02 Scepter Tower 1
Accepting a quest from Miles Aileward, the party journeyed to Fastormel, where they knew prophetic knowledge could be gained from Lord Mage Fastorm, if one could find him. As they first set out, they got no answers, but indeed many more questions….
The newly titled Dragon Slayers of Nenlast met outside the inn and accompanied Miles and his horse-drawn wagon of supplies west along the shore of Lake Nen toward Fastormel. The first day of travel went without incident, but on the second day, while passing through the ruins of a lake outpost, a band of Kobolds was spotted lurking among the rubble. They soon launched an attack against the party, the leader of the pack revealing that they were seeking revenge for the party’s slaying of their master, Tharkazax.
As the battle began, Miles quickly removed himself from the fray, leaving the horse and wagon abandoned in the middle of the road. Broknar decided to use his environment to his advantage and pitched a barrel of ale at one of the Kobolds nearby. Inspired by his adopted brother, Dólgthrasir jumped onto the back of the horse and kicked it into motion, causing it to break into a frantic run that severely injured one of the guard drakes the Kobolds had brought along to assist in the battle. Soon, the last of the Kobolds was defeated and the party continued on their way.
Upon arriving in Fastormel, Miles paid the party the agreed-upon fee for their protective services and entered the Monastery of the Precipice. Shortly thereafter, a monk named Allendi came out to greet them and show them around.
Entering the monastery, the Elves were quickly interested in the whiskey distillation overseen by Sister Cherra. Meanwhile, Broknar attempted to rouse the drunk Tiefling named Rallio deVore, but without much success. A friendly young halfling girl known as Millek the Thrush was more than willing to talk with the whole party and mention her observances. She had seen Dark Creepers going in and out of the formerly inaccessible Scepter Tower. One time she even saw a pair of them carrying a large alabaster pillar inside.
The party also learned that Lord Mage Fastorm tended to appear to those involved in some kind of reconstruction effort in the ruins and, having heard that the most significant of these was the section of ramparts to the north, resolved to explore in that direction the next day.
After breakfast, during which Brother Turnagall warned them that odd things were going on with the Darano clan in those ramparts, the party set off via a circuitous route. Along the way, they discovered an alabaster pillar guarded by some old constructs. The corpse of a Dark Creeper lay nearby. After defeating the homunculi, the party hid the pillar as best they could and placed the body of the Dark Creeper against it to warn seekers away before proceeding to the ramparts.
Malcolm Darano was on guard duty in the entrance to the ramparts. After questioning the party for a while, he revealed his true nature as a Wererat and attacked. As more Wererats came up from the basement, Broknar made efficient use of his Thorn Strike ability to cause two of them to tumble back down the stairs. Eventually, the Wererats were defeated, and one, Charles Darano, was captured. He revealed some details:
- The Daranos had originally come to Fastormel to find out from Lord Mage Fastorm how to cure their lycanthropy.
- In a rage during one full moon, half the clan massacred the other half, and those that remain now prey on seekers who stray too close.
- The rope that had been pulled during combat triggered an alarm in the eastern tower of the ramparts.
- The Daranos had previously had a run-in with someone named Thoran, a sort of dark knight as Charles described him who blazed through the ramparts with an army of nasty creatures.
After investigating the basement, the party continued upstairs to the western tower’s second floor, where Qatana intimidated Franco Darano into fleeing into the ruins with his trained fire beetles in tow.
After only a short time in Fastormel, the party has a lot more questions than they did when they first arrived. What else will they find as they continue exploring the ramparts in search of answers?