The Company of Odd Fellows
The next morning the party came up with a plan of attack. Giving Andy a third of their potion of gaseous form, Andy was to enter into the tower while the rest of the party remained outside.
Entering through the space under the door she entered the first level of the tower.
T1. Grand Hall
bq.The entrance hall occupies the whole ground floor of the tower. Directly ahead of you is a mechanism of some kind formed around a square shaft that appears to rise to the top of the tower and descend into the earth. To the east, which is your right as you stand in the entrance, you can see the corpses of four bugbears. They appear to have been killed within the last few hours.
She couldn’t figure out what the mechanism was but she did see that it allowed her to float up to the second level in her incorporeal form.
T2. The Workshop
A table is cluttered with spring-powered wind-up metal toys. They include: a horse and carriage, where the horse has a single wheel instead of feet, a whistle on three wheels, a boat with a mechanical figure holding oars, and a metal rat with a single wheel. A variety of other parts (gears, wheels, and scraps of metal) are scattered on the bench, along with a few simple hand tools such as screwdrivers. Above the workbench are several shelves, loaded with bottles, bags, and jars. Odd scents assault your noses as you enter the room, a mixture of musky, sweet, and acrid odors.A continuous mechanical ticking fills this otherwise silent room. On the south wall a fanciful brass clock about three feet in diameter ticks away patiently.
Stray cobwebs waft in the air, glowing in the daylight streaming in through the windows.
Something was blocking her from ascending to the next level so she descended to the first level and waited for the potion to wear off. Once it did she opened up the door and let the party into the first floor. Together they investigated the mechanism and now that she was back to normal, it took only a few moments before Andy figured out how to work it. With a loud screeching, the platform that was blocking the third floor, came down and rested at their feet. The party got on the platform and Andy touched a button and the platform ascended to the next level but made an awful racket as it went up.
The party was fascinated by the small toys they found in the workshop, and spent some time winding them up to see what they would do. They realized that they would be fairly valuable if the right person could be found, but none of them had the heart to remove them from the workshop. They got back on the platform and ascended to the next level.
T3. Guest Room
Near the center of this room, there is a round table with four stools. A card game of some kind has been abandoned, and hands of cards lie face down on the table with a further pile of cards in the center. There is also a painting on each wall.
Kain was fascinated by the deck of cards, and gathered them up and put them into his backpack before they inspected the paintings on each wall.
West Wall: The Temptation of Sathrena
The scene is a royal court. A peasant woman in a plain brown dress and an apron stands at the left of the picture. Her arm is outstretched with palm outwards in a gesture of refusal, and her head is turned away, refusing to look. In the center, a king sits on a throne. He wears a jeweled crown and carries a scepter and an orb, and a sword is girt at his side. He faces the woman and beckons. To the right, a hooded figure whispers in the King’s ear.
North Wall: The Doppleganger
This painting depicts an interior scene of a house on fire. A well-muscled barbarian, naked but for a loincloth, stands in the background. His face is puzzled, his brow furrowed. In the foreground, two women clad in tigerskins face each other. They are identical, mirror opposites, but in different poses. One has her mouth open to speak, and the other has a hand on her dagger.
South Wall: Lixi’s Library
Beside a window in a library, a blonde damsel in a damask gown sits reading. Her legs are withered and she seems to be a cripple. Outside is a verdant meadow in spring
East Wall: the Crane and the Buzzard
A buzzard pecks at a crane. The crane has a very human-like expression, wide-eyed with amazement
The only painting that was familiar was the Crane and the Buzzard since Andy and Clarabelle both remembered hearing the story when they were a child. Other than the paintings and the cards, there was nothing else to see so the party got back on the lift, and ascended one more level.
T4. Wizard’s Room
A lush bed with a red satin canopy is positioned against the south wall; it is covered in dust and cobwebs. A washstand and a dresser stand to either side of the bed. The dresser holds grooming items such as a man would use (a comb, a pair of scissors, a jar of now-hardened mustache wax, a shaving mug and brush, and a rusty razor). A tall double-door wardrobe stands open against the west wall with various clothing items lying on the floor around it. A wooden case along the east wall contains many books and scrolls.
The party was immediately intrigued by the case of books and scrolls against the east wall and immediately began searching it for anything good. It was during that time that they heard a loud crash as 8 Lizardmen entered the room through the windows. The Lizardmen were hoping for surprise but were mostly unable to achieve it. However Needles was wrestled to the ground and punched as he tried to move to the center of the room. He was then able to escape the grasp of the lizardman and stand back up. Bark threw entangle at the group coming in through the northeast window and Domino cast Bless on his friends. Once again another lizardman brought Needles to the ground pummeling him again. Andy drew first blood as her sword found its mark on the last Lizardman entering the room from the southeast, but another Lizardman grabbed her and dragged her to the ground. Clarabelle released a Fire bolt at a lizardman trapped in the vines, killing him, while Domino Struck down the Lizardman wrestling with Andy. But she was barely on her feet before another Lizardman brought her back down. Meanwhile three other lizardman pummeled the grappled Needles. Clarabelle cast magic missile at one of the Lizardmen attacking Needles and a downward stroke from Kain’s Katana finished him off. This allowed Needles to escape the hold he was in and stand back up. At this point the Lizardmen were no longer thinking of taking the party captive and decided to attack them in strength. Andy was not faring well, even though she managed to escape her attacker a sword from another lizardman tore into her body. As Andy staggered back the enraged party now took the fight to the lizardman. Kain’s Katana blazing with flame killed two of the Lizardmen back to back as Andy got back into the fight and took another down, thanks to the healing energies of Domino and Bark. Clarabelle took her long-sword to the last remaining lizardman and the fight was over. Taking a deep breath, Bark and Domino both used their last remaining healing to get Needles back to strength.
Once again they noticed the quality of the weapons and arms that the Lizardmen possessed, especially the shields. They piled them into a corner and then took the lift up to the roof of the tower. It was here that they saw the remnants of a campsite and the tied off ropes hanging down where the Lizardmen had rappelled down them before attacking them in the room below.
Andy showed them the last button marked B which the party assumed meant the tower basement. She pressed it and the lift descended past the rest of the floors to the basement where the party was again set up upon by Lizardmen.
The party wasn’t expecting this attack and was soon driven back against the wall by it’s ferocity with Needles, Kain, Clarabelle and Bark all took damage. Kain got the party back into the fight by killing the lizardman in front of him with one savage blow. An enraged Bark then transformed into his bear form pressing the lizardman in front of him but unable to draw blood through the lizardman’s tough armor. Clarabelle did find a soft spot and her sword drew blood from her opponent but he struck back quickly, wounding her back. It was to be his last attack as he was struck down by Kain. Striking with his claws, Bark finally rended his opponent to death. With 3 of the 4 lizardman dead, Clarabelle then flanked the last remaining one ran him through with her sword.
After the fight was done, the party noticed that there were 10 captives down here with them, tied together by their hands and legs. After the party freed them they found that most of them were from the lumber camp but a few others were from a small farm not far from the camp. They also told the party that the leader of Lizardmen and 4 of his guards had went down the stairs leading underground. He mentioned something about a sword but that’s all they knew.
The party knew they were pretty banged up from the all the fighting today and were in no condition to press on. They also knew they needed to get these captives back home and away from the tower. So a withdrawal seemed the wisest choice. They would bunker up on the second floor, get some rest and food, and then head out back to the lumber camp tomorrow morning. Kain volunteered to pull guard duty all night so the rest of the party and the exhausted captives could get some sleep.