As the next day dawned the party returned to the tower to investigate as the Mayor had said. Heading through the town, they came across a hunter handing out game to the townsfolk. After a brief conversation, the hunter joined them for he also wished to talk to the priests and they headed onwards to the tower.
The group found it guarded by a well-armoured man with a large sword who identified himself as Dal, brother of the guard they had beaten up the day before. Naturally he was not inclined to help them and after some failed attempts at diplomacy, Dal told them to leave or suffer the consequences. The party left, deciding to investigate the area for an alternate route into the tower. Remembering they still had the key stolen from the guard in their last attempt, Mafi decided to try to fool the guard into leaving his post by telling him his sister was in trouble and calling for his help. Dal, already predisposed to not trusting Mafi, the one responsible for his sister’s injuries in the first place, wasn’t much inclined to believe him, but Mafi was so earnest and convincing that he decided to leave, but not without taking Mafi with him.
Whilst Dal marched Mafi to his sisters house, the others unlocked the clave’s gate and decided what to do. Already aware of the poisonous plants and the sleeping light of the grass, the party was wary but NeeHi had planned for this in the morning, prising up some floorboards from the inn the had so kindly been allowed to stay in for free and used them to maneuver over the plants without issue. Next, they tried to scale the walls but eventually failed, the light sending them falling to the ground unconscious.
Meanwhile, Mafi and Dal had arrived at Hataniah’s place. She was clearly fine and, seeing Mafi, she flew into a rage as Dal readied his weapon, realising he had been duped. Mafi, thinking quickly, used a paralysis ray to incapacitate Dal and Hataniah, think her brother now dead, killed by the man who assaulted her, grabbed his sword and lunged for the jack, slashing at him before he could get away. Mafi dodged and ran, and Hataniah pursued him, ready to bring him to justice – once and for all. Ducking and weaving through streets, Mafi tried to out run the guardwoman, but she knew these streets better and managed to keep pace, slashing at his back and despite his nimbleness, occasionally landing a glancing blow, wounding him. Mafi pulled out a cypher, a sonic detonator, to drop behind him and injure the guardwoman giving him time to escape, but in a stroke of bad luck fumbled the throw, kicking the detonator as it fell and running straight into the blast as it detonated in front of him, deafening him. Hataniah leaped upon him, but, not wishing to kill a man knocked prone in cold blood, she kicked him unconscious and carried his slumped form to the local cells, locking away his equipment before storming off to the Mayor to tell him she was right all along and the party could not be trusted.
Whilst this was going on, NeeHi and Riari awoke, joined by the mysterious nano who refused to give his name and before the grass to emit a pulse again, NeeHi picked the lock of the tower and the bundled inside. Inside, the tower was dark and silent and near the door there was a panel adorned with odd glyphs and switches. Several crates lined the floor and a iron staircase spiraled up to the next level. After some investigation, the nano deciphered the meaning of the glyphs and operation of the panel, turning on the lights and disabling the security system. Whilst NeeHi opened a crate and found some old, but delicious red fruit the nano found a secret switch, revealing a hidden panel behind which there were a hundred shins. NeeHi pocketed a few whilst the others left them, not wishing to steal from the Aeon Priests.
On the next floor the group discovered some experiments and cyphers, but the room looked like it had not been used in some time, with no sign of the priests, who the guards had thought were still here trying to find a cure, anywhere.
As the group searched, Mafi awoke in his cell, his equipment gone and head aching. Outside, he overheard villagers talking and gossiping about the strangers in the village and how they’d been breaking into the tower, disrupting the priests work and beating up the town guards. Speaking out through his cell window, Mafi told them he wasn’t convinced that the priests were even in the tower and that they had brought medicine for the people and yet the priests and guards and done nothing but prevent them from delivering it. As grumpy and on edge as the townsfolk were from the illness and lack of sleep, Mafi’s speech had the ring of truth and sparked the fires of revolution in the gossiping folk. “Yeah! We should drag the priests out of that tower and make them help us!” “They Mayor and the guards are hoarding that medicine to themselves, they want to watch us all die while they sit pretty with their priest friends, high and mighty!”. Anger and rumours spread like wildfire and before he knew it, Mafi had become the figurehead of a riot, a lynch-mob forming to drag the priests and the Mayor from their homes.
Whilst this was happening, the hunter appeared, having spotted Mafi being carried to the cells earlier and now having overheard the riot forming. He walked into the cells, finding the building unlocked, but Mafi’s gear was not to be found. After some investigation he found some keys though they did not fit the cell doors, instead fitting in a series of locked cabinet drawers by the prison entrance. Trying a few of the cabinets, he found them empty though one was stuck, caught on something in the drawer below. Whilst he looked harder, rioter entered the prison, looking for equipment and weapons they could use, smashing apart the cabinets before the hunter’s very eyes, they found Mafi’s gear and began to take it before some quick shouts from Mafi and some action from the hunter reclaimed the equipment. Using his hammer and a pry-bar, Mafi knocked out the lock and freed himself, then, wishing to try and calm the riot and gather their attention, he hammered on the redstone walls of the prison, but by bad luck hit one of black lines that ran through the rock, causing the wall to split perfectly and fall inwards, almost crushing his foot. Shocked by the loud bang, the rioters paused as Mafi and the hunter strode out into the crowd, trying to calm them and talk to the Mayor, explaining the situation over the roars of the rioters and how they needed to enter the tower and find out what was happening, as the Mayor had agreed the day before. After some negotiation, much to the chagrin of Hataniah and Dal who had joined the Mayor, the Mayor agreed and the rioters dispersed, grumbling, the town simmering at boiling point.
Mafi and the hunter joined the others in the tower and they continued searching, up to the final floor. Searching what was obviously living quarters, they found several oddities and a journal of an Aeon Priest. The journal posited that the sickness was perhaps not like a normal illness but was a transmission from beyond the sky, an ancient voice that was calling out for help that their dreams couldn’t make sense of. The journal talked of going to the dome in the desert to investigate, the same dome the nano had dreamt of so the party decided they would follow that lead, though they were still confused about ho the priests had left without anyone noticing.
As it was getting dark, the group decided to gather some supplies and then head of in the light of the next morning. Luckily, Mafi had some pills that brought pleasant dreams and so after distributing them to the group they all slept well, feeling refreshed. The next day, they explained the plan to the Mayor and they were bid good luck and warned that returning here would be unwise, the voice of the brother and sister guards echoing threats.