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Post Number:#1  Postby The Keeper » 15 Jan 2011, 11:13

1.1 Explanatory Notes/Recap
Nigel has now integrated with the prisoner society at his level. He has contacted the various clans represented here (which range far and wide) and has convinced them to unite at least for sake of escape. The presence of the heir (Gavin Toreth) has had no small part in this.
Nigel has also met Estara, one of the Koros prisoners on the 18th level. Note that it is not my intent to have Nara to be any sort of major character as I might have in the past. She is simply there to be interesting and nothing more. However, should Nigel wish to try and use her in some way there are possibilities. One of which is the fact that she is Azamanni.
Last week also saw the first attempt at trying to leave. Nigel tried summoning a flying bat several times over the course of two weeks. This attracted the attention of the Fell Beasts that patrol the area and each time he was forced to release the spell. It also attracted the attention of the tower magical security which runs things from the top level as shown on my map. Nigel has managed to be well hidden, but has seen them searching for him. He has also managed to provide himself with a makeshift rope and store that rope in an unused (or so he thinks) cell. He also discovered a non-descript, but out of the ordinary door although he has ignored it and does not know that that door goes to the central shaft.
Nigel will now be attempting to lower himself down to the level below his current level by use of the makeshift rope. That level is an exercise yard so if he does this it will be interesting.
2.0 Overview
Unknown to Nigel the security he discovered are unique individuals. They are constructs and their specific purpose is the defense of the tower and the prevention of escape by prisoners and the extended and continued use of magic for nefarious purposes. To that end the spell that is cast on prisoners is actually two fold. It allows them to use magic again (if they are capable) but disperses all attacks. But the second effect and one that is NOT told to the prisoner is that they are “marked.” so that the constructs defending the tower can see them. Any use of power after thus being marked causes a flare in the aura of that person that is essentially a beacon. Nigel of course, knows none of this.
The constructs can cast spells and have a considerable amount of spell points.
Now I never intended this scenario to be one that was long, involved, or major, but if Matt wants to turn it that way then fine. I am here to entertain. So, consequently there will be a chink in the “defense” of the tower that he can exploit. He will then be presented with a scenario of which he can take part, leave, or phone-in. It will be up to him. But in presenting it to him I am not going to turn it into a major thing unless he wants to spend time with this. Here are my plans.
Like any major institution, Atbaah Isle also has an underground. This underground also happens to be extremely invisible to the constructs. The major flaw with the constructs is the fact the their sole focus of specific threat prisoners blinds them to any other type of threat even if that other threat is more dangerous. The constructs focus only on what they have been tasked to do.
Now, the underground is made up of disaffected patriots (both of high and low station), disillusioned members of the church, “former” prisoners of the tower, and “true” thanes. I will mention the thanes here first.
My trend has been to make the thanes an army of clerks, landholders, etc. Ephriam being one noted thane. However, this “army,” although united in principle has many varying ideas on the way to go about things. The largest faction is called the Tarmin. Their belief is that in their unflinching obedience to the crown and it’s objectives they will be placed in positions of authority with which they may invisibly act to improve the lot of all, cement their positions and make themselves impervious to any methods of removal. In short, gaining power to protect their kind and constantly seeking more power to ensure continued survival. Anything that violates any morals they have is to be endured and otherwise ignored in furthering the higher ground of securing protection of the whole. Thus, many Tarmin have been part of or at the very least turned a blind eye to many attrocities in the past.
The second faction is the Azamanni. The Azamanni believe that the corruption of the church and the crown (as controlled by the church) should be fought at every turn with every means and method possible. The Azamanni liken themselves to the thanes of yore. Thus they consider themselves to be “true” thanes. There is intense hatred between the Tarmin and the Azamanni, no small portion a result of the fact that in pursuit of their objective, the Tarmin are very quick to turn in any Azamanni they find. Thus making themselves look the good toadie. The Azamanni for their part will cut down any Tarmin they identify without compassion or remorse (because if shown, the Tarmin will simply turn on them at the first opportunity).
Now, when Estara introduced herself to Nigel, she gave him a key, but not being at all familiar with the Union he has no idea. He will soon learn.
The leader of the Atbaah underground is an ex-mage named Burke. Burke at one point was the chief-mage at Atbaah. Burke was a Azmanni, one that developed his magical ability late (as often happens in the Union). At some point his chief assistant, Kurzon, either somehow learned of this or gambled that it was true. Kurzon desired Burke’s job and in public accused him of being Azmanni. The very accusation demanded the assistance of the Tarmin within earshot of this (and there were many). Hands were laid upon Burke with the intent to arrest him. As innocence is either proven at trial (instead of guilt), or bought at some expense the simple accusation by Kurzon was all that was necessary. By the time Burke would be able to prove his innocence (if he could) Kurzon would long have a lock on Burke’s position and Burke would have a tainted career. If Kurzon was right and Burke could not prove (or buy) his innocence then it was no matter to Kurzon. This is why many Azamanni go to great lengths to disguise their existence and why it was so dangerous for Estara to reveal what she is (but which is also the reason she is here for her father’s sins).
At this point, Burk knowing he would be found out and that his innocence would come at too high a price chose to fight, thereby damning himself. The hands laid upon him were insignifigant as a high-level mage and those persons met instant death. Kurzon for his part had seriously underestimated Burke (assuming like many, that to be Azamanni implied weak) and was immediately engaged by Burke and pushed back from the top level of the tower. Burke immediately barred and magically locked the door. Now, the chief mage of the Isle holds certain command words that give him (or her) complete control of the constructs. Those command words are NOT given to the second, but the second has command words of lesser authority. Burke was left trapped at the top level of the tower with those constructs present at the time. Kurzon had limited control of those on his level or below. Burke faced aerial assault and attack from below. Ultimately, Burke would be overwhelmed and he knew it. There was no escape, yet he did not wish to perish in flash of “glory” that would merit nothing. He quickly devised a plan of escape that was extremly perilous, but if he could pull it off would let him survive.
Splitting his last remaining nine constructs in to one group of four and one group of five, the four were ordered to defend the door at all costs. Which they did. Kurzon never gained access through the door as the magic the constructs laid down in unison slayed everything and also destroyed the corridor leading to the door as well as the top ring of the center shaft. The constructs also completely obliterated any living thing on the floor below. Kurzon had no response.
However, things were much worse for Burke elsewhere. Burke had repelled the first aerial assauly by virtue of his own magic at the time. He repelled at second far heavier wave with the five constructs he took with him. Battling from the very top of the tower The constructs laid down withering fire while dropped many fell beasts screaming from the sky (and their riders). But eventually, the island ballistae, heavy machines designed for siege defense of the island began pelting the top of the tower, doing heavy damage. On strike ripped collapsed the roof of the tower, the heavy stones raining down and crushing three of the 5 constructs Burke had with him. The stones did not stop there. They continued down and smashed the four constructs defending the door aside like broken toys. The shock of that assault occupied most of Burke’s energies to protect himself. Simultaneously he was faced with a third very heavy aerial assault. With his last two constructs he laid waste to the initial charge and then was immediately faced with even larger rocks that had been launched right behind the third assault. It was too much for Burke, his plan negated before he could even try. His last two constructs were flattened. Burke’s last spell incinerated one of the several fell beasts and riders decending on him and the fireball crashed heavily into Burke who was precariously perched on the remaining shards of the center shaft top ring.
The flaming fell beast and rider landed on Burke inverted, but not before Burke had managed to dodge one very large and heavy rock that went straight down the center shaft. The force (as well as the flames) instantly snapped the riding harness of the rider who was now literally dead weight. That second jarring impact sent Burke and the flaming rider plunging straight down the center shaft. Reflexively, Burke grasped at the burning rider and then recoiled in pain as he himself began to burn during the fall.
Now the center shaft runs from the second level level to the 30th (top level). There is a huge stone floor at the 2nd level. But underneath the first level the shaft continues down to the eight underground level. The large boulder that Burke had dodged proceeded him down the shaft and punched straight through the stone floor on the second level making a perfect pass through hole to the shaft going from the first floor to the eighth. Thus, by the time a semi-conscious, burning Burke had reached the second level he went right through the floor and continued downwards.
Ultimately, the fireball that was Burke and the rider crashed in to the underground lake at the bottom of the shaft. The shock of the cold water and the impact fortunately did not kill Burke, (he landed on the rider whom he had become entangled with on the descent) but it did make him fully unconscious. Tangled with the rider he drifted.
Farther above it took some time for the assault force to realize that there was no longer any resistance and then for the assault to cease. Not wishing to completely destroy the tower the assault force actually broke off pretty quickly. However, it took some time for searchers to reach the lower levels. By this time, things had turned for Burke.
Very few people visit the eighth level. This level is actually a natural level, consisting of a natural lake (fresh water) that is the water source for the entire isle. The lake is fed naturally from the fresh water lake that surrounds the island. [Note that this level is actually referred to as B0 on my map.]
At the moment that Burke became unconscious his backup preservation spells kicked in. Unconscious, but protected he drifted to the far southern edge of the lake. Eventually the coldness of the lake woke him. The area he had drifted to was dark and cold, but not deep. Burke tried to stagger out of the lake but was dragged back by the weight of the dead rider who was still attached to him. Burke became fully awake when he heard the voices of the searchers coming from the upper levels. Quickly, Buke pulled a knife and detached himself from the rider.
Not wishing to be discovered he quickly exchanged the clothes with the rider whose burned face was nearly unrecognizable.
Pushing the corpse farther out in to the water, Burke then turned and ran.
I mention this story in detail, becaue Nigel will probably ask for details once he discovers this underground.
There are any number of tunnels leading in to and out of the eight level and Burke ran towards the first he found. Underneath the island is a catacomb of interconnected tunnels, all carved out by the water the feeds the lake. The Lorn church long ago became aware of this and has established several known tunnels to and from the tower, the smaller tower and the chuch on the island. This allows the clerics to move around unseen. At the time, this benefitted Burke.
A detailed, but not exhaustive search was made for Burke. The dead rider who bore his clothes was ultimately assumed to be him. This presented a problem for Kurzon, because if true then the true command words for the constructs were lost. Now, the regular castle detail knows nothing about this. Kurzon became the chief-mage and that’s all they need to know. They assume he can control the constructs, which he can – to a point. Kurzon for his part, has spent the last several years trying to figure out the command words and dealing with Burke’s prisoner abductions.
Burke for his part began plotting against Kurzon. Instead of escaping off the isle, which he determined at that time to be impossible he began to abduct certain political prisoners. Using his knowledge of the tower and the construct command words as well as his own magic he was able to move about silently and almost invisibly. At first, all he could offer these abducted prisoner’s was sanctuary underneath the isle, but slowly a network managed to develop. Many of the jailers on the isle are secretly Azamanni. Soon, he was able to actually get people off the isle and a network was set up. At some point he freed a cleric of Lorn who had become disillusioned with the church. That cleric healed his wounds and scars and along with some others chose to stay and assist Burke in his efforts.
Kurzon has created many workarounds to deal with the constructs but has not yet figure out the proper command words. He is unaware that it is Burke that has been lifting his prisoners.
Burke has found it increasingly difficult to deal with the constructs because of Kurzon’s workarounds.
Burke has himself (16th level), a 13th level Lorn cleric and 20 fighter types (all about 9th level) working with him. There are also any number of lesser classes in the 5th to 6th level range.

3.0 Scenario
Nigel will first encounter the underground by happening to be in the room he is using for rope storage when those trying to take his rope will weirdly enter the room. Burke has the ability to bestow certain wall/merging and passing spells on his people and his uses this to good benefit. These are veteran men who are adept at moving around the tower without notice. The men he encounters here (2) are Ndeldro and Aulial.
At this point Nigel can take it from there.

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