Icehammer Dwarves: Session 8

Icehammer Dwarves enter the Woodland Manse
We immediately charged the dancing half-orc, who didn’t seem to have noticed us.

Striking quickly, we got to attack the monster a couple times before it raised it’s arms and blasted Berreck with a lightning bolt, hurting him badly.

We were able to defeat the half-orc and the little twig creatures surrounding it, but not before it was able to yell for help.

I searched its body and found a hand drawn map on the flap of his satchel. Just as I was showing it to Berreck, six orcs barged in from the same door we had come from.
Grannoc's map from the Woodland Manse
They were really tough, and Berreck even went unconscious once, though I was able to revive him. We managed to drop them all, though just barely.

We briefly inspected the room and found it to be mostly empty, with a fireplace to the south. We took a short rest in the corner to recuperate from the fights.

After recuperating, we moved on to one of the doors to the north. The room we entered was smaller than the previous one, and seemed to be a library of sorts, filled with shelves of books. The room was two stories tall except for a balcony that ringed the room. A spiral staircase led up to the balcony and two desks sat in the middle of the room.

We returned to the previous room and back out into the courtyard, and then went through one of the adjacent rooms. It was another mostly empty room, with a fireplace to the north, and a gaping hole in the ceiling. Looking up, we could see up into a room above.

We went back to the library and up the stairs. In one corner of the balcony there was a secret door, which we went through.

The large room was mostly empty again, with a fireplace on the south wall. Upon further inspection, I found a secret door on the east wall.

This room seemed different from the others. There were no windows and, for the first time, there was undestroyed furniture; a chest sat against the wall. In addition, a cloak hung on a hook on the wall, billowing in the still air.

Berreck donned the cloak, which continued to billow ominously, and then I helped him inspect the chest. There was an internal lock, and we couldn’t seem to open it. We tried a couple times, and Berreck even tried (and failed) to pry the lid open, and eventually decided to explore the rest of the manse and see if we found some type of key.

We went back into the larger room and went through a set of double doors on the north wall, which lead into a wide hall. The hall opened up into a room, with another hole in the roof, this one opening up to the sky. A staircase led down, but it was the same trapped one we had avoided earlier.

We took another set of double doors out onto the balcony above the front entrance. It was eerily quiet, but otherwise normal. We ignored the silence and went back inside, taking a single door into the second floor of the tower.

The room had an extraordinary number of windows for it’s small size, and an empty tub sat in the center of the room.

We left the tower and went through the remaining set of double doors to the southeast. The wide hallway ended in another set of double doors, and the windows were shattered. On one side, they looked down on the courtyard and the tree, and on the other they gave a view of the surrounding woodland.

The room past the doors had a fireplace on the north wall and a large hole in the floor that matched the first one we had found in the ceiling on the first floor.

Now that we had explored every room, we searched all the rooms thoroughly. In the large room on the second floor, we found a secret compartment in the mantelpiece of the fireplace. Inside was a staff, which seemed to be decoratively engraved. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the engravings were of different types of birds.

By the fireplace next to the trapped stairs, we were also attacked by a bunch of stirges that proved to be nothing more than a nuisance. We also took a bunch of the books from the library.

We went out into the courtyard and approached the tree. When we neared its center, I noticed that it seemed to be pulsating and moving slightly. Berreck tried hitting it with his great axe, and it spurted red sap, which looked suspiciously blood-like.

Vines rose around us and tried to entangle us, while needles showered down on us from the branches above us. We were both ensnared by the vines, but managed to destroy them and free ourselves, though not before they hurt us badly. I was also able to drop the little creatures above us that pelted us with needles. Finally, Berreck and I made sure the energy appeared to be drained from the tree and it was no longer pulsating.

Finding no keys, we returned to the secret room. Berreck pried the planks of the chest apart with his javelin, and pulled out a rod. The chest was otherwise empty.

I inspected the rod and found that there was a button on one end. I stood back as Berreck pressed the button, but nothing appeared to happen. Berreck, however, alerted me to how he could no longer move the rod at all. It was stuck in place! He hit the button again, and could once again move the rod.

I cast detect magic and found that the staff, the rod, and the cloak were all magical. One of the books from the library seemed to emit an aura as well. I looked closer and found that there was a packet of dust in between the pages that radiated transmutation magic. I held on to the packet.

We were both very hurt and tired from our numerous battles, so we slept in the secret room. When we awoke the next day, we left the manse. Outside, it was still silent. As we exited, we noticed that all the boars in the pumpkin patches were gathered together.
Icehammer Dwarves emerging from the Woodland Manse to confront the anchorites
Three half-orcs emerged from the woods. One of them says to another, “You were right Shautha. They must have hidden in there all night.”

“Alright, Skarla,” another interrupted, “Holgh, spread out! We can't let them get away and interrupt the ritual!”

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