The Lost Pylugwyr

The Tower of Corren
The party forms and climbs a tower.

It is early spring in the town of Old Strawn, It is the beginning of the Merchant Season gathering.  Old Strawn sits on the border of the three major kingdoms of the western edge of the east continent; Blacklion to the north, Faerinhall to the south, and Iron Hill to the east. The Iron Spine Mountain range separate Blacklion and Faerinhall from Iron Hill. Due to treaty agreements Old Strawn does not belong to one kingdom. But each kingdom occupies the town 10 years at a time.

The session opens with Rurik Brawnanvil, a dwarf of the Iron Spines, and Lidda (or L) a young halfling woman. They arrived in town in the early morning via caravan from Faerinhall. Rurik is on route to northern mountain, but has been commissioned to find a Paladin of Pelor in Old Strawn. And Lidda has expressed her need to locate a relative to find work. Their first spot is The Barrel and Blessing for breakfast, Rurik knows the owner, Tamman.

Awakening in a room at the Barrel and Blessing is a young, freshly trained cleric of Pelor named Anton. He has been sent by his Arch-Cleric from Blacklion to search out Paladin El-Lain Durran. Once he has finished his morning prayers, Anton walks down to a mostly empty tavern. He notices a dwarf and halfling at the bar and an elf woman in the back corner. As he approach the bar the halfling slinks to back towards the elf.

Rurik introduces himself to Anton after seeing he is of the church of Pelor. The two quickly realize that they are looking for the same person. Anton came to the inn, because it was said Durran was staying here. After asking Tamman. the innkeeper, he tells the two that Durran requested the spare key to her room, leaving the room blocked off. Anton and Rurik chose to walk to the local chapel to Pelor.

Meanwhile in the back of the bar, Lidda approaches the elf, a female dressed in green and blue robes. The Elf's name is Immeral, a student from the White Tree Aerister in the East. It appears that the two are both interested in the tower in the town. Immeral is looking for a colleague of her master, and Lidda doesn't relate her reasons for wanting to checked the tower. The two leave to check the tower.

Once Anton and Rurik arrived at the chapel, they spoke to the local priest. After discussing Paladin Durran, the priest reveals that Durran was investigating the tower. The priest tells Anton of a rumor of an old man who had books and relics from the tower before it was locked up 80 years prior. He believe his name is Barok, and lives near the constabulary. Before leaving to check the tower, the priest gave Anton the spare key to Durran's at the Barrel and Blessing, that she left there for safe keeping.

Meanwhile, Immeral and Lidda had reached the tower, a tall structure about 11-12 stories high with a 30ft wall wrapping around the base of the tower. After trying the gate in the wall, and finding it was locked and warded, Immeral uses her wand to dispel the ward. Unfortunately the ward is far too powerful compare to experience with this type of magic. Seeing this not working, Lidda opts to climb the wall, but only making it about 10ft before another ward was activate, not her to the ground.

After some trail and error, Immeral and Lidda take a break, just as Anton and Rurik arrived. After comparing note, about the old man with the relics near the constabulary, the group finds a guard with the town watch near the market place. The guard, being from Blacklion, was not familiar enough with the town to know the man's name or where is resisdence was near the constabulary.

As the group questions the guard, Lidda slips away after noticing that the group is being watch by a person in a cloak. She manages to sneak up beside the hooded figure, before she could get the best of him, her greed get the best of her. She tries to pick-pocket the man, but is caught in the act. The man runs and is lost in the crowd.

With the day dragging on, the group decide to return to inn to eat and check Durran's room. Except for Lidda, who still decides to check out the constabulary for information concerning this mystery man. Once arrive at the constabulary, Lidda notices one of the thieves cants written on the constabulary wall. This appears to a list of potential marks. Most of the names are marked out, one of them being Barran with the tower next to it, and followed by the word "crazy". Below Barran is another name, Robert at the Barrel and Blessing with an line connecting it to Barren.

To relay this information to rest of the group, Lidda sends her pet mouse, Felipe, with a message about Robert at the inn. After checking a few more spots, Lidda decides to return to the inn.

Back at the Barrel and Blessing, the group of three investigate the Paladin's room. The room is mostly empty, execpt for a few scrapes of paper, one reading "The Key of Artifice". While trying to decipher this phrase, an arrow flies through the window, nearly hitting Rurik. Seeing a figure in the window across the alley, Anton lifts his hand and releases a Scared Flame injuring the cloaked figure. The assailant leaps from the window and flees down the alley.

Anton, Rurik, and Immeral give chase. The group makes good time behind the man, but he is still many steps ahead of them. As he runs, Anton feels a small pressure on his shoulder, it is Felipe. The mouse he saw Lidda with has small scroll, he takes and pockets the scroll. And with a moment of divine inspiration, Anton throws Felipe at the man. Felipe lands true and begins to scratch and bite at the suspect, slowing him down.

MORE TO COME…  

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The Root of the Problem
What lies under Corren's ruins?

Enter the Astronomer

Strauss Swifthawk took in the view of what was once the vibrant town of Old Strawn.  Where he expected to see the elegant Tower of Corren now stood a great white tree that overshadowed the dust-choked streets.  The open squares were now way-points for storing salvageable goods and organizing relief labor.  It would appear the calamity he was seeking had already occurred.  Very well, he thought to himself as shouldered his pack, nothing to gain mourning bad timing; best to learn what we can.

Following directions from a guard, Strauss made his way to the Barrel and Blessing where an adjutant of Pelor was administering cleanup.  After a brief introduction, the adjutant indicated a small band of varied race sitting there at the inn as interview fodder;  the crew had apparently been inside the tower prior to its destruction a week earlier.  Explaining his ties to diviners as an astronomer, Strauss pressed them each for their own take of events – making note of every possible correlation to his quest.

Expositing Calamity

Rurik and ‘L’ spoke of fighting crabs and a spell-caster, and how once they had defeated the snake-eyed mage the tower exploded, the rubble now overtaken by new growth on the apparently dead Great White Tree.  Immeral the wizard explained how the Great Trees were great points of coalescing magic, and that the tower was to be a place of learning.  The caster they had defeated was the one who trained Immeral’s master.  Anton added a description of the storm that formed around the tower, and the doomed caster’s last words, “You do not know what you have started.”

As fascinating as their story was, there was no conclusive link to be found.

Further Mystery

While this exchange went on, the adjutant had been informed of an important development.  Seeking to enlist the adventurers again, he explained to them that a strange tunnel had been discovered leading underneath the newly rejuvenated Tree.

The party of now five members agreed that the new development needed to be explored.  After a brief equipment check, they began their spelunking.  Once inside they encountered and dispatched two separate parts of a small goblin band, sustaining minor injuries well within Anton’s ability to mend. Postulations to the goblins’ presence was furthered when they found a chamber filled with week-old provisions and a collapsed entry way, Rurik’s combat experience suggested that they were looking at stages of an invasion that had been interrupted by the tower’s collapse.  Other oddities were found in various chambers as well, such as a scrawling etching written in an ancient Sylvan form and a star chart that depicted a cosmos that preceded anything in memory.

In the final chamber the party alarmed a collection of plant-blights who engaged them in battle.  After most of the plants had been incapacitated, the Dryad, Seh-La made herself known – calling for a cessation of hostilities.

Of Ages Past and New Dangers

Seh-La put the party at ease rapidly, calling off her cohorts and charming Rurik for good measure. She explained that the heightened aggressiveness of the plants was intended for the encroaching goblins. After reviving her fallen, she led the adventurers back to the chamber with the Sylvan writing.

She began to speak of the Pylugwyr, that which was responsible for the whole existence of the material plane.  This collective works in a cycle, divide among the Pylu and the Gwyr – where the Gwyr took the raw essence of creation and formed it into the known world, the Pylu would destroy and break down that which was formed and return it into the essence it once came, much like beetles and worms breaking down fallen leaves to enrich soil for new growth.  The etchings, she continued, were this same story being written by the last Pylu – a great figure standing in that very chamber which the party had mistaken for a large boulder.  Where the Pylu appear as great stone, an illusion enhanced by their incredibly slow pace of movement, the Gwyr took the shape of Great White Trees, of which the Tree of Corren was but a sprouting. Included in the etchings was a map of the world, mostly defined by their current location on the east continent; Seh-La indicated 5 markings on the map that represented the Gwyr left to the world.

The five Gwyr have fallen ill, infected by alien crystal shards.  These crystal shards are killing the very sustenance of the material plane, without which the world would be utterly lost.  Seh-La pleaded with the party to seek out the Gwyr and restore them to save the world.  There would be resistance, as these shards were intentional tools of destruction employed by the serpent-demon Orinoc.

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