s waste program (aka the sewers). His druid talents help with this job but he does enjoy seeing the sun or night sky occasionally.

They continue to talk about life’s misadventures when they hear a cry from outside the Mason’s Tower. A girl or an overly feminine elf. It came either from the spiral stairs that go up and down or from the bridge that connects Mason’s Tower to another nearby tower system on the 97th floor.

They move towards the sound and see large shadows created by the everbright lanterns on the bridge. Vydaer steps to the side standing in the shadows of a large flowered box on the internal street. The goblin holds his ground while Gabriel continues a slow and meaniful stride ahead. The warforged goes directly towards the oncoming shadows.

Suddenly a teenage human girl rushes ahead from the bridge. She has signs of being on the run. She wears only a cheap and dirty breach cloth tunic that is poorly tied but a piece of cheap twine. She slips on a puddle from the day’s rain and tumbles roughly on the worked stone street.

More shadows.

“Bore….” Directs the lawyer.

Now laughing, three bugbears wearing new leather armor and each dragging a chain with them follow.

After the last case, it doesn’t take much for them to recognize a runaway girl from slavers.
 

THE WAYFINDERS OF THE FLOATING TOWER
“THE ROAD OF SLAVERY”
SEGMENT 027
12/13/14

VULT 22, 999 Nightfall in Sharn

Boar (Player has corrected me on the spelling) plows into the first bugbear whom was just reaching down to grab the young woman by the hair. She screams as the slaver grunts in pain. The other two bugbears reveal slaver’s chains.

Gabriel Nocke picks up his pace and quickly supports the warforged brawler. First he tries to intimidate the bugbears by demanding they stop or “else”. Mordor takes cover behind some interior plants. He begins to look for a potion and watches. Vydaer Medina also searches for a potion even as he runs back to the Tavern.

He bursts through the double doors. “There is a woman in trouble outside!” Everyone goes back to drinking or work. “Three bugbears with chains!” The silk sails man is gone. The drunk remains. “She has nothing- no weapons, no protection- lord she barely has clothes.”

“I’ll =buuuuuuuuuurrrrruuuuup!= help.” The drunken warrior stands up abruptly when hearing she was barely clothed. He takes one step then falls on his face.

The young woman attempts to crawl backwards away from the one bugbear but backs into a wall. The beast picks her up and turns around with her under his arm. The other two attempt to deal with Boar. Boar’s first attack was only a glancing blow. Not this time. He grabs the bugbear and hugs him…. Hard. He drives the spikes on his arms and chest deep into the bugbear.

The third bugbear laughs at the lawyer…. Until the lawyer raises his hand and begins to fire arcane energy at him. The three bugbear slavers decide its time to leave. Boar drives his spikes further into him while he struggles to get free. The one holding the woman loses her. He was holding her coverings- not her. Naked, she drops head first onto the stone worked walkway. Stunned, she is easily hoisted up onto the slaver’s shoulder. He takes a cheap leacherous look and smiles before attempting to move away.

The goblin alchemist takes his potion and grunts and shakes. He begins to bulk up as the elixir begins to mutate him. That’s it- the bugbears want out. He and the warlock take down the second bugbear. The third one goes for the bridge.

Not wanting to give up his prize, the bugbear hopes to bluff the warforged. He threatens to throw the girl over the edge. Boar hesitates charging him. Darkness spreads out from the wall where Gabriel stood silently. The girl squirms free and falls to the ground. Using the railing as a guide, she crawls away.

From outside of the darkness spell affect, they can hear the city watch coming. They call for everyone to stop. Slowly, the people within the darkness effect walk out. The bugbear, once out, charges for the spiral staircase and goes down. The mutated goblin gives chase.

Strangely, the lawyer drives his head into the stone wall and Vydaer drops water onto his crotch and drops to his knees. The law come through the darkness as it breaks up and finds the three of them there. Two witnesses to a warforged hero that had saved the girl from slavers.

CAPTAIN JAMES DARSON listens to the cowardly “cleaner” and his aid- a warforged. They saw it all, the warforged defended the woman. The lawyer, he is didn’t freeze in fear. He was “struck” down before the last bugbear ran away. There is no mentioning of the goblin.

CARLA SHAWN was the girl’s name. She taken from her parents a few years ago from north of Sharn near the Droaam border. The slavers were bringing her in to be sold.

The two groups do a verbal dance as one tries to prove they are not adventurers or able to defend themselves. The other, the police captain whom cannot stop the slave trade. It is not important enough to the city people to pursue.

“We need people to care, to stand up for the innocents, not to be heroes- but defenders.” As he talks, he drops hints several times of places to go and rumors of where the slavers are entering the city. He cannot pay them, too bad the bugbears didn’t have money on their bodies- it could be used to pay someone to stop the slavery ring (the PCs had just barely taken the money before the last bugbear fled).

The police leave, giving them a knowing look.
 

THE WAYFINDERS OF THE FLOATING TOWER
“THE ROAD OF SLAVERY”
SEGMENT 028
12/13/14

VULT 23, 999 BLACK BONES

The goblin lost the bugbear after about fifty levels down.

The four of them regroup at the Broken Anvil Tavern. They decide to take up the cause and try to shutdown the slavery ring. It will be good to have the tower captain on their side and give them a clean conscience.

They return to their apartments and places of rest before returning to the Mason Tower. They travel deep into the Tavik’s Landing area to the basement of Sharn- the Cogs. They seek out a specific warehouse and find it.

From here, they find a stairway leading deeper into Undersharn. They find this area is a maze of tunnels and passageways. Dwarves, warforged, shifters and gobliniods are everywhere here. The deeper they go, the fewer dwarves they see.

Mortar directs them as best as he can. He has not been in this area before. He suggests getting help.

They come across some warforged whom have little to help them. They mention the Red Hammer and other areas to ask help then calmly leave without saying any goodbyes. They walk deeper and enter a large room. Several shifter and goblin children are running around screeching and yelling. They are playing Knights & Monsters.

Using their verbal skills, they stop and charm the children. It helps to have a warforged and a goblin within the group. The kids want to help those two but not so much the humans. They decide the Knights (Goblins and the warforged) are one team and the Monsters (shifter pups and the humans) be another team. Between the two teams, they should find help one way or another.

Vydaer suggest they travel as one group. As junior adventurers, they should learn that adventurers should never separate. Stay together because there is strength in numbers. In time the children agree.

Singing and skipping, the children lead the team deeper in the tunnels.
 

THE WAYFINDERS OF THE FLOATING TOWER
“THE ROAD OF SLAVERY”
SEGMENT 029
1/10/15

VULT 23, 999 THE COGS

The children dance and prance as they lead the group deeper into the Cogs under Sharn. Vydaer truly wishes the children were not so loud and active. Mortar finds the children’s games amusing. So does the warforged grappler Boar. His simple mind is easily caught up in the activity. Gabriel Nocke is careful not to touch the filthy walls of the tunnels. He is even less happy with the children than Vydaer.

They feel the heat and smell the molten metals as they enter a forge area. A warforged worker spots the children and immediately moves over to intercept them. “It is not safe to play here children. You must move away. I cannot continue to tell you this every week.”

“Excuse me ……” begins Mortar.

“CB-29 is my given Cannith name.”

“Mortar is mine. The children are helping us with an important job.”

The warforged tries to stare them down.

Gabriel steps up from the back of the group. “CB-29, as my goblinoid friend has already stated, we are here on important business. These children felt they could help us. Perhaps you could help us also.”

“We can pay for your services.” Offers the goblin. The warlock –lawyer gives him an annoyed look.

The other workers pause to watch. “Please- we need nothing from you. Move away from the hot liquid. Take the children with you.”

“Have you seen any bugbears down here? Perhaps carrying women with them.” Asks Vydaer.

“There are dwarves, goblins, shifters ….. yes, there are bugbears down here also. They stay away from the working areas…. As you should.”

“Thankyou- we should go. Children…..” motions the warlock. They move to a different exit away from the molten metals of the forge and the warforged workers.

One of the children holds back a moment to speak to a worker then hurries after the group.

They walk around a corner and encounter another warforged that the children seem to know. “BOB!”

The battered and damaged warforged looks startled and looks for a place to move to- quickly. With no escape route, the warforged referred to as “Bob” by the children backs into a corner and awaits the non-forged persons to approach.

The children run up to the warforged and grab and hug its arms and legs. “Can you play?”

“Not today. Who are these people? They are not of our people.”

“Meaning?” asks Gabriel.

“Please Bob….. Please”

“Do. Not. Call. Me. Bob. I hate that name.”

“awwwwwwwww” the six children say in unison.

“Have you seen bugbears with women in the tunnels?”

Bob the warforged, looks up at the warlock. “No.”

“Do you know anyone that could help us?”

He remains silent.

“Those are some rough burn marks and gouges on your body. Wartime injuries? We could help you with it.”

The warforged looks at his shoulder and arm. He thinks back many years to how the damage happened [ John Play : Hero for Hire ].

“Well?”
 

THE WAYFINDERS OF THE FLOATING TOWER
“THE ROAD OF SLAVERY”
SEGMENT 030
1/10/15

VULT 23, 999 THE COGS

The warforged known as “Bob” looks at his moving but still damaged wrist. It has not moved in years. He has sent the children away after they were also paid.

“So what is the Red Hammer?” again asks Vydaer.

“Place where our kind gather.”

“Our kind?”

“Warforged”

“If anyone knows of the bugbears it will be Crucible or someone there.”

“Crucible?”

“He owns the Red Hammer.”

They continue to walk through the dark tunnels for another twenty minutes. Before reaching the Red Hammer, Bob stops. He excuses himself as he doesn’t want to be seen there with non-forged travelers. He is given one last repair spell and he moves away quickly.

They continue forward down the hallway. The rough stone becomes ruined stone that requires climbing at times. Ahead of them they see a steady light. They travel towards it and find a large cavern with a ruined black stone building within. Several everbright lanterns are placed around the outside of the building. The group looks at the lanterns. They are from above within Sharn. Stolen and relocated.

Peering into the building, they see over a score warforged. Many standing inert…. Watching. Others quietly speak between themselves. Then the group step up to the doorway and the talkers stop in unison. Gabriel walks in with a smug smile on his face. He likes walking into a room and everything stops to watch him. It proves his importance to the world around him.

“Hello. I have come here to ask a question or two of you. may I?”

Dead silence as all warforged eyes are on him, even Boar’s.

“I am looking for bugbears. Bugbears with women. They were here in your tunnels.”

Silence.

The goblin steps up. He hopes his race will prove to be more trust worthy to the forged. “These bugbears, they will try to attract little attention. They may even sneak within the shadows. The women…. They travel with them against their wills.”

Silence.

“Anyone? Anything?” asks Vydaer.

“Okaaaaay. Can anyone point out Crucible to me?” asks Gabriel.

All warforged but one looks to a lone warforged. He looks at the others and frowns. “I am Crucible. I will help you if you leave us and tell no one about us or this place.”

“Done.” Declares the warlock whom honestly hopes to never travel this deep into the Cogs again.

“I know only of rumors. But this is Undersharn. Many travel here in secret….. looking for little attention. Perhaps my people can help.” He looks about the room to each of his patrons.

Looking at their dirty and damaged bodies, the goblin offers repairs again.

“They travel through the collapsed tunnels.There is a dragon here pretending to be a bugbear.They leave a tunnel but never return that way.There are red tattooed people here.Goblin thieves travel in small numbers.The jack of Irons still stalks the tunnels.The women seem so afraid.Vampires travel from deeper tunnels to feed.” Is all said in unison. The group tries to listen and pinpoint key words but cannot.

“Please- one at a time.” Asks the goblin. “Someone mentioned a tunnel that is used as an exit only.”

“And another spoke of red tattoos?” asks Gabriel. Mortar glares at the warlock in response. The warlock returns a cold stare and a shrug.

“Can anyone show us this tunnel?”
 

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