September 1, Tír Na Nóg
It is hard to know what time it is, but we were all weary from the events of the day, particularly the rain. Unfortunately, no rest was to be found in the presence of the Hell Forge. Indira and Sehera left the cave to explore the area, while the rest of us stayed put. Eventually Lyr finished speaking with the creatures—evidently they mistook her for someone else, the individual responsible for freeing their charge—and, since we had not heard from them in hours, sent a message to Sehera.
They had found another cave, home to some comparatively friendly creatures called Fomorians, and we joined them. These strange, malformed (to our eyes at least) beings were put off by our numbers and weapons, but gracious enough to let us stay in their cave for a few hours.
Sehera and Indira left again to explore another spot they had found. I think she Sehera is mad at me. She hasn’t said anything, but she’s not been exactly subtle. Dendera too has done little but glare at me for the past few hours. If they want to be angry at me for following the only path open to us, so be it.
By the time we awoke from our rest, Indira and Sehera had returned. They had found another enclave of fey folk, small creatures called Lilliputians. (We had seen one earlier, when we arrived; Mr. Buckle punted it away like a ball before we had a chance to speak with it.) These little fellows were no mere huddled refugees, but a revolutionary cell, waiting for their time to strike Siúlóir. Seeing potential allies in Indira and Sehera, they gave them a talisman with which to summon their aid and some delicious crumpets.
We returned to the cave of the guardian creatures and found our shoes ready. They fit, though are somewhat difficult to move in. We carried them in my bag of holding until we reached the Bród Neamh.
Indira sniped a redcap standing guard, levitated up to the tower, tied off a rope, and the rest of us climbed up. With the iron shoes on our feet, we found we could walk on the walls and ceiling as easily as the floor, with whichever surface we stood on becoming the new direction of gravity, provided one foot was in contact with the surface. Jumping from a wall would send us crashing to the ceiling. Floor? It’s all very disorienting.
We proceeded up the spiraling central stairway, from the top of the tower which was now the bottom towards the bottom of the tower, which is now the top.
In iron shoes, stealth was never an option, our clanging footsteps echoing through the tower. Eventually, the redcaps in the tower heard us and started hurling invectives, then rocks and filth at us. After Dendera was struck, nearly knocking her from the stairs, we took a detour into one of the floors and stumbled across a room containing a statue, holding an extravagant scabbard. It was obviously trapped, but easily disarmed, so we took the item. We also found a parchment; while marked with illegible text, it was obviously a simplified map of the tower. Some interesting symbols caught our eyes, and we resolved to check on those rooms.
Instead of returning to the central stair, we decided to try walking on the outside of the tower. The boots still worked on the exterior, but as we ascended we began to hear a rumbling, something coming closer from around the girth of the tower. As the rumbling came close, we went back inside and ascended the stairs some more, walking upside down to keep the redcaps from hitting us with their various projectiles.
We heard them clamoring to bring something that would foil our clever and entirely anticipated tactic, a large pearlescent ooze they dropped onto the stairs from a cauldron. It spread, engulfing both sides of the stairs, and began to roll towards us. When it was nearly upon us, we darted into one of the floors, the ooze close behind us. The others ran as fast as they could up the tower, but I lingered, a plan forming.
The rumbling of what we reasoned to be the tower’s external security features growing louder, I lured the ooze along with me, keeping out of its reach. Two massive stone faces rounded the tower, tongues or arms stretching from their mouths with grasping hands.
I held my pace until all three foes were upon me, dodging their grasping attacks until, with a feint, I redirected the ooze’s slapping pseudopods to the face. I dashed back, into a window as the stone faces converged not on me, but on the ooze.
I caught up with my companions, who had discovered one of the landmarks from the map, a room containing murals and a stone device like the one that brought us here.
Distressingly, one of the murals depicted a scene resembling the same prophecy we found in Zarjasz al-Ulaq.
We figured out how to activate the device and found it sent us to another room in the tower. Unfortunately, this room was off the barracks of the redcaps. Through open doors, we saw them gathered at the staircase, waiting for us to show ourselves again. There were far to many for us to fight on our own.
Taking off our shoes, we tried to sneak past, to get to a window, but did not notice a redcap hiding in the shadows. Before Feng slew him, he was able to get off a warning, and the redcaps began to pour in.
Remembering her new allies, Sehera summoned the Lilliputians, who arrived within seconds in the form of owls. Though the redcaps were larger and stronger, the Lilliputians had numbers in their favor, and gave us a window to continue on.
We found our way to a large chamber, a great hall or the like. Here, Siúlóir waited, magnificent and terrible…