The day started out normal, with the air buzzing with thoughts of Needfest in everyone’s mind. D’Arcon was nowhere to be found and the priest of Farlanghan was busy in his faith’s chapel, tending to the road weary and exchanging stories about his travels. Simone and Erevis we’re busy appearing about town, merrily working out their backstory for their upcoming ploy.
Ranier Silverleaf was busy tending the druid’s circle and making new friends. An elven ranger had stumbled upon his very own Invitation in a box of Idani Whips at the Green Dragon Inn. Here, he heard tales of the mysterious fire that consumed the confectioners shop and decided to investigate. The druid came upon the ranger snooping around the Spelloyal ruin and sent his crow to find Leuwiss so the three could make plans and not sit idly by as the city came alive.
Leuwiss cheerfully became an impromptu tour guide, steering the trio away from the poor section of the city and getting them fitted for the approaching Winter Ball and gossiped about the Winter family, their philanthropic efforts and how they made their fortune in fur trade.
Somehow the trio ended up back at the Green Dragon Inn hoping for excitement when a group of seasoned adventurers came in swimming in coin, buying drinks and spreading some early Needfest cheer and generosity. The group overheard that the adventurers had just come from the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. It was decided that the three would travel aboard Leuwiss’ fantastic ship to the ruin and take their chances. They collected Echo for some muscle and took to the skies.
Unknown to the druid, mage and ranger – the ship contained two stowaways. The night previous, D’Arcon was busy setting Phase 1 of Simone’s plan: switching out the necklace Urden Winter wore around his neck for an exact copy. Urden Winter, a swordsman of dubious virtue and one of the two sons of Ralliman Winter, was an easy mark. Urden had a weakness for men, drink and gambling. D’Arcon played his part well, guided the drunkard to the quiet turtle ship docked at the wharf, and made the switch of the necklace after the drunken fool passed out. Sometime in the middle of the night, Urden woke with a start and snuck out of the ship while D’Arcon lightly slept.
Kel, the traveling priest, had just finished his long and fulfilling day at the chapel of Farlanghan and decided to walk the city at night. This is where Kel spied D’Arcon and Urden leaving the Wheel of Gold and tailed them. The priest, unsure of what was going on, snuck aboard the ship after the amorous pair to assure nothing bad was taking place. When nothing seemed out of the ordinary, Kel dozed off until mid-morning.
When Leuwiss was taking the druid and the ranger up the Selintan River, Kel and D’Arcon became aware that the ship was in motion. Kel and D’Arcon revealed themselves to the others. Apologies and introductions made, a course was set for the ruins of Castle Greyhawk.
The turtle ship was set down in a grassy field some short distance from the three decaying towers upon the hilltops that once was home to the mighty Zagyg. Now with a full party, Echo offered to stay behind and watch the ship. The towers, while abandoned, weren’t completely without life. As one of the most famous dungeons in all the land, it drew onlookers, adventurers, and the occasional sheepherder unafraid of its’ reputation.
The towers, while crumbling, were harder to gain access to their depths than one might imagine. After an hour, the ranger found a debris covered secret door that lead to a laboratory somewhere beneath the Tower of Zagyg.
The lab was the home to a mage and his kobold minions. The mage, unhappy with our intrusion, ordered us out. Silverleaf attacked the mage with biting insects and the cranky magician fled to the darkened halls below. The kobolds, larger than we had ever seen put up a good fight but were no match for the coordination of The Companions! While the equipment in the lab would net a hefty sum back in the city, the group opted to leave the fragile stuff behind. D’Arcon decided he’d try some of the food the mage was concocting for his kobolds and nearly poisoned himself. The mage left behind a notebook and diary that gave the group more information on this mage, coming from the Bandit Kingdoms to the north.
The mage blocked the door with a wall of ice, delaying us from continuing on. Quick thinking from the group prompted experimentation with the liquids in the beakers upon the ice wall and eventually we were through the temporary barrier!
The group descended the depths and came to some sort of living quarters, long abandoned by followers of Zagyg. A curious set of tapestries in a room told a narrative detailing three points in Zagyg’s long life. The first tapestry depicted Zagyg as The Lord Mayor of Greyhawk with cheering crowds. The second tapestry showed the man Zagyg near some mysterious device with him engulfed in energy. The third tapestry showed Zagyg flying up, arms extended to the heavens.
The group spent some time snooping around here until another passageway was found, bisected by a natural cavern filled with mud. The Companions fought valiantly against a neo-otyugh with Bo-Bo taking serious damage from a powerful bite and D’Acon hurled against a wall and winded. The beast was tough but fell to the ranger’s well-placed arrows blinding it and natural magic when the druid hurled acorns into the neo-otyugh’s gullet, impaling it upon a mighty oak tree that sprung from it’s rocky insides.
It’s death revealed 12 rough gemstones and a considerable treasure in electrum coin. Healing and conversation took place next. The group decided to press on, deeper into the depths. At the end of a long hall, voices could be heard.
A man, answering to Vayne and wearing Iuzian symbols upon his clothing, and a mysterious woman bickered about something while a hobgoblin stood near them listening. Apparently, the woman was insubordinate to Vayne and he was displeased with her. He wouldn’t tolerate it when he gloated that his “plans for invading Greyhawk would not stop. The invasion force of orcs was almost ready.” Vayne took leave and went further below while the woman went back to researching furiously in a library.
D’Arcon became invisible and decided to take a closer look. He saw she was making notes focusing on a collection of tomes penned by Zagyg himself where some machine was repeatedly referenced. Either because the woman was sharp or perhaps it was something else, she detected D’Arcon and nearly burned him to a cinder with a well placed, yet weak, lightning bolt. Quickly, the group made a hasty retreat with the druid sealing the passageway with rock.
Teamwork removed the tapestries found earlier and brought them to the turtle ship and back to Greyhawk. Some hours later, Leuwiss had run off to speak with some contacts about their discoveries. An emergency meeting of the oligarchy was convening and it seems The Companions would be interrogated within the hour. The group was being summoned to The Grand Citadel!
Decisions would need to be made by the group…