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Chapter 21
The Road to the A-TEAM HeroQuest

 

When they looked closer they understood that this it was not the Castle of Lead, but the Tower of Lead in Dorastor. Under the tower there would be the door, through which the team had to go. To open the door a key was needed. It was made from ten different items, and the team had to start to look for them. The items were:
After this the trance ended and the team started their HeroQuest searching for the ten items. As most of them were near on in Dorastor, the Lunar highways would be the fastest method of getting there.

It took a few days to get out of Ormsgone valley, and soon after that the roads started to improve. One night when the party made camp, they noticed on a poster a message to them that their old friend Beer, wanted to meet them in Furthest, at Taran's Inn. He would have important information about Fazzur. The other, Lunar led group already knew the fact that Fazzur had failed, and that the Red Emperor had given Tatius the Bright an army to attack Whitewall. Fazzur was also on his way to Furthest. The next day they passed the glowline and arrived one day later in Furthest. The Lunar's were building there lots of different buildings, the town would be a major Lunar city. Everybody had to be registered to the Lunar officials to be let inside the city, and thus also the A-TEAM had to do it. There was a message to the team that they should as soon as possible ask for an audience to Fazzur at the Royal Palace. The party still went first to Taran's Inn, to meet Beer and hear his message before going to ask for the audience. The important message was the Fazzur wanted to meet the A-TEAM in Notchet.

When arriving to the palace, the team was shown into a great waiting hall, where a small man was sitting behind big desk. When he was addressed, he said only wait on the benches until summoned. After ten minutes Axjack talked with the man, but same result. Ten more minutes started to get Raven angry, so he and Kaid-aw went to the man. Raven threw all the paper from the table to the floor and took the man in his grip. Kaid-aw tried to clam Raven down and told the man not to play with a troll. The man asked the party to take the third door on the right. Inside the door was again a big room with a table on the one end. One important looking man sat at the table and two guards were standing on both sides of him. This man said, "Sit!" and showed on a few chairs at one wall. Kaid-aw asked the man if he knew why the party was here, but the man only nodded his head to the two guards who approached the team. The man also used his small bell, and five more guards stormed into the room ready for a fight. Kaid-aw tried to calm the guards down telling them that Fazzur had summoned them there, and that they did not want to fight. Axjack looked grimly on one of the seven guards, and one guard pushed Axjack brutally down in his chair. Beer tried to say something, but two guards took him and started to drag him out of the room. Kaid-aw said the party was asked by Fazzur to come here, and they would all meet him or none would stay. Three guards closed in on Axjack, Dolxx and Raven putting their hands on the shoulders, showing them out of the room. That did not please Raven, so he broke loose of the grip. The guard did not like it, and hit Raven in his left leg with a huge blow doing 33 points of damage. Raven went unconscious, and Merlox ordered the healing spirit to heal Raven. He then started to prepare for offensive spells, when the men dragging Beer let loose of him and turned around running towards Merlox. Merlox went on his knees and the men stop before attacking him. Raven started to wake up again, while the leader of the guards spoke with the bureaucrat at the table. He asked all to calm down and asked that who is the party, and why are they here. When Kaid-aw once again told why the party had come to the palace, being summoned by Fazzur, he wrote a note and a messenger run with it through a door. Five minutes later a big man entered the room; Fazzur himself had come to see the A-TEAM. The team noted that his right hand was gold colored. After ten minutes they met again in a smaller room, with delicate tapestries, and a big table. Fazzur stood with his back towards the team at a window looking out. He asked why Tatius was afraid of the team, and the full story how Gim-gim had fooled Tatius to believe that the A-TEAM would kill him. Also all the reasons why the party believed that Tatius was afraid were told. Kaid-aw told also about the Dragon's Puff and the vision the team had had when meeting the Dragon in Ormsgone valley. He also pointed out that Fazzur is the man of light. Fazzur thought for a while and agreed if the party would meet him in Glamour next year. The team should also meet Bellex Maximus, and tell everything about the troop movements Tatius had done. To make sure this would be secret, everybody had to make an oath on his or her gods. Kaid-aw asked for his right fingernail, but he took the whole finger away. This caused a huge blinding light, making all but Raven unable to see anything. Raven took the finger from the table and knocked with it on Kaid-aw's head, leading the party out of the room. Once outside he gave the finger to Axjack.

Near the inn, Merlox was attacked with a spell, but he easily defended against the attack. Kaid-aw was also attacked and he also had no problems in defending him against the attack. Axjack was the first to see anything, he started to see shadows when at the inn. Even if Kaid-aw still could not see, he took a bath before he went sleeping for the night. The others went straight to bed after a meal in their room.

When they woke up in the morning, they all could see normally again. The morning was very beautiful and gave them a spirit of hope. When walking on the street, they saw a restoration work being done on the sewers. Very small people worked on it, like they were mutants of some kind. One of them was a small weak broo, but he had a golden amulet around his neck, which glittered in the sun. There were only two guards watching the work, so when the small broo jumped once again down, Beer went and distracted the guards. Kaid-aw and Raven jumped down the hole after the small broo. The men chase Beer off, but inside Kaid-aw and Raven saw the broo, who started to run away. It went around a corner, and when Kaid-aw and Raven came around it, a huge broo, SIZ 29, was waiting for them. Kaid-aw and Raven cast all their spells and attacked the broo. When the others looked down the hole, they could not see or hear neither Kaid-aw nor Raven. It is as they had been teleported away to a different plane. Meanwhile the fight had started. On the first round both parties parried and no damage was done. Then the broo got a slash, and severed Kaid-aw's arm, while Raven hit but could not pass its tough hide. It, only other hand, now only concentrated on Raven and broke Raven's right leg and hit also his chest badly. Axjack, Dolxx and Merlox jumped desperately into the hole, when they couldn't see or hear Kaid-aw or Raven. Dolxx and Merlox landed on the broo's back. Dolxx used his special iron dagger and hit the broo doing 55 points of damage, severely wounding it. Axjack’s hit had no effect. On the next round Dolxx hit it again with the dagger, hanging on for his life on the back of the broo. This time he hit in the head of the broo and doing 52 points of damage was enough for making it unconscious. Merlox and Dolxx healed both Kaid-aw and Raven, while Axjack took the amulet around the broo's neck. They ran like hell and came out of the sewers. The guards told the party that the sewers were no place for playing around in. Everybody went for a bath and enjoyed the rest of the day.

The next day they took the boat to Fillichet. During a lunch onboard the ship, a crewmember called Raven for "slave". This makes him very mad, and he kicked the man overboard. At the end of the meal the dead man was lifted back on the boat. In Fillichet their amulet showed that they should continue on the road forward. When walking on it, they saw an old man looking like a monk. The man wore an old robe and had two staves he hit together making a sound. When Kaid-aw approached and talked to the monk, he said a thundershower is come fast from the south. They bound themselves on the pillars of the upper road, Kaid-aw and Beer on the same alongside the monk. Kaid-aw noticed a wheel in the cup of the monk when talking with him and wanted to trade it against something the group had. The monk put the cup down when it started to rain. The pouring water was about to take the cup with it, floating away. With a huge move, Kaid-aw captured the cup. The man let loose of his grip and disappeared in the storm. As suddenly as the storm arrived it also stopped. The wheel matches in the amulet together with the golden fingernail.

The next day they met a procession coming towards them. In this they recognized Sor-Eel the Short and hid themselves behind one of the pillars. The amulet showed forward on the road and they continued forward. When they came to Jillaro, Dolxx felt like the two huge eagles were looking at everybody entering the city. It was only the heads, which were outside of the walls, but they had big necklaces around their heads and arrowheads in those. It was obvious that they were magical, and later the party learned, that they were war booty from Sheng Seleris and that they are controlled from the temple. The arrow headed necklaces were put on the eagles, when they were captured. They bind also the nomads of Pent mythologically to the eagles. People had tried to steal the necklaces, but none had managed, they had survived only with the help of resurrections afterwards. It is the high priest, currently a man named Emim, who commands them. Similar eagles are present also in other cities in the Lunar empire. Kaid-aw found an inn inside the city walls, while Dolxx took a middle-class inn outside, which felt like home in the Big Rubble. Axjack and Raven took quarters in the slum. Raven found the surroundings very appealing, while Axjack did not. The people were shabby, and it wouldn't have been a surprise if there would be chaotic creatures amongst the inhabitants. As a Lightguide, Kaid-aw was invited to a ball, held that evening in town and met important people in Jillaro. All of the party tried to get more information about the eagles, everybody in their surroundings, and heard the facts of the eagles.

In the morning the party went outside and tried with mindspeech to contact the eagles, but it did not succeed. Neither could you fly off with the eagles. They were only defending the city from possible attackers. Dolxx made completely identical necklaces (I rolled 01!), and with them the party made a ceremony, where they freed two eagles, which were wearing the necklaces done by Dolxx. The necklaces were broken, to symbolize the breaking of the bonds the eagles were under. Two things happened, a feather possibly from an eagle dangled down, and Axjack captured it before it fell to the ground. Raven saw a man coming with two slave dwarfs, and wanted to buy them for food. Unfortunately for him, the man asked too much money for them, so Raven did not get them. The man was a nomad, and had a similar necklace, which he put around Kaid-aw's neck. Kaid-aw learned how to make the know tying the necklace. The feather symbolized animals and lightness, which gave the team an idea how to get an arrowhead. Kaid-aw climbed up on the walls and down on one of the eagles. Meanwhile Raven had went 1 km from the city and sent his shade attacking the city. Dolxx and Axjack were 100 meters from the city, waiting ready with their bows. When Raven sent the shade, the eagles woke up to life and started with an incredible speed towards the shade. Kaid-aw managed to stay on the eagle, and unknot the arrowhead from the necklace. After the eagles passed Dolxx and Axjack, they attacked them with their bows. Suddenly the other eagle turned and tried to attack Axjack. The eagle with Kaid-aw on tried to hinder the attack by attacking the other eagle. Kaid-aw jumped off the eagle to land safely on the ground. Dolxx and Axjack ran away from the city, it was said that they would only attack enemies within one kilometer of the city walls. The eagles fought almost ten minutes until the other eagle won. Meanwhile a big crowd had emerged to watch the fight. When the fight was over, the people went back inside the city, as did also Kaid-aw. Immediately after this the city guards restricted the entrance to the city with rigorous checks.

Not before the next day, the team met in the inn where Dolxx stayed. Now the compass showed towards Dorastor, so the team left the city on the big road until Cafol, where they rented horses to Thubana. Two days later they arrived in Thubana and got place on a boat southwards on Erinflarth-River towards Dorastor. The captain, Hrambados, looked very strong and had excellent equipment. He wondered why the team wanted to such a dangerous place like Dorastor, and warned against going there. Later he asked if the team would like to fight against him, the team fully armed and ready, he would be unarmed, but the team did not accept such a test. Before the boat left, they saw how Hrambados won over two guards even without having to use much effort. During the night he asked if the party would like to participate in his morning exercise, they might learn a trick or two. Everybody accepted this offer. It would be three training session each day, in the morning, at noon and in the evening. With a successful ceremony, the person would gain 3D6 more skill in the attacks. Also everybody would get a small crown the their weapons, which would increase the skills when using it by 10%, except Axjack, who did not want his weapon modified. He got a tattoo on his arm instead. Raven noticed that the crown Hrambados had in his weapon, was one of the items the team would need. The team told Hrambados about their Hero Quest and that the crown was one of the needed pieces. He did not want to remove it, as it was an important thing for him. Kaid-aw gave something personal to Hrambados, and he accepted that. Kaid-aw instead got the right of taking two items from the boot found during this Hero Quest before the rest would then be divided between the A-TEAM members. Their compass continued to point towards Dorastor, so they continued with the boat forward on the river.

After a few days the team arrived to Hazard's Fort to which the compass pointed. After entering the through the gates, the guards escorted the party to the chieftain, Renecot. He asked why the team had arrived to his village. Dolxx spoke, as the villagers were Orlanthi's, his Storm Priesthood and Wind Lordship gained him some status among them, even if they were very mistrusting, rightfully so when living near the borders of Dorastor. They seemed to be very war hardened but poor people, living on the edge of chaos. In the evening the team was invited to a feast in the council-hall, and they asked the locals about things in Dorastor. Dolxx talked with the local priest, Heathbank Stormwind about the local Orlanthi worship, and compared them with his. This theological discussion became quite boring for everybody else, so Raven and Kaid-aw discussed with Esah Windspear. One thing they learned was that the wife or Renecot is very beautiful, and had a spectacular necklace. The mentioning of a necklace immediately raised the interest of Kaid-aw. This might be one of the items they were looking for. Esah and the other villagers told that Mistress of Light was a female troll who had lived during the time of Nysalor, and now had returned from the dead to inhabit the Tower of Lead, a first age building they have renovated with lots of undead followers. She is fighting with King Neverdead over the right to rule all undead. Later Mother Katharin, a Seven Mothers priestess also arrived, and she could tell about the vast Hellwood. The elves living there were the worst elves existing anywhere, completely corrupted and chaotic, and very aggressive. They worship a chaotic Shanasee tree, growing in the middle of the forest. The trees are bigger in the center, while the eastern part is more normal. Still it is filled with chaotic plants. Nobody dared to go far in the forest, as that would be certain death. Dorastas Shrine was a village run by Orlanthi’s and Storm Bull's close to the river. As the name tells, Ashflat is a big plateau filled with ash. Here Arkat killed Gbaji, in what then was the City of Miracles. Now only some ruins are left among the ash. Still, the Ashman lives here, and there are lots of secrets buried beneath the ash. The most sought is the Tower of Dreams, huge rewards lay there. In the Spiderwoods there are lots and lots of spiders, making huge webs everywhere. When you walk through it, you will get lots of small read bites, and eventually die. Axjack and Raven left the council hall with Esah, for a different, more crowded hut. When getting their ales, Raven unintentionally pushed on a man, who started to shout at Raven and told that trolls are not welcome. Axjack told him to shut up and calm down and walked on after Raven. But the man was so angry that he took his knife and hit with it on Axjack, who turned around to see his assailant. Axjack told the man to stop, but he hit again against Axjack, who hit back with his fist. Raven heard the fighting and also turned around, wanting to grapple the man. Axjack then hit the man in his left arm, while Raven grappled him and threw him on the ground. After this Axjack hit him in the abdomen, and the man passed away. Axjack and Raven left, while friends of the man helped him. Five dwarves were sitting in the corner minding their own business. They looked very worn, like they had been on a long and strenuous journey. Raven went and talked with the dwarves. They had been to Dorastor, to the Tower of Lead, trying to find the Golden Leaf. To protect themselves against the spiders, they had used anti-venom potions. The trees had been corrupt, dying. They leaf should be about 200m north of the tower. When they came closer, they had been attacked by monsters and spiders, and had to flee, leaving ten dead comrades behind. Raven was very interested about the potions, and he learnt that they could be bought from the village. Raven and Esah continued drinking, while Axjack left for their sleeping-quarters.

The next morning, Raven was still drinking, even if Esah had passed out. Raven wanted some breakfast, and got roasted pork. The bartender told about a special drink, Spiderbeer, which was supposed to be very strong. Raven ignored the warnings and bought a pint of it, drinking it all. He then soon also passed out. Axjack went for Raven, who did not want to follow, when he finally had woken up. During the evening Kaid-aw had passed close by the chieftains house, and their compass showed inside it, assuring that it indeed was the Dorasta's Necklace. As they had heard quite detailed description about it, it was agreed that Dolxx would go to the chieftain explaining that he had had a vision from Orlanth about their Holy Quest. When he presented the story to the chieftain, he was amazed and called for his wife. She was as gorgeous as they had been told. Her clothes and appearance was fantastic, and the necklace was beautiful. Dolxx evaluated the value of it to at least 10.000L. The wife also heard the story, but did not want to give it away as it was so beautiful, raising her appearance. Dolxx tried to bargain with the chieftain, the jewel against the knowledge of the Blue Bat HeroQuest, but just failed. Kaid-aw went to the shrine he had heard of yesterday, but it had burned down. He then went to the dwarves, and hired them to build a new one from stone. Axjack went and bought two anti-venom potions each from the trip to the golden leaf. On the way back he went with Raven to the inn, and Raven bought a small glass of Spiderbeer, which makes Raven drunk. He stayed there the rest of the evening. Dolxx tried to get his shadow cat, Windius, to look inside the chieftain’s house. When Windius jumped on the windowpane, it was hit by a warding and fell down unconscious. Dolxx rushed to heal it and left the place hurrying. Dolxx went to pray in the Orlanth temple for the rest of the day. Kaid-aw's hawk saw sitting on the roof of the neighboring house through the windows in which room the wife lived, and the layout of the house. It was planned that Dolxx would break in to the house and steal the necklace, as they could not get it otherwise.

In the morning a message boy brought an urgent message to Kaid-aw. The dwarves were very angry at the shrine. One of them had burned to death by a guardian spirit. Kaid-aw started to search and found in the ashes a golden dagger, which held the spirit. The dagger looked like it could be the Golden Dagger lost in the Ash Flat, so he took it with him. Kaid-aw took the dagger and paid more to the dwarves. Raven had gone again to the inn for some Spiderbeer, and would sit in the inn the whole day. In the evening the shrine was ready, and while the dwarves thought it as not good, in Kaid-aw’s eyes it was excellent. He gave the dwarves a letter of recommendation to Pavis, with which they could get work there if they wanted. Meanwhile while Raven was sitting in the inn, the wife of Renecot came to have a drink. She started to look at Raven, who flirted back to her. She then went to talk with Raven, but after a while two men came and wanted to get her to come home, which she did not want. Raven asked the men to leave and threw beer on them. He went for the constables and they escorted the wife away. She made a date with Raven the next day. Not long after this was Dolxx summoned to Renecot, and he wanted to trade the necklace for Dolxx Iron Greatsword, Ironwind which he did not accept. He also wanted the party out of the village tomorrow. Kaid-aw had noticed that somebody was following him, and he made a trap to the person. He turned out to be a spy for the Unspoken Word, and Kaid-aw made a deal with him to keep his cover safe. The man would get the necklace to Kaid-aw and he would then forget everything he had caught the man. In the end he accepted and said the party must be inside their house this night. In the middle of the night the party who indeed was in their house, even Raven who had wanted to stay in the inn, was awoken by the alarm sound. There was lots of noise, that the vampires had attacked the village. Weird sounds came from the outside, and something was flying in the dark past their house.

As dawn came, a small knock was heard, and Kaid-aw went to the door and found the necklace, which he then added to their key. Later in the morning the party went to Renecot, who told that it had been a sad night, with the biggest attack on them ever. They had even broken in his house and stolen the necklace. He demanded that everybody would take a test to show if they had stolen it as he suspected. Dolxx denied all accusations and was immediately ready for the test. He and the others made the test, and were cleared of all suspicions. Renecot asked the party to forget the squabbles between them and leave in peace. As a sign of friendship, they gave the instructions on how to make the Blue Bat HeroQuest to the village, if it could help them in the future. They took all their things and left the village. Outside when looking at the compass it pointed to the golden dagger, so Kaid-aw added it also to it. Now when it had the guardian spirit, nobody but Kaid-aw could touch it, which was bad in everybody else’s mind except Kaid-aw's. The new direction was towards the Tower of Lead, so the party started towards Spiderwoods. They hired two canoes at the outskirts of Hazard’s Fort, as it would be easier traveling on them, than walking on the banks. The party followed the Frog River, canoeing along it with Dolxx and Kaid-aw in one canoe and Axjack and Raven in the other. Dolxx and Kaid-aw had no problems during the day with their canoe, while Axjack and Raven had huge problems and in the end their canoe rolled over, getting both of them wet. That was a very shallow place, and they could stand on the bottom of the river. Dolxx and Kaid-aw saw a huge gorp on the shore, and four small stone like things on close to the other side. The stones started to move, as they were dragonsnails. Axjack managed to climb up in the canoe, but Raven couldn't. All except Raven started to disrupt the dragonsnails, before they could attack Raven, who still was in the water. Dolxx managed to kill one of them before they came close. He then continued on a second and killed it when it was attacking Raven. Axjack hit the third of the dragonsnails with his axe. The fourth was tougher and bit Raven badly in his leg, making him unconscious and dropping him under water. As Axjack had managed to turn the canoe around he tried to hit it, but now it bit Axjack very badly, and also he became unconscious, but he did not fall of the canoe. Dolxx continued to disrupt the last dragonsnail. Meanwhile Kaid-aw had prepared a sun-spear against the gorp, and the spell successfully dissolved the gorp. Dolxx killed after a few rounds the last dragonsnail, and Kaid-aw jumped in the water and lifted up and healed Raven, and then Axjack. The last dragonsnail had a surprise, when dying it made a spirit combat attack against Dolxx, but Dolxx easily defeated it. After this it was a wise move to make camp, as the place seemed now suitable for that. The night went well.

In the morning they continued a long day paddling along the river. In the afternoon they came to a waterfall, the river fell down from 50m heights, from a plateau on which Spiderwoods was located. They hid the canoes and started to climb up. Kaid-aw had problems in finding good grip, while Axjack climbed it like a mountain goat, being the first to get up on the plateau. They followed the riverbank, which was now much harder to follow, as it was so wet and marshy. An hour later they saw flying against them two Fiends of Cacademons, who immediately attacked the party. They looked very dangerous, with their claws, wings and legs they for sure had several attacks each round. Dolxx and Axjack were against one while Raven and Kaid-aw faced the other. Kaid-aw was the first to attack with his blindingly fast attack, and he killed their opponent with a nice shot before it even had chance to react. Meanwhile Dolxx made a mighty hit with his Iron Greatsword, Ironwind, severing the second Fiend of Cacademons head with a single blow, so the head started to roll in the river. As it was getting darker, they searched and found a good dry spot for their camp for the night. When searching the surrounding area, Kaid-aw found four of Eurmals Crumb mushrooms, which everybody ate. Dolxx and Axjack appeared suddenly much more powerful after eating these rare mushrooms. Raven on the other hand felt nausea from his. During the night, Axjack fell asleep on his watch, and luckily for him it was Kaid-aw who woke up first, as he only used cold water to wake up him. If it would have been Raven, the waking might have been much more unpleasant.

When continuing forward, the huge trees of Spiderwoods started to come closer and closer. There were redwood trees with heights from 40m up to 120m, making them like giants, while the silverwood trees were only up to 80m high but their diameter could be over 10m, making them the largest trees in volume. As they now had arrived to the borders of Spiderwoods, they took the anti-dotes against spider venom they had bought in Hazard's Fort. The ground became in the woods much dryer, and not marshy as the way from the edge of the plateau to the woods. The forest was very dark, and with lots of small insects buzzing around. Here and there the leaves were so dense, that you had to hack your way through. And everywhere were spider webs, big, small, new and old. After walking a little bit into the forest, they saw a man hanging from a tree some 20m from the riverbank. When carefully approaching him, they saw that there was a huge concealed pit below the man, and he was just bait for careless travelers or poachers. In the afternoon a mist seemed to be floating down on the river. The color of it was very suspicious, and Raven flied up with his Griffin above the tree level, to examine if the mist was all over, or was it just a small cloud. As guessed it was only a small cloud, and the party climbed high up in the trees above the mist level, and waited for it to pass. That took so long, that the evening had arrived, and they had to make camp in the trees. Everybody bound themselves in the trees not to fall down during the night. After it had become dark, lights were visible from the south.

In the morning Dolxx and Axjack held a ceremony for Orlanth, as it was his holy day, before climbing down to the ground. Later during the day, they saw spider webs across the river, and eight big spiders ready for an attack. The party used their magic and made themselves ready for combat. They started with missiles, and killed three of the spiders; discouraging the rest of them and the spiders fled deeper into the forest. In the afternoon they came to a river fork, and now they left the main stream as they thought this was the right way to go, according to the tales of the dwarves Raven and Axjack had met in Hazard's Fort. After walking some while along the smaller river, they started to hear singing in front of them. The party hid, just in case, as somebody singing loudly, could not be just anybody. Here you need to be really tough to survive, and if you were prepared to reveal yourself as you walked along, you had to be extremely dangerous. From their hiding place they saw a small raft with a broo pushing it forward. He wore iron plate on his head and body and ringmail on his limbs, with two iron short swords on his sides. But what was most interesting was that he had a huge amount of small heads hanging from his clothes. They remembered that Thanatars used to shrink the heads of their captives and kept them magically alive, using the heads as enlargement of their own minds. You had to use a special spell to release the minds of such captives. Raven had really to use all his self-control not to attack the so obviously chaotic foe. But he managed that and the broo paddled singing his raft forward passing by the hidden party. Still after the Broo had passed, Raven was sulky because they had let the Broo pass without attacking and killing it. Kaid-aw and Raven heard and saw six shapes appear out of the woods. They came towards the party with an amazing speed, thus they had to be spirits. Two of them attacked Dolxx and Kaid-aw, while Axjack and Raven got one each. The only who won his battle completely was Axjack, the others could defend themselves, but the spirits let go, when they noted they could harm the party. The spirits were powerful; they had between 18 and 32 in POW! In the evening they climbed once again high up in a tree and tied themselves in a branch for the night.

In the morning the party started right through the forest, now leaving the river they had been following. Their compass showed that, and they entered the thick forest, with lots of small and big spider webs everywhere. Sometimes the vegetation was so thick, that they had to hack a path for themselves. About noon the forest started to get less dense, and soon they saw an opening in the forest. In the middle of the opening was the Tower of Lead, about 80m high with only small arrow slits and no visible doors or windows. The compass still showed directly on the tower. Dolxx suggested, that they would circle around in the forest, and see if it really pointed on the Tower, or if a tree was just opposite of it. And it turned out, that Dolxx was right, there was a tree just on the opposite, which had a leaf that glimmered. The ground below the tree seemed to be moving, and it was dense with spider webs. As the leaf was also very high up, it would need either somebody flying there or a small person to climb up. Raven was convinced that he could fly there with his Griffin, and so he they started flying. The first run did not succeed, as the forest was too dense, but then they got off and flew towards the tree. Raven tried thrice, but he could not grab the leaf, it was too deep in the tree. Suddenly lots of arbalest arrows attacked the party. Worst of was Raven and his Griffin, but also Axjack and Dolxx got several arrows. The arrows killed both the Griffin and Axjack, while Dolxx and Raven were mortally wounded. Only Kaid-aw survived the un-expected attack. He dragged Axjack into safety, while Dolxx got healed by his allied spirit Windius. Raven had fallen of the dying Griffin a bit further in the forest, and Kaid-aw went to use the healing spirit item to heal Raven before he would die. On his way a zombie emerged from the ground attacking Kaid-aw. He had to use several rounds before it was incapacitated. Luckily he had been able to use the spirit and healed Raven. When Dolxx was healed he got a heavy protection spell on him, when he moved away from the sight of the Tower. Kaid-aw went and resurrected Axjack, while Dolxx made himself ready to fly to the leaf, trying to be behind the tree and out of visibility from the Tower. It turned out to be an easy task for Dolxx, and he got the leaf and carried it back to the rest. Kaid-aw added it to their item, and now it once again pointed directly into the Tower. This time it continued to show into the tower, even if the circled around it. The party tried to find any tracks leading to the Tower, thus finding where a door might possibly be, but they could not find it. As it was becoming late in the afternoon they left the Tower and made camp on the same place a last time, near the river, high up in a tree. Raven did not want to climb up, so he disguised himself well on the ground.

The whole of the next day was spent in looking for a possible entrance, but they found nothing that would indicate that there would be any door to the Tower. In the afternoon, they stumbled on five spider broos, looking like humanoids with spider heads. Axjack got two broo’s, while the others got only one enemy. Kaid-aw and Raven killed immediately their opponents, while it took three rounds for Dolxx to kill his well parrying enemy. Meanwhile Kaid-aw and Axjack had managed to kill the two last broo’s. In the evening they had to stop searching and face the fact, that there were no doors to the Tower. For the vampires living there, this was no problem, as they could fly out of it anyway.

In the morning Kaid-aw used a ritual, to get some guidance on how to continue. He learned about a special clam, which eaten would shape change the eater to a spider for sometime. As a spider it would then be easy to climb up to the top of the Tower, finding an entrance from there. Dolxx and Raven searched and found eight clams, which were put into water filled sack, to preserve them. They went to the Tower, and put their items into sacks and cast some spells. Then they ate one clam each, saving the other clams for their way back from the Tower. It didn't take long, and they started to get spider legs and soon they were spiders. After this they ran to the Tower and climbed up to the roof. As a spider, even large ones, that was a piece of cake. On the top of the Tower, there were the remains of a small shack, and an entrance into the Tower. Kaid-aw peaked inside, and saw a big pale Scorpion man and a much scarier thing, a Basilisk! The party decided to wait until the shape changing ended before trying to do anything hostile. With their back as humans and all their armors, they could better prepare themselves to kill the basilisk.

One big surprise waited them when the time was up. The spider, which should have been Raven, was changed into Merlox. He told that he had one wish, where he could change places with Raven and now he had used the wish. This was a special gift they had got way back in time, and hadn't been used before now. The party agreed that, Merlox would prepare several Palsies and Kaid-aw would use his crossbow with the multimissile spell it had, to make sure the basilisk would die immediately. Axjack and Dolxx would attack the Scorpio man with their weapons. The palsies immobilized the Scorpion mans abdomen, thorax and right arm, while Kaid-aw's arrows easily killed the basilisk. Both Dolxx and Axjack wounded the Scorpion man, even if it seemed to have a very tough skin. On the second round they again wounded it, but that was not yet enough to kill it. Kaid-aw came to the aid, and Dolxx used an aimed blow to the head, trying to kill it with a single blow. Axjack and Kaid-aw both hit it in the chest, but Dolxx made a critical in the head, severing it from the body and killing the Scorpion man. He was also obviously also a vampire, so a stake was driven through its heart and Dolxx threw the head as far he could into the forest, hoping that the monsters lurking in the forest would eat it. The iron scale helmet suited Axjack, who took it as loot. Also other loot was found on it, like some crystals and matrixes together with its iron bastard sword, Dolxx was looking on.

When looking on the other things in the room, there was a miniature of Dorastor, with all special locations marked. Also Castle Kartolin was visible in the map as a miniature, and when looking inside it, they found the Golden Spearpoint hidden in the vaults of Castle Kartolin and had now nine of the ten needed items. The compass still pointed inside the building, and when turned upright, further down, as now they were on the top of the Tower of Lead. On one side of the room there was an opening covered by a hatch cover. As this room was a guard post, the hatch was searched thoroughly, and a trap was found. Kaid-aw then disarmed it before it was opened. Below it was a wide staircase leading down circling along the outer wall of the tower leaving a room inside the staircase. The staircase was darker than the room, but after becoming adjusted to the dimmer light, the party could see in it without of additional light. The light came from the narrow arrow slits that were on the walls armed with big arbalests ready for immediate firing. Now they understood why the volley of arrows had surprised them, when they had tried to get the golden leaf. After walking maybe a half floor downwards, two arrows were shot against Dolxx and Kaid-aw. The one hitting Dolxx hit him in the chest, making him unable to move, while Kaid-aw fell unconscious of the attack. Axjack and Merlox went down, but on the next round two more arrows flew, one impaling Axjack in his left leg, making him also unconscious. The other arrow hit Merlox in his right leg, which became unusable forcing him to sit on the floor. Merlox played unconscious to see what had hit them. Meanwhile their allied spirits had healed both Dolxx and Kaid-aw, and they were casting spells secretly on themselves to make a surprise attack on the arrow shooter. Soon a vampire elf appeared from the opposite wall some ten meters in front of Dolxx. It warily sneaked forward, ready to fire his bow at the slightest movement. He then stopped beside Dolxx, readying himself to kill Dolxx with his bite, when Dolxx surprised him with his attack. Even if it was a good attack, it did not do enough of damage. Also Kaid-aw attacked it simultaneously, as the two of them were using mindspeech to coordinate their attack. Kaid-aw's fine hit in the right arm, was not either enough, so it started to change itself to mist. Both Dolxx and Kaid-aw made one more hit each, but that did not stop it from becoming a mist cloud and disappearing. Their healing spirit was healing Axjack, while Merlox healed himself. As they now knew that the element of surprise was lost they continued faster downwards. Merlox had wanted to cut the arrow string from the arbalests, but as the others been against it because of the sound that would make, he had not been allowed to do it. Now he started to disarm all arbalests they passed, hoping it would maybe help them later when they were leaving the tower. Very soon they started to hear clamping sound of boots in front of them, an army of Zombies attacked them. As the staircase was very wide, three of them, Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw could fight alongside. As spears were not very effective against zombies, Kaid-aw used his scimitars instead. Dolxx aimed his attack against the zombies on the heads giving the zombies a possibility to hit him before he would hit back on it. This was no problem for Dolxx, as he relied himself on his excellent parry and tough armor combined with his spells. Dolxx aiming immediately showed its effect, when he killed his zombie with a single blow. Both Axjack and Kaid-aw also hit, but as they hit on legs, the Zombies continued to fight from the ground. On the second round also Axjack started to aim, while Kaid-aw severed the right arm of his Zombie. With their aimed attacks both Axjack and Dolxx killed a Zombie each. On the third round all of them killed a Zombie each, causing the number of Zombies to be halved in just three rounds. While both Kaid-aw and Axjack killed a Zombie on the fourth round, Dolxx missed his attack. Now it was Axjack’s turn to miss, and Dolxx to kill. Kaid-aw severed again one leg, making the Zombie to sit down. Then both Axjack and Dolxx killed the two last standing Zombies, while Kaid-aw severed the other leg of the sitting Zombie. Dolxx then finalized the fight by killing also it.

They continued downwards, and after two floors, Axjack’s detect enemies warned them from a single enemy in front of them. Merlox prepared a few effective palsies, and he managed to disable from the same enemy with the bow both his abdomen and right arm making it impossible to use the bow. The trio charged again, against the vampire. It hit badly on Axjack, making him to fall down. Kaid-aw then got it immobilized with a nice blow in its chest, and after that it was an easy task for Dolxx to kill it. They continued for several floors, before the compass showed, that now they were on the right floor, as it pointed directly inside the tower. Here was the first door they saw, but it was protected by a portcullis. Kaid-aw's mouse silently peered inside and saw about ten humanoids and some flying creatures. A second sight showed there to be five flying creatures, and then Kaid-aw could identify them through the mouse as basilisks. The mouse and Dolxx allied spirit, Windius the cat, put some ropes on the winches, with which the portcullis could be hoisted. After some time they could hoist it high enough, giving them room to roll under the portcullis. When preparing their spells and agreeing on the tactics how to handle the very difficult situation. Merlox would cast ten smaller palsies against the basilisks, hoping getting them neutralized this way. Also bows would be used, Kaid-aw with his crossbow while Axjack and Dolxx with their bows also using the multimissile spell. Then the bows would be dropped and they would draw their normal weapons and demand the ring from the Mistress of Light. During this they heard a female voice, obviously the Mistress herself saying that they were ready for the summoning, and meeting the heroes from the Terror Plateau.

Merlox and the others then attacked simultaneously. With Merlox ten palsies, three of the basilisks fell down, while two still kept flying in the air. Then Kaid-aw’s and Axjack’s arrows killed the two last flying basilisks. One of the basilisks looked at Kaid-aw and he fell down dead. Dolxx demanded after this the ring from the Mistress. With that the party met their greatest enemies, as the force facing them was overpowering. Kaid-aw suddenly got up, as the ten vampires attacked the party. Merlox stayed behind, preparing more palsies. When Kaid-aw was dying he had challenged all the basilisks on the hero plane, and won, thus gaining the control of the remaining three basilisks, and he commanded them to glance on the charging vampires. Normally vampires do not die from the glance, but now they did. Even before the enemies reached the party, three of them fell down killed by the glances from the basilisks. Now the three of them had all two opponents, but even if there were lots of blows, no damage on either side happened immediately. Then the basilisks glanced again, killing one of both Kaid-aw's and Axjack's enemies. Dolxx then hit one of the vampires badly in his leg, forcing it to sit down. Merlox got his next set of palsies ready and with them he immobilized two of vampires, giving the chance for Dolxx to kill the other of his opponents. In the next round Dolxx also hit the vampire hitting Kaid-aw, and his mighty blow with Ironwind severed the head of the vampire with an impressive critical. Both Kaid-aw and Dolxx then went on helping Axjack to kill the last of the vampires. It then suddenly made a hit, which Axjack failed to parry, maiming Axjack's right leg and making him unconscious. In the following round it hit now Kaid-aw, forcing him to sit down with a wounded left leg. Dolxx could then unhindered kill it with an aimed blow to its head. After the fight ended, the Mistress said to the party: "Heroes of the Terror Plateau, You want a Ring, I want a life." This was debated inside the party, and in the end they decided to make the trade off, as they still had one resurrection they could use for the resurrection. Dolxx sacrificed himself as the life to be taken, and the Mistress killed him. She then threw the ring to Axjack and left the room with two followers. Axjack gave the ring to Kaid-aw. He then added it to their item, and it formed a key, pointing against the Vivamort statue in the middle. Kaid-aw then used the resurrection and Dolxx came back to life. When pushing on the statue, a staircase downwards started from hole below it.

Here they started the A-TEAM HeroQuest
Read how they met the Dragon and saw how they should prepare for the HeroQuest

 


Copyright © 2004-2005 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 19.02.2005.

A picture with runes which makes this page look cool ;-)