The Monday before last was our tenth session, concluding the foray to Ravenscar and embarking on a short journey to the old watchtower to the north. Skipped last week as people were away, but back to it this Monday.
The party descended the stairs into what turned out to be an old summoning room, complete with a summoning/protection circle engraved in the stone floor, inlaid with tarnished silver. They avoided crossing the circle, and explored the small room: there was a shelf that still had a few items on it (silver dust, used in the Circle of Protection ritual, and a cracked hand mirror), and a secret door that they carefully opened.
Inside the secret room was treasure: a toppled mannequin with a coat of mail, matching helm, a shield and a sword; a rusty chest, and some loose items scattered across the floor that turned out to be black marbles holding a flicker of fire, and a braided cord of rat-tails attached to a leather choker. The shield bore the symbol of a raven in flight, the sword was edged in silver, and the helm was shaped like a raven’s beak complete with visor. In the chest were ancient coins and gemstones.
After some discussion, bordering on heated, Callum took the sword and shield, Alf claimed the mail and helm (passing his old mail coat to Old Man Willowi), and Magnus took the braided rat-tails (which Ratkin identified as a necklace allowing the wearer to talk to fir darrig and rats, normal and giant), and shared the marbles with Ratkin. They carted the chest upstairs, and collect later, and moved back to the large cellar to look down the well they’d seen: rungs of a rusty ladder led down to a stream, and some platform could be seen at the bottom.
Alf was lowered down on a rope, and he found a small platform with a wooden box on it, and another longer stone platform with steps leading to a door. One–by-one they all climbed down, and waded through the water on to the platforms, checking the box and finding a clear crystal cube inside. The cube was large enough to hold in the palm of the hand, but there was nothing to tell them what it was for. A key perhaps? Nothing on the walls or door looked like a matching keyhole. Callum stuffed it in his pouch, and he and Alf checked out the door. It swung open on creaking hinges to reveal a small room: a bed, a table and a stool. A yellowed and brittle skeleton, which fall apart when disturbed, lay in the bed. On the tabletop a crude map had been carved, showing the old watchtower that lay to the north of the ruined castle, over the river and part of the wall that bordered the Reach and the Great Forest. The words ‘It is here’ were carved next to the map, which showed some stairs leading to a room or dungeon beneath the tower. Magnus copied it into his spellbook, and after searching and deciding there was nothing else in the room, they climbed back up and made their way out to the surface.
They camped for the night in the ruins, deciding to head to the old watchtower the following day. It was only a day’s journey to reach it, and they could use the remains of the Wall to cross the river. During the night Magnus copied some spells into his book, from those he’d found, and recast Mage Armour to protect himself from future troubles.
All through the following morning they hiked across the hilly ground, following the curve of the river and remnants of the Wall, until they reached the spot where the Wall crossed over the river, still intact enough for them to climb up and walk carefully across to the other side. As they clambered up and started crossing, they spotted a large winged creature in the sky turning towards them: a creature with a horse’s body, legs of some feral wild cat, and an eagle’s head. A Griffin! It dove towards them, getting shot by arrows as it dived and swooped past, its claws raking Horace. Jacob let loose with an arrow, catching it in its flank, which seemed to just annoy it. It turned and dove again, its claws raking across Horace and causing him to stumble, nearly falling off the wall. Alf struck the beast in the side, and Magnus fired off a Magic Missile, and the combined attack was enough to send the monstrous bird winging away to look for easier prey.
Nursing their wounds, they continued on across the river, keeping an eye on the sky. They clambered down on the other side and as the day was drawing to a close, they found a sheltered spot by the crumbling Wall and made camp. The next morning they headed off to the watchtower, a few hours further up the river.