As a fog descended over the forest, the heroes discovered a Thrax outpost at the foothills of the Spine of the Dragon. There they met Commander Faust, a drunken old soldier with a hefty supply of dwarven ale to compensate for his lack of ambition. He told them of a shrieking monster that brought the fog and now haunted the river, which they would need to pass if they wanted to reach the tower in the distance.
After telling Commander Faust of the nearby Blackwall encampment, he decided to take his men back to Thrax to warn the prince. Having no other options, the heroes descended deeper into the forest toward the river and met a Sea Hag which attempted to barter with them. Instead, the heroes attacked and forced the Sea Hag to submit. She offered a magical item in exchange for her life to be spared. The heroes decided to let her live and received a Ring of Protection +1 in exchange.
The heroes found the tower abandoned and completely devoid of life — except for the occasional giant spider and lurking Shadow. They spent three to four days in the first floor alone, resting between battles attempting to defeat the Shadow.
After a thorough exploration of the first floor, they found a battleaxe with a magical aura that was capable of physically attacking the Shadow. After defeating the Shadow, they moved upstairs and disengaged (or set off) traps as they ventured further into the tower temple.
In the second floor they found a priest’s journal that described the method of entry to the Chamber of Malum, a sacred area of the tower temple the priests used to communicate with the god of death. It also suggested that only allies of Malum would be given entry without being burned to death.
The heroes also found a rack of potions, initially unidentified, and a dagger in a small enclave called the Spine Dagger. The priest’s journal revealed that the Spine Dagger must be used in a ritual sacrifice to gain entry to Malum’s chamber.
Instead, the heroes found a scroll with a Levitate spell on it and used it to raise a concrete dais in the basement (after the cleric successfully wiped out 30 undead zombies with his divine ability to channel energy).
The dais took them to the aerie of the tower, where they discovered the bodies of the priests and several artifacts: a rod, a bowl, and a book written in an ancient language. In the Chamber of Malum, they spoke to Malum through a skylight in the chamber. He showed them the Heaven’s Shield, hidden within a tall mirror on the opposite wall. When the heroes asked for it, Malum darkened the skylight and released a Bearded Devil from the mirror.
The heroes destroyed the darkened skylight, allowing light to filter back into the room and injure the demon. After enough pressure (and suffering infernal injuries from the demon’s large glaive), they managed to defeat the demon and enter into the mirror’s sanctum. They retrieved the Heaven’s Shield and were transported back to the tower’s entrance.
As they regained consciousness, something in the Dietrich Von FreiBurg’s backpack started chuckling…