By noon, on Freeday, the 14th day of Patchwall in the Common Year of 580, the Company of the Green Dragon was well into their sixth expedition into the Tower of War in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. Having just killed four trolls that had been guarding an altar to Vaprak and a set of double doors that lay beyond, the band then stepped back into a corridor to investigate another set of double doors they had seen about thirty feet away.Upon opening these doors, they found a large chamber that looked like a tavern after a good brawl. The stools were broken, the tables were overturned, and there was food and grime on the floors. A handful of trolls were enjoying a combination of eating and fighting. Stranger still were the two living troll heads that were sitting on a far shelf, and which were being prodded with a stick by another troll. But as soon as they took note of the light cast by a daylight spell that Kelgor had cast earlier, the trolls suddenly turned towards the band and began to approach. Tadwin then stepped into the doorway and launched a fireball that engulfed most of the trolls. When the smoke cleared, one of the trolls moved to the front and was quickly cut down by Corvyn with his giantbane greatsword. Kelgor then led the charge into the room and Corvyn was right behind him. It was at this point that the band got a good look at the rest of the room and saw that in addition to eight normal sized trolls, there was a landing to the right where stood three very large female trolls, one of which was casting spells. Most of the spells she was casting appeared to be the kind that bolstered the other trolls or herself. But after Corvyn was savagely mauled by one of the trolls, he then fell victim to a hold spell that left him defenseless and in a very precarious situation. Kelgor did what he could to heal him up, but it was Tadwin who came to his rescue by dispelling the hold spell. Brom likewise had his difficulties due to the troll shaman. Following Brom’s initial sneak attack, the troll shaman cast a spell which, from that point on, foiled Brom’s preferred method of turning invisible before attacking. As a result, Brom was not as effective at dealing out damage as he would otherwise be. But, despite these setbacks, the band persevered. Eventually, mostly due to Corvyn and his sword, the band began to make headway against the trolls, and as the band would take them down, Zeke or Tadwin would finish them off with a burning hands spell, an acid splash, or a flaming sphere. The battle went on for quite some time, but finally the only troll left standing was the shaman. Even before she had cast a number of defensive spells on herself, she was a very tough troll to defeat. Fortunately though, she too had a difficult time trying to hit those who pressed in on her and she even resorted to channeling negative energy which struck all members of the band. In the end, however, the band proved to be too much for her and, after receiving an astonishing amount of injuries, she finally collapsed to the ground. Realizing how valuable she might be to the manager of the Pit back in Greyhawk, Zeke used several charges from his wand to try and polymorph the shaman into a harmless animal. But even on the verge of death, she proved to be too difficult for this. So, as the band had done with the other trolls, they set her body on fire to insure she would not be getting back up. When the battle with the trolls was over, the band healed up their injuries and searched about the room, though they did not find anything of value. At this point, the spellcasters of the band were very low on spells, so, even though they had only been in the ruins for a couple of hours on this expedition, they decided to retreat back to Greyhawk once again. They were also concerned about Corvyn, who had been drained of life energy and they wanted to make sure they could cure his affliction before it got any worse or got more expensive to heal. A few hours later, the band was back in Greyhawk, and Zeke took Corvyn to the temple of Boccob, where the band paid to have a restoration spell cast upon him. They also picked up a few more supplies and the rest of the day passed uneventfully. On the following morning, that of Starday, the 15th day of Patchwall, the band set out yet again and began their seventh expedition into the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. Tadwin’s henchman, Niki, not having heard any news about Imogen for the past week or so, rejoined the rest of the henchmen and came along as well. This time, before proceeding to the fourth underground level, the band gave their henchmen new instructions. After lowering the band down on the lift, the henchmen were to explore the third level for any signs of the troglodytes, which were believed to have been killed by the duergar, and to kill the giant frogs they had seen previously on the third level. Upon reaching the fourth underground level again, the band picked up where they left off and returned to the room where the big battle with the trolls had taken place. Here, they found evidence of more recent activity, as well as the footprints of other trolls. They followed these tracks back to a kitchen where they found nothing of real interest. But beyond this they came to a hallway leading to five bedchambers, two of which were occupied by two more female troll leaders. The band killed these two without too much difficulty and found some minor treasure, although, as had been the case with much of the previous two levels, the band was disappointed at having found no magical treasure. From here, the band returned to a corridor at the perimeter of the troll-controlled area and found a set of stairs leading down to the next level. Water ran down these stairs making them look very slippery. Before taking the stairs however, they looked further down the corridor and saw that it came to a collapsed dead-end. They then investigated another set of double doors at the opposite end of the corridor. Beyond these doors, the band found an oddly shaped room with numerous pits dug into the floor. Inside these shallow pits were seven trolls which had been sleeping and were taken by surprise. Before the trolls could act, Tadwin cast a black tentacles spell, which grappled the trolls and greatly hampered their movement, although it also momentarily grappled Kelgor as well. With the trolls grappled, the band was able to take their time and cut the trolls down as they gradually made their way towards them. Zeke broke his spear during the fight, but it wasn’t magical, so it wasn’t a big loss. Eventually, the band was able to kill all seven trolls and the band was able to search the room for items of interest. In a few of the pits, the band found some valuable gems, but, once again, no magic items. A couple of nearby side chambers appeared to have only large piles of refuse in them, though the band did not dig through them. From this area, the band returned to the double doors that had been guarded by the first four trolls they encountered. Beyond these doors the band found what had once been a torture chamber with four prison cells, three of which still contained prisoners. In the first cell were three duergar, in the second were two dwarf-like beings whom the band realized were derro, and in the third cell were two strange looking fish men that the band assumed to be kuo-toa. All of them spoke undercommon, so the band questioned them and agreed to set them free if they would tell the band all they knew about the lower levels. From these ex-slaves the band learned several interesting bits of information, such as the kinds of humanoids they would probably encounter, the fact that there was a gold mine in the lower levels, as well as a gladiatorial arena, and that all of this was ruled by several ogre magi clerics of Nerull whose temple could be found on the lowest level. They even learned the names of four of these ogre magi: Nurroch, Krellock, Morgarin, and Korideth. In a nearby room, the duergar were allowed to collect their breastplates and picks. Then they followed the band back to the lift chamber and waited there, while the derro and kuo-toa wandered off on their own. At this point, the only unexplored areas left on this level were either underwater or beyond collapses. So the band returned to the underwater area that Brom had explored previously. Here, Corvyn removed most of his gear and waded into the water. Tadwin used a dancing lights spell to help light the way, and Corvyn swam through the completely submerged passageway to a stuck door that Brom was unable to open. Corvyn pushed on the door and entered a room that was likewise completely submerged with very cloudy water and bits of debris floating about. Looking around, Corvyn found six manacle chains, a few branding irons and the metal form of a rack, all that remained of another torture chamber that once existed there. There was another door on the opposite side of the chamber, but before Corvyn could get to it, he suddenly realized that the water was filled with leaches and that he was now being drained of stamina. Corvyn turned around immediately and headed back as fast as he could. As soon as he emerged from the water in a panic, he shouted at Zeke to cast a burning hands spell on him. Zeke did as requested and the spell burned Corvyn pretty badly, but it also killed all the leaches attached to him. Corvyn was then magically healed of his wounds, though they could do nothing at the time for the draining effects of the leaches. With no one having any desire to enter the leach infested water, they decided to try and enter the area from the opposite direction. Circling around to a wide corridor with a door at one end and a collapsed passageway beyond that, the band came up with a plan to find out what lay beyond the collapse without having to do a lot of digging. Tadwin cast a gaseous form spell on Brom, who then seeped through the rubble to see if it would be worth exploring. Just beyond the collapsed area, which was more than thirty feet long and would have required many hours of digging, Brom came to a chamber with a giant-sized bed in it and a set of stairs leading down to the door that Corvyn had seen underwater. There were many cracks and fissures in the northeast wall of the chamber and something, a body perhaps, lay under the covers on the bed. But Brom saw nothing of particular interest, so he returned to his companions, via an alternate route through another collapsed passageway, where he resumed his solid form and described to the others what he had seen. All then agreed it would not be worth the trouble to explore any further. Here, the band decided that they had explored enough of the fourth underground level, as the only thing left lay under or beyond collapsed passageways and would require a great deal of digging. They then began to make plans for exploring the fifth underground level, and one of the first decisions they had to make, was how to reach it, since the lift to that level had been destroyed. Before going down however, they had their henchmen lower the lift from above and took the three recently found duergar back up to the duergar complex where they could rejoin their kin. The henchmen, by this time, had finished investigating the third level, and found that the duergar had indeed killed all the troglodytes. The henchmen had also hunted down and killed all the giant frogs. When the band was finally ready, they made their way to the stairs leading to the fifth level. After much debate, the band decided to try using the stairs, which were made slippery and dangerous due to the water that continually ran down them, rather than climbing down the elevator shaft, which also had water pouring down through it. As it turned out however, the band soon had second thoughts about the decision they made. Brom used a spider climb elixir and Kelgor cast a fly spell on himself, to avoid the slippery stairs. All the other members of the band though, with the exception of Zeke, ended up tumbling down the stairs most of the way and were pretty beat up by the time they reached the bottom. From the bottom of the stair well, the band explored around a little bit, finding that the stairs actually continued on down to the next level. There were a few other corridors as well. But much of the level was in ruins, as the walls and ceilings had collapsed in many areas. The duergar had, in fact, warned them against creating any explosions as the entire level was very unstable. Near the stairwell, the band soon found the lift chamber where the water poured in from the level above. The elevator shaft going to the next level was completely destroyed and some thirty feet down the water crashed onto a pile of rubble that filled much of the shaft. Lying atop this pile of rubble was the crushed body of a creature that looked part lion and part dragon, which the band eventually identified as a dragonne. Brom climbed down to it to take a look, but found nothing of use there. At this point, the band began to have a change of heart about exploring the fifth underground level. Just from the small amount that the band had seen so far, there was the sense that this level could be even deadlier than the levels above, and they did not feel that they were quite ready for it. So, it was decided that they would retreat back to the city, where they could spend a couple of days and better prepare themselves. In order to get back up, Brom climbed up the elevator shaft and Corvyn was levitated back up. Then the two of them attached a rope to the winch up above, and the rest of the band was lifted back up, one at a time, using the winch. From there, the band gathered their henchmen and headed back to town. Back in the city, they spent two days resting, training, and preparing themselves. It was during this time that Esremire began to notice a very subtle change in himself, a certain, almost imperceptible empowerment he felt, that was linked somehow to the gems he had gathered in one of the rooms within the ruins. Because these gems were part of the band’s treasure collected within the ruins, and therefore their value should have been shared equally between the members of the band, he intended to sell them. But something did not feel quite right about it – as if they might be cursed. So the band paid a cleric to cast a divination spell on the gems, and they were told that Esremire should keep the gems “for to do otherwise would be one step forward, two steps back.” So, for the time being, Esremire kept the gems. By the morning of Godsday, the 18th day of Patchwall, the band was preparing to make their eighth expedition into the ruins of Castle Greyhawk.