Post Update 2/8/10:
The session began with the party opening the portcullis. One of the human expedition guards, Autumn, climbed down the entry hall hole and asked to join the group, citing she felt safer with them after the calamities that have thus far befallen the expedition. Cregg accepted her offer to join under his employ. At the end of a short hall was a "T" intersection that ended in 2 doors.
Beyond the first door checked Rak'Shan heard noises, but upon opening the door found another tomb, more ornate and intact than the first tomb they found. The frescoes painted on the walls depicted a great warrior bearing a shield with the symbol of Apathos, Lord of Rulers and Military Commanders, leading a legion of warriors against a red-eyed darkness. The party cracked open the sealed tomb, discovering a mummified knight in ornate plate armor with a bastard sword and knight's shield bearing Apathos' symbol (all bearing the signs of age, but still in otherwise serviceable condition). Still needing proof they found Haindrad's Tomb, they extricated the knight from his armor as best they could and recovered the shield. Under his body, they found a rectangular depression that looked out of place, but couldn't fathom its purpose. Some discussion ensued between Flambo and Vendee over the 'proper' burial rites of the remains, eventually ending with Vendee making the point that performing funerary rites (i.e., putting interred remains to the torch) to Vulknar, God of Fire, on remains of warriors dedicated to Apathos while in a consecrated location may be a bad idea. Cregg was given the plate armor to "continue the contributions of it's former owner" until they got back to Sirac's Point. On Exiting the room after reinterring the knight's body and sealing the tomb, Flambo noticed some dirt falling from a large crack in the tomb's roof (they noted there were several cracks throughout the tomb itself) and borrowed Autumn's spear.
Poking into the crack, he found an angry millipede. The millipede, fully 4 feet in length and with sharp mandibles, shot down Flab’s spear and wounded him. The group, clustered in and around the doorway, jockeyed into position to see what was happening and then to try to help Flambo. Flambo tossed the spear and millipede down and Rak'Shan, not having a spear and unable to fire a missile weapon into the melee used his 10 ft pole to push the creature away from Flambo. Autumn, moved into melee, but the millipede caught her and in a single bite wounded her into unconsciousness. It then climbed over her and reared up, daring the party to take its meal away. Several minutes of combat ensued, with the millipede's armored shell protecting it well. Several of the party were wounded, but in the end the beast was slain and luckily Autumn was unconscious but stable. Cregg, Vendee and Flambo bound up the wounded's injuries and applied light healing magic to Autumn, waking her back up and restoring some of her health.
Boldly, they made for the other door on the other end of the hall. Rak'Shan heard no sound beyond it and the group forced it open. Beyond, they found a third tomb. It was unfinished, but inside they found the remains of another knight, his rusted sword run through a skeleton, and seven mostly disintegrated headless skeletons. The stone of the room was singed by a great fire, as was the front of the knight's mostly destroyed armor. In the unfinished tomb, they found a second rectangular depression. One corner had a holy water font and basin, and Flambo set about doing the blessing to create holy water and succeeding in making enough to fill four vials. Not having any, he blessed an empty rum bottle and poured the liquid into it, hoping his deity would see fit to show his favor. Thinking on the odd depressions, Vendee remembered they found two rectangular blocks of obsidian marked with Apathos' symbol. Taking them, he inserted a block into each depression (after re-disturbing the knight in the tomb) and the complex shook slightly for several minutes with a deep sound of stone moving. Seeing no visible effect though, they returned to the entry room to plot their next course of action.
Rak'Shan checked the two remaining doors and decided to open the southern door. Beyond was a small cleansing room, complete with working bathing fountain and a small supplicant's altar. Cregg filled his waterskin from the fountain and discovered the water was clean and refreshing. Flambo drank from the fountain and the water turned black. He spasmed a few times and keeled over, nearly dying had Cregg not been there to apply first aid and healing magic. Rak'Shan theorized that the fountain was to spiritually cleans the person, washing away their sins so they could worship at the corrupted shrine. Cregg was safe from the effect since he took water from the fountain, but Flambo drank directly from the fountain and suffered for it.
The decision to return topside met the group with the total destruction of the remaining expedition guards and the scout was missing. Most looked as if they were strangled or clawed to death and a few had bite marks. Clouds begun to roll in and threatened a storm as well (something Rak'Shan and the rest of the group did not relish trudging through). They cleaned up the bodies and gathered what supplies they could carry, giving last rites and set about posting watches so they could rest and Flambo could recover from his ordeal. Overnight the clouds broke into a light rain, but otherwise it was uneventful.
The next morning the group returned to the last door they had yet to explore. Rak'Shan heard scraping noises beyond and the group made ready to fight. The door opened, they beheld a room with a suit of plate armor wielding a great hammer standing in the center. A cursory look with bull’s-eye lanterns revealed a passage exiting to the right at the far end of the room. Rak'Shan skirted the room to the passage and reported the hall beyond 10 or so feet was sealed by a great stone plug. Wary of the armor, Vendee entered the room and the armor swung its hammer about, flinging it at Rak'Shan with devastating accuracy and knocking him unconscious. A furious melee ensued, with the empty suit of armor wounding several of the party heavily before falling to parts on the floor. Wounds were bound and the last of the healing magic at their disposal was applied. After examining the plug and much discussion, the group decided it was sealed tight and not moving unless there was a hidden control they missed.
Discussion was also brought up over simply leaving. They found a tomb, that was for sure, about the same age as the era Haindrad lived in, and had proof of it in the armor and shield taken from one of the knights. Galeena piped up about the black 'pearl' as well, reminding the group of their promise she could have it when they were ready to leave the place for good. After some discussion of how the group would put her down if the 'pearl' began to do strange or vile things to her (or forced her to strange and vile things to them), the group returned to the desecrated chapel.
On the way they noticed the stone door to the first warrior's tomb was different and did not have the gap on the bottom it originally had. Forcing this open they discovered the room was different than before - it was a map room of Haindrad's Hills made in miniature, marking the location of Haindrad's Tomb. It was surmised that Haindrad's Tomb was hidden by the builders and this secondary site was created and inhabited by the few faithful entrusted with the secret location of Haindrad's true resting place, to throw off any would-be looters. Unfortunately, some calamity (probably the attackers found in the third warrior's tomb) wiped out the inhabitants of the complex, taking the location to the grave. Vendee used a sheet of parchment and made a map of the miniature region, noting some of the features had changed since it was made. Noting the Haindrad's Tomb was only about a mile to the north, the group allowed Galeena to grab the 'pearl', waiting tensely when she grasped it. The only effect they noted was a single pulse of energy, but no other effect seemed to happen.
Returning topside, they gathered the gear they could carry and set out northwards, following Vendee's map. En route, they were set upon by a thirst of five stirges. Rak'Shan was taken down by one of the creatures, but Autumn made sure it did not escape, killing it in a shower of blood. Vendee was set on by one of the creatures as well and nearly killed when Flambo struck at it with his hammer while Vendee was grappling with the small beast. The rest of the creatures fell in quick succession and Rak'Shan was patched up as best as Cregg could manage and the group marched their way to the location on the map. Tired of the rain and the pains of their wounds, the group decided to scout for a defensible location to make camp and wait until tomorrow to begin scouting the Tomb's entrance.
Solenus 15th-17th, 5231 A.C.
|Character||Sex/Race||XP Given||XP Total||Next Level|
|Flambo, Novice of Vulknar||Male Endu||430||1,480||3,150 (+10%)|
|Vendee, Apprentice-at-Arms||Male Elf||467||1,730||2,025 (+10%)|
|Galeena, Woman-at-Arms||Female Halfling||177||634||1,900 (+5%)|
|Lirus the Apprentice||Male Elf||189||658||2,375 (+5%)|
|Cregg, Acolyte of Tymira||Male Human||430||685||1,350 (+10%)|
|Rak’Shan the Initiate||Male Tigran||462||721||1,750|
|Autumn, Woman-at-Arms||Female Human||455||455||1,900 (+5%)|