Tower of the Archmage's Happy Terrainsgiving Contest. He's giving away a very ruin tower. All you need to do is write an encounter that would happen at the tower, follow him if your aren't already and then post a comment on his blog. All entries must be in by the 10th of this month. I'm combining this Sleestak Sunday with his contest.
Twenty years ago the Hills of Stratford were lined with a series of forts built to defend against the invading armies of the goblinoids. After a few years and several successful adventuring parties the lose organization of the goblinoid army crumbled as their leaders were killed, their treasures looted and the temples brought down upon their heads. The forts no longer served a purpose in the eyes of the nobility. With no army to defend against, the forts were abandon. They were to be destroyed so as not to provide refuge for bandits or allow a rival a foothold within their land. This was not done.
One of the most remote outposts known as Starges Tower stood against the Bleak Mountains. With the constant wind, the barren landscape and months on end of isolation, the soldiers of Starges slowly devolve. They're commander, Jeron, was assigned the post as a token. He returned from a campaign in the desert with a religious zealousness that embarrassed the most dedicated priests. Some say it was heat stroke. Others said he was possessed by demons. Despite this, his military methods were highly effective and his family too influential for the nobility to dismiss him. Instead they stationed the volatile commander at the Tower of Starges where his madness was refined.
Jeron brought with him a book he'd found in the desert. A book of nightmares. At first the soldiers thought it a joke and passed the time coming up with nicknames for Jeron. But as the months passed and the resolve deteriorated Jeron offered them a solace. He offered them a purpose beyond standing the wall staring out at nothing. His soldiers memorized passages of a language they did not speak. Jeron led them through rituals which they did not understand, but it gave them distraction and a sense of purpose.
After twenty-seven months with their only contact being the seasonal supplies, a messenger arrived. His message, the soldiers were to return and the tower destroyed. The messenger's words barely crossed his lips before he was killed. His body stretched out on the barren ground as they preformed the final ceremony in the sacred book.
A few months after the initial messenger was sent and no soldiers returned, a small group was sent. The family of Jeron wanted to know the reason why everyone else had returned but him and his men. When the group arrived they found the tower still standing, but abandon. They're investigation found the soldiers had left everything behind as if they had left in the middle of the day. Food sat half eaten, clothes still resting on wash boards and a letter half written sat upon Jeron's desk. The letter, though made of recognizable letters was not comprehensible.
The small group decided to leave in the morning. Most were soldiers at one time and had the sense to post watch. None of them slept.
As the night fell and the howling winds increased, Jeron and his men emerged from the ground transformed. No longer bearing any resemblance to man, Jeron's skin had grown scales, eyes large and black, hands replaced with jagged pinchers. His men the same. They came upon the terrified visitors and one by one slaughtered them.
In the morning the bodies of the men were stretched out upon the barren landscape as an offering to a god whose name they did not speak.