Eberron Incursion

Pieces of the Sky

We set out from the camp in the morning with a bounce in our step. Things seemed to be going well. Our group had gained some confidence from its journey thus far. I spent the morning studying my spells while the others packed their stuff up. So that I wouldn’t delay the group from starting I cast a spell of Unseen Servant so that it might pack up my items and take down my tent while I finished studying. I also took the time to refill my flasks and waterskin at a stream flowing nearby. On my way back to make sure everything was packed in its proper place I noticed Elf admiring some of the skulls that he had been collecting along the way. It was very strange and somewhat eerie. What is with his fascination with skulls? And the daggers?

As we traveled, the path grew easier for the horses to traverse. There seemed to be a good deal of traffic following this route. No doubt many little kobold feet made it. As the sun began to set beyond the treeline, we arrived at the entrance to the caves. We let the kobolds down from where they had been sitting upon our horses and the began to excitedly screech in draconic. We quickly dismounted leaving Hammer to tether the horses while we ran in following the growing group of kobolds.

We followed the group in as it moved further into the caves. The caves were rather large and expansive. Everywhere we looked we could see little kobolds scurrying about as they saw us entering, with Aiden in front holding the statue. The group of kobolds in front of us were growing even larger. They stopped suddenly though and an older, gruff looking kobold stepped out in front of them. This must be Chief Sootscales.

I introduced the group and then asked, “Are we speaking to Chief Sootscale?” The kobold was larger than all the others surrounding him and his garb was covered in bright trinkets, mostly junk. He swelled up, to a surprising height I should say, with pride and replied, “I am Chief Sootscale. Thank you brave warriors for bringing back what belongs to Sootscales. Give it to me that I may take care of it.” I relayed the message to Aiden who up till now had been holding on to the statue. At my gesturing, he walked up to the Chief and handed over the Ivory Statue.

The Chief hoisted the statue up in the air for all the kobolds to see. “Here is the statue!” The kobolds now numbered in well over a hundred and began chattering excitedly in draconic. I was confused because they seemed to be waiting for something. Would the statue do something? It wasn’t magical; how could it? Suddenly, the chieftain threw the upraised statue down. As the beautiful statue struck the hard ground it shattered into hundreds of fragmented shards. The kobolds roared as the chieftain shouted, “No more curse! Let us now go and kill the shaman!” Having thus spoken, scores of kobolds followed their Chief down the winding caves.

Elf and I exchanged surprised glances as we explained to the group what was going on. Hammer merely grunted, while Aiden suggested following them and Milo began hoping for some loot. With the exception of Hammer, who stayed with our horses, moved through the caves which were of a surprisingly good size. The bluish-tinged rocks above our heads had patches of dark moss growing about them. The huge caves had to have been made by nature for the smooth surfaces could not have been made by a creature, or so I hope. The holes all about us, however, had definitely been burrowed by kobold claws. We followed the sound of the band of kobolds, winding through the system of caves till we reached the lair of the shaman.

By the time we entered the expansive room, the fighting was over. The strange kobold was already dead. I say strange because the creature was like no other kobold I had ever seen. In size he was normal and in looks just an ordinary kobold except for the fact that he had purple skin. Luckily, the kobolds wanted nothing to do with the shaman’s items, referring to the loot as “cursed junk”. This was fine for us and we began rummaging through the strewn items lying about the room.

Fortunately for myself he was something of a wizardly fellow. I took the initiative of investigating what was actually on the dead kobolds person. I found a spellbook, which with some investigation and help from Milo, did not seem to be warded. He also had a scroll of Fly, which I was delighted about. Such marvelous items. He had a coin purse which I deposited with the other loot but I was not nearly so concerned with the coin.

Though useful, and certainly nice, it is not my goal to become wealthy. Power is much more important. I don’t particularly care for power-mongering. I seek power for a goal. I have a mission and one day, I will see it accomplished. In fact, I have two and through the power I attain, they will be done.

The little kobold had also gathered various other things, some odds-and-ends, baubles, and deposited in various places, he had thousands of coins lying about. At one point Milo and Elf were practically swimming in the coins. On the shaman I had also found a journal which seemed to tell the creature’s story. As the others began to celebrate I took some time and off in a more secluded area, or at least as secluded as one could get in a cave full of hundreds of kobolds, I read the kobold’s tale.

Essentially, he was not a kobold. He was a particularly nasty gnome who had died but was regretfully reincarnated by some fellow gnomes who in fact did not know how cruel the wretched creature was. This explains why he was purple, for in his previous life he had purple hair as a gnome. After being reincarnated as a kobold, the miserable wretch began moving from tribe to tribe offering his services and basically instigating wars that could not be won, which after a time resulted in the destruction of the tribe. At such a point, he would simply move to another tribe and restart the madness. He was somewhat mad and depressed and should he ever reach a really low point he decided to himself that he would use the scroll of fly to go as high as he could and then simply end it. How pathetic a creature.

The kobolds threw a large celebration due to the tribe no longer being cursed. They were quite kind to us, and offered us plenty to eat. Their idea of good food, however, was not quite the same as our own idea. They did have a wealth of Moon Radishes, though, and I did eat more than a few of them. Milo even managed to scrounge up some more thoroughly cooked meat. I never did find out what that meat was. Milo said something about being better off not knowing. That is slightly disgusting. All in all the kobolds were very hospitable and the surprising change of pace was welcomed.

With the new day came renewed responsibility and our business pressed us to continue on. We spoke with Chief Sootscale and he told us the area in which the “thingy” fell from the sky. “If you want the thingy though you must fight with the big bandit men. They took it to their fort. If you want to go there, we have two brave kobold warriors that will lead you there. They good. They fight.” The chief motioned to his left and a pair of similar-looking kobolds stepped out. They puffed out their little chests in a not-so-intimidating stance. But they did look quick and agile, as the last fight alongside some kobolds had proved. “I ”/campaigns/eberron-incursion/characters/click" class=“wiki-content-link”>Click. This is Clack. We show you were you want to go." We thanked the chief and after gathering all of our gear, as well as a few more of those Moon Radishes for the trail, we headed out.

The two kobolds led us in the direction we were told. As we approached the river, we were reminded of the fey creatures’ warning about the wyrms. Aiden took point upon his horse followed by Hammer. Milo meandered a bit to the side so that should danger arise he might could flank the opposition. Elf and I simply followed behind Hammer. It is strange that in an area so quaint that such danger could lurk. The tall trees, which otherwise would have been lush and beautiful, seemed looming and suffocating. The lulling sounds of nature around us seemed to mock us. Even Silmemor seemed jittery. But nothing happened as we approached the river. It seemed we had simply gotten nervous for nothing.

We prepared to cross the shallow river. Aiden began to urge his mount to cross the water as I leaned over and patted Silmemor on the neck reassuring him that all was well when out of absolutely nowhere a pair of wyrms appeared. One lunged at Aiden, swatting and striking him across his shield. The other moved on Elf, but the quick elf managed to evade the wyrm. Milo slid behind the wyrm and attempted to stab at a vulnerable spot on the creature’s weak underbelly. But he missed and his stab struck only air. The kobolds attacked the second wyrm as well, both of them stabbing at it and causing the wyrm to back up a bit. Elf cast about and struck the creature with a psionic blast, but the creature slowed only momentarily. I let fly the bolts from my crossbows at the creature attacking Aiden. The first struck the creature in the chest and the second hit lower in its abdomen. It let out a vicious roar and looked in my direction but made no move. Hammer took his hammer in hand and rushed to join Aiden, who had drawn the creatures attention back to him, due to the gash his sword had drawn across the wyrm.

As Hammer closed on the monster, it tried to bite him but it could not manage to find a hold on the warforged. The other creature tried clawing at Elf who got a slight gash from its glancing blow. Milo tried once more to strike the wyrm from behind and this time his efforts proved successful. His sword plunged deeply into the wyrm’s soft underbelly and the creature gave one last roar of defiance before succumbing to the deadly wound.

I holstered my crossbows and then drawing Ky’ceen, I cast Magic Missile at the second wyrm. The magical forces left my hand and arced towards the monster, striking the beast in its side bursting into a bright display of color. Aiden followed up with a solid slash across the wyrms chest. The best stumbled back before collapsing in a heap. Milo searched around the area the wyrms descended from, at which point he found their nest. Nearby we found a a skeleton wearing a Scale-mail suit of armor. Surprisingly, Aiden piped up excitedly. This was particularly strange as he almost never spoke out to try and acquire treasure. Because of this I was certainly fine with letting him have it. And since none of the others really were trained to wear it, they were fine with it too.

We moved on, coaxing the kobolds to lead us to the fort. It was a few hours farther beyond the river.

…….. To be Continued

- from the journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel

Moon Radishes
Moon Radishes

With the arrival of the militia came our friends. Much to our surprise we did not see Milo alongside Lillian and Runyasar. Instead there was a half-elf who looked very familiar and very much like a thief. We were quickly told that this was in fact Milo. Milo they said! We asked what happened but he said he didn’t want to talk about it. Of course though we pressed him on the matter. Even Lillian and Runyasar have no idea how that it happened except that they know for certain that it is indeed Milo. It certainly seemed like the self-assured, roguish Milo. All that we could get out of him had something to do with a witch, a drunken dwarf, and a potted flower. That just goes to show you that you can’t trust a rogue. They’ll always get into something.

However, with the arrival of the militia and our hands freed of the bandit we turned our attention to heading for the fallen object. Lillian and Runyasar decided to stick around and help the militia with some difficulties they were having. We went on our way ahead of them. The horses would certainly come in handy. In picking our horses I found myself drawn to a black stallion with a white patch on its chest shaped like a diamond. I have already settled on a name. I shall call him Silmemor, which in elvish means Moonlight Black. It seemed fitting with his dark, shining coat.

We traveled in the general direction of the fallen ship or crystal, whatever it may be. We were careful to be on the lookout for any bandits. As we got closer to where the bandits were supposed to be located, we heard some strange groaning noises. The newer and bigger Milo offered to check it out and dismounted. He disappeared silently into the trees and within a few moments returned. He was still just as silent, I have to admit. “Its a couple of Kobolds. Looks like they’ve been eating something.” Curiosity struck us. Aiden, Elf, and myself decided to try and talk with the Kobolds. Elf and I can both speak draconic so it might help in reasoning with the little creatures. Hammer would stay with the horses and Milo would go around and flank the Kobolds through the woods.

The Kobolds had apparently gorged themselves so much that they failed to even notice our approach. Elf and myself spoke out to them as we approached with arms raised, telling them that we meant no harm. We only wished to talk. Upon finally noticing us, they all four quickly jumped up, at which point they all groaned from the effort. As they recognized we spoke in Draconic, they relaxed somewhat.

“These are our radishes. You go find your own,” one of them spoke. He seemed to be the leader of the group. We told him that we didn’t want any of his radishes." That helped even more. Concern left their faces. “We want to know if you saw the big stone fall from the sky.” He paused for a moment. “Yes, we saw that thing falling from the sky. It was big. It beyond the other big people.” We asked him who he meant. “The big people over the water that have taken our statue. They are bad.” We asked about the statue and they told us of how it was stolen by the bandits. “Would you be able to take us where it fell?” The kobold thought for another moment. “We don’t know where it fell. But our chief knows.” In other words, the kobold wanted us to help them in exchange for them taking us to the chief.

We discussed it amongst ourselves. We could go on without helping them, but we would hardly know where we would be going. With the help of the kobolds, it would certainly be easier. And wiping out another band of the bandits would certainly help the region. So we three agreed. “We will help you,” Elf said. “Can you tell us about the bandits?” They said the numbers sometimes changed but there were usually more than there were of us, I guess because he couldn’t count that high. But they could take us right to them.

They did just that and were even willing to help us attack them. The four kobolds would join Milo and sneak around the camp, where they would come up from behind as the rest of us attacked from the front. From Milo’s estimates there are about eight bandits in the camp. What could possibly go wrong? Hammer, Aiden, myself, and Elf would only be attacking enemies outnumbering us two to one and we’d be trusting in four kobolds and a scraggly rogue to take their flank in time. For whoever finds this journal, I would like my body taken to Thaliost to be buried. That is of course if my body is in any shape to be buried. Perhaps I should have more faith in Milo. We shall see.

When everyone was in place, Hammer and Aiden simply rode right into the camp. Elf and myself stayed back to provide support. Forming our right flank, Elf let loose a crossbow bolt at the nearest bandit. Caught unawares, the bandit took the blow in his thigh. On the left side, I drew my crossbows and shot at another one of the bandits. Only one of my bolts struck him, scoring a hit in his left arm. Aiden meanwhile was charging down one of the nearest thugs. But, perhaps due to his unfamiliarity with his mount, barely managed to stay on as the horse reared up instead. Hammer, in even worse shape, couldn’t maintain his mount and fell off.

Fortunately, Milo and the kobolds might have actually been our saving grace. the kobolds attacking in pairs and busied two of the bandits while Milo managed to sneak up behind what appeared to be the leader. She had been shouting out commands to the others. But as Milo plunged his shortsword into her back, her shouts turned to a shrill cry as she fell, choking on her own blood. This drew the attention of the rest of the bandits. They became exasperated after that.

As Aiden and Hammer recovered, Elf used some sort of Psionic blast, launching the wounded bandit back into a tent, which collapsed around him. Summoning my own magical talent, I cast Scorching Ray at the other wounded bandit. The blast enveloped him and he was finished. The kobolds meanwhile had managed to bring down two of the bandits in the rear. The bandits were in a panic. One of the bandits near Aiden rushed him and swung, but met only Aiden’s longsword. Another bandit amongst the tents drew a bow and let loose at Hammer, but the arrow only glanced off his thick adamantine armor.

Another blast from the right let me know that Elf was still busy. I saw Milo ahead struggling with a bandit. I pointed at the fellow and cast a bolt of Magic Missile, which struck him square in the back, causing him to stagger back, till Milo finished him off. Hammer strode up beside Aiden and together they pressed the bandit hard. The bow-wielding bandit noticed Elf and let fly an arrow towards him. It struck Elf but only barely. Aiden cut the bandit’s arm and as he recoiled, Hammer struck him soundly in the head with his hammer. This left only one bandit. He dropped the bow and drew his weapon, pointless as it was. I cast Scorching Ray once again and felt the heat as the ray left my hand and struck him, knocking the fellow on the ground. Aiden put the crisp villain out of his misery and that was the end of it.

With the bandits dead, Milo and Elf quickly began to search the bodies. The excited Kobolds also began rooting around through the littered camp; most likely, they were looking for that statue they mentioned. Milo, checking the woman who I must assume was the leader, apparently found what they were looking for because they began crowding about him screeching excitedly in draconic. The kobolds, though, would not go so far as to touch the thing. Apparently, they were cursed because of it. They needed it returned to the tribe’s chief. So that is where we would go.

However, we did find some weapons and other items of some monetary value. As I seem to have become the groups unofficial scribe and banker, I noted what we had gathered, how much I figured the items to be worth, and began calculating the amount per person. Though some of the party still likes to call out “mine!” like children, we are becoming somewhat more democratic about it all. An improvement no doubt. It is somewhat humorous that around valuables, Elf’s eyes get every bit as round as Milo’s own eyes. I am beginning to fancy myself as the stingy mother guarding the sweets from drooling children. At least the others show proper decorum. It is rather difficult watching both sets of their hands, let alone anyone elses.

After finishing with the camp, we followed the directions of the kobolds towards their tribe’s caves. As the evening descended, we began considering a spot to make camp. Finding a suitable one we set up our tents a ways off the main road. I brushed Selmemor’s coat and then spent some time to work on dividing our spoils. Elf sat nearby and played with a few of his daggers. Aiden and Milo tried to kill a deer and came back with some sort of rodent instead. Hammer simply stood by, looking out, as he often did. Aiden tried to get me to eat some roasted rodent but I was happy to eat some dried meat and some berries I had found earlier. We slept through the night without any trouble.

The next morning as I went to retrieve my spellbook, I found that none of my gear was in my bag. Instead I found Aiden’s stuff. The others checked their own bags and found someone else’s belongings in their bags. There were no tracks, no magic auras, nothing. We asked Hammer who had stood guard through the night but he said he saw nothing. The kobolds had also taken turns standing guards but none of them had seen anything either. They did notice however that a few of their Moon Radishes were missing. They blamed the statue. With nothing else to do, we fixed our packs and continued on. We moved along all day till evening approached. Suddenly, all of the gear on our horses fell off. I cast about trying to see if there was any magic at work. The others looked about as well. But we saw and found nothing. We did however hear the faint sounds of giggling. Now we began to realize that perhaps there were some particularly mischievous fey running about. Aiden shouted out “Thanks!” and after we fixed our packs once more, we continued on. Day turned to night and we began searching for a campsite when we noticed that up ahead, several floating orbs of light shown eerily in the night. They danced and bounced through the air. They seemed to urge us to follow, which we did. We didn’t have anywhere else to go anyway.

The lights led us of the main trail and took us down a little path which led to what appeared to be an abandoned temple. The lights hovered about and we realized that this would be a perfect spot to camp. Looking about we noticed a little fey dragon and some sort of insect-like creature giggling and smiling at us. “This place is safe to make camp. No one will bother you here,” They told us. We thanked them and Aiden asked, “Were you the ones that switched our gear?” They laughed again and said, “Yes you fellows are quite fun. Thank you for being such good sports.” We asked them what they knew about the kobolds. They told us how the kobolds had been fighting some little creatures called Mights and that they were losing. They also talked of the strange purple shaman that led the kobolds. “What do you know of him?” The two said that there was something off about him. “Do you know anything about the Shard that fell from the sky?”

“We saw it, but we know not what it is. If you are heading there though, you should know that there are a pair of wyrms that nest near a river in that direction. You should be careful around them, for they are very sneaky.” We thanked them once more for the information. Milo was especially kind to them. I asked him what was going on. He basically said that since they were fey they worshiped his chief deity in the Sovereign Host and he was morally bound to be kind to them. I had been washing my meal down with my flask of water when he said this, at which point I nearly choked. The rogue said something about morals! I didn’t know he had any of those.

We had a good time that night. We told stories and made jokes. The kobolds shared their Moon Radishes, which were actually quite good. The fey dragon and the crig really enjoyed them. Even Hammer was in something of a humorous mood. As we all began to turn in for the night, I grabbed several of those Moon Radishes, for safe keeping. They were quite good after all.

- from the Journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel

Oleg's Trading Post
Oleg’s Trading Post

We set out from Kassen and headed to an outpost which would constitute the last citadel of
civilization for the party. It took us several days to reach the Trading Post. Myself, Aiden, Elf, and Hammer were making our way ahead of the others who were traveling with a small band of Militia roused up to try and deal with a growing bandit problem. We managed to arrive at Oleg’s place without any difficulty however.

It wasn’t much, but it was certainly better than the tents we had been sleeping in. And the food was better than what Aiden passed off as “rabbit”. I’m not sure where he acquired that thing, but I’m really not sure that it was ever a rabbit.

Oleg greeted us well and after we were refreshed he told us about the object falling out of the sky. It was as big as a house he said, much larger than any shards he had seen fall from the sky. He also told us just how bad the bandit problem was. The bandits had become fairly well-organized and they regularly came and shook down Oleg for tribute. He said they would be here tomorrow. Aiden offered to speak with the bandit’s and so in essence we volunteered to fight them off. We made some purchases in the evening and readied ourselves for tomorrow.

The following day we knew the bandits were heading our way from the cloud of just rising over the way. Elf and myself took up positions on the second floor looking out through windows. Aiden and Hammer set themselves outside where they could get close to them. As the bandits rode in on their horses we noted that there were five of them, but hopefully our surprise would equal out the odds. Aiden simply told them to leave to which the leader of the group said, “Kill’em.”

With this Elf and myself let loose our bolts. Elf struck the far bandit on the right, who fell off his saddle with an arrow in his throat. One of my bolts whizzed past the bandits head but the second struck him in the shoulder. He also fell out of his saddle. Aiden rushed up and slashed at bandit to the boss’s left, but the thug parried his blow. Hammer strode up to the man to the leader’s right and swung his hammer taking the man right out of his saddle.

By this time I was able to bring my now reloaded crossbow to bear on the fellow Aiden was fighting with rather unsuccessfully. The bandit’s height advantage was putting Aiden in an awkward position. The bolt struck him squarely in the back, at which point he slumped forward. Aiden then raced over to the leader who really wasn’t too sure of what to do, the panic etched across his grizzled face.

Hammer meanwhile had finished off his opponent and was also heading towards the leader. A bolt from Elf sent the man’s horse rearing up and nearly knocking him off. Aiden took the opportunity to pull the bandit out of his saddle. At this point the battle was essentially over. The other bandits were either dead or were bleeding out from their wounds. Hammer went and put them out of their misery. Walking over to the restrained bandit, Elf reached out and touched the man. The bandit relaxed visibly and the snarl was replaced with a smile. “Ask him what you want. He will cooperate for the time being. We’re friends.” Elf smirked and walked over to one of the dead bandits and picked up a dagger which he began examining intently. It bothers me somewhat that he manipulated the bandits mind. Even if the fellow is bad, there is no call for mind control.

The bandit told us that he was a lieutenant within the bandit group and showed us his golden amulet which showed his rank. The bandits were separated into several groups commanded by individual leaders. He didn’t know the real leader of the bandits; he reported to a superior in a nearby camp which he described.

He went on and told us everything else he knew, which actually wasn’t much else. It was decided that we would wait here for the rest of our group and so that the militia could take care of the prisoner. We took the bandits gear and sold the unwanted items to Oleg. We also kept the horses that the bandits no longer needed. Elf kept the daggers and actually bought a couple from Oleg. I’m not sure what that crazy fellow is up to. He certainly has his oddities.

- from the Journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel

The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead

I awoke early the following morning and studied my spellbook as the others began to stir. Lillian checked her armor and Aiden sharpened his shortsword and checked his gear. Elf sat down, draped across his cot, counting his gold pieces and spoke of what he would purchase with his newfound wealth. As Milo began to stir, we all cast glances at him in not-too subtle ways. He sat up and as he stretched his arms out above his head asked, “What have we got to eat around here? I’m starving!” At this point we visibly relaxed, noting that the color had already returned to his small face. He would be fine.

As the halfling stuffed his face with nearly a whole day’s rations, we discussed what to do. As we did so Bob stood watch at the doorway. As we discussed our plans, Bob whispered for us to be silent. We did so and listened intently. In the distance we could hear the growing sound of heavy footfalls growing closer. Around the corner came Runyasar followed by the source of the loud footfalls, a big warforged carrying a large hammer.

We greeted them happily, glad to see some friendly faces for once. Runyasar told us of her journey the past few days and how that she came across Hammer, the very originally named warforged she had brought along with her. He was friendly enough and seemed to have just above average intelligence, which was an improvement from Scrawl. Speaking of Scrawl… I wonder where he ended up. Runyasar told us he had been near the entrance when she left but when she returned he was no longer there. With Hammer in tow, they descended into the Crypt where, after some exploring and following our trail, they encounterd the Shadow, which they somehow managed to kill.

We were surprised to say the least till they explained that Hamnmer was in fact a healer and a cleric and was in fact skilled in combating such evil. At this we were happily excited. It was always a good thing to have a cleric in the party.

After the greetings were finished we resumed discussing our objective. It was decided that Roldare, who had grown to be quite a pain, would be escorted back to the village by Lillian, Elf, and Bob. There they would tell the group what had happened thus far. The rest of us, with the new additions of Runyasar and Hammer, would continue on and try and discover what exactly was going on whithin the Crypt.

We returned to where we had finished our last encounter and continued through the burial crypts till we encountered a door. We opened it and, peering in, noted a shallow pool of water. Checking carefully but finding nothing we entered in. For a moment we found ourselves drawn to look at the pool. Most of us, though, saw only our reflection. For a lingering second though, Runyasar saw something more, before it blinked out from the pool’s clear water. Hammer told us that there was some sort of evil enchantment on the pool. Learning this, we quickly moved around it and proceeded into the next room.

Here we found a similar series of inset crypts but instead of undead, we found dozens of bats swarming about us. Aiden and Runyasar began swinging at the wretched things with their blades. Milo tried to do likewise, though his short reach somewhat hindered him. Hammer tried to swing his hammer but somehow the bats nearly managed to carry it way. If not for the huge warforged holding onto the other end, they surely would have. As for myself, I tried to cast some spells on the swarms but they simply moved too swiftly. Frustrated, I swung my longsword and actually managed to fell a couple of the tiny things. We continued to beat at them till they suddenly rose up and fled out of a crack in the top of the room.

We moved on out of the room and came to a larger open room. A deep chasm occupied the center of the room spanned by a bridge about ten feet wide. Across the way at the other end of the bridge stood two statues of what appeared to be militia villagers. Each one bore a lifted shield and a spear held upright. We looked at them for a moment. Myself and Hammer cast detect magic but, for all appearances, they seemed like normal statues. Aiden nocked an arrow and let it fly. It hit the shield of one of the statues, but nothing happened.

Cautiously, Milo advanced up the bridge followed by Aiden and Hammer. They had tied a rope to Milo and were walking behind should something happen and the halfling went flying. He moved up along the bridge till, suddenly, he stopped dead in his tracks. He had found a pressure plate. We could tell by the way he screeched like a little girl. He stooped down and after some tinkering placed a wedge to keep it in place. Satisfied, he took a step across.

The wedge popped out and the plate went down. As it did, he began to turn and leap back. It was no use though as the two statues across the way barreled down the bridge shields lifted, straight for Milo, Aiden, and Hammer. Milo went flying and Aiden and Hammer were carried back and crushed against the back wall. The rope they had been holding slipped and went with Milo down into the forty foot pit. The rest of us, who had luckily stayed out of the way, looked wide-eyed as human and warforged stumbled out, both with painful looking grimaces on their faces. And when I say grimace, I mean so far as what Hammer thought a grimace should look like. In reality, it was a quite frightening glare with eyes crossed and something more similar to a snarl etched across his face. We hoisted Milo up and after some healing and a bit of time to recover, we moved on.

The group crossed the bridge and made its way up to a pair of large sturdy doors. This was the Main Crypt. Aiden wasted no time and, looking back at us, opened the door. As we moved in, I took a deep breath and prepared myself. We filed into the room and took our positions. Hammer and Aiden, followed by Lillian placed themselves at the bottom of the stairs which descended from the entryway. Runyasar and myself kept where we were and Milo made ready to spring away into the shadows.

A thick, raspy voice boomed out of the darkness. In the flickering light of the torch over the tomb of Kassen a figure stepped out. It was the mercenary leader from the picture. “Welcome to your Doom. I hope you don’t mind if I invited some friends to join us,” the zombie-like creature said. Out of the shadows stepped five more skeletons. We wasted no time. Milo skittered off into the darkness, hoping he might sneak up on some of the monsters. Aiden tried to swing at the closest one but missed. Hammer, however, did not. He swung and struck the skeleton smashing through it as though it were nothing.

Runyasar had meanwhile drawn her bow and let loose an arrow but it only nicked the intended target, darting into the shadows instead. I cast a spell of Scorching Ray, which struck the leader of the skeletons with force, but he only stumbled back a step. He walked up, taking the place of the fallen skeleton and struck Hammer, but only gave him a minor wound. Aiden swung once more at the nearest skeleton and landed a solid hit, breaking several rib bones but it continued on. It swung back at Aiden, but he managed to deflect the blow. Another skeleton swung at Lillian, who had managed to bash one of the skeletons back and take up position next to Hammer, but she got her shield up in time. One of the skeletons did manage to land a blow on Aiden, who grimaced but pushed the monster back nonetheless.

A skeleton managed to get around the pillar to our right and was attempting to climb up the steps but a quick kick to the skull by Runyasar knocked the monster back. Milo at this time pounced out from the shadows, pouncing on the skeleton on the far right. He landed the creature a heavy blow to which the skeleton succumbed. This put Milo directly beside the Mercenary leader. But the Mercenary seemed not to notice as he swung once more at Hammer, but missed terribly. I launched another Scorching Ray attack at the leader. This time he grunted and looked up at me and made what I took for a look of anger. But he could not get to me for Hammer, Aiden, and Lillian blocking the way. As the leader looked at me, Hammer used some sort of spell and smacked him in the side. He stumbled back a bit, but was soon coming at us once more. Aiden had managed to strike one of the skeletons down, and Runyasar finished off the one near the stairs.

Milo tried to lunge at the leader but stumbled over the fallen skeletons. The creature gave him only a moments notice before turning back and striking Hammer again, this time in the arm. I cast another Scorching Ray at him, and as it struck him he howled. He fell just as Aiden cut the last skeleton in half.

Suddenly, the form of Kassen appeared to us, as he does each time adventurers come to his Crypt. We told him of what had happened. “I am sorry for your trouble. But you see, at one time him and I were very dear friends. I would appreciate it if you returned him to his tomb and left him undisturbed. I thank you my friends. Let me give you a token of appreciation.” He gave each on of us a piece of scale armor tied on a string. “These are pieces of my armor. I’ve you are in need, use this to call for my help.” With that he vanished just as he appeared into a thin whip of smoke.

We returned the mercenary to his crypt but in our search we did come across several things, such as a Shield of Bashing and a Bag of Holding. There was also a spellbook and a wand which I determined could cast Magic Missile. I gladly took both of these things as well as some Bracers of Armor, which I sorely needed. Knowing that I had many things only only so much room to hold them, the group also allowed me to carry the Bag of Holding. We also found about 700 gold coins or so.

After lighting the torch which we had been carrying all along, we returned to the barricaded room, gathered our supplies, and then headed to the surface. We had an uneventful trip back to the village, where the townspeople were glad to see we made it back safely after hearing from the others of our troubles. Sadly, we learned that Bob had died on the trip back. He had fallen into a stream. Who knew that he couldn’t swim? And worse, who knew you could drown in a foot of water?

We celebrated that evening and enjoyed the company of our friends. A man who had been gone for many years had arrived recently and, hearing of our exploits, wished to speak with us. He told us of strange stories involving things falling from the sky. Shards or Ship it made little difference to us. We had gotten a taste of adventure and were ready for more.

- from the Journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel

Down into the Lower Crypt
Down into the Lower Crypt

Having rested some eight hours, I awoke to find Aiden cleaning his weapons and Lillian sitting cross-legged in an apparent meditative state. The others still slept in their cots laying about the room. I studied my spellbook for a time and sitting down beside Aiden began to inspect my own weapons.

Continuing to clean his already gleaming shortsword, he asked me how my bruises were. We had both been knocked unconscious from the padded arrows. “It brings me only slight discomfort to move about,” I said offhanded. Continuing on I asked him, “Should we not place Runyasar and Scrawl’s platinum pieces into a fund for the group till they return? In this way, we all get equal shares. And if their is any extra loot we can do the same thing.” I had been meaning to ask him since yesterday and now seemed a good time to do so. “I think that is the right course.” It was good to hear him say that. Sometimes when people start getting loot they tend to think of things as finders keepers. But I think the fairest way to do things is to do it diplomatically. Divide out coins and share around the other loot giving items to whomever needs them most or for whomever it is most appropriate.

The others were soon stirring and after gathering our supplies and eating a bite, we headed out of the room. Back in the room with the still inactive golem, we decided to head down the stairs, with Milo taking the lead. He proceeded down the stairs, checking for traps and just being careful in general. We came to a room from which all the first story stairs descended into. That room led to a circular room with a central pillar. From this room three passages branched outward. One straight ahead, one left, and one to the right. Picking the passage straight ahead we turned a short corner and found a small drinking fountain with pure and clear water. An inscription told us to drink and be refreshed. We did and it, not surprisingly, felt refreshing. This might prove useful later.

We continued on and decided to take the passage to the left. As we entered the passageway we descended slightly downward and began trudging through about one foot of water. The path corridor split in two and we decided to take the left route. Milo however soon found he could go no further as the water reached three feet which was too high for our 3 foot 1 inch friend. He stayed behind as we moved on a bit further to a door. It was soaked and bulged out slightly. We decided to leave it alone for the time being and went down the other passage. It was only a foot deep there.

Approaching the room we noticed a blue fungus, called Azure Fungus, covering most of the room and several corpses floating in the water. Myself and a few others who knew something of such things recognized this enough to know it produced an electric current. We also knew that it could be rendered inert by cold. So I cast my Ray of Frost Cantrip across the room and we moved safely through it, unlike the three rats and particularly large frog floating in the water. We came to another passageway and turned to the right. We trekked through the water and into a decently large room. Aiden, Bob, and Milo fanned out into the room while Elf and I moved behind them taking position against the nearby wall. Lillian took charge of guarding our rear. Aiden suddenly jumped back noticing that in some spots the floor dropped away under the water. There were two pits in the middle of the room, restricting movement to a single five foot walkway down the middle of the room to get to the other side. Bob took the lead while Aiden followed with Milo behind him.

As they moved, six skeletons rose up out of the water. In front of Bob were four and the other two rose up beside Elf. Aiden instinctively threw his mace at the first one he saw shattering its skull at which point it collapsed into the water. The skeletons nearest Bob swung at him unsuccessfully while Elf fended off one of the skeletons attacking him. I cast a Disrupt Undead spell but in my haste I struck Elf instead. Luckily, Elf isn’t undead. Milo lunged at one of the skeletons but missed. Lillian tried to get between Elf and the skeletons but the pressed her back too much.

Aiden worked to help Bob who was struggling with a nearby skeleton. Meanwhile, another one struck him on his side with its scimitar. He cried out but continued to fight the skeletons. I cast Disrupt Undead once more this time at the skeleton trying to flank Aiden. It struck and the monster faltered but did not fall. Elf tried to push a skeleton off into the pit but fumbled and nearly lost his quarterstaff in the process. Lillian relieved some of Elf’s pressure as she struck one of the skeletons down with a vicious slash.

Bob meanwhile also sliced one of the skeletons, cutting it in half. However, the other skeleton gave him a tremendous gash in his leg at which point he stumbled back. Milo caught him and courageously, if somewhat strangely, stepped up to defend him. Aden cut down the skeleton he was facing and Elf used an elemental attack to destroy the fifth skeleton. Milo struck the last one, severing some of its ribs but it swung back but missed over the halfling’s head. Lillian finished off the last one and Milo kicked it for good measure.

Aiden and Lillian rushed over and lifted Bob up as he groaned and held his wounds. They hurried him to the fountain where he was able to drink and within just a few moments was standing before us, his wounds mostly healed over. He leaned on his previously wounded leg and bounced on it. “It still stings a bit,” he said but otherwise he seemed fine.

With the insistence of Elf, we returned to the room with the three foot water and tied the rope on the handle and tugged. With all of us tugging, the bulging door gave way and we immediately heard the croaking of frogs. It was particularly loud croaking. A few of us turned and looked over at the rather large body of the dead frog nearby. It was nearly as large as an average sized human.

As we gathered ourselves considering what we should do, one of the beasts rounded the corner and struck out at Bob with its tongue, grappling him. Aiden slashed at the frog’s tongue causing it to release Bob. Myself, Lillian, and Elf headed for the other door so that we could flank them. Another frog rounded the corner and this time tried to bite at Aiden but missed. Trudging through the thigh deep water, I reached the door first and tried to pull back on it but had no luck. Lillian coming up behind me reached for the knob and pulled, finally managing to open the door. I should like to mention that the door did creak as I tugged on it and so I must have simply loosened it so that she could open it.

She entered the room followed by myself and Elf. The stagnant water reeked of rotten flesh. In the corner we could see a cowering frog, blood dripping from its mouth. It was the frog Aiden had just struck in the corridor, at which point it ran back into the room from which it came; the room we were now in. We could hear a loud wretched croaking sound coming from the corridor. The others must have slain one of the other frogs. Just two left now. The wounded frog, knowing it was trapped, bounded for us. A second croak from the corridor signaled the death of another frog. Crossbows in hand, I let fly two bolts. The first struck the moving frog, piercing it in the throat. The other bolt missed but it mattered little for the creature was dead.

Looking around the room, Elf found the creatures’ nest and called over to us, as Aiden and Bob walked into the room with Milo staying behind in the other room. Within the nest, he found the decaying body of what used to be a human. On his finger we found a ring which I soon determined to be a ring of swimming as well as 24 gold pieces. We divided out the gold pieces and gave the ring of swimming to Milo, who was struggling in the deeper water. Of course we made him work for it a bit by tying it on a string and dangling it above his small reach for a bit, till he kicked Aiden in the shin and grabbed the ring.

We moved on, stopping by the fountain long enough to heal a bite Aiden got while fighting the frogs. We returned to the room with the pillar because we finished off the left wing. We took the right wing and entered into some sort of catacomb-like wing. Along the walls were a series of standing insets which would house the bodies of the dead. Luckily, all the ones we could see were empty.

The party began moving through the catacombs when four zombies, each covered in oozing sores, stepped out from the insets and hobbled closer to us. They stepped out from amongst us and a one of them separated the party in half. A zombie next to Elf reached out for him but he pushed the zombie back with his staff. Bob struck at the zombie nearest him, but the monster stumbled on. Lillian pushed the same zombie back with her shield, bashing it up against a wall. It crunched and fell over but crawled on. I stepped around Aiden to get a clear shot at the zombie opposite us and cast Disrupt Undead. It went wide and the zombie, its stomach bulging with sores, began stumbling towards me but fortunately Aiden stepped up right alongside me and forced the zombie back.

Milo meanwhile managed to flank the zombie fighting Elf and struck the zombie on the side. The creature sagged down but continued groping at Elf. Bob slashed the zombie in front of him and cut the zombie right across the abdomen. It immediately ruptured and exploded, pieces of zombie flying all over both Bob and Lillian. Neither one of them seemed affected in the least. Elf clobbered the zombie opposing him with his quarterstaff, the zombie’s head twisting around with a crunch, but it continued moaning and reaching out towards him, its broken fingers curled wickedly.

Aiden sliced off half of the nearest zombie’s arm though it seemed not to notice. Lillian lunged at her newest opponent, a different zombie from the one fighting Aiden, striking the zombie square on the head. As the monster’s skull split, it exploded like the other. Again, Lillian didn’t seem very phased. I attempted another Disrupt Undead spell on the now one-armed zombie hitting it on its already limping leg. It stumbled and fell into the wall but managed to stay upright. Aiden, though, decided to end its suffering and lopped off its head. As the zombie’s head fell from its shoulders, the whole thing exploded. Like Bob and Lillian, Aiden was unphased by the disease riddled cloud of zombie guts. Elf, seeing all the other zombies explode, turned and left Milo alone to face the last zombie. As Lillian and Bob ran to help him and Elf ran to leave him, Milo sliced into the zombie chest and it exploded in a particularly large cloud of diseased flesh. It covered Lillian, who seemed to shrug it off. Milo, though, staggered as the cloud filled his lungs. He coughed and leaned back against the wall, trying to catch his breath.

We gathered around him and with looks of concern patted him and we checked to see his vitals. Someone said it was zombie rot disease. If he could manage to fight it off for a couple of days then he would be fine. Otherwise… well he would simply have to fight it off. Bob found a blood stained pack with some gold pieces which we distributed among the group, with one left over to add to the group funds, as well as a cure moderate wounds potion, some moldy rations, and a handbill mentioning an in from somewhere in Aundair. There was some recognition but we simply couldn’t pinpoint where it was at.

We decided that Milo needed his rest so we gathered our loot and gear and headed back to the fountain for one last drink before bunking down somewhere for the evening. We figured that Milo especially might get some good out of the fountain water. At the very least it couldn’t hurt and so we drank our fill and after filling our water-skins we then headed back to the barricaded room we stayed in the night before last as that was somewhat more roomy as well as provided better protection and had some gear and rations left there. We all made our bunks and settled in. I situated my gear around the goods I had left in the room and picked up some of the rations I had left behind. Roldare was still there, chatting to himself and paying us only a little mind. Lillian was meditating and Bob cleaned his weapons. Elf counted his gold pieces and munched on some rations. I rearranged my gear and studied my spellbook as well as watching the others, mainly Milo.

He was trying to make a good show of it but he was a bit nervous. The water did seem to help some, as their was some color back in his face, though it remained a bit pale. He had already laid down and was drifting off to sleep. He had survived the first day. Now if he could manage to survive the second he would be fine and healthy as normal. The rest would help him. I looked over at Aiden and he had the same look of concern on his face as I had on mine. He will be fine. We hoped.

- from the Journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel

Exploring the Crypt
Exploring the Crypt

The next morning, or at least what we assumed to be morning, we were greeted by a very quite half-elf ranger who told us that Scrawl and Runyasar had taken off following what Runyasar thought was a trail heading off from the Crypt. Robert, whom we called Bob, crossed paths with Runyasar and decided to come and tell us of her progress. We then gathered our gear and shouldered our weapons as we left the safety of the barricaded room. From there we headed to the left and finding an unexplored door, Aiden took the liberty of grabbing Milo and, upon opening the door, tossed a rather unhappy and quite surprised Milo into the room. There he found some sort of shadow thing which blurred past him and hit him which seemed to sap some of his strength. Adien rushed in and tried to rescue Milo as we attempted to halt the attacker. I launched a fire spell at it, which seemed to stun it only temporarily for it blurred on somewhere else in the room. We quickly turned around and ran.

We moved on then to the next room in which Aiden again decided to use Milo as bait. As Milo was tossed into the room he was greeted by three fire-beetles who began buzzing in a strange bug language. Needless to say, the now cursing Milo was less than pleased with Aiden.

Aiden, Lillian, and Bob immediately charged in and tried to help Milo who was struggling to fend off one of the fire-beetles. Elf and myself took cover behind them and lent them support. As Lily’s blade slid of the hard carapace of one of the beetles, Aiden landed a hit on another one cracking its shell somewhat. Having drawn my light crossbows, I let fly the two bolts at the bug across from Aiden. One of the bolts struck the crack of the fire-beetle and it screeched loudly before falling dead. Milo managed to get out away from the other fire-beetle and Aiden struck it with his mace, leaving it barely crawling along. Lillian also struck the fire-beetle opposing her. Elf, who was unable to telepathically attack the beetles, finished off the one fighting Aiden. Bob then finished the one fighting Lillian. We found the mutilated body of a villager whom we couldn’t identify in the room but nothing else.

We tried to continue on but the door at the other end was not even made to open in that direction and we couldn’t proceed. So we turned around and headed back to the main entrance where we headed across the room into the unexplored section of the Crypt. Entering the room, we noted a large pool of water in the middle of the room fed by a weeping angel holding the body of what we took to be the fallen hero in her arms. We were unsure due to the fact that the statue’s head had been ripped off and one could tell that the destruction had been done in a particularly angry manner. As we looked upon this, a deep voice spoke from somewhere that “Magic is the Key”. We looked around and found nothing but the pool of water. Aiden, who has steadily become our unofficial leader, walked over and looked into the pool. Dropping Elf’s strange crystal thing, apparently it was called Sneaky, into the water by way of rope, we determined the pool’s depth to be about 40 feet deep. At the bottom were countless shining objects.

At this point Aiden dropped his gear and dove down and after a short timed returned with an armload of keys. There were all sorts of keys. Aiden said there were something over a thousand of them down there. As we discussed I picked out a few that I found interesting and pocketed them. Milo had been wandering about and, curiosity getting the best of him, tried to open the next door but couldn’t. We were stuck then. After some small discussion, I cast Detect Magic which allowed me to find the needed key which I dove down and retrieved. Donning my pack again, we determined which of the two doors to open and, after using the key, proceeded into the room.

There we found a small bench facing a large portrait of the battle and centered upon the hero of the Crypt. Several of us noted that the two individuals wore some strange necklaces with some sort of image on them. We made a note of this and continued on. We moved to the next door and, after checking for traps, entered the next room.

We were greeted by a huge pillar in the middle of a circular room with hundreds of arrows protruding out of it as well as the sound of the door behind us slamming shut. Immediately we took off toward the next door as the pillar began to launch its many arrows out all about. There were arrows whizzing past all of us. Luckily, they were padded arrows but still we did our best to avoid them. We all got hit and I saw Aiden fall before falling unconscious myself from four arrows thudding into me. The last thing I saw as my vision went dim was Milo and Elf desperately working on the door as Lily and and Bob tried to cover them.

I awoke to find Milo tapping me, or rather kicking me, with his boot as the group recovered from the ordeal. Bob had taken the liberty of gathering several unbroken arrows and even gave me some bolts for my crossbow. I stretched and grunted as I felt the painful throb of some new bruises I had acquired. Milo said that from his estimation the room further on down led down to a lower level. So before continuing on we decided to backtrack and explore that last wing on this level.

After making our way back to the room with the pool, I opened the last door and we headed down that way. There we found 8 large statues baring swords in a position that seemed oh to ready to chop down on us. With some investigation we found a pressure plate and Milo and Elf attempted to disarm it. The rest of us took position in safe spots between the statues. Unfortunately, Milo triggered the trap but not before jumping back to safety. Elf, however, was only barely saved as the quick Milo pulled on Elf’s shirt just as the sword swooped done right in front of his face.

Proceeding into the next room, after several rather unpleasant words by some of the party to Milo, we noted a rather large wooden statue bearing two shields. Using detect magic, I was certain that the rather obvious statue was a golem. With some discussion, and more than a little prodding, Milo stepped down the steps to see just what triggered the golem. Apparently, it was the space right below the steps for as soon as Milo stepped of the steps the golem stirred and began moving toward him. Aiden and Lillian’s attempts to strike at the golem did little in the way of damage and Elf’s attempts to use telepathy were of no use here. Noting the wooden nature of the golem, I thought it appropriate to cast a Fire Energy Missile upon the construct. As the Fire Missile struck it made a large scorch mark and we could tell that it had had an effect on the golem.

Unfortunately for Milo, it didn’t have that great of an effect because the golem proceeded to smash Milo with one of the shields it bore. Milo however managed to crawl rather sluggishly away. He looked up at us though and cast Aiden, whose idea it had been in the first place, a particularly heated look. As we struggled with the golem I cast another Fire Missile at the golem and it twisted around somewhat with the blow allowing Aiden to catch a glimpse of a key hole. He yelled at me and I tossed him the key at which point he lunged up on top of the golem and attempted to insert the key as Lillian and Bob tried to distract it. Aiden succeeded and the golem fell down with a thud. Walking over I took the key and returned it to my pouch.

The group moved on to the door which the golem had apparently been guarding. We opened it and inside we found some very nice items left for us by the preparers of the Crypt. Lillian received a nicely designed Longsword. Elf received a Crossbow. The others each received some sort of weapon as well. I could tell that each of the weapons was magically endowed, which might prove useful. As for me, I found a scroll left by Holgast which upon reading, magically endowed Ky’ceen with magical abilities like unto the others’ weapons. With these weapons in hand and our bodies tired from the days work, we decided to bunker down here in the room for the rest of the evening.

- from the Journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel

Into the Crypt
Into the Crypt

…… so that we could enter with light shining the way. Runyasar noted a trail nearby and decided it might be worthwhile to check it out using her stealthy ranger-like ways. Scrawl intended to study the dead remains and to maintain a lookout outside the Crypt. This would also allow him to wait for Runyasar to return, at which point they would come join us if we weren’t out by then.

As we entered though we realized that this was not what we expected. The scene before us was ghastly. All about the room were scattered bones. In the center of the decently sized room laid a few dead corpses. They were from the village. Their packs, strewn nearby their bodies, held some more pints of oil, torches, a few days ration of food, and a couple of smokesticks. I gathered it all, thinking it might come in handy later on. With my skill in alchemy, I was particularly interested in the smokesticks. Perhaps I’ll give one to Milo, the rather touchy halfling rogue. That one was a sneaky sort. A good thing for a rogue to be.

As we stood there about the room, the bones about us began to move. Up around us rose six no-so-dead skeletons approaching us menacingly. Several of them struck out at us but they were rather inaccurate. I struck one with an Energy Missile of Fire and it blew apart, the bones falling and crumbling about the ground. Lillian stuck out at one, scoring a hit but didn’t seem to halt the skeleton much.

The battle continued, several of the skeletons attempting to overcome Aiden. Luckily, they weren’t too successful. While they attempted to strike him, Aiden took one of them down. Milo however had less luck as his rapier went right between the bones. I struck out with a Ray of Frost but stunningly, it did no damage. The skeletons must be resistant to cold damage. I’ll remember that from now on. A good lesson learned.

Lillian continued to strike the skeleton opposing her and slowly whittled it away. Elf attempted to strike one of the skeletons with the end of his scythe, like a quarterstaff, but barely missed. Aiden struck another skeleton down, though he took a hit meanwhile. Milo also got hit, and quite a solid hit it was. But the determined halfling didn’t back down. Though he often acted sneaky and shy, he was rather brave.

We had taken out several of the skeletons now, as Lillian just brought down the one nearest her with the swift stroke of her longsword. Wishing to conserve my spell power, I drew Ky’ceen and struck out at a nearby skeleton but missed. The others brought down another skeleton as I finally landed a good hit upon the skeleton and watched it collapse at my feet. At this point, Aiden went around and smashed the remained intact skulls strewn about the room, with the exception of Elf’s skull which he had acquired outside the Crypt. After this, without the noise of battle, we could clearly hear the sound of wailing coming from somewhere about the crypt. The eerie sound was quite unnerving. Hopefully it was a survivor. If not… well hopefully it was a survivor.

We turned left and found ourselves in something of a maze. Treading carefully we began to move about the large room. Ahead, Milo took a step and triggered a pit trap. Falling, he landed on some well-placed pillows, though he still took a small bruising. Luckily Milo became quite useful and quickly learned how to disable the traps. As he worked he found a bag, inside of which was a note as well as a single platinum piece for each of us. The note essentially told us we had to pull three levers hidden about the room, which we had already found and quickly pulled. Notably and not so surprisingly, Milo pocketed Scrawl and Runyasar’s pieces “for safe keeping.” I wonder if they will ever see those pieces?

Continuing on, we headed towards the wailing. We found the room from which the wailing was coming. Aiden spoke out, he might be the best leader we have. I am not one to take command of the lives of others, though I don’t mind sharing my advice. The voice quieted and we heard nothing. Aiden recognized it as a villager. With much coaxing, we managed to make it inside the room where we found a nice command post of sorts from which to explore the rest of the crypt.

Speaking with the villager, we discovered he and his sister were the only ones left alive. They had come, we realized, to make a fun, exciting sort of adventure for us. They found instead only death. He also mentioned that there was a talking skeleton, different from the others, who took his sister. Other than that, he was mostly incoherent. We decided to stay here and rest. There were some good supplies here, including some rations, two bulls-eye lanterns, three light cures, more torches, and of course bedding and such. I dropped of the pints of oil beside the lanterns, figuring that someone else might take them. We ate and rested, recuperated, and prepared for the next day.

- from the Journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel

Day One

With the close of the Last War, our small village, meaning the mayor, has decided that it is time to relight the eternal flame of the village. We, meaning myself and the other would-be adventurers, must therefore take the eternal torch and relight it from the flame which lies in the Crypt several days journey outside the village. Ironically, this seems to be about the time of reelection for the mayor.

The village made a great deal about the whole endeavor, perhaps in hopes of livening up the spirits which had been dead for the past many decades. The others in the party seem rather reserved about the whole endeavor. We have a rather interesting group. Three elves, a half-elf, a halfling, a single human, and a very straight-forward, somewhat simple warforged.

We began our journey out and traveled without much discussion and in general the party was rather quiet. As many of them have seen less than forty cycles of the seasons, it stands to reason they have seen very little in the way of travel.

As we made our way down the path, we were ambushed by six snarling, savage looking orcs. Each one held a javelin in its hand and had a great axe strapped at its waist. Myself, Aiden, and Runyasar each attempted to strike them at range with our weapons but each failed. The others moved into position, hoping to gain some advantage. The orcs returned fire, hurling their javelins, several of them striking us, myself included.

I managed to strike one of them with an energy missile of biting cold. The orc howled in pain but staggered on. We managed to bring another down. The orcs charged and knocked Scrawl unconscious. Later, they did the same to Aiden. We took some more down without much difficulty. As they became engaged in melee with the others, I stepped back and continued to strike them with Rays of Frost. Eventually, we brought the last one down.

At this moment, I smelt the faint odor of Holgast’s pipe smoke and felt the sensation that he was laughing. Looking around, we noted that the orcs were gone and Aiden and Scrawl were up and unharmed. How infuriating!

We continued on with little difficulty. Runyasar found us a good place to camp and we settled in for the night. Sometime later on, we heard the distant howl of wolves. The howls continued, growing closer over time and though a few of us spotted them at times, they kept their distance.

Day Two

We crossed paths with a corpse today. It was not bothered by scavengers, which seemed strange till someone said something about poison. Elf quickly took the loot that was found for himself, finding a masterwork shortsword and some 87gps, which he split with Aiden. I felt slightly irritated that he failed to share with everyone. Finder’s keepers seems a poor way to do things, especially for an elf. I think we must be a team and use teamwork, else how can we trust our lives to each other? Besides, we each have need of money and loot. He at least could have shared a bit with a fellow elf. I often wonder just how strong Elf and Aiden’s connection is together. As for the corpse though, I must wonder what he was doing all the way out here? He clearly wasn’t from around here and the coins from Aundair, brand new coins, are certainly alarming. Not sure what it means, but it is most likely not good for us. I hate to see a poor Aundairian left like this. I hope he did not die badly. It was good thinking of Scrawl to take the head, though it is slightly undignified for an Aundairian. I shall do my best to make sure we do get that head back to the family.

As we approached the gorge which led to the Crypt, it began to rain. The way down was steep so we attempted to lower everyone down by a rope. We sent Scrawl first, so that he wouldn’t crush any of us on the way down. He had… some difficulty. He slipped and fell and took quite a fall. Lilian also had some trouble. We made it however.

As we drew closer to the Crypt I noticed a depiction of a Silver Flame. At this point I became rather unhappy, but I held in my feelings, as we had to continue on. Coming closer, we saw several corpses, which happened to be of some horses and ponies. They were fresh. We found some pints of oil, among other useless things, and took them for our own. Scrawl cast a light spell on some pebbles and tossed them into the entrance of the Crypt……… To be continued

- from the Journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel


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