The longest winter

Gnome Improvement?

Into the Tower of Tufty

The Party:

Elden Spirefield: Half Elf Fighter (Player missing)
Frank Wyverstooth: Half Orc Barbarian (played by Steve)
Loraella Ironcore: Half Elf Rogue (played by Leanne)
Marellian Ironcore: Half Elf wizard/cleric (played by Dave)
Rayne: Tiefling rogue/sorcerer (played by Amanda)

Fuddlemore: Gnome monk/sorcerer (n.p.c.)

The party ready themselves to climb the stairs to the top floor of the monastery. Fuddlemore tells them to be on their guard, as the Tech-Gnomes may have patrols out. As it is, there is only a lone watchdog that comes to investigate, and Frank is able to kill it quickly. It is not one of the explosive type, for which they all breathe a sigh of relief. Fuddlemore studies it intensely, explaining that the Tech-gnomes had only used clockwork beetles before his capture, and this was a step further. Obviously their technological expertise is increasing the more they experiment. He wonders what else the Tech-Gnomes have created…

Heading south along the cloister walk, they come to a round tower, in which is a defaced statue with an offering bowl in front of it. Fuddlemore explains that there are four of these towers, meant for meditation purposes, each with a statue of one of the four founders of the monastery. Elden investigates the offering bowl, and finds that it contains a necklace of shiny stones, similar to a prayer bead necklace. He takes it, while the others prepare themselves for some kind of holy backlash, but nothing happens.

Headed west from the tower, they reach a room which has been completely trashed. The remains of a barricade lie scattered about, and the contents of the room have been reduced to splinters. Fuddlemore explains that this was the abbot’s office, and the teachers made their last stand here when the Tech-Gnomes went on their mad rampage. He wanders around the room, deep in his memories of that terrible day. The party search around, but there is nothing left in this room of any use to them. Stirring Fuddlemore from his memories, they quickly leave.

To the west they find another tower, exactly like the first. Elden looks into the offering bowl and finds a small statuette of a black dog, which he takes, again without harm. Fr4om here the cloister walk turns northwards, where they come to a doorway that leads to the dormitary.

In the dorm, there are three Tech-Gnomes, similar to those they faced downstairs. There is also a newer, improved version that tells them their resistance is useless, and to submit to the power of Tech-Gno. Obviously, the party have no intention of submitting, so a fight ensues.

The fight is quite even for a while, until Frank manages to destroy one of the old style Tech-Gnomes. It explodes, causing severe harm to Elden, along with injuries to Frank and Marellian. Fuddlemore pulls Elden from the fight, trying to staunch his wounds, and uses up his healing kit on them. Marellian uses his acid burst to blind one of hte other older type Tech-Gnomes, and while it flails about wildly, they retreat out of it’s explosive range and pepper it with long range attacks until it is destroyed. Frank and Rayne take on the new type Tech-Gnome, which does not explode when it is destroyed, and the last Tech-Gnome explodes without causing too much harm to the party. Even so, most of the party have several wounds, and are out of healing. they search the dorm, but all they find is a faded picture on a wall that has a signiature on it that reveals it was painted by Tufty. Sadly, someone has attempted to wash it off, so the party do not know what the painting was.

North of the dorm is a third tower; again, similar to the other two. Elden looks in the offering bowl, but it is empty. Fuddlemore takes down a brown robe from a peg, saying,“ah, I wondered where this had gone.” He explains it is one of the monastery’s Monk’s Robes, which are magical in nature. Putting it on, he appears much happier than before (and much more monk-like). The cloister walk turns east, and the party continue on.

Halfway along the walk, there is a bridge heading south, which is made out of metal and ends at a thick metal door. Fuddlemore tells the party he doesn’t remember this being here before, and they surmise it must be the entrance to the tower of Tufty. They are aprehensive about going into the tower while so beaten up, and leave it for later, instead continuing towards the last tower. As with the other three, the statue has been defaced, and Elden looks into the offering bowl. It is filled with a green liquid, which he thinks might be a healing potion. Marellian is concerned, as it looks like acid, but after a more detailed check, decides it is healing potion, and they all take a drink. This heals them slightly, but as Marellian is out of spells and they are all still injured, they decide to find a safe place to rest up and take on the tower in the morning. Fuddlemore suggests that the Tech-Gnomes had left him for a long time in his ‘prison cell’, and that it would make a good defensible place should they come looking. They can think of no other idea, so go along with his plan.

The next morning, healed up and ready, the assault the tower of Tufty. With a Knock, Marellian opens the door, revealing a semi-circular platform with stairs on one side going up, and the other side going down. At the far side of the platform is a large area left open, housing the gigantic form of a metal being, shackled to the wall of the tower with metal coils that seem to have fused into it’s skin. The floor they are on is level with the being’s waist, so they decide to climb up a floor to see it face to face.

the top floor of the tower is again semi-circular, but with a clamp projecting outwards towards the giant being. It’s tongue is clamped into this clamp, making a bridge of sorts into the beings mouth. The party do not like this idea, and unclamp the tongue, allowing the giant to release a mighty scream. Cringing, Elden guards the stairs against anything that comes to investigate, while Marellian attempts to talk to the giant. A voice projects into Marellian’s head, saying simply; “Free me”

Marellian wonders how the party would be able to free the giant, and uses acid to dissolve one of the bindings shackling it to the wall. This works for a moment, but the binding repairs itself very quickly, and Marellian does not have enough acid to burn all the bindings. In the end, they come to the decision that the bindings will loose their animation when the Tech-Gnomes are dead.

On the bottom floor, the party find the six Tech-Gnomes that were the originators of the Clockwork curse. They are also the most advanced Tech-Gnome forms, each having experimented upon themselves constantly to bring their dreams to fruition. The ring-leader, Atcham Spring-lock greets them, asking them if they have come of their own free will to be upgraded to the power that it Tech-Gno. Marellian answers him with an arrow, and the fight begins…
(GM’s note; this is the second time Marellian has shot someone while they are talking terms….)

At the far side of the chamber, two of the Tech-Gnomes are upgrading a third. They are adding extra arms to it, making it a formidable foe when finished. Frank rushes them, and engages them in hand to hand combat, but it is Rayne who strikes the first blow, using her Death mask to destroy the one known as Lubricant Pull-Rod. The other, Bender Cog-Turner, uses it’s springy legs to leap up to the floor above; Frank uses his raging leaper power to follow it and continues the fight there.

Loraella fires her missiles at Tyrell Patchet, while Elden engages Cardin Crank-arm in melee combat. Atcham spring-lock fires a bolt of electricity at Fuddlemore, but the Gnome monk is able to close with him and uses a flurry of blows on him. Marellian uses magic missiles, and then gets into close range to use his burning hands. Meanwhile, on the level above, Bender Cog-turner changes into a ball and weaves away from Frank’s swinging axe. This makes Frank mad (or madder…) and he strikes the ball hard, splitting it apart, and destroying Cog-turner. Crowing, he leaps back down to attack The Tech-Gnome that was being upgraded.

Elden finally strikes a telling blow on Cardin Crank-arm, who had been fending him off with it’s multiple arms. Marellian, who had just got into position to take out both with burning hands, has only Atcham Spring-lock to aim for instead, and is sucessful in dealing enough damage to destroy it. Loraella’s arrows finish Tyrell Ratchet, leaving just Gyrate Fly-wheel, whose upgrade had failed to be completed in time. Frank manages to destroy it (with help from Rayne and her Abyssal claws), To which Marellian hears a “Thankyou” from the metallic giant being as it’s bindings are destroyed, allowing it to return to it’s own plane.

Fuddlemore tells the party that they have done a mighty deed, and that the souls of the Gnome monks have all been freed from the terrible blasphemy of the Tech-Gnomes. He asks only for one thing from them; could they get him to Skerryport, where there is a Gnome ironclad ship serving as an ice-breaker to keep the port clear. Marellian asks him about the Elves, and Fuddlemore replies that in order to find the Elves, they will need to take ship west. Skerryport is therefore a good place for them to go, as it has the biggest port on the coast. also, should the party help Fuddlemore get to Skerryport and talk to the Gnomes aboard the ice-breaker, he will come with them to show them the way to the Elves.

And so, the party set forth once more, headed south , to Skerryport…

To be continued….

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BarryParker

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