Advice from Lah
Before leaving for home, Lah offered some advice on battling spectres, four of which remained to guard an unopened grave back in the Artalwel tomb. He first noted the use of the light spell placed on the eyes which blinds even incorporeal foes. Bless and bane offer some advantage. Tienarth considered his slow spell which would divide the chances for attack in half.
Next, Lah reminded them of the bones of St. Jaludi, legendary fighter of undead. His bones were kept as powerful relics. When hurled, they produce the effect of turning the undead. Though highly prized, many of these relics were lost. A traditional story tells of one dropped down a wishing well in Slateholm.
Lah’s final suggestion was Irevian Candles which produce holy light in a 10′ radius. Nothing undead can enter light from these candles. However, while a few devotees of St. Irevia resided at Lah’s Retreat, the required beeswax was not available.
Taking this advice home with them, they road home to the Jonamor Estate to rest and plan.
Strangers at the Door
Several weeks of daily rain kept the raiders indoors tending a fire, quarreling over old issues and debating a next move. Bottoms spent many days away, honing his battle skills in the woods and in the alleys of St. Orlan. A few days after Bottoms returned from training, a knock interrupted the daily argument.
Cloaks pulled close, two figures waited at the door. A stout halfling gripped his mace handle for confidence as he explained his aim to join up with Tienarth’s Raiders. He called himself Longstream, and he expected to adventure for gold. Likewise, the elf presented herself as willing to risk life and limb in quest for treasure, using wiles and magic. Though it was made known that many before and joined up to quickly fall in battle beside this crew, the two newcomers accepted the risk.
After much discussion, they discarded all the advice of Lah in favor of using Ghevont’s scroll of Protection from Undead. So, they traveled back to Artalwel tomb. Inside they found no evidence of the weretigers they battled previously. The spectres remained and once again presented angry faces and silent gestures of warning.
Ghevont produced the scroll and began reading. The lettering on the parchment glowed then burned with fire. Soon the entire scroll burst into a fire that expanded into a globe around him. A clear border of protection radiated outward from Ghevont in the vision of holy fire. The group crowded into the globe and moved towards the grave. Frustrated, the spectres darted around the them, unable to enter.
Thus protected, they began pulling the stones from the grave, triggering a spirit to emerge, as before. The vision of an elven lady spoke with a severe tone. “I am Lady Enwenlor, slain by a black dragon.” Inside the grave they found four scrolls and sack of moonstones. One of the scrolls showed a map leading to another elf tomb.
With no appetite for destroying the spectres, they retreated out of the tomb and into the sunlight. Examining the map, they headed off on a quick hike through the mountains.
Moving from valley to valley, they searched for another ancient oak with silver-edge leaves. While descending along a small stream, they noticed movement ahead in the undergrowth. They wondered if it was a large beast. Moments later, several zombies shuffled forward, fetid claws clambering for flesh.
Ghevont produced his holy symbol, causing a handful of zombie to turn away. More zombies closed in around them. Tienarth and Bottoms fired magic missiles. Ferris and Azrak cut into rotting zombie limbs, as did Longstream and Aderian. Evanthalas hurled vials of holy water that spun off into the forest.
Longstream’s mace clunked against zombie flesh, breaking bones. The zombie returned the aggression, raking a gash across his throat that gushed warm blood. Longstream dropped to one knee, appearing to teeter on the precipice of death. Then a surge of rage and determination lifted him up, urging him back into battle.
Bottoms looked around, noting the array of trees. Arcane words summoned sticky threads from the ether that attacked to rocks and tree branches to produce a circle of magical webbing. Most of the zombies were hopelessly stuck. A few pulled free and were cut down in battle.
As the battle ceased, the halfling collapsed into unconsciousness. Ghevont applied holy healing that immediately revived him.
Rellora, Elf Cleric
Eventually, they found the Imelel tomb. Near the sealed entrance, a kneeling figure placed flowers. The halfling called out a greeting to an elf maiden, introducing himself and explaining their quest to loot elf graves. Her response was indignant, strongly disapproving of the desecration of her ancestral tomb. Evanthalas argued for sharing, a vague statement perhaps taken as a threat. She mocked the false faith of the humans, the religion of the Anointed One practiced by Ghevont.
Aderian circled around the elf and attempted to strike her, but she noticed and easily ducked the blow. Ghevont called for calm dialog. He quizzed the elf. She was Rellora Imelel, descendant of the dwellers of the tomb. She doubted the notion that undead were within, though considered that other family tombs might be so inhabited. Her family was righteous, she claimed.
Recognizing her risky position among tomb robbers with might far in excess of hers, she carefully argued for release. She begged them not to enter her family’s tomb. She explained her own devotion to more ancient and true deities of the elves. Ghevont repeated the lore learned from the tombs they’d pillaged that described ancient elves as worshiping demons. These were not her gods, but she acknowledged the wickedness of the old elves who lived in Tosasth.
Somehow she extracted an oath from Ghevont to leave her family’s tomb untouched. In exchange, they marked their map with the locations of the Irinduis and Nelaser tombs, two families she claimed were particularly terrible, filthy of spirit. With this agreement, she slipped off into the darkness.
Thief by Night
Far enough from the homestead to consider a march in the dark as inconvenient, they made camp under the oak where little snow had gathered. At this elevation, several feet of snow piled up in the areas open to the sky. They divided watch duty and bedded down.
Around midnight, Ferris was alone awake, squatting near the camp fire. Suddenly a magical darkness enveloped him. The only point of light visible was Ghevont’s continual light rock producing a faint outline. Ferris scrambled towards Ghevont to wake him.
Behind him he heard rustling and then his own continual light rock tumbled from his untended backpack to reveal the outline of a 10′ tall humanoid shape. He turned to rush at the thief, swinging his sword, but missed.
Ghevont stood and ran to engage in battle as well. The monster uttered a few arcane words and a cloud of confusion fell over Ferris who suddenly turned to flee into the snowy forest.
Ghevont swung his mace and landed a strong blow to the monster’s back. The almost total darkness only betrayed an outline of a horns or a horned helmet. The monster spoke another word and floated up into the air. Ghevont cast a light spell to destroy the magical darkness. He caught a glimpse of an ugly giant wearing horns and tusks before it flew up into the sky to escape.
Before long, Ferris came to his senses and returned to camp. The rest of the night was uneventful. In the morning, they made for the tomb of the family Irinduis.
- Scroll of Magic-User Spells: Darkness, Darkvision, Invisible Stalker, Read Languages
- Map to the Imelel tomb
- Scroll of Protection from Lycanthropes
- Scroll of Protection from Undead
- Sack of moonstones worth 5,451 gp
- Characters present: Tienarth/Tre, Ghevont/Jeff, Aderian/Jason, Ferris/Henry, Azrak/Nick, Bottoms/Michael, Mimi/Evanthalas, Bob/Longstream
- Virtues: none
- Vices: none