The next module chosen was Dark Tower, a classic module from Paul Jaquays (now Jennell Jaquays) and Judge’s Guild back in 1979. It was one of the best of that period, and I ported it from the world of the City State over to Greyhawk, northeast of the Shield lands. I should mention that Judge’s Guild put out the similar titled Duck Tower for Runequest the next year, again with Jaquays art. Again, it was a fun module, though it had nothing to do with the plot of Dark Tower. Only the covers were similar.
There’s going to be a lot of spoilers in these session summaries, so if you want to play in it, stop reading now. It was a long set-up. It took me about 40 hours of work to make all the minis, populate the dungeon in Roll20, and completely understand the dungeon. I ran it poorly back in 1979, and I wanted to get it right this time. It looks like it will be at least as much fun as White Plume Mountain, City State of the Invincible Overlord, and the Halls of Tirian Teyzuren. I also realized that Lisri (our elf mage who had been reconstructed as human while in the Dying Earth) had survived all three of those modules. It would be interesting to see if he could make it through this one. Frankly, I doubt it!
The party had 17 days before they would reach Mitra’s Fist, so they stopped at Hallorn and bought more healing potions and other supplies. Then they headed on, catching up a large caravan the night before reaching Mitra’s Fist. They chatted with the caravaneers. The monk Virdonitii was exasperated by Ban’s behavior, while Vashalla (Cleric of Ishtar) and Eric (Cleric of Pelor) argued long into the night on the relative strengths of their two gods.
The next morning the party arrived in town, and the caravan made camp on the northern edge. The party met Cornelius, the ancient priest, and arranged to chat with him in the morning. Lisri casually snooped around the shrine and spotted a secret trap door, which he told the party about that evening at the Overlord’s Inn. They tried to talk to Beldar, but Alfonse took the drunk mage home, and Rufo seemed too nervous to chat and ran into the kitchen. They met Avvakris and were unimpressed by the fat greasy merchant. Ban went upstairs with Malicia seeking “jerky” and did not return. The rest of the party figured he was having too good a time and went to their rooms. Eric talked them out of searching the temple in the early morning.
The next day, Ban returned, but two levels lower and very tired. The party went to talk to Cornelius, who gave Eric the ring known as Mitra’s Favor. Cornelius also revealed the presence of the secret trap door to the party so Lisri went over and opened it up. The three acolytes were amazed — they had no idea it was there. Hors went down first and encountered Holomir Goldheart. The rest of the party came down and chatted with him. Eric finally put on the ring and was recognized as a friend of Mitra by Holomir, who was going to let the party into the Tower of Mitra when Ban mentioned they wanted to sell its holy relics. That stopped Holomir in his tracks. Meanwhile, Hors heard hammering from the tunnel and when he investigated, he found the tunnel caved in though he still heard pounding in the distance. They were trapped.
The party headed south and met ghouls, which Eric Turned but not before Raylene was paralyzed. Eric considered summoning George but ultimately just cast a heal, which did nothing. Raylene came out of it twenty minutes later. The party then grabbed 7,000 cp and took the lifesize silver statue of Mitra to Holomir, who had a squad of eight gnomes take it into the tower. Lisri opened the scroll they found and discovered a map, though they did not yet recognize where it might be. They did, however, discover a secret door and were able to continue southward.
The party then advanced down a tunnel sloping down to the next level and were jumped by four gargoyles, who did a good deal of damage to Lisri and enough damage to Beatrice that Wave could take her over. Beatrice then used the Cube of Force to push everyone out of the way and charged forward, attacking the gargoyles. Once they were down, she continued to charge forward, looking for glory. Eric cast Command but then said “Let go” (two words) and the spell failed. He then cast Hold Person and stopped Beatrice in her tracks. Ban tried to knock Wave out of Beatrice’s hands but failed, so Eric in desperation grabbed it away, taking 40 hp of damage from alignment shock in two rounds before dropping the weapon.
We ended there, with Beatrice planning to shape stone around the trident and bury it forever, and with others counseling patience.