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					The Star Cairns II – The Ghost Tower of Inverness
Session 12           21-04-03 Up, down and up some more.

Next session – Proposed 28-04-03 Treasure share-out & admin at G&D

Morning? At least we didn’t get stoned

A spate of spellcasting breaks out:-

Alvin 2 * CLW Andrea, Armour self, CLW self.
Zeppo 2 * CSW Andrea, 2 * CLW Heme
Astra Invisibility self

Thus invigorated they head back up to Heme’s “indoor jungle”, otherwise known as the Earth level.
Zeppo, unable to resist the temptation, thwacks a bush however this time no snakes fall out. (Scared I
should imagine). Avoiding contact with any more nasty monkeys they cross to the other side of the
tower where they spy a figure dressed in a brown robe tending a rose garden. As they enter, the figure
rises and turns revealing a Medusa! Andrea and Heme, in the creature’s direct eye line amazingly
throw off the effects of its gaze and manage to shout a warning to the others. As Heme screws his
eyes tightly shut, Andrea leaps into the attack attempting to avoid the Medusa’s terrible gaze. Alvin and
Zeppo both cast Prayers as Astra manoeuvres behind the monster, unfortunately right into the
poisonous Rose Garden, where invisibly, she collapses. Furiously the Medusa attacks back with her
snakes and Andrea is hit but resists the vile venom thanks to the priestly prayers. Both Andrea and
Zeppo manage to avoid the gaze attack, Zeppo for long enough to fire up a Spiritual Hammer as Heme
sidesteps and fires two arrows where he thinks the can hear the snakes. Fortunately he misses Andrea
and hits the Medusa. Zeppo’s Hammer connects as astonishingly he still avoids catching the thing’s
gaze despite looking to control the Hammer. Andrea is again struck by the snakes but this time no
amount of Prayers are enough to save her from the lethal venom. She collapses instantly. Satisfied at
the demise of her victim the vile creature moves onto the next threat, Hemegretham.

Realising Andrea’s peril, Alvin immediately rushes to her casting Slow Poison, which, thank the Gods is
successful. Heme hops about enough to avoid a snake attack, quickly changing weapon to his sword
as suddenly, Blind Fighting specialist Joe rushes into battle. Zeppo rushes through the rose garden but
resists the poisoned thorns as Astra groggily recovers consciousness. Heme and Joe make their usual
huge attacks and suddenly it is all over. The Medusa is dead and Andrea has 4 hours 45 minutes
before the lethal poison will kill her.

Astra searches around finding a small chest in the rose garden while Zeppo and Alvin discuss possible
ideas for saving Andrea. The chest contains 8 zircons, a tiger eye, a black pearl, an emerald and a
large star ruby. Finding a false bottom (no XP) Astra pulls out a fantastic blue white diamond, a potion
bottle and a pair of bracers. She tries out the bracers and the rest is safely put away in the bag of

Back with Andrea, Zeppo has an idea. What about using the venom of the snakes to create an anti-
venom. Both priests rack their brains for the necessary lore and Alvin realises he may be able to do it
but it will be a close run thing. As the priest of Rao mixes various herbs and substances Astra is busily
engaged removing the Medusa’s head, which she places in a large bag – yuck! Time passes and the
others wait as Alvin continues in his desperate and somewhat familiar task of saving Andrea’s butt.
With 5 minutes to spare he produces what he hopes is the anti-venom and quickly administers it to the
stricken Ranger. Fortunately for them all Alvin’s medical skills are exceptional and Andrea is not
exactly the most delicate little petal in the forest. Within minutes she is awake and complaining.

You’re Fired

Behind the Medusa’s garden they find a wrought iron spiral staircase so Astra takes a quick look.
When she pops her head over the edge she quickly takes in her surroundings and descends to the
others. She describes, a huge sea of lava with narrow stone paths, leading to a central causeway to
the other side where a staircase stands. Oh, and there’s a Fire Giant in front of it! “He probably has
some pets as well”, she says. A plan is quickly hatched where Heme is to be the group’s secret
weapon to take on the giant. Astra uses the Improved Invisibility scroll to make Hemegretham invisible,
even if he engages in combat. “See you Heme”, giggles Andrea as the iron steps creak with his
progress. The others follow, Alvin casting Mirror Image creating 5 new Alvins. They split into two
groups as Astra goes on muttering something about pets. Halfway around the first stone path suddenly
a pack of fiery creatures burst from the sea of flame and descend to where they guess Heme might be
– Bats, sonar, invisible – oops! So they charge into battle to support their comrade. Unbeknownst to
them however one of the fire bats has attached itself to Heme and is causing him about as much
damage as a toothpick against an Iron Golem thanks to his protection from fire armour. Shrugging off
the attack as a combination of shaving cut and hot towels the big man sprints off toward the Giant.

Meanwhile the fire bats split up and attack easier foes as the Giant hefts a huge boulder and hurls it
toward them. Zeppo is struck and the force of the impact knocks him back into the fire where he
quickly scrambles out singed, smoking and badly hurt. Meanwhile the Alvins are causing all sorts of
confusion as the Giant lobs more boulders at the large group of spellcasters that just seem to
disappear when his missiles strike.

Up ahead Heme surges forward his invisible blade ready for a piece of Giant when suddenly he finds
himself falling upwards! In the split second that he has to decide he spots a 10ft wide portal above or is
it below him. Instinctively he grabs the side and holds on. As the others charge toward the Giant they
also step within the anti-grav area and fall alarmingly upward. Alvin uses his ring of Featherfall to make
his trip very easy (at last he got to use it!) but amazingly the others also manage to hang on.

They decide to climb back "up" rather than risk dropping into the milky blue cloud below. So carefully
they manoeuvre themselves out of the now pit, rather than chimney, all falling (except Alvin – who
Featherfalls daintily & Astra who tumbles for 1/2 damage) rather painfully the 20 ft to the Giant's floor.
The Fire Giant grins horribly and advances upon our rather fed-up friends. Andrea and Heme plough
into the Giant's knees as Alvin's Magic Missile hits some higher up bits. Zeppo casts Aid on Andrea (at
least he can see her) as Joe stands off supplying a steady stream of arrow fire. Suddenly the Giant
doesn't look so confident any more as with a grim look on his evil face he surges forward swinging his
mighty two handed blade. Andrea is hit twice hit hard by this attack, causing her to collapse lifeless to
the ground in a pool of blood and gore. (Deja vu!). A final volley from the party consisting of Joe's
arrows, Magic Missiles from Alvin and Astra and Heme's very big hit result in a very surprised, very
dead Fire Giant. Fortunately for Andrea she has a pair of powerful Priests to look after her and within
minutes quick action by Alvin and Zeppo restores the Ranger to the land of the living - provided she
isn't moved for 24 hours. As they settle down to rest they notice that the Giant's staircase is just a
stairway painted on a stone column - The real way out must be the anti-grav area! Searching around
they find the giant's treasure and set about curing up:-
Zeppo CSW self, CLW self, CLW Astra
Alvin 2 * CLW Zeppo

Andrea is given the gem of regeneration as Astra throws some flour around accurately gauging the
extent of the anti-grav area. They spend a reasonably peaceful night, untroubled by bats or giants.

The Water Level

A pile of boulders are used to secure a long rope and Astra goes on to scout above the anti-grav area
as Zeppo casts 2 * CSW on Andrea and 2 * CSW on Joe. They wait for another 8 hours to let the gem
of regeneration bring Andrea back to full health as Astra describes the bizarre sight of a gravity
inverted water level with its very own desert island and coral reef. Oh, and apparently something very
big swimming around in it. Astra’s explains her plan and she quickly casts Change Self into her by now
familiar Gargoyle form, flying, up or down she is able to secure the other end of the rope to the top (or
is it the bottom) of one of the palm trees on the island. With this arrangement the others quickly and
easily join her on the island. Using her bracelets of Swimming in addition to her Swimming proficiency
Andrea surges over to the reef before standing on the coral with bare feet causing a nasty wound.
Ignoring this she continues to swim around the reef quickly spotting a hatch embedded in the coral,
about 5 ft down. As she tries to investigate she is attacked by a group of ray-like creatures with vicious
teeth. Fortunately for her she possesses the abilities of an Olympic swimmer and is almost
immediately back on dry land receiving 2 * CLW courtesy of Zeppo.

In reaction to this threat, a subtle plan is devised – go out and kill everything! Heme and Andrea take
potions of water breathing as between gulps Heme advises using stabbing attacks with their weapons.
Zeppo casts Aid on Hemegretham as they set off, onto the coral (now both wearing boots). They are
quickly attacked and a sort of splashy random melee breaks out. Joe also necks a potion of water
breathing and heads out to join them and as more and more of the vicious rays join the battle things
don’t look so good for the heroes, when suddenly the huge shape that Astra had observed is seen
heading for the reef! Shouts of warning are to no avail as the waters part and a huge Killer Whale
emerges, its razor sharp teeth tearing into the rays. “If it moves stab it”, yells Heme as Joe, Andrea,
“Deus ex machina” fish and himself battle the rays. Within a minute or two the rays are either dead or
gone and the huge creature sinks eerily below the surface, carefully observed by Astra for a future
change self attempt.

Back on the island, discovering by cautious experiment that the bag of holding is waterproof they store
almost all of their possessions in it and join the others on the reef. Andrea swims down and opens the
hatch and Astra scouts the narrow tunnel suddenly feeling gravity do another U-Turn before emerging
at the bottom of a shaft with climbing rails set in the wall. Cautiously she climbs it and observes their
objective – The Soul Gem, floating unsupported in the centre of a circular room. Suddenly a burst of
blinding light flashes at the other side of the room and she quickly ducks down again to inform the

The Gem

A few short moments later and the whole group are crammed into the narrow chilly shaft as Zeppo
casts CLW on Andrea. Up go Heme, Joe, Andrea and Zeppo as Zeppo tries casting Dispel Magic at
the Soul Gem another bright flash briefly illuminates another sector of the room. Zeppo moves bravely
forward but finds a cylindrical invisible barrier of some sort around the gem. Suddenly the gem’s beam
strikes in the sector occupied by Heme and Joe. Fortunately they resist the more terrible effects of the
Soul Gem but still, all colour and magic is sucked from them by the malign jewel. The bag of holding,
containing all of their possessions and treasure now resembles nothing more than a plaster cast of
itself. Both Joe and Heme are completely and eerily white, no colour, no magic remains.

Since things look so desperate they go for the usual solution charge and hit it! Led by Zeppo they
storm to the centre attacking the invisible barrier, which somewhat alarmingly seems to reverse their
attacks on themselves. Andrea, manoeuvring for an attack is struck by the Gem’s beam and is
hideously drained of her soul by the sickly white light. Her body and equipment collapse bleached and
lifeless. Alvin jumps out of the shaft in time to cast a Magic Missile at the shield, which just bounces off.
More beams of light stab out as suddenly there is a shattering sound – The shield is down. Zeppo
steps forward and takes the gem, which stops glowing the moment he touches it. They all feel a brief
burning sensation from their hands and notice that the Trithereon symbols have disappeared. An eerie
silence descends as the party regard Andrea’s body and Joe, Heme & all of their treasure blanched to
white and drained of magic. Before anyone can speak they notice a red-headed man standing in the
room with them dressed in sparkling mail. They don’t need Zeppo’s reaction to help them understand
that they are in the presence of an avatar of Trithereon.

The avatar thanks them and commends their brave efforts in recovering the Soul Gem. As he speaks
they see that mysteriously Astra is also with them (having no idea how she emerged from the entry
shaft) and that their surroundings are slowly fading away. As Zeppo hands over the Gem Trithereon
explains that he can discover the facet where Andrea’s soul has been imprisoned. In an instant she is
restored to life and Heme and Joe and the Bag of Holding and miscellaneous magical weaponry are
also restored to their usual healthier colours. Zeppo informs the others that he is now called to the
service of his mighty god and will not be adventuring any more. With a smile and a wave he and his
master disappear into the ether, leaving our heroes standing on the broad stone circle of Star Cairn 5.

                          The Ghost Tower of Inverness – The End

Reason for XP Andrea                Astra          Alvin       Hemegretham       Zeppo     Joe

Opponents              2500         2000           2000             2500          2000
Spells                               100            170                            300
Proficiencies           50            40             40                             20
Ideas/Plot/Clues        20            60             60              40             80
Problem Solving
Role Play               60            70             80              70             80
Finishing              1000         1000           1000             1000          1000     1000
Fun Factor              70            60             80              80            100
Bonuses                 60                                           50             30

Total                  3760         3330           3430             3740          3610     1000
(This session)

                                17059/17059 15998/15998
Grand Total           50270        34118       31996               47609          86293    26969

DM Notes:-

All spell & proficiency XP has been noted even when not explicitly mentioned in the text

        Bonuses were awarded for amazingly lucky saves that if failed would have meant a whole
         different game.
        Andrea died so many times in this game that she practically qualifies as undead.