Ahmed ibn Zafir, Tabari alim-Yanalak, Salim al-din Yassan, and Araceli approached the ominous tower at midnight. Menivis Steeltooth remained on the ship to protect the crew (player could not make the session). There were thoughts of how to enter, other than just bash down the door. They even considered underwater scouting, but they did not have a suitable light source and it was unlikely even the foul dungeons of this tower reached that deep into the rocky crag.
Salim decided to scout around using Sirocco the Flying Carpet. He discovered the roof was set up in anticipation of a foul ceremony. He secured a rope and the group entered the tower from the top. They were careful not to disturb the setup as they were unsure of its purpose. Ahmed scouted ahead along one of the enclosed corridors on the roof area. As he neared the exit, he was attacked by sword and weapons lining the walls, wielded by skeletal arms! The battle quickly went in the heroes favor.
The group cautiously explored the next two levels of the tower, which was eerily quiet other than the occasional simmering cauldron of eyes or other body parts. The finally encounter Jabal the Black in his laboratory. He called upon his latest creation, an experimental Bone Golem, to attack the group.
The Golem took hit after hit, shirking them off with ease with the preternaturally strengthened bones, forcing the group back into the hall. Jabal nearly ripped Ahmed’s soul from his body (Bolt, 4-5 wounds, soaked back to 3 wounds), and dropping his shinning dervish powers. Salim and Tabari maneuvered past the golem to strike at Jabal, dropping his protections. Jabal retreated back into his lab and called upon the dark spirits to protect him, but not before he ripped part of Tabari’s soul away, leaving him Incapacitated. Salim tried to counter, but his magic drained away (Siphoning!).
The Bone Golem was finally destroyed and Ahmed, after potion of Healing, sprinted into the laboratory to end this nightmare. Salim, doing the only thing he could think of, kicked over the cauldron of simmering eyes. While gruesome, Jabal laughed and disappeared in cloud of black smoke just as Ahmed closed in on him.
The group looked around. Ahmed took the opportunity to spin up some protections…only to have his magic drain away, too! (another Siphoning).
Thus, we leave our heros battered and mostly Siphoned in the Tower of Jabal the Black, with about 21 hours to go until girl’s soul is forfeit.
From Ahmed’s POV
Of Jabal the Black
They almost missed the island in the darkness. There was no moon that night and racing clouds obscured the stars more than not. Only Araceli’s eyes picked it out of the gloom by the froth of waves against its rocks. It was a spit of rock, barely large enough to support the dark tower resting upon it.
The Spirit of Suleiman anchored a quarter mile from the island with sails reefed to no sudden starlight would illuminate it. A cutter was lowered into moderate seas with four sailors on the oars and four of the Five peering toward the island. Menevis was too sick on the ship to stand so was better left behind. A worn, decrepit pier was found on the north side of the island. There appeared to be no guardians or watchers and no lights from the dark tower. The Five disembarked and the cutter withdrew to wait with the ship.
Sea spray washed over the stones of the tower relentlessly and it appeared as if it would crumble, disappearing beneath the waves in a moment, a year, but within a lifetime surely. An exploration of the single door on the ground level proved too challenging to overcome quietly so Salim harnessed his carpet to reach the top of the tower. Ropes were used and the group safely ascended.
The top of the tower was clearly a place of foul rituals: a pentagram in the center of the open space etched into the stone itself, covered braziers, chains to secure victims. A foul and twisted miasma surrounded the place no doubt spiritual remainders of the evil done there.
“I have a bad feeling about this place,” muttered Ahmed before lighting a torch and skulking down a covered hallway to find a way down into the tower. The hall way was ornamented with iron weapons (axes, maces, morning stars) held on mounts that looked like skeletal hands. Chilling but Ahmed ignored them until he’d gone thirty feet. Then skeletal arms emerged from the walls to wield these very weapons, smashing and slashing at Ahmed. His twin swords, Flash and Sing, lived up to their names as he destroyed one arm after another. Hearing the battle, the others joined it and soon the threat was over.
Creeping down into the tower, they passed seemingly mundane rooms… a library, a bedroom, a laboratory, a sort of trophy room. Refusing to be distracted, knowing that time was running out to save (DAUGHTER’S NAME), they went down one more level. Again the tower was divided by a center hallway though this time there was but one room on each side. Listening carefully, Ahmed picked the door where something was moving, nodded to his fellows, and opened the door to rush into battle…
Jabal the Black had been expecting them. His banter aimed to delay and confuse fell on deaf ears as Ahmed ignored him. But this battle was to be the most dire the FIve had fought. Within moments, a pile of bones had risen to become a hulking monster to attack them. Jabal hurled streams of blackness filled with biting skulls. Ahmed was grievously wounded again and again, shaken and unable to bring his swords to bear on the necromancer. He lost his concentration and felt his usual magics disappear. Salim had suffered the same fate, his face ashen after the loss of his powers. Tabari was beaten badly and knocked down. Just when they thought luck and Suleiman had truly abandoned them, they broke apart the bone monster.
Ahmed made a last ditch attempt, rushing headlong to Jabal to cut him down only to have the necromancer disappear in smoke. Unsure where Jabal had gone, our heroes secured the room and took some minutes to heal what they could. Ahmed attempted to dance and bring his powers back but stumbled and fell to his knees. He felt a horrible hole inside as he lost touch to all magic. Looking to Salim they could only share a sad acknowledgement. Fickle magics had cursed two of them this day.
Their powers clearly weakened, they saw no choice but to forge ahead and do anything they could to bring down this Jabal the Black!