“We just slew the jackal-men and their strange hounds; now, do we explore the cave in the corner? There’s gold on the wall and throne we could try taking – but what of the cave? And the graffiti on the wall next to it – another jackal-headed man, but with the symbol of the gods – is that within the cave?
Darmok and Paddy are discussing our choices, and Rebamac wants to light the incense – she’s examining it, but the others are talking her out of using it. It seems ordinary, but what does this Ranger know of such priestly matters? Oh, they’ve decided we’re going west, leaving the cave for later.
Paddy’s sneaking into the room – with his sword’s light turned off, I can’t even see where he’s at, let alone hear him…wait…he’s just lit it up. And he’s running this way, yelling! Get the clerics to turn undead! Chees and Rebamac are at the archway, chanting, and Darmok’s moving up.. Here we go, me, Darmok, Garath, Paddy, and the clerics, into the chamber.
Everything’s black – onyx walls, black sandstone ceiling, black granite floor…by Cuthbert’s club, two giant black cobras! Only four of the skeletons are attacking, hurling javelins, but the snakes – it can’t seem to penetrate Darmok’s plate, but Garath just got bit! He’s cursing, I’ll try to get in there and kill it…
At last, with the snakes dead, our plan is to back out and head south. What’s that sound, clinking and rattling? Change of plans, form a horseshoe around the entrance, dodge those javelins and attack. We’ve funneled them so only a few can attack at a time, and we’re smashing them – those of us with maces, anyways. Bobill and Exex are still hanging back, just in case.
Of course, we’ll go back in the black room and look around. Black granite pedestals supporting coffers and urns in the west section, and in front of these coffins depicting animals – crocodiles, cats, baboons, and more. They’re called sarcophagi? No, we won’t touch them? To the south? Let’s press on, then. My wounds aren’t bothering me that badly, I can go on.
Galloping griffons, this place is huge! Can’t see the walls, ‘cept behind us. Again, Paddy and Exex are looking for traps – not sure what there could be, with all these sarcophagi around. They look very fancy, painted in blues and purples and gold, and they look very heavy, too – what’s that noise? Dragging feet…
The thieves are close to a riser with a reed boat on it, and someone’s just stepped from the shadows. That voice is awful – reminds me of a man’s dying gasps…‘Who dares to enter the crypt of kings? Who dares the curse of the gods themselves?’ I’m getting ready for a fight…Exex is trying to reason with him. He looks terrible, in moldy purple robes and wrapped in rags, a mummy I think, but he’s got a headdress on and carries a bronze staff. That’s a huge gem on it – aaagh!
He just struck the staff on the riser and made thunder – the thieves are running, I better get up there – there goes Darmok and Garath, too! Almost there, but what’s that at the sides? Odd-looking corpses, maybe, also in fancy garb and scrambling towards the spellcasters; glancing back, yes, and a couple of those jackal-men and their hounds! Better focus on this mummy first, though…I’ll help them out if the Paladin and barbarian can destroy him.
What’s he mumbling, that sinister speech of his – AAaaagghh the noise!” (bright light)
“Oh my gods, Trathonax is dead! So is Chees, I think! Mumbo Jumbo Levitaytus!
Whew – those dogs can’t reach me now, that was close. From up here, I can see much better… Darmok, Garath and Paddy are cutting down the mummy, I guess he’s the one who cursed this place. Exex just paralyzed the hound below me with her wand…one of those undead things and a jackal-man are attacking Rebamac – let me help her out….” (zzzappp!)
“I know I have one Missile spell left…Blast that thing, it’s casting more spells on Darmok, a variant of the Missile spell! If it sends another lightning bolt from that staff, more of us will fall! I wish I could do more! Last Missile, right at that horror….” (zzzappp!)
“They slew it! Thank the gods! I can see those other undead creatures attacking and weakening Paddy, Garath, and Rebamac. The one on Garath has one of those strange swords, and it looks like it’s glowing… Exex just tried to paralyze the last jackalman, on Darmok, but her aim erred – now she’s getting out her spell components . . . she’s disappeared.
What did Rebamac call them – wights? It’s hit her twice! She’s faltering, and I’ve no more spells. At last, Garath felled his and is rushing to her aid!
It appears Exex is killing the paralyzed hounds…and now the last wight has fallen, crumpling into a heap of rags. We’ve got to get the cleric and ranger healed!”
“I’m astonished those humans survived Athanasus’ lightning stroke – I’d have wagered against the ranger, at least. He received the full impact first. Now we are reduced two more. May Celene grant that we’ve seen the worst that wretched necropolis has to offer. The tallfellow and knight want to use my healing potions, so they don’t have to rest as long…silly short-lifers! No matter to me, I’m unscathed. Just let me study and regain my spells…
...So now it’s ‘off we go’, to see the ‘stonecutter’ – we know he’s more than that, but let’s amuse ourselves, why not?...
...He claims we killed the mummy’s body, but not it’s heart, and it’s heart is still in the heart of the hill. Hmmm, I should put that to music, someday, should I lift myself a lute. But those thoughts for another day, we are indeed to go back into that tomb, to explore the cave and hopefully put an end to this traipsing in the heat and earth. The knight – though he’s not been knighted yet – and his barbarian companion, the Tallfellow and the half-human, and of course Bobill, now carrying the Pharos’ staff. That’s a very nice staff…
Paddy to the right, me to the left, and not a thing to see with heat vision, since they’ve got their swords shining. There’s water to the north in this cave – that sure looked like a nice haul back in the throne room, all that gold on the wall and throne…maybe I should see if I can remove it…what was that? Snarling or growling, and it’s near – who else, the Tallfellow! Heavens! Grab my bow and get an arrow ready – that’s one massive beast! Looks like a two-headed black jackal, Garath and Paddy are holding it at bay…ah, good shot!
With that dead, we’re approaching a reddish glow in the south part of the cave – it’s a pot, on a rock, and it glows, like it’s hot, inside…that’s a nice ditty, could be another song, someday…arguing again about what to do, a beating heart is in the pot and they think the staff is involved. Why debate, someone should just do what they think is best. A decision at last? Bobill tried a Light spell from the staff, then used the staff to sear the heart with Lightning, but to faint effect, so now he’s trying the mummy’s spell with the staff to cast a huge thunderclap with lightning – ahh … my hearing’s coming back now, but it worked, the pot is destroyed and so too the heart.
Could our quest really be at it’s end? We report to the stonecutter again – no, though the Spring of Athis flows again, though weakly, we are tasked to do yet more. I immerse the evil tome in the freshly-spilt waters, but this only dispels some small protection from it; the stonecutter says we must take it to a creature in the west which may turn the book to stone, and the bearer with it. Then the petrified book is to be returned here, to finally be destroyed. It seems the others are trusting me to continue bearing this evil tome, so let’s be off…
After hours crossing the desert and finding this cave, we’re once again far below daylight in the accursed darkness. At least it’s cooler down here – nothing seems to be moving, though. They’ve just recited their Protection scroll, so as not to be affected by the monster’s magic and turned to stone – but I’m to go sword-to-claw with this beast, which they think a basilisk, in order to have it petrify this leather-and hide tome. Funny that sound, like wings beating, and…Ah, foul creature, beak and claw attack me! I hold out the book to hold it off! Ah - (everything stops)
Me, the knight, the half-elf and halfling remain – and that suspicious, skinny human mage. The elf-woman has just fallen to that bird-thing we killed. It turned her to stone, which I now carry. Is she still alive in there? I should be careful not to drop her. Would she crack apart if I did? Hmmm…No, better not, or Darmok will have words for me. He always knows better than I. He’’s been – what’s that word? Edu-cake-ed. I wonder if the priestess, and the ranger what’s-his-name, and that stout bearded fellow have been edu-cake-ed? I could go to the wagon and ask them. It’s good this elf-woman wasn’t my size, or she’d be a lot heavier. Darmok says to carry her all the way to the fountain-room in the Dome. The stonecutter will help us. I don’t see how – he seems puny and weak. He carves well, though…
He’s chiselling the book from her hands – amazing, he didn’t break so much as a finger off! He’s put the stone book down on the floor, and is going to smash it with his malle- by Tyr, I swear he just changed form for a moment! I thought he was golden and winged, and muscled like me! But still he looks like the stonecutter again?
He tells us the deed is done, we can place Exex in the fountain and she should be restored, and each of us, and the others, may also bathe in the fountain to be healed and cleansed. ‘Excuse me a moment,’ he says, and shuffles behind a pillar. Thor’s Hammer, the fountain proves true, Exex elf-woman is flesh again! Did I just hear flapping wings? I see nothing odd, but the stonecutter’s gone… I guess I’ll help our wounded companions up to here from the wagon.
So ends the night’s session; thanks to Trathonax, Bobill, Exex, and Garath, in order.
Total count for this adventure (so far):
4 levels drained;
3 brought to below 0 hp and incapacitated;
2 others brought to 1 hp and escaping to be healed;
1 petrified and incapacitated;
1 point Wisdom drained;
everyone restored to full health using the Spring of Athis.