It was a rough trip down the river back to Underbaum. Besides the near-mortally wounded, a couple of us also started feeling quite ill. We were feverish and bumbling with the canoe oars. I nearly dropped mine into the river on multiple occasions.
We came up on huntress, Emmaretta, on her way to Kemperbad. Amazingly, she agreed to come with us by river. I can’t imagine she was attracted by the sick and wounded, so she must have been in quite a hurry. She did tell us she had seen a blond, stern looking woman traveling with a weasel-looking man. This matches our description of Etalka.
A mysterious mountain lion also trailed us along the last stretch of river, making our flight all the more anxious.
We were in no shape to properly take care of our canoes or march to Unterbaum, so the wizard flew from the top of the falls to our boat to summon Larry’s mercenaries to our aid.
It was with great sadness that we told the citizens of Unterbaum about the loss of their druid. Unfortunately, we were not able to stay and celebrate his life. Our were at risk, and we needed the professional ministrations of Emmanuelle and the physician training her. We convalesced on the boat as we floated back to Kemperbad. Larry nobly kept the wheel to keep us safe down the river.
We remained in Kemperbad long enough to assure we were fully healed and fully supplied. While there I made a career change to Forger. There have been many instances when an “official” document would have smoothed over rough adventures. Our contacts in the city set me up with the tools and training necessary to excel in my new vocation…once I master the arts of reading and writing.
The only clues we had, the maps and the last key, led us back to the tower once more. The Empire had fully moved into the tower by now, so we were forced to anchor ship a ways away and sneak under the tower in the dead of night.
We went back into the central room with the hexagram on the floor. Each point of the hexagram had a slow for a key, and we now had 6 keys. We all grabbed a key and placed them in the holes and turned. The floor dropped out from under us, creating a funnel toward the middle. Some of us managed to control our fall and slip down unharmed. The rest were harmed.
The sub-basement we landed in was a giant library. There were a lot of books, so I should get plenty of practice reading. The wizard seemed excited, too, thinking many of the books may be valuable. We took a number of them.
I’m not sure how people were meant to exit the library, but we had to use rope to pull ourselves back up to the hexagonal room and out the door. We were a bit less than stealthy on our exit, though, and were chased away from the tower by guards. I don’t think any of them got a good look at us.
Our clues from the library are leading us to the Castle Lichtenstein. They weren’t too inviting last time we were there.
Unfortunately our boat ran aground on the way to Castle Lichtenstein Perhaps it was the last night piloting. Perhaps it was the fact that only Larry can pilot, and he needs a break sometimes. Or maybe it’s the fact that something always goes wrong for us. Whatever the reason, we were dead in the water.
As Ranald would have it, another boat was approaching which had a couple shipwrights. They just both happened to be feeling under the weather. Luckily we had a physician! Events have made us wary, and we sent people over to check out their boat before sending our treatment team over.
We had some concerns about the large crate on the rescue boat’s deck, but we allowed the doctor to check out the ill. He determined they had no known disease, but perhaps suffered from over-exsanguination. That, coupled with the large crate on deck (with rigid instructions to DO NOT OPEN) caused more concern. We strongly encouraged a treatment regimen of opening the crate in the sun and burning the obvious vampire crate! One can never be too cautious, and old legends are out there for a reason.
We are confident their sick will be well in no time and free to repair our vessel.