After the events of last night, while we scattered around the tavern, hurriedly packing our things for the trip up north, Strider pulled me aside and gave me this journal.
“Keep notes about everything that happens up there,” he’d said. I vowed to do just that. I won’t let you down! Lee suggests my first entry should be about what happened last night, and why we have to now make our way up north for a while.
It started when we discovered a group of cultists that were attempting some sort of ritual, which demanded the deaths of young, sinful nobles. After a gruesome battle, we managed to defeat the cultists and we recovered a journal which mentioned a plot to summon a great evil. Involved in this plot is a noble named Ebenezer Aesterwall. Ari and I brought the journal to the captain of the guard, but it wasn’t enough evidence to issue a warrant of arrest. The good captain hinted that we would need more incriminating evidence, but also warned us not to get caught doing anything illegal (as if that would happen…again).
Aesterwall, it turns out, lives in a grand tower in the upper wards. Lee scouted the tower for days and discovered that our mark was a reclusive sort with only a few servants coming and going. Rumor around the city had it that Aesterwall was a difficult man to get in touch with, and that he’s where one goes to acquire information on various topics. Since Aesterwall is on the city council, Rauk suggested paying him a visit in the guise of a diplomatic meeting. Rauk returned to the tavern grim-faced, informed us that he wasn’t permitted to explore the tower, but confirmed that Aesterwall didn’t have any guards.
So we made a plan to infiltrate the tower.
In the dead of night, Ari and Lee scaled the garden wall while Rauk and I waited in a late-night cafe across the street. On the other side of the wall, Ari and Lee met several wisps that blinked out the moment a figure emerged from the tower, nearly catching sight of Ari. Later, Lee would recount to me the moment she learned she could talk to the wisps, mind-to-mind (“But they don’t seem too bright,” she said with a wink, earning protesting groans from Rauk and Ari at the pun). The wisps insisted that Ari and Lee followed them, which they did, but not before Lee marked the figure exiting the tower grounds. After receiving Lee’s Message about the marked target, Rauk left the cafe to pursue him, but returned some time later unsuccessful.
The wisps led Ari and Lee to the home of Miss Haberdash, who warned them away from the tower. They were told of Aesterwall’s evil intentions, but insisted on completing their mission. The sorceress then gave them four potions to help them out, and gave Ari a parting gift. The girls returned to the tower, Messaging Rauk and me about their impromptu visit. Once back at the tower, the two scaled the wall to the second floor and emerged into a library containing a collection of suits of armor. Lee began to feel something was off, but couldn’t pinpoint the source. When they didn’t find what we needed in the library, they proceeded to climb to the third floor, which also didn’t yield any promising results.
Ari stayed behind on the third floor while Lee climbed the stairs to the fourth, but not before chugging a potion of False-Life and a potion of invisibility. There, she discovered Aesterwall’s laboratory and the man himself working. From her hiding place, Lee successfully casted Sleep on Aesterwall. It was only then that she noticed the giant suit of armor. It came to life with a horrible scream, and began searching the lab for the unknown assailant.
Meanwhile, on the third floor, the scream awoke a suit of armor which then grabbed Ari before she could rush to Lee’s aid. The suit began to drag her down to the second floor. When no help was forthcoming from the cleric, Lee sent a Message to Rauk and me to come help. Rauk sprinted to and vaulted over the garden wall while I took the time to don my armor.
Unable to find Lee due to her False-Life potion, the giant suit of armor descended to the third floor to search for the culprit of his master’s condition. Lee hurriedly slammed and locked the door to the lab and began to investigate for the evidence we needed. As the suit of armor pounded on the door, attempting to break through, Lee found a journal containing a list of names, a coded book, amber dust, and reports of mining under the city. She shoved the list of names into Aesterwall’s robes, forced a Featherfall potion down his throat, and sent him out the window. By that time, the suit of armor had broken through the door, and she had no other choice than to dash to the roof. There, she discovered an airship, but had no time to look around as the giant suit of armor sprinted at her. Seeing no alternative, she dove off the roof.
Rauk climbed the tower wall in time to find Ari on the second floor being dragged by a suit of armor. As I struggled to climb up to help, he tackled the suit into the bookcases in the library. I scrambled through the window in time to see several other suits of armor come to life. After an arduous battle with the suits of armor, we turned in time to see Lee climb through the window, wild eyed. We had no time to ask what had happened when we saw the giant suit of armor that had been pursuing her fall past the window. Cursing, Lee removed her shortbow.
“That miserable piece of shit!” Lee called. Ari dashed to the window while Lee took aim and shot Aesterwall.
“There are more coming,” Rauk shouted. Together, we barricaded the second floor, then rushed to the window as Lee took aim once more. Before we could do anything, the world suddenly went black. The only things I could perceive were horrid sounds, disgusting things slithering against my armor, and biting cold.
“Void fucker,” was the last thing I heard out of Lee. Had I been able to see at the time, I would have known that she had grabbed the rope and jumped from the window. The next thing I knew, Ari had grasped my hand and led me to the rope, and the three of us leapt from the window as the sound of the suit of armor clambering up the side of the tower. The moment we hit the ground, we scrambled to our feet and sprinted off the grounds and to safety.
We gave the coded book to Miss Haberdash and took a moment to catch our breath and heal our wounds. The sorceress demanded payment for her help in the form of us taking a journey north. When we returned to Strider, he told us it would be a good idea for us to get out of town for a while, and we hurried to pack our things. Lee seems worried to leave the city and Strider behind. Rauk at some times seems eager to return home, but is also uneasy. I’ve caught him snapping at his squire several times as he waits for us to set out. If Ari feels one way or the other about leaving, she doesn’t show it, though she seems deep in thought (or maybe prayer?).
In any case, it’s off to the north we go. I’ve never been, and I’m a little excited. I wonder what things we’ll find?
—Robin Garrett, Paladin of Tyr.