Down the Deep Tower

gas-masks

Two brave veterans had traveled to Grenada, Mississippi, to check out Farmer Jenkins’ field. Standing stones appeared overnight some months ago, a door to a fey pocket realm that moved to his field. No idea why, but the assayer’s office issued permits to treasure hunters to collect any alien materials for good pay.

  • Jack Reed. (a.k.a. Jack Felix) A former corporal in the cavalry, he went AWOL after Topeka, and he owes a lot of money to the government. The only weapon he still had was a bomb.
  • Elizabeth Tolwynn. A former corporal medic, she was at both the battles of New Orleans and Topeka. She got the Golden Athame for getting weirded; she suffers from partial touch-based telepathy. Her family hails from the UK.

(Their previous adventure is here.)

First Delve

They headed down the 30 foot shaft and followed the hallway around to a room where they saw a weird statue in the corner. They went to look at it suspiciously, and Reed poked it to no avail. Then Tolwynn touched it, using her telepathy, and it came alive and pounced at them. They gunned it down, and in the broken statuary of its corpse they found four nuggets of warpstone.

They continued on down the stairs, and a human-sized crawling centipede thing investigated them; they blasted it with their rifles and it retreated. However, as they proceeded they found it had friends, and four or five of the monstrous things attacked. They withdrew back to a hallway to concentrate fire, and badly injured all but one of the crawlers; the injured crawlers pulled back.

The crawlers started attacking each other, and the veterans came out rifles blazing. Tolwynn was bitten a couple times, knocked out with the venom. Reed was also bitten a number of times, but he toughed out the poison and stayed on his feet. When the crawlers were dead, he woozily dragged Tolwynn back out, managing to haul her up the shaft with great difficulty (as he was fighting off the venom’s effects also.) They rested in the shade of the standing stones until the venom subsided.

Second Delve

They headed back down, moving cautiously. As they reached the rooms they had fought in previously, they saw an ethereal-looking column of squirming light and texture, a floating jellyfish-like scavenger, with tendrils all around. It was pulling the corpses into its feeding tendrils and dissolving their bodies.

They fired on it a couple times, but the bullets didn’t seem to do much except draw its attention. As it flooded their space with its agonizing tendrils, Tolwynn pulled back, and Reed toughed it out long enough to prime his bomb, named Henrietta, and push it into the room with the scavenger. He barely managed to stagger out of the caressing swarm of tendrils.

The bomb went off. While the tendrils seemed to be slowly drifting to the ground, they pulled back to wait, refreshing their hit points. Later they cautiously went back, seeing that the floater had been reduced to a fine powder as its own starvation turned on it.

On a more unsettling note, they saw some huge footprints in the dust, of something massive and strong that could move three dimensionally in this space (there were gripping cracks in the ceiling and on the walls.)

They continued down further, finding a weird carving of a hand diagram covering a wall. They also found eye plates as big as a person with orichalcum iridescent sheets. More disturbing, they found a sacrificial altar where ground warpstone had been burned before a massive stone effigy that was maybe supposed to represent a human. It was over 16 feet tall, with a rifle etching carved on a sword blade, and the E Pluribus Unum eye and pyramid carved into a shield. The back of the statue had niches, half were full and covered. Reed pried one open and found a desiccated human head inside.

Was this the remains of a temple of some weird fey cult that worshiped humanity? They shivered and didn’t put more thought into it.

However, they also found some shattered, clawed remains of statues like the one they shot before, with the warpstone gnawed out. Their apprehension grew as they heard something big moving in the shadows beyond their light.

Looping back around and up the stairs, they found a skull-like shell for something like a crab or tortoise maybe, as well as an altar to worship or placate fire maybe? That’s when they were attacked by the massive stone monster!

Their bullets deflected from its hide, and one blow sent Reed sailing across the room. Realizing they were facing something that outclassed them, they dumped out the warpstone they’d managed to gather so far, and made a run for it. The big stone monster paused to suck up all the warpstone, then was right on their tail; they managed to climb out, Reed first and hauling up Tolwynn as the huge thing approached in the darkness!

Once in the sunlight, they caught their breath, then returned to the farmstead for lunch. They headed into town and sold sketches of shrine materials, and intelligence about what they found underground, over the next few days. They made about $70 or $80 each just with their reports.

Third Delve

This time they hired five vets and four somewhat feckless locals (for carrying lights and loads.) They returned, taking the time to scrape the orichalcum from the three eyes on the walls. Also, one of their henchmen recognized the hand diagram as a weird map of Michigan, complete with ley lines and important fey sites and misunderstood human landmarks. Tolwynn copied it as best she could.

However, no one noticed the stone gargoyle things that crawled on the ceiling; five dropped on them! Guns boomed and people screamed as the monsters squealed murderous delight. Tolwynn was knocked down early, but first she managed a rallying call that kept the henchmen from breaking and running as soon as they were attacked. Reed managed to pull together with the group, and the fight was bloody and got down to him and the last of the gargoyle monsters; he won, just.

He managed to get Tolwynn back on her feet (fortunately she was a medic) and they found that two of the soldiers and one of the bearers were dead, the others just injured. They dug at the broken statues to get as much warpstone out of them as they could, then they retreated back to the surface, significantly enriched by their efforts.

They sold the warpstone, orichalcum, and intelligence for about $300. They offered half of that to their assistants as a massive bonus of $20 each, and split the rest.

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