The Coral Tower

The party set about discovering the location of the Coral Tower and securing rations for the journey. Initially, they want to hire themselves out as caravan guards for part of the ten day journey but soon realise that the caravan already has its own guards and do not need extra for the five days the party plan to travel alongside. Fulton negotiates a price with the caravan owner and they all set out along the river road towards the Forsaken Hills.

The wisdom of joining a caravan and having a guide for the strange terrain proves its worth as a flash flood is avoided. The rest of the journey is uneventful. The caravan soon turns South and the fellowship continue up the river valley until they arrive at small village near the start of the Forsaken Hills. The headman of the village welcomes them and, with Fulton acting as interpreter, explains how his poor village has been blighted by the Ogre who dwells in the shattered Coral Tower to the North.

After a night spent in the village enjoying the simple hospitality it could offer they set out to the Coral Tower with a young boy who guides them part of the way. The coral green tower rises out of the desert hill, an improbable object, shattered with the top half appearing to float above its ruined base. Around the tower flocks of goats graze unconcerned until a disquieting screech is heard from the tower. The goats mill around nervously and the heroes shudder at the inhuman sound.

The fellowship continue on towards the tower appearing unconcerned by the hideous cry or the knowledge that it is occupied by an ogre who keeps wolves as pets. So it is of no surprise when the occupants of the tower immediately confront them. The Ogre is most upset that they are upsetting his goats and sets his “dogs” on them and reinforces the point with his club. The dwarves engage the onrushing wolves as Denig requests that Cloch calms them. Perhaps they were calm and non-aggressive when they rushed to greet the dwarves but they didn’t take any chances. With Fulton hanging back this also meant that Denig faced the Ogre alone.

The usually reliable dwarves seem to be unable to land a telling blow on the agile wolves and Denig is hard pressed by the Ogre, despite landing a few telling blows. Fulton leaps into the battle and fumbles his first attack forcing him to retreat back. Eventually though, Dagaard lands a blow that forces one wolf to retreat and is able to aid his fellow dwarf on the second wolf. Soon both wolves are limping from battle but the ogre is enraged and redoubles is blows attempting shoulder Denig aside. Dagaard leaps to Denig’s aid and lands a telling blow ripping the ogre’s side open. The monster is now berserk with pain so Denig presses the advantage and soon the monster collapses blood staining the sand black.

From the tower, the fell screech issues again. Within moments the party are forced to retreat into the tower for safety as a leathery-winged fell beast swoops down to feast on the carrion that was once the Ogre.

Within the tower, the entrance hall is cursorily explored, the only treasure a rusty longsword under some uncured goat hides. The double doors beyond are flanked by two statues of rose marble of fire Djinn, live flames flicker from the statues head. Given the last experience with stone statues Denig and the dwarves are understandable cautious. Determining that there is magic involved but unclear what it is they decide to risk opening the door and going through. Beyond is a large hall highly decorated with more statues similar to the one at the doors and a single one of an Elven sorcerer and a grand staircase sweeping upwards.

Entering the hall without mishap, it becomes clear that this is where the Ogre lived. Piles of goat skins for a bed, a large cooking pot and roasting spit. The fellowship barely pause before dismissing the room as unworthy of closer inspection and press on up the stairs.

The stairs lead up to a tower spanning hall containing walls that show scenes of a frozen waste, a ebon city and a jungle temple. Pick feels that the mountains in the frozen waste picture are of Ered Luin viewed from the north. Since the views appear to be no more than decoration the party move upwards.

Exploring the next floor is more fruitful. The company discover where the wolves slept and two rooms untouched with divans and cushions. They spend sometime searching these rooms and recover a forgotten potion with a label that says float in Southron and a sapphire ring that acts as a +2 channeling adder. For some time, Pick is convinced that there is a hidden door they have missed but eventually they give up and return to the stairs.

Vine Grasp by Petros-Stefanidis

The third level reveals, beyond a closed door, an area where the walls have been blasted outwards. The space is filled with a dark-leafed vines that seem to have taken advantage of the additional light to grow unchecked in the ruined room. The remains of laboratory equipment can be seen shattered across the floor. Denig and Pick enter to discover the extent of the room which becomes clear links to the door on the other side of the stairs. As the pair return, Denig suddenly decides to sit on the floor in a euphoric state. Soon vines are beginning to creep round his limbs. Fulton tries to talk him out of the room but eventually dwarves race in and haul the grinning stone Dunlending from the room. After many minutes, Denig recovers and the party decide to abandon exploring this level.

The next level up opens out onto the open section of the tower. Above the fellowship the upper part of the tower hangs heedless of gravity. The walls have gone and a large part of the floor is missing giving clear views into the blasted laboratory below and the sand of the desert beyond that. Perhaps, it is the years scrambling the rigging but Fulton is unphased by this, whereas the rest feel unsettled or in Denig’s case close to abject terror by the dangerous conditions. Above a section of the ceiling provides an entrance to the floor above but how to reach is a challenge.

4 thoughts on “The Coral Tower

  1. This adventure is brought to you courtesy of UncleRioutous from whom most of the description work has been lifted but modified for Middle Earth. The floor plans come from the shattered tower by Dyson. Uncle Riotous has a deep love for the Middle East and is always a source of great information. So when I knew the party were off to the desert I knew exactly who to go to for source material.

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  2. Interesting. I like the Coral Tower. It doesn’t sound much like Middle Earth, but once you start pushing the boundaries, you have to get creative. Tolkien loved the West far too much. So where are the Forsaken Lands? You are playing in Middle Earth, right?

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    1. So the brief run is in the setting of Far Harad – away from the restriction of Numenor. This is only a brief run so the flavour needs to have that North African vibe without the need for detail. Djinn and elementals are all Maia but the cultural interaction of course is different. The players and their characters are having to translate Djinn to their own frameworks. They are also restricted because apart from Fulton none speak any of the local languages. (Forsaken Hills not lands)

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