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