The party woke up in a state of confusion and nausea, as though from a night of heavy drinking. They were wearing nothing but plain white apprentice robes and had no other equipment. After being shuffled into Marvin the Wizard’s meeting room, they mostly stood around in a daze as Marvin informed them that their first task was to go northwest and retrieve a black chestnut jewelery box that his former wizard competitor had owned. “It contains something valuable”, he said.
Luin Linnod did his best to coax more information from the wizard, but Marvin turned out to be cranky and absent-minded. He tolerated the questions, but wasn’t terribly helpful. He didn’t really seem to care much if some of the party members died off, so long as they returned the box. Eventually Luin convinced Marvin to forward their monthly pay in order that the party could procure some equipment. Most of the party members agreed to this arrangement. The Half-Ogre, Quarky, merely ripped the leg off of a table to use as a club. Gladenberry, the Gelfling, wasn’t paying attention and did not seem too concerned about equipment. Marvin took a ten percent cut. When Marvin refused to part with an extra spell book for any reasonable sum, Beta Ray Ken made some snide comments. Marvin threatened to wipe him out of existence and Beta Ray eventually stopped baiting him. Marvin got bored with the conversation and had his ogre-ish assistants shuffle the party out the door.
The party did some initial scouting of the area and determined that a party composed of almost exactly the same types of people as in their own group had traveled in a northwest direction quite a long time ago. Not sure what to make of this, the party members decided to ignore it for now and headed to Marvintown. In Marvintown the party made met Gregor. Gregor owned the only tavern and the best general store in the area. He spoke with different party members and sold them equipment at reasonable rates. Gregor didn’t know anything about a wizard that used to live northwest of Marvin’s tower, but he figured that there were a number of ruins all throughout the Gaptooth Mountains. Beta Ray Ken started making trouble with Gregor and Mulligan rescued him from a certain beating. The party went to the tavern for a while and asked the Bartender for more information about this tower. Nobody had heard of a second wizard’s tower in the area. The party agreed to meet back at Marvin’s tower in about a day.
Luin went looking for signs of druids in the surrounding area, but none were apparent. It was clear the surrounding countryside was rather tame.
The party met back at Marvin’s tower and realized that the dwarf had disappeared. They decided that the dwarf could look out for himself and continued to search for the ruined tower. A day and a half of following the prior party’s trail led them to a clearing in the woods. The ruined shell of a tower dominated the scene. There was very little left of the tower except its outer walls, a couple partial floors, and the cellar. Luin quickly discovered skeletons of orcs and of the previous party which had apparently met its end here. He also noticed a strange winged monkey staring down at him from atop the tower ruins. The monkey looked at them with a knowing gaze and then took to the air and flew off east.
Luin and Slim, the elf thief, discovered a trap door in the basement. It opened into a dark hallway. Beta Ray Ken cast light on a gold coin so that Quarky could use it to see down the hall. Quarky set off several arrow traps that plunked into his thick flesh, but they didn’t hurt that much, so Quarky kept walking to the end of the hallway. The hallway opened up into a large cavern that had been smoothed in places by humanoid hands. A quickly-moving stream flowed from the left hand wall, under a bridge, and to the right. The bridge was clearly old and rickety, and it was too small for Quarky. Luin saw some animal-looking figure crouching at the far wall. He thought it might be a bear, so he move carefully over the bridge and approached it. Unfortunately, the animal turned out to be an old decrepit minotaur. The minotaur charged Luin and barely missed him with a massive head butt.
Meanwhile, Beta Ray decided the bridge might not be safe. He asked Quarky to throw him across the river. Unfortunately, Beta Ray forgot that Quarky is strong, mean, and stupid. Quarky launched Beta Ray with all of his considerable strength and Beta Ray plowed into the ground on the opposite bank. He was severely pummeled by his crash landing and couldn’t move. Mulligan ran to his aid while Quarky and Kevin laughed. Slim snuck across the bridge behind Bella. Gladenberry took a running start, jumped high in the air, and glided across the river. She poked Beta Ray with her finger and asked him if he was okay.
Meanwhile, Luin began facing off with the Minotaur.