1st day away from Midhaf, 96th day of our Quest.
We stand outside of the teleportation circle at the end of a long stone pier that juts into a massive river. In the middle of the pier is a twist bridge, cutting off travel to the shore end but permitting line of sight from one end to the other. At the other end of the pier stands a group of humans in semi-official looking garb. They greet us and wait for the teleportation circle to close.
The far side of the massive river is dominated by a continuous wall of ice, hundreds of feet tall. There is no visible means to make a landing on the other side of the river from Loroun (called Lor by the locals), and noone seems bothered by that fact.
Near Chundler's Shipbuilding
We get maps of town. Dockworkers are mostly all Dragonborn, the rest of the populace of the town are human & half-elf. There is a big lighthouse in the middle of the river, it has been out for some time (~2 weeks).
We get matching stuff. And patches made for the Midhaf Militia and Vixxelcyrusik fan club. And custom rank insigniae. Bruk gets epaulets, they are very fancy - but not historically authentic. It pays to shop around. Several of the shops are understocked due to a lack of trade because the lighthouse light has been out.
There are three big temples in town. The largest is a huge and ornate temple of Bahamut. The other two are to Avandra and somebody else (not Pelor or Moradin -- I didn't write this down, i was drawing the midhaf militia logo).
The spires and cornices of the Bahamut temple soar above the surrounding buildings. The decoration is over-the-top with dragons-head decorations all over the place. The temple complex occupies an entire 3-sided city block, with several outbuildings clustered around the main temple, all enclosed by a wrought-iron wall.
The entrance to the temple, before the main hall has a bulletin board plastered with ads and items of community note.
Inside, we meet the head cleric, named Brenslinn. Even though the noblest thing we've done all morning is support the local economy, we are invited to lunch. The lunch is a meaty potatoey feast, seemingly attended by every Dragonborn dockworker in Loroun. Tales are told, songs are sung, Marilena is skeeved out. Based upon the stories of taking down three chromatic dragons, and foiling the devious machinations of the evil Tiamat [ptui] and her dirty filthy unwashed worthless cult, we get a blessing (+1 to all attack rolls in our next encounter).
Bruk gets his falchion "fixed" with a Bahamut emblem from the temple armory.
Putting the "b" in subtle, Brenslinn recommends that we help out an elf name Aria who is trying to fix the lighthouse.
One of the posters on the bulletin board is a help wanted ad from an Elf named Aria trying to get a party together to get out to the light and repair it. It says to call upon her at a Pub called the Frothy Rim. We proceed to do so.
As close to the slums as you can get while still occupying space in the Pub district is the Frothy Rim. It exudes what some people would call a homey, old-world charm. The people who would call it that are crazed blind mental patients. The building is a rotting dilapidated affair, reeking of stale food and disrepair. The interior is perhaps more fusty and damp than the outside street, sporting a decor best described as shabby chic, except not chic. A large unlit hearth dominates one wall of the room, while several tables and booths are scattered about the center. The other side of the main room is occupied by a bar, behind which is a bartender, upon which is a covering of festering boils. Yum.
Business is slow.
There are several figures dotting the room (like sores on a deranged stray animal), the least vomitous of which is a lone rather mannish-looking female elf in a long cloak. We approach her, and ask if she's Aria. She is.
Kiranth attempts to ameliorate the dankness by throwing some wood on the fire and lighting it. As the flame sputters to life, the bartender runs over, exclaiming that the chimney's been plugged for years, and we'll burn the whole place down if we light a fire. Not seeing a problem with that plan, we watch the flame try to rise to it's duty. THe? bartender puts out the fire and we grab Aria and leave.
Outside, we walk directly away from the Frothy Rim, and discover an establishment offering an Ale and Mutton Special. We enter.
The Just Talon is appropriately themed. The drinking flagons all have an odd talon motif, which are used as handles. The majority of the patrons are Dragonborn dockworkers, and most of them are involved in some sort of complex gambling diversion.
Sitting down, we learn from Aria that the Hermit's Light is out, and should be on. She's from the Simlek Old Growth, and has come here from there. She now wants to go back, and can't get passage, because the shipping traffic is not moving (because the light is out). We recommend that she could have just stayed there and saved herself the trip.
But a quest is a quest. Canvassing the dockworkers, we meet Bruus, a large male Dragonborn. He says he'll take us to the light, as soon as he's done the game. We buy him out of the game and chivvy everyone down to the waterfront. Rowing ensues.
On the way across the massive river [whatsitsname], Bruus informs us of the intricate workings of the tower. Apparently, first, the town selects the most beautiful woman in Loroun. Then there's a parade, which ends with her in the tower. Along with her attendants and staff. She is later joined by suitors, some of whom hang around for a while, others leave. At some point she picks the one she likes best and they go off and are fruitful and multiply. Then the process begins anew. At no time do we gain any information on the actual means by which light is emitted from the tower or how to relight the light, which has apparently been out for more like months than weeks.
Apparently the definition of Hermit differs in the North.
We pull up to the Tower's dock, a large, well-kept affair, suitable for the voluminous traffic the Hermit's Tower attracts. Leaving us to our own devices, Bruus (who has sobered up on the trip over) lets us know that he'll be back when the light comes back on. See you later, Bruus.
A long, well-worn stone path wraps around the crag of rock that rises from the river, upon which the lighthouse is perched. The tower itself is a rectangular stacked-stone affair, rising some hundred feet or so up from the rock upon which it is built. The light mechanism cannot be seen from the landing or the path leading up from the dock. As we cross around to the northern side of the winding path, the temperature drops drastically in spite of the afternoon sun, reflecting the supernatural cold of the far side of the river. Ice crystals sparkle in the cold air on this side of the tower.
After a few minutes of walking, we arrive at the top of the rock, and stand before a large door at the base of the tower. We first attempt to open it, it's locked. We knock. No answer. There's a bell pull, we ring that. No answer. So we pick the lock.
Moving on. We enter a foyer, containing a staircase leading upwards. The first level seems to be one large room. We proceed upwards. The next level is another open room, with the stair side dominated by a large hearth and some bookcases. And the room is full of snakes.
2 large constrictors, 1 fire-spitting snake, and 5 smaller snakes later, we search the room. The bookcases are full of a number of old tomes, and we find a level 7 item scroll. The tables are covered with plates of moldy food, it's been there for some time.
We proceed further upstairs.
The next level is laid out almost identically to the previous one, with the exception that
You return to the base of the lighthouse. As promised, Bruece is there with his boat. "Well, hell .." he says .. "Guess you did get that old light turned back on... at least tell me there'll be a parade 'fore we all gotta get back to the docks?"
You reach shore and are met by the mayor. He rewards you with 2500 gp.
He also gives you a battle standard: Standard of the Last Stand. The Last Stand creates a zone close burst 5. Any variable healing power applied inside the zone is maximized (both the power's invoker and the power's recipient must be inside the zone). This is a *daily* power. The standard follows all rules on p. 179 of adventurer's vault: it can be planted on any non-difficult terrain surface and effectively takes no space nor blocks line of sight. Planting the standard is a (wait for it) standard action. Any player with at least one power that has the "divine" keyword can plant the standard. The standard is a level 10 item and has a purchase price of 5k gp.
I made this item up - it is not in the book.. but is a mixture of the standards presented there and the "healer's shield [level 10]" (daily power: maximize one healing event that occurred within line of sight of the shield's bearer). The shield seems under powered .. the other standards are encounter powers but that feels over powered .. so I've blended.
If you don't like the standard, you can sell it (but selling it here might offend the mayor!) for a fixed 5k.