How To Get Here
This is where the Bull Tower quest (rescue Alaric) takes place.
Your companion is Cveta.
Knights are found randomly around the area.
The boss of this quest is Lieutenant Corishev.
You are standing in the main courtyard of Bull Tower, flanked by high walls on three sides and the old watchtower to the north. The gates - the only way in or out of the old fortress - lie to the south, watched over by the two guards whom Cveta ‘persuaded’ to let you in. The effects of age and neglect are clearly visible in the appearance of the grounds - the old training field is overgrown with weeds and wildflowers, and while the walls are still solid, bits of crumbling masonry lie at the base.
Dumped not too far from the gate - perhaps due to its clearly hefty weight - is a gigantic marble statue of Preston, the bottom wrapped in canvas and secured with rope for transport. This clearly isn’t its final destination. The artist has embellished Preston quite a bit - well, a lot. The man’s apparently replaced a good fifteen pounds of fat with muscle since you last saw him, if the statue’s to be believed. However, the ground beneath it isn’t quite even - probably an oversight of whoever offloaded it here, one that could perhaps be turned to your advantage…
From your hiding spot, you can see a set of animal pens - to call them stables would be too generous - to the west, and a sheltered courtyard to the east.
- Enter tower
- Animal pens
- Slip out
You give Preston’s statue another look-over. If not for the fact that you know better, the depiction of the man could almost be called noble. The statue’s forward pose, the pure white marble it’s made of, the literally chiseled features… it’s absolutely nothing like the Preston who burst into the warehouse and claimed credit for Miranda’s catch for himself.
A pretentious statue for a pretentious man. Very fitting. The more you look at it, though, the more you feel it would look, much, much better in several pieces. With the way it’s balanced right now, wrapped up and bound on uneven ground, it’s truly itching for a good hurting. Just a little push in the right direction…
Off to the east of the main tower building, this small courtyard is roofed, presumably to keep the wind and rain off carts, carriages and wagons parked in it. However, age has caused the roof to fall apart in places, allowing moonlight to shine through holes in the old masonry work.
The dust on the wagons’ wheels is still fresh - you guess that they can’t have been here more than a few hours. With sides painted a dark gray, presumably to be less visible at night, it’s unlikely that this is just another trading caravan.
One of the wagons has its rear end facing toward you, and you can see that it’s largely empty - at least of any visible cargo. If anything was brought here, it’s been offloaded to who knows where.
Four guards have been posted by the wagons - clearly the home guard while everyone else’s out on the road; they fidget and glance about nervously from time to time, but don’t budge from their posts. If you want to get at the wagons, you’ll have to find a way to deal with them first.
- Search wagons
- Burn wagons
These pens look like they used to be proper stables, but time and neglect have eaten away at the supporting timbers. A few serviceable stalls remain, but… well, it wouldn’t be right to call them stables without a single horse in it.
The prevailing smell in the air is one of mold and old dirt rather than that of animals; any feeding or water troughs have long since decayed into dust, with hooks for tack and other riding gear long rusted down to brown stubs. Even with the wealthy royal guard secretly occupying Bull Tower, the building is not getting much use - they must do most of their travel on foot.
The only part of these pens which could be considered relatively new are the latches on the stall doors, which although not exactly shiny, have yet to accumulate the thick coat of rust and grime that covers every other metal object in the vicinity.
The Main Hall of Bull Tower
Is just inside the archway of the main entrance. Walls where banners and tapestries once hung now lie bare, their only adornment dust gathering in the cracks between the stones. Built to accommodate the hundreds who were once garrisoned here, it now lies empty, its expansiveness causing even the lightest of your footsteps to echo in the darkness.
While most of the staircases are too precarious to navigate, you do note that there are footprints on two sets of steps: one spiraling upward into the darkness of the main watchtower, and one leading downward below ground level. Similarly, most of the doors have been boarded up and nailed shut, but there are a few which look like they’ve seen some use of late.
Behind you lies the exit to the main courtyard, should you need to beat a hasty retreat.
You creep down the cold stone stairs that lead into the darkness, with Cveta following closely behind, feeling your way down the forbidding passageway. This isn’t a true dungeon - Bull Tower was never meant to hold prisoners for any length of time - but the guards of old would have needed a secure place to lock up ruffians and miscreants they picked up off the King’s Road. The first thing you notice is that the stone floor is glistening with fluids. Most of the mess is clear - probably sweat - but there are faint traces of red and white in the slick mix that spreads outward from the centre. What little furniture there is in the room has been broken; what used to be a couple of wooden chairs lie in splinters, and even the bare-bones metal jail bed has been torn off its supports where it was once affixed on the wall.
From the outside, the ancient watchtower of Bull Tower looks proud and strong in spite of its age. On the inside, it’s just dusty and claustrophobic. The long, spiral staircase up to the top is enough to take the wind out of anyone, and leads to a landing and a ladder that in turn leads up to the belfry. Flickering light filters down from above. A peek upward through the hatch reveals that there’s a single guard posted in the watchtower, peering intently into the darkness that lies beyond the walls and certainly not looking for danger coming up from below. All the better for you, then, if you decided to take him out.
The remainder of the watchtower’s nest is visible from below if you angle yourself properly; the room’s not very big. A few flickering lanterns, an old but comfortable chair, an ancient steel hook from which an enormous bell hangs, complete with striker and clapper. Strictly functional and utilitarian, as it should be.
- Guard-You can fight or have Cveta lull him to sleep
There’s no sign of what this room used to be, but what it is right now is a small office. As devoid of embellishments as the main hall, this small, musty room is adorned with a serviceable desk and chair, as well as a chest of drawers leaning against the wall; searching through the latter only turns up a number of carefully-wrapped quill pens, inkwells, and blank pieces of paper. The royal guard may do their paperwork here, but it’s clear that they’re smart enough to not leave incriminating evidence lying about for anyone passing by to swipe.
The only other interesting detail in this room is a rather impressive-looking safe set into the wall, probably intended to be hidden behind a painting or something as such. At first glance, the safe looks very well crafted, perhaps so well that even Terry would find it quite the challenge. You’ll have to get closer in order to inspect it in the dim light, though.
- Safe- unlocking it without setting off the alarm is based on Int/Dex check (with bonuses for Rogue levels)
This must be where the guards are keeping the contraband until it’s eventually passed on to the high society of Rigard. Stacked in whatever open space is available, the royal guard has turned what was once a mess or meeting hall into a makeshift warehouse that’s surprisingly neat and orderly. There’s far too much in the way of ill-gotten gains for it to have come in with a single caravan - this has clearly been going on for some time.
Wandering amidst the boxes, sacks and barrels - the vast majority of them holding luxury goods of the sort no commoner would have the means to buy, the sort that’s heavily taxed - it’s hard to guess exactly how much in the way of levies is going unpaid on all these.
There’s even a small potted plant on top of one of the stacks of crates, looking a little unhealthy in the dim room. On closer inspection, it’s a stem cutting of some kind of plant with blue flower buds, and someone’s scrawled ‘Handle carefully! For Preston!’ on the pot in charcoal.