It was about half past 5pm, on the 17th day of Planting, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon entered the wizards’ section of the seventh level in the dungeons of the Power Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. At the bottom of the spiral stairs lay a couple of rooms, the farthest of which was oddly shaped and had a door in the far wall. Having run out of charges on Tadwin’s wand of darkvision, the band was once again using light spells to light the way. As usual, Brom led the way invisibly and checked the door for traps. Finding no traps, he attempted to pick the lock on the door but despite taking considerable time, found he was unable to. Diamond suspected something was wrong and tried to disbelieve the door was real. To his surprise, he discovered that not only was the door not real, but the entire far wall was not real – and just beyond the illusory wall were five heavily armed ettins ready to attack!
Just as Diamond announced his discovery to the rest of the band, the five ettins stepped through the illusory wall and attacked. Fortunately, the ettins were still unaware of Brom and the rest of the band stood further away, so their surprise attack was not as effective as it would have been otherwise. The band then was quick to react and despite the toughness and training of the ettins, the band was able to defeat them without too much difficulty.
When the battle was over, the band stepped beyond the illusory wall and found a much larger oddly shaped chamber with a door to the right. As before, Brom checked the door for traps, and after finding none, opened it. This door led to a short passageway which then opened up into a large cavern about thirty-five feet high. One massive column more than sixty feet away helped support the ceiling while numerous lesser columns rose up from the floor about twenty below the entrance to the cave and were sheared off at the level of the entrance, thus forming a series of stepping stones leading off in different directions. Covering the entire floor of the cave and all of the walls and columns to a height of about twelve feet was a massive colony of flesh-eating green slime!
Realizing the potential danger of trying to hop from one column to the next, over a considerable distance, with gaps ranging from two to five feet between each column, the band thought it best to have Brom scout it out instead as he could fly through most of the cave. So Brom flew around the cave exploring it while Tadwin cast an arcane eye spell. Each of the column pathways led to a small ledge on the side of the oddly-shaped cavern, but most of these ledges appeared to be dead ends. To make matters worse, some of the column tops were coated with lard making them very slippery. One of the ledges, however, in a faraway recess of the cave, had a door above it. Brom opened the door allowing Tadwin’s arcane eye to go inside and have a look.
There, a short passageway led to an octagonal-shaped room. Three of the walls in this room were made of metal and on each of these walls were two silver cylinders mounted horizontally, one near the ceiling and one near the floor. A liquid ran down the walls from the upper cylinders and was collected in the lower cylinders. Brom did not enter the room, which appeared to have no other exits, so the band was not able to determine, at this time, what the odd features were for.
Instead, Brom continued to search the cavern and in one of the furthest recesses he discovered a ledge with a secret door above it. Upon opening this door, he found himself behind a stack of crates and barrels beyond which lay a vast cavern that was dimly lit by a candelabra resting on a table. Seated on either side of table were two ettins enjoying a meal and behaving in a rather unusually civilized manner. Lying about the cavern were all the items of a well-kept home and in one large side cave were two interesting tables. The larger, nearest table was made of solid copper, and on it lay a copper statue of a pig with an open mouth resting on a platter. The farther, smaller table had what appeared to be, lying at its center, a sizable pile of small gems.
Moving silently and invisibly, Brom snuck over to the two far tables and scooped the pile of gems into a bag. One of the ettins apparently noticed the gems disappear and slowly got up to investigate, while Brom tip-toed away to a set of double doors on the far side of the cavern. Brom opened these doors to find a short, but wide passageway that quickly turned to the left and ended at another set of double doors. To Brom’s surprise, there were two ettins there struggling to close the doors on two monstrous, scaly tentacles that had breached the doors.
Brom watched for a moment as the two ettins in the hall managed to push the tentacles back through the doors and then close the doors. Tadwin’s arcane eye, meanwhile, had likewise made its way over to this side of the cavern and was able to take in the spectacle of the ettins fighting with the tentacles. The two ettins in the cavern, however, were now aware of the commotion, and had moved with their weapons towards the same doors, so Brom was forced to deal with them. Taking advantage of his invisibility, he attacked with surprise and was able to kill both of the ettins by himself without much difficulty.
As he was doing so, Tadwin continued to observe the ettins in the hall as they struggled to keep the unknown monster on the far side of the doors. Whatever this strange monster was, it appeared to be very powerful as it banged against the double doors with such force that it caused the doors to groan and shudder with every strike against them. Then the doors began to smoke and hiss as if they were being burned with acid! All the while, the two ettins did what they could to keep the doors closed as they grimaced with pained expressions of concern and fear. This went on for quite a bit, as Brom and Tadwin’s arcane eye stayed back and watched in fascination, and very likely, some concern of their own. Then suddenly both the ettins and any signs of the unknown monster suddenly vanished, leaving behind only the passageway and the double doors! All of this had apparently been only an illusion, most likely a programmed illusion intended to scare away any would-be intruders.
Naturally, the Company of the Green Dragon was undeterred by any of this and once all the threats in the area had been eliminated, the rest of the band used a dimension door and joined Brom in the large cavern. They then took some time to explore about the cavern for anything of interest. The copper pig, it turned out, was magical and it was determined that if one placed gems in its mouth, such as the small gems that Brom had found, it would magically create all kinds of food. Most of the crates in the cavern were loaded with food probably intended to feed the inhabitants of the dungeons.
While the rest of the band was busy figuring these things out, Brom took the time to investigate the double doors at the end of the hall. Finding no further traps on the doors, he opened them to find a wide hallway about sixty feet long with a twenty foot wide pit at the far end just prior to a T-intersection.
Just beyond the doors, however, there was a concealed pit trap which Brom discovered. After disarming this trap, Brom moved down the hallway and peered around a corner into a short hallway to the left and just in front of the far pit. This short hallway ended in a small octagonal-shaped room, with a stone table carved out of the back wall. A small black iron chest with cruel carvings upon it sat upon the table. With his companions still occupied back in the cavern, Brom moved into the room and examined the chest. Finding no traps, he opened it and a light mist slowly billowed out of the chest. Thinking he was immune to any gases because of his magical necklace, Brom was not concerned when the mist flowed on to the floor of the room and gradually began to rise up behind him. Continuing to examine the chest, he took little notice of his surroundings until he realized that the room had filled up with the mist.
Looking back behind him, he then discovered that the passageway he had entered through was no longer there. Instead there was a solid wall. Turning to look ahead of him, he found that the stone table now lay at the center of a larger octagonal-shaped room and a passageway opened on the far side of it. Taking in his new surroundings, Brom eventually began to explore the passageway to see where it led.
Meanwhile, the rest of the band finally noticed that Brom was not around and when they tried to contact him with a message spell, as was their usual method, they got no response. So they went in search of him and soon came upon the room with the small black iron chest. When Tadwin opened the chest and the mist began to billow out, Zeke and Corvyn became concerned and moved out of the room and away from the mist. Tadwin and Diamond, however, chose to stay and see what happened. Soon the room filled up with mist and Tadwin and Diamond were transported to the same place where Brom had been sent and they were able to reconnect with him.
But Zeke and Corvyn were not as eager to join them. They watched from outside the room as it filled with mist and then the mist gradually dissipated, revealing the same room as they had seen before but with no occupants. This alarmed them a bit, so before they did the same thing, they wanted to learn what they could about this iron chest and what it might have done with their companions. Zeke easily convinced Corvyn to follow along with him as he used a dimension door to take the two of them to one of the statues of Boccob there in the dungeons.
At the statue of Boccob, Zeke asked the statue about the iron chest and what happened to their companions. The statue told them that their companions had been transported to the Land of Mists and that if they wanted to retrieve their companions it might be advisable to go there themselves. The more of them that went, the better their chances were of returning. Zeke had heard a few stories about this so-called “Land of Mists” which was supposed to be a land comprised of smaller domains where beings of evil were both rulers and prisoners. He also had heard that most people who go there never return. Despite the advice of the statue, Zeke did not want to go, but Corvyn was able to talk him into it. So Zeke used another dimension door spell and they returned to the room with the iron chest. Moments later, they too had opened the chest and were soon reunited with their companions.
The rest of the band, meanwhile, had explored the passageway which led to a door that opened up in the side of hill at the edge of a forest. Hoping that Zeke and Corvyn would eventually follow them, they waited there for a while. They were just about to give up on Zeke and Corvyn when they finally arrived, bringing with them the news that they were now all in the Land of Mists.
When the band emerged from the forest, the breeze was warm but the trees showed signs of approaching autumn. In front of them was a road so they turned left on the road and soon passed a vine-covered sign reading Thornewood. Up ahead they saw several buildings and streets peeking through the dense woods that surrounded a village. The cobblestone streets were broken and crumbling as though a massive earthquake had recently ripped through the land. Large chunks of the ground had moved to create steps as high as four feet. Most of the half-timber buildings with thatched roofs sat precariously on these newly-made cliffs, while a few had splintered into useless junk that cluttered dying gardens. A few people walked about and climbed over the demolished sidewalks.
Before entering the village, Brom made sure to use his ring of alteration to hide his wings, as he usually did in public settings, and remained visible. When the band tried to ask the villagers questions, they found the villagers to be pleasant but wary, choosing to be short on answers and insisting they were too busy at the time to chat for long. Soon, however, they were approached by a frail, elderly woman who asked them for their assistance.
The woman told them that she wished to collect some groceries but that she could not carry them home by herself. Brom readily agreed to offer the band’s help and asked her to guide them to the grocery store. Tadwin and Zeke, however, had spotted a nearby magic shop and headed in that direction instead. The old lady then took Brom, Corvyn and Diamond to the ruins of a grocery store that appeared to have been recently destroyed. Several children and a few adults were rummaging through the remains, looking for any salvageable supplies, especially food. Whenever they found what they were looking for, they would drop some money on what appeared to be the remains of a counter and walked away.
Corvyn was recruited to carry the groceries that the old lady picked out, while Brom took an interest in the coins lying on the countertop. Wondering where the coins had come from, Brom reached down to pick up one of the coins. But as soon as he touched the coin, the sky above instantly turned dark and after the eyes of the band members adjusted to the darkness, the band found themselves in a completely different setting. It appeared to be a shop for horse tack and riding equipment and nearby were stables with several horses. More importantly, however, was the fact that the old lady was no longer there and neither were the other customers of the ruined grocery store. In their place were five burly, bearded men, all of whom were glaring at Brom who was holding a coin. One of the men, apparently the owner of the shop, set a smoldering cigar down in a beaten tray of copper and said to Brom in a threatening manner, “I suggest you put that stolen money down.”
Brom was not intimidated though, and he turned his ring of alteration off, revealing his mutated form with wings and all – a very frightening sight for anyone not accustomed to such things. All of the men except the store owner suddenly bolted in fear and took off running down the street while the store owner slowly backed away and ducked into a back room. The groceries that Corvyn had been holding were now gone. So, the three of them stepped outside to take a look at the village which had now altered into a pioneer town, complete with log cabins and log barns and shops. The street was merely a dirt road with shallow ruts and the shy was clear, but the temperature was nearly freezing, indicating that winter was rapidly approaching. The layout of the village was very similar as was the surrounding landscape. But clearly this was not the same village they had entered just a short while before.
Zeke and Tadwin had, in the meantime, been visiting a magic shop down the street. They were looking at a few minor magic items when suddenly the town altered into the pioneer town. Having no idea what might have caused the sudden alteration, Tadwin was talked into buying a shot of firewater by the bartender of the bar in which he and Zeke now found themselves, when they heard the sound of men yelling and screaming as they ran down the street towards them. Wondering what all the commotion was all about, Zeke and Tadwin stepped outside and saw their companions approaching. So the band met up again at the center of the village. Tadwin then informed the others that, according to the bartender he just spoke to, the name of the village they were in was Boromar’s Knoll. They discussed, for a bit, what might be going on in this village, when suddenly the village altered again.
This time, all the buildings in the village were transformed into redbrick structures with slate roofs. The streets were newly paved with cobblestones and the weather was warm and breezy, reminiscent of late spring. Several people were milling about the streets. Some sat on benches, while children played a game in the street. Nearby, a new building had appeared. It was an enormous temple made of blood-red stone. Singing could be heard coming from within. Rather than investigate the temple, the band asked for directions to the nearest inn. It was just down the street in the same location where the magic shop and the bar had been. When the band got to the inn they asked the innkeeper the name of the village and were told that it was Pallatia. They asked him about the transformations of the village and the innkeeper did not seem to understand them, telling them the village had remained the same for years. Originally, the band had thought to rent rooms at the inn. But now they were having second thoughts.
Suddenly the village altered again. They were now back in the original village of Thornewood and inside the magic shop. Tadwin considered buying a wand of darkvision, but the shop did not have one. He later realized that it probably would have vanished anyway the next time the village altered. While there in Thornewood, the band asked a couple of people when the earthquake had struck which destroyed the village. One of them said it was about a week before, while another claimed that it was so long ago he could not remember. Not long afterwards, the village altered yet again. The magic shop had become the bar in the village of Boromar’s Knoll.
The band took advantage of the free ale they were offering while they discussed ideas and theories among themselves. Soon the village altered again and the band found themselves back in the inn. Oddly enough, the innkeeper did not recognize them even though it had only been a short while before when they first spoke to him. This seemed to suggest that every time the village altered, it effectively reset itself back to the same starting point.
The band left the inn then and walked to the center of the village to make some observations. Brom, meanwhile, ran back to the cave to see if it ever altered during one of these changes. While Brom was back at the cave, the village altered back to Thornewood and nothing changed inside the cave. The others, however, noticed something odd about a ruined mansion on a nearby hill. In all of the different manifestations of the village, the top of the hill was wooded. Only in Thornewood did the ruins of the manner appear. But every time the ruins appeared, they seemed to be gradually rebuilding the manner. In an effort to test a theory, Zeke made a mark in the road, wanting to see it would reappear the next time this version of the village appeared.
Soon after Brom rejoined the band at the center of the village, the village altered to Pallatia. Once again, the band found themselves standing in front of the temple which had had now grown quiet. While the band was standing there, a beautiful woman emerged from the temple. She was dressed in scanty armor resembling scale mail, several chains dangling from her hair and around her neck, cascading across her mail. Behind her, half a dozen more similarly dressed woman paused in the doorway of the temple. The woman approached the band and introduced herself as Narana, Priestess of Loviatar. The band did not recognize either of the names, but she tried to talk them into entering the temple and learning about her deity whom she referred to as the Maiden of Pain. Her form of worship seemed very odd and contradictory to the band – causing pain in order to lessen greater pains. But apparently, she had many of the villagers convinced and had a sizable following.
Although the band did not care to hear any of Narana’s dogma, they did take an interest in her story. She told them that until recently she and two men, a fighter by the name of Boromar and a wizard by the name of Augustus, had been hirelings working for another wizard by the name of Davion to seek out items of great magic.
She said that about a week ago, she and the other two hirelings had all returned to Davion’s manor house with items to show him, when they apparently interrupted him in his lab. When they entered his lab, he turned to them and said, “Give me everything you got!” That was when everything changed. Narana suddenly found herself in the village of Pallatia, and she had not seen Boromar, Augustus or Davion ever since then. She had also been experiencing memory lapses and until the band mentioned them to her she claimed to never have heard of Thornewood or Boromar’s Knoll. She was also very skeptical about the village altering.
Taking this information, the band decided they needed to rest at this time, and since the cave did not appear to alter in anyway whenever the village did, they went there to rest. Fortunately, they got through the entire night with no problems and not once did they witness any alterations in the land. The next morning, when they exited the cave and returned to the village, it was in the familiar Thornewood version.
As they neared the center of the village, they saw a man in robes pacing back and forth and softly speaking to himself in broken sentences. Without answering himself, he seemed to be receiving satisfactory answers from an invisible ally. When the band approached him, he ignored them at first. But when they began to speak to him, he looked up in horror at the band, then he turned and ran. He did not run far however, before acting as if he had come to his senses. Then he settled down, stopped and turned back around. As the man was walking back towards the band they could not help but notice a remarkable similarity to the priestess, Narana.
“What are your names, please?” the man asked the band. Each member of the band told him their names and said they were the Company of the Green Dragon. The man seemed to make a mental note of each name and introduced himself as the wizard Davion, no doubt the same Davion, the band realized, that Narana had mentioned previously. Soon afterwards the band saw something that sent shivers down their spines. Five other men had appeared behind Davion, and were strolling across the road as if taking no notice of the band – each of them an exact replica of one member of the band. Halfway across the road, these replicas glanced up and saw the band glaring back at them. At first they appeared stunned and confused. But their expressions quickly changed to that of anger and hatred. Immediately, a battle broke out between the two groups.
Early on in the battle, the real Tadwin managed to cast a prismatic spray and turned the false Zeke and Brom into stone, while the real Brom turned invisible and attacked Davion, convinced that he had something to do with the replicas or with the alterations of the village. Brom made enough deadly sneak attacks to easily drop just about anyone. But to the band’s amazement, he did not fall. Moments later, the imposter Corvyn stepped up and killed the real Corvyn after leaving himself in a vulnerable position. Davion then teleported away and the false Tadwin cast a prismatic spray causing the real Tadwin to go insane and attack Zeke with his staff. Brom, still invisible and with the aid of his companions, then killed in quick succession, the false Corvyn, the false Diamond and the false Tadwin.
When the battle was over, the band tried to gather the items of the fallen impostors, but the village then shifted and as it did so, the imposter’s items disappeared. The band now found themselves in the streets of Pallatia, in front of the temple of Loviatar, with people all around, staring at them and the fallen body of Corvyn. The people gasped in horror at the sight of the band and began to back away in fear. But soon they were approached by the priestess, Narana, who emerged from the temple. Much to the band’s surprise, Narana remembered them from their first encounter, unlike everyone else they had met for a second time. Narana offered to raise Corvyn from the dead, but the band declined the offer as it would be too expensive when they could simply wait until later in the day when they would be able to use the rod of resurrection again. But they did take the opportunity to move Corvyn’s body inside the temple where they could more discretely place Corvyn’s body into the portable hole. The band then further questioned Narana and spoke to her about the village transformations. Narana, however, still had her doubts about the village shifting and asked the band to provide her some proof by questioning Boromar, Augustus or Davion. Soon after, the village changed again.
This time, the village shifted to Boromar’s Knoll, and the band found themselves inside another tavern. The band asked the bartender there where they might be able to find Boromar, and the bartender told them that, coincidentally, Boromar was most likely still asleep in a room upstairs. So, the band went and knocked on his door until they woke him up. Boromar, apparently feeling the effects of a hangover, was not in a good mood and refused to believe the band’s story.
He told the band to go away and when they refused he became more upset, saying something about the villagers being right about them and that they were possessed by demons. A heated argument then followed, but was abruptly cut short when the village shifted again. The band now found themselves in an empty room on the second floor of a tavern. When they came downstairs they saw several bars and a few men in robes sipping wine. This was a place they had never seen before. The bartender there said the name of the village was Arcanon. So the band asked about the wizard Augustus and were told they might find him at a magic shop just down the street.
Following the directions given to them, the band made their way to the magic shop where they soon met Augustus for the first time. Just as they had noticed with Narana, the band saw both Boromar and Augustus bore a striking resemblance to Davion. They told Augustus their story, but unlike Boromar or even Narana, Augustus seemed very receptive to what they had to say, all the while nodding in agreement as if they were providing answers to questions he already had formed. He then offered a possible explanation by telling the same story that Narana had told but with more details. Augustus knew that Davion had recently acquired a ring of wishes and he suspected that Davion was in the process of using one of the wishes when the three hirelings interrupted him. So when Davion said, “Give me everything you got”, he literally got everything the hirelings had, including their minds and bodies.
Augustus suggested that all four individuals, including Davion, now shared the same body, and that Davion was aware of this and was able to use the abilities of all four when he was in control of the body. But he could not maintain control of the body for long. The three hirelings, on the other hand, were unaware of the other minds who periodically took control of the body and when they were not in control they would suffer memory lapses. Furthermore, whenever any one of the four minds took control of the body, the village around them would alter to suit the personality of the mind in control. This explanation seemed to make sense and if it was correct it would stand to reason that Davion would do what he could to maintain control of the body and prevent anyone from getting in his way. In order to fix things, Augustus suggested the band remove the ring of wishes from Davion and use it to reverse the wish. He also suggested that Davion might be more vulnerable in his lab in the manor on the hill, which was gradually reforming.