Thursday, September 4, 2014

Of Mice and No Men (part 6)

For the first time the players see Hwang's Tower, a tower stretching as far into the sky as they can see, its smooth, shiny walls gleaming in the sun. They meet the Necromouser who has spent the last eight or so months here and hasn't seen anyone else, he's heard them but never laid eyes. Partially because he has been reading what he has been on just the first floor. The floor is a massive library as far as the eye can see, with a staircase to the second floor in what seems to be the central structure. They all go up to the second floor and come across a form of automatons mimicking rodents but are made of a strange material with a glowing container of liquid on their backs. They do not speak, and the party finds out that they maintain the shelves and can find books if they ask, but never stay around very long to keep getting sent for more and more books by a single person. They come to find out that the first two floors contain simple knowledge, revealing some but not much useful information.

After a while they seem to be summoned to the central structure and are lead into a secret door where there is a single "room" with a bright sky, but no clouds. They find it strange as the other floors had probably 10 "foot" ceilings and were very uniform. There are shelves and scaffolding reaching up to the sky. In the center is a floating "thing" of a mix of a throne and platform. On it sits a grey and ancient mouse with two large tanks of the glowing liquid to either side of him with tubes to his body (spine). He bids them closer and introduces himself of Hwang and proposes that he make a trade, knowledge for knowledge and access to the next floor. They trade several pieces of knowledge and are granted access to the third floor. The third floor is primarily about culture and the players ask about the tower, and he asys he created it with a powerful spell  "a long time ago."

They find a book on Necross, the dark land of the Dead Lords. The book is as sparse as the others they find but its the first information about Necross (and its capital city Barrow) they have run across. Gabrielle is forces to make a roll against his delusion that the world is a good place, he succeeds but is sad for a while.

On their way to Warren, they decide to look for the Rodentius' cathedral after spending two weeks at Hwang's Tower. They find it after a weeks journey (roughly halfway to Warren) and come to find a massive stone structure, more Knights roam about but are friendly, though they question the players' presences. They inform the guards they were invited and are granted permission to enter into the "Church." Upon entering, they see a massive and open, higher than the place in Hwang's Tower, but can see a ceiling higher up than they feel comfortable thinking off. There are knights flying on while birds keeping watch inside. There seems to be other areas, making this place a city of its own accord, and they are met by a group of monks. They learn a lot about the organization, joining, but decide since the characters aren't really capable or willing (pacifists or mercenaries) of fighting the worst forms of evil in righteous but violent battle. They also reveal and expound on how they have supported Frostgar's campaign.

Necromouser had been learning enchanting and asks if they can help, to which the monks say the Church itself cannot teach its secrets to outsiders, but individual enchanters may choose to teach something. He then meets one of these enchanters, who was in the middle of making a longsword made of gleaming steel. They have a conversation and the party isn't all that impressed with the mirror-shined blade until the Knight takes the blade and hacks a large stone slab in half with a blinding flash of light and with little to no effort. He sheathes it and hands it to Necromouser, promising that if they deliver it to Frostgar, he will teach him a trick.

With that they head for Warren to see it firmly in control of Frostgar and his armies. They witness some looters being executed by hanging. Necromouser makes it a point to go see Frostgar about this. In the meeting he makes his point but Frostgar stops and asks who he is, his brothers had come with him and he had never met him. Frostgar eventually relents after waving off Necromouser's repeat tactic from the Boss, Frostgar stating "I know what an ancestral staff is." And says he will not keep the bodies up for longer than needed.

Frostgar then askes them that he needs the Boss back in Warren and sends them with a courier, a shy noble who tells everyone his name "Accini de Pepe." The players propose that they help him get a Moo, but Frostgar asks why he would need another one, having a half dozen from his campaigns in Middleton. It takes them a few days to reach the Boss's manor. Their friends greet them and ask about their travels over the last nine months, and they explain to the Boss why a Moo was a bit out of reach for them and introduces Accini, who just delivers a letter and leaves. The letter is more of an order to return to Warren so he can guard the Boss and his cheese production, using a few of the Moos he obtained. The Boss laments that he enjoys his manor, hand built as a hobby over the years, but he can hardly say no. So he sends the players back ahead of him. Frostgar is pleased and sends them to White Range to attempt to broker a peaceful agreement, as he doesn't really want more violence and death in a place that has such a harsh climate. He sends a hooded and quiet mouse named Fettuccine. They make it to White Range in 3 months, rolling the game into its second year, 410.

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