The party heads back home for a while while Shiele runs around confirming that all the people she cares about are still alive. Back at Kobowlders Keep, the Pocket Gnomes have retreated back into their realm while gnomes have stopped in to visit. The others go about their usual business on returning to the keep, checking on their cohorts, apprentices and minions. Cort has completed his very own wizard tower, which Sar’n brings their new member, Lilith, to visit. There they seek to arm Lilith with some new gear, including some armor, a rapier and a dagger. Cort eventually rouses from his fatigued stupor to fill them in about the war efforts. Kofrath raids are becoming quite common and many races from the underground have been driven out by the enemy advance.
Clarinette is relaxing in the amphitheater and finds a young bard fawning over her. Apparently many young bards have heard of the Kobowlders and come to be at the center of the action. She messes with him for a bit, sending him off to bother Vilma. Davros goes to the keep’s temple to perform some rites, aid in rituals and meet with the local clergy of Pelor. Riley checks up on the war efforts as well with his order of monks, sparring with the various levels and groups of pupils and imparting knowledge of some of his advanced techniques. Around late-afternoon, the party reconvenes in the Great Hall. Eating and drinking, prepping to resume their quest, Davros fills Lilith in about their current mission.
Vilma shows up with the young bard in tow and a large pot of soup. Kilrem’s excitement is undampened when he realizes he’s just met more of the Kobowlders. Lilith attempts to distract him with a discrete math problem in arcana. Vilma grows impatient and goes to fetch Clarinette from the amphitheater to make her eat lunch. Clarinette chats with Vilma on the way back to the great hall and then with Kilrem. Shiele also soon shows up and the ladies discover that the soup was the greatest soup they’ve ever tasted. There is some debate as to whether the party should set back out immediately, which leads to discussion of Sar’n’s deal with the demons. Some details come to light, including failure penalties that the party was previously unaware of and is now rather angry with Sar’n. Especially Shiele who immediately confronts and berates him before teleporting back to the town where the met Lilith to continue their journey. Lilith immediately follows while the rest of the group puts a little more effort into preparing.
Lilith and Shiele have a rather tense stand off and eventually Shiele heads off on her own again. When the party finally catches up, little progress is made in calming down Shiele, but the party does try to meet up. Riley heads off to find Shiele, then keeps up with her in case trouble shows up. The rest of the party makes it’s way towards the towers in the corner of town they had not previously explored. There they meet up with eachother.
The outer towers are massive round pillars, and based on the shape, that appeared to originally support a giant sphere, balanced atop the square central building. Each round pillar has a doorway facing the central tower, but it’s protected by an energy barrier of some kind. The red barrier deflects a rock as a molten ball of rock. The green barrier deflects the projectile but it dissolves in midair. The group spreads out, exploring and cautiously trying to find a way into the towers. Touching the tower results in taking damage related to the color of the barrier. The central tower seems to be safe and atop it RIley finds the top is shaped like a bowl with a curious dark patch exactly in the center that resembles a hatch, aside from being just a darker patch of the stone. Sar’n attempts several spells, as well as sending a fire elemental through the fiery red barrier, which results in the painful destruction of the creature. Vilma seems to have some reaction to the towers, her eyes turning silver and a sudden ability to read the inscriptions above the doors. Her eyes do return to normal eventually. Velma helps the others read inscriptions from over the doorways. Red = “Fire purifies” Green = “Destruction Promotes Rebirth” Blue = “Winter Preserves” White = “Energy is Life” Bones of the goblins and other locals litter the ground by each barrier and they soon realize the barriers have some kind of pull on people that get too close.
At the final column, Vilma tries to walk into the portal and it takes several people to prevent her from walking into what they believe to be certain death, including a conjured shelter, a monk, and teleportation. Lilith finally learns about the groups mental link and sends Riley back to fetch the rest of the group after teleporting them away from the barrier. Some of the group reach the conclusion that perhaps Vilma can safely bypass the barriers due to her heritage. To test it, they plan to have her touch the side of one of the towers as Riley did, which was at least survivable. Their idea works and Vilma manages to get into the towers and deactivate the barrier. Inside the entrance, they find several what may be either statues or stone golems. Beyond that is a room decently lit room with several low tables and a desk in front of a door. Everything is coated in a layer of dust about a quarter inch thick, parchment they find is so brittle it disintegrates upon being touched.
In the next room, they encounter two very large golems that react when Vilma reads the inscriptions. Whether they are under her influence or not is not entirely clear, but they don’t immediately attack. Clarinette and Lilith attempt to influence Vilma who seems to have limited control or capacity when her ancestral abilities are active. While the party attempts to deal with the golems, Riley manages to open the next doorway. Inside is another large golem which is watching him intently. It soon becomes clear the golems are attempting to herd them further inside, the lone golem moves out of their path to allow them to enter the third room. Shiele and Clarinette, who had been left in the foyer, manage to squeeze in to follow the group. The rooms have book shelves, closets, weapons racks and other things. Many of the books are made of metal with metal sheets for pages. The golems reacted with varying eye colors when the group interacts with items in the rooms. While Vilma’s strength seems to be increasing, she does not seem to be gaining more control, she can easily move heavy doors or lift the metal books. Clarinette and Vilma attempt to read some of the books to gain a better understanding of the language.
The golems follow the party, blocking their path of retreat, soon the party finds themselves on the second floor. In the second room of the second floor the party encounters the shambling corpses of 5 Shaar’i and a suit of armor with glowing red eyes. To their credit, they actually attempt diplomacy first. Which fails and Davros unleashes his holy abilities to Turn Undead. It has little effect but Vilma’s abilities surface again, with a new, stronger rage as she leaps into the fray. Shiele and Riley flank the enemies who are drawn to Vilma shouting in Shaar’i. In a break in the fight, Shiele scouts the next room and spots an inactive golem. With a shout, Vilma brings it into the fray, smashing one of their enemies into dust. Unfortunately, the armored enemy seems able to command it as well and it attacks Sar’n and Leeroy, somehow hurting him even in his shadow form. Vilma’s abilities allow her to cut down the remaining enemies and regain control of the golem.
Past the frey, the party finds the stairs up to the final floor. Here they find a mysterious device (like an elevator) that Vilma can activate. It takes them out to the roof, but there doesn’t seem to be anything else there. They take what appears to be the power source and the golems on the final floor deactivate. Perhaps this is the key to opening the central tower. The party decides to rest for the night before continuing.