Douven's Avengers

The Upside-Down Tower

The Life & Times of Mikael Stormriven, ch. 4

After a long wagon ride, we pulled into Graywall, a backwater city on the border of the monster nation of Droaam. I have often heard Graywall mentioned by smugglers as a wondrous place where a bit of coin can buy the kinds of exotic treasures and pleasures that more civilized society outlaws.

We weren’t in town long before we were approached by a medusa named Meletchka. Despite the snakes in her hair she was actually quite stunning, but she rebuffed my attempts at charm and got right down to business. Meletchka explained that she is an agent of one of the Daughters of Sora Kell. She is apparently quite well informed, for she promised us personalized information in payment for completing a task for her.

As I have written previously, our group seems to have lost it’s sense of purpose. Yet the information that Meletchka promised us in exchange for completing her task has served to revitalize us. Specifically:

I will be given the identity of my father. Not Corlin Brightwaters, but my birth father… the bastard human who abandoned my mother so long ago.

Maaka will also be given the location of her father. While I sympathize with this, I suspect that her father is mixed up in her trouble with the black dragon Shadowmire, so I’m not sure this is such a good thing for us to learn.

Steeple will NOT be given the location of his father, but rather his former master, Augusto Bellaroosa. As with Maaka, while I am happy for him to know this, I am also disappointed that this information may lead to the cheerful ol’ tin can leaving our company, as I have grown quite fond of him.

Romana will receive the location of a cave that contains secrets from her mysterious past. I’m not too sure that’s a cave I ever want to visit.

And lastly, Tor will be given information that will help him ascend to his rightful title of Warlord in some particularly monstery region of Droaam.

So while the answers that Meletchka promises sound like they may ultimately threaten to break up Douven’s Avengers, we are all very excited to get some resolution in our personal lives. Needless to say, we agreed to take on Meletchka’s job.

Meletchka gave us a map to an “upside-down tower” located in the Watching Wood where members from House Kundarak as well as nobles from Aundair have recently been sighted. The presence of foreign officials on Droaam soil could be considered grounds to declare war, so clearly there must be some great driving purpose for them to take such a risk being there. We are to enter the tower and attempt to discover House Kundarak & Aundair’s motivations and report back to Meletchka.

The tower itself, Meletchka explained, is a site called Dur Barad. It was built long ago by the Fomorians (an evil race of giants) in a cruel parody of an Eladrin feyspire. More recently, some dwarves used the abandoned tower as a mushroom farm.

We refilled our provisions, and many of us took advantage of Graywall’s spectacular black market scene to obtain some new magical gear. I picked up some magic bracers, a belt, and a fantastic set of catstep boots that should help keep me from further embarrassing myself falling down in front of the group. I also bought a magic circlet that I find quite dashing, despite Maaka jokingly referring to me as “princess”.

The journey to Dur Barad took two days. We were jumped by some bandits on the way, but made short work of them.

When we arrived at the tower, we found that several outbuildings had been constructed around the entrance. These seemed to be the offices of the mushroom farm that Meletchka had mentioned. While investigating one of the buildings, Tor’s sharp eyes caught a glimpse of a kobold who was trying to hide from us. We tried to chase him down, and ran straight into a pack of lizardmen… leading a huge dinosaur!

A ferocious battle with the beast ensued, but we emerged victorious. As I write this, we are seated around our campfire, feasting on some dinosaur meat. Steeple seems preoccupied trying to fit one of the dinosaur’s rotting eyeballs onto some kind of tripod he’s constructed, and Romana is humming what is probably some long-forgotten tune. Maaka refused to eat any of the dinosaur meat, claiming it is a little too close to cannibalism for comfort for her. Tor is nowhere to be seen, but is probably lurking in the shadows somewhere.

Yep, just another day in the life of Douven’s Avengers.

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