Albrecht Artyom – Human Grey wizard (co-founder of F&A Holdings)
Hugo Underwood – Wood Elf shaman
Fritz Schmidt – Human scout (co-founder of F&A Holdings)
Felix Lutsk – Human “acquisitioner”
Alset Alokin – High Elf magus
F&A Holdings (the adventurers) after discussion decided their first expedition would be to the Wedge Wood. Riding their horses along the Estini Road, they quickly cleared the farmlands surrounding New Zwicke and entered the point of the Wedge Wood. (The Wedge Wood is shaped like a long triangle, with the “point” an hour’s ride from the farmlands around New Zwicke. From there the forest spreads along some unusually well-defined boarders, widening as one moves to the northwest.)
Once they entered the forest, they started searching to see if there was anything interesting. In an extremely thick copse of trees inside the forest they noticed the stony walls of a tower almost completely covered in plant life, including trees, thick cables of vines, and other, less identifiable, bushes and plants.
Curious, they hacked their way to the entrance of the tower. Instead of being filled with roots or other plant life, they discovered the interior of the tower was completely clear of plants and contained the abandoned furniture of its previous inhabitants. The air inside is cool and dry, providing a contrast to the humid air outside. Alset created light so the group to see by arcing a ball of lightning around his hand. The furniture might be of elven make, but it might not.
The group explored the first floor of the tower, finding a guard post, several barracks (with latrines), stairs up, a mess able to serve 50 people at once, a kitchen, and two storage areas. The first storage area was attached directly to the kitchen and the interior was noticeably cool. At first they assumed this was a magical effect done on purpose, but they quickly found a large patch of russet mold covering one set of shelves. They were very glad that Alset’s light was lightning-based and produced no heat to draw the mold. They backed out of the mostly empty storage room and closed the door. They considered this a good find – if they decided to claim the tower, the mold would keep food from spoiling quickly. They just needed to be careful to not enter the food storage area with a torch…
The adjacent storage room appeared to have been a dry goods storage area. There were crates, barrels, and now-empty sacks stored around the rooms. The sacks once contained grain, but were now just husks of long-molded remains. The crates were mostly the same, but some of the barrels still contained liquids. Fritz checked the barrels – the first four were now vinegar, but the fifth one contained a black ooze! After a quick but unexpected fight, the group destroyed the ooze.
Panting from exertion (and maybe a small bit of fear), the group moved to one of the (easily defendable) barracks and camped for the evening. Watches were set in case trouble came looking, but the night passed quietly. After a quick repast, the group resumed exploring the tower.
The second floor was living quarters for people more important that the soldiers stationed in the barracks on the first floor. Even after the ruins of time, it was apparent that the furnishing on this floor were once opulent. This floor contained a library full of scrolls, but the scrolls were so old they crumbled at the touch. After several were destroyed this way, the group left the rest of the scrolls alone. Searching the floor thoroughly, a secret door was found. It opened to an alchemical laboratory full of unbroken glassware. A valuable find!
Leaving the glass beakers, vials, and flasks alone for the moment, the group proceeded up to the third floor. The entire third floor was a single chamber and had no roof. A portion of the wall on the northeast facing was missing and every surface was covered by a layer of moss. The sole exception to the moss covering was an abstract statue on a pedestal in the center of the room. The statue was made of some sort of green stone, perhaps jade, and while it was unclear what was depicted, there was a definite suggestion of femininity.
Carefully NOT touching the statue, the group investigated the room. Hugo was able to determine the missing wall section was blasted out, not in. The missing roof seemed to be part of the construction, but was now criss-crossed by plants and vines and partially covered by the branches of the taller trees around the tower. None of the plant growth actually drooped below the edges of the walls and the only growing thing in the room was the moss covering the floors and walls.
Alset fired a bolt of lightning at the floor near the pedestal, clearing away some of the moss. Exposed was part of a (now broken) containment circle encircling the pedestal. This filled the group with some measure of dread, but after nothing happening for a while, the group started clearing away the rest of the moss. They uncovered the rest of the containment circle and found a second breach that lined up neatly with the missing wall section.
After discussing the situation for a while, the group decided to pack up the valuables they had found so far (notably the alchemist’s lab full of glassware) and leave. Alset teleported back to New Zwicke with the glassware (rather than chance breaking it by packing it on the horses) and the rest rode their horses back.
End of Session
This session was short as the PCs were not kitted out yet and it took some time for everyone to get kitted out to their satisfaction. This was fine as it was the first session and I’d rather the players get kitted out and be happy with their gear up front. Plus, the Friday group is mostly new players and did not have the books yet. The Saturday Group is mostly experienced Hero System players and have the books, so they were ready to hit the ground. Even after just a single session with each group I’m seeing definite differences in the playstyles of the two groups. Should make it interesting as things progress.