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…