Session #69 – Sacred Stones and Bothered Bones

After a night at home, the Raiders returned to the Irinduis tomb to explore the rest of the caves. They began with the passage clogged with vegetative debris. Aderian pulled out rotting moss and clear a small hole, perhaps one foot across. Presently, he faced the clacking jaws of a giant centipede. Moments later, it and several others scurried out!

Centipedes!

The overgrown bugs circled and snapped at random. Mandibles slipped harmlessly on armored plates as swords, maces and hammers skewered and mashed the vermin into viscous goo. The elf mage Tienarth, most vulnerable by lack of armor, suffered a bite on his forearm. Blood oozed from twin punctures around which his thin elven skin reddened and swelled. Momentarily, he staggered and knelt under a wave of vertigo.

Ferris sheathed his sword and strode to Tienarth’s aid. He pulled healing salve from a pouch and applied it to the wound. As the others made work of crushing the steady stream of bugs emerging from the hole, another crawled up Tienarth’s back. Ghevont swiped at it with his mace, sending it across the chamber where it was spiked on a stalagmite.

A third centipede bit Tienarth, drawing blood again. Once again, Ferris applied a healing salve which calmed the swelling around the bites. With all centipedes defeated, Tienarth seemed well, though perhaps disturbed by lingering side-effects of centipede venom. Ferris picked over the corpses to fill several vials of venom in hopes of making antivenom later.

A Hydra Under Wraps

The next challenge they contemplated was the hydra statue. They knew from prior experience that statues in these elf tombs animated into real creatures. Once before, they’d tossed nets over a statue to mixed results. They tried this again, and once again, the statue delivered an electric blast of energy on both Aderian and Ghevont immediately after they draped nets over the statue, which soon after came to life.

The hydra struggled under the nets, unable to strike as they all delivered blows. As quickly as it came to live, the hydra collapsed into death.

Pools, Ghouls and Mummified Fools

Beyond the hydra, the cavern descended another gravel-covered slope to a chamber dominated by a shallow pool. Crystal-clear and deathly still, the pool was merely a foot deep at center. As they approached, voices from deeper in the caves jeered, warning them that to egress was possible, that watery doom awaited.

Ghevont advanced and the pool erupted into a column of water, slowing forming into the shape of a serpent. He produced his pearl of spell-storing and let forth a blessing to purify the water of the pool. The column tumbled back down into the pool.

To the right, four ghouls approached. Ghevont displayed his holy symbol and the ghouls retreated. Azrak headed to the left to investigate the voices, finding a dead body in a cavern and spotting a figure shuffling out of the chamber. Suddenly the body on the floor clasped Azrak’s ankle. The chill of illness ran up his limb. Behind them, four more ghouls rushed up and they too were turned by the cleric.

Aderian, Ferris, Ghevont and Bottoms surrounded the mummy and began raining down blows. It dodged and swiped to no avail and eventually broke up into inanimate pieces.

The moved on to the next chamber to find six skeletons holding whips and curved bladed. Ghevont showed his holy symbol and they retreated into a tunnel across the room. Splashing was heard from the tunnel, which was later found to be flooded to the ceiling, impassible.

With ghouls submissive, they examined several graves. The first, the one nearest the tunnel, was previously disturbed, now just bones and scattered stones. The next gave forth a spirit who said, “I am Omion. My thirst for the arcane overcame all reason and I drank the blood of my kin.” Inside, they found a three scrolls and a leather pouching containing two golden anklets.

Disturbing another grave, a spirit appeared. “I am Galmire. My wealth was no cure for the rotting disease.” Inside were two books and a scroll. The corpse wore a silver belt set with garnets.

Tracing the retreat path of the ghouls, they found them huddled behind a grave. Not wishing to let such horrors exist, they plotted destruction. The ghouls were powerless to do more than press themselves against the cave walls, for no exit remained. Tienarth filled the room with webs and they set about shooting arrows at the immobile ghouls. Several slipped free of the webs but where chased and cut down.

The third grave produced another spirit speaking lyrically. “I am Galegal. Good friend, for black tongue’s sake forbeare, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones.” The corpse clutched a scroll in each hand and wore a rotting leather belt with a golden buckle shaped like a devil’s face.

Loot packed up, they returned home to examine treasure and plan their next step. Deterred by the water-filled tunnel, they decided on finding the last tomb, beyond the swamp.

Endnotes

  • Treasure:
    • Arcane scroll of Detect Magic
    • Scroll of Protection for Lycanthropes
    • Ancient elven cleric scroll: Protection from Evil, Silence 15′ radius, Speak with Dead
    • 2 golden anklets worth 7,258gp
    • Two books describing manors in Tosasth
    • Ancient elven cleric scroll of Cure Light Wounds
    • Silver belt set with garnets worth 5,359gp
    • Ancient elven scroll of Bless
    • Scroll of Protection from Undead
    • Golden buckle with a devil’s face worth 5,872gp
  • Characters present: Tienarth/Tre, Ghevont/Jeff, Aderian/Jason, Ferris/Henry, Azrak/NPC, Bottoms/Michael.
  • Virtues: none
  • Vices: none

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