The party left the decimated village early in the afternoon, following the notes in the journal to a small abandoned farmstead described as the Ackerman farm. After investigating the out-buildings, the entered the small farmhouse. Deep gouges on both the door and window sills led them to believe that the farm had come under attack. Within they only found a small scrap of blue fabric hanging from the cooking rack in the dilapidated chimney. Brass and Zafar repaired the roof enough to allow the party to enjoy a semi-comfortable sleep.
Early the next morning the group continued following the old journal to the legendary “Tower of the Bloody Man”. As they fought their way through the brambles and brush on the side of the mountain, Both Zafar and Oron claimed to see something behind the party. Zafar was convinced that the shadow he had seen from the corner of his eye was nothing more than a wild animal, while Oron argued that the something was following the group and wanted to lay a trap. Brass argued that the group should continue on to the tower where the terrain would be more defensible. The sages, Adon and Enri, were both obviously frightened by the conversation. Soon, the shadows in the woods would be forgotten….
The PCs found the tower, surrounded by a 10’ wall. Walking around the wall led them to a gruesome discovery. A horrific scene lay before them. The tower sprouted up from an aged manor house. To its left was a burned out barn, to its right an external kitchen and workshop. The courtyard was filled with rotting trees and vegetation. Torched bodies, burned so badly that they had fused together, lay in the center of the path. The worst, however, was the scene on the front steps of the house: a man, crushed as if a giant hand had squeezed the life from him, stood fused to the front door. Zafar inspected the magic within the area and found that a magical force had formed a bubble over the manor and its surroundings. The force seemed to emanate from the body, and showed the telltale tendrils of backlash.
Afraid to touch the body, the group climbed through a broken window and found a destroyed room. Nothing larger than a dinner plate survived. Each room they passed through, bedrooms, dining room, library, all, were the same: destroyed. Soon the group found a storeroom in the basement, and in it, a door in pristine condition. Zafar identified that the door was protected by a Wizard lock, impenetrable and impervious to all but the most destructive forces. Using the key next to the door, Zafar read the words that would open the door. Immediately inside the door the PCs discovered an early prototype of a mechanical man like Brass. Beyond that was a cave system. The party decided to explore the cave and soon found the inhabitants as they were set upon by a group of savage mutants. The humanoids were swiftly dispatched by the group, with only Teodolf suffering serious injuries. After healing him, the PCs continued further down into the depths of the cave. Finally, they came upon a wider cavern with 5 small huts. An underground lake filled the back half of the cavern, and a large growth of crystals rising from the lake on a small island. The characters could barely see the skeletal remains of a body on the crystals.