Not far from the city of Sandshade, a group of adventurers heroically delved into the dark cellar of an abandoned cottage, fought mysterious beings, and discovered a hoard of treasure, finding a mysterious map of water currents. After returning the lost family heirloom to Nathan Broadwill, the party of four learned that the map showed the way to the Isle Time Forgot.
And so, Uruk’Hai, the half-orc paladin, Volke, the wild elf barbarian with a puma cub companion, Pindle, the half-elf rogue, and Dameon, the human sorcerer, made their way to Sandshade’s docks, learning along the way that, recently, the Tower Time Forgot had been mysteriously destroying merchant ships, in the process corroding the port city’s economy. If the city were to ever recover, it would take the bravery of a band of adventurers to travel to the tower and destroy this dark force, enabling ships to once more set sail to and from Sandshade.
Purchasing a small, shoddy boat from a gruff captain, the party of four traversed the waters of the Gulf of Lyuksia, scraping the tops of whitecapped waves and combating raging currents.
Upon landing at the Isle Time Forgot, the group cautiously entered through the splintered, decaying doors, their eyes adjusting to the sparse light. Looking around a corner, Pindle spotted a lone, dull mace, suspended at eye level by a thin string hanging from the ceiling. As he examined this, the other adventurers noticed something dark and odd on top of the ceiling. Dameon focused his energies and created an array of glowing lights, willing them towards the object on the ceiling. The party stared in awe as a grotesque set of eyes stared right back. They belonged to a monstrous spider, which scurried across the ceiling and lowered itself with its sticky string, touching down and rearing at the adventurers.
Hoping to soothe the agitated creature, Volke and Uruk tried to calm it as best they could, but it would not rest, as it sunk its fangs into the barbarian. Pindle and Dameon found themselves occupied by several more spiders crawling into the room, children to the behemoth arachnid. One of the foes dispatched itself by stepping into a swinging pendulum trap, and the others did not offer much challenge to the group of experienced wayfarers, as they deftly destroyed the beings, Dameon magically putting the large foe to sleep, while the others dispatched the smaller ones.
Having dealt with their enemies, the party continued down the corridor, and as they stood at the door to a room, they heard the somber melody of a violin. Pindle unlocked the door and swung it open, revealing the string instrument, floating above a vacant chair and flickering as though made of static. As soon as the party saw it, however, it hurriedly halted its song and leaned itself against the chair, thereafter disappearing. Some seconds later, the heroes could hear an explosion in another room, followed by an all too familiar hum.
The brave journeyers made their way through more of the tower, finding that the explosion belonged to a flying dust mephit, agitated and ready to fight. They disposed of the creature swiftly, and traveled onward, going upstairs and to the next floor.
Traveling as a 2×2 unit, the four heroes hiked upstairs only to be greeted by a swinging log, pointed at the end. Volke narrowly dodged the trap, but Uruk was not so fortunate, the log nearly goring him. His side split open and bloody, the paladin grimly focused his divine energy and placed his palms upon himself, white light glowing vibrantly beneath his hands. When he removed them, the wound was almost completely invisible, a few scratches left from what had been a horrifying injury.
The group entered a room to the side and quickly found themselves in a heated battle with a Magmin. While Uruk and Volke worked the creature over with their hardened steel, Pindle tried to position himself behind the fiery monster. Unfortunately, his escape failed, resulting in a serious wound that seared his flesh, a burning sensation equivalent to that of a thousand scorching suns. His clothes ignited and every second caused more and more pain. In agony, he urged the party to rest for a while as the battle ended, and so they barred themselves in the small room, taking time to cure their ailments and recover the energy spent using their magic abilities.
After their brief respite, the small band marched onward, determined to reach the top of this forsaken tower. Before they could so much as walk through two rooms, however, they once-again faced a trying challenge. As they walked into what looked to be a small study, they immediately heard unmistakable cries for help coming from an adjacent room. They peered through the locked door’s barred slot at eye-level, witnessing a terrible, abominable sight—a deformed creature with the body of a griffin, and the ever-shifting head of a human. Its face had a look of sheer agony on it, perpetually shifting in and out of the material realm, fading and reappearing as though caught in an interplanar rift. The heroes could only listen as he begged for their help, urging them to free him using the lever by their sides. Indeed, there was a lever that undoubtedly opened the door, however, it seemed as though it could also open another door. “I beg you, please let me out! That switch will only unlock one door!” The door to the left of the switch contained the pained, disturbed creature, and the door to the right housed a magnificent, ornate chest, blue with gold trim.
Uruk shunned the idea of sacrificing an innocent being for material goods, instinctively yanking the lever to the left, thereby freeing the prisoner. The creature thanked the adventurers with all his being, and asked them to please accept a token of his gratitude—a studded, black pair of gloves he had managed to hide in his cell. Thanking them once more, the half-griffin-half-human shuffled downstairs, fleeing the cursed tower.
While the heroes felt good about saving the innocent, they couldn’t help but wonder what was in the chest in the other room. The box seemed to call to them, all but Pindle drawing closer to the door. He wondered what their intense fascination stemmed from, and before long, their out of the ordinary desires nearly maddened them, causing Uruk and Volke to break down the steel-reinforced door, allowing Dameon to charge in and grip the chest’s golden latch. As soon as he did, he wished he hadn’t, for the magic treasure box violently sprouted arms and slammed into the sorcerer, winding him instantly. A cruel trick, the enchanted chest had lured the adventurers in only to pummel them madly. Dameon, after recovering his breath, conjured an illusionary wall, putting a barrier between the party and the beast.
Pindle, still utterly confused by all the chaos, didn’t fully understand what was happening, and poked the wall curiously with his dagger. Seeing the dagger pierce the wall with incredible ease, he experimented further and stuck his head through the illusion. Before anyone could do anything, the evil chest had gripped the rogue’s head, crushing his skull violently betwixt its cold, hard hands. Pindle screamed in agony for the second time in less than ten hours, his cries muffled by the chest’s incredible death-grip. Uruk, his devotion to his party members’ flaring, grabbed the half-elf by the legs and yanked him back, successfully freeing his head from the chest’s hands, though at the cost of some of Pindle’s face’s skin.
The foe proved to be a formidable one, and truly tested the wayfaring heroes’ steel. The group finally managed to silence the enemy, Volke delivering a shattering blow to the chest with his bare fist. Rejoicing in their well-earned bounty, they continued onward, after thoroughly healing Pindle again, and walked through several more rooms before encountering anything else. Their confrontation this time, however, was a more elusive one, as they turned the corner to see the projected image of an old man kneeling in the corner, flickering and composed of static just like the violin. He seemed to fiddle with something in his hands, intent on doing something with it and the floor. As soon as he heard the adventurers, he quickly ceased his meticulous deed, his eyes wide in surprise as he turned to see the party. In an instant, he faded into nothingness, as had the violin from before. Curious as to what he was toying with, the group discovered a secret panel, in which were several gems and treasures. It seemed as though there was much more to this tower than they had initially suspected.
After climbing the stairs to the third floor, the party of four spotted a pair of statues, goddesses whose faces had worn away with time. The women each held a javelin, as though they were going to throw them at each other. If this tower had taught the group of adventurers anything, it was that a setup like this wasn’t just decorative. Pindle edged towards the statue and found the trip wire that triggered the trap. After disarming it, he retrieved the javelins, thinking they may come in handy.
The next room, however, did not signal any use for such weapons, as the heroes opened a door to be greeted by a cacophony of machinery—whirring blades, clanging steel, and pulsing spikes filling their ears to the brim with the sound of metal. Before them was an enormous room packed with traps, continually swinging and spinning, ensuring certain death to anyone who dared to travel through the room. Interspersed amongst the traps were several broken pillars, columns that no longer reached the ceiling, offering a gap large enough for a person to stand. Pindle knew this was his time to shine, and he didn’t hesitate as he climbed atop the pillars, vaulting from column to column, reaching the other side of the room to see a pair of identical levers. He couldn’t reach them without finding himself in several pieces upon the floor, so he took to his daggers and flung them at the switches. Volke followed his half-elf companion and aided him in flicking the knives at the levers. Before long, the two managed to deactivate the chamber’s mess of traps, and the party could travel further into the tower.
The next room proved to be significantly different than the previous, an eerie, silent room that contrasted heavily with the dull grays the party had become so used to; for in this room stretched hundreds of thin strings, hooked to the floors and walls, all meeting at the center of the room, tied to a large bell held above a strange, bug-like creature the color of rust that appeared to be sleeping. Creeping carefully through the strings, Pindle hoped to reach the monster and destroy it before it awoke, however, the maze of strings proved to be too complex even for the nimble thief, and one tripped wire caused the bell to ring violently, instantly awakening and angering the enormous beetle-creature. The party quickly found themselves warding off a rust-eating monster, which disintegrated Uruk’s iron warhammer in a matter of seconds. The party was unsure what to do, their weapons at risk of falling apart before they could get rid of the monster, when Dameon revealed the extent of his magical abilities, unleashing a violent lightning bolt upon the rust monster, frying it to ash in an instant. Everyone but Uruk, who fumed at the loss of his weapon, breathed a heavy sigh of relief as they exited the room.
The red gone, the adventurers found themselves in a completely empty room, void of anything but a pedestal which held three small statues that looked like goblins. One of the figurines held its hands over its eyes, another cupping its ears, and the last sealing its mouth. A poem was inscribed upon the pedestal:
Through flame, sun, moon, and stars, We examine the world’s dark scars. But with magic, forever bright and creating day, Even a blind man can light the way.
The door to continue up the tower was blocked off by a sturdy portcullis, and the party was puzzled as to what they should do. Wasting no time, Dameon tested a theory he had worked up, and cast forth from his fingers a series of glowing, magic lights. Directing them at the statue which covered its eyes, the portcullis swiftly rose, revealing the door behind it. The party walked through and discovered another set of stairs. Spent from the previous three flights, they decided to rest a spell and reflect upon what they had learned thus far…