The journey west has been thankfully, encounter free, as though the gods have been watching over the party, or it might just be because there are twelve heavily armed individuals and they scare everything away. The band is on the last leg of their trip west now, only a hundred miles or so from Baldur’s Gate.
Aces and Ree’vr catch their breaths after another flash of memories, this one ending with a crushing wetness of the likes neither of them have ever experienced. During the evenings, along their journey, Aces reads the pages of the Telaric Codex that Ree’vr left for her when she awoke in Iriaebor.
Anyone who as ever traveled the road to Baldur’s Gate from the East can’t say why but the road seems wrong, different somehow but no one in the group can put their finger on it. Something is out of place, the treeline maybe, or the color of the sky perhaps.
A tiny bluejay with a bright orange belly flies out of the sky chirping up a storm and nearly knocks the wind out of Mentathenis. It flops to the ground and he recognizes it as T’weet, one of Saranine’s twin bluejays. There appears to be a small spinning blue magical ring floating around it’s leg. The Eladrin removes it and holds it between his thumb and middle finger. When he snaps. It unscrolls in a burst of floating blue text that can be scrolled just as easily as it’s non-magical counterpart, but can only be seen by the Wizard.
Mentathenis pokes the little bluejay to wake it up and relays the message to the rest of the party and Lythannis leans into the other Eladrin and says “You know, I could think up a few quests you and I can do together that don’t involve T’waat and are far far easier…and give bigger reward.” As they continue over the next hill, Mentathenis works to convince Lythannis that he shouldn’t be jealous.
When the mob crests the hill, the tower Saranine spoke of is unmissable. What was once just a single story, stone building that served as an outpost, has been crudely transformed into a giant teetering monstrosity of a tower. Each of it’s wide levels looks forced upon the level below it and a host of ballista and catapult are shoved into into it’s sides seemingly haphazardly around the length of its height. Its base descends into a quarry filled with hundreds of goblins, they work to continue the tower’s construction. Now it becomes clear why things felt different. The goblins have done a thorough job of clear cutting the surrounding forests, going so far as to rip out their roots in addition. “Trysta would not be pleased.” snarls Mentathenis as he glares at the twisted tower. Modreg stands in awe, as he has never seen such construction undertaken by his kind. “This a great goblin achievement!” he says to Aces. T’weet hops off Mentathenis’ shoulder chirping, and flies towards the top of the tower.
Seeing the hundreds of goblins working in the quarry between them and the front gate of the tower, Aces and Modreg agree that sending him in to do some investigating before charging in may be beneficial. The little goblin steels himself and strolls over to the quarry, attempting to be as inconspicuous as possible. One of the goblins in a two story rickety wooden watch tower calls over to him and asks what he is doing. Modreg says he has a special message to deliver to the tower and the guard goblin replies “You have message for crystal? I give message to crystal, you give to me first, then back to work.” He leans in and touches his forehead to Modreg’s. Immediately he pulls back and says “You have no message for crystal! Why you lie?” Modreg comes up with a quick explanation and the guard lets him pass, but keeps his eye on the strange goblin. He makes his way down into the quarry and explores, discovering that many of the goblins are wearing symbols of formerly rival clans, now joined together as one. He also notes that none of the goblins appear to be slaves, working by their own will save for the slight purple glow in their eyes. He he has access to the tower with no issues, but decides to head back and consult the others.
On his way back, as he is leaving the area of the quarry, the guard goblin watches him intently. When he gets back to the group they decide to try the old pretend prisoner act, and Modreg leads Aces, Mentathenis and Sam back towards the tower. The guard goblin calls out again and Modreg says he is delivering prisoners to the dungeon. They are allowed to pass, and make their way down to the gate, it begins to rain.
Inside the tower, Sam notices the quick release lever for the front gate and points out the rope lining the walls that leads to the next story attached to bells at random intervals, the alarm system most likely. There are a host of goblins on the bottom floor, milling around and playing cards. A larger goblin sits at a small desk near the stairs leading down to the dungeon. Modreg is directed to lead the newly acquired prisoners down the stairs and down below they find a few other goblins in cells. When asked why they are being held captive, they reply that they were tired and could no longer work, so they were brought down into the dungeon to rest. The four move back towards the spiral stairwell and draw their weapons, Aces leads the charge and they engage into combat with the goblins on the first floor. Aces fends the attackers off, Mentathenis rips them to shreds with magic, and Sam works to control the field and keep her friends alive. Modreg sneaks past and around the floor sneakily. One of the goblins manages to sound the alarm but before the quarry workers can run in to aid their comrades, Sam drops the gate locking them out. Modreg moves towards the stairs heading to the second level as four goblin reinforcements make their way down the stairs, he manages to slice the bellies of each one, sending them falling forward and spilling their intestines all over the floor, dead. They find 20 gold on the table, 1 deck of goblin playing cards, 1 leather belt, and the key to tower levels 1-5.
On the second floor they find a goblin bunk room, most of the goblins are sleeping, but one is sitting up in his bed polishing a small gleaming goblin dagger. The four heroes sneak past very quietly to the third level.
On the third floor they find a weapon storage with an unused catapult as well as piles of Goblin swords and armor. One goblin is sleeping in the catapult bowl, aimed out one of the windows. They sneak past and head to the fourth level.
On the fourth floor is a supply room, containing vats of crab paste and padded helmets among other seemingly worthless trinkets and items. A goblin is sleeping in one of the crates with the lid closed snoring loudly. They sneak past and head to the fifth level.
On the fifth level is a large stable area containing cages for hyenas, timber wolves and two large dire wolves. Two goblins are in this room, one of them is mounted on a wolf and the second is cleaning cages. As the party of four engage the wolf rider, the cage cleaner runs to open one of the wolf cages and moves on to another, but he is only able to open the one, before Aces and Mentathenis put him down. The dire wolves attempt to break out of their cages, but Sam moves over and works to sooth them. She succeeds and they lie in their cages quietly. Modreg moves around the room stabbing to death a hyena and getting revenge for his untimely death in the Thunderspire Labyrinth. Aces Mentathenis and Sam finish off the rider and his wolves. They find 2 small squeaky animal toys, 6 spiked collars, 1 dog grooming brush, 4 chewed bones and the key 1 to levels 6-10. They continue to the sixth level.
On the sixth level they find a sign that reads “Mess Hall” This level is a mess of twisting maze-like hallways for no apparent reason whatsoever. Aces leads them through without much effort and along the way they find a small pouch of 50 gold tucked in a corner and a scroll of Fey Passage lost in a dead end. They head to the seventh level.
On the seventh level they find a goblin alchemy lab. hundreds of glowing vials and pipes lay scattered around the tables and floor, bubbling over and dripping. There is one goblin mixing strange glowing potions in this room. They sneak past and head to the eighth level.
On the eighth level they find a large glowing magic circle with two dead goblin bodies in it’s center and two goblin ghosts who float up to the heroes and appear to mouth something which the party can not make out. Mentathenis uses mage hand to disrupt the powder forming the circle on the ground and the magic dissipates, causing the two goblin ghosts to disappear along with the magical effect. They find A pair of Spell Anchor Gloves and Storm Gauntlets. The trap door leading up into the next level is barricaded from the opposite side somehow, even heavily enough that Modreg and all his goblin strength can not pry it open. There is one window on this level and Aces checks outside to see above, it appears to be open to the air on the next floor and she climbs outside the tower into the rain with a grappling hook and rope. On her way there is a loud scraping sound and rumbling, the tower seems to shift and sway a little as something large moves above. When she reaches the next level, it is open fully on one side and can see two large walls crushing together a large amount of goblin junk into a bundle. Some sort of trash compactor she thinks. The two walls slowly pull away and the third wall begins to push the trash pillar towards her. She drops back down to the eighth level as the giant pillar flies past and crashes to the ground below. Sam understands what is happening and tells her friends to try the trap door again quickly, now it is loose, they climb to the ninth level.
On the ninth level they emerge from the trap door behind the walls of the compactor and find 10 goblins turning huge wheels and pulleys to work the crude machine. The goblins stop and turn towards the intruders.