Monday, February 6, 2017

Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower

Warhammer Quest
In a vast and statue lined Chamber did the champions first come together. Whether by the dark designs of the Gaunt Summoner, or the vagaries of fate and destiny, each champion descended the winding stairs to face one another across a sigiletched floor. How each had come to this place was an epic tale in itself. Why each had come remained a secret known only to them. Yet it was Clear that, for now, their paths were intertwined.

It was then that the Gaunt Summoner’s visage loomed above the champions in a blaze of unearthly light. In a booming voice the Summoner revealed that, should the champions wish to win his boon, they would have to best his trials. Only in this way might they gather the fragments of the shattered amulet upon which his truename was inscribed. Do this, the Gaunt Summoner promised, and the Champions would have whatever they desired. Fail, and they would be his prisoners forevermore. With this the Summoner faded from sight, leaving only his echoing laughter, and a glowing portal leading on into the Silver Tower’s labyrinthine depths.

Having arrived at the long-sought Silver Tower of Tzeentch, Byron quickly allied himself with a mistweaver saih and aelf assassin. He didn't have a great deal of choice, really. Even in the face of such peril as awaited them in the silver tower, many adventurers tend to avoid and distrust necromancers. The shadowy elves had no such qualms, however. And they spoke very little, which suited Byron just fine.

They fought their way through the first trial of the tower, learning each other's abilities and fighting styles as they worked their way through the ever-changing corridors. The assassin could easily slaughter his way through many enemies, while Byron and the mistweaver saih relied on magical blasts to attack enemies from afar, with Byron's summoned skeletons used to block off enemies from reaching them. Unfortunately, the skeletons often had trouble keeping up with the adventurers and often got left behind. The swift assassin would often also leave behind the other two adventurers, leaving the group even more spread out and vulnerable.

Eventually they reached a chamber where an image of the gaunt summoner appeared before a large statue of a Lord of Change. The ruler of the Silver Tower laid out his rules for those questing in his maddened domain, before putting them to a test of their fighting abilities. Byron used a Basilisk tongue he had found to turn several pink horrors to stone, allowing the assassin to destroy the image of the gaunt summoner. As a result of leading them to success in this first of many trials, Byron was given the first shard of the gaunt summoner's icon.

Taking the lead, (or, at least, being allowed by the inscrutable aelfs to think he was leading), Byron decided that they would next attempt the trial of Shysih, the amathyst wind of death. Things went well at first, but again the ponderous skeletons slowed their pace, and the aelves grew impatient. The assassin, in particular, began racing ahead to deal swift death to the denizens of the tower. At one point the assassin found a potion on the floor and took a drink, which caused his soul to temporarily leave his body and prevented him from speaking until it returned. The others didn't notice, however, since the assassin rarely spoke anyway.

They eventually reached a dead end and were forced to turn back and retrace their steps through twisting, moving corridors. The frustrated assassin raced ahead and the group got strung out across several rooms. The assassin turned a corner into an unexplored room and encountered a room full of eight kairic acolytes.

The assassin couldn't hope to defeat the room full of enemies on his own, and the acolytes quickly blasted him into unconsciousness with their magic. The mistweaver moved into the adjacent room to engage them with her magic, but was too late to save the assassin. As the necromancer struggled to catch up, their woes were compounded when a band of grot scuttlings that had been stalking them dropped from the ceilings, cutting off Byron and his skeletons from the mistweaver, who soon fell to the acolytes. Byron was suddenly left with just his two loyal skeletons to hold out against the remaining scuttlings and acolytes, and the situation looked hopeless.

Undeterred, Byron tapped into the power of his shard of the gaunt summoner's icon to alter his destiny, and resolved to meet it head on. He used his skeletons to finish off the scuttlings and then block the advance of the kairic acolytes, positioning himself in a narrow passageway to prevent them from bringing their numbers to bear. He then sent perfectly aimed blasts of magical fire to cut down the trapped acoyltes. Destiny smiled on Byron, increasing his power, and it looked like he might just survive the onslaught. Then things went very wrong.

Byron moved up closer to the room where the acolytes were to get a better view of his remaining adversaries, and realized his mistake too late. The acolytes fought through his skeleton guard and reached Byron, who was much less skilled with a blade than with his magical blasts. At the same time, more of the grot scuttlings dropped down, trapping Byron and separating him from his remaining skeleton. Bryon refused to give up, fighting off the scuttlings and, with great difficulty, breaking away from the acolyte who had engaged him in combat, all while judiciously healing the many wounds he was receiving.

Byron then backed away into the narrow passageway and summoned back his fallen skeleton to again block the entrance, before finishing off the remaining acolytes with his magic blasts. Clearly a hero touched by destiny, Byron had survived an epic stand against impossible odds, and was finally able to find and revive his aelf companions.

They continued together through the remaining rooms, being a little more careful to stick closer together. They eventually reached a room containing a lone skaven deathrunner. They stormed in and quickly dispatched the filthy ratman, with Byron finishing it off with a blast of magical power. The party was then presented a riddle by the master of the silver tower. It was implied that the stakes were rather high, and Byron carefully contemplated the perplexing words of the riddle.

Luckily, Byron was able to communicate with the disembodied soul of the aelf assassin, who mimed the riddle's answer to him. Speaking the answer aloud with confidence, Byron was rewarded with another shard of the gaunt summoner's icon. The trial over, the assassin's soul returned to his body, and the group was free to move on to their next trial.

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