We rejoin our heroes in the depths of a vast cavern. They’re on the shores of an icy underground lake or river, standing at the shore confronted with a large metallic door and at their feet the dead Red Tides. An attempt is made to determine if this large, intimidating door is trapped and all confirm it should be safe and Grieve approaches. He attempts to open the door though finding it to be lock, firstly though… that it is INDEED trapped as a flashing blade slices his chest. The trap, now “detected” is disabled by Vellen, followed by the doors lock. Marcus deems it safe and rushes through its arches. Once the party enters into the rusty, discolored room pitted w/ holes the door they entered through slams shut and locks as water begins to rush in. All have determined why this room has been littered with skeletons from ages passed and a knowing panic begins to swell. Vellen spots a locking mechanism on the roof of the room while Careus attempts to hoist Vellen towards it. Marcus surveyed the rest of the room trying to determine what else might be around, looking into the holes and attempting to decipher how the water is entering the room and notices many gears grinding on the floor that the water has now revealed. Grieve, being the dwarf that he is, studies the metal works and notices small electrical sparks happening as these gears chug quicker and quicker. Shouting a warning for all, he attracts Vellens attention towards the gears which he quickly engages and disables before much of an electrical current could form withing the quickly rising waters. Careus and then Marcus attempt to hoist Vellen back into the air towards the lock, Marcus succeding, while Grieve being the first to be taken by the water (due to height) begins slamming the door. Vellen disables the lock and Marcus slams the door open, as it is no longer jammed. The throng of heroes, looking much like shivering, drowned rats some spilling onto the bottom of a long flight of stone steps. Any fate is better than the one they just escaped, and a staircase all the better. As Smoke’s Flame crests the stairs they come to a long (thirty feet, familiar?) rickety rope bridge which Careus believes to be sturdy. Vellen quickly, with a fresh rope in hand dashes across the bridge. Below the skeletal boatman begins piloting his boat towards the bridge and below. Careus and Grieve cross, lastly followed by Marcus. It is then that the skeletal figure below becomes sinister, as he lashes out with a surprisingly long scythe. It tags Marcus in the chest as he crosses the bridge and the skeleton rattles out “You didn’t pay the toll” or something to that effect, it was tough to hear due to the churning waters below. Marcus tossed a gold coin down which seemed to placate the figure, as he caught it with his face and boated his raft off, dropping the coin into the icy waters.
Continuing onward, they found a large stone casket. A dragon motif on the large stone lid w/ rubies for eyes. Upon opening the tomb they discovered a very old and long deceased eladrin clutching a dagger (WHISKER!), wearing a mask, skull braces, and enchanted robe. Pillaging these items, Grieve attempted a eulogy, fumbling on Zezrakans name (spelling). They continued onward with their spoils coming to a small stone tunnel w/ an obvious lever, pulling it, they now found themselves back at the room w/ the copper urns and red robes. Outside of this room through the still open doors is the lumbering hulk of a stitched together humanoid beast. Quick action on the parts of the party allowed them to sheath their blades in time as they recognized that this was the same beast from the stairs when they entered the tower. Careus seemed to have anticipated this as he had already had his long swords asleep in their sheathes. As the brute lumbered aware to “survey” or whatever it does in its unending spare time, Grieve used his handy sucking chest wound to produce some blood for the glyph and open the portal back to the original Tower.
The rubies from the casket were placed above the doorway which initially lacked gemstone eyes and Vellen pillaged the pearls from the doorway they just came through. Vellen then touched Grieves chest and used some of that blood on the glyph below the rubies, sure enough, the dwarf was rather adept at opening doors here within this tower as the portal rippled.
As our heroes gained their bearings after appearing on the other side of the ruby portal they had found themselves on another staircase. Seems to be a logical theme inside towers prior to the invention of elevators. This staircase descended from a small ledge with two burning braziers on either side. After about ten feet the stairs plunged into dark, stirring waters which filled the better part of the remaining room. Towards the far end of the room opposite the party was about a ten by ten section where the water was being restrained by some sort of force keeping a statue of a dragon held in a poise of striking, inside the dragons mouth, was a voluptuous black pearl. Churning and stirring the waters were dozens of black snakes which would congregate towards the locations that began to be stirred. After debating different methods of reaching our pearl Grieve says “I’ve got it!” and without further ado he took off at a sprint towards the statue. It was at this point Marcus and Vellen remembered the fact that Grieve has been wearing magical boots which allowed him to traverse the surface of water for short periods of time. He had been wearing such boots for a while now and had yet to use them, hence their ability to slip ones mind. Grieve, dashing across the water, snakes snapping at his every step, easily reached the location of the statue and sprang from the water to clutch the dragons head. Once secured, he took a few moments trying to dislodge the pearl. As he managed to remove the object of our quest, it dispelled the field that was beset and holding the water back from engulfing the dragon statue. Now, dear readers, all the while this had been happening Careus had been “playing” with the Dragon Skull Phantom Mask (we later realized it was called). Through it, somehow, were released two frightening wraiths. The heroes found themselves suddenly thrust into a much more dire state than being many levels down inside a tower which spends the better part of its existence submerged by an ocean. They were now within a room threatening to fall atop them, rushing water surging in to drown them, besieged by a writhing swarm of snakes (which were snapping and slapping against Grieve across a watery pool of death, swimming into and out of his armor). While Careus, Marcus, and Vellen found themselves on rapidly diminishing steps faced with two wraiths that seemed rather interested in Careus as the wearer of the mask. Two quick moments later everyone’s favorite band of scallywags had one of the wraiths down and Grieve back at the now submerged stairs. Vellen, acting quickly as usual, sprang (sloshingly) towards the entrance portal and blipped outward to the other side.
Shortly the remaining members joined him and it was a race against time, or rather particularly cold salt water. Skillfully they reached the top of the tower which housed the candles as well as currently the angel from Zezrakan’s Pleasure Boat. He had been creating a very similar force to repel the water from this room, as they threatened to quaff each and every heroes candle. Smoke’s Flame quickly rushed to help this angel save as many of the candles as was possible before he (it?) and many of the candles vanished and all the restrained water came crashing into the room finally. Vellen reached the exiting hatch first, quickly licking the rune on the door as he was unaware of what else might open it, he’d only seen it opened once, and this was the method. All swam out the top of the tower and after gaining the bearings, managed to spot ol’ Twigs longboat and began swimming for it. Marcus, making it there first, took up the oars and solely rowed our heroes back to Punjars. Untiringly, mind you. He confronted the harbormaster and after a sum of 30 gold gained access to the “deed” for Twig’s longboat (as he didn’t make it long) and was allowed to moor his ship at said docks indefinitely.
Hastily making their way to Nairap’s (a wizard that specializes in hair removal and hip-hop? Nair-Rap?) tower, all the while noticing that nobody cared about them (Marcus noticed this especially, having failed his intimidate check to “make way). Once inside yet another tower they provided Nairap with the pearl and learned what powers their newly acquired items held. After payment, the knowledge of their items, and a quick nibble of blue floating meats (that was in the icebox, you KNOW this Careus!) Grieve, Marcus, and Vellen made their way back to Smoke and to their humble abode.
As the trio began navigating the familiar streets home they were set upon by the usual beggars, only this time, as they reached their loosely labeled manor the throng thickened, and turned into a needy mob outside their gates. All were demanding coins for needy causes, all had sick mothers and family members, in need of housing, and all manner of ill fates had beset the crowd. Marcus attempted in inspire the crowd and calm them by explaining that they would simply have to come back tomorrow in an orderly fashion and we would see what we could do, as we lacked any means to cure everyone’s ailments at once. Out of this crowd came a very familiar, albeit not in its current state, face to Vellen. It was his younger adopted sister and she had been severely beaten recently. Quickly angered by this realization and at wits end, patience all but gone at this point, Vellen lobbed a large handful of painted coppers opposite the entrance to their home and made way toward the gate. Quickly he opened the door and they all slipped in managing to hold off the masses. Vellen showed his sister his room while Marcus went and spoke with Sister Cristy about their problems and situation. Vellen learned that the White Dragons had been hassling his adopted parents and sister and through such actions had caused his sisters current state and placed his father in the hospital. They all decided a nights sleep was in order, as it had been a long day. The firebombs that had apparently been hounding the estate while they were gone for the day continued into the night and a few White Dragons were spotted in the masses outside the gates.
During the next day Grieve and Marcus had began attempting to heal others and realized that many of the people at the hospital had been suffering from a loss of blood. People from all across Punjar had been coming in search of aid due to blood loss. Grieve managed to find that a large sum of these unfortunate souls had been coming from the Devil’s Thumb area of the Theater District (At least, I believe that was the location, if memory serves me correctly). Also, it had been learned that the White Dragons had suddenly became much more bold and boisterous as of late, which might explain why they had been hassling the crew and their contacts within the city. Smoke’s Flame found that they had often, in the past at least, hung out with the Pygmalion Brothers. They all headed to their establishment and confronted the brothers about any information they had on the White Dragons, if they were to overthrow them. Alewishus (Aloowishaw? spelling, by god!), the leader of the brothers, informed us that the White Dragons had recently enlisted the help of a particularly scantily clad human woman, often seen in just a chainmail bikini. Immediately they knew who they were dealing with, Dragora (and perhaps Mourniglar as well?) from the Zain-Kin city. It was decided, Smoke’s Flame would seek out and pacify these pesky kobolds once and for all.
Later that day, under cover of night, the heroes made way toward the White Dragons hideout, a particularly bustling inn which housed many environments to quench the thirst of any craving. Careus, whom was unknown to the kobolds, easily gained access inside the inn and procured himself a room on the second and top floor of the building. Once alone he stealthily made his way out of the rooms window and down towards the rest of his companions. They all went back up threw the window Careus had left open and began snooping around. It was soon to be realized by Smoke’s Flame that the rumor that kobolds LOVE traps holds true. It appeared that nearly EVERYTHING had been trapped by these pesky little reptiles. The group gained entry into an office after opening many locks and disabling even more traps. It wasn’t long until they began hearing footsteps and voices approaching. Plans were hastily thrown together to use brute force for their “company” if they were discovered. That didn’t take long, as the room that was occupied by our heroes was also the goal of the approaching kobolds. A quick battle ensued and it ended with one of the kobolds being bullrushed onto the trapped rug in the antechamber and falling to the floor (and grill) below in the kitchen. The White Dragons boss, Boss Scrag, was also reputedly killed in this skirmish as well as some otherworldly being which burst into shadows at its demise.
This is where our heroes were left, with Boss Scrags reinforcements en route…