Ivy began to stir, sitting up suddenly her eyes rolled to the back of her head. “We are approaching a parting of the ways. Two will leave, Two will stay, One is yet undecided. There is so much anger and pain within; the path not guaranteed.”
“See! Creepy!” mumbled Clod.
Moth remained silent but gets up from the ground and helps Ivy stand as well. The tugging on Ivy’s arm to assist her up, brought her eyes back into focus. Ivy stood with Moth’s help and then checked to make sure her burlap mask and dress was in place. “Thank you.”
Flint moved to inspect the entry to the Kassen’s Tomb. An archway of stone was set into the side of a small hill at the bottom of the valley. Moss had overgrown many of the details, but one was still quite clear. The keystone of the arch was carved with a flame symbol with a stylized rune in the middle. Beyond the archway was a darkened tunnel that led to a pair of massive wooden doors, one of which was slightly ajar. A pair of horses and trio of ponies lay slaughtered next to the archway, each corpse still tied to a post set into the ground nearby. A swarm of flies hung lazily in the air above them.
Patrick examined the bodies of the horses and ponies and pointed out deep lacerations in the bodies, “These were made by crude blades or claws.” He then pointed to some scattered bones underneath one of the horses. “These bones here are clearly very old, and should not be here.”
Flint’s eye went to the packs the horse and ponies had carried, “This one is still full.” He looked inside and listed the contents, “some rations, a pair of pillows, a quiver with 10 blunt arrows, and a pint of lamp oil. Why would someone bring pillows to a tomb?”
“Now that’s ’Creepy!”, said Ivy.
Patrick picked up one of the shoulder bones under the horses, said a small prayer and the bone began to glow with divine light. He led the party through the dimly lit area to the half open door. Tossing the bone inside, the light illuminated a vast room. The room was a long chamber with risen platforms on either side. A faded painting of the town of Nymph’s Flow was on the far wall. The room appeared to be the site of a gruesome battle, with two bodies piled in the center and a number of skeletons scattered around. An echoing wail could be heard somewhere in the distance, beyond the foul chamber.
Moth’s eyes lit up as she spotted one of the bodies in the room. “That’s my cousin.” Without waiting she rushed to the center of the room to her cousin’s side. The skeletons scattered about the room, began to stir and rise up around her cutting her off from the rest of the party. “These are not illusions!” she cried out as the skeletons began tearing at her flesh. With a strangled cry, her life cord was cut as one of the skeletal hands grabbed her throat and tore away her flesh. She stared at the party, blood streaming from her neck as her eyes glazed over.
The skeletons turned their faces and empty eye sockets towards the remaining party. Their skeletal grins unnerving in the dim light. Clod gripped his spear tightly, the knuckles on his hand turning white from the strength of his grip. Flint dropped into a low guarded stance and focused his keen battle mind preparing to meet them. Ivy moved to the back of the party out of harms way. Patrick moved forward, holding his holy symbol and chanting softly.
The holy symbol began to glow and a pulse of positive energy rushed from Patrick blazing into the room. The power of his faith smashed into the skeletal remains, blasting them apart. They landed in pieces about the room and stirred no more.
Clod his hand still clutched on the spear turned on Ivy, “You did this with your creepy witchcraft. Two shall part the way…well, you are going to the be the second that parts our way you crone.”
Ivy stared at him, “You are afraid. You have lost your friend and are angry. Fear and anger drive you right now, but you will not hurt me…at least not yet.” She turned her back to him and then says, “Moth’s spirit is not troubled but resting peacefully. She does wish to be buried at home in time.”
Flint reaches down and grabs Moth’s bow. “Here Ivy. Be useful. Use this.”
Ivy looked at the bow and took it. Patrick said, “You do know how to use that right? You point the sharp end of the arrow at your target, pull back and release. Try not to hit us or kill us.” Ivy nodded silently. She gathered Moth’s quiver with arrows and slung it over her shoulder. She looked at the bow a moment and smiled her eyes focusing on the wood. The wood began to increase in thickness and a vine of ivy looped over the ends reinforcing the strings.
Clod watched the bows transformation, sure that neither Flint or Patrick had noticed, but stated very clearly. “She goes in front of me from now on….I don’t want her at my back.”
Ivy nodded at his request, or rather demand.
The wailing heard at the entrance echoed through the still chamber once more. Patrick picked up the glowing bone and handed it to Clod. “Flint and I have darkvision, but Ivy and you might need the light. You carry it.” Clod nodded.
Examination of the room with the light revealed two doors in the chamber: one heading east and the other west. The wailing sound seemed to come from the eastern door, so Flint suggested they find the source of it. “In case we need to deal with it before we are tired and exhausted from any other bones that may rise up to grab us.”
Moth had been good at helping guide the group up to this point but was of no help in offering the next course of action. The next obvious choice was Patrick, since he also had helped leading the group, but Flint’s suggestion sounded as good as anything else at the moment. The group opened the eastern door and ventured into the next room.
A large chamber contained a maze of pillars that obscured the far side of the room. Next to the door was a pile of empty saddlebags and three brooms. “You touch any of those brooms and I’ll clobber you,” whispered Clod to Ivy.