The party came to tied to individual poles inside of the training grounds of the “Black Lotus,” an up and coming band of adventurers looking to make a name for themselves in Raven’s Point. In the party’s time training and living in the slums of Raven’s Point outside the walls of the city proper prior to their kidnapping and awakening they’d never heard of the Black Lotus.
They would, however, know that the city guards really don’t care about what happens in the slums outside the city, regardless of what might be illegal or otherwise frowned upon inside. The players meet four members of the Black Lotus introduced as:
“Lady Hollyatra Gladdenstone the Wondrous” – A strikingly beautiful female elven ranger. Goes by “Holly.”
“Snax Madswiller the Conqueror” – A nasty goblin who as far as the players assume is in charge of the Black Lotus.
“Rickard Herosblood the Dragonslayer” – A human who seems completely indifferent to all of Snax’s theatrics.
“Smash Headsin the Smasher” – A dimwitted giant who seems to obey any and all orders barked at him by Snax.
The goblin explains that everyone tied to their respective poles are in fact new recruits, and have two choices- Impress Snax and leave as a member of the Black Lotus, or perish. Players find out just how serious they are about killing recruits that don’t impress as Holly looses an arrow through the throat of a lowly boarded who failed at mesmerizing Smash with a song.
The recruitment process continued, with a few more prisoners failing to impress and falling prey to Holly’s incredibly impressive archery skills. With Nipicus up next, and similarly failing to impress, Snax decides to recruit him anyway to at least have some new members instead of a field full of bodies to clean up.
The rest of the party succeeded in impressing the Black Lotus. Sturm belted out a dual-target attack that engulfed the two training dummies at the end if the yard. Quark followed that up with a cold breath to blow them out. Orsik said a small prayer and bathed the dummies in bright light, while Iknow set them back on fire with a massive pillar of flame. Celestia attempts to dazzle Snax with her ability to escape from bonds, but when the spell fizzles she decides instead to spot a weakness in Smash’s armor.
The last surviving potential recruit was a curious old man who didn’t seem to fit in at all. When interrogated by Snax he explains that his strength lies in his knowledge. Holly quizzes him, revealing that he knows multiple languages, and all sorts of history of the world.
Snax then welcomes the new recruits, and explains that their membership in the Black Lotus is not optional. A plan is laid out to go check out a nearby tower, and Snax tells everyone to gather whatever supplies they need and report back at first light.
The party sleeps for the night, and returns the next morning. The trip to the tower takes a day, and after an uneventful night of camping, they make their way to the tower in the early morning the following day.
The tower is not only in complete disrepair, but also sinking into the ground. A massive hole in the side seems to be the only obvious entrance. Snax demands the party to go check it out, while Snax and his three companions have a picnic under a nearby tree.
Quark and Orsik do some investigating, and eventually determine that the tower was once known as the Bloodtower, and was home to an ancient and incredibly powerful group of necromancers. The historical trail ran cold, and as far as anyone knew the Bloodtower warlocks just disappeared and were eventually forgotten by time.
Upon approaching and illuminating the hole in the tower, it becomes obvious that something very old, very evil, and very dead is lurking inside. The party gathers, and fights two different battles. Once against a ghoul with a taste for flesh, and another an evil Skeletal Lord capable of raising patchwork zombies utilizing the body parts strewn about the floor.
Iknow attempts to intimidate the necromancer, but ultimately only angers him as the Skeletal Lord interprets Iknow’s comments to the party as doubting his power. As he is defeated, he explodes and greatly injures nearby party members.
The adventurers take a short rest, heal up, then investigate the spiral staircase running up the center of the tower before deciding to head up instead of down. They discover the tower is beyond ancient, but as the party reaches the higher floors they realize that things are not crumbling with age like the first floor- Eventually coming across a barracks-like floor and a obviously recently used master bedroom of sorts the group raids the place for various valuable baubles and a +3 magical fire staff.
Ascending as high as the stairs go reveals a swirling portal, and both by asking the old man and using their various intuitions they figure the portal was just opened and likely won’t remain opened for long.
The party hops through and immediately feels a sense of evil so severe that it’s making them physically cold, as if their very life force was being sapped by some intangible darkness. They find a lich pouring over some books, and a conversation between it and the old man revealed two new characters:
“Thorindaal the Pure” – Previously only known to the party as the old man holding the torch, revealed to be an incredibly powerful paladin that is potentially thousands of years old.
“Trystan the Damned” – An incredibly evil former-paladin turned lich who seems to know Thorindaal.
The players are ultimately defeated by the lich, but before the last member fell Thorindaal summons an incredible shout, which shakes the foundation of the tower and causes it to begin to sway. Trystan watches, as Thirindaal is suddenly engulfed in semi-transparent plate armor and a two-handed great sword appears in his hands.
He slams the sword into the floor, and performs a holy spell that is too powerful for the party to recognize. The paladin seems to be harnessing the very power of his life force to neutralize the evil energies keeping Trystan in his current form. As part of this exchange, an explosion of magic occurs and the party miraculously manage to ride the top floor of the tower down to the ground with relative safety as the rest of the tower crumbles below.
The party staggers to their feet, and heads over to check on Thorindaal who is laying nearby. With his last dying breath, he lifts his arm and points towards a purple glow emanating from the outer rubble of the nearby tower. He utters, “Destroy it…” and dies.The party’s innate knowledge of magic allows them to recognize that this is a Lich’s phylactery and contains the soul of Trystan the damned. The power of this object is overwhelming, and it’s taint can be felt by even non-magical members of the party. It looks like a purple crystal, around four inches long, wrapped in platinum wire and affixed to an platinum chain.
With moments to spare before Snax and his crew come running up to berate you for destroying the tower, Sturm grabs the necklace and shoves it in his pack.
So, now it’s up to you guys to figure out to do next. If you want to email back and forth and come up with the next plan of attack, I can better prepare something in that direction for the next session. I can answer any DM questions if there’s anything that can be asked in an immediate sense without any kind of rolls that would utilize a skill or any kind of movement. So like, questions asking what something looks like or other similar observations, or even basic queries to nearby NPC’s would be fine… But like, anything that’d require any sort of perception, insight, attacks, or anything like that will have to wait until our next session. Make sense?