(This is just my part of the adventure right now, so if it seems unduly Reyn- and Arcubix-focused, that’s why. -Dave)
A year passed since the party broke up, scattered to the four winds by fate. Little contact between members of the group that defeated the hags occurred in that year, if any, and generally life went on for each adventurer.
Each member of the party received a message from one Count Werner – an invitation to his estate in the country of Jaspier on a certain day so he could offer a proposition.
Garcon and Ando arrived together. Arcubix and Reyn came separately, and Qutugan brought with him a young man he introduced as Tomi Milenko, an Orine native (Everyone’s okay with “Orine” meaning “of Orium”, right? It fits “Byzantium” and “Byzantine”, which is why I chose it) and a recent convert to the worship of one of the gods of Gan’s homeland. Aldo was nowhere to be found. Each member of the party was surprised to see the others, and the impact of the reminder of those events a year prior left the party sitting in an awkward silence until Count Werner entered to present his proposition.
The count revealed that he had heard of the party’s exploits in Dantrimal, and being no friend of the royal family there had decided to find and employ the group which had caused Dantrimal’s prince so much grief. He had a job for them, he said, one that required the party’s skills and prohibited him from using his own people.
On Count Werner’s fief (sitting in the midst of some of his farmland, in fact) was a very old wizard’s tower. It had been sitting sealed since long before his family had come to control that land. Several attempts had been made to break the seal, the most ambitious of them involving an anti-magic field and a battering ram. Nothing seemed to work for many years.
According to the count, however, a peasant working the land had recently noticed that the shimmering field around the door had disappeared. He dared not approach, but informed one of the count’s men, who told the count. Evidently, the seal had finally broken down enough that the tower could be entered safely, and that was precisely what he wanted the party to do. The reason he could not have his own men do it was because he wanted to have the first chance at the treasures within before his own liege, the Crowned Emperor of Jaspier, was notified of the tower’s unsealing; the count was especially interested in making it look like the tower was ransacked by vandals rather than cleaned out for his benefit. He offered the party gold in proportion to what magic items they found for him, and left to get a map to the tower for them. The party conferenced while lunch was brought in for them, and despite the initial hesitance of several party members, decided to investigate the tower for the count.
The party was given until sundown the next day to be out of the tower – the Crowned Emperor could be stalled until then, but not for much longer. Ando was also given a wand with many castings of a spell that could identify magic items held in it, so the party could easily assess the items they found in the tower. They left for the tower shortly after finishing their lunch.
The tower turned out to be a white marble edifice rising at least forty stories above the flat farmland around it, well-engineered but fairly nondescript. The double doors were well-made portals of solid oak with silver latches that broke easily when Gan struck them with his mace.
The bottom few floors turned out to be simple living spaces – guest rooms, dining rooms, small reading rooms, etc. Garcon concentrated on vandalizing – destroying furniture, tearing up bedsheets, etc., while Tomi and Gan followed in his wake, searching for anything interesting in the wreckage. The only thing of note that the search turned up was apparently an old journal – one of several the owner of the tower kept, evidently – that mentioned that the magic used in the tower had started to bleed into the structure itself, and space within the tower had a tendency to become skewed. It also mentioned a mirror in the wizard’s study that was anchored to the Material Plane and was useful when a person’s nature was accidentally changed by the unpredictable magic in the tower.
The library occupied the next few levels of the tower, featuring an enormous upwards spiral the width of the tower into which bookcases were built. The doors leading out of the library were even themselves hidden in bookcases.
(Here’s where I’ll stop for now. Either another DM can pick up from here or I can finish later.)