Session Report: Sneak-Thieves in the Tower of the Stargazer

Part 2 of 4 sessions exploring the Tower of the Stargazer. Read part 1 here.

Campaign Date: June 6th, 1630 CE
Location: The mysterious tower, now revealed to be the home and observatory of the wizard Calcidius
Cast: Bartholome the Fighter, Hadrian the Dwarf, Mystery the Specialist, Peter the True XXVI the Fighter, Seigjagt Crowe the Magic-User, Vesper the Specialist, and a plucky young peat-farmer guide

The session began with the party blood-soaked, in the presence of the owner of the tower, an old man in elegant attire, standing within a circle of salt.

Despite their horrific appearance and unexplained presence in his home, their host seemed glad to see them. He apologized for the blood, that something must have gone wrong. He had an assistant, you see, who had left him some time ago and stolen vital parts of his projects and research, trapping him in the process. Regardless of the circumstances which had led them to find his tower, he was glad to see them there and offered them a generous reward if they would help free him.

The party were somewhat hesitant about this, and took note of the circle of salt. This reeked of fae or some other supernatural danger to them, and Seigjagt made a Lore roll to determine what type of creature was likely to be contained by a circle of salt. He determined it was a circle which would contain creatures of many types if they were summoned magically, and that fae, demons, and cosmic entities were all possibilities. They asked him his name, and he was happy to respond that it was Calcidius. Other tests, such as reciting the Lord's Prayer and holding an iron musket ball (commissioned by Seigjagt and Bartholome after the prior adventure) convinced the party that he was likely neither demon nor fae, and that they would free him in exchange for the reward they were promised, 100sp each. They moved some of the salt, and he immediately honored his part of the bargain, heading upstairs to procure the silver. He then told them he desired his privacy and that they should leave at once, growing somewhat testy at any further attempts at conversation or questions, as he had spent years upon years locked within a circle, unable to sleep, eat, drink or shit, and anticipated that he would soon need to rest. The party accepted this as reasonable and left, and Calcidius conjured a magical barrier behind them, blocking access to the third floor.

A safe distance away, they urged Seigjagt to use Glass Earth to observe Calcidius within his tower. They saw him moving around, searching for things and laying them out on a waist-high table (all inanimate things are invisible while using Glass Earth, making discerning what's going on difficult) and then laying down on it. After some brilliant deduction, they ascertained that he had made a bed and was going to sleep. The decision was made to wait a bit until they were sure he was asleep and re-enter the tower so they could take everything not nailed down.

Re-entering the tower, they forced the doors open to avoid the magical "doorbell" sound they'd heard earlier, as well as the ominous snake-shaped doorhandles. They made their way to the statue room, and this time took more time looking around. A trapdoor leading downward was revealed underneath the statue, and the party eagerly journeyed to the lower level. They found themselves in a short hallway blocked by a heavy portcullis, a stone room on the other side. Several party members combined their strength to lift the portcullis and held it long enough to use boxes to keep it propped up. Inside the room they found a large stone fissure and a copper bucket caked in blood, which Bartholome went to investigate. He heard movement above, and the next thing he knew, felt the impact of a large, stonelike object coming down on his back. Hadrian could see it was in the shape of a spider, and the two engaged it in combat as the others were forced to watch, crammed in the hallway behind the portcullis. The stone spider gained the element of surprise, as one would expect, and attacked Bartholome twice in succession, yielding a few wounds but having its poison stymied by his incredible save rolls.

The session ended mid-fight, with Hadrian freaking the hell out, man, because what the hell, man, freaking stone spiders, man. The Ref would receive many texts over the next week, anxiously inquiring whether or not they would survive. The Ref's only response to these entreaties were to send onomatopoeic diabolical laughter and demon emojis.

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