On May 29th, Year 12, Lord Ragnvaldr of Shield Keep gathers a couple doughty adventurers to accompany him to the roach tower in satyr lands where Governor Verdis’ army visited but saw few roaches to clear out. They had been warned to leave the second floor alone and now the adventurers go to clear out the threat there that drove Rovert away.
- Ragnvaldr (TrS): Level 13 Human Fighter (Level 3 Keep)
- Uglubjörn: Awakened Owlbear
- Rowan (MiM): Level 9 Elf Magic-user (Healing and Death)
- Malcom (HuS): Level 6 Human Cleric of the Empty Tomb
- Tom, Level 7 Skeleton (Bracelet of Prior Visage)
- Sparkle, Level 4 Skeleton
- Drake, Level 2 “Bounder”
It is a three day walk to the squat tower. Along the way, they encounter a Schek Tarifk patrol in satyr lands and both pass each other with no interest in the other. Later, phase sprites attempt to steal from them, nearly getting away with Malcom’s lucky coin given to him by a Union of Schek soldier shortly before the Union dissolved. As they approach the tower, they again sense phase sprites following them. These ones show themselves when called out and agree to help them at the tower in order to retrieve their captured companion, as there are roaches there again.
By evening on May 31st, they see the tower. Arrows pepper them (mostly drawn to Rowan) as they approach the door, but Malcom and Ragnvaldr soon break through the door into the antechamber where more arrows greet them.
They soon break through into the hall beyond and cut down the roaches shooting into the room. Seeing the stairs, Ragnvaldr runs to them with Uglubjörn to cut off any reinforcements. While he is there, the stairs start to move and he soon finds himself trapped as they stop after only a short rotation.
While Ragnvaldr searches for a way to escape the stairs, Rowan and Malcom clear the ground floor, killing about a dozen roaches in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Ragnvaldr uses Solusond, a dragon soul hammer, to make an exit from the stairs back onto the first floor. Solusond, always eager for destruction, likes the taste of the stair wall and persuades Ragnvaldr to use him to bring down the tower with a strike to the central pillar.
Rowan encharges Ragnvaldr’s sword with a teleport to get him out of the middle of the tower and they all withdraw under arrow fire to take cover in one of the hovels near the tower. Ragnvaldr strikes the central pillar of the stairs and Solusond turns a large portion of it to mud. Ragnvaldr teleports out, joining the others in cover as they watch the statue atop the tower tilt and collapse into the heart of the tower, but the main body of the tower remains unaffected.
Goaded on by Solusond, Ragnvaldr runs to the outer wall under the arrow loops. He shrugs off their arrows and collapses a section of wall, causing one archer to fall out into the open. With flaming oil on Ragnvaldr’s back and realizing the tower as a whole is too broad-based to collapse the whole thing (at least without Ragnvaldr giving to Solusond’s insistence for full control), they focus some spells into the opening Ragnvaldr made.
A roach leaps out followed by the toxfel alchemist they came to slay. Malcom and his undead pile on it and Ragnvaldr rushes in, splattering it with a powerful blow (anti-climactic).
With the roaches cleared out of the arrow loops, they scramble up into the second floor of the tower and track down the last one before looting their rooms and the alchemists chambers. The door to the stairs on this level opens to open air with rubble just below presumably blocking the entrance on the first floor.
They sleep in the garrison’s rooms, waking a couple times to kill roachlings trying to work the gears to move the broken stairs. In the morning, they teleport up to the third floor and find it empty and unused for some time. They remember their phase sprite friends, but find tracks indicating they entered and departed during the night. Presuming that anything on the basement floors will be trapped by the collapsed stairs blocking the first floor entrance, they head back to the Vale by June 3rd.
This elven facility’s spiral stairs can rotate up and down, or rather they could. Did they solve the puzzle of the facility by breaking the top half of the stairs? Will Ragnvaldr have come to a more permanent solution than Rovert’s mighty death burst that purged the tower a year and a half ago (real time) and seven and a half years ago in-game.