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Champions of the Empire

Citadel of Fire - Turn 1.0 - Night in a Strange Land

Martin Vane
Morty Crystaltouched
Pellanistra Xarann
Syllivarrna Obanghall
Tyra Stellastrom
MORTY: I was thinking something along the lines of "is it important for us to investigate the tower before resting?" I think it might be, and while I will be largely useless for anything magical I can at least work on locks and traps and such. I am concerned that with the portal gone that orc army may disperse into the surrounding hills and eventually find us. They may also have seers or shamans that can track us magically, if they are angry enough...
Barnas casts his Augury spell and the result is "rest and recover then to the citadel you must go." Barnas wonders if "citadel" and "tower" mean the same thing in this context.

In any case, the augury is clear that resting and recuperating is not a bad idea so the group gives the tower a wide berth and heads deeper into the hills until high mountains rise ahead of them. Shaarilla flies around until she finds a small clearing against a high cliff. The temperature is comfortably cool. Shaarilla sets down in the clearing and the group gets to work setting up camp. The environment is strange to them and no one is entirely sure how to create a comfortable camp but the group does the best they can. A section of the cliff near the air boat has an inverse incline that gets much more pronounced closer to the ground creating a shelter of sorts.

No one has a tent but most everyone has either a light blanket or a cloak and three members of the group (Lani, Shaarilla and Tyra) even have bedrolls. No one is skilled in making a campfire so the group simply hunts up stuff that will burn, piles it together and uses cantrips to try to start it. It eventually burns but despite the group's best effort, it sends a very smoky trail into the sky so they douse it quickly have cooking a meal. Barnas has some experience with cooking and uses it to prepare breakfast for everyone.

It was about 2 o'clock in the morning when the group was suddenly awakened in Fangora but here the sun is setting as the group finishes eating. Most are still tired anyway so they set up watches of three per watch and go to sleep. Those on watch share their blankets and bedrolls with those that need them as the night gets very chilly. In the distance in the direction the group thinks of as west, they can see a slight glow beyond the intervening hills that likely indicates the location of the distant tower and its massive flame.

Before retiring for the night, Barnas uses his remaining healing spell to heal Tyra of 13 hit points.

Strange sounds, shrieks and distant roars wake the group up often. Camping here is nothing like life on a spelljammer. Nevertheless, everyone is able to get enough rest that they awaken, if not fully refreshed, at least rested from the previous night's ordeal.

GM: I made CON rolls for everyone. Only those who made a 3x CON roll or better (KC, Lani, Syl and Tyra) recovered hit points overnight.

GM: Let me know what you want to do in the morning. Spell casters may or may not want to change spells. You will probably want to do some more healing as everyone is down double digit hit points except Shaarilla (who is not injured at all).

MARTIN: Martin shivers in the cool morning air. “Funny, here I always thought that camping would be fun. Is there any food in that thing” – he gestures towards the spelljammer raft – “ ‘cause if not we’re all going be a bit peckish before too long…”

GM: At this time enough of the group has field rations that you are not going to starve but if Morty and KC, the two people with Plant and Herb Lore, want to send rolls to find food, feel free to do so.

KC: While we are at are little oasis I will scout around to see what I can find in the ways of plants and animals also anything else that might be interesting.

KC: [rolled 94, edible roots (2 person days)]

KC: [rolled 7 vs. PER 22, MADE BY HALF!]

MORTY: "Maybe you should bother to pack some field rations next time you're in town, like the rest of us..."

MORTY TECH: Find Edible Plants +26% [rolled 76 (Partial Success)]

Both Morty and KC are successful in finding some edible plants that Barnas can add to his stew.

The group spends the next couple of days in their camp resting, recuperating and healing up. The days are comfortable while the nights get relatively cool but the group has enough blankets and bedrolls that no one is in danger of freezing. KC and Morty go out each day looking for food with another fighter accompanying them in case of danger. Both have some degree of success but certainly not enough to keep the group from having to use their rations.

The environment itself does not seem dangerous. The group sees no large predators or aggressive monsters while they are resting. Nor do they see any orcs.

Once the group is rested, they take to the spelljammer-like air boat again. Shaarilla feeds energy into the helm and the vehicle lifts from the ground. The group heads back to the east towards the tower.

Let me know how you want to approach the tower. Possible options are to fly right up and land on the roof, fly up and land near a ground level entrance, or land some distance away and hoof it in with the intent of being sneaky and not alerting anyone in the tower that you are approaching. It would also be good to get a sense of what time of day you want to arrive (early morning, late evening, middle of the night, etc.).

BARNAS: The young cleric will go to his healing spell load out. With his new level that should be 3 CLW and 2 Accelated Healing that he will cast as needed. Plus use the Charm on himself

BARNAS: 1st CLW [rolled 3 6 (+4)- Total: 13], 2nd CLW [rolled 6 6 (+4)- Total: 16], 3rd CLW [rolled 3 2 (+4)- Total: 9] Plus the Charm on Barnas CLW [rolled 3 4 (+2)- Total: 9].

BARNAS: The cures and the Accelerated will go to who the party thinks best

GM: Let me know what spells Barnas will have prayed for when the group departs to head back to the tower.

BARNAS: With his new level his spells are as follows

BARNAS: 1st Level: Bless, 3 CLW, Protection from Evil

BARNAS: 2nd Level: 2 Auguries, Find Traps, Silence... Unless needing to Heal.

BARNAS: 2nd Level Healing: 2 Accelerated Healings, Healing Sanctuary and Good Berry (assuming we have some berries available)

SYL: Is not the most sneaky member of the party, but believes that walking up and knocking is probably NOT in our best interest. i think getting close enough before dawn to then look during the early morning is good. With her Dark Magics we should be able to get KC close enough to use the telescope and his eyeballs to scout.

TYRA: "It seems from the augury that we're headed to this tower and we're not coming back out. Thus it's unlikely that we will need this spelljammer again. Do any of you get a sense of which approach feels best? Sneaking up to it will at least let us assess what we're getting into though we may not glean much information. Starting off at the top of the tower would be improbable to conventional defenses so that may offer the best element of surprise. I don't think I'd vote for landing just outside its gates. If we're going to approach from the ground, let's sneak our way to it. As for time of day, I like approaching just before dawn, say 30 minutes to an hour so we still have the cover of darkness and those inside should be their sleepiest.

TYRA: "Martin, how do you feel about using Wizard Eye to try and learn more before we make our final approach? We could fly nearby, walk close to the tower and watch it for several hours during the day. Martin could see if he could learn more with his Wizard Eye and then we can make the decision to either sneak in through the ground level or boldly fly the spelljammer to the roof. Thoughts?"

TYRA (GM): How tall do we estimate the tower is?

KC: Wizard Eye is a good idea once we get close enough, but I think that the telescope will help us get the information as to how to approach. We can scan the area from either really high up or hidden from afar.

TYRA: "Yeah, I'd like us to use all the options we have that make sense. Any other spells that might help us make the right approach here."

GM: I'm hearing that you want to approach before dawn but want to scout with a telescope, which requires some degree of daylight so will work to factor in both.

Dawn is still a short time away as the group approaches the tower. They remain about a mile away as KC scans the area with the telescope and Shaarilla slowly circles the tower. The flame burns on the roof with no visible sign of a fire source. The flames burn a good 30 feet into the air and there is no smoke. KC scans down the sides of the tower and notes that there are no windows but there are balconies about halfway up and again about three quarters of the way up. There is no sign of a roof access unless it is hidden in the flames. The tower appears to be about 500 feet tall and about 150 foot square.

As the sky lightens up in the east, more details become visible. There are doors leading from the tower to both of the balconies. There are also a pair of guard towers flanking the main entrance. The road from the swamp leads between the two towers which are each about 50 feet tall and 20 foot square. Even from this distance, KC is able to make out arrow slits in the second floors of the two guard towers. He also sees dead bodies on the road to the main tower, perhaps orcs trying to enter the tower.

SHAARILLA: I remember someone offering to cast some sort of protection from missiles spell, maybe COP Missiles. Can a circle of protection be cast on a person and then move with the person? If so, it would be very handy for Shaarilla to have one or two of those in her wand of spell storing. The entry for COP Missiles the website doesn’t how long the spell lasts. Also, can arrows be fired from inside a COP Missiles?

SHAARILLA: Shaarilla offers, “I could come around the back and take station next to one of the upper balconies. I think that’s high enough we would be mostly out of arrow range. But if those bodies are dead orcs, it’s possible that they wouldn’t be hostile to us. The hard part is figuring if they are hostile without risking getting killed.

MORTY (OOC): Descriptions of Circles are under House Rules -> Sorcery -> Circles of Protection. Basically 10+ minutes, but take 4 rounds to bring up and cost multiple spell points. They also wouldn't protect enough of us at our rank.

MORTY: "I don't have access to either of the circles I mentioned, I remember recommending that people keep their eyes open for that circle and the one vs Detection. Remember that the Spell Wand can only store spells cast by the attuned wielder, so someone else couldn't store a Circle of Protection in it for you. They could use a Spell Store to hang it in order to deploy it much faster than the usual casting time, though. As for preparations, I have Illusory Fog to obscure the air boat, but it would also affect our ability to see out of it. I also have Invisibility, and Mass Invisibility, but I'm not sure the air boat is small enough.

MORTY (GM): If I were to cast a single target Invisibility on the air boat, would it affect the entire thing? Then I could add Mass Invisibility for all the passengers (everyone would have to stay within 8 feet of me). None of us could see each other to maneuver except those with witch sight, but if we're just riding on the boat it shouldn't be that big of an issue.

BARNAS: Listening to the other observations and plans, the young cleric offers to cast an augury about how to best prepare for and approach the tower.

The group continues to observe for a bit while trying to decide how best to approach the tower while still keeping about a mile distant. Suddenly, as the group is on the far side of the tower from the orc encampments in the marsh, Tyra shouts out a warning and points past the flaming tower to the marshlands. A large creature has risen out of the plain and is flying towards the group. It is at least 2 to 3 miles away at this point but is ascending into the sky on massive black wings. From this distance, even with the telescope, it is little more than a dark shape in the early dawn flying from the direction of the rising sun. It could be a dragon. It could be a large wyvern. It could be something else. In any case, the group decides that it is not something they want to try to fight and Shaarilla promptly turns the air boat to the west and pours on it's best speed, which is pathetically slow. She begins to descend knowing that they might have to land and flee into the hills.

The flying creature is much faster than the boat. KC keeps the telescope trained on it and soon he is able to make out a pair of riders wearing heavy armor. It is less than 2 miles away now. It swerves slightly to the north to curve around the tower.

Suddenly the massive flame on the top of the tower pulses dramatically and from it emerge four separate sources of destruction. The first is a massive fireball that streaks towards the dragon. The second is a powerful bolt of lightning. The third is a cone of intense cold and the last is a trio of massive, flaming meteors. All four impact the dragon simultaneously. Even from this distance, the screams of the dragon and the riders is loud enough to chill your bones and the massive creature tumbles from the sky still trailing wisp of flames, streaks of electrical energy and icy tendrils. It crashes into the low hills and trees on the east side of the tower.

Lani is the first to speak as the group watches the spectacle of destruction, "I'm thinking that we don't try to approach the tower from the air."
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