The Slumbering Tsar

Holy treasure room batman!

Side trip to Reme

After praying to Thyr, Muir, and their nameless sibling for all of the night, Darius Huss received the boon of gaining another level in his crusader cleric class. Then in the morning after having their almost compulsory Heroes’ Feast, the party was teleport-ed by Mallark Illileriel to the guard room where the Thessalhydra was defeated. They ascended the stairs then upto the second level and into a display room with another staircase rising to the floor above.

In the open floor between the staircases they found three statues. Each appeared skillfully rendered, life-size depiction of an armor-clad knight. One wore a tabard with the image of a longsword — symbol of the goddess Muir. Another was badly decomposed as if depicting a knight who fell in the long-ago war. As soon as the party entered the room the statues attacked, revealing themselves to be Stone Zombies. However the creatures proved little problem for the party with both Darius Huss and Kypello Hilam carrying Adamantine hammers.

The party ventured into the next room to find blocks of stone in various states of sculpting are arrayed around the room on plinths and tables. Various stone-working tools — chisels, files, hammers, sand-coated cords, scrapers, and sand-coated paper — were strewn upon table and floors alike. Easels with charcoal sketches of works in progress and future works stood about along with several statues near completion. The floor was littered with rubble and tiny stone fragments, and every surface bears a coat of gritty dust. Five lifelike statues were also in the room, and 4 quickly changed into Stone Zombies and attacked the party. Like before, proving to be little problem.

The next room was elegantly appointed with plush chairs and divans, mahogany end tables bearing crystal carafes and goblets, exotic carpets and tapestries, and everywhere exquisite statuary in a dozen different types of stone. However all had aged with time and are threadbare, dried and cracked with age or chipped. The statues however didn’t come to life, rather stood silent. Looking around Bourne the Damned noticed a small crack in the motor which Darius Huss summarized could be used by vampires in gaseous form. So he stayed on guard as the party continued to search.

The room to the north had its entire east wall covered with a large frieze composed of dozens of naked figures intertwined in torment. Plaintive faces mouthing silent wails stared out from their prison of stone, their reaching hands grasping at a freedom ever beyond their grasp. Inside the room stood a bugbear who was observing the freize. He turned and spoke to the party, claiming he was a member of the cult of Hel, Lady of Pestilence and Death, and had come to the tower to explore a a possible alliance with Belishan the Bloodmage. However when he noticed the symbols of Thyr proudly worn by Darius Huss and Kypello Hilam, he was enraged and attacked the party.

Mallark Illileriel quickly cast a pit spell to force the bugbear to into following a path wear the party could attack from multiple sides to attack the party, as Bourne the Damned and Darius Huss moved into positions to flank. However rather then fighting the party, the bugbear quickly up a set of stairs leading up to the next level. Not eager to chase the bugbear up into the next level, the party decided not to pursue, and rather stayed to investigate the frieze some more.

Being the best to investigate magic, Mallark Illileriel entered the room, and felt immediately an urge to be nauseated, which was easily overcome. Trying to recall some knowledge about the frieze, he felt his soul being pulled into the frieze, and had to rely on his power of the arcane to avoid the effect. The party decided the room was too dangerous and decided to continue on.

Darius Huss went back to guarding over the vampire vent, while Bourne the Damned proceeded east. His sneaking ability proved too good for even two greater shadows to spot Bourne the Damned. They only attacked once Bourne the Damned returning claiming the next room as clear. The shadows were quickly defeated no party member taking any ability damage from the incorporeal undead creatures.

The next room proved to be the balcony of the floor below, and the Dire wolfs which patrolled the area knew better to challenge the party. However the only member to have to traverse around to the east wall was Darius Huss, as Kypello Hilam & Mallark Illileriel could fly, and Bourne the Damned simply jumped the distance between the two balconies. The door lead out to a parapet, that proved uneventful. However Mallark Illileriel made sure he became familiar enough with the parapet to be able to teleport back without error.

The party went back inside, and ascended up the staircase into a round chamber, with stairs ascending once more. In the centre of the chamber between the stairs was a tall sideboard of dark oak with a mirrored back. Several colourful bottles and rows of crystal goblets and brandy snifters sat upon it. Three bar stools stand before it and standing next to them is a wooden pipe stand holding several finely carved meerschaum pipes. What was more noticeable however was the stench of death. Quickly the party found the source of the smell. Stuffed into the centre door at an awkward angle was the naked corpse of a human male who had begun to decompose. Pulling the body out, the corpse’s face was swollen and black, its purplish tongue protruding. It was summarised the corpse had been poisoned and hidden in the side board .

Upon investigating the room, Bourne the Damned found a secret door leading to what could only be described as a treasury.

Guttering torches with blue flames are mounted in brackets giving the room a mysterious cyan aura. Set into the far wall is a circle of nine large gems. Five of them gleam with a brownish luster; the other four are a dull gray. Stacked around the room are chests and bowls overflowing with coins and gems, rolls of fine textiles, and racks holding exquisite weapons, armor and garments. In the center of the room stands an ornate pedestal carved from a single elephant’s tusk. Bands of writing in bas-relief wrap around the podium, and atop it sits some sort of green ornament or model.

Standing motionless before the pedestal was a dark-cloaked figure his back turned to the party. Bourne the Damned entered the room to investigate the figure who appeared to be surrounded in a nimbus of amber light, and did not react even when interacted with. Bourne the Damned then investigated the bas-relief writing on the pedestal that read "Woe to you who would invade my vault. Enjoy my hospitality and ponder awhile upon your folly before I slake my thirst upon your soul.”

When Mallark Illileriel entered to look at the pedistal, he read the bas-relief writing and then was engulfed in a nimbus of amber light. Fearing they two would be affected Kypello Hilam and Darius Huss tried to think of ways to remove the effect from Mallark Illileriel, while Bourne the Damned went around and collected all the treasure in the portable hole. He was then extra careful to remove from atop the pedestal a fantastically carved palace in miniature. The miniature crafted from green stone and is delicately carved into a hanging palace built upon the side of a steep cliff. The details include trees, windows, doors, and even stonework in individual relief. Bourne the Damned was able to spot that another item was inside the miniature but was unsure to retrieve it, so remained until Mallark Illileriel could identify it.

Kypello Hilam attempted to dispel magic the effect on Mallark Illileriel without success. The party then agreed on to exit Tsar and camp at the The Crossroads (where they had previously successfully camped before), and in the morning Kypello Hilam prepare as many Dispel Magic as she could to remove the effect on Mallark Illileriel . The party placed Mallark Illileriel and the other elf inside the portable hole, and ventured on foot to go and camp at the The Crossroads where they had previously successfully camped before.

In the morning Kypello Hilam prepared the Dispel Magic spells and was successful on her second attempt. With Mallark Illileriel returned, he failed to identity the item inside the miniature and decided to keep the item in place for now.

With more Dispel Magic remaining Kypello Hilam dispelled the effect upon the elf. The elf revealed his name as Kendral and he was contracted by the man in the wheelchair from the city named Reme to find a the legendary emerald know as the “Tu Chai Palace” that was revealed to be inside The Crooked Tower Treasury. He managed to find his way to the Treasury avoiding all the things the party had encountered, but was on the verge of being discovered by the majordomo, and killed him before he could raise the alarm and stuffed his body in the sideboard before entering the treasury, and that is what he last remembers.

The party revealed they had found such an item, and would only turn it over to the man in the wheelchair themselves as if the man in the wheelchair knew about the “Tu Chai Palace”, they might know more about the cedar box the party was looking for. Kendral agreed and said he had a teleport spell attuned for the man in the wheelchair residence, and that they could travel directly there.

Arriving at the residence, Kendral went inside to find the man in the wheelchair leaving the party alone long enough for the party to summarise that the contractor really wanted was the [[Ashes of Amnu-Paket | item] inside the emerald palace, Mallark Illileriel retrieved the item before the Kendral and the man in the wheelchair returned as it was too valuable an item to depart with.

In exchange for handing over the “Tu Chai Palace”, the party inquired if they could use the man in the wheelchair resources to find an item they are seeking in The Crooked Tower. The contractor agreed and said the party could have two questions asked about anything which would take 24 hours to prepare the ritual to find these out. They could not leave the contractors residence via magical means, so the party decided to spend the day in Reme selling all the items they had found in the treasure room.


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