We return to our heroes moments after having entered the starnge dark portal leading them to a place known as the Master Artisan’s Tavern. Searching the location for clues, the party discovered a collection of bookshelves, each focused on a particular subject and seemingly connected to the mysterious Cern Journal. A thorough evaluation was also made with regards to the drinkable liquor in the vicinity, resulting in 5 bottles of old, fine vintage along with, after an egregious amount of property destruction, a bottle of Tiefling liquor known as “Rivaka”.
Finding two other portals in the area, the band made their way through the one they assumed to be right, leading them underwater, as the other end of the portal was located on a piece of masonry which had become disconnected from the towers some time ago. Here the players could spot a contingent of the shark-like race, the members of which called themselves Sahuagin, along with a huge, four-armed specimen of said race, making their way toward the distant tower.
Pulling themslves back to dry stone, the party made their way through the opposite portal, arriving at the scene of quite a bloodbath. Searching the area, which semmed to at one point have been a place of fencing before being covered in blood, guts and an inordinate amount of metal, the players came upon a sole mechanical construct. The machina, wielding a rapier and being in a bad shape itself, refused the party further passage until it could be bested in single combat. The task was taken up by Krov, who made quick work of the lithe automaton. Two larger constructs then heaved open a great set of metal doors, allowing the band to pass unimpeded.
Moving through the resulting hallway, the party discovered what at some point in time may have been a locker room and adjacent steam room, while also keeping an eye on the spectre looming above, visible through the trancelucent ceiling of the bridging corridor.
Entering another great set of doors, and making their way into the Spire of the Ghostshield, our heroes found themselves facing an enormous sandpit, littered with metal and bones of battles long past. In the corners of the room sttod podiums supporting large crystals, with arcane energy playing across their forms. Each podium contained a simply lever, and holding one of these was a charred, human skeleton.
The parties exploration was however swiftly halted by two Sahuagin, accompanied by the large, multi-armed specimen the player had seen earlier. Activating the the fourth level, it caused each podium to become connected by an electrical barrier not unlike the one which sealed of the spires in the first place. Informing the band that they either had the choice of dying by fighting the Sahuagin, or by drowning if they were to pull a lever to deactivate the barrier. which would cause all barriers in the vicinity to drop as well, battle commenced.
During combat, the larger Sahuagin, later identifying itself as Baron Ronami, was revealed to be in possession of a living shield known to the players. Wielding Captain Jiro Cognit in an attempt to infer doubt into the minds of its opponents, along with using a discarded golem as a weapon once its trident had been thrown, the Baron proved to be a powerful foe indeed.
However, after havin lost his two allies, the Baron seemingly decided that enough was indeed enough, throwing his living shield at the party as a distraction before deactivating the barrier personally. This caused the barriers surrounding the spires to lose their form. Including the one which seemingly kept the spectre at bay.
Crashing down like a thunderblot, striking along the side of the spire, the spectre entered the discarded golel, which was later identified as a Shield Guardian, with the Baron slipping away during the confusion. Healing the band enough for them to make their escape, the Shield Guardian made its way up through the tower, with the party following on its heels.
Through many a perilous situation our heroes prevailed, with the help of the newly conscious construct. Their combined skills, however, could not forestall the working of the ocean, and our heroes were eventually swept away by the flood. The construct used its strength to aid Krov and Mattimeo against the currents, while Durkax, Pelaios and Captain Cognit were seemingly lost to the depths.
Waking up in the company of the Shield Guardian, Krov and Mattimeo attempted to communicate with the automaton in order to understand what events had transpired. The construct pointed to itself, and wrote a singular word in the sand: “Gehrman”, before heading northwards. The duo collected themselves and headed for Fisher’s Way, visible in the distance.
In a different place in space and time, Durkax and Pelaios awoke to find themselves in a dark chamber, bound and gagged. They were soon in the company of a figure they vaguely recognized, the bugbear which had sedated Kulaf a few days prior. The figure sat down on a chair in front of them, and simply mused on the ways it could make use of these fresh bargaining chips.
Arriving at The Speared Stout, Krov and Mattimeo received a note from Joz which had been delivered by unsavory elements one day prior. The note, written in a very rough hand, simply read: “The Petrified Innkeep, three days, or they die”.
Informed by the inkeep that they had been gone for a total of five days, our heroes find themselves nearly drowned, scattered and commanded by an unknown party. Here we leave Aesira, on the 22nd of Kiriel, Beyond the horizon.