The Tower of Lead

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Created On 1 October 1997
Last Updated On 1 October 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

During the Bright Empire, many came to sit at Nysalor’s Feet and learn from the New God. One such was an Angel, The Mistress of Light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven. She learned many secrets and decided to use her knowledge to prove that Light will overcome Darkness, so she joined the Cult of Vivamort and progressed to being a Vampire. In order to emulate the Light she knew, The Mistress of Light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven, built a Great Tower made of Lead to house the cult. This Tower was needle-like and almost touched the Sky but was forced back by the more militant of the Angels.

When Arkat, the Destroyer, came to Dorastor, he smashed the tower and left a mere stump, some twenty stories high. The stump was made clean and many of the Vampires were destroyed.

However, The Mistress of Light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven, had been ordered by Nysalor to flee to the farthest reaches of the world and wait until the land was alive once more, then to return. This she did, fleeing to the lands of Votank where she hid in the hills, attracting many followers, one of which was the Vampire of Gork Hills. She preyed on the people of Pent, Votankiland and the Elder Wilds and only left when Balazar himself drove her out with prophecies and promises. One of the promises was that she would return as Queen and would become an Angel once more, married to one of his descendants. The Mistress of Light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven, returned to Dorastor and found the Tower of Lead destroyed. She also found Ralzakark whom she knew from before and made agreements with him.

She moved into the Tower once more and started to attract followers. Slowly, she built up the power of the Cult once more. The more powerful fighters she found were made into Vampires, the Mages stayed mortal until they were near death, then they were transformed and became immortal. Each generation saw the Tower strengthened, with enchantments and bindings until it became a mighty fortress once more.

The Vampires looked to the Secret Ways beneath the Tower and awakened that which had been hidden. They found a way onto the Plateau of Terror, where Vivamort had been Transformed by the Devil, and led many HeroQuests there to strengthen their kind. They also found one of the Grisly Portions and placed Guardians of their own there to stop others from approaching, for the Mistress of Light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven did not want Heroes storming the Tower in search of the Portion.

The Cult’s power spread until it dominated central Dorastor. Most of the people nearby were lay members of the cult and many were initiates. In fact, on Holy Days the Temple could boast several thousand worshippers.

Protected by the Spider Woods, by magic and enchantments, guarded by Vampire Mages and hordes of Undead, the Tower was considered impregnable. Only fools would attack it.

As it turned out, that was exactly the case. I had carefully drawn up stats for the Tower of Lead, all 20 stories, with maps of each floor, lists of the inhabitants and stats for all 40 Vampires within the Tower, with magic, guards, basilisks, the whole works. It took me a couple of months. I was ready. I had a scenario prepared where the party could attack the Tower of Lead and rescue a number of things they needed. One weekend I ran the scenario and was met with three blank looks. "You want us to attack the Tower of Lead - no way!" was the general consensus of opinion. Then they went off and did another scenario which they had prepared for me.

I was flabbergasted. How could they be scared of the Tower of Lead? They had only met a couple of the Vampires and did not know of the Mistress of light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven. I had spent two months on the scenario and I was determined that they would attack the Tower of Lead. But I was sadly mistaken. The PCs were Frightened of the Tower and the vampires. It was one thing attacking a temple with a few Vampires. It was another thing attacking something which had been strengthened for 500 years and had 40 Vampires and 20 sorcerers Adepts or Mages with Undead hordes. There was no way the Tower would be attacked.

So, the scenario lay in a file, tucked away for two years. Then the PCs killed Ralzakark and finished the Dorastor Campaign by freeing all the really nasty Chaos which Ralzakark had kept under control. Dorastor had suddenly become very dangerous as everyone fought for control. The Vampires, who had been helping the PCs from behind the scenes, decided that they could not protect the PCs any more and paid them off. Each PC received 1 million Lunars as payment (the Vampires did not mess around and rewarded success very well) and told the PCs to leave Dorastor as they could not ensure their safety if they stayed. Honest to God, this was an innocent statement and was meant exactly as it was said. However, the PCs took it as a threat and decided to trash the Tower of Lead.

There was a spiral staircase running around the Tower’s walls, inside, from where Vampires could shoot people with poisoned Arbalests or could cast spells at attackers. The PCs knew off this and decided that was the best place to attack. They flew to the roof and fought their way past the ScorpionMan Vampire and the Basilisk guards (with Bolgar getting killed by a Basilisk, explained elsewhere) and managed to make their way down the staircase. A Vampire Elf stood their with Chameleon cast, waiting with Arrow Trance and around 1000% Bow. He fired off a couple of poisoned arrows which cut their way through the PCs’ armour and caused no end of trouble. Then Brankist summoned a herd of Sky Bulls and Berserk Minotaurs, sent the Sky Bulls Berserk and sent them all charging down the stairs. The party followed these by a couple of Zombie Bison pulled from a Jar where they were kept and sent this herd forward, trampling everything in its path. They followed this by an Immense Salamander protected by a massive Shield Spell and strengthened with an Enhance Oakfed or two, which torched those who managed to kill the herd. Eventually they found the Mistress of Light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven, and her Main Vampires waiting in the Throne Room. Bolgar checked the room out with a mirror on the end of a stick and declared it safe. After my fit of giggles, the party had second thoughts and looked through the grill in the door to see the Vampires. There then followed a massive battle where the PCs fought the Vampire Horde using all their magics and skills. Fortunately the Mistress of Light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven recognised Solarus and spoke to him, offering to help him defeat the Tower if he would help her free herself from being a Vampire. He agreed, being absolutely terrified of her, and she "was defeated" by him in combat and left. A few Vampires were hit by Basilisk Glares soon afterwards and the fight was a lot easier.

Then the party went beneath the Tower and found the Guardians placed there by the Vampires. They defeated the Guardians and found one of the burial places of a Grisly Portion. They chickened out and went elsewhere. Some of the Vampires had summoned a Vampire Hero from the Plateau of Terror and as they left it appeared amongst them on the Altar. Panicking, they threw everything they had left at it, including causing an Earthquake at the foot of the Tower. This had the effect of bringing the Tower down around their ears, so they used Teleport to escape.

A while later they returned to loot the Tower, only to find that Vampires can loot far faster than normal people as they can see in the Dark, can turn to mist and enter tricky places, have access to many useful spells and know where all the best stuff is. The party found a Tower stripped clean. In anger they awoke Teacher who had been hidden beneath the Tower and he tricked them into allowing him to escape. He turned the Tower into Dust and left, allowing the party to pick out the few magic items from the pile of Dust.

That was the end of the Tower of Lead.

As part of the Holy Country Campaign, the Mistress of Light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven did indeed call on Solarus for her favour, scaring him out of his wits and causing him to enlist Derak’s aid yet again. Between them they managed to make her into an Angel once more whereupon she married Solarus, gave him a Hero Child and went on to become a more powerful hero than Solarus was. The party never liked her title and christened her "Angelica", although I still call her The Mistress of Light, Guardian of the Fires of Heaven because I think it has a nice ring to it.