The Disappearance of the Radiant Dawn
|Status||Explored June 888 TA|
|Campaign||The Elven Watch Campaign|
A Letter to Fuzzwort
|My dearest Fuzzwort.
As you know, the Host of the Radiant Dawn has established its base camp outside the port castle of Timberway at the northern end of Loftwood. The recent victories of the Army of the Reaches led by Dugald Axeworthy have thrown the Orc Nation into revolt. While a number of orc incursions have been repelled, little organized opposition has been seen. Under the direction of Faldirion, the elves have begun searching for settlement sites within the confines of the ancient woods of Loftwood.
In conjunction with the military searches, we have begun a search for a library to again be established in northern Reaches. This archive will be used to collect the stories of the orcs and migratory peoples of the far north. As you know, our past attempts to collect these tales and put them into writing failed with the burning of Redwood by the superstitious orcs. However, their need for food and basic supplies is great, and we will again attempt to barter for the information we need.
It is on a scouting mission to an abandoned monastery that sits upon a stone finger known as Pilgrim's Point, that we have come across a most disturbing fact. Normally, we keep out of the politics of men and elves, but your position within the inner circle of those governments has led us to share this information with you.
The monastery is an ancient complex built around two quadrangles perched on a grey granite tower of rock. There are no above ground entrances to the towers, but a single dwarven hallway is carved into the hill. Our priest, flying above the complex found low, squat buildings have no windows and heavy grey slate roofs. A well in the western courtyard provides water for the complex. Around this well, he saw twenty elves. At first he thought they were simply bathing, as they were naked. However, as he flew closer, he realized that they were prisoners, guarded by grey sentinels that moved, although they looked as if they were carved from stone. As the priest attempted to fly closer, he felt a strange heaviness. Suddenly, he was falling. Two attempts to cast a teleport spell failed. A third attempt was successful.
It was upon his return, I heard his story. It reminded me of another story about Pilgrim's Point that was told to me recently by the Elven Ambassador to Sarth.
An earlier attempt to establish a settlement in the area around Pilgrim's Point met in calamity. The settlement started as a military garrison several miles northeast of Pilgrim's Point - near the edge of the forest. The fort was under the command of an elven archer, Elemmire. The fort was established, and a message was sent back to Timberway, clearing the way for two hundred elven pilgrims. The pilgrims left in early 888 TA under the watch of several dozen elven home guard. The pilgrims never arrived. An investigation turned up the remains of the home guard, turned to stone on the road south of the crossroad village of Deephedge near the bridge over the Duntide. Tracking of the pilgrims showed no footprints beyond the statues. It is as if they simply disappeared.
Here is my concern. Pilgrim's Point lies only a few miles from several proposed settlement sites. Perhaps these events are tied together. While the site is interesting to us, the strange anti-magical properties would, of course, make the monastery unusable for our library. However, I fear that any sites near Pilgrim's Point might be endangered. Perhaps, you can convince your comrades to join you on a quest to the complex.
Be careful, my son, and remember that knowledge is the key to success.
Galdor the Learned, Master of Nations
Pilgrim's Point - Top Level
The priests of Pilgrim's Point were once followers of a brotherhood dedicated to a local spider god, known as Greyfur. As such, they were focused on poison and summoning of giant spiders. They were drawn here by a voice that spoke to them in the darkness when camped in the vicinity of the monastery. They tend to do things in eights.
- Alsop, High Priest - Ring of Protection +5
- Diehl, High Priest
- Fanshaw, High Priest
- Gebhard, High Priest
- Hickling, High Priest
- Pearsall, High Priest
- Trost, High Priest
- Wilibald, High Priest
Humans with black-cowled robes with a red eight-legged spider on the back. Each carries a crooked staff shaped like a spider's leg.
They are currently looking for a mythical spider-shaped organ that is said to be found only in elves and contains the secret to summoning their god.
If threatened, they will attempt to get together and combine the Staff of Spiders to summon Greyfur. To do this, they need the "body" in the scriptorium.
The acolytes of this cult are giant grey spiders. They are very intelligent, can spit acid, shoot webs and bite with deadly poison. They communicate with each other via telepathy and will quickly inform the masters of any problems.
"With the endless canopy of Loftwood Forest stretching out in all directions, the strange grey stone of Pilgrim's Point stands in stark defiance. Its sheer walls create a column of granite on which the ancient monastery perches. The walls of the monastery are made of the same dull, grey stone, making it appear at first that the summit is natural. Built during the early Second Age, Pilgrim's Point has been abandoned for years, ever since an earthquake sealed the only passage into the complex, an underground tunnel apparently built and abandoned by the dwarves in the First Age. The complex is built around two quadrangles. Low, squat buildings have no windows and heavy grey slate roofs. A well in the western courtyard provides water for the complex."
"This large 60 foot by 120 foot room is carved of the same grey slate as the rest of the complex. Along the west wall are a series of benches. In the center of the room are three tables, filled with the grisly remains of several slain elves. By the looks of them, they have been dissected for some sort of bizarre science project. Between several of the tables hovers a large black globe with a red spider design on it. The east wall of the room is filled with a number of large cubicles built into the wall. These are mostly empty, probably used for sleeping berths in the past. A spiral staircase connects the upper and lower levels of the cubes. A massive chimney in one of the cubes burns low with embers. A large pile of ash has been shoveled into an adjacent cube, and a large pile of freshly cut pine wood is in another."
Examination of the globe will show: Around the edge of the globe are eight holes grouped in fours. The globe radiates an aura of chaos and evil. It will poison any who attempt to move it. If they are immune, it will attempt to turn them to stone.
"There rooms are simple 15 by 15 cells with straw on the floor. The wall of each are iron bars, locked with traditional locks. These cells are filled with elven captors, all naked and unbound. They appear to be relatively healthy given their current surroundings."
The elves fight as 3rd level fighters.
Dormitory - Lower Floor
"These eleven rooms are simple bedrooms, each furnished with beds, nightstand and washbasin, a mat for prayers and a chair. The rooms have no windows and simple wooden doors without locks. Most have fallen into severe disuse."
Dormitory - Upper Floor
"The hallway here is filled with spider webs. The doors of the rooms have been chewed or broken off, and most of the rooms are impassible because of the sticky strands."
These are the lairs of the acolyte spiders. In one room are Wings of Flying.
"This massive room has a ceiling that is 30 feet high with broad beams of grey stone and white stone walls and floor. The room has six large tables pulled up to form benches with low stools along each side. This room smells of sweat and blood, although it is curiously lacking in furniture. A ledge on the eastern end of the room has six grey stone statues on it. A number of doors are underneath the ledge."
This is where the elves are fed. The stone statues are Cinereal Men. If elves are here, there will be human mercenaries as well.
The mercenaries are led by a man named Beane. They are assassins of the Grey Path that were hired by the priests to keep the elves in line. They are armed with throwing stars with tips that have petrification, lightning, fire, poison, etc. The effects are determined by a dice roll when they hit. Their masks provide protection from displacement and invisibility. These are always pulled up in combat. CAN THROW AROUND CORNERS.
"This man is slight of build and of an indeterminate age. He is expressionless, with black eyes rimmed in red that dart furiously about the room. The belt around the waist is of a black leather and seems to have two slits from which throwing stars can be pulled. Each man has a black whistle on a leather cord about his neck."
"This oddly-shaped room has a small round table in the center. On it are a deck of cards and a bottle of Sandalese Whisky.
"These rooms each have three bunk beds. The rooms smell of sweat and rarely-changed linens."
Beane - carries a blue metal wand (used to open the prison)
12 Mercenaries of the Grey Path
"This room is clearly a kitchen. An oven in the southwest corner has a low flame burning under a pot of foul-smelling stew. Two barrels of salted fish are along the eastern wall. Sacks of flour, salt and other spices are pile under a large table. Several tables are filled with cutlery. In the kitchen are three trolls of a nasty disposition."
"The door to this room is rusty and squeaks loudly when opened. Arranged around the walls are racks of weapons: mostly battle and war axes, but a serviceable number of hammers can also be found. Above the larger weapons on the north wall are six finely crafted hand hammers, each only one inch in size."
"When opened, a brown flash surrounds the door. You feel a slight tingling which lasts for a few moments and then disappears."
This is a glyph of tracking.
"This room is a simple affair with a bed, round table and chairs, nightstand and basin. It is clean."
Under the bed is a chest with the following riddle on it:
The chest contains the payment for the job: Alchemy Jug, Sling +3, Potion of Diminuation, Potion of Longevity, Girdle of Hill Giant Strength, Bag of Holding, 1200 gold.
"Three large painted reddish-brown disks are on the floor of the room. Along the wall, padding has been put up. This stuffed material is very old, crumbling in many places."
"Two sets of bars run the entire length of this room. There do not appear to be any doors or entrances into this area. Inside, four elves are suspended in the air, held as if by invisible bonds. They appear to be alive but unconscious."
These elves were "leaders of resistance" or dangerous. The bars are guarded by electricity that shocks the prisoners if any attempts are made to free them.
"This room has several doors and a stairway that leads down. Several grey pillars can be found here. The north wall of this room is dominated by an ancient tapestry depicting a dwarven hero scaling Pilgrim's Point and slaying a large roper-like creature."
The columns contain more Cinereal Men.
"This simple well is about four feet deep. A stone ledge surrounds the well. The bottom of the pool is filled with thousands of pin-sized holes."
In this courtyard are several dozen sheep grazing on small bits of grass that poke out of the rocky ground.
Pilgrim's Point - Entrance and Core
Dwarven Entrance Hall
"A massive set of stone doors are built of the same grey stone as the side of the mountain. They are carved with dwarven runes that become obvious when a torch or light source is brought near."
"This ancient hallway is clearly of First Age construction with tapered columns flowing to stone arches. The columns divide the room. Along ledges on the north and south walls are twenty grey stone statues of dwarves."
The statues are Cinereal Men. They will move to attack if discovered, otherwise, they will allow the party to pass into the main hall before attacking.
Special abilities include: attacks as a storm giant, hardening skin to absorb 100 hit points per swing, clay/stone to capture weapons, absorption into stone when badly injured, cast stones for distance attacks.
Dwarven Great Hall
"This 60 foot wide hallway runs 130 feet. The floors are made of a polished granite and marble inlay of grey and white stones. The white stones seem to swirl with streaks of grey, as if clouds moving through the sky. The ceiling of this room is arched rising to a height of about 60 feet and is made of the same swirling white marble. At the far end of the room a single door leads out of the hall. The ruins of a throne sit in the southwest corner of the room."
Mechanical archers behind the arrow slits will open fire on the party if they enter this room. They can detect any creature if standing on a white square (illusions, displaced, etc.). Each archer appears to be a large stone wheel with 60 holes and a crank that is connected to a shaft running under the floor. Thirty crates of arrows are in these rooms.
"A great forge sits cold and abandoned. In front of it a massive anvil lies broken in several pieces. Two piles of coal flank the door."
Niche of the Apprentice
"A small niche in the wall holds the shards of a long-broken dwarven statue. As you pass by, you notice that there is a glow from a strange figure that is carved in the wall behind the statue. If not for the eerie light, you would have never seen the figure and the nine buttons surrounding it."
If opened, the niche contains a small leather tube.
|We have been ordered to leave this place. As I write this final missive, the last of the carts are being loaded for the trip east to the Shadowyarn Mountains. The creature which inhabits the cave has baffled the Masters. They believe it to be some spectral apparition and have tried theological means to stops its evil spread. The attack on the great hall is the last straw, as its tendrils are getting more powerful and hungry. Some of the guards have even started hearing voices. I still believe that the creature's appearance when the well was being dug is not a coincidence. I have asked the Master for permission to again load the great cannon with a shell filled with an equal mixture of sulfur, salt, ash and coal, but he said that my past failures weigh heavily against me. It is the additional of coal to my formula that should do the trick. I just know it. I leave this message for any who follow, understanding that any who can solve my riddle will see the wisdom of my plan.|
"A shimmering blue wall appears on the west wall of the tunnel. Behind it, a grey cloak covering a large apparatus appears at first to be a rock that has pulled loose from the wall."
"A massive iron cannon is pushed to the back of a small hastily-constructed niche. While there are scorch marks on the floor, it is clear that this device has not been used in centuries. The machine is rusted, but appears serviceable."
The blue wall is an electricity barrier erected to keep the cannon safe from the Cinereal Column.
The Cinereal Column
"The center of the complex is dominated by a massive natural shaft almost 200 feet across tapering at the top and bottom. The formation appears to be natural, although it is clearly created by tectonic movements and is dry without formations. The interior of the cavern is the same grey stone as the rest of the dungeon.
"In the center of the room is a cylindrical column 40 feet in diameter. It too is made of grey stone, but its surface is perfectly smooth and polished. It extends to both the top and bottom of the room. Emerging from the column are dozens of tentacles. Some of these are transparent and almost impossible to see. Others appear to be made of stone with barbed tips. While others are clearly made of magical energy resembling a whip made of magic missiles. These swirl about the column, touching the edges of the walls and probing the open hallways as if looking for intruders or food."
The Cinereal Column was brought to life: Non-corporeal - drain attributes; Corporeal - barbed, pull into maw;
The Flying Rust Monsters
"Flying about the column are dozens of small creatures. They are dodging in an around the column very quickly, avoiding each other and the tentacles as if by magic. They appear to be bats with propeller tails."
"This simple room is lined with tables laden with large jars of chemicals, minerals, roots and ground metals. Several of the jars have fallen when one of the table legs broke, spilling its contents to the ground. However, the room appears untouched in many centuries."
There are several large jugs of sulfur here.
Iron spikes and walls that collapse to crush.
A cone of fire shoots out the walls when a beam of light is broken.
"A small secret panel high on the wall glows as you pass by. The following poem appears on the wall."
If the word "shield" is spoken, the niche opens and reveals a magical shield. Touching the shield, it disappears (an illusion). The ground turns to mud and then to stone, trapping the party. At this point, the balls are released and the party is smashed.
Have to have one to clean up, eh?
Priests of Greyfur
Ring of Protection +5