Adventure 7: The Yellowing Wizard's Tower
Following their information regarding the whereabouts of the remaining time tombs our heroes made their way to the famous Yellowing Tower of Antor Nemillus, mage and necromancer to Midor, King of Sybaros since it was nearest.
They entered the tower despite not having enough of Antor Nemillis' mysterious discs and found themselves exploring a well appointed house full of curios, books and other interesting items. Every floor contained an identical statue of a wizard.
Downstairs, at the foot of a dusty flight of steps below the servants' quarters and the cellars they found a magically locked door, the Door to Yesterday.
The whole place was deserted but the wizards and priests could feel their magic being slowly drained from them and instances of a black emptiness invading this reality were spotted in several places.
One unlucky priestess came into contact with this Void and was changed permanently into a crystalline being. She took this philosophically however, treating the increased armour points as a benefit rather than a curse.
The tower seemed deserted but on two occasions strange, dishevelled figures were spotted rummaging in rooms. These people fled immediately through peculiar irising metal doors that appeared in walls to admit them and then disappeared without trace.
Upstairs, at the top of a flight of steps that led up from an attic was the remains of the Door to Tomorrow. This was surrounded by the Void that had consumed it but the heroes were able to make their way through unscathed.
They found themselves in a strange house of wondrous machines. Outside they could see through the large windows a great city of the 'other men' in the distance and strange craft sped across the land and the sky.
There were still the strange wizard statues dotted about though and the dishevelled people were spotted again.
It didn't take the investigating heroes long to realise that there were not many identical statues of a wizard at all but rather a single one that was following them around the tower.
Deciding he had drained enough magic from the intruders Antor Nemillus made himself known and transported everyone across time and space to the home of Omorphon the cosmic snake of power.
Attempting to seal a bargain made previously with Omorphon Antor Nemillus offered the heroes' lives as payment for the power to rid his tower of the Void.
Unsurprisingly the adventurers were resistant to this idea and an argument soon devolved into violence.
Once Antor Nemillus was dead (no easy feat) Omorphon seemed uninterested in the party and they returned to their own reality back in the tower.
Moving ever upwards the party came to the Door to the Fullness of Time which they could open with Antor Nemillus' keys.
Beyond this door were vast rooms of metal full of active machines and strange lights and noises.
They found a large group of the dishevelled people here. These were the Long Dead Future Men captured and turned mad by the crude methods Antor Nemillus had used to extract their knowledge. Freed by the Void they were attempting to return home.
Their madness made them hostile to all other life and they set their newly built Atomic Death Robot to destroy the heroes.
Fighting for their lives against creatures they didn't understand the valiant fighters stormed forwards and set their steel against the ray guns of the lunatics from the future.
After a swift but trying contest the Atomic Robot was brought crashing down. Unfortunately its atomic core overloaded and a blast of heat and radiation swept the room. The strange radiation did little to the heroes but the Long Dead Future Men were transformed into hideous mutated cybernetic being as their remains were fused with the machinery lying around.
These new foes sorely tested the party for a while but proved very susceptible to magic and were soon all asleep or dead.
After tending to their wounded the heroes continued exploring.
In another vast room they found the Long Dead Future Men's escape rocket, fuelled and ready for launch.
Clank was sure he could pilot it...
Everyone piled into the rocket and Clank seated himself at the controls. Inexplicably nothing seemed to work, were all the controls just for show?
Nevertheless despite the controls not working and the rocket not moving the scene outside the port holes had changed.
the rocket was now standing on a barren moonscape of grey rocks and dusty soil. Mountains rose in the distance in all directions.
The brave explorers exited the rocket to have a look around.
As Yarth itself rose above the horizon its light reflected off something a long way away behind a ridge.
The party set out to investigate.
They hadn't gone far when the ground around them erupted and swarms of large worm things attacked them.
Despite defending themselves fiercely two party members were dragged below the surface to an uncertain fate.
Splitting their attention between killing the remaining worms and trying to stop their comrades from disappearing forever beneath the surface of the moon the heroes were caught unawares as more, even bigger, worms appeared on the scene.
Things were becoming serious.
A whirlwind series of attacks from the fighters (including an unlikely amount of critical hits) and some very effective offensive spells from the wizards soon restored the status quo and the party was able to rest and regroup surrounded by the diced remains of the worms.
With their armour repaired and weapons sharpened they set off once again towards their goal.
Cresting the rim of a crater they looked down on what had reflected the light from Yarth. It was a huge cube of black stone or metal (who could be sure which?).
This confirmed their suspicions that they had indeed entered the tomb of an Izvoreni and were experiencing the setting the tomb was generating. Clearly this was influenced by the Long Dead Future Men and the heroes wondered to what extent the Future Men's insanity would affect what lay ahead.
Entering the cube the explorers were confronted by Mr Moon, a strange head on a plinth. Behind Mr Moon was an airlock door leading deeper into the tomb.
Mr Moon responded to the heroes' presence by summoning a pair of large moon worms and striking out with his own lunar rays of madness.
The fighters engaged the worms, the wizards attacked Mr Moon, the thieves attempted to disable the mechanisms in the plinth and the priests did their best to remove the maddening effects of the lunar rays from afflicted friends.
Chaos reigned for a few minutes with afflicted friends attacking friends, others falling stunned and some just collapsing into helpless, insane fits of laughter.
Eventually however the heroes triumphed. The worms were killed and Mr Moon was deactivated.
The party stepped into the airlock.
Beyond the airlock was a strange world indeed.
The heroes knew they were in the inner chamber of the tomb and needed to locate the sarcophagus in order to slay the Izvoreni.
Cautiously they moved forward through the alien landscape searching for some clue as to its whereabouts.
As the fighters entered a stand of peculiar trees they were immediately set upon by a flock of strange creatures who flapped and squawked at them violently.
Startled by this sudden attack the fighters responded by slaying two of the creatures before they realised that they weren't very dangerous and were only defending their nest.
The fighters backed away but stopped when they realised that the noise of the attacking Walnusians had attracted more creatures which emerged from the yellow pools and sat watching them.
Further back by the entrance other party members had disturbed odd blue creatures that were lurking in the tall grass. These blue meanies swarmed over the remainder of the party biting and clawing.
This new disturbance brought more of the yellow toad things to investigate.
The wizards started casting silence spells to calm things down.
The blue meanies were fought off and retreated and the walnusians had calmed down a bit so Tonkatsu, one pf the priests, tried to communicate with the tooth toads to see if she could find the location of the sarcophagus.
This proved so interesting to the toads that more appeared including some really big ones.
This might not have been so bad if the curious thieves hadn't chosen that moment to prod some of the strange, spore-covered plant things with a stick.
Immediately the spores exploded and a cloud of yellow dust filled the air. One of the thieves was incapacitated immediately and the other retreated badly poisoned. As the wizards and priests hurried to save the victims the cloud spread and one of the small tooth toads fell down dead in its path.
The large toads attacked immediately. Leaping across the intervening distance in a single mighty bound they landed amongst the party and laid about them with their massive teeth.
The fighters hastily returned to their friends and set about fending off the enraged beasts.
After a hard fight the toads were dead but several adventurers were also out of action. With no spells left and wounded comrades the heroes retreated back into the airlock to attempt to rest long enough to heal up and restock.
After a suitable break the heroes headed off into the strange landscape again. This time they were careful not to disturb anything.
Eventually they spotted something they hadn't seen before, a huge eye in a rock.
The thieves examined the peculiar rock and determined it was a machine, almost certainly the sarcophagus of the Izvoreni. Unfortunately despite their best efforts and the brute force of the fighters they could not get it to open.
Finally they managed, with the aid of Clank's flashlight, to trip the switch and activate the sarcophagus.
The angry Izvoreni burst forth and attacked the heroes with its considerable physical and psionic abilities.
It died of course. It was blasted by spells and ripped apart by the blows of the fighters and thieves even though it seemed to be getting stronger as the fight progressed. It didn't have nearly enough time to reach its full power and potential and the party learned another fact about the Izvoreni- kill them quickly!
With their mission accomplished the tired adventurers retraced their steps all the way to the Yellowing Wizard's Tower.
They knew the next tomb lay far in the past so they used the key to Yesterday to descend the floors of the tower until they passed through the Door to Long, Long Ago and emerged from the tower 60,000 years into Yarth's past.
Time to find Merdoramon the magician (again).