After the first morning back from adventuring, Jerker discovered the giant bats had all died overnight. He figured one reason was being bound up and not giving them any food or water. Planning for the next capture of animals, he purchased ten large cages and tarps to cover them. They were set out in the field at the homestead.
Ollie hired Carl to provide more training. He also buried another 800 gp in his secret spot in the woods near the homestead. That job complete, he headed for the tavern to root around for news and rumors. The main topic of conversation was the restlessness of peasants near Slateholm. The in past year, the rebel forces had attacked and then were repulsed by loyalist forces. In response, the mayor of Slateholm instituted harsh taxes, which drove many peasants to abandon farms, which were seized. A small insurrection was put down months before, and the rumors told of full peasant revolt coming.
Nate wondered about buying a trained eagle. No one in St. Orlan knew of a source for such an exotic animal. A tale was told of a hawkmaster living at Morgansfort. Under the influence of strong ale, a theory was offered that if any trainer of fighting eagles existed, he would perhaps produce one per year. Where such an individual might be was not known.
Another rumor passed around was about a nomad the the ability to steal the lifeforce of victims.
Ferris studied the great book of alchemy and learned how to brew potions of ESP. He failed, however, to create any viable specimens.
Jerker checked in with his parents and then Sheriff Bremlai who assured him that St. Orlan was safe from the ongoing civil war thanks to the secretive deal he made.
Excursion to Hex 0411
On 4/7, a party was organized to resume the search for the sandstone quarry. They were Ferris, Jerker, Nate, Ollie and Saul. On 4/8, caves were found in hex 0510. From an open hole in the ground, they heard water dripping and smelled sulfur. Ollie descended to find a beautiful limestone cave with a small stream running through it. When he described it to the group, they decided to leave the cave alone, primarily due to the sulfur smell.
They moved on to hex 0410 and then 0411 where they heard crying. They found a woman and an unusual hexagonal pad of stone. Mieri explained that she and her husband, Jusele, had come upon this monument after wandering in the Tosasth valley in search of treasure. Jusele opened a central hatch and descended into the chamber below. A rope tied around a tree still dropped down the hole to the floor 25 feet below.
Jerker climbed down the rope, followed by Ferris. A click under foot opened a hatch that released 11 giant rats. Ollie tried sliding down the rope quickly but fumbled the maneuver, tumbling to the floor with a thunk. Although Ferris and Ollie were bitten, the rats were soon all dead.
Three sarcophagi sat on the south end of the hexagonal room, 25 feet across. Two doors of iron led outward. The northern door was ajar. Jerker pulled it open to find a hexagonal tube, 5 feet tall that extended a short distant and ended in another door. He crouched down and headed to the door, which he pushed open. Ferris followed, as did Ollie.
Inside, they met a menacing creature, obviously undead, standing over another figure. It raised its gaze and chuckled. All three felt fear grip their hearts, though Ferris and Jerker shrugged off the feeling a moment later. Ollie, filled with panic, fled to entrance chamber and hid in one of the sarcophagi.
The terrifying figure was a priest of Molok. Its maw open and a stream of filth covered Jerker and Ferris. The stench of disease covered them, and they were weakened. Never the less, Jerker stepped up to the mummy priest and struct him with a mightly blow of Itush, his crystalline sword. The mummy dropped to the floor, but the other mummy that was laid out on the floor stood up and grabbed Ferris by the throat. Jerker pulled Ferris free, and the priest of Molok stood up and breathed his filthy vomit once again. As Nate entered the room, the priest placed a curse of weakness upon him.
Ferris backed out of the room and threw flaming oil. It landed short, just inside the doorway. Jerker hit the mummy priest, who then brought down magical darkness. The other mummy clawed at Jerker. The situation was dire. Ferris produced a potion of undead control. The lesser mummy stopped attacking, but the mummy priest resisted.
Jerker and Nate, both inside the room, dashed through the fire to join Ferris. Out of view, the mummy priest produced an abundance of water, which doused the flames. Jerker ran for the rope and began climbing. Nate followed. Ollie, seeing the mummy priest approach, also jumped from his hiding place, planning to climb the rope. The mummy priest cast a spell over Ferris, who was instantly paralyzed.
Nate turned and threw himself at Ferris. The two tumbled out of the way. Jerker whipped his legs about, swinging on the rope towards the mummy priest. As he landed, he plunged Itush into the priest’s chest. The undead horror fell apart, all animating force gone.
The other mummy, still charmed by Ferris, stepped into the room. Jerker began burning the mummy priest. He screamed, “kill me now!” It was Jusele, transformed into a mummy. He hollered, “Mieri, I love you!” as Jerk pushed him into the flames.
Back at the surface, Nate attempted to heal Jerker to no effect. The realized they were all suffering from mummy rot. After Ollie’s fear subsided, he climbed back down to examine the mummy priest’s chamber. There he found a chest of coins and a large ruby. As he climbed back up the rope and announced his find, the stone edifice closed up and began sinking into the ground. They stood back as it disappeared.
Mieri, recovering from her grief, expressed her expectation of a share of the loot recovered. The group disabused her of this notion. She settled for an escort back to St. Orlan. But the strongest party members were hurt. They limped back to the ruined tower without incident, but at night, they were visited by a chimera. They fled to the basement below the tower. Fortunately, the savage beast was content to the eat the two mules they brought with them.
The next day, they hurried back to St. Orlan.
N.B. Ferris, Jerker and Nate suffer from mummy rot, and Nate also has a curse upon him that dropped his strength by 4.
- Treasure 322 gp if sold and divided by 5
- 2,200 cp
- 1,400 sp
- 900 ep
- Ruby 1,000 gp
- Combat 1,560 xp
- 11 Giant Rats 110 xp
- Priest of Molok 1,000 xp
- Jusele the Mummy 450 xp
- Characters (6) 260 xp
- Ferris 286 xp
- Jerker (fight, protect) 291 xp
- Nate (fight, undead) 291 xp
- Ollie (dour, underground, fight) 268 xp
- Saul and Lion (wilderness) 289 xp