Verse’s careful eyes picked out several traps as we carefully advanced into the disquieting gloom. Braziers from a long-past civilization glowed with an unhealthy green light, but even standing next to one the oppressive darkness seemed to curl around every feature. a hum like electricity pulsed from around the next corner, and we readied ourselves for whatever the oldwalls would throw at us next.

Surrounded by large, floating, arcane glyphs, a sphere of energy held something trapped in the middle of the room, cloud-like and angry, constantly testing the walls of its jail. A corpse lay below it, a Regent of Stalwart judging by the armour, and small tethers of wispy ephemera connected the body to the massive animated haze above. Near the base of the floating sigils small recesses in the stone could be seen, like odd-shaped keyholes. It didn’t take Eb’s arcane knowledge for us to realize what we would be searching for next.

Though they were called the “oldwalls,” the structures inside were more than mere masonry – hallways, stairs, courtyards, and side passages were all contained within the simple exterior. The oldwalls had a logic all their own; some say to walk within them would be to step half-way into the shadowy home of the Banes themselves, into another world from which most travelers would never return.

Somehow, through the twists and turns that seemed physically impossible, the ancient stone barriers and traps, and the truly horrible number of Banes, we found ourselves in the Blade Grave Runic Hall, almost identical to the halls which sat below the two other spires. Pulling out the charcoal rubbings Eb had been taking of various inscriptions throughout the oldwalls, I traced the mystic symbols in the proper sequence to activate the spire’s portal, which lifted us impossibly high, as had the others.

The ground beneath us fell away, and I gave myself in to the warmth of the energy which surrounded me. No longer frightening, it was empowering, almost friendly. The tower reacted to my presence and I felt at home – though the lands below remained wild and uncontrolled, scorched and ravaged by the Edict of Storms, here I was the master of the spire, safe from all harm.

Utilizing the spire’s fantastical portal system, I returned to the Mountain Spire to collect Sirin and Kills-in-Shadow, to introduce them to our new holdings. The secrets of the oldwalls may wait for us below, but for tonight we can rest, comfortably and without concern.