intense carousing, the party found themselves wandering the Wilds again. They were somewhat grumpy, owing vast sums to the City of Fultum, the Thieves' Guild, and the Assassin's Guild in long night of debauchery. Oh - and there were the accusations of horse molestation, too.
They don't take roads anymore, so they didn't catch the attention of yet another green dragon in the sky. This one was patrolling the skies over Barton Hill. Yes, that Barton Hill, the site of the infamous Cube of Force attack. They carefully hid while The Boy's halfling thief - Ferrit - shimmied up a tree.
With the aide of Ferrit's magical glasses, they saw the dragon light inside the walls of Barton Hill - half a mile away. They also saw that the human guards on the wall had been replaced with orc guards.
Tim was livid. The last time they attacked the city, Sai-Lin - Ron's cleric/Magic-user - had talked everyone into not burning the whole place down - just the city hall. Think of the children, was the cleric's plea. But this time it was unanimous - burn the mother to the ground.
Around four months ago - real time - the party found a set of wands that acted almost exactly like the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device in the Portal video game, the Wands of Doors. Suddenly, the entire party remembers that they have the wands (gotta love gamer's selective memories,) and begin to try to figure out how they might work outside of the dungeon in which they were found.
After some Q&A, Sai-Lin determines/remembers that the Wands only work on granite. They have Ferrit eyeball the walls of Barton Hill. Are they granite? I make a roll and give it a one in three chance. Crap. Yes, the walls of Barton Hill are granite.
After looking at the town, they only place they can place a portal hole so it gives a view inside of Barton Hill is on one of the two towers. They can do that, alright, but they need to have portal near to them - and they are not willing to go closer than half a mile near the town.
"Are there any pieces of granite around?" they ask. Some pebbles, yes. But they need a space six feet in radius to get a portal to appear. I let them know there is nothing like that around.
"What about those city walls?" Mervyn's cleric dwarf suddenly pipes up. "There had to be a quarry somewhere around to get that much stone. A granite quarry."
Greeeeat. The frikkin dwarf has turned into frikkin Columbo.
"Okay okay, you find the quarry. It's got all the slabs you'd ever need."
They drag a slab to half-mile mark from the town and place a portal hole on it, then have Ferrit place the other side of the hole on the granite tower. The party then peers down the hole in the slab and sees the city square below.
Thirty orc stand in formation in the square. One one side of the square, the Church of the Lawgiver sits, looking worse for wear. It appears as though the front face of the church has been ripped off. Rubble is on the ground around it, but they can't see directly into the hole in the church from the angle of thier portal.
"Is that hole about the size of a dragon?" one of the players asks.
The characters readied flasks of oil, bows, slings, and torches - grinning with delight - all aiming downward.
(This, dear friends, is what we call a CLIFFHANGER.)