Lost Mines of Phandelver

The Travelling Tower of Labrezznakadnezzar Prologue

“During the height of old Phandelver City, there lived the powerful wizard Labrezznakadnezzar. His power was immense and young apprentices gathered from all around to study under his tutelage. Many of the great victories against the orcs and goblins of the Many-Arrows tribe were the result of Labrezznakadnezzar’s arcane mastery, tearing the orcish ranks asunder with a well-placed fireball or summoning powerful elemental spirits to bolster the ranks of the city’s armies. However with each passing day, the orcs grew in greater number as more and more came down from the north. It was at this time that Labrezznakadnezzar came up with his final solution, aptly named the “Labrezznakadnezzar Stratagem”.

The Wizard theorised that it would be possible to shift the entire city into a demiplane which sat just outside of the material plane, where the laws of time and space would not apply. In doing this, the residents of the city could wait hours while the invading orcs felt the effects of several decades. Sadly, things went awry when the tower of Labrezznakadnezzar suddenly disappeared with in a great flash of lightning from inside the city limits, never to be seen again. As is known, the city of Phandelver would ultimately fall to the orcish hordes.

Whether this strategy would have worked has been the source of much debate among the magical community over the centuries. Rumours abound that the Labrezznakadnezzar’s tower has appeared in a variety of places over the centuries, leading to the hypothesis that he some how accidentally stranded himself in the conduits of time and space and is cursed to wander the planes for all eternity. Were this true, the wizard would have likely gone mad. Sadly there is no evidence to corroborate this theory, for anyone who has supposedly set foot into this ‘Travelling Tower’ has never been heard of again. Yet even in this day and age, adventurers and treasure seekers still hold out for the day that they see a tower appear in their village, for the possible riches and untold power that await inside a powerful Wizard’s tower are a tempting beast.

Whether the promise of such treasure and power is real, or just the cunning lure of a malign entity, remains to be seen. What is without doubt, however, is that all who see a strange tower cross their path should be wary, for all that glitters is not gold.”

The Travelling Tower of Labrezznakadnezzar, an extract from:
Minster, E. L. (1159DR). Magical Curios of the Faerun, Volume VIII. Suzail: Cormyr. Mystra Publishings Ltd.

The Bloodening prologue.
Setting: Grista Alefist's Sleeping Giant Taphouse, Phandalin.

It was the time of night when the Sleeping Giant taphouse became a quiet establishment. Most of its patrons were passed out from a combination of excessive drinking or the concussive force of barstools being hit over their head. Grista Alefist liked this time of night. It allowed her an opportunity to go about the process of clearing her customer’s tabs without trouble. They would wake up in the midday not realising that their coin purses were considerably lighter. Really it was a win-win situation: Grista got her pay and the patrons never had to pay her. The system worked.

Phandalin was entering into the time of year when the late evenings and early mornings were obscured by a thick mist; the kind that was very common in harbour towns but seldom seen in places as inland as Phandalin. Despite the ominous feeling of dread that it instilled in the town, Grista enjoyed the mist. It encouraged her patrons to stay at the taphouse rather than return to their loving families. The mist was good for business and business had been a little slow of late. Over the last couple of weeks several of the town drunks had been turning up dead on the outskirts of town, the victims of wild animal; wolves, most likely. No one thought it overly strange, wild animal attacks were synonymous with living in a frontier town. But seeing as the rest of their kin had wound up disembowelled and partially digested, many of the other drunkards had taken up relative sobriety in the interest of self-preservation. The mongrels.

As she was clearing the drinks from the corner table, Grista jumped, dropping her tray of steins to the ground, as the hand of the man sitting there gripped her own.

“Not quite finished, my dear” said the man in a Dwarvish accent.

“oh, right…. Very well then. Can I top you off, Mr……?”

“Khaine, Lukkan Khaine. Yes, please. Wishkey” the man replied.

Grista returned to the bar, all the while eyeing off this Mr Lukkan. He wore a heavy black trench coat and a wide brimmed hat. The heavy brow, greyish skin and protruding canines seemed to suggest that he was a Half-Orc, although she had never heard one speak with such elocution, or charm. His piercing yellow eyes shone out from beneath his hat, looking at her the way Old Fat Fred looked at a plate of ribs. As she returned and handed him the scotch, she noticed that the hand which he had extended to take the glass was heavily scarred and missing his ring finger.

“Hunting acshident” he said.

“Oh” Grista replied, not realising that she had been staring, “How long have you been in town, Mr Khaine?”

“I’ve been here for a few weeksh, I shushpect I’ll be here for a few more, at least until the bloodening” he replied.

“Oh, right. Shame you arrived right in the middle of this horrid mist” said Grista, not quite knowing where this conversation was going.

“Yesh, I musht apologishe for that. I believe I have brought the misht with me”.

Grista laughed hesitantly until she realised that the man did not seem to be joking.

“Well then, will you need a room for the rest of your stay?" said Grista, who was subconsciously backing away to the bar.

“I don’t think that will be neshesshary” said Lukkan, who was now standing up and walking towards Grista. “I prefer to rough it in the wilderness, beshidesh, the bloodening could occur at any time and I musht be ready. Tell me, ish there a butcher in town?”

Grista’s heart was pumping now and she had backed up all the way to the bar.

“Ah, yes, that would be Mr Appleby next to the blacksmith. Now if you don’t mind me it were about time that I was closing. WAKE UP, WAKE UP. I DON’T CARE WHERE YOU GO BUT YOU CAN’T SLEEP HERE” Grista yelled in a panicked voice as she started to ring the bell which hung on the wall.

In a few groggy minutes the Sleeping Giant taphouse patrons, including Mr Lukkan, had emptied. Grista slepted with her battleaxe next to her that night, waking up throughout the night in a cold sweat.

The next morning, two more of Grista’s customers were found behind the stables. What was left of them.

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