Swamp Tower of the Missing Sorceress

Episode 1 - Crazy Purple Haze

Welcome to Ticago

Our game opened with our heroes, Torbera Rumnaheim the Dwarf Soldier, Mulligan Fleetfoot the Half-Elf Charlatan, and Maklor Redfist the Half-Orc Pirate, making camp for the night. Their journey has taken them through "the swamp", a vast, fetid bog which is an economically worthless no-man's land between several fiefdoms.

Suddenly, without warning or time to react, a thick purple fog sweeps over their camp and knocks them out. An unknown amount of time later they came to on a swamp raft with flowers strapped to their face. The raft belonged to Nak, a scout from Ticago, a village deep in the swamp. For years Ticago has been under the protection of the sorceress, a benevolent spellcaster who lived in a structure floating above the village, and created the fog as a a thin barrier of protection for the village. About a month ago the sorceress stopped showing up for her weekly meetings with the village, and the fog billowed outward, forcing refugees, both human and Bullywug, to flood in from their villages. Coupled with the trouble of their recent reeve and their lack of food…

Suddenly a massive force slammed into Nak's raft and forced it to beach on a rocky outcrop. A massive swamp gator crawled out of the water. Luckily Maklor's rapier and Torbera's warhammer made short work of it. Nak mentioned the fog was also making the swamp creatures much more aggressive. Maklor quickly skinned the gator before they set of for the village.

Ticago itself was fairly standard swamp village. Wooden houses raised above the water on stilts, connected by walkways. Far above the village, hundreds of feet in the air, was the wonder. A massive pyramid, floating "upside-down", with water pouring out of the tip to the village's main square.

Nak said his farewells, and our crew went to go meet with Ondo, the reeve. Ondo was a nervous young man, unfamiliar with the reigns of power. Apparently the Sorceress had a Bullywug servant named "Mud-Slap". Ondo thought that the bullywug empress may have some connection to him, and thus to the sorceress, but he committed a faux-pass against the empress ("I called her a 'queen'") and has been banned from meeting with her. Noticing Mulligan's expertise in swindling and social matters, he begged the party to find an audience with the "Empress Splenda, third of her name" and see what she knows.

Mulligan and Torbera headed to the drinking shack. Not a "tavern" per se, more of a platform where idlers like to gather, drink and, chat. Torbera pounded back a few with an inebriated lizardman who revealed that bullwugs are cowards at heart, and easily intimidated if you get tough with them. Mulligan came close to losing a finger when it was discovered that he was cheating at dice.

Meklor took his crocodile skin to be quickly dried out and made presentable as a gift. On the way to meet up with Mulligan and Torbera, he stopped by Nak's house to thank him for his help, and to offer some gold for him and his family in these tough times.

The three met and, following Torbera's suggestion, intimidated a bullywug into taking them to the "palace", a run down fishing shack at the edge of town being used as a "temporary sat of government". Surrounded by her "treasures" (old pieces of copper, moldy torn books, etc.) the queen was at first insulted by their impudence at thinking they were worthy of her attention, but warmed up to the "exotic animal skin" they gave her as a gift. She revealed that Mud-Slap was her "spy", and that there was a secret entrance to the pyramid.

Her "master of the hunt" summoned a giant frog which, after they had climbed aboard, leapt to a hidden platform on the side of the pyramid. Our heroes entered the darkness.

They first thing they noticed was that the walls, floor, and ceiling were covered in thick moss and various coloured flowers. They encountered a group of twig blights and fought them off, with Mulligan's firebolt being particularly handy, but during the fight they scuffed some moss off of the walls, revealing that it had not been there long. This was further confirmed when they found the decomposing body of Mud Flap. He was covered in moss, but underneath his corpse was pristine floor.

They fought several more twig blights, discovered that some of the flowers were in fact traps, and discovered than fire is indeed a solution to many of life's problems. During this they would occasionally hear the music of pipes coming from somewhere in the distance. The music compelled them to take actions against their will (not attacking enemies, walking into traps, etc.) but luckily no serious harm came to them.

Finally they reached the final level of the pyramid. Sitting cross-legged, blocking the exit ramp, was a bat-eared, gaunt faced looking fey with a set of pan pipes. He spoke to them in Sylvan, but none of them could understand. Through gestures he made it clear that he wanted the crystal they had found on Mud-Slap's body earlier. Deciding "screw this" our party attacked. It was tricky, they fey kept using his music to try and force them to walk into patches of trapped flowers, and teleporting when they got close. In the end a mighty blow from Torbera's warhammer brought him down.

In a burst of smoke they fey vanished, leaving behind only his pipes and a small bag of blackened baby teeth. A knowledge check revealed that these are used as a form of payment among evil fey.

They climbed up into the light and found themselves in a water garden a covering the base of the pyramid. In the centre of the plain, hidden from the view on the ground below, was a tower shaped like an open hand reaching into the sky. A large sphere floated above the "palm" of the tower.

Next to the ramp leading out of the pyramid a small pedistal with an open gap the exact shape of Mud Flap's crystal. Placing it in and twisting caused a shimmering field of energy to block the ramp. They removed the crystal and the field remained.

With the sun setting, and exhausted from their trek through they pyramid, the heroes decided to rest for the night.

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