Rise of the Thrall Lord
Knights of the Couch - Part XII - To Resurrect A Baron - Chapter 2
More Fun Than A Tower of Golems
The Knights of the Couch along with their new traveling companion, the Lady Andrella, reappeared in the circular room atop the Wizard Gaither’s tower in Tarsmorr. Elvisda, Glorfindel and Lloyd were familiar with the room, but this was the first time the others had been there.
“What a magnificent view!” Andrella commented looking out the window towards the river and the sprawling city below. She began to move off the platform when Seth yelled, “Wait!”
The little ninja had knelt down to study the edge of the platform within the rings. He held up his hand as he caught sight of the lady moving past him out of the corner of his eye.
Andrella stopped short and gasped, “What is it?”
“Alarm spell,” Seth replied.
“That confirms it. Someone is definitely keeping a watch on this teleporter,” Glorfindel observed.
“That’s how the butler knew to greet us last time we were here,” Elvisda added.
“Butler?” Andrella asked.
“You really don’t want to know”, Lloyd told her.
Seth disarmed the spell and they all stepped out of the rings and into the room. Those who had not already been in Tarsmorr went to the windows and looked out at the city below. They saw that the majority of municipality was sprawled on the eastern bank of a wide river. And that the river was split by three isles south of the one on which Gaither’s tower rested. A network of bridges connected all the islands, except for this one, to each other and the east and west banks of the large river. All in all Tarsmorr made Restenford look like a hamlet.
“What river is that?” Andrella asked.
“It’s the Ganwindle,” Seth, Aksel and Glorfindel all answered simultaneously. They all looked at each other and began to laugh. Then Aksel said, “You tell her, Glo.”
Glorfindle turned to Andrella and said, “You see, the three of us are all from this area. Aksel is from Caprizon, Seth is from Ilos and I am from Cairthrellon. We are all quite familiar with Tarsmorr as we passed through it on our way to Restenford. And the Ganwindle is actually quite a famous landmark in this area. You see, it actually splits the island of Thac in half. It runs from Ilos in the north, through the Wellspring in the great forest of Ruanaiaith, passes through Tarsmorr and into the Silver Lake just south of here, and then continues south past Lymeridia until it empties into the Camerian Sea on the southern shores of Thac.”
“That’s quite impressive,” Andrella replied. “Who knew one river could travel so far.” She gazed back out the window. “You know, there are a lot of interesting architectural designs here,” she said as she continued to stare out the window. “Perhaps when we get back to Restenford, I’ll have to look into some renovating.”
Seth in the meantime had been scouring the room. Satisfied that he had thoroughly covered everything he announced, “Well, while you decide on how you want to remodel Restenford, I’m going to go scout ahead downstairs.”
Andrella turned to look at the little ninja, but before she could reply, he disappeared from sight. “That wasn’t funny Seth!” she cried.
“It wasn’t meant to be,” his incorporeal voice floated back up the stairway.
Andrella turned back to see Lloyd trying hard not to smile. She went to elbow him in the ribs. “Ow!” she cried as her elbow connected with what felt like solid rock. Then she heard snickering from behind her. She turned quickly but everyone seemed busy studying everywhere else in the room except where she was standing. “I’m glad I am so easily able to amuse you all,” she said rubbing her elbow gingerly.
Then Lloyd reached down and grabbed her arm and began to gently massage it. After a minute he asked, “Is that better?”
“Yes, it is thank you,” she replied with a pouty look on her face. Then she looked up into the warblade’s handsome face and her frosty disposition melted away. “Am I really being that much of a pain?” she asked suddenly.
Lloyd reached down and put his arms around her pulling her close. “No Andrella,” he replied quietly. “You could never be a pain to me.” He must have said the right thing because she continued to snuggle against him and seemed quite content.
“Andrella, you are dear to all of us,” Glorfindel added. “That is why I have decided to take you on as my apprentice.”
Andrella let go of Lloyd and turned to look at the elf wizard. “Really?” she squealed. “You’ll teach me everything you know about magic?” she said excitedly.
“Well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves,” Glo replied.
But Andrella had already run up to him and threw her arms around his waist. She was so enthusiast she almost knocked him over. Andrella hugged the wizard and said, “Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ll be the best pupil you ever had. You’ll see. You won’t regret this!”
Glo looked over at Lloyd. The big warblade mouthed a silent thank you to his friend. Glo looked down at the young lady who was still enthusiastically attached to his waist. He reached down and patted her gently on the back. “I’m sure you will be,” he replied to the young lady. But he thought to himself, What have I gotten myself into?
Meanwhile, Seth had made his way down to the next floor. He entered the library where his companions had previously met Gaither’s monkey familiar and had battled the flesh golems. The room was now unoccupied. The little ninja stealthily made his way through the room and to the stairway going down on the other side. He went down to the next floor and came out into a living area. It was actually rather homey. There was a couch, some comfortable chairs, a fireplace with a roaring fire going, and some lit candelabras around the room.
Seth slowly made his way over to the couch. It was very plush looking and velvety. He was just calculating in his mind the effort it would require to navigate it back upstairs to the teleporter when he heard heavy footsteps coming up the stairs from below. He crept over to the stairwell just in time to see a large ugly man in a butler uniform making his way up the stairs. As the man got closer, Seth realized it was another flesh golem! But he thought Lloyd had dispatched the butler? This was very strange. It looked like someone had created another flesh golem to take the butler’s place. Someone had to be living in the tower, or at least visiting it on a regular basis. The little ninja decided to investigate a bit further. He waited until the “butler” had past him and was well inside the room. The he slipped silently down the stairs to the floor below.
The next room down was larger than the other ones. It looked like a meeting room, with a large round table in the center surrounded by a number of chairs. There were two doors on the one side of the room and two doors on the other side. As Seth watched, one of the doors opened and a maid stepped out into the room closing the door behind her. As the “maid” turned around, the little halfling was completely taken by surprise. The “maid” was another flesh golem! It was carrying some sheets folded in its hands. The maid walked to the stairwell on the opposite side of the room and descended to the next floor down. Seth quietly followed behind her.
As he descended the stairs, he saw a long hallway with a number of doorways on either side some open and some with doors. There was also an ornate chandelier hanging from the ceiling partway down the hall, where it opened up into what looked like a foyer. At the other end of the foyer was a large door. Two uniformed figures stood on either side of that door. Seth stepped down into the hall and saw that it continued past the steps. There were a few more doorways back there and an open one at the end. He decided to first check out the two uniformed figures. As he snuck down the hall he peered through the open archways. One room looked to be a dining area with a long table and chairs. The other room seemed to be another living area with a couch, chairs and another fireplace.
When he got close to the end of the hall, he confirmed his suspicions. These two figures were two more flesh golems dressed as sentries. Well he was not getting past them. He turned and headed back the other way down the hall. He made his way to the end and through the open door. He heard banging sounds and the scraping of metal against metal. Then he saw another figure in a cook’s outfit. It was standing over a large cauldron in a huge hearth area. This must be the kitchen Seth surmised. The cooked turned away from the fire and went to some cabinets against the wall. This time the ninja was not surprised to see that the cook was another flesh golem.
The halfling headed back towards the stairs, but stopped at a door just behind them. He reasoned that this might be the stairs down to the basement. But the door was locked. He debated at whether he should pick the lock and check it out, when another golem, this one wearing a waiter outfit, came out of the kitchen. He was holding a tray with food in his hand. That intrigued Seth. There had to be someone alive in the tower then! He decided to give up on the basement and follow the “waiter” upstairs.
The creature climbed back up to the meeting room and went to one of the four doors. He opened it and stepped in. Seth waited a few minutes and then the waiter came back out without the tray. It closed the door behind it and headed back downstairs. The halfling snuck over to the door the golem had come out of and listened. He heard some faint clicking behind the door. Someone, or something, was definitely in there! There was no way to get in however without alerting whoever was inside to his presence. So he decided to head back upstairs and report what he had found.
When he reached the teleporter room, he found Martan at the top of the stairs standing “guard”. He moved silently by the archer. As he was going past, he noticed Martan staring around as if he realized something was amiss. Very good Seth thought to himself. He did not expect Martan to be able to find him, but the fact that the archer knew something was amiss spoke highly of his skills.
He spied Elvisda, Lloyd and Aksel standing by the window. The bard was explaining to the cleric the layout of the town of Tarsmorr below. Lloyd kept looking over across the room. Seth followed the big warblade’s gaze over to where Glorfindel sat on the floor, the Lady Andrella sitting by his side. They were both hunched over what looked to be…the wizard’s spellbook! Now what was that all about Seth wondered?
Seth began making his way over to Aksel and was pleased to notice that Martan was trailing behind him. “It’s only me,” he said softly to the archer.
“I wasn’t even sure anyone was there,” Martan whispered back. “I just had a strange feeling.”
“Don’t ignore those little insights,” Seth instructed the archer. “You’ve got really good instincts if you could detect my presence like that. Maybe when we get a chance, you and I can try to hone those skills of yours some more.”
“I would like that,” Martan replied with a grin.
Just then, Elvisda called over. “Martan, are you talking to yourself, or did Seth get back?”
“No, he’s just talking to himself”, Seth’s voice replied out of thin air.
The archer smiled and then turned back to his guard position at the top of the stairs.
“So what did you find?” Aksel asked the ninja. Seth appeared in front of them and began to detail his scouting excursion downstairs. Glorfindel and Andrella came over to join them. When the halfling mentioned the maid, Elvisda visibly shuttered.
“Please don’t bring her up again,” the bard wailed. “If I think about it any longer, I’m going to be sick.”
“Just be glad Donnie isn’t here to rub it in,” Glo teased.
“If you two are done, I would like to finish my report,” Seth said in an annoyed tone. The two elves looked at the halfling but did not say anything more. After a few moments of silence, the ninja continued his report.
When Seth was done, Aksel commented, “That is very interesting. I think you may be right about someone being here.”
“Especially if there is a new butler and cook,” Glorfindel noted.
“Yeah, Lloyd tore them up pretty good”, Elvisda added. “There is no way those golems were going to get up again on their own.”
“Well, all that being said, maybe it would be best for us to leave this tower and head to town. That is unless you feel like taking on six, or possibly more, flesh golems”, Aksel said. Everyone agreed that leaving was probably the best idea, so they climbed up the ladder to the roof, opened the hatch, and climbed out. They closed the hatch, and then Glorfindel cast some spells of flying on a few of the party members. Then the party flew off in the direction of the Slumbering Dragon Inn on the north east side of the town of Tarsmorr.