Our heroes interrogated their orcish captive, but learned little more than the jungle is filled with death. They left him tied at the edge of camp to serve as early warning of other attackers, and freed him in the morning to find his own way out.
They set out early, continuing their way up-river. After an hour or so, an eery silence descended on the jungle. They moved to the side of the river and slowly scouted the shoreline. Dremahl and Kallius heard a splash from within the underbrush, but nothing more. Boomah was fairly certain he saw a humanoid shape climb over something, and then sink back into the muck, but also quickly lost it.
After a few minutes of this, Kallius was stunned as a large jungle rat burst out of the brush, landing on the front of their canoe and diving back into the river to escape. They tried to stabilize the boat as the panicked creature swam for the far bank and disappeared in the undergrowth. Following its lead (and the screaming of the scared goblin), both boats made for the far bank and paddled swift upriver.
Staring backward, Boomah watched as a black sheen slid down from the river bank and spread over the surface of the river like an oil slick. He threw his torch at the spreading ooze, and it landed on the surface, only to sputter out as the thick fluid flowed over it. He was certain that he saw an orcish shape rise out of the muck briefly and then sink back down, as the others tried to escape the place as quickly as possible.
After a few more hours picking their way upstream, they saw a thin shape rising above the canopy — a tower. They paddled toward it for most of the afternoon, and beached their canoes at the base of the hill it rose up from. Dremahl stumbled on a crumbling mooring several yards from the current river bank, and they hid their boats under brush near it.
Saerin and Boomah scouted a few paces ahead as they made their way up the hill through thick brush and many layers of thick, ropey webs. There was little surprise as two of Omaro’s orphans descended from the canopy and dropped on the ringer, turning at the last moment from Boomah’s flaming brand. One bit hard and the other stumbled to the forest floor. Boomah drank hi mutagen and tried to get away from the monsters, while Saerin swung his sword. Luix and Kallius rushed up to join in the battle. Boomah shouted that there were more shadowy shaped in the canopy, but no spiders dropped on the group. The two large spiders were no match for the three warriors, and were soon crushed.
Seeing the quick rout, the other shapes disappeared into the shadows leaving our heroes alone again. They quickly came to the edge of the forest, and noted a rubble-choked clearing around a tall, slender tower. There were no windows until the very top, one barred door and large crumbling crack up the side of the building. Large colorful birds (or drakes) fluttered about the top of the ruined tower.
The waited under the canopy until nightfall before approaching the structure. In darkness, they quickly crossed the field and made their way through the gap into the tower. Inside the rubble-filled chamber they noted that the gap must be far from recent as jungle creepers have made their way inside and had taken root. Looking closer, Boomah noted some of them had been recently cut, and there were several other signs of recent fight inside the room. There were broken weapons that looked like they showed great age, but only recent breaking. What he did not find was any real signs of blood.
Boomah moved on and through a door at the far side of the room, into the center of the tower. There were several doors, including a large double-set to the south. When he stepped in to scout closer, a web by noose dropped from the ceiling and caught his neck, yanking him off the ground. He quickly lobbed a fiery bomb at the ceiling, and came down with a crash in a heap of webs, rubble and other debris. In the flames, they could see no other dangers in the small room.
Moving through, they next forced the door across the chamber. Inside the found an old weapons store, of similar age to the broken weapons in the entry. Several rats scurried out from small holes in the wall, but posed no threat. Kallius scoured the area for magic auras, but seeing none they moved on.
They next decided to go through the double doors. Luix forced the old timbers open, and they found an entry chamber that led to the outside doors, with aging Omaro-themed tapestries hanging from the high rafters. Boomah tried to leap across the room toward on the hangings, but fell short. This set off another trap, which opened the ceiling and sent furniture, rocks, logs and other debris down on the center of the room. He escaped most of the wreckage, but lay limp against the wall when the dust cleared.
When Luix and Kallius clambered in to save the goblin, his eyes popped open with a cry of “You do care!!” as he revealed his largely unscathed condition.
Checking behind the tapestries, they found narrow arrow slits set into wall behind. One side reeked of the death, so they went to check it out. Forcing the door, Luix nearly collapsed at the stench of several forest animals hanging in broken cocoons and left to rot, with their entrails ripped open and dangling toward the floor.
They quickly reset the door and fled the rot-filled chamber. On the far side, Luix again forced the door and stood before a darkened chamber. Suddenly, there were signs of motion and a dark shape lunged out of the darkness. Saerin stepped up to protect his comrade, and we called it a night.