Darryl received a letter from his family in Soren urging him to return south from Saltmarsh with all due haste.
He sent word to Captain Redbeard to prepare the ship for immediate departure. After a brief stop at Meerport and journeying for six days they reached Soren. He was glad to be home but also concerned at the tone of the letter he had received. Although the relationship with his family was strained, he hoped they were all ok.
Unfortunately the news was not good. His father had appeared to be poisoned and was on death’s door at the family home. The cleric attending him feared for the worse if a cure could not be found in the next few days, it appeared he had arrived just in time. Darryl had a few leads to go on, an old friend Tarak had uncovered a plot to assassinate the crown prince and had contacted his father for advice. It seems his father had been poisoned in response to him reporting the plot to the authorities.
Darryl set off to find Tarak. He had a new companion with him, the new family mastiff Argo. At first he was wary about bringing the mutt on his adventures but soon warmed to having him around, he looked like he could be useful in a fight. He soon found Tarak in a local tavern. Looking concerned Tarak explained that he had overheard some gang members plotting their assassination. He had reported his findings immediately to Darryl’s father. Tarak knew that the gang had a hide out in the dock area of Soren so they agreed to meet up in the evening and investigate. The gang was known as “The Thessalar”.
Later that evening the two friends met at the docklands. Tarak agreed to stand lookout whilst Darryl and Argo snuck into the warehouse. Stealthing past a sentry Darryl entered the warehouse and observed two gang members. Posing as a customs official he conned the gang members into giving away the name of the mage that created the poison. The mage was called “Murdarel” and he owned a wizards tower in the artisan’s district.
After some rest the next day Darryl set off to Soren’s artisans district in search of Murdarel. On the way he was jumped by some strange bird creatures known as Kenku. After defeating them and interrogating their leader, he discovered they were mercenaries hired by Murdarel for his protection. He discovered that the wizard was currently away but Darryl assumed the tower would still be ladened with arcane traps and devices and would present a challenge to infiltrate. He was not disappointed….
As he entered the tower (after picking the lock of course) he was confronted by a marble statue of a lion. Suspecting the worse Darryl slowly edged his way around the circular room. Low and behold the statue sprang into life and Darryl found himself fighting the construct as he backed off into a circular staircase. Argo did his best to distract the creature whilst the rogue chipped away at it. It finally stumbled and damaged itself on stairs as it came crashing back down.
The next level of the tower contained a cryptic logic puzzle that Darryl struggled to comprehend. After about 30minutes of looking at four identical doors with strange writing written above he thought he had worked the puzzle out and selected a door. Carefully opening it he was greeted with another set of stairs and no traps!
Level two contained yet another puzzle room. This time he had to walk on a raised platforms step by step all the time being pursued by an invisible vortex. This seemed to be shadowing his movement across the room but he managed to outsmart the entity and proceed upwards.
Level three seemed like a normal enough chamber which made Darryl very suspicious this being a wizards tower after all! However as he entered the room the entire floor moved as if levered in the middle. Dashing as fast he could he lept to the middle of the room to counter balance the effect. He now had the problem of getting Argo across! Calmly commanding the dog he ushered Argo to the middle of the room. Smart a mutt as he was it was hard to coordinate and in the end Darryl simply ended up ordering Argo to run and jumped to safety himself.
On the landing of level was another ominous door. Upon opening it Darryl was presented with three more doors! To make matters worse the door behind him was now locked shut! Quickly growing tired of these illusions and mage puzzles Darryl spent the next ten minutes opening various combinations of doors until finally he arrived at another landing with a set of stairs leading ever upwards.
Level 5 was more like it. It seemed to contain offices and living quarters for the mages apprentices. He sneaked slowly listening carefully at each door. One door was ajar and he could see an apprentice working at a desk. Darryl decided to rush the mage and subdue him before he could get a spell off but unfortunately his plan failed and the wizard was prepared for him. The apprentice unleashed bolts of ice at him and Argo as they rushed into the room, slowing there advance. Darryl managed to out manoeuvr the mage and wound him with his rapier before another spell afflicted his mind and sent him running in terror from the room. After a few moments he came to his senses and returned to the room only to see poor Argo had been mortally wounded by the apprentice who had drawn a long dagger. Determined to finish the mage off Darryl sprinted back into the room however the wizard was proving tough and more ice and cold slowed ever swing. It was time for Darryl to retreat. He turned and fled with the apprentice rushing after him yelling curses and firing off more spells. He managed to make it to the door puzzle landing and stepped inside, planning to ambush Murdarel’s laky if he followed. His plan worked and as he listened he could many doors opening as he lay in wait. He managed to surprise the mage and forced him to surrender. After interogating the apprentice Darryl discovered the location of the potion antidote hidden in Murdarels chambers.
All he needed to do now was to get the antidote to the clerics and his father was saved!