Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part Four - Chapter One: The Tomb of the Ancestors

It was on Earthday, the 13th day of Coldeven, in the Common Year of 581, when the henchmen of the Company of the Green Dragon spent their first day exploring the Power Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. After a week spent training, either in the City of Greyhawk or at Prism Keep, the henchmen returned to the ruins, on the evening of Freeday, the 21st, with the intention of continuing their exploration of the dungeons below the Power Tower where their masters had left off.

Having spent the night with their masters inside the dungeons of the War Tower, they awoke the following morning, on Starday, the 22nd, and, after preparing themselves for the day, spent an hour consuming a magical hero’s feast, provided by one of Diamond’s spells, in order to reduce the harmful deviations of magic inside the dungeons of the Power Tower. When they were ready, the henchmen made their way to the ruins of the Power Tower where they once again were met by the elves who guarded the tower.

Although it was known by the elves that the henchmen served under the Company of the Green Dragon, who had intimidated the elves and had flat-out refused to comply with the elves’ terms for exploring the dungeons, the henchmen chose not to take advantage of this fact, deciding instead to avoid any possible conflict with the elves by once again agreeing to play their game of chance upon their return, knowing full well that they had a plan to cheat the elves of anything valuable. This plan was to have Tadwin keep an eye on them by occasionally scrying on them and then teleporting to them whenever they returned to the first level. Tadwin would then teleport back, taking with him most if not all of the henchmen’s newly discovered magic items so they could not be lost in the elves’ game of chance.

Once they had made their agreement with the elves, the elves opened the tower’s door and the henchmen made their way into the meeting hall where all of the spell casters chose to take the chance at the magical table of purple marble to see if they could have their spells doubled for the day. Fortunately, they all succeeded.

After this was done, they went and retrieved the cloak of elvenkind they had hidden on their first visit to the ruins. Then they proceeded down the stairs. Using a map provided by their masters, they made their way past all of the tricks and traps of the first dungeon level and climbed down the stairs to the second dungeon level, where, according to Tadwin’s information, Zagig had built the catacombs for most of his followers, friends and allies, including his parents.

From the bottom of the stairs, the henchmen passed through a wide hall and onto the wide entrance landing of a large, 20’ high chamber. On the far wall in the lower portion of the chamber was a large altar with a symbol of Boccob on the wall behind it. To the right of that, was a side chamber nearly completely occupied by a squad of giant statues that appeared to support the ceiling. Some of the henchmen went to inspect the altar while others went to look at the statues. They found nothing of interest at the altar, but at the statues they saw that a couple of the statues had crumbled into ruin and a couple of them had been decapitated with their heads nowhere to be found. They also noticed that on the far wall behind the statues, there appeared to be an opening in the wall leading into a natural passageway.

Moving to investigate the passageway, they found that it opened into a natural cave where the ground was littered with golden coins. They also spotted more than a dozen creatures roosting on the ceiling which they recognized as stirges. Ashba was about to throw a fireball in the room to kill the stirges when the band was attacked from behind by 7 wererats. Some of the henchmen turned to fight the wererats while Ashba threw her fireball, killing all but one stirge, which was killed by Jamis with his bow. The band then killed off the wererats and managed to do so without getting bitten. Afterwards, they collected anything of value including the gold coins.

With this done, the henchmen turned back to investigate a set of double doors that were up on the entrance landing. These opened up to a room with four cots, a table and two stools. Seeing that the room could be barred from the inside, the henchmen realized this room would make a decent place to rest if they needed to. But they found nothing else of interest there. So they moved to inspect a mound of trash and debris in the entrance passageway which partially blocked a smaller passageway. Nikki crawled over the mound of trash to see what lay on the other side. From there, he followed the passageway and entered another room with piles of trash and refuse.

In this room, Nkki found a secret door leading into the large chamber where his companions were. The other henchmen joined him through this door. A search in this room uncovered nothing of interest except a few bits and pieces of adventuring equipment. So the henchmen took a set of stairs from there and moved through a long passageway with a couple of turns until they came to another secret door.

Beyond the secret door, the henchmen found what used to be a kitchen but which more recently had clearly served as part of the wererat’s lair. It too had trash scattered all about. But up on a shelf, Jamis discovered a crock full of honey that appeared to be edible and worth some money. Unfortunately, when he reached to grab the crock he got some of the mold that was on the shelf onto his magical gloves of arrow snaring. He was able to wash it off though, with some water that was in a nearby well.

Next to the old kitchen, the henchmen found another room that appeared to be where the wererats spent most of their time. In it, in addition to a table and several stools, the henchmen discovered the bones of previous victims, including human, elf, dwarf and halfling. They also found a stash of platinum, gold and copper coins. Down a short flight of stairs from this room, the henchmen soon came to another secret door that opened up into a long wide corridor which connected to the large chamber with the altar.

At the opposite end from the large chamber, this corridor widened out even more and descended a flight of stairs where it then merged into a room with a set of double doors and a few other passages. A desk, a chair and an empty set of shelves gave the impression that records were once kept in this room. The double doors were locked. But after Nikki picked the locks, the henchmen found a room beyond with two small cots and a blanketed bed. A detect magic spell indicated that the blanket on the bed was magical and they identified it as actually being a carpet of flying. A door in this room led to a short passageway that was blocked by a cave-in. On the wall nearby were written the words, “Warning from Goand, warrior and leader of the Marauders 6 (now 5). Mummies beyond!” The henchmen did not want to face any mummies, so they left this area alone.

Back in the direction of the large chamber, the henchmen came across an alcove with a relief carving of a great wizard with downcast eyes and a quiet somber expression. Next to him lay two coffins in which rest a handsome elderly couple.

After examining the relief, the henchmen discovered that the entire stone slab on which it was carved was, in essence, a secret door. They realized then that the parents of Zagig were likely entombed beyond, but the stone slab had to be lifted in order to get inside and it weighed several hundred pounds. Jamis, Trizzac and Nikki were able to combine their efforts and lift the door, but they could not hold it up for very long. So the henchmen gathered up several pieces of wood, found in some of the trash piles they had come across, and bound them together with rope. Thiege was then able to slide the bundle of wood under the door to prop it open a couple of feet high.

With the door propped open, Thiege ducked under the door and looked about. Next to the door he found two levers that looked as if they might help to operate the door. So he pulled on one lever. Unfortunately, this lever only made the door even heavier and it smashed the bundle of wood almost flat. After putting the same lever back in its original position and lifting the door again, Thiege tried the other lever. This time the door was held in place, allowing the rest of the band to crawl under it.

Beyond the secret door was a large chamber, with an unfinished alcove and dais to the left, a passageway to the right, and what appeared to an old caved-in area on the far side. In the unfinished alcove atop the dais, the henchmen found two very nice pearls just lying on the floor with nothing to explain their presence. The caved-in area did not look very stable, so the henchmen avoid it for the time being. Instead, they went to investigate the passageway.

About 15 feet in, the passageway came to a circular chamber with a domed ceiling. At the center of the chamber was a 6 foot diameter circle of runes and to the left was a life-sized, stone, red dragon’s head attached to the wall and floor. The entire chamber and the passageway leading to it, were black as night, as if covered with soot.

Searching about, Jamis discovered a lever inside the nostril of the dragon’s head and suspected a trap that could not be disarmed. So everyone retreated back beyond the passageway, while Jamis and Nikki stood within the magic circle. The Jamis stepped over, pulled on the lever and quickly retreated back to the magic circle. Soon after the lever was pulled, the dragon’s mouth opened up and fire shot out, filling the entire chamber and beyond. But since Jamis and Nikki were standing inside the protective circle they remained unharmed. With the dragon’s mouth now open, they could see a passageway inside.

Investigating the passageway inside the dragon’s mouth, the henchmen soon came to a room with almost a dozen alcoves, each filled with an upright closed coffin. Two stone blocks rest in the middle of the room on which sat two ornate, gem-encrusted coffins. The henchmen opened up all the upright coffins, each one of which was occupied by the skeletal remains and tattered clothing of some long dead individual. They detected for magic in each coffin, making sure not to disturb the remains any further, but found nothing of value. They then did the same for the two central coffins, and though the stone blocks on which they rested had the words, “Mother” and “Father’ carved into them, and the two skeletons within were adorned in decayed garb that was once the royal finery of a man and a woman, the henchmen still found nothing of real value within the coffins.

The henchmen considered removing some of the gems from the central coffins, but an augury spell cast by Ashba indicated it would not be advisable. Feeling certain that this was the tomb of Zagig’s parents but finding it hard to believe that there was nothing of value within the tomb that they could take, the henchmen remained persistent in their searches. Eventually they came to realize that the stone blocks were hollow, and after removing the gem-encrusted coffins, they carefully chipped away holes in the tops of the stone blocks and found the true remains of Zagig’s parents.

Each had been perfectly preserved by a magical oil and was dressed in very expensive royal finery which included a crown worth 5000 gold pieces and several magic items. Among the magic items were a longsword, a suit of elven chainmail, and a couple of rings. The henchmen removed all the magic items, being as careful as they could be, and took the crown as well, but left behind the rest of the royal finery. They then placed the gem-encrusted coffins back on top of the stone blocks, covering up as much of the holes as they could, though by no means concealing the damage they had done. Using detect magic spells, they were able to identify all the magic items except for the sword and a black gem. A scroll tube found among the treasure was warded with a fire trap spell however, and it exploded on Jamis when he went to open it. Fortunately, it caused him no harm due to his magical ring.

Satisfied now with what they had found in the tombs, the henchmen retreated back through the dragon’s mouth. Once past the dragon’s mouth, the rest of the band continued on through the passageway while Jamis stayed behind to close the mouth.

Unknown to Jamis however, there was a secondary trap within the dragon’s mouth. While the band was inside the tomb, an invisible, odorless gas was slowly filling up the domed, circular room and when Jamis pulled the lever to close the dragon’s mouth, it caused a spark that ignited the gas and created an explosion that was far more destructive than the original burst of fire. Jamis was not in the circle of magic at the time and had he not been wearing a ring of fire resistance, the explosion would have killed him. As it was, it took several charges from Trizzac’s wand of healing to heal Jamis back up.

Back inside the first chamber of the tomb, the henchmen decided to take a closer look at the caved-in portion. Using one of the rings just found, which was a ring of telekinesis, Ashba was able to safely remove some of the rubble from a distance. Initially not thought to that powerful a magic item, the ring of telekinesis turned out to be extremely useful from this point on in all kinds of situations. Under the rubble, the henchmen eventually uncovered the remains of four dwarves that had been killed by the cave-in. On one of them was found an expensive broach and a magical warhammer.

It was later learned, through research, that three of these dwarves had been stone masons and the fourth was Zagig’s master stonewright. The dwarves were in the process of carving out the tombs, including the unfinished alcove and dais, when the cave-in occurred. Zagig was reportedly very upset at the death of the dwarves, so much so, in fact, that he apparently tossed aside two of the pearls with which he had intended to pay the dwarves. These were the two pearls found earlier by the henchmen in the unfinished alcove.

Once the henchmen were finished inside the tomb, they carefully closed the massive secret door leading to it and began exploring elsewhere. From here, they followed a long, narrow passageway leading to the southwest, which eventually ended at two doors. Checking the first door on the right, they found it to be stuck and had to force it open. In the room beyond, they found two cots and small table, all in shambles. They also discovered three wererats, which they immediately attacked. The wererats were easily defeated though, and soon the henchmen were looking about for the next area to explore.
View
Part Three - Chapter Sixteen: The Mysterious Destiny of the Company of the Green Dragon
It was on Freeday, the 14th day of Coldeven, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon began exploring the 2nd dungeon level of the Power Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. After resetting the crushing walls in their original positions around the oval-shaped room where the band retrieved a magnificent ruby from a marble pedestal, they continued on down the passageway which had led them to this room, until they came to a four-way intersection.

There the band turned left and entered a large room with several large, oddly-shaped alcoves on all sides. At the center of the room rested a shallow well with rippling, scintillating colors. Writing on the edge of the well said in common, “Zagig’s wondrous wishing well.” Brom and Zeke took a moment to gaze at the water in the well and apparently became mesmerized by the scintillating colors. As if under a spell, both of them then unexpectedly leaned over, cupped a handful of the water, and took a sip. The rest of the band meanwhile looked on in surprise and some concern as they carefully watched to see what Brom and Zeke did next. Unknown to the others, after drinking the water, Brom and Zeke both heard voices in their heads that said, “Be sure to wander into one of the alcoves before you leave this room.”

Brom, acting upon the suggestion, then wandered into an alcove in the far northern corner and was soon joined by Zeke. As each of them entered the alcove, they felt a tingling sensation on their right arms, and looked down to find that they had each been given a tattoo of a sword. Seeing this, Tadwin became curious and stepped into an alcove just behind him on the southwest side of the room. There he received a tattoo of a scroll. Diamond then went to an alcove to the southeast where he received a tattoo of a shield. None of them could tell what the significance of the tattoos was however. So Corvyn chickened out and decided not to enter any of the alcoves.

Finding nothing else of interest in the room, the band returned to the four-way intersection and turned left, entering the passageway to the southeast. After a short distance, the passageway turned right and soon came to a ledge.

There the band saw that they were standing at the edge of a mud filled cavern. On the far side of the room was a man-made landing and a set of double doors. To the left was another ledge set lower in the cavern and apparently leading into another passageway. Along the entrance to this room and throughout the room itself were numerous mud splatters.

The band detected something magical just under the mud and to the left of the ledge. Brom flew over to the far ledge but determined that the doors were false without opening them. He then flew over to the lower ledge where he found that a mound of mud slightly larger than the size of a man nearly blocked the passageway. Brom managed to get past the mud mound and made it into a large cave just beyond. On the far side of the cave was a table barely discernable through a shroud of webs, while much of the cave was covered in a strange moss.

At this point, Brom somehow lost all of his memories from the previous 24 hours, which meant that he now had no idea where he was or how he got there. Seeing the table covered in webs, however, he became curious and began making his way over to it. But as he did so, bolts of electricity suddenly began shooting out at him from the webs. He was able to dodge past these bolts though and quickly dashed over to the table. There he found that it was very ornate, being worth some money, and that it had a pile of silver and gold coins on it, in addition to a scroll tube. Realizing the table would be too heavy and bulky to easily carry, he simply brushed the webs aside, scooped all of the coins and the scroll tube into a pouch, and ran towards the only obvious exit from the cave. Squeezing past the mound of mud and back to the ledge, Brom then saw his companions on the ledge above him.

As he was about to fly over to them, however, ten humanoid creatures made of mud rose up out of the mud in between and began to attack by throw globs of mud at the band. Whenever any of the mud globs struck the mud quickly hardened and made movement difficult. So the band was forced to fight the mud creatures. The band was able to defeat them though and Brom flew back to his companions afterwards. Tadwin also managed to retrieve the magic item from under the mud, which turned out to be a decanter of endless water that had been left turned on, thus creating the mud where the mud creatures lived.

With Brom reunited with his companions, who now realized that Brom had no idea where they were or how they got there, they began to understand a few mysteries that had been puzzling them. When Brom described the cave where he found himself, Tadwin realized that Brom had been affected by a strange kind of moss known as obliviax, or memory moss, which lives off of the memories of nearby sentient creatures. This then explained the memory loss also suffered by the four men that the band’s henchmen had encountered in the cathedral on the first level. The webs in the cave which shot out bolts of electricity were identified as living webs. And the mound of mud that Brom had to squeeze past, the band concluded was most likely the end result of a previous victim of the mudmen, perhaps a companion of the four men, who had died and whose body was still trapped inside the mound of mud.

The rest of the band took some time then to explain to Brom what had happened over the previous 24 hours, since those memories were now lost to him. Then the band returned to the four-way intersection. From there, they turned in the only unexplored direction, to the southwest, and followed a zig-zagging passageway, through an archway and into another oddly shaped room. Inside this room were five very realistic statues of people who could be described as adventurer types. They looked as if they had been people turned to stone, though none of them had looks of fear or concern on their faces.

There was one other door in the room which led to a 10’ square room with one door on the opposite side. Zeke was the first to enter this room and try the door on the other side. When he did, the door behind him slammed closed, separating him from his companions, and mist shot out from behind the door, which turned out to be a false door. The mist quickly dissipated, however, and when it did, Zeke found that the sword tattoo on his arm had disappeared. In its place, Zeke then realized that he was suddenly skilled in a new combat maneuver. Zeke was able to open the door behind him and rejoin his companions. He then told them what had occurred.

Upon hearing this, Tadwin was the next to give it a try. The same thing happened except that in exchange for his scroll tattoo, he found that he was now able to cast an extra spell of the most powerful kind that he knew. Brom then tried it and his skill at sneak attacks improved in exchange for his sword tattoo. When Diamond tried it, in exchange for his shield tattoo, his body became more resistant to physical harm.

Seeing that all of his companions had benefited from the tattoos, Corvyn then ran back to the room with the alcoves and entered the alcove where Brom and Zeke had gotten sword tattoos. He too got a sword tattoo, and when he returned to where his companions were and entered the 10’ square room, he also got a new combat skill in exchange for the tattoo.

With this section of the dungeon now thoroughly explored, the band retreated back almost all the way to where they had found the room with the strange column of healing water. At that point, the band followed a long wide passageway that made a couple of turns to a set of double doors. These doors appeared to be barred from the other side. But rather than break the doors down, Brom used a magical knocker to create on opening next to the doors, thus allowing easy access to the room beyond.

The room beyond was octagonal in shape and filling most of the room was a large spiny tree. They were able to identify the tree as a giant polyp, a semi-intelligent plant similar to a sea anemone except that they grow in dark, subterranean environments. The band avoided approaching the tree and thus the tree did not attack them.

However, while they were there, they watched as the bar on the doors was mysteriously lift and placed aside. Then a nearby wooden pale rose up in the air, the doors opened up, and the wooden pale floated out the door. The band followed the wooden pale as it drifted down the passageway to the room where the healing water was located. Those doors were opened, the wooden pale floated into the room and filled up with water, and the pale left the room as the doors closed behind it. Then the pale of water returned to the giant polyp, where the doors were closed again, the bar was reset, the water was poured at the base of the giant polyp, and the empty pale returned to its original position.

This curious series of events, the band concluded, must have been accomplished by an unseen servant set up long ago to tend to the needs of the giant polyp, though how the polyps other requirements for sustenance were met remained a mystery. But seeing the giant polyp as no threat to the band, they left it alone and went to investigate the maze which was now one of the few remaining areas left unexplored. Back near the entrance to the dungeon and next to the lair of the troglodytes, the band opened the door and entered the maze.

Brom led the way, as usual, and opted to stay to the left whenever an option was presented. Soon he turned a corner and came to a dead end. At the dead end, a jeering clown face had been painted on the wall and below it was carved the words, “Oops, too slow.” Upon seeing this, Brom stumbled a bit and immediately sensed that his dexterity had been magically reduced somehow. Upset by this fact, he refused to lead any more. So Tadwin took the lead.

Tadwin, in turn, came to several dead ends, each one of which had a jeering clown face and a similar phrase carved under it, and each one had some detrimental effect. The first one decreased his constitution, and the second one reduced his skill as a wizard. But still the band continued to wander the maze, believing and hoping that at some point they would be rewarded for their persistence. At times, Zeke would take the lead and in one instance, Diamond also took the lead. Every time they came to a dead end they encountered a clown face and a phrase, and something bad would happen. Before they were done, Zeke had his strength, intelligence and wisdom reduced, and he had lost some health and his most prized magic item. Diamond also had his charisma reduced. But the most drastic changes happened to Tadwin when he was transformed into a woman and then had his face altered to appear as the clown face that they had been encountering at each dead end.

Eventually the band came to a room where at its center stood a statue of a handsome man in purple garb with gold trim. On three sides of the room were hung three tapestries depicting an army of clowns being slain by a purple clad wizard. Recognizing the statue and the wizard in the tapestries as that of Boccob, the band wondered if this shrine to Boccob could help correct the harmful things that had happened to them in the maze. One of them asked out loud if Boccob could fix their problems, at which point the statue suddenly spoke to them saying it would reverse the worst harmful effect for each one if asked to do so.

Diamond then asked to have his charisma restored and it was done. Tadwin then had his clown face removed and Brom had his dexterity restored. But Zeke, oddly enough, despite the fact that he had lost more than any of the others, chose not to ask for anything from the statue, apparently believing that he would be rewarded for his faith in Boccob.

By this point, however, all the passages in the maze had been explored. So the band began searching for secret doors, making sure to have only those who had already been affected by each clown face enter each dead end. After a bit, the band did find a secret door behind the clown face where Zeke had lost his magic item.

Passing through the secret door, the band then came to a room where all the band’s light sources suddenly winked out. At the same time, two great candelabras resting on triangular stone shelves to the right sprang to life, jetting flames that touched the ceiling. Looking about, the band saw a curtain at the far end of the room which depicted a clown eating pearls. Spread about the rest of the room were ten pedestals on which rested glass cases filled with a green glowing liquid, and something floating within.

Upon closer inspection, each of the glass cases had one of the phrases from the maze written under it and a pearl floating in the liquid. Taking a clue from the tapestry at the far end of the room, Zeke ate one of the pearls from one of the glass cases that corresponded with one of the abilities of his that had been reduced. To his delight, not only was this ability restored, but it was also increased from what it had originally been. Following this example, everyone else who was still suffering any effects from the maze, ate the pearl that corresponded with that loss and likewise had it improved. So, as it turned out, Zeke’s faith in Boccob had indeed paid off, as his strength, intelligence, wisdom and health were all improved. Tadwin had his constitution improved and was returned to a man.

There was, however, no pedestal or pearl for Zeke’s lost magic item. But when Zeke looked behind the tapestry, he found a room with a round table on which rested several magic items, including the one he had lost. At this point, all members of the band had either come out even or had benefitted from the maze. But Diamond, who had only come out even, wondered if he could benefit from it and ate the pearl corresponding with charisma, even though his charisma had already been restored. This turned out to be a mistake, as his charisma was then reduced even further than it had been previously. When Diamond returned to the maze to try and repeat the circumstances, nothing happened and no pearl appeared in the glass case. Apparently, Diamond had gotten too greedy and his loss would be permanent unless he could find some other means to restore it.

At the back of the room where the magic items had been found, the band found a secret door which led into the lair of the jermlains. So the band passed through it and returned to one of the main passageways. By this point, the band still had not found any means to access the level below, other than the possibility of the room they believed to be a teleportation chamber. So, before investigating the teleportation chamber, the band wanted to do a thorough check for secret passages. Diamond cast a true seeing spell and with it the band found an illusionary wall near the giant polyp room. Beyond the illusionary wall was a set of stairs leading down to the next level.

With this discovery, the band decided it was time to investigate the teleportation chamber. As the band entered the area, they noticed, as they had done so before, that as they proceeded through the circular passages they lost all sense of taste and smell, and then their hearing. When they got to the center, they were teleported as expected to an identical circular chamber. As they made their way out of it, their hearing returned and then their senses of taste and smell.

Upon leaving this room, they passed through a curtain and made their way to a large chamber supported by three pillars that stood before a three tiered altar. Carved upon the gray altar was the golden image of a spindle with three strands of thread coming from it. They recognized the golden spindle as the symbol for Istus, the Goddess of Fate.

After looking about the altar and finding nothing of interest, the band moved on and found a series of suspected traps. The first was a pit trap apparently connected to a false door, which they merely avoided. The second was another apparent false door near the end of a long passageway and down a flight of stairs. This too they did not bother to open. And beyond a secret door and down two flights of stairs as a third apparent false door with a lock that was impossible to pick. Words written upon these doors labeled them, “Doors of persistence,” and were likely more evidence of Zagig’s unusual sense of humor.

After considerable time wasted on these dead end traps, the band returned to the altar of Istus and went towards the far end where two passageways led into the final unexplored areas of this level of the dungeon. It was at this point where the exact details of what occurred become blurred with conjecture and contradiction.

While the Company of the Green Dragon always claimed that they found nothing beyond the door in the first passageway but an empty room, there are those who claim that in fact the band came face to face with the goddess Istus herself. According to these claims, Istus asked each of them one at a time, what destiny they would chose. All but Diamond responded by saying they would become powerful individuals in their own chosen fields of interest. Diamond, it was said, chose merely to be reunited with his companions. After giving their answers to Istus, they were then each given three tests to pass in order to fulfill the destinies they had chosen.

According to one version of the tale, only Diamond successfully passed all three tests, and thus he was immediately reunited with his companions. The others, meanwhile, when they failed one of the three tests, found the world had been torn from their grasps and they were left falling in a never-ending void. And yet, they all eventually emerged in the dungeon just outside the door. Regardless of whether or not they had failed one of the tests or had passed all three, the memories of what took place beyond that door were completely wiped from the minds of every member of the band.

Another version of the tale, however, claims that they all passed all three of the tests, but only because they had sacrificed a small measure of the good fortune that was later bestowed upon them by Istus in the chambers at the end of the final passageway.

Here, it is said, the band was faced with three descending rooms that appeared to be otherwise empty, but where each filled them with an ever increasing sense of foreboding. The further in the band ventured, the more the band felt they were drawing closer and closer to their inescapable dooms. But despite this, they continued on, perhaps driven by an unquenchable curiosity or an unshakable belief that in the end they would be rewarded for their courage. Whatever the case, they were indeed rewarded with good fortune from Istus as previously mentioned – fortune that would serve them in the days, weeks, months and perhaps even years to come.

With this final room explored, the band returned to the teleportation chamber and through it, made their way back to the Tower of War where they took some time to reflect upon all that they had so far discovered in Zagig’s Tower of Magic.
View
Part Three - Chapter Fifteen: Tricks and Traps Galore

It was on Earthday, the 13th day of Coldeven, in the Common Year of 581, when the henchmen of the Company of the Green Dragon cleared out the first level of the Power Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk and began exploring the first level of the dungeons below. After killing all the troglodytes found in the troglodyte lair and searching the lair for anything of value, the henchmen looked beyond the nearest unexplored door and found what appeared to be a maze. Preferring to avoid such obstacles, the henchmen made their way back to the entrance area and began exploring in the opposite direction.

To the southwest, they found a set of stairs that went down, through a few left turns, to a set of double doors. Upon opening these doors however, the henchmen heard a gong go off back upstairs near the entrance and a green cloud of gas quickly poured forth from several small openings in a wall just beyond the doors. The henchmen tried to escape the cloud of gas by moving back upstairs. But as they did so, they heard a voice coming from the entrance area saying, “Alright soldiers, we will station ourselves here for ten minutes and if nothing appears for us to slay, we will move on.”

It appeared as if they had two choices: either stay within the cloud, or go back up and face the soldiers who had moved into the entrance area. As it turned out though, they never got the chance to make that choice because, almost immediately, the cloud of gas knocked unconscious all but Nikki. Nikki grabbed Thiege and dragged him up the stairs in an attempt to escape the cloud. But then even Nikki fell unconscious near the top of the stars. Only Ashba’s bird familiar managed to escape.

About an hour or so later, Jamis and Trizzac woke up and they, in turn, woke the others up. They were still on the stairs where they had fallen unconscious and were all still unharmed. But they soon discovered that each of them was missing several items. Ashba’s familiar, which had been hiding out nearby all the while, returned to her at this time and was able to describe to her the creatures that had stolen their possessions. They turned out to be a band of tiny humanoids called jermlains.

After learning what had happened to their things, the henchmen devised a plan to trick the jermlains into revealing themselves. Then, all but Nikki hid on the stairs leading back up to the first level, while Nikki returned to the false double doors below and set off the trap again. As expected, the gong sounded, the green cloud of gas poured out again and the voice repeated the same phrase about the soldiers. This time, the henchmen realized that the gong sound and the voice came from behind a large carving of a clown face on a wall near the entrance, probably created by a permanent magic mouth spell. Unlike before, Nikki was able to avoid the cloud of gas by quickly running back upstairs, but he pretended to fall unconscious in order to lure the jermlains in closer.

About a minute later, six jermlains arrived to inspect any unconscious victims of the trap. But when they got close to Nikki, the henchmen jumped out and ambushed them. It was a brief battle, and one jermlain was killed while four were knocked unconscious. The sixth one made a run for it, but Trizzac chased him down and knocked him out. Jamis helped Trizzac carry the jermlain back at which time Trizzac used his last healing spell to revive the jermlain. They tried to interrogate the jermlain but it did not appear to understand any of the henchmen’s known languages. Still, the henchmen were able to get their message across to the jermlain when Nikki killed the other jermlains, then tied a rope around the jermlain’s neck and pointed for him to lead them in the direction he had run.

A short while later, after taking a few turns in the passages, the jermlain lead them into a room where more than a dozen more jermlains attacked them by throwing a net over them. All but Trizzac, who was at the rear, were caught in the net. But Thiege used a wand of lightning to kill many of the jermlains and eventually the henchmen were able to escape the net, at which point they killed all of the remaining jermlains. Fortunately, it was in this room where the band was able to recover their stolen possessions.

After gathering anything of value from this room, the henchmen moved on and explored another passageway. Unknown to them at this time, the henchmen fell victim to another one of the jermlain’s tricks here as they passed by six more jermlains who were hiding behind illusionary walls on both sides of the passageway.

It was not until later on, after the henchmen had already left the dungeon, when the henchmen discovered that the jermlains had cut some of their straps and put holes in some of their bags and pouches. But at the end of this passageway, the band came to a room with eight doors. The first seven doors they opened all turned out to be false doors. But the henchmen were persistent, and the eighth and final door led into an area of passageways. It was here where the henchmen encountered the last of the jermlains and had their final battle of the day. In addition to the dozen jermlains here, there were also five giant rats.

These jermlains proved to be a bit tougher than the previous ones because they threw darts coated with a poison that caused the henchmen to lose their dexterity. Also during the battle, Ashba attempted to cast a glitterdust spell and it backfired on the henchmen due to the unpredictability of magic in the Power Tower. As a result, all the henchmen were blinded except Trizzac who was not in the area. Ashba became so frustrated at this point, that she withdrew from the battle and refused to cast any more spells.

Despite all the difficulties, the henchmen managed to kill all the jermlains and the giant rats. But Nikki was hit by so many of the poisoned darts that, following the battle, he could barely even walk. So, once the band had gathered anything of value here, they decided to call it a day and retreat back to the War Tower.

By this point, they had only found two magic items. So they hid the cloak of elvenkind under a bed on the first level and used the scroll they had found to play the elves’ game of chance, as per their agreement, to see if they could win the bonus prize which was supposed to be a staff of power. As luck would have it though, they ended up losing the scroll. So they made their way back to the War Tower where they were finally able to report to their bosses all that they had seen and discovered within the Power Tower.

The Company of the Green Dragon was very intrigued by what their henchmen told them of the Power Tower, Tadwin in particular. Tadwin had recently discovered some old journals written by some of Zagig’s followers and historians and from them he learned that Zagig had designed the 2nd dungeon level of the tower to be the catacombs where his family and closest followers would be entombed, including his parents.

Because Zagig obviously wanted to protect these tombs and to ward off any would-be tomb robbers, he designed the first level of the dungeon to be full of traps. But because Zagig had a warped sense of humor and was once an adventurer himself, he also designed these traps to provide certain rewards for any who were wise enough, persistent enough, and perhaps lucky enough to make it through these traps. These last few details, Tadwin was not aware of, however, until after the henchmen had entered the first level of the dungeon.

So when the henchmen returned, he and his companions were relieved to hear that the henchmen had not gotten very far into the dungeon. After some discussion then, the band agreed that they wanted to deal with these traps before allowing their henchmen to do any more exploring in the Power Tower, fearing that some of the traps could be quite devastating for the henchmen. As it was, Diamond had to magically cure Nikki and Ashba of some lost dexterity due to the jermlain’s poisoned darts. Nikki also had to be cured of the illness caused by the yellow mold.

On the following morning, Freeday, the 14th day of Coldeven, the Company of the Green Dragon, rather than their henchmen, returned to the Power Tower to resume exploring the 2nd dungeon level at the point where their henchmen had left off. The henchmen, meanwhile, returned to the City of Greyhawk or to Prism Keep to do some training and studying.

During his research, Tadwin also learned that a Hero’s Feast spell cast by a priest of Boccob, could decrease the harmful effects of the unpredictability of magic within the Power Tower. So before setting out, the band made sure to do this.

When the band arrived at the Power Tower, they met with the elven leaders Dheolith, Nimlith, Eroth and Durothil, as well as several other elves, just as their henchmen had on the previous day. But, unlike their henchmen, the Company of the Green Dragon did not agree to the elves’ terms and instead pointed out to them that it was they who had completely cleared out the War Tower of all occupying forces. Then, using some not so subtle intimidation, the band made it quite clear that they had no intention of handing over any magic items found in the Power Tower to the elves. The elves, now finding themselves at a loss for words, knew better than to provoke the band any further, and allowed them to pass into the tower with no further argument.

Using a map that the henchmen had drawn, the band quickly made their way into the 2nd dungeon level where the henchmen had their last battle. On the way there, they found and killed the six jermlains who were hiding behind the illusionary walls. Then, in the room where the eight doors were, they opened the doors in the opposite order, and still the only door that was not false was the last one. So, obviously the doors had been enchanted so that the correct door would always be the last one. However, beyond these doors, all they found besides the remains of the last battle were empty rooms and more false doors.

From here, the band encountered a couple of twisting turning hallways that seemed to spiral endlessly inwards. Fortunately, the band came to the conclusion that these were bizarre traps that had no benefit to them and were able to escape them without any permanently harmful effects. One hallway shrank you down in size the further you proceeded and the other one would strand you in a hall where the distance to return increased at an alarming rate.

In another apparently trapped area, Tadwin climbed a set of stairs only to reach a dead end where a plaque said, “Go wrong and all will go right.” Nothing harmful appeared to happen to Tadwin, but the band was never quite sure what the sign meant. In that same general area, Brom discovered a pit trap, which he was able to fly over. But in the room just beyond it, he found nothing of interest or value.

Afterwards, the band passed by the maze that the henchmen had found and moved on to a trick hallway where ten troglodytes tried to ambush them. The troglodytes, of course, were no match for the band and they were easily killed. Three of the troglodytes in fact, Corvyn knocked flat out with a single punch of his gauntleted fist!

A short while later, the band found a room made up of three circles, one inside the other. At the very center was the image of a grasping hand above a wooden disk and a phrase written in magic that said, “May the hand of Farlanghn grasp you.” The band concluded this was a teleportation chamber but did not want to test it out just yet.

Nearby, the band then found a trap that caused a cloud of gas to create an illusion of a jet of flame to shoot out, apparently destroying anyone in its path, but instead merely turning them invisible. It affected Brom even though he wore a necklace that protected him from gases.

In an adjacent room, Zeke set off a trap that caused a sepia snake sigil to activate. Zeke managed to avoid the trap though, and the sepia snake disappeared without harm. From there and beyond a set of double doors, the band came across a mural of a wizard, whom they assumed to be Zagig, another man of indeterminate age, whom the band believed to be Boccob, and a woman. Strangely, however, the woman appeared different to each member of the band. It was later on then, that the band came to the conclusion that this must have been a magical depiction of Istus, the Goddess of Fate. The image of Istus had a very calming effect on the band and even caused Corvyn to regain one year of physical health.

Not far from the mural and beyond another set of double doors, the band found a room where water poured upwards from a large cask and into the ceiling! This water, as the band soon discovered, had some minor healing properties. Further down the hallway and beyond a couple of doors, the band came to a small room with some stairs, where Brom failed to find a pit trap. He managed to avoid falling into the pit where the band could smell acid. Zeke wanted to further investigate it though, so he cast a spell to protect him from acid before stepping any closer. When he did step closer though, the stairs under his and Brom’s feet collapsed. Once again, Brom dodged to the side, but Zeke fell in the pit. Fortunately, Zeke was protected from the acid, so he was barely injured, and he found a couple of potions floating in the acid.

After dealing with the acid pit, the band moved on and came to hallway where a magnificent ruby rested on a 3’ pedestal of pink marble. In part because the walls in and around this area were dyed red, the band suspected a trap. So they moved far away and let Zeke grab the ruby with a mage hand spell. This set the trap off, which caused the walls all around the pedestal area to slam closed, which would have crushed anyone in between had anyone been there. So Diamond used a dimension door spell to transport Tadwin and Zeke to the pedestal, where they were able to rig the trap and allow the walls to open up again.
View
Part Three - Chapter Fourteen: The Cathedral of Boccob

It was on Earthday, the 13th day of Coldeven, in the Common Year of 581, when the henchmen of the Company of the Green Dragon began exploring the Tower of Magic, otherwise known as the Power Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk.

After finding the first dais where the Regalia of Might was once apparently kept, the band entered a huge cathedral which took up about a third of the first floor of the tower and was further divided into two sections. In the higher section, to the northwest, which was obviously intended for the higher ranking members of the clergy and other more prominent individuals, the band encountered four men, two of them human and the other two elven. These men immediately attacked the henchmen who were forced to defend themselves. The henchmen were able to defeat the four attackers and managed to capture them all alive.

After reviving the four men, the henchmen interrogated them to learn who they were and why they attacked. It soon became obvious however, that the four men were very confused and had lost some of their memories. They could not even recall how they had gotten inside the ruins and did not know how to get out, even though they were not far from the exit. Since the men were so confused, they assumed someone had done something to them and concluded the henchmen were therefore their enemies. The henchmen assured the four men they had done nothing to them and offered to show them the way out, though they refused to give them back a cloak of elvenkind which they had taken from one of the elves.

Realizing they were in no position to argue the point, the four men agreed to the terms and they were directed to the exit. When the door was opened by the elves who guarded the tower, the henchmen told the elves about the four men and their memory loss, and asked if they had ever seen anything like it before. The elves said they had seen similar cases like that before but could not give an explanation for it. So the henchmen turned back and continued their explorations.

Back inside the tower the henchmen made a thorough search of the massive cathedral which included several balconied areas and staircases, two altars, dozens of pews and a giant stained glass window. In various places throughout the cathedral, symbols of Boccob, an eye inside a star, were also displayed.

One altar had an extra-dimensional sphere set just below it. Inside it, a skeletal, snake-like creature called a necrophidius guarded a divine scroll and it attacked Nikki when he entered the sphere. He was able to kill the creature though with some help from the others who used ranged attacks from above the sphere.

Under the other altar, they found a crystal chest that contained two tiny creatures, both of which were too small to be of any threat to the henchmen. One was an ochre jelly and the other was a rare creature called a burbur, which feeds on molds and slimes including those that are normally dangerous to living creatures. The henchmen realized these creatures could prove to be useful and kept them in the chest.

After thoroughly exploring the cathedral, the henchmen moved on to the side rooms that they had not yet seen. Many of these rooms were empty, having been cleared out long ago by previous bands of adventurers. But in one room, they encountered and defeated another necrophidius. The only thing worthy of note found in this room, however, was an unsigned deed giving he who held it ownership of a prosperous tavern called the Green Leaf in the foreign quarter of Greyhawk. But, in order to validate the deed, the document holder also needed to produce the “Green Leaf”, something which the henchmen did not quite understand.

Some of the rooms were occupied by kobolds, including nearly all of the rooms on the southwest side of the fist level, which was the recent home of a band of about 50 kobolds and their four giant weasels. The henchmen battled their way through all of these kobolds, killing all of them including a few alchemists, all the young and 20 eggs.

Afterwards, they came across another dais room just like the previous one except it had the image of an orb and scepter. And in one of the last rooms, beyond a secret door behind one of the altars, the henchmen came upon a crate inside a closet. When Nikki inspected it, he found it was full of a deadly yellow mold and the spores from the mold made Nikki very ill. But, despite this setback, the henchmen continued onwards.

Having cleared out the first level of the Power Tower, the band took one of two sets of stairs leading down from the cathedral into the dungeons below the tower. Soon after reaching the bottom of the stairs, the henchmen were attacked by more than a dozen troglodytes. But they managed to defeat the troglodytes and were soon on the offensive. Heading in the direction from where some of the troglodytes had come, the henchmen came upon the troglodyte lair where they killed more than two dozen more troglodytes, including the females, the young and the clan leader.
View
Part Three - Chapter Thirteen: The Precipitous Resolution of One Chronical and the Curious Commencement of Another

It was on Earthday, the 6th day of Coldeven, in the Common Year of 581, when Zeke summoned the efreeti, Kallian, and had him grant a wish allowing the Company of the Green Dragon to discover the location of Rohnam.

On the following morning, that of Freeday the 7th, the band made their preparations and, after much discussion, Diamond cast a commune spell so the band could gather further information. With this spell, the band narrowed down the location of Rohnam to the dining hall in the northeast half of the third underground level of the War Tower and learned that Andrade was in the nearby chapel. In addition to this, they also learned that a warding spell placed in the area would prevent the band from using invisibility, but that neither of these areas was protected from a specific spell that would prevent teleportation from working. Armed with this knowledge, the band prepared themselves with spells and potions, and within a few minutes they were ready to go.

The band then gathered around Tadwin and he teleported everyone into the dining hall next to the leader’s table. When they arrived, most of the band saw only duergar in the hall. But Diamond, with his true seeing spell, quickly identified Rohnam in the altered form of a duergar sitting right next to them. Before anyone else could react, Brom and Corvyn attacked him, while Corvyn followed through with his sword, severely wounding a couple of duergar seated nearby. In an astounding whirl of flashing blades, Rohnam was suddenly dead before he even had the chance to speak.

Many of the duergar in the hall cried out in alarm and reached for weapons or turned invisible. But Corvyn grabbed the body of Rohnam, and in the next instant, Tadwin used a dimension door spell to transport the band to the entrance way of the nearby chapel. There they found that the chapel had been repaired, refurnished and rededicated to Nerull. In the chapel were several more duergar, including Gaerdar, Kaelegg, Thromdig and Bralldur, whom the band was all familiar with. And nearby, behind the altar at the far end, was Andrade Mirrius.

Once again, upon quickly assessing the new situation, the band was the first to act. And once more, Tadwin grabbed Corvyn and Brom and used a dimension door spell to transport the three of them right up to the altar and within striking distance of Andrade. With the band’s two best melee attackers now flanking the priest of Nerull, the scene from mere moments before in the dining hall was virtually repeated in the chapel. To the shock and horror of all those who had only two weeks before allied themselves with the deadly and powerful cleric, he was suddenly falling to the floor dead, never having gotten a chance to cast even a single spell.

With little else they could do, having been firmly convinced by Rohnam that the band would eventually turn on them and kill them all, the duergar did what they could to inflict harm upon the band. But it was, for the most part, a futile attempt. Gaerdar’s spells proved ineffective against the band and most of the other duergar could not touch the band with their weapons before being cut down by the band’s blades and spells.

The duergar, however, were not alone in this battle. While many more of them rushed into the chapel and others of them turned invisible and tried to flee, they were soon joined by another group of allies that the band had almost forgotten about and were not expecting. These were the swordwraiths who guarded the upper floors of the ruins. Apparently having been convinced by the powerful cleric of the god of undead to join with them in their cause, the swordwraiths, with their magical greatswords and full plate armor, and their ability to drain the strength of their enemies with every hit of their blades, came charging towards the band a few at a time. But, while the swordwraiths had once posed a serious and perhaps unbeatable threat to the band, they were now no longer as great a challenge to them, and they too began to fall under the band’s weapons and a series of energy bursts from Diamond.

Still, the duergar had one more ally that, individually, was easily more powerful than any of them. This was the human vampire, Crimloc, whom the band had left undisturbed and trapped inside his tomb on the 8th level. Clearly, having been released, and most likely allied with Andrade just as the swordwraiths had been, he snuck into the chapel in gaseous form, and suddenly materialized in the middle of the battle. There, he turned in the direction of Corvyn and tried to dominate him, unaware that Corvyn was protected from such attacks by a spell.

Although the vampire was also a capable warrior in his own rights, he did not possess a magical weapon and armor like Corvyn did. Nor did his ability to drain energy prove to be very effective when he struggled to get past Corvyn’s defenses. So, not even Crimloc lasted very long against the band’s powerful fighter. When he too was vanquished, his form became gaseous, as was normal for all vampires, and he slowly drifted back in the direction of the 8th level where his tomb lay.

At this point, all of the major threats within the dungeon of the Tower of War had been defeated. But there were still a few swordwraiths left to destroy along with those duergar who chose to make their last stand sooner rather than later. A couple of the duergar rode upon giant spiders called steeders. These spiders could not spin webs, but they excreted a very sticky substance that could aid them in grappling opponents and even allow them to walk on ceilings.

Once the band had defeated all who currently stood in their way, they immediately headed in the direction of the 8th level. Along the way, they encountered bands of derro who tried to use their sound burst abilities to harm the band. But the band had used spells to protect them from sonic damage. So the derro’s sound bursts proved to be ineffective against the band – at least directly.

However, when the band reached the 6th level of the dungeon, the derro there used their sound bursts to cause cave-ins, which of course, the band was not protected from. This proved to be a much more effective way to attack the band, and it did cause them some significant injuries and slowed down their progress considerably. Nevertheless, the band still had the means to deal with this obstacle and plenty of healing magic left to deal with any wounds. So, in the end, it only delayed the inevitable.

Eventually, the band reached the 8th level and located the tomb of the vampire Crimloc. Once there, Zeke threw several fireballs into the room, until the band was convinced he had destroyed the thornslinger plants that guarded the chamber. The band then located the entrance to the burial chamber inside the now scorched and smoking mound of earth. There they found Crimloc’s coffin, and inside it, Crimloc himself. Unable to defend himself, it was a simple matter for the band to drive a wooden stake threw his chest and cut off his head, which they then tossed into the nearby river of lava.

From this point on, the band did a systematic sweep throughout the dungeon, clearing out every level of every derro and duergar, and anything else that might pose a threat to them, their henchmen, or any hirelings they might hire. As there were still almost a hundred and fifty derro inside the dungeon when the band first arrived on this day, and there were many places in which to hide, it took quite some time to do a thorough cleansing. In fact, the band was unable to complete it in one day. But since they were not pressed for time, the band spent much of the next week doing a methodical search through the dungeon.

At the same time, they took care of other matters they felt needed to be dealt with, such as destroying all the statues of Nerull and desecrating any chapels dedicated to him. They were also able to look into the duergar complex in between the 4th and 5th levels, to which they had previously not been allowed access. Inside the complex, in addition to more quarters, a large kitchen and a pantry, they found another chapel dedicated to Nerull, a smithy, and a large treasure room stocked with many items of gold. At the back of this chamber were eight steeder eggs.

By the end of Waterday, the 12th day of Coldeven, the Company of the Green Dragon was satisfied that they had completely eliminated all threats within the dungeon of the Tower of War and had dealt with any issues there that needed to be addressed. So that evening, the band paid a visit to a place called the Barge Inn, located in the River Quarter of Greyhawk, where they hoped to find an old acquaintance of theirs – their old bandmate and friend, Kelgor. Despite Kelgor’s decision to leave the band more than three months before, it was the band’s hope, now that the duergar had been eliminated, that they could work out a deal with the dwarven cleric and convince him to rejoin them by gathering a band of dwarves that they could hire on to help them with the mines in the dungeon of the Tower of War.

Although Kelgor was rumored to spend much of his time traveling about in the nearby hills, it was known that he would occasionally return to Greyhawk and visit with his dwarven friends at the popular hangout for dwarves. So it was perhaps a good sign when the band just happened to find him that night at the Barge Inn. And fortunately, Kelgor’s temper had cooled just a bit over the previous three months and he was willing to listen to the band’s proposal. His attitude improved considerably when he learned of the duergar’s demise – and so began the negotiations.

Meanwhile, on the following morning, that of Earthday, the 13th day of Coldeven, after many weeks and possibly months of trying to convince their masters to give them the opportunity, the band’s original group of henchmen, Nikki, Ashba, Jamis and Thiege, plus Diamond’s henchman Trizzac, set out on their own to the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. Their objective was to begin the explorations of the Tower of Magic, also known as the Power Tower.

So, following the three hour walk from the city to the ruins, and the always nerve-wracking trek over the first bridge, the group made their way around the Tower of Zagig and over the second bridge to the Power Tower. Once there, in addition to the ruined tower, of which only the first level above-ground remained intact, the group saw the two pyramids to the southwest and the wooden fortress to the northeast. In front of them stood the two massive doors that were the main entrance into the tower. In front of it, a two-level wooden platform rested atop two stone walls. On the platform were two ballistae manned by elves.

Another elf, who introduced himself as Eroth, greeted the band and when they told him they wished to explore the ruins, he seemed quite pleased. Eroth then explained to the band about their fee of one third of all magic items taken from the tower or the choice of playing their game of chance, which could win the band a staff of power. The band agreed to the terms and Eroth directed them to the finely crafted elven fortress. There they met the elven wizard Nimlith who again explained the elves’ terms and cast a couple of spells to detect for magic and extra-dimensional spaces.

Once this was done, the band was led into the elven fortress, through a kitchen and a hallway, and into a room with another ballista manned by a few more elves. Here, despite telling the band there was little to be concerned about, the elves seemed to tense up a bit before opening another set of doors in the side of the tower. When they did open the doors, everyone was surprised as a huge ettin stepped out to attack. Both the band and the elves did what they could to attack back, including firing the ballista, but it was the elven wizard who did most of the damage with a powerful lightning bolt that finally dropped the ettin.

With the ettin down, the elves urged the band to quickly move through the doors into the tower, while the elves hurriedly closed the doors behind them. Fortunately, nothing more appeared to threaten the band at this time.

Once inside the tower, the band of henchmen began exploring about. In the first few rooms, they found no traps or monsters to greet them. Nor did they find any treasure as it appeared that these areas had been picked clean long ago by previous explorers. They did, however, discover some interesting features in a couple of the rooms.

The first of these rooms contained a large table made of purple marble laced with gold swirls and the walls seemed to be coated with purple soot containing flecks of gold. When Trizzac stared at the table for a bit, the gold swirls appeared to move, and suddenly Trizzac sensed that he had lost one of his few spells. However, when Ashba stared at the table, all of her currently memorized spells were suddenly doubled.

It was suggested then that everyone sit down at the table, and when they did, a gold symbol of an eye in a star appeared above the table’s center, which some members of the group recognized as resembling the symbol of Boccob. Perhaps, they surmised, this was actually the symbol of Zagig. A purple vapor issued from the eye which then formed into a purple sphere with gold markings on it. At the same time, the nearby fireplace lit up with purple flames spouting golden flecks, while four illusory purple and gold guardians stepped from the fireplace and onto the hearth. The purple sphere, which appeared to represent Oerth, began rotating as ancient runes danced across its surface, perhaps listing statistics on the various places shown on the globe. The band observed this for a bit. But being unable to clearly decipher the runes, they eventually got up from the table, at which point everything returned to its original state.

In another nearby room, the band found a railed dais. After some intense scrutinizing of the dais, the image of a crown materialized on one of the edges. Try as they might, the band could not pick it up as it had no physical form. But as they stared at it, the image became brighter until it finally burst forth an intense light, causing everyone to be momentarily blinded, especially Trizzac who was particularly vulnerable to bright lights. When their sight gradually returned, the image was gone. The band could only make a guess that it had something to do with a set of powerful artifacts, known as the Regalia of Might, which was once rumored to be kept in the castle.
View
Part Three - Chapter Twelve: The Hunt for the Black Bard and the Patriarch of Nerull

It was about midday, on Sunday, the 16th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon defeated the Cult of the Shriven Sickle. Unfortunately, both Rohnam and Andrade Mirrius managed to get away, at least for the time being.

Realizing that they could still be nearby, the band began an immediate search of the cult’s hideout. Beyond the black curtains, which hung behind the altar in the chapel, the band found a door. It opened into a room that initially appeared to be guarded by two men. But when these guards made no movements and did not react to the band’s sudden presence, the band realized that the guards were only illusions. This was confirmed by Diamond who still had a true seeing spell in effect.

There were two doors in this room. The band chose the one on the right. It led to another guard room with three more possible illusionary guards. One of them, however was dressed and armed differently, and when Diamond looked closely at him, he saw that this one, unlike the other two, was not an illusion. When Diamond pointed this out, the man immediately began to beg for mercy. The band, of course, disarmed him and under threat of violence, questioned him.

He told the band that he was the cult’s jailor, that there were three prisoners in the very next room, and that the quarters of the cult’s leaders could be found in the opposite direction. When the band opened the door to the next room, they found three prison cells, but they all appeared to be empty. That is until the band heard the voices of the cell’s occupants. The band then realized that an illusion of some kind had been placed on the room which made the cells only appear to be empty.

Tadwin came to the conclusion that a powerful illusion called a screen had been placed over much of the cult’s hideout. The spell’s main purpose was to trick any attempts to scry on an area with divination spells, but it was also effective against direct observation.

The band rescued the three prisoners, all of whom were wealthy merchants being held for ransom, and locked the jailor in one of the cells. They then turned back and headed in the opposite direction, hoping they might still be able to find Rohnam and Andrade. Keeping Diamond near the front of the band so he could identify any illusions, the band passed through a storage room, where illusionary crates and boxes helped to hide a secret door, and entered a hallway lined with doors and guarded by illusionary guards.

The first door on the left was a privy and the first door on the right was a study, but the remaining five doors turned out to be quarters, all of which were locked and some of which were trapped. While Brom was busy checking these doors and unlocking them, Zeke decided to summon the efreeti, Kallian, and have him search as well, hoping it would speed up the search. Kallian, being able to travel ethereally, disappeared and soon afterwards returned stating that he had found Rohnam nearby, but that he and Andrade had then teleported away.

From the looks of it, it appeared as if the two of them had teleported from the chapel into this area, where they quickly moved through some of the rooms grabbing certain valuables, then teleported away once again, this time out of the cult’s hideout and to who knew where. Realizing that the two were now probably far away, and out of the band’s reach, they began to take more time searching each of the quarters.

Judging from the various traps, furnishings, personal possessions and other tell-tale signs, it was fairly easy to determine to whom each of the rooms had previously belonged. Some had been rummaged through already, while others still had valuables to be collected. The first five rooms were those of Rohnam, Imogen, Grotnek, Jamir and Garyne.

At the end of the hall, was another secret door. But it appeared to be protected by another symbol spell. On the off chance that any attempt to identify it might set it off, Brom covered it up while the rest of the band waited at the other end of the hall. But despite his precautions, when Brom stepped through the secret door, the symbol above it apparently activated, though fortunately, Brom managed to resist its effects. Beyond the secret door, Brom saw a short passageway which ended at a room that was occupied by a statue which the band suspected might be an iron golem.

Not wishing to take the chance, and preferring to hold off for at least an hour to let the activated symbol expire, the band decided to search the other areas of the cult’s hideout. Returning to the chapel, they searched the side rooms where the guards and the lesser priests had been quartered, then moved on to another guard room, another privy, the dinning room, kitchen, pantry, and finally, the quarters of Grimtorr and Grolg. By the time they were done in these areas an hour had passed.

However, when they returned to the room that they suspected was guarded by an iron golem, it turned out instead to have been only another illusion. Beyond it were two doors that led to the quarters of Xanthi and Andrade. Both were magically trapped and locked, but Brom was able to deal with these obstacles. Inside these rooms, which were much more lavishly furnished (not to mention more gruesome and macabre), it was obvious that certain valuables had been hastily searched for and, no doubt, snatched up.

But there were also some things of value left behind, including what appeared to be a magic pendant that Xanthi could not wear due to the fact that she was already wearing a magic necklace. Later examination by Tadwin however, revealed it to be a cursed necklace of strangulation which would have led to an almost inescapable death had anyone placed it around his neck.

Beyond Xanthi’s room and behind a secret door, was another room with a permanent magic circle etched into the floor, most likely where Xanthi had summoned the daemon that the band had fought earlier. Beyond Andrade’s spacious quarters was a secret vault. But anything of value that had once been inside it was now gone.

With the hideout of the Cult of the Shriven Sickle thoroughly searched, the band grabbed the captured jailor and led the rescued merchants out of the lair and back to the streets of the city. The merchants then promised to reward the band for their rescue and went their separate ways, while the band escorted the jailor to the Citadel. At the Citadel, the band turned the cultist over to the City Watch and went to speak with Constable Fanshen. They told her all that had occurred at the cult’s hideout, and confirmed the fact that Andrade Mirrius was indeed the cult’s leader. But they warned her that the hideout was still not yet safe for the City Watch to enter.

Before dealing with that however, the band wanted to see if they could track down Rohnam and Andrade by visiting any buildings within the city that the two were known to frequent. Constable Fanshen did not know if Andrade had a regular home within the city, other than the hideout, but she wanted to accompany the band to the Pit to help question anyone there who might know more about Andrade and the cult.

At the Pit, Fanshen and the band questioned Pietain Morvannis, the manager of the Pit and Andrade’s number one man at the gladiatorial arena. But after speaking with him, it sounded as if Andrade kept his personal life very separate from his business at the Pit, and although he was aware of certain peculiarities about Andrade and his morbid fascination with death, it appeared as though Pietain knew nothing about the cult of Nerull. They spoke with a few of the gladiators as well, including their champion wrestler, Rashif Iqbal, and did a thorough search through Andrade’s office, which did not contain much in the way useful information, nor was it reportedly visited very often by Andrade. Nothing they found and no one they spoke to at the Pit seemed to offer any promising leads and no one could even say with any certainty that Andrade had a regular home in the city.

Eventually the band and Constable Fanshen made their way to the Green Dragon Inn. But there again, they could not come up with any useful information on where the two might have fled to. So, for the time being, they called off the search and decided instead to have Tadwin try to scry on them every day to see if that would produce any results.

In the meantime, the band led some of the City Watch into the sewers and to the cult’s hideout where they made sure everything was relatively safe. Then they turned the hideout over to the City Watch, allowing them to properly dispose of the bodies. According to Constable Fanshen, she also intended to have a wizard seal up both of the secret doors with walls of stone so that the hideout could not easily be used by anyone, or anything, else.

With no clues to go on and nothing more to do as far as the search for Rohnam and Andrade was concerned, the band took some time off to study and train, while they waited to see if anything came up. All the while, they tried to keep their guard up and do what they could to counter the damage that Rohnam had done to the band’s reputation.

To this end, the band made sure to check with any friends and acquaintances they had, to see if any of them were under the influence of any charms or mental control, even double checking some of them. Anyone found to be magically influenced in anyway were remedied. Zeke, meanwhile, used his undeniable charisma to dispel any malicious rumors about the band.

Three days after the defeat of the cult, on Waterday, the 19th day of Readying, Tadwin finally managed to locate Rohnam with a scrying spell – or so he thought. Using the spell, he could see both Rohnam and Andrade apparently resting on the side of a road under a shade tree. The surrounding terrain was unfamiliar, but Tadwin took the time to study it carefully enough to be able to teleport to it with a reasonable chance of success. Then he gathered the rest of the band as quickly as he could, which actually took some time since some of them were busy training in Greyhawk.

An hour or so later, after the band was fairly well prepared with magic, Tadwin teleported them to the location where he had seen Rohnam and Andrade. But there was no sign of them, nor could they find any evidence that the two had been there recently, such as footprints. Brom flew up invisibly and spotted a city far to the northwest next to a large river. So he flew off in that direction to scout around while the others looked around nearby. Quite some time was spent searching.

Eventually the four companions on the ground began to follow the road to the northwest and, after some time, came into contact with a scouting party of orcs who had started to track them. Instead of attacking each other, the band managed to intimidate the orcs enough to gather some information from them. They claimed to be part of the Blood Sucker tribe whose army was not far away, and they told the band that the nearby city was Molag, the capital city of the Horned Society. They also had seen nothing that resembled Rohnam and Andrade.

Sometime later, Brom returned to the band with much the same information and no news of Rohnam and Andrade. By now, Tadwin began to suspect that Andrade had used another screen spell to conceal their true location and that their trip to the Horned Society had been nothing but a wild goose chase. So, with some frustration, the band teleported back to Greyhawk. They decided instead to give up on the search for Rohnam and Andrade for the time being and just wait a few weeks until they could ask the efreeti, Kallian, to grant them a wish.

In the meantime, the band took some time off, did some training and studying, and tended to other personal matters. During this time, the band also began looking into buying a new building in the Artisan’s Quarter where they could open up a new pawn shop. And, at some point, Tadwin and Zeke paid another visit to the castle ruins, this time to speak with the elves at the Power Tower about seeing what magic items the priest’s and wizards might have to sell.

As on their first visit to the Power Tower, they spoke to the elven ranger Ruith, who took them to see the captain archer, Dhoelath, and the elven diviner, Nimlith. They, in turn, took them to the pyramids on the other side of the Power Tower, where they were soon greeted by one of the clerics of Boccob, whose name was Dormian. Dormian told them what magic items the wizard’s below currently had for sale and set up an appointment for them to return on the following day, just like they had done on the band’s first visit. Unlike on their first visit, however, Tadwin and Zeke actually showed up on the following day and kept their appointment.

Dormian met with them again just outside the pyramids and instructed them to follow him and walk through the pyramid wall. After doing so, the two were led from a short and narrow passageway into a stairwell that zig-zagged downwards about 50’ and ended at a wide hall. From there, the band was led down the hall, which also zig-zagged a bit, and through a locked door into a room with a door to the right. Past this door was another set of stairs which descended in a spiral another 25’ through a 15’ wide shaft with a hand rail set along the stairs. At the bottom was a short passageway that ended in a set of three circular alcoves, each of which contained an image of a grasping hand above a wooden disk with a curved line, all surrounded by a circle of runes. Tadwin and Zeke recognized the wooden disk as the symbol for Fharlanghn, the god of travel. Just to the right of the alcoves was a door and it was through this door that the two were led.

Beyond this door was a small library and as soon as the door was opened, a cozy fire burst to life in the room’s fireplace. In the center of the room, was a table and along one wall sat a desk and a chair. Dormian instructed the two to wait in this room while he went and retrieved one of the wizards. While they waited, Tadwin and Zeke browsed through the books on the shelves and saw that they contained, among other things, a very large selection of first level arcane spells.

After a while, Dormian returned with a companion who introduced himself as Leomund. Appearing much as one would expect for a famous arch-mage and member of the Ring of Five, with long white hair and beard, wearing blue robes and a conical hat decorated with stars, Tadwin and Zeke were, however, a bit surprised at how physically fit he seemed to be for someone of such advanced age. He seemed to be a pleasant enough fellow though, and had no problem with accepting items made of gold as part of the payment for the bracers of armor that Zeke bought from him. But as soon as the business was concluded, Leomund seemed eager to return to his business, whatever that might have been, and he quickly left. Dormian then escorted Tadwin and Zeke back to the surface and they soon after returned home.

Just over two weeks after the band’s fruitless excursion into the Horned Society, on Earthday, the 6th day of Coldeven, exactly a month after the last time they had Kallian grant them a wish, Zeke summoned the efreeti again. He then wished for Tadwin know precisely where Rohnam was currently located. Kallian told Tadwin then that Rohnam was on the 3rd underground level of the War Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. The band complained that his answer was not very precise but by then the efreeti had already disappeared.

Still, it was precise enough for the band to narrow it down further with more divination spells. But, perhaps more importantly, it meant that Rohnam, and quite likely, Andrade, had made some kind of alliance with the duergar and possibly the derro. And who could tell what other nefarious plans these two had come up with?
View
Part Three - Chapter Eleven: The Cult of the Shriven Sickle

It was on the night of Starday, the 15th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon first encountered the Cult of the Shriven Sickle. Two members of the cult, Jamir Rellstar, and their old enemy Imogen Gellet, were captured, a third member, Garyne the Shroudrender, was killed, and two more members, Xanthi Lamman and Grotnek Utrekknis, managed to escape.

While the band was detecting for magic on those who had not escaped, the City Watch arrived and began questioning the band. Diamond had by this time revived the paladin, Redshir, well enough for him to heal his own injuries, and he vouched for the band’s explanation of recent events. It was also partly because of Redshir that the band was not able to claim any of their enemies’ possessions. The City Watch arrested Jamir and Imogen, had the body of Garyne removed, and requested the band to accompany them back to the Citadel. The band agreed, of course, as they too wanted to question the two prisoners. But they also wanted to put in a request for the cult members’ magic items as a reward for their capture.

A short while later, sometime after midnight, the band was allowed to question Imogen and Jamir using spells like detect thoughts, to help with the interrogation. Although, the two prisoners were uncooperative, Tadwin was able to learn a good deal from them by reading their thoughts. The two most important bits of information he was able to gather were that the cult’s hideout was in a secret area under the Wizard’s School and that the cult’s leader was apparently Andrade Mirrius, owner of the Pit and who, according to the beliefs of the two prisoners, was a very powerful cleric of Nerull.

While the band was at the Citadel, they began to hear reports coming in from the City Watch that a riot had been started somewhere in Old Town and that a building had been set on fire. The band had a bad feeling about this but apparently did not think they could do anything about it or, for some reason, did not care to, as none of them really made much of an effort to go and investigate the matter.

Brom, however, wanted to fly out to Old Town to try and spread a rumor that the band had been arrested, in order to make the cult believe they would not be a threat to them anytime soon. So he decided to pass by the area where the fire and the riot was taking place, just to have a look. As usual, Brom had remained invisible throughout the interrogation to hide his unusual appearance from everyone. So no one saw him leaving the Citadel about an hour later.

As Brom passed over the area where the fire was, he saw that it was indeed the band’s pawnshop, as they had feared. It also looked to be a total loss as the City Watch had difficulty even reaching the fire due to the huge mob of people gathered around the area chanting slogans against the Company of the Green Dragon and interfering with the City Watch’s efforts. As Brom flew closer, he saw that there was one individual who was leading the chants and working the crowd up into a frenzy. It was, of course, Rohnam and he was using his talents to incite the riot among his increasingly large fan base, which by now numbered in the thousands.

For a moment, Brom considered attacking Rohnam. But Rohnam, it appeared, saw a few wizards and priests headed towards him and decided it was time for him to leave. Having achieved his apparent objective of further turning the citizens of Greyhawk against the band, Rohnam then teleported away.

With Rohnam now nowhere to be found, Brom continued his flight towards the slum quarter where he eventually spotted his old friend, Dodger, from the Beggar’s Union. After landing, Brom used an extract to alter his shape to that of his former self before acquiring his wings and made himself visible. He then approached Dodger and offered to pay him to spread the rumor that the band had been arrested. Dodger agreed to do it, but something in his demeanor made Brom suspect that Dodger was about to double-cross him. It then occurred to Brom that Rohnam had probably gotten to Dodger with his malicious spite spell. So Brom changed his mind.

A short while later, Brom was spying on Dodger when he overheard him telling other members of the Beggar’s Union that Brom was trying to pay him to spread a false rumor. It seemed that once again, Rohnam had caused further trouble for the band. Over the past few weeks now, the band’s fame within the city had taken a severe beating and it was clear that the band needed to put a stop to it before things really got out of hand.

Brom decided then to find another member of the Beggar’s Union. He spotted his old friend Nancy, but was afraid that Rohnam might have gotten to her as well. So instead, he tracked down one of the boy’s that Dodger had been talking to earlier, and approached him, this time disguised as Dodger. Hoping he could pull off an impression of Dodger well enough to fool the boy, he told him that he had been mistaken a short while before and that the Company of the Green Dragon had indeed been arrested. The boy, apparently convinced by Brom’s portrayal of Dodger, promised to go and spread the word. Hoping this would do the trick and fool the cult into believing they were not in any immediate danger from the band, Brom flew back to the Citadel and rejoined his companions. That night, the band convinced the City Watch to let them rest in a cell of their own inside the Prison Block.

Since it was such a late night on the previous night, and since the band did not get a great night’s sleep, the band slept late the next day, which was Sunday, the 16th day of Readying. When they did finally arise, they went and spoke with Derider Fanshen and told her of their plans to find and attack the secret lair of the Cult of the Shriven Sickle.

Having learned from their interrogations the general location of the lair, the band proceeded to the sewer entrance nearest to the wizard school and began their search. Brom scouted up ahead and soon spotted a group of dwarves who were members of the Sewer Rats, a special group within the Sewerman’s and Streetcleaners’ Union that was comprised of some of the meanest and toughest dwarves and gnomes in the city. Brom noticed that there were also what appeared to be a few zombies among them as well and when Brom approached them, the dwarves tried to conceal the nature of their undead companions and warned Brom about the dangers of the sewers, saying that he probably shouldn’t be there. Brom assured them that he would be okay and returned to the group, who by this time had located a nearby secret door using one of Tadwin’s spells.

Once past the secret door, the band followed a passageway to the west and eventually located another secret door and a passageway that headed north. After a short bit, Brom discovered a magical glyph that he was able to render harmless. Beyond that was a door at the end of the passageway and a magical symbol above it. Brom also disabled it and the band took a moment to prepare themselves.

Beyond the door, the band found a room occupied by a dozen ghouls. The band easily fought their way through the ghouls, but the ghouls made sure to make enough noise to alert the rest of the lair and ruin any further chances of surprising the cult. On the opposite side of the room were two doors. The band opened the one to the right which appeared to reveal an antechamber of some kind with black robes hung on pegs to the left and a pair of double doors to the right. Sensing that the double doors would lead them more towards the heart of the lair, the band headed for them once Brom had disabled another magical trap.

Opening these doors revealed a large chapel, clearly dedicated to Nerull. A row of four columns on each side of the room led to a raised dais upon which rested a black and rust-colored altar. Behind it was a large black curtain decorated with a symbol of Nerull and behind each row of columns stood three doors. As was the case with the rest of the lair, the chapel was lit by wall sconces, which also lit the current occupants of the room – six guards who now approached the band with weapons held ready.

A great battle then took place as more and more enemies began to arrive a few at a time. The band quickly discovered that fire spells were useless here as it appeared that a magical ward was protecting all those who were worshipers of Nerull. While some members of the band battled those inside the chapel, six more guards arrived through another door in the antechamber. At the same time, they were attacked from the rear by two more foes who were familiar to them – the half-orc priest Grimtorr and his troll companion Grolg.

Inside the chapel, a dozen more guards arrived from beyond the side doors, along with half a dozen clerics of Nerull. Then an unholy daemon of some kind with the skull of a horse, the rotting wings of a carrion bird and cracked hooves for feet, suddenly appeared in front of the altar. It raised a huge bow up, fired an arrow at Brom and struck him, infecting him with some sort of nasty disease. While the band was able to kill most of the other enemies with little difficulty, the daemon was something that greatly concerned them. So Tadwin threw up a wall of force which would block the next arrow it fired. Meanwhile, the rest of cult’s members arrived through the black curtain on the far side of the wall of force. Though some were invisible, the band was still able to see them thanks to spells they had cast on themselves.

They were the half-orc Grotnek, the high priestess Xanthi and her body guard flesh golem, Rohnam, and Andrade Mirrius, the cult’s patriarch. Because they all arrived on the far side of the wall of force, these latest arrivals were not able to enter the combat immediately. So instead they cast numerous preparatory spells on themselves while they waited for the wall of force to come down. The band, in the meantime, eliminated all the other foes they could get to, which was most of them, including Grimtorr and Grolg.

But as they were doing so, the daemon disappeared and soon after emerged from a room on the near side of the wall of force. It then breathed out a large cloud of corpse-bloated, biting black flies that caught several members of the band in it. This caused a fair amount of damage to the band and forced most of them to retreat. Corvyn, however, decided to move up instead and attack the daemon. Unfortunately, he had a poorly timed fumble with his sword and while he was trying to recover, the daemon struck him with a harm spell, instantly killing him.

Due to the cloud of flies, the rest of the band did not see clearly what had happened to Corvyn. But they saw him fall and they knew he was in danger if not already dead. They managed to destroy the flies with a fireball and soon after that they killed the daemon, while Diamond used the rod of resurrection to bring Corvyn back to life.

Soon the band had no more enemies in sight except those who awaited beyond the wall of force. Among them was Grotnek who got into a taunting contest with Corvyn while they waited for the wall to go away. But when the wall did expire, Grotnek was slow to react and both Corvyn and Brom got to attack him first and came very close to killing him. At the same time, rather than using a dimensional anchor spell on Rohnam, as the band had planned to do, Tadwin created yet another wall of force, this time singling out only Rohnam and Andrade, and leaving Grotnek, Xanthi and her flesh golem on the near side where the band could attack them.

This decision by Tadwin once again prevented Rohnam and Andrade from attacking the band, and potentially causing them much harm, but as the band would eventually discover, it would also come back to haunt them in other ways. Still, with Grotnek now badly wounded, he had little choice but to try and retreat to where Xanthi could heal him. And he almost made it.

But just before Xanthi was about to cast a healing spell on him, he was struck by a magic missile spell and went down. Xanthi and her flesh golem joined him in death soon afterwards, leaving only Rohnam and Andrade, who could do little but watch from the opposite side of the wall of force as their allies were killed one by one.

The band took a few moments then to heal themselves and get ready to face the last two members of the cult, hoping they would still be there when Tadwin dismissed the wall. But clearly, Rohnam and Andrade were not foolish enough to try and take on all five members of the Company of the Green Dragon by themselves. Even if the two were well protected and enhanced by their own spells, and despite the fact that Andrade was a very powerful and dangerous cleric, the risk was simply too high, and Andrade had not gotten this far by taking such unnecessary risks. So, before Tadwin was able to dismiss the wall of force, Andrade dismissed a blade barrier that had surrounded him, as Rohnam stepped over to teleport the two of them out of the chapel and to some place more safe.
View
Part Three - Chapter Ten: A New Threat Emerges

It was on the afternoon of Sunday, the 9th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon defeated the ogre magi of the War Tower and destroyed the Temple of Nerull. With the band now exhausted and the spellcasters running low on spells, they decided it was time to leave. Tadwin cast a teleport spell and took everyone back to the house in Greyhawk, which had been left unattended since the betrayal of Rohnam. From there, the band immediately returned to Prism Keep through the portal which lay in the sewers under the house. That evening, the band celebrated their victory as they told their henchmen and servants the tale of the great battle. It was also on this night, that Diamond was invited to become an official member of the Company of the Green Dragon, to which he gladly accepted.

The next morning, that of Moonday, the 10th day of Readying, after memorizing his spells, Tadwin cast several remove curse spells on himself until he finally succeeded in removing the curse caused by his staff. Then he, along with Zeke, Corvyn and Diamond paid a visit to Greyhawk, while Brom stayed behind at the keep. Brom had given Tadwin a list of magical items and alchemical formulas he wished to purchase, so Tadwin and company went in search of these things. As had been the case for some time now, Brom did not feel comfortable trying to deal with these matters himself, for fear of how people might react to his wings which were far too big to conceal without appropriate magic.

As Tadwin and company made their way around the city, visiting various shops, most of which they were quite familiar with, they soon took notice of the fact that most of the shopkeepers, gave the band odd stares and dirty looks or appeared hesitant to deal with them. After a few such episodes, Zeke asked one of the shopkeepers what the problem was. The shopkeeper was obviously nervous and tried to act as though nothing was wrong. But after some convincing from Zeke, the shopkeeper eventually told him that some ugly rumors had been going around the town concerning the band.

Concerned about these rumors, the band decided to stop by the Green Dragon Inn for lunch and see if their old friend Ricard Damaris, the proprietor of the inn, could shed some light on the source of these rumors. But, much to the band’s surprise and dismay, Ricard politely refused to serve them, suggesting that the band go and speak with the City Constable, Derider Fanshen who had apparently been asking questions about them and was looking for them. Wishing to get to the bottom of this, they decided to follow Ricard’s advice, but wanted to go and retrieve Brom from the keep before doing so. However, as they were headed back to the house, upon reaching the Black Gate, which they had passed through earlier that morning without any trouble, they were detained by the city watch.

Not wanting to cause any trouble, the band agreed to be escorted to the Grand Citadel without Brom, so they could speak with the Constable. A short while later, in the office of Derider Fanshen, the Constable told them she had heard some disturbing rumors. So the band agreed to answer some questions while Derider interrogated them one at a time.

First she spoke with Zeke, whom she knew to be the most morally sound of the group. Then she spoke with Tadwin, who, according to reports, was the most morally questionable. For both interrogations, Derider told them she would be casting a detect magic spell and a zone of truth spell. Both Zeke and Tadwin failed to resist the zone of truth spell and it did not take long before Derider learned that most of the rumors about the band were true; namely that Tadwin and Brom had murdered two men in the house they now claimed as theirs, that the band had made an alliance with the duergar in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk, and that, until recently, Tadwin was a worshiper of Nerull. These were all serious offenses as far as the City of Greyhawk was concerned and easily could have led to a sentence of hard labor for life or for Tadwin and Brom, a death sentence. Tadwin, of course, tried to spin everything in the best light possible, saying he had been forced into doing these things, while both of them pointed out how they had recently destroyed a temple of Nerull.

Nevertheless, Derider was being extremely generous when she then offered to make a deal with the band, saying she would be willing to forget all past crimes of the band (at least those she was aware of), if the band would, in turn, focus their efforts on solving the latest dilemma that had been plaguing the city in the past few months.

During the interrogations, Derider had asked both Zeke and Tadwin if they had ever heard of the Cult of the Shriven Sickle. Both had answered truthfully that they had not. So Derider told them what she knew or suspected about the group. They were a secret cult of Nerull worshipers operating illegally within the city and bent on causing all manner of chaos and disruption to the city and, in particular, organizations within the city which fought against the forces of evil. More specifically, their goals were to slay members of the Knights of Holy Shielding who had fled their overrun homes in the Shieldlands, slay priests of good faiths such as those of Pelor, Heironeous, and Rao, disgrace and dishonor people of power within the city, disrupt trade within the city, conduct espionage and do whatever they could to increase their own power. Their crimes consisted of murder, kidnapping, blackmail, and theft, just to name a few. There were even reports that they were responsible for the brutal slaying of workers in the docks, which led to rumors of vampires in the area, which in turn, threatened to cripple the river trade.

This cult was a serious threat to the city and all attempts by the City Watch to find the cult and stop them had, so far, been unsuccessful. With few alternatives open to her, since other adventuring groups in the city were either unavailable or not powerful enough, Derider turned to the Company of the Green Dragon for assistance. The band, of course, agreed to Derider’s proposition, knowing that to decline the offer would mean becoming enemies of the City of Greyhawk. Once the deal was agreed upon, Derider let the band go, but warned them about breaking any more laws, stating they would need a warrant from her or a Deputy Constable before entering any businesses or private property uninvited.

After leaving the Citadel, the band resumed their errands and gathered what magic items and alchemical formulas they could find that were on Brom’s list. This took the remainder of the day and when they were done they returned to Prism Keep and announced to Brom all that had occurred. That evening the band put their heads together and discussed ideas on how they might try to track down the Cult of the Shriven Sickle.

The next morning, on Godsday the 11th of Readying, Diamond cast some divination spells and learned that some of their earliest ideas would not likely produce any results, as these had already been investigated by the City Watch.

It appeared then that the band would have to resort to questioning possible witnesses to the cults’ various crimes in order to drum up a few leads. According to the information supplied by Derider Fanshen, the most recent act that was likely committed by the cult took place four days before, when a member of the Knights of Holy Shielding disappeared. So the band, with Brom coming along invisibly, returned to Greyhawk and located the House of the Knights of Holy Shielding in the High Quarter. There they spoke with the group’s leader, a paladin by the name of Valderesse Sharn.

She took a liking to Zeke, but clearly did not care much for the other members of the band, especially Tadwin. She told Zeke all she knew about the disappearance of Geret Thorning, the latest apparent victim of the cult, who was last seen at the Wheel of Gold Gambling House. She and the other knights had already investigated the disappearance and learned that the last person who is known to have seen him was a fellow Shieldlander by the name of Jamir Rellstar. Tadwin was familiar with Jamir as he was a well-liked wizard who frequented the Wizard’s Guild and the finer gambling halls of the city. It was a well-known tale that Jamir had been captured and tortured by the Horned Society before arriving in Greyhawk the previous year, and there were many who would vouch for Jamir’s good character, including Valderesse Sharn, who had no suspicions about him.

With what appeared to be a dead end, the band then visited several temples in the city and Diamond made sure to make a donation at the Temple of Boccob. Unfortunately, the band found no useful information at any of the temples either.

That afternoon, Tadwin paid a visit to the Wizard’s Guild and bought a copy of the spell dimensional anchor, believing it would come in handy if the band should ever have the opportunity to confront Rohnam, whom they felt certain had a hand in spreading the rumors about the band. While there, Tadwin came upon Jamir and made sure to point him out to Brom, as they were not entirely convinced that Jamir was completely innocent in the disappearance of Geret Thorning. Brom, still remaining invisible, later followed Jamir to the Wheel of Gold Gambling House. The rest of the band, meanwhile, went to the Gold Digger Tavern in the Thieves’ Quarter where they hoped to find another member of the Knights of Holy Shielding, a large fighter by the name of Artur Jakartai, who often visited the dwarven hangout.

As hoped, the band did find Artur at the tavern and he and Corvyn soon found themselves bonding as they drank ale and discussed nothing in particular, with the possible exception of what Artur could tell the band about the disappearance of Geret Thorning – which was practically nothing they had not already heard. Eventually, the band realized that Artur would likely be of little use to them. So the band called it a night and returned to the keep.

Brom, on the other hand, was able to learn something curious about Jamir. After watching him all evening and well into the night, Brom discovered that Artur was very skilled at any games of chance that required a certain amount of bluffing. But, perhaps more importantly, When Brom secretly followed Jamir from the gambling house and into Clerkberg, he saw Jamir step into a dark alleyway and mysteriously vanish. After a thorough search in the area, Brom was convinced that Jamir had not used a secret door, but instead used some magical means of transporting himself to some other location. This, of course, was curious behavior for someone who supposedly had nothing to hide. With nothing more to go on, Brom also returned to the keep and informed his companions of what he had seen.

On Waterday, the 12th, everyone but Tadwin returned to the city and did further investigating. Tadwin, on the other hand, stayed behind to learn the dimensional anchor spell. While passing by the Low Market, Corvyn saw an old friend, a dwarven blacksmith by the name of Grumm. Grumm gave Corvyn a dirty look which prompted Corvyn to find out why. Grumm was clearly upset with Corvyn for some unknown reason and before long the two began insulting one another and almost got into a scuffle. But Zeke cast a detect magic spell on him and quickly realized that Grumm was under some kind of spell. So Zeke dispelled the enchantment and when he did so, Grumm’s attitude suddenly changed and he apologized to Corvyn, saying he did not know what had come over him.

It occurred to the band then that perhaps someone had been going around the city, someone like Rohnam, and had been casting some kind of spell on friends of the band in an effort to spread the malicious rumors and cause trouble for the band. With this thought in mind, the band decided to visit some of their friends in order to further test this theory and remove any unwanted enchantments they might discover. Their first stop was Corvyn’s old trainer, Strayfer, but they detected no spell on him.

Next, they visited some of Zeke’s friends. They started with Daerok, who was a Sergeant in the City Watch and one of Zeke’s most trusted older friends. As soon as Daerok saw him, he ordered some of the City Watch to arrest Zeke, despite having already been cleared by Constable Fanshen. Corvyn stepped in and did what he could to hold off the guards while Zeke cast another detect magic. As expected, Zeke detected an enchantment on Daerok, so he dispelled it as well. When he did, Daerok also changed his attitude and ordered the guards to stand down. Zeke then explained to him what had occurred, and informed him that the band suspected that Rohnam was responsible for this.

Afterwards, the band visited his surrogate father Vangredd, who was also a cleric at the Temple of Boccob. Vangredd did not have any enchantment on him, but he told the band of an unusual encounter with a halfling whom Vangredd suspected tried to cast a spell on him. To the band, this sounded like it may have been Rohnam making use of his ring of alteration. Finally, the band visited the market place where the old mysterious Baklunish fortune-teller, Maerrida could be found. As was often the case, she seemed to be expecting Zeke but was also very cryptic with her responses. Though she did not appear to have any spell on her, she warned Zeke, as she almost always did, of danger and troubles to come. She mentioned something about possessions and property being in jeopardy. So the band immediately headed over to the pawnshop. Fortunately, at this time, they found nothing amiss with the pawnshop, which still remained closed.

Later in the day, Tadwin took a break from his studies to visit the Wizard’s Guild so he could stock up on a few spell components. On his way there, he met with the rest of the band who told him what they had learned so far this day. So, a short while later, while at the Guild, Tadwin was not taken entirely by surprise when he witnessed his friend Connor at the Guild talking to other wizards there and spreading potentially harmful rumors about him. But instead of trying to stop Connor or attempting to counter the rumors, Tadwin let him continue, thinking and rather enjoying the idea that these rumors might make people fear him. In fact, Tadwin’s only course of action in the matter was to visit the drow librarian, Jawal Severnain, and ask him about a spell that Rohnam could cast in order to cause such an effect. Eventually, he discovered a spell called “malicious spite” that fit the description, but chose, in the end, not to buy a copy of it.

That evening, the band devised a plan to try and learn more about Jamir Rellstar, still convinced he was somehow involved with the Cult of the Shriven Sickle. Diamond used an illusion to disguise himself as a wealthy noble and visited the Wheel of Gold Gambling House while Zeke and Brom hid outside. Corvyn and Tadwin, meanwhile, hid by the alley where Jamir had disappeared the night before. As hoped, Jamir likewise paid a visit to the gambling house, and when he left, Diamond, Zeke and Brom followed him. Once again, Jamir made his way to the neighborhood of the Wizard’s School and once again he disappeared mysteriously. But this time it was in the midst of a small grove of trees rather than the alley, and Brom was close enough to see that Jamir had used a silent means to vanish as if using a dimension door which was possibly activated by tapping his boots together.

The next day, Earthday, the 13th, the band was so certain that Jamir was involved with the cult that they came up with a plan to try and catch Jamir in the act of attacking or kidnapping a victim. With this idea in mind, they then visited the House of the Knights of Holy Shielding and asked for a volunteer who would be willing to act as bait. Somewhat doubtful of the outcome and yet eager to put an end to the cult, a paladin by the name of Redshir volunteered to assist the band. But it would have to wait until that evening. So, in the meantime, the band tended to other matters.

A short while later, they visited the pawnshop, and this time they found that it had been vandalized. Windows were smashed in, some merchandise had been stolen, and graffiti was written on the walls saying things like “Nerull Worshipers” and “Murderers”. Zeke used a few cantrips to repair the damage and clean up the graffiti.

That evening, the band put their plan into action. Zeke and Diamond disguised as wealthy nobles and visited the Wheel of Gold Gambling House where they watched, from a distance, Redshir, who also appeared at the gambling house. Corvyn, Tadwin and Brom, meanwhile, hid outside and waited. Unfortunately, Jamir never showed up that evening. So the band eventually gave up and returned to the keep.

On the following day, Freeday, the 14th, the band’s only objective was to try their plan again, hoping for better results. So they did not returned to the city until that evening. When they did return, they set themselves up in the same positions as on the previous night. But, once again, Jamir did not make an appearance.

The next morning, Starday the 15th day of Readying, Diamond cast a divination spell to see if it would be worth the effort to try their plan a third time. The answer he received indicated that on this night, they would likely have better results. So again, that evening, the band returned to the Wheel of Gold Gambling House, using the same tactics as on the previous two nights. This time, Jamir finally appeared.

As planned, Redshir made sure to make himself noticed by Jamir, and as hoped, Jamir soon struck up a conversation with him. Eventually, as the evening wore on, the luck of the two men ran out at the gambling tables, or possibly in the case of Jamir, he allowed himself to lose out. Whatever the case, shortly before midnight, Jamir invited Redshir to join him at the Silver Dragon Inn, where Jamir promised him they would find a more interesting time. When the two men left, the Company of the Green Dragon followed.

A short while later, when the two men drew near to the Silver Dragon, Jamir told Redshir that he wanted to show him something at the side of building. When Redshir hesitated to accompany him, Jamir lightly grabbed Redshir by the arm in an effort to encourage him and when he did, the band made their move to attack. Tadwin hit Jamir with a dimensional anchor spell, thereby assuring he could not escape with magic. The rest of the band then ran up. As they did so, several others came out from behind a corner and attacked Redshir.

One was a middle-aged woman with long flowing black hair and a terrifying, homicidal look on her face. Dressed in full plate armor and wielding a sickle, the band realized she had to be a member of the Cult of the Shriven Sickle and later on confirmed that she was known as Xanthi Lamman, High Priestess of Nerull. Next to her was a fearsome looking bearded man, tall and hulking of stature, also dressed in plate armor and wielding a sickle. He was called Garyne the Shroudrender. And finally, there was a huge, muscular half-orc dressed in plate armor like his companions, but wielding a greatsword. Grotnek Urtekknis he was called.

While it was clear that the three newcomers intended to do harm to Redshir, and thus they were obvious targets for the band, it was not so clear that Jamir meant to do him any harm – at least not at first. So the band focused their efforts on the three newcomers while, at the same time, trying to subdue Jamir.

When Corvyn entered the battle, he was quickly met by the half-orc, Grotnek who, unexpectedly tore into Corvyn, showing he was easily as strong and skilled as Corvyn, if not more so. Then Corvyn was attacked from behind by an invisible assailant who remained invisible. Already Corvyn was badly wounded and it quickly became obvious that Corvyn could not survive much longer being flanked by these two attackers.

Jamir, meanwhile, did eventually attack the band, so the band attacked back in kind. Zeke hit the invisible attacker with a glitterdust spell, revealing the attacker to be a woman. Then Tadwin threw up a wall of force between Corvyn and Grotnek, which prevented Grotnek from attacking Corvyn. The wall of force also cut Jamir and the invisible woman off from their allies. So these two became the focus of the band’s attacks and they were soon taken down. Unfortunately, the wall of force left Redshir on the wrong side. So Grotnek turned and attacked him, quickly dropping the paladin.

It did not appear, however, that the cult expected to face such opposition and they apparently had no desire for a prolonged battle. Seeing that things were not going well for them, they soon were looking for a means of escape. Garyne gulped down a potion of fly, unaware of the fact that he would not be able to escape. Moments later, he was blasted out of the sky by a fireball from Tadwin, and his body was retrieved by an invisible Brom who flew after him. Xanthi, however, did manage to escape with Grotnek when she grabbed the half-orc and cast a word of recall spell.

Although Garyne was killed, the band managed to take Jamir and the invisible woman alive but unconscious. It was only then that the band realized who the invisible woman was. It was none other than their old enemy Imogen Gellet, formerly a barmaid at the Green Dragon Inn and the sole surviving member of the Shapechangers. The band was thrilled to have finally apprehended her. They also managed to get to Redshir in time and keep him from dying.

With the danger now past, they cast a detect magic spell and were in the process of grabbing magic items when the City Watch arrived.
View
Part Three - Chapter Nine: The Fall of the Temple of Nerull

It was on the afternoon of Sunday, the 9th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon began their second assault on the Temple of Nerull. Half a minute into the battle, the first of the five remaining ogre magi was already dead and it appeared early on as if this battle would turn out quite favorably for the band.

Still there were a few surprises, such as when tentacles suddenly sprung out from the roof of a black, tar-like hut near the body of the ogre mage that had just been killed. Appearing much like those of a black tentacles spell, these tentacles tried to grab a hold of Corvyn, but he was able to fight them off.

Seeing the first of their comrades falling before the combined attacks of the band, and realizing that their offensive spells were having little if any effect on the band, the ogre magi apparently decided to change their battle strategy and take a more defensive approach. Having taken very little time to make preparations before entering the battle, the ogre magi tried to fall back and cast more defensive and combat spells on themselves and their forces.

They started off by ordering their troops to gather in groups so the ogre magi could cast spells on them to protect them from fire, knowing that the band relied heavily on fire spells, which were a weakness of the trolls. Once they had protected their forces from fire, the ogre magi then intended to surround themselves with their forces while they continued to cast combat spells on themselves. It appeared as if the ogre magi were convinced that their best chance for victory was to possibly sacrifice their own forces in order to better prepare themselves. Perhaps then, by the time the band had cut through the surrounding forces and reached the ogre magi, the band would be running low on spells and would be easier for the ogre magi to defeat.

The band, however, had ideas of their own, which was to gang up on the ogre magi and take one down at a time. When the ogre magi turned invisible and tried to fly towards their forces, Brom and Corvyn, both of whom could fly and see invisible objects, flew after the nearest ogre mage and attacked him from flanking positions. The ogre mage was forced to stop and defend himself. In desperation, the ogre mage tried unsuccessfully to cast a spell. Then, when he tried to retreat, Brom and Corvyn landed the killing blows, which included a burst of fire. The ogre mage was sent hurtling down into a patch of web that had been created earlier which then caught on fire.

Zeke, Tadwin and Diamond, meanwhile, focused on attacking the other forces. When the ogre mage hit the web, Tadwin used his staff and summoned a fire elemental to land on top of the ogre mage and make sure he was dead. Diamond then cast a confusion spell on one group of enemies, causing two giant trolls and a two-headed troll to become confused. When one of the other ogre magi then arrived at the group to cast the fire protection spell, one of the giant trolls attacked him. The confusion spell continued to cause disruption and havoc among that group of trolls, sometimes forcing even those who were not confused to fight against those that were. As a result, these trolls were ineffective defenders of the ogre mage who sought their protection. Brom and Corvyn had killed the last ogre mage so quickly that this one had little time to cast defensive spells. So he too was killed fairly quickly.

Only the last two ogre magi had sufficient time to cast enough spells on themselves to make worthy opponents of the band. But by the time Brom and Corvyn were headed towards the first of these, the ogre magi’s defenders had been considerably weakened by the band’s spell casters. Tadwin had cast a chain lightning spell that devastated the first group, killing all of the ogre archers, which had been focusing their attacks on him, and badly wounding the rest. Diamond had also been doing his part with flamestrike spells, only half of which were fire-based and therefore only partially protected from by the trolls. Zeke, meanwhile, focused on the last ogre mage and his group of defenders. Realizing that they were all protected from fire, Zeke launched a seemingly endless barrage of fireballs at the group until he was able to exhaust the spell that protected them.

When Corvyn and Brom arrived at the third ogre mage, the ogre mage quickly flew to the ground, keeping a nearby building at his back to prevent his two assailants from taking up flanking positions. Going to the ground, also encouraged Brom to land as well, since his natural means of flight was very taxing and therefore limited.

This fact, however, played into the hands of the ogre mage, since it was only while he had an opponent on the ground that the ogre mage could hope to pull off his next intended move. As soon as he found an opening, the ogre mage used his sickle to trip Brom, a maneuver that the ogre mage was quite practiced at. So skilled was he in this, in fact, that it left Brom in a very awkward position, allowing both the ogre mage and his nearest allies the opportunity for a series of much easier attacks on Brom while he was lying prone on the ground. Because of this, Brom found himself in a rare and precarious situation. Fortunately, he was able to recover from this and regain his feet, though it proved to be costly in terms of stamina.

Nevertheless, it was one of the few instances in the battle where the ogre magi were able to deal the band an unexpected setback. Soon after Brom resumed his fighting stance, he and Corvyn were able to drop the 8th ogre mage. And knowing he was protected from fire, they made sure he would not be regaining consciousness any time soon. Then they moved on to the ninth and final ogre mage.

By this time, Zeke had thrown enough fireballs at the ogre mage and his group of trolls and giants that their protection from fire spell had been used up and they were now taking damage from the fire. Because of this, the trolls and giants began dispersing away from the ogre mage, leaving him unprotected. Some of the trolls and ogres were then killed by further mass damage spells, while others ran for cover. One fomorian giant and a two-headed troll, even tried to hide among the myconids, knowing that if they were attacked by mass damage spells the myconids would be forced to enter the battle and use their powerful spore attacks on the band, which could be overwhelming. But the band was wise enough to not to use such spells and instead limited their attacks to those that would affect only the giant and the troll.

The last of the ogre magi, meanwhile, seeing that his allies had fled away from him, no doubt realized the hopelessness of the situation and very likely began looking for a means of escape. But the band saw this as well and some of them began moving to cut off any escape route. So, left with little choice, the ogre mage cast a slay living spell and, in an act of desperation, flew up towards Zeke to try and hit him with the spell. But he missed. Moments later, Brom and Corvyn were flanking him and quickly wearing him down.

In a final act of defiance, the ogre mage reached out and managed to hit Brom with the slay living spell, hoping he could at least take one of the band members with him. Brom, however, managed to resist the spell and took only minimal damage from it, though it still brought him dangerously close to his demise due to previous injuries he was still suffering from. Nevertheless, it would prove to be the last thing that the ogre mage would do before he too would join his brethren in death. Only moments later, the last of the trolls and ogres were killed as well.

When the battle was over, Tadwin informed the band that they would still have to kill the fire elemental he had summoned, knowing it would turn on him when he released control of it. Killing the fire elemental was easy enough, and when it was done, the band took the time to heal up their injuries and search the bodies of the ogre magi for any magic items. They also searched the huts of the ogre magi, making sure to avoid the black tentacles that sprang from the roofs of each of the huts.

Zeke then took the time to speak with the elder myconid via their communication spores and assured him that the band intended no harm to the myconids. An agreement was soon reached, allowing the myconids to live in peace there in the cave.

With this done, the band searched the other buildings in the cave, which were unused barracks, kitchens and store rooms, intended to be used by the army that was supposed to have come from the underdark in the planned invasion on Greyhawk.

Finally, the band turned their attention to the great pyramid at the center of the cave – the temple of Nerull. As before, the band entered through the one opening where the black-red flames issued from. Some members of the band suffered minor burns from the flames as they passed through them, despite the spells that protected them from fire. And once inside the temple, they were again attacked by the two powerful spectres that resided there. Death ward spells protected the band from the worst of the spectres’ attacks however, and it was not long before the band had defeated them.

Still, the band believed that the spectres were not permanently defeated and that eventually they would return. For it had been hinted at in a divination spell that destroying the spirits of the temple would also destroy the temple. But clearly the temple had not been destroyed.

Diamond suggested that resurrection spells cast on the spectres would probably destroy the spectres, and thus the temple. But the divination spell had also mentioned that there was another way to destroy the temple. According to the spell, a mighty blow from a good man of faith at the heart of the temple could destroy it as well, and as an added benefit, he would be greatly rewarded. Seeing this as a better option, the band decided to try this second method first.

Searching about in the temple, the band found a small chamber with a rust-red bone altar that seemed to pour forth an evil aura of death and foreboding. It seemed logical that this was the so-called heart of the temple. And since Zeke appeared to be the only “good man of faith” in the group, the band believed it was up to him to do the task. But Zeke was not particularly strong and there was some question as to whether or not he could deal a mighty blow to the altar. Perhaps, the band thought, the use of a magical weapon would be sufficient. So, with this hope in mind, Zeke took a swing at the alter with one and then another magic weapon. But none of them seemed to have any effect.

Taking inventory of the band’s various weapons then, the band found that their most powerfully enchanted weapon was one of Brom’s daggers. Again there was some doubt about whether or not a dagger would work and Brom was afraid that his dagger would be damaged. But the rest of the band talked him into it. So Brom handed his dagger over to Zeke. Zeke took the dagger and with both hands brought it down onto the altar with all his strength. To everyone’s surprise, the dagger was buried in the altar up to the hilt! When Zeke tugged on the dagger to extract it, the dagger snapped and fell apart. Almost instantly, Zeke then felt a surge of power go through him. At the same time the temple began to shake, while dust and pebbles fell from the ceiling. Then the ground rumbled with a tremendous sound that seemed to come from deep within the earth. It felt as if the stairs leading into the underdark beneath the pyramid had just collapsed!

Suddenly the band realized that the temple was crumbling and that they had to get out before it caved in on them. Quickly the band turned and fled out of the temple through the entrance way where the black-red flames had just been extinguished. As soon as the band emerged from the temple, the pyramid split in two and the giant statue of Nerull above came crashing down in a thunderous roar.

All around was covered in a giant cloud of dust and debris as a sound wave of destruction echoed throughout the huge cavern. When at last, the sound faded away and the dust began to settle, all that remained was a ruined mound of stone with a massive crack down the center and the bizarre remnants of a gigantic skeletal figure lying in a heap.

Unfortunately, Brom’s dagger was also destroyed. But the rest of the band offered to help replace it. On the other hand, the temple was likewise destroyed and the ogre magi were defeated, leaving no one within the ruins of the Tower of War who could realistically challenge the band. In addition to this, a major threat to the city of Greyhawk had, once and for all, been eliminated.

On a more personal note for certain members of the band, Zeke was rewarded, perhaps by Boccob himself, with an unexpected pool of knowledge and insight, while Tadwin came to the realization that his days of being a cleric of Nerull were over. Surely, Nerull would never forgive Tadwin for what he took part in on this day and other followers of Nerull would only see him as a traitor and an enemy. It appeared the time had come for Tadwin to seek the guidance of another, perhaps more appropriate, deity.

With thoughts like these on their minds, the band made one last search through the ruins of the temple for anything of value not yet recovered. Then they gathered up what they had collected and prepared to return to the city. Despite what they had accomplished, there were still issues to be dealt with.

There were the derro, for example, who were almost certainly quite upset with the band, feeling as though they had been betrayed. Then there were the duergar, who although they would be glad to hear of the defeat of the ogre magi, would also be upset to learn that the temple was destroyed along with the means of passage back to the underdark. And finally, there was Rohnam, Grimtorr and Grog who had betrayed the band. They could still pose a problem for the band, and the band felt they needed to exact some revenge upon them.
View
Part Three - Chapter Eight: The Enemy Among Us

It was on the afternoon of Earthday, the 6th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon began their assault on the Temple of Nerull. Just under 2 minutes into the battle, things were looking good for the band, especially considering the fact that a traitor was in their midst and had been for almost two months. But things did not stay good for much longer.

As the battle continued, Brom was able to kill the only remaining fomorian giant on top of the pyramid, thus allowing Corvyn to remove the weapon cord from his wrist, place his broken giant-bane sword in its scabbard, draw his flaming longsword and quaff a potion of fly, all of which delayed him from reentering the battle for some time. Meanwhile, Diamond’s troll skeletons entered the cave, followed by the derro which began blasting the nearest trolls and giants with their sound burst spells. Brom flew off to begin attacking another group of monsters, while Tadwin harassed others with a glitterdust spell and Diamond cast a holy smite spell.

It was at about this point when the tide of the battle quickly turned against the Company of the Green Dragon. The four remaining ogre magi had turned invisible and the ogre archers had taken down all of Tadwin’s mirror images and were beginning to hit him. Then suddenly, three of the ogre magi appeared around Tadwin as they struck him with three slay living spells. Tadwin managed to survive the first two somehow, but the third one was just too much and he died. While Tadwin’s body slowly drifted towards the ground, since he was no longer in control of his fly spell, the others anxiously awaited the arrival of Zeke who carried the rod of resurrection.

By this time, some members of the band were beginning to notice that the derro were only arriving from one set of stairs, even though the 160 derro that had joined them were sent down both sets of stairs. No one knew why. Fortunately, Zeke did not wait for the 80 derro in front of him to move into the cave. Using his winged boots, he flew over the heads of the derro and was soon followed by Rohnam who had downed a potion of fly. When Zeke entered the cavern and assessed the situation, he knew what had to be done and began searching for the rod of resurrection.

Rohnam likewise assessed the situation and immediately began to act upon a plan he had devised over the previous two weeks or so. He produced a scroll and flew near Zeke, telling him he had something that would help. He then cast a spell from the scroll and a greenish beam flew from Rohnam’s hand and struck Zeke. Zeke felt no affect from the spell, whatever it was intended to do, nor could he figure out what spell Rohnam had cast.

But with more pressing matters on his mind, Zeke did not give it much further thought and continued looking for the rod of resurrection. Due to the malevolent spirits that forever harassed him, it always took Zeke just a little bit longer to find anything in his backpack. Once he found the rod however, he flew over Diamond who was already near Tadwin’s body. Zeke intended to drop the rod near Diamond and let him resurrect Tadwin. Unfortunately, Zeke’s malevolent spirits may have also hindered him in this as the rod took an odd bounce and rolled away from Diamond after he dropped it.

Diamond then had to move, in order to retrieve the rod. But he was dangerously close to a giant troll and badly wounded. He could not turn his back on the giant troll knowing full well that the giant troll could easily drop him if he did. So Diamond waited to see if the nearby derro and troll skeletons could finish off the giant troll, which was likewise badly wounded. Unfortunately, they could not quite take the troll down. So Diamond tried to cast a spell defensively, but failed in the attempt.

This, however, allowed one of the ogre magi the opportunity to fly down and grab the rod of resurrection before Diamond could get to it. Whether the ogre mage knew what the rod was or not is uncertain. But what was certain was that Tadwin was not going to be resurrected anytime soon. To make matters worse, the giant troll then attacked Diamond, striking him with a mortal blow. And, as if this were not enough, it had now become obvious to Diamond who the band’s traitor was.

Diamond had known for quite some time that there was a traitor in the band. He just didn’t know who it was. Therefore he could not reveal this knowledge to anyone. He was new to the group, not even an official member of the band at this point, so he did not know who he could trust. If he had to guess, he probably would have picked Tadwin as the traitor, considering certain rumors he had heard about the wizard.

But he would have been wrong. A week or so before the battle, Diamond had cast a divination spell asking for general advice on the battle. He received another cryptic response that said, “When the betrayer reveals his game, your only hope may be the prince of flame.” Diamond now understood that the traitor had been Rohnam, for even at this moment, Rohnam had retreated back into the stairwell, where he cast another spell from a scroll that appeared to create a wall of force, which would block off any escape from the cavern. This was apparent, because the derro who still had yet to enter the cave were now prevented from doing so by some invisible barrier. It also made sense now that the other group of derro had never arrived. Most likely they too had encountered something blocking the stairwell.

All of this now became painfully clear to Diamond in his great wisdom – but it was all much too late. Though he did not know what spell Rohnam had cast on Zeke, he was certain it was not good and would probably prevent Zeke, and thus the band, from escaping the cave. Diamond realized then that it was probably true – the band’s only hope was to call upon the prince of flame, the efreeti named Kallian. And so with his dying breath, Diamond called out to Zeke, telling him they had been betrayed and imploring him to call upon the efreeti.

Zeke heard Diamond, but at first did not realize the seriousness of the situation. It soon dawned on him though. Two of his allies were now dead. More than half the derro had failed to arrive. Some of the derro appeared to be blocked by an invisible barrier. Rohnam had cast some mysterious spell on him and then disappeared. Grimtorr and Grolg were nowhere to be seen. The situation most certainly did not feel right and who knew what was going to happen next?

Going on the assumption that Diamond knew something that he did not, Zeke decided to follow his advice and use his ring to summon the efreeti. Knowing that the efreeti could grant him a wish, he began thinking of what he might wish for. Having been advised to be very careful in asking the efreeti to grant wishes and not wanting to ask for too much, when Kallian did arrive, he asked for Kallian to transport him and his companions, with all of their possessions, including the rod of resurrection, back to the band’s pawn shop. As always, Kallian nodded and said, “Your wish is my command.”

As some scholars may be aware, efreeti are notorious for twisting wishes around in such a way that, while the wish is granted, in a matter of speaking, it is usually not in the manner that the recipient of the wish had intended. Thus it was rather fortunate that the efreeti merely deposited everyone in a jumbled ball inside the band’s very crowded vault in their pawn shop, where they had to wait on someone in the shop to let them out. As hoped, Zeke arrived at the shop, as did Brom and Corvyn and the bodies of Tadwin and Diamond, along with their traveling possessions, including the rod of resurrection. But so did many of the band’s other possessions which had been stored at Prism Keep and which later had to be sorted out.

Once emerging from the vault however, the band’s first priority was to resurrect Tadwin. Diamond had to wait for the following day since the rod of resurrection could only be used once a day. With Tadwin back, the band then discussed what had occurred and it quickly became clear that if Rohnam had betrayed them, he could pose a serious threat to their security. So the band closed the shop and sent all their employees home until further notice. Then the band grabbed all their most valuable possessions, including any magic items for sale and headed for their house. At the house they noted that Rohnam’s henchman Sarina was gone as were all of her possessions. The band advised all of their henchmen who normally stayed at the house to go with them, and everyone returned to Prism Keep except Brom. Zeke gave his gate key to Brom so he could return on his own.

Brom then moved through the streets of the Slum Quarter invisibly for a bit, looking for trusted members of the Beggar’s Union, so he could hire a few to gather any information on the whereabouts of Rohnam. Doing so, however, meant that, for the first time, he had to reveal to these beggar’s his altered appearance, including his new wings. Then he returned to the pawn shop and waited on the roof to see if Rohnam would make an appearance. By ten o’clock, he had seen no sign of Rohnam. So Brom returned to Prism Keep. There, the band spent a few days training and devising yet another plan to attack the ogre magi. Concerned that the gateway to Greyhawk was no longer safe to travel through, the band began making more visits to the towns and villages that lay below Prism Keep for all their needs. During this time, Diamond was resurrected and the diminished health of both his and Tadwin’s was restored.

Three days after fleeing the castle ruins, the band was ready, on Sunday, the 9th day of Readying, to return for their 12th expedition into the Tower of War. This time, Tadwin felt he would be capable of teleporting all five of them, including Diamond, into the ogre magi’s cavern. And it was hoped that without a spy among them, the battle against the ogre magi would go much differently than their first one. In an attempt to further take them by surprise, the band waited until later in the day to make their attack and, as before, used a false vision spell to prevent the ogre magi from scying on them.

When the band was ready and had cast their preparatory spells and drank their potions, they stepped through the gateway into the sewers of Greyhawk. From there, after confirming with an augury spell, they immediately teleported into the ogre magi’s cavern on top of the pyramid. As hoped, the ogre magi were completely surprised by the band’s sudden arrival, and right from the start, the band took control of the battle by quickly killing the two fomorian giants on guard duty there. From there, the band started at the rear of the cavern and began taking down the trolls and giants. The five remaining ogre magi had all been inside their huts and only managed to cast a couple of defensive spells before they felt compelled to enter the battle. As a result, they were not as heavily protected and easier to strike.

Zeke and Tadwin then worked to separate and divide the enemy forces by use of a web spell and a wall of force. Then the band, all of which had some means of flying, worked on killing everything caught between the webs and the wall of force. Only half a minute into the battle, the first of the five ogre magi was killed just outside the entrance to his hut. It looked at this point as if this battle would turn out much differently than the last battle.
View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.