Our heroes retreated back to the relative safety of the Wall, camping out and setting guards through the rest of the day and night, recovering from the battle. They debated whether to leave or go back, and ultimately decided to return to the ruins, to see what was going on as much as anything. They once again sneaked up to the ruins of Ravenscar and discovered that many of the dead fir darrig and worgs had been animated as zombies. They tried to lure the dead out, but whether they were cunning and intelligent or being controlled by something greater (the spirit of the Raven King perhaps) the dead weren’t being lured out, and in fact it seemed that the opposite was true. The heroes briefly entered the perimeter of the ruins, but once they saw how many dead had been raised as zombies they beat a hasty retreat and decided to head back to Appleby and inform the Wordsmith Bartholomew about what was going on.
Their journey there took several days but was thankfully uneventful. They told the Wordsmith all about the forces gathering at the ruins, and also about the Lord Inquisitor and the mummies. The Wordsmith seemed particularly interested in the return of the ancient lord and was somewhat dismayed that they had seemingly made an enemy of him. He promised to investigate further and send word to the capital about the possible return of the Raven King (if that spirit was indeed him). He’d keep hold of the quartz statuette too. The heroes decided that it would be wise to gather the rest and headed off to do just that, passing through Gallow’s Hill on their way via the Waystone, the market of Six Spears and spending a day at Haven before they headed west to the Tower on their map. They learnt from Fianna that the tower was once the domain of some wizard, who had disappeared decades ago. No one ventured there now, and the constant play of lightning that surrounded the tower kept people away. Their map, however, said that one of the statuette’s could be found there, so off they went, provisions loaded on to their faithful mule.
The tower stood in a charred clearing, eighty feet tall and topped by a spiked dome. Four metal spikes curved in towards the tower, and lightning crackled and spat from the clear sky to the spikes and occasionally the ground. They could see no windows, stairs leading up to a pair of doors, and what looked like a half-eaten corpse on the ground. Callum tried to grab the body using his rope and grapple, but unluckily lightning struck and the hook was twisted and scorched, the rope bursting into flames. Instead, Magnus ran across and checked out the body, finding nothing of use except another twisted hook and frayed rope. He grabbed those and ran back to the others on the outskirts of the charred clearing. They skirted the edge until they were opposite the door. Once again Magnus raced across, up the stairs to the doors. Spotting a large knocked on the doors, he knocked and was surprised when the doors opened of their own accord. He stepped inside, and waved the others over. They too raced across, but just as Alf reached the doors, a bolt of lightning struck the stairs behind him, the blast flinging him into the tower, but thankfully he was merely dazed and a short rest saw him recovered. They found themselves in a hall, tables and chairs, doors leading out. One door lead to a closet, the other to a reception room with stairs leading up, a pile of boxes. and a strange statue of what looked liked a king embracing a medusa. Callum stuck a sack over its head, just in case. They called out, to see if anyone was home, but got no answer.
Up the stairs they went, finding a dining room/kitchen, more doors, and more stairs leading up. A trickle of blood could be seen falling down the steps. As they looked around, Alf heard the sound of a door closing below and went to investigate. The hall they had entered by was now shut, as were the entry doors, all of which they had left open. Slightly disturbed he headed back upstairs to tell the others. Meanwhile, Magnus had checked out the doors on this floor and found several bedrooms in disarray, old, unused. Not wanting to disturb anything, they started up the next set of stairs, coming to a locked door with the trail of blood leaking out of the keyhole. Ratkin found that the key was still in the lock, and using a sheet of parchment and some prodding, caught the key and pulled it through, using it to unlock the door. Jacob and Alf, Ratkin backing them up with a torch lit, entered the room: a bedroom, another door along one wall, and an old wizardly-looking man stood in a circle of chalk and salt. He seemed pleased to see them, but Alf noticed that he looked, well, dead. He seemed lively enough and explained that he was trapped, due to some accident whilst learning a new spell, and asked if they could just disturb the circle so that he could get out.
Naturally, they didn’t, and refused despite his pleading and offers of rewards. Then he ranted, raved, threatened, but they just said no, and decided to leave him there while they explored further. Magnus conjured his own light and they discovered a shaft behind the door, a dial on the wall, which summoned a levitating disc when twisted. They used it to ascend to a higher level, to the top, the dome, where they found containers of coal and powder, a strange book (which Magnus took), a dome and what looked like it might be a huge telescope, and a control panel of switches and a big red button. Alf almost touched it, but the others persuaded him to wait.
They used the shaft to move down a level, and discovered another hall, a library of old musty books (as well as another strange book that Magnus stuffed into his pack), as well as a room with a door protected by a force-field. As soon as Alf entered that room, a ghostly figure appeared, asking if the wanted to play a game to gain access. Alf declined and they shut the door quickly. Another door off the shaft lead to a cold room, with an ice box full of vials of what looked like frozen blood. Magnus pondered as to what they were…