More of a spire than a traditional tower, this ominous looking structure usually serves as a watch tower used by the soliders at the Duskwood Outpost, just one of the local garrisons under the control of the Duke of Fallcrest. The outpost itself appears to be a small military camp with simple well and a thin watch tower, but what is not apparent to passer-bys is that both the tower and ‘well’ lead to a subterranean dungeon which is primarily used by the garrison soliders to hold troublesome beasts from the wild bushlands surrounding the outpost.
Our party are currently in the basement, or dungeon, of the watch tower in the dead of night. A few dim torches burn in their sconces, the only sign of life on this clear but eerily still night in the Duskwood. On the table outside of the dungeon cell sits our adventurers travel kits and weapons which they quickly reclaim before moving up the spiral staircase, searching for answers as to what had happened and where they were.
The party move up through the vacant ground level and ascend to the first floor, where they discover a very wide open room with the NE corner of the room removed and a large landing style platform overhanging the outer wall and an illusion, like a black shimmering curtain made of the night sky itself in the southern wall. At first they decide to look out from the platform only see an undead legion, thousands in number, staring up and the night sky directly at the moon. Still as night but somehow alive, the skeletal army stands somehow at ease but ready to attack at any time. Arcana checks confirm to the party that this is definitely the work of a very powerful necromancer or multiple necromancers, and that the undead legion outside is most likely the Fallcrest townsfolk.
Aware that excessive noise may alert the legion to their whereabouts, the part quietly move there way across the room into the illusion – hesitant to enter, they eventually move through the inky black substance into a room of total darkness. The gnome psion, while unwavering in his extreme cowardess, leads the way and seeks out a device in the room centre, resting upon a square podium of stone. The device was moving.. by touch it appeared to be two floating balls, one small and one large orbitting each other. Unable to glean any knowledge about the device, the gnome tries his luck by halting the smaller orb temporarily with his hand causing the room to shudder and shake with increasing intensity until he let go, and all was once again still. Nervous about killing them all, but having no other option besides facing wave upon wave of undead, the little gnome stops the larger orb and jams a bone between it and the podium – the result of which opens a door at the back of the room which the party swiftly move through.
As the small gnome responsible for opening the door enters the room, he is assailed by an almost mind-shattering psionic scream from one of four marionettes hanging in the room. The marionettes hang still, silent except for the psionic blast, which only effects one of the party – but the marionettes are not attached to anything. They float in the air, their strings standing upright as if attached to an invisible control bar, three of them staring blankly into the party while a fourth is without a face at all. As the party attempt to move through them the marionettes attack, all the while leaving the gnome psion all but incapacitated, clutching his skull as if at any second it may explode and he sought to hold it together.
As the attack went on the party managed to crack and destory two of the puppets, and as they did they found that with each one destoyed the others gained gouge marks and scratches as if they were taking the damage as well. Eventually the psionic blast stopped and the marionettes ceased there attack. The gnome then communicated with the remaining enemy as the party deliberated whether they should strike them down or not. After some disjointed psionic conversation he discovered that these marionettes were infernal cages for the souls of the undead soldiers outside. They had been taken hostage by necromancers, robbed of their bodies by demonic forces and stored away within these four puppets – told to fight or die the true death unless they gaurded the sourcerers. What they discovered during the battle was that when 1 marionette was distroyed, the souls migrated into the remaining dolls. When it became clear they would not be triumphant the souls decided they would rather betray their cruel master than to see what happens when there were no vessels left to house their souls.
Disorientated with the illusion creating room after room in a thin and upright tower the party press on through a door behind the marionettes, looking to take vengence on the undead conjurers responsible for all of this and free the good people of Fallcrest and hopefully gain reward from the Duke. As they pass through the door behind the puppets they come out of the illusion and find themselves back on the 2nd floor of the watch tower, the spiral staircase ahead of them and the undead horde below. They take the stairs upward only to find the top floor of the twoer gated and locked. As one of them shakes the bars they hear the noise of thousands of bones snicking together at once, and know that they are moments away from alerting the skeletal army of their whereabouts if they do not remain silent from this point onward. Across the room they see another dark portal, another illusion that will take them to more rooms that do not exist within the plane of their reality.
The tiny gnome, who up until this point has become the only adventurer to have real input, casts a ward of silence over the room as the others smash the lock and open the gate, solving their noise dilemma. They quickly cut their way through a room filled with sarcophagi through the portal and into the next, a room with no exit except for the door they in through. They see three necromancers, one against each wall, and a large pile of offal in the center of the room – of where it came from they cannot imagine. As they spread out to attack the necromancers remain in their entranced state, unconcerned with the warriors and spell weavers surrounding them until they draw near and begin their assault.
As the first of the necromancers fall, the meaty pile of remains in the center of the room begins to stir. Suddenly the remains begin to grow and stand upright in front of the attackers , a living wall of human flesh and entrails with no features or limbs, but hell bent on consuming those that attack those it was sent to serve. Through a hard fought battle where none of them could get close to the Offal Horror, our adventurers slay each of the necromancers along with the meaty mound of human remains thus breaking the magic of the necromancy. The aftermath of the battle saw the townsfolks souls set free, and their bodies magically restored to the state they had previously been in, leaving thousands of people otherwise stranded two days walk from home but otherwise intact and relieved to be alive.
Our party take the momentary peace as a change to make camp at the outpost and rest up as most of the Fallcrestians start their long commute home opting to stay in large numbers for saftey.