Decaying Lands 13: The Tower of Bremmlecht 02 - A Secret!

PCs Present & Played:

Barthelm Schade, Specialist 4 (James)
Caleb, Fighter 2 [farmer kit]
  Suzie, a stubborn but loyal mule
Claus Drexol, Magic-User 4 (Vegas)
  Wiebke Bott, linklady from Bremmlecht
  Sandra Schöll, guard from Bremmlecht
Jewel, Really Good Dog 2 (Rudy)
  Buddy, ratter dog
  Fuckhead / Shado, grizzled mongrel
  Wimpy / Cpt. Foofamaloo, escaped housedog
Tenkos, Cleric 1 [plague doctor kit]
Viggo Marklund, Specialist 2 [bounty hunter kit]

We started the session back in the room with the muddy bloody rugs, blood trail towards the last closed door, and elaborate inlaid wood chair covered in shit. Jewel's player was back in the game after leaving early last time so we got a fair bit of dog-nosed investigation of the chair. Jewel was able to smell some things but didn't come up with much that was actionable for the rest of the party.

Tower level 01. Shit chair in the top left.

Caleb then tried to grab the chair and rock it around. The sides of the chair went all the way down to the floor, so he was looking for some way to move it or uncover a hidden trapdoor. He found the chair to be securely attached to the floor but discovered an angled slot hidden in the back, between the chair and the wall.

I made a drawing in roll20 to show my players the general setup (my lines are in black). They turned the wall into a dick. I've been there so I can't complain (not that I would).

This is what happens when players can draw things.

Caleb tried to fit his mailed hand inside but couldn't quite get it all the way in, just a bit too big. He didn't want to remove the mail, however, afraid that he would lose his hand as well. Viggo tried next, heedless of any danger, and found that the slot fit his hand like a glove. The inside was smooth as silk and the slot split into five smaller indentations, perfectly sized for each of the bounty hunter's fingers. They did not observe anything else to happen, so they started to speculate.

"Oh your dick! Put that in!"
"Yeah, put your dick in there, it's so silky."
"Do you have some kind of hydra dick?"

So I guess I need to write about something with a hydra dick now? Spoilers for my players, this chair was not made for a hydra-dicked being.

The next thing they tried was ripping the hands off the skeleton from the kitchen and putting them into the slot. The skeleton hand also fit perfectly into the slot, similar to Viggo's. Somebody asked Jewel if the chair was bad, and she nodded. Claus, contrary to his prior extreme caution, put his own hand inside the slot in the back of the chair. He also found the inside of the slot to fit perfectly around his hand, as though it were made for it, and it did feel incredibly silky smooth. Unlike Viggo, Claus also felt a tingling in his hand that lasted for several moments after removing his hand from the slot.

At this point, Barthelm cautioned against further investigation of the chair. "We can only push this so far, eventually somebody goes back for the rope if you know what I mean."

They followed the blood trail to the last door and into a stairwell, discovering another robed skeleton in the process. This one had a dagger, but little else, so they sent Fuckhead up the stairs to check before following up. The non-dog party members heard a bunch of barking between the canine people and Jewel indicated with a nod for others to ascend. They eventually all made their way up the stairs and found another skeleton. This one, however, was armed with a sword, shield, and chainmail. They were excited about the chainmail until they flipped the skeleton over and found the chain burst apart in the front.

They examined the shield and the armor, looking for some kind of indication of whose soldier this was. The shield had was emblazoned with the mark of the local lord of Bremmlecht. Oh, what's their name? Well I didn't make a name for them yet, but-

"It's Lord TAYLOR."

Everyone is getting naming privileges revoked.

Yeah okay, a soldier of Lord Taylor. Sure.

They scrounged a few more scraps of silver coins from this corpse and Barthelm leaned into the door, listening. He heard the whistle of a breeze but little else. He gently eased open the door on the landing, ignoring the stairs up for now and went into the darkened room. Seeing an open window with no curtain, Barthelm quickly assessed the room, grabbed a table near the window, and put it on end to block the opening.

More light discipline! This party seems to have it pretty together.

They brought in Weibke and her torch to examine the room. Barthelm (I think) was rocking a torch by now too for extra coverage. There were a few crates that they quickly ransacked. In the first, Claus found an abundance of very high quality black (x10 value) and colored (x15 value) inks. In the second, he found a number of plain wooden cases. Inside each case was what looked like a syringe with finger holes along the length of it.

"What could it be," they wondered?

They picked another door to go through. This time Jewel told the fancy-pants housedog, Wimpy, to go through. This dog actually had a name that people gave it ("Captain Foofamaloo") but Jewel refused to use it. Wimpy whimpered a bit but passed a morale check and went in through the door before whimpering some more and running back out. Inside a small side room they found a skeleton slumped against the wall with a dozen crossbow bolts in and around it. Barthelm quickly rushed in and stuffed the bedroll in the open window (more light discipline!), revealing a small coin pouch and a scrap of paper.

"Josef, you are a true servant to the Church. Thank you for you service. We will come for you shortly, remain strong."

The crossbow bolts and the mention of the Church must have made something click in Viggo's head because he started to talk about how incredibly dangerous everything could be in the tower. His previous experience was with more mundane challenges but now that they were messing with magical detritus he realized that he should be more cautious. Barthelm agreed, said they all needed to watch themselves (you don't get to level 4 in this game without being careful).

Jewel sent the ratter into the next room, taking turns with doggerlings. Buddy the ratter was businesslike and professional, responded with a "Yes boss" and a quick report of the room. Everyone else filed in, found a rack with leather straps on it, some shelves, and a crate with some more ink and syringe-like objects from before. They reasoned that the straps were to hold people down onto the table for some kind of strange torture.

They tried to press on into the next room with Caleb taking the lead (no dogs this time!) but the door had some resistance behind it. Caleb, beefy man that he is, heaved against it and pushed three more mailed skeletons out of the way. Nothing moved, so they took a quick survey of the room. There quickly saw three bedrolls and three skeletons but also an open window. Caleb quickly shoved the bedroll in the corner into the window to block their torchlight and, in doing so, uncovered a arced groove worn into the floor. He investigated further, found a hairline gap in the wall and tried to wedge a sword and a thieves' pick in their but to little effect.

Leaving the crack for now, they tossed the rest of the room. They didn't get much from the skeletons, maybe a few silvers from the mailed soldiers of Lord Taylor, but then they came to the two footlockers. One was in the north side of the room, next to two of the skeletons and a pair of bedrolls. The other was as far away from that as possible, on the side of the room near the other skeleton, the groove, and the crack in the wall. They went after the top footlocker first. Barthelm very carefully looked at it without touching, then poked it and prodded it before finally picking it up and examining the catches and gaps. He spotted a small needle inside of the locking mechanism and was able to warn Viggo so that he could deftly avoid it by springing it before picking the lock.

Inside the footlocker they found several matched sets of robes, some sundry personal effects, and a pair of spellbooks at the bottom. Claus was pumped! He would have to take some time to read the spells with magic but this is probably the least of what he was hoping to find in here. They found a few sheets of papers with different geoemetric designs and drawings on them inside as well. They tapped the bottom looking for a hollow compartment but came up with nothing.

The bottom footlocker didn't seem to have any needle or other obvious trap. It was still locked however, and this time it was Viggo who popped it open.  As soon as he began to lift the lid an ear-piercing shriek began to emit from inside. He quickly snapped the lid shut, hoping that no sound had escaped the tower, and thought about what to do. They talked about the possibility of bringing the chest elsewhere but they really wanted to open it now, so they took it into the central room to consider their options. They tossed the bedrolls in the bottom left room again and found a key but it didn't go into the lock.

Tower level 02. That's Caleb's Suzie to the right.
Impatience getting the better of the group, they told the doggerlings to leave the room and opened the chest again, enduring the sound to search the contents. Inside were some more robes, some silver, and another spellbook. Claus at this point might be content just to leave, although maybe I'm underestimating his greed. He only knows one second level spell still because they've never stopped anywhere long enough to They found more drawings too, although fewer than the other footlocker. This time their investigations into bottom of the chest paid off. Viggo (I think?) was tracing the bottom of the locker with a knife, poking and prodding. Imagine something like the knife game, but the bottom of the chest. He hit paydirt when the knife cut through a small square of fabric into a small switch which, when depressed, released a catch. In the hollow compartment, they found a brass door handle.

This picture is perfect minus the screw holes.

They quickly closed the chest and ran back into the room with the groove on the floor. A few moments of sliding the handle around the wall near the crack and boom, the handle was fixed in place. The door was heavy, scraping the ground as it opened, but when it was open they had revealed a previously unknown portion of the tower.

Annnd end session.

Sidebar: I've got a prep post drafted with how I put this together including (especially important) props for the cartographer of the map but I don't want to post it until my group has explored more. I will say that I got the map from Eneko Menica's feed and that he's a boss cartographer. I guess if my players really want to go hunting then whatever, it's their own fun they'd be spoiling!

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