The Dark Tower

3,378 Protokynion 6

We headed north to explore the ruins of Nox’s Ancestral Tower. There was a heaviness in the air, as if a storm was about to break out, though there was only a sporadic light rain. After travelling less than two hours, we happened upon a stone outcropping jutting out over the sea.

It almost looked like some divine diving board, and Pericles, in his new Mariner's Half Plate Armor, was eager to explore it. At one point it looked like he was considering diving into the ocean, but it was at least a 100 foot drop to the sea below.

We found footprints nearby, apparently from children, scattered all about.

Peering over the edge, we saw a small hole in the side of the cliff, about one foot in diameter. I scaled the cliff face and examined the hole. I couldn't tell if it was natural or carved, but it descended farther than I could see and produced a loud echo.

Using our ropes, I led the way down to the bottom, where Acantis had spotted a grotto opening to the surface of the sea. Belisarius had to carry Sephiro.

Inside the cave we found a number of rooms, many filled with barrels of ale and crates filled with salt. A bounder blocked one part of the cave, and it took both Belisarius and I to move it aside. Inside we found several cots, tables and chairs, as well as more crates filled with well preserved sea monster parts. We found a secret door that led to stairs descending into the water. Pericles and Belisarius swam into the water and saw a sea monster, similar to the one in the crates, but it did not bother them.

Agreeing to come back for what we'd found, we made our way back to the cliff top and continued north.

After finding the road and turning east, we were about to make camp when we saw the tower in the distance. We pushed on and, surprisingly, Belisarius seemed a bit winded by the time we got there. The swimming must have pushed him over the edge.

As we approached the dark tower, we noticed that it appeared to cast no shadow on the land, and then Pericles and I fell into a hidden ditch filled with spikes. Fortunately, we both emerged with just a few scrapes. On the other side was a mound. Both the ditch and the mound were hidden by illusions of the land, which is why the tower appeared to cast no shadow!

Pericles and I climbed to the top of the mound and were greeted by a large monstrosity of smoldering stone. It slammed its fiery fists into the ground, sending the earth erupting all around us. Belisarius recklessly charged the beast and smashed it with his great hammer, sending chunks of rock flying. I stabbed at it with my spear until Pericles was crushed by one of its enormous fists, and I dragged him to shelter. After taking a beating, the monstrosity tried to shamble away, but I hit it with two Guiding Bolts and it fell to the light of Heliod!

I stabilized Pericles, but he would not awaken. I wanted to return him to Neolantika, but I felt compelled by my companions to continue our mission.

Belisarius smashed the rock monster to bits, and inside he found a large red gem.

We thought we would be safe within the confines of the hidden mound, but that night we were assaulted by shadowy wolves. They surrounded us, and it was a hard battle as we were already weary, but soon they were all put down.

We moved our makeshift camp into the shelter of the hidden ditch, but we weren't able to rest much more than an hour when we were ambushed by Shadows. Trapped in the ditch, with no divine power to call upon, their touch drained us of our strength. As if he read my mind, Belisarius grabbed Pericles and dragged him out of the ditch, and I leaped up after them. Too weak to make the leap behind us, Sephiro leaped to the far side of the ditch, where he was briefly surrounded by shadows before he made a second leap across the ditch. I grabbed Pericles and dragged him away as fast as I could. Sephiro was right behind me, but Belisarius was surrounded by Shadows. They were all over him, and I could just barely see his face as it darkened and merged with the Shadows engulfing him.

Weakened by the Shadows, I dragged Pericles back to Neolantika, where he would soon recover. But the weight of losing a such a stalwart companion was almost too much to bear.

Your son in search of glory,

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