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A Mage from Poisonwood II Pt.8: The Tower of the Lotus

Near the advent of spring and the end of winter at the first melt, I had another vision from the life of the spirit, the Druid Norolk, which inhabited the emerald around my neck. I saw him saving villagers from an attacking white dragon during a harsh winter long ago. I contemplated this and decided what I would do about the artifact. I had to set those plans briefly aside however when the owner of the property directly adjacent to my tower forced me to purchase it as my tower was directly up against it and may have impinged a little bit onto his land.

After the spring was in full gear and business in Rockhollow was preparing to roll forward I paid the local woodcarver to craved a small superior quality box which I could enchant later (with the Temporal Stasis spell I recently acquired) to assist in the mastery of the artifact. Unfortunately it would take 3 weeks to be finished. A few days later I was busy getting things arranged and stocking my tower while both Tweena and Vorox were away putting in orders for an anvil, probably to be imported from the west coast, and hiring laborers and buying lumber to build a fully functional forge next to the longhouse/lodge when I heard someone yelling their fool head off outside.

I poked my head out of the only available aperture in my place, the single arrow slit above the gate. It turned out to be one of Keenor’s servants summoning me to the suspect merchant’s warehouse on the other side of town. It turned out to be a meeting working out the wedding plans and dowry for his daughter, apparently I agreed to a spring wedding over some freshly imported and very strong Hill-Lander whiskey. The wedding was appointed for the following month. I left his place with 1 bottle of superior quality wine, 3 bottles of the high quality Hill-Lander whiskey we had been drinking, 1 bag of fresh fruit, a bag of onions, a bag of potatoes, 1 cask of ale, 1 sack of nuts, 1 sack of grain and a carboy of honey. All of which were deposited into my tower’s larder.

I finished the day and worked through the night, transplanting the Death’s Head Lotus into the planter in the antechamber of my tower, which I had dubbed the “Tower of the Lotus”, and scribed the runes for the Control Plant spell along the curbing.

A couple of weeks passed, Tweena’s forge was built but she was still waiting for the anvil, I had spent the time transplanting as many lotus flowers form the Green Tower as I could into the planters on the top of the tower and among the battlements as I could. The next morning I was still brushing the broccoli from my eyes before the arrow slit, I was taking in a breath of the cool morning air, when I heard a crash from outside in the direction of the lodge.

I saw a group of Hill-Landers, obviously hired muscle, outside; looked like we had some enemies that were still alive. A half-giant/half-faun was charging into the longhouse, the doors had already been busted in. A human in chainmail was standing in between the lodge and my tower; he appeared to be a mage of some kind. At my gates was a pair of well-equipped thugs. I realized then I had forgotten to bar the gate the night before. The half-giant charged into the lodge out of my sight and the sounds of battle echoed from within, obviously there were other hired goons within that I hadn’t seen. The mage in chainmail shot a lightning bolt at me and I ducked behind the edge of the arrow slit just in time to avoid it. I heard another loud crash and shattering wood along with Greyshadow’s roar from within the lodge. I risked my head to get a gander at the situation outside and saw the two thugs enter my gates. The mage in chainmail was out of sight. Figuring the Death’s Head Lotus would make short work of those two I teleported down to where I had last seen the mage in chainmail. I spotted the mage on the porch of the house. Suddenly, something swooped in on me and nailed me with its poisoned sword. I used a feature on my blue-steel skullcap and turned invisible. That’s when I saw what had hit me. It was a draconian, an alchemically mutilated humanoid dragon. It landed close to where I was at and began trying to sniff me out. I quickly blasted it with a lightning bolt admixed with some shadow energy. It didn’t do as much damage as I had hoped. I moved away from the monster and cast Neutralize Poison on myself to loosen up my rapidly mortifying joints.

I saw one of the thugs that had charged into my tower emerge with a panicked expression and the draconian swung at me missing by a hair’s breadth. I teleported next to the thug and entangled him in Shadow Ribbons and slit his throat. I definitely heard several heavy bodies hit the floor in rapid succession and the blast of the fireball that was shot into the lodge by the mage after. The mage in chainmail retreated from the porch in my direction but I could tell he couldn’t see me so I teleported over to where he was and caught him up in shadows as I did the trespassing thug. I stabbed him once but since that failed to kill him I blasted him in the face with an acid bolt which finally did him in. The draconian leapt into the air and flew off towards the east. I ran into the longhouse to survey the damage.

Both Greyshadow and Tweena were dead and Vorox had just extinguished the flames which had blackened the main room of the lodge during the battle. Vorox was badly wounded and without his armor as he hadn’t time to don it before the attack, everyone had still been asleep, but we both decided to chase down the draconian immediately so he drank down a few potions of healing and I cast Commune with Nature and concentrated to get a bead on the unnatural monster which was the draconian as soon I was able to pinpoint the creature’s location I teleported both myself and Vorox there.

We were engaged in battle with the monster very soon after. Both Vorox and I had to back off a few times in order to drink down some healing potions as the creature scored some devastating blows, the battle turned however after I was able to disarm it of its sword with a Tornado Disc spell flinging the weapon far out of sight into the bush. Evetnually Vorox scored a powerful hit and killed it, fortunately he was able to pull his axe out of the monster before it turned into stone then melted into a puddle of acid.

It was after the monster was destroyed that we surveyed our surroundings. We were in a small clearing in an unfamiliar part of the woods. That’s when we realized we were lost.

 

To Be Continued…

A Mage from Poisonwood II Pt.7: The Burning Emerald

I spent most of the week before Lord Black Eagle’s Fall Feast building my tower. Tweena was busy apprenticing with Rockhollow’s weaponsmith and Vorox the monster rider was missing in action. By the time the day of the feast rolled around the winter snows began. Fortunately I had just finished the ground and sub-level of my tower just the day prior.

The necklace I had taken possession of from the troll brigand Blackgut, the emerald necklace carved with the magic runes for the Arch Protection, Summon Defender Monster, and Heal spells had revealed some of itself in my dreams, in part I suspect, due to my habitual use of yellow lotus in conjunction with certain mind-expanding techniques. I had received visions of the valley in a time when it was still wild and unsettled and of an old druid named Norolk in his cave, and it is his spirit that is contained within the gem. The necklace in effect is an intelligent item but its spirit, in the vision, seemed groggy and not yet fully awakened. I contemplated this new information and that of my realization that the two Keenors may be one in the same as I accompanied Tweena to the feast.

The hall was large and crowded with carefully arranged tables and a throng of the finest folk of the valley. The nobility ate at the Lord’s table at the north end of the hall where an Ivoran noble with what was apparently his daughter bearing the crest of a mounted blue knight with a white sword against a blue field on his clothes sat next to Black Eagle, the warriors and men-at-arms at ate at the tables occupying the center of the hall around the open fires where a bull, stag and boar roasted. Next the Ivoran was his champion on whose chestplate was the image of a conch with a white sword through it. A fair sized group of the warriors were Ivorans appearing more as swashbucklers than their Westlander counterparts. I spied Vorox among the Westlanders already drunk with a face full of greasy meat. Tweena and I were sat at the south side of the hall with all of the merchants and guildsmen.

I had Tweena on my right and to my left was Keenor. I kept an eye on him at all times and suffered his small talk. At certain point he had mentioned that one of his daughters was ready for marriage. Throughout the evening I ate some and drank little, Tweena on the other hand drank her fill and stuffed her face. Rumors abounded across the board due to the ill-omen of the early snowfall about a white dragon named Frostfang, Icegak the frost-troll and ice-demons or beasts coming down from the Gohmar Mountains. There was much talk and fear of the things that long winters bring. At the first opportunity I beat it and after I was a sufficient distance outside of the Furst’s Hall teleported away to the Green Tower.

Over the next three days I meditated and imbibed in the virtues of the yellow lotus harvesting fresh powder from the Green Lotus’s patch after I ran out of the refined stuff I was packing. I returned to the lodge after coming upon an idea. I needed to refine some more yellow lotus making the effects more potent while mellowing the negative of the drug to induce more visions. At the same time I paid Tweena 5 gold talons to forge a front gate out of bronze for my tower. The following morning I teleported back to the tower and dosed myself. It took a few tries before I was able to focus but I eventually induced a vision probably another emanating from the emerald necklace.

In this vision I saw three green-hooded individuals, druids, 2 men and 1 woman. The woman bore my necklace and the two mugs were creating forgeries very nearly identical to mine. When they began to enchant the fakes I was able to discern the spells that they worked into them, the Shadow Glyph and Temporal Stasis spells. I also was able to make out they were doing this in order to “trick the green mage Zradenor”. I put 2 and 2 together and spent the next few hours learning the spells from the vision. Armed with these I made my way to the throne of the Green Tower and began to work the counter spells on the comatose plant-wizard behind the magic barrier. It took me a few tries before success and even then I realized it would not last long.

When he awakened he noticed my necklace and cried, “they tricked me!” He tried to cast a spell but either failed or couldn’t due to the magic barrier. I was able to get the name of the giant green lotus of the tower, to which he answered Greenskull, but when I tried to convince him to bequeath the conservatorship of the tower over to me he cursed at and fell back under the druids’ spell. He was especially miffed when he saw that the Death’s Head Lotus next to his throne was stripped nearly bare. I was disappointed at my failure to coax the care of the tower from the green mage and losing out on any possible mystical benefits that may have entailed but I endeavored to move as many of the lotus plants to my tower and a special chamber which I would finish by the end of winter.

I spoke to Greenskull the green lotus and convinced it that its master had entrusted its and the other lotus flowers to my care. The lodge was supplied for winter and me and companions were content to wait out the winter, I working on my tower, Tweena working the forge and Vorox, well, doing whatever it is he does outside of meat-shield. The only incident of interest occurred about midwinter when a raiding party of Yeti attacked the longhouse, I was able to kill two and frighten the other two off with a blast of Phantom Flames essentially saving the day.

 

To Be Continued…