The Spectral Necromancer
A necromancer who is now a ghost. There's probably a joke there somewhere...

Necromancers don’t work at the same level as you or I. Their idea of security, of basic personal measures to keep one’s valuables safe and hidden is often bloated and completely obtuse. It might be a side-effect of their calling, since creating undead minions, summoning demons, and wielding terrible arcane energy are about as common for them as making breakfast would be for the common man or woman. What would seem completely natural to a necromancer, for example- sealing their keys behind angry magic circles, a small army of animated statues, and in the grasp of a variety of demonic beings, would seem to the average person, or indeed the average adventuring party, to be bat shit fucking insane. And they would be right of course, that shit is bananas. But that observation, no matter how accurately it describes the parabola a necromancer is cannoned out of the realm of common sense, doesn’t help but call attention to the obvious.

Anarus Kalton was crazy.

After scrounging amongst the tombs and rooms of the old Kalton keep, the party eventually found themselves before that familiar shimmering purple portal, iron key in hand. They noticed right away that the dwarf Traevus, the anxious and ineffective cultist that they had encountered near the portal earlier, had disappeared. He had slipped his bonds, thrown off the stone cover of the tomb, and gotten the hell out of there. Fearing his return or possible reinforcements, the adventurers barricaded themselves inside the tomb, setting up the cleric’s crossbow as a crude trap as a further deterrent.

Eventually Bowie figured out how to use the key, by simply inserting the metallic, hollow rectangle into the mist. The device expanded to fill the passageway, parting the purple haze and exposing the crypt beyond.

Anarus Kalton, his spectral face a mixture of relief and disgust, was waiting for them. His spectral form went through the formalities, “How dare you. You’ll never get what you’re looking for, blah blah blah.” In short order he summoned a group of skeletons, paralyzed most of the party, and took control of the rogue’s mind.

It went mostly down-hill from there.

Exploring the Ghost Tower
A spectral tower or a tower full of ghosts?

To be fair, Simon Magus had warned them that there would be traps. He had explained how Anarus Kalton, last descendant of the doomed Kalton lineage, was a paranoid and deeply disturbed necromancer of some repute. This was after all why Simon was after his tome of spells, and why he had sent the adventurers to the Kalton’s unfinished keep on the Witchlight Fens. The codex, as well as probably the remains of Anarus Kalton, were hidden somewhere deep under the hallow bog. And passed the blades that swung down from the ceiling. And passed dozens of undead minions and demons. And a dwarven necromancer named Traevus… wait.

Yeah, so the hooded, facial-tattooed dwarf was a shock. The party had seen signs of someone else hunting for the Anarusi codex- a horse tied up just inside the ruined keep, a makeshift camp just inside the dry tomb, a swearing dwarf tossing epithets at a billowing, violet portal. A letter they had discovered within Traevus’ camp explained that the dwarf was here under some duress- the cult of which he was a member was, in a manner of speaking, sick of his shit, and he was sent here more or less as a punishment to retrieve the tome.

With this in mind the party tried to convince the dwarf that they had come from the cult to relieve him and to help him find the book. But Traevus saw through the trickery and after a prolonged assault, he lay at the mercy of the adventurers.

They interrogated the cultist, discovering that there was an Orcus cult somewhere outside the town of Winterhaven, and further elucidating the point that Traevus was not a terribly competent magus. After a very brief discussion they took his shoes, bound his feet and hands, gagged him, and stuffed him into one of the dusty stone coffins. There was, after all, a tomb to explore.

Convinced, as Traevus was, that Anarus’ tomb lay beyond the impenetrable barrier of violet mist, they began exploring the crypt, stumbling on to metal bars that when conjoined would form the passage through the mist and to their prize.

Or at least, that’s what they’re trying to do.

The Story so far
Getting up to Speed...

So long story short, I discovered Obsidian Portal a bit late in our campaign. We’re about 5 sessions in and so this is a summary of what our adventurers have accomplished thus far.

Kobold Hall…

Our heroes meet in the small, up and coming town of Fallcrest.

They know that they aren’t like everyone else. They are tougher, faster, smarter… well, smarter-ish than most. They have bested monsters, performed heroically under pressure, suffered terribly, and have undergone extraordinary training. These aren’t your average peons, these are adventurers. They are a unique class of person, and they have come to Fallcrest seeking glory, treasure, or perhaps just a hook for a decent backstory.

In any case, soon after arriving they hear tell that the Lord of the town is seeking adventurers for some work. They are somewhat relieved, it was either wait to hear about a quest or start rummaging around the nearest home for potions and whatnot, and those villagers do get awfully testy when you’re in their home, breaking their vases…

By various means they found themselves in Moonstone Keep, offices of general governance and home of Lord Warden Farren Markelhay. During their audience with the Lord they were also formally introduced to the famous tiefling wizard, Simon Magus, the new High Septarch.

Lord Farren explained that the town was being harried by repeated Kobold raids. In the past Kobolds had been a bit of a bother to the citizens of Fallcrest, robbing caravans and the sort, but recently their attacks had become more daring. Guards had encountered them on the walls of the town, and farmers were losing livestock. They knew where the Kobolds tended to lair, in an old ruined manor from the time of the Nerathan Empire. Lord Farren, unable to risk the men to go clear out the den, offered the adventurers a bounty on each kobold slain, plus a bonus if they could bring proof that they had cleared out the ruined hall.

Simon Magus, attempting to advise the Lord, thought it best that they hire some professional help, perhaps a group of mercenaries the wizard knew in the far off city of Eberron. The mage was clearly unimpressed with the ragtag bunch, neglecting to even speak to them directly.

But the Lord wanted the matter dealt with quickly, and so sent the adventurers off with his blessing.

The heroes quickly established that the manor was long since overgrown, useless but for the dark staircase leading down to the family tombs. Here they encountered the kobolds, all of whom members of the Skullkicker tribe, which seemed to have driven out all the other kobolds in the area.

The tomb had traps to dissuade would be grave robbers, and the kobolds made use of these to defend their home from the party. However, the adventurers quickly dispatched the Kobolds, eventually slaying their chief wyrmpriest, taking his bone helm as proof that the tribe had been destroyed and disbanded. However as they looted the wyrmpriest’s corpse, they found a map of the tomb highlighting a secret door. They also found a silver key that opened the giant, hidden stone doors, and a name scrawled in awkward draconic script across the map- “Szartharrax.”

Following the natural caverns uncovered by the secret doors, the adventurers were set upon by a young white dragon. Had they the time, they would have deduced that this was why the kobolds had been so brazen lately. They would have thought that since dragons were, by and large, a greedy and hard to please lot, the kobolds would have been hard pressed to find enough meat and valuables to keep him happy, hence the looting.

But they didn’t think that, at least not then, because they were dealing with a fucking dragon.

After a long and bloody struggle, the cleric Lacroix managed to scale the creature’s back, harness the power of his deity Bahamut, and fall the dragon with a truly mighty lance of faith.

The adventurers claimed the dragon’s treasure, including a strange dwarven artifact, and a magic longsword.

Return to Fallcrest

Emerging from the crypt, wounded, worn, and, um… w… w-wiser. Wiser! That’s it.

Wounded, worn, but wiser than before, our heroes emerged from the crypt that was Kobold hall. With a sack full of kobold heads, and the still bloody skull of a young white dragon, the party walked into town, bloody, bruised, and be-, uh, buh- be- beeeeleaguered. Yeah.

They mounted the steps up to Moonstone Keep, confidently threw open the doors to the Lord Warden’s study, and dropped the bloody sack of heads on the carpet. Quest complete.

The Lord was impressed. He remarked briefly that he had expected more Kobolds, but he was confident that they had sufficiently cut down their number, and that the town militia could deal with the stragglers. He paid the adventurers and bid them farewell as they made their way to the Septarch’s Tower in the centre of town, ancient dwarven artifact in hand.

To say that Simon Magus was happy to see them would be an outright fabrication. Indeed it was several minutes before his assistant would even let the adventurers through the door. But enter they did, all of them doing their best to silence the bouncing and tittering male wizard who had taken quite a shining to the notable and powerful magus.

They all took in the scenery of the room, because the DM had worked a while on the description, and really it was the least they could do- impossibly high bookcases, tables heaped with scrolls and magical trinkets, at the centre of which was the tiefling wizard, his attention drifting between several books and pieces of correspondence, and most certainly not on the adventuring party.

Ever the man, or, well, half-man half-elf technically. Ever the member of a hybrid race to take charge, Lacroix presented the strange old piece of golden machinery to Simon. The tiefling obviously had some interest in the device, albeit scholarly at best, as it proved to be a component of an ancient dwarven golem- devices that had long since gone extinct. After some rather ineffective bargaining on Lacroix’s part, and some equally ineffective plundering by the party’s rogue, the group was offered another opportunity.

“Seeing as you’re so good at staying alive,” he said, “and finding unusual trinkets, I think I might have a bit of a job for you.”

The Ghost Tower


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