How many skulls does it take to open a door?
Maybe I should start further back. Been so long since I had a chance to write anything, at this rate I’ll never make a fortune by selling portions of my “adventures” to wandering bards. But then, it’s only after Yoshi got involved that the stories have been real anyway. Even with the others trying to decide whether we dump skulls into this cauldron, and which ones to dump if we should, I can’t snag a minute of privacy without Yoshi tagging along.
So after we got away from that debacle in Vineyard, and ran afoul of those ridiculous magical hucksters, we came back to Maiden’s Rest. Home sweet home. Of course with the way my luck’s been running, Salazar is not only still alive after 13 years, but sends us a letter almost as soon as we set foot in town. We meet up with him on the way to Mindus Tower in time to learn it’s been overrun by bandits sporting the new fashion in evil accouterments, porcelain masks.
So, we hire on to clear the tower and rescue some dwarves that had been restoring it. I gave Salazar a fake name, though damned if I can remember it now. Of course, he saw through Yoshi’s ridiculous curse so who knows if he actually bought it. We reach the tower and find what I’ve come to determine is fairly standard fare in these situations. Two burly looking jerks sitting by a fire, a couple leaner thugs with bows by the tower, guarding a bound dwarf. We set to fighting, the dwarf breaks loose and runs to us, only to reveal his true colors as some sort of doppleganger and jam a knife into our backs. It wasn’t pretty, but we finished them off and spent the night up top to get our bearings before descending into the tower’s basement.
Things went about the way you’d imagine. Heroic murals, groups of freakish porcelain-wearing not-quite-human raiders, giant animate bear traps. We found a hallway lined with tombs of fallen warriors, from Nava and Shan’jin. Cracked open one of Yoshi’s ancestors as well as some westerner whose name Grimfield wrote down. The foreigner had a ring with Mindus’ name engraved on it, and the other man had a ring with Elegance. Of course, the corpses predated that particular couple by more than a century, near as we could figure. Yoshi and I kept the rings, since short of Mindus and Elegance we are about as “East meets West” as things get.
Things started going downhill from there. I did my best with the traps we saw, but my eyesight isn’t worth shit since the Greenmarket, and Yoshi still seems more used to watching for people and evidence than pressure plates and tripwires. Still, we all got through alright, and Yoshi discovered he doesn’t mind being set on fire half as much as he would’ve expected.
That’s when we got to the final room. Smarmy looking archers we’d tussled with earlier were standing beside piles of skulls. When they saw us, they started tossing them into a giant cauldron filled with necrotic filth. Skeletons and evil ooze blobs issued forth. It was not what one would describe as ideal, but we pacified the situation. Leaving us with piles of colored skulls, a giant vat, and an unopenable giant steel door.
Looks like they finally decided to risk it. Going to throw in skulls colored like Mindus and Elegance’s crest, Purple and Black for the shield, and two gold ones for the two-headed eagle. And the door is opening…