Library of Howling

9.Strangers in a Strange Land

Leaving the boat and its crew on the southwestern corner of the island, the party of ten (Brand and Switches come with the group) follow the coast south and then turn east, keeping the water just to their right. While this is a scouting mission, the party really wants to get a closer look at the tower they spotted from Whistler’s Island.

Along the way, the party starts passing across very rocky ground which contains many holes. Bill discovers via a sense emotion spell that the area is crawling with snakes, but the party manages to move through the area without disturbing the snakes’ rest.

Continuing east, they pass the broken wreck of a ship as they begin to move uphill and closer to the tower. The day stays quiet until the party finally approaches the wooden wall of the black tower.

A guard can be seen with a bow on the tower wall, and hails the group to stop. Banter is made back and forth and the guard reveals his commander is not currently at the tower and the party should return later in the day (preferably with gifts) and speak to the commander then. The party agrees, and decides to depart north to an altar that Switches knows a little about.

Upon arriving at the altar, Marble, who fancies himself a summoner of things dark and undead spills a bit of his blood on the altar and makes a wish based upon the information that Switches gave the party about these altars. Instead of his wish, the blood turns into a bird-like demon and begins attacking Marble. The group manages to kill the demon bird, and retreats from the altar area back towards the tower.

Arriving at the tower again, the group requests to speak with the commander now. They are told they must provide gifts to speak to the commander, and Bill, acting as the “captain” of the party’s ship loses his patience with those he feels he would be rescuing from death on this island. In disgust, Bill orders Red to attack the camp, and Red obliges by throwing a large rock through the wall of the camp.

The shipwrecked men flee their camp through the gate away from the party, and the party enters the tower camp without a fight. With some help from Switches, they find a magical doorway into the black tower, and inside find various cots and food stuffs on the first two floors. The third floor houses the library of the wizard who apparently built the tower, and Switches is overcome with excitement at the site of the old and rare books found here.

The episode closes with Red patching up the hole he created in the wall with a rock wall and the party scouting the camp and posting their own guards. A new base of operations has been found.