The day started off in quite an unusual fashion. “Jem”-Talion Migait, Negga, Gary Coleman, Ralph, Pharaun Mizzrym, Negga, Cory and Leyla all gathered within the main chamber of Loudwater. Each one not only summoned by the High Lord himself, but greeted by him as well. Sitting before the confused and bushy eyed group sat Kalahar Two-hands himself, sitting awkwardly in his throne looking as if he’d love to be somewhere else about now. Accompanying him was Prior Athosar, head of the Houses of Mourning. The group was then addressed by the prior.
You have been summoned here because less than a day ago the high lord son, Velvred, was found to be missing. After a quick search of the hall we found no signs of the boy, but did find that two of the crypt’s seals below had been destroyed. Through divinitionwe have found that unknown enemies of Loudwater have secreted themselves in the hall and kidnapped the boy. Furthermore servants of Lathander have warned me that if the Content Not Found: kalahar-two-ands himself were to be drawn into rescuing the boy he would surely die. Because of this intelligence, we find ourselves in need of skilled adventurers to find and rescue the boy, we have chosen you.
After the prior explained the situation Kalahar Two-hands Himself rose to speak.
Your primary goal is to save my son. But if you can’t do this bringing us reconnaissance to aid in a second venture into the tombs will suffice. I wish that I could go with you, but the prior and my advisers will not allow it. Their reasons are sound, but it pains me that I can not save my own son. Please, do me a great honor and bring back my boy— my one true joy in this world, and I will be in your debt.
With that the rather large group was escorted down to the entry of the tombs. “Jem”-Talion Migait and Pharaun Mizzrym questioned [[Prior Athosar about the tombs, attempting to dig up any information that could be useful. They learned that the tombs belonged to Lord Misbah and Lord Marzut, two Rensha rulers that ruled the land before the High Lord. The prior explained that no one had been in the tombs since the Rensha had ruled, and that neither kept maps or any kind of documentation about what was put into their tombs. He did give the group some information about each of the rulers though, explaining that;
Lord Marzut was the strangest of the Rensha lords. Lord Marzut was said to be brilliant, but insane, and deeply cold and cruel. No one knows how he died, just that he eventually faded away.
The history books say that Lord Misbah was a charming buffoon in his youth, but later in life became a cruel manipulator of people and luck. Many think that he made a deal with a powerful devil, selling his soul for fortune and luck. Whatever luck he gained ran out one day when he died in a freak riding accident when he was in his thirties.
The group was lead to a room which housed sealed doors for three tombs, and two broken seals with a pair of guards posted next to each. Each room held a small hole in the ground leading into the crypt and each hole glowed with a soft light.
Pharaun Mizzrym, Negga, Cory and Leyla went into Lord Marzut’s tomb and was greeted with a rather odd entrance chamber. The stonework in this room was oddly dark compared to the stone used in the rest of the building, and contained dark grey markings that were dark enough to nearly blend in with the black, depict strange alien creatures and ghostly figures. The art is disturbing to look at, and appears to contort and shift in the dim light. Whoever the artist was, he definitely was not sane. Laying in the room, just outside of the light given off by the Morning’s Resonance spell, was the fresh corpse of a kobold. The body was marred with a huge scorch mark in the side of it’s head and part of the skull caved in. Pharaun Mizzrym was able to tell that the kobold was only about a day old and that it was most likely part of a group which might still be in the crypt.
The group continued down the hall past the kobold, agreeing that Negga should lead through the cramped space while Pharaun Mizzrym takes up the rear. The hall descended down further underground and Negga could make out the shape of a skeleton armed with a scimitar and wearing some kind of ceremonial tunic standing at the end of the staircase. However unmoving, the group could sense something was afoot. Once Negga got to the end of the stairs the skeleton before her animated and began to assault them. In the blink of an eye the tomb’s guardian was on top of Negga, slashing away at the Half-orc, and just when she had started fighting back the skeleton quickly retreated back down the hall, launching multiple waves of magic missile down the hall at the Half-orc as she attempted to retreat.
While Negga attempted to retreat the rest of her party pushed her forward. Unable to see what was happening, or help the group became wedged in the narrow hall in a mesh of confusion. Then suddenly the skeleton appeared behind them, once again rushing forward and attacking the unsuspecting Pharaun Mizzrym as he was attempting to push the group forward. The skeleton viciously attacked as the unsuspecting Cleric hollered for the group to stop, attempting to turn and face his attacker while being shoved around by the others. Realizing that her attacker was now behind them Negga pressed on, and just like before the moment Pharaun Mizzrym was able to deal a few solid blows to his attacker it backed off, peppering him with more magic missiles as he tried to pursue it. Leyla cast what protection spells she could upon Pharaun Mizzrym, who was taking a considerable amount of damage from the attack, while Negga opted to just plow through as far as she could. She hoped to pin the creature against the wall at the end of the hall, or at least to force it to stay on one side of them, but to the groups surprise the moment they reached the end of the hall the tomb’s guardian froze back in place, appearing once again to be nothing more then a statue. Negga wished to crush the cursed statue where it stand, and most likely would have if Pharaun Mizzrym hadn’t stopped her. He feared that further tampering might activate it again, and that there were bigger challenges awaiting them further in the crypt.
The hall broke off into two directions one of which ended in a larger room while the other seemed to just snake on. The group decided to go investigate the room before continuing down the hall. This chamber was much different then the rest of the crypt. The scorched black stone and ghastly images were gone, along with the odd grey mist that clung to the stonework. These walls had obviously been whitewashed some long time ago, and were now a murky grey. A bright white continual flame lit the room from the alcove at the room’s far end. In front of the fire stood an altar, it’s front emblazed with the symbol of Tyr. A silver offering plate sat on top the altar. The group filtered into the room, searching for traps and clues as to what lay ahead. But all that they found were five silver coins in the offering tray. Pharaun Mizzrym instructed everyone to leave the altar alone, however Cory could not resist. As they were exiting the room he took one of the silver coins with the intent of pocketing it, and that’s when danger struck. The flames in the room roared up and contorted spitting an odd pseudonatural hound into the room which jumped on the poor rouge. Pharaun Mizzrym and Negga quickly stormed into the room, beating the alien creature off of their rogue whom quickly retreated to the back of the room. The fight drew on and on, with the odd alien creature showing little concern for it’s injuries while nearly killing Leyla. In an attempt to halt the fight Cory tossed the coin back into the offering plate….. Which summoned another of these odd hounds, and in a spite of panic he tossed one of his own coins into the plate, which brought forth a third fiery hound!
Negga quickly tore the Rogue away from the altar, tossing him across the room with a loud snarl. The group eventually overcame the hounds, however had to use nearly all their healing potions and spells to bring the fallen Leyla back up. Once the hounds were downed and their wounds tended to a fiery argument broke out within the group, with threats of leaving the Rogue down here if he did not start following orders.
Finally the group made their way deeper into the tomb, with their trusted meat shield, Negga once again leading the way. Despite the Half-orc wanting to throw Cory up front. The group quickly came upon another room, this one which provided yet another interesting little puzzle for them. The strange wisps of smoke that clung to the stonework gathered around the base of a large, four-sided ebony pyramid that took up the center of this room. Every so often the structure crackled with eldritch energy, and the air in this room was so statically charged that the groups hair stood on end. Also in the room was a group of four kobold. The kobold were in fact fleeing from the party, however to both groups surprise there was a large spark from the structure in the middle of the room, followed by the appearance of three odd spectral hounds. The strange creatures regarded both groups the same, as food, and quickly tried to dispatch each group. While Negga and her friends held their ground and fended off their attackers, the kobold turn tail and ran for the exit. As they retreated a small handful of otherwordly creatures appeared and attacked. Strange giant lizards, tentacle-like plant monsters, even skeletal imps poured out of the pyramid in the center of the room. The two groups quickly caught on that this was some kind of trap, and held their ground in their respective corners of the room, refusing to budge in fear of summoning more of these alien monsters.
Bows and slings were loaded as the groups began peppering the other side of the room, and just as the daring rescuers we’re getting an upper hand the kobold pulled a new trick out of their sleeves. One of the kobold took off from the group, running as fast as his little legs could carry him towards the adventurer party and then back, summoning a new onslaught of monsters for their pursuers to deal with as they once again made for the exit. With half of their band lost the kobold were finally able to slip past the monsters and exit further into the crypt, leaving their pursuers with a roomful of nasty alien monsters. The group put their back to the walls and fended off the attack, with both Pharaun Mizzrym and Cory caught by the odd tentacle creatures it was up to the raging barbarian Negga to save the day. Orcish bellows and curses echoed through the room as she brawled with what was left of the creatures, ripping her friends from the clutches of the odd plants and with the help of Leyla dragging them into a small hall about halfway through the room.
Leyla and Negga decided it’d be best to wait here for a couple of hours, to let their fallen comrades catch their breath and recover from their close encounter with the grim reaper. Leyla stayed with her comrades, but the restless Orc ventured further down the hall. Hoping to find some way to bypass the pyramid room she scouted ahead, but was quite shocked when she found a dead end. The hall ahead was blocked with piles upon piles of filth. Rotting bodies, decomposing dung and trash so far gone it was beyond recognition clogged the hall and Negga was forced to turn back. When she rejoined her group they were up and ready to press on. This time with Pharaun Mizzrym leading the way, carefully choosing a route he had noticed the kobold take without setting off the cursed pyramid. Slowly they traversed the room, only summoning up a single odd impish creature along the way, which they easily dispatched. Pharaun Mizzrym quickly noticed that the door leading out of this room wasn’t like all the others. Instead of the sturdy wood it was made out of the same dark stone as the rest of the crypt, and held those alien drawings of five odd triangles which seemed to sway and dance. Upon trying to open the door the Cleric let out a loud hiss and quickly recoiled. Cringing in pain from some unseen attack he informed his group that he could not open the door. Neggatook no heed to his warning, and also tried to open the door. However the group quickly learned that a human’s reply to pain isn’t the same as an Orc’s. Negga Thrashed and bashed at the door, forcing it in and out of the way with a few great lurches.
Past that cursed door was what obviously appeared to be the final room. A small room with shattered urns and burial trinkets scattered about played entry to a second room which hummed with some mystical sound. Upon finding nothing of interest in the first the group ventured into the second room to find the final resting place of Lord Marzut. As soon as they entered this room the humming stopped and the crystal that floated above a central sarcophagus crashed to the ground shattering at their feet. The scattered bones in the room pulled themselves together and animated, forming two skeletons who attacked the group. The skeletons were easily thwarted, but as they fell a new ashy figure approached them, Lord Misbah himself. The fight was a rather quick one, the Rensha lord having no traps or puzzles in here to dispatch his foes.
With the rooms distractions disabled the group found a small portion of the wall that had been destroyed, and a tunnel leading down further underground. The stonework here was obviously different then the rest of the tomb, plain and undecorated, a simple dirt tunnel that lead them down to a smaller cave guarded by the few kobold that had escaped the scuffle earlier. The group quickly dispatched these unsuspecting foes and ventured deeper down into these unknown tunnels.
Lord Misba’s Final Haunt
Like the first group “Jem”-Talion Migait, Gary Coleman and Ralph were taken into the tomb, past the soft glowing light of the Prior’s defenses, and lowered down a well into the actual tomb. The group was lowered to a three way intersection, with each hall leading to a heavy wooden door. A riddle was etched onto each door.
The door to the east read; My bald headed lover, She rivaled Firehair. My cruel wicked asp, As deadly as Baal. Forever my bride; In a cage without fail. As for the priest, He blocks the road to Hell.
The south door read;
Knock, knock No one’s home Rap, rap It rains stone Tap, tap There’s more here than bones.
The west door read; One coin for Tyr; it’s all he can carry. One coin for Lathander; can’t have him tarry. Two for Helm; to block his sight. The rest for me; Beyond this door.
The group decided it best not to tamper with the doors until they had deciphered the riddles to evade any traps. However after talking for about an hour a muffled voice called to them from the west door. The voice begged for their help, claiming that he had been trapped in the tombs for ages. The group was suspicious and refused to help him, however after further begging they were able to get some more info from the voice, who admitted he was a ghost imprisoned in the tomb, and that letting him out of the room would be the first step to setting his soul to rest. With this, the group broke down the door . They were eagerly greeted by the image of a ghastly young man in his upper twenties, well dressed in exotic garb wearing a turban and silks. He introduced himself as Amar, and explained that he had been falsely accused of aiding lord Misbah in his dasterdly deads and henceforth was imprisoned in his old “master’s” tomb by a well meaning priest of Lathander.
The group continued further through the catacombs with their new companion constantly yapping in their ear. He had informed them that this priest’s body was also in the tomb, and was infused with some kind of magic that would forever bind him to the catacombs if they couldn’t remove the enchantment. The group wasn’t pleased with desecrating the remains of a priest, however they agreed to see what they can do to please the ghost. Eventually they came upon a fork in the hall, the new path housing a large, barricaded door. Just like their previous room loud moans could be heard coming from behind the door, however when the group called out the noise went silent.
The group decided to investigate and unbarred the door, inside they found a large, dimly lit chamber framed with large pillars. As they made their way through they summarized that the moans must have just been the catacombs themselves, and that’s when danger struck. Hidden behind one of the pillars was a starving ghast who lashed out at the closest of the group, rending them paralyzed as it tried to feast upon their flesh. Through a long, engrueling hit and run fight they were able to best the ghast. The group took a moment to catch their breath, and then continued further into the tomb.
Further down the hall the group came to a small room which held a single urn in the center of the room, and was decorated with a southern style art. past this urn they found a door with two statues of women holding babies on each side. Misbah explained that he was cremated after death, and that his remains were in the urn. He asks the group not to disturb the urn, and they move further past the odd statues.
In an offshoot to the left the party found the priests crypt, a small room decorated with various statues honoring Lathander. Upon entering the room the statues immediately animated and attacked. The statues were very little challenge, and afterwards the party opted to free the trapped spirit. With a shriek and a cry the spirit revealed himself to be Lord Misbah himself, and was carried off by shrieking demons of Belzebub.
The group ventured back to the main entrance, and this time went through the northern door. The sight of this part of the tomb was breathtaking. Odd foreign designs were etched into the stonework and in the center of the room stood a large crystal with a beautiful woman encased inside. The plaque read “Disrupt this tomb and you shall truely know the hands of death.” Having dealt with a series of nasty traps on their way back through the tomb, which they summarized were now active due to disturbing the priests tomb, they now glued themselves to the wall and carefully made their way to the next room.
The next room was a large contrast to the rest of the tomb. Most of the stonework was torn away, leaving a large gaping hole leading down another level. However the most noticeable feature was the thick black smoke clinging to the ceiling, pouring out of the three large bonfires positioned around the room. Whatever this room use to be was no matter important, it was obvious that this tunnel was fresh, and most likely lead to wherever the Hark was holding his captive. The group quickly attempted to traverse the tunnel, but as they crossed the room flames shot out of the fires attacking the party. Three Ash rats had made their homes in the fires, and refused to let the party move on. After various exchange the odd rats would just retreat into the bonfires, their wounds almost instantly healing. Eventually the party was able to put out the fires and kill off the rats, finally able to move deeper down under the Highlords hall.
Down this tunnel the groups converged on opposite sides of a very small, narrow room. Guarding the only tunnel further down was a large demonic dog, which the combined groups were easily able to vanquish. Past this guard dog was what the group was really after, tied to a large stake was the Highlords son, guarded by a monstrous sight. Goblins, multiple were rats, and a single larger shamanic figure. The creatures surveyed the party, and shouted multiple curses out in various languages before charging the band. After a long fight which left many of the group wounded or dieing, the Hark’s brood was defeated and their captive rescued. However those left standing were able to see a sight that chilled them to their bones. There was a small tunnel that lead further down yet, but peeking in revealed twelve mind-flayers waiting patiently for something. They either didn’t notice, or didn’t care about the ragtag adventures, who quickly retrieved the hostage and took their wounded back to the surface.
Kalahar was extatic to have his son back and awarded the adventurers with large sums of gold, along with ornate jade blades that would mark them as members of the newly founded jade blade.