Flint descended the stairs and approached the large wooden construct. As she neared it, the golem stepped forward off a pressure plate causing the steps to individually rotate 45 degrees turning the stairs into two long slides. The golem managed to catch Flint in a critcal blow with it’s shield bash, crumpling the half-orc in a single attack. Patrick leaped from the platform above, tumbling to avoid damage and raced to help his fallen companion. Patrick and the golem exchanged several rounds of blows while Ivy fired arrows from the above platform. Patrick also went down, but the golem did not attack the felled victims nor could it reach Ivy on the platform above with the steps having been turned into a slide. It took a bit of time, but Ivy eventually felled the creature with her bow and arrows and then made her way down to her companions.
Pushing open a door, she found an empty chamber. The chamber had a table on the opposite side of the room. On top of this table, a number of item each with a small note attached, were addressed to the youngster of Flow. Not sensing any danger in the room, and having a door to close to help protect from whatever might be lurking outside, Ivy drug the fallen companions back into the room. Clearly labeled on the table were two potions of healing. Moving to Patrick first, she opened the dwarves’ mouth and cradling his head, helped him swallow the potion. She repeated the same procedure for Flint.
Patrick and Flint awoke in the supply room and helped take inventory and stock of things. Ivy sat in the corner with her bow, watching. Spying the items on the tables, Patrick and Flint began to divide up the treasures. Clearly labelled items for Patrick were a wand of cure light wounds and a scroll of lesser restoration. Flint had a potion of owl’s wisdom and a potion of cure light wounds. Both of them had a masterwork quality weapon. Moth had a wand of produce flame and a scroll of barkskin. Clod had a masterwork half-spear, a potion of bear’s endurance, and an oil of magic weapon. Ivy had a small bag of rocks.
Patrick paused in his looting to say “thank you” to Ivy and offered her a wand of produce flame. “She won’t know how to use it anyway…” muttered Flint, but with the simple note of thanks and inclusion, Ivy and Patrick bonded. Hearing Flint’s words, Ivy quietly refused the treasures and kept her small bag of rocks which the townsfolk thought suitable enough a gift for the “witchling”.
Having explored the entire upper level, the group ventured back to the stairs leading down. At the bottom of the stairs, a circular chamber with three passageways leading from it. In center of the circular chamber is a small stone pedestal. The sound of dripping water could be heard coming from the eastern passageway, while the stench of rot emanated from the west.
Flint pointed out an inscription spiraling out from the pillar and written in common. It reads: “To the south you might take your ease, to rest and reflect on Kassen’s deads. To the east lies the wheel, to open the gate. To the west is the resting place of Kassen, Hero of the Feywood.”
Following the inscription, the party decided to try it in order, “south, east and then west”. So heading south, they followed a short passageway that takes a bend before ending in a small chamber dominated on the far side by a silver fountain quietly bubbling perfectly clear water. An inscription above the fountain reads, “Kassen’s legacy lives on with his people. Drink and be refreshed.”
The party drank from the fountain and found their wounds healing, they also felt their spirits lighten as they no longer felt tired, or mentally fatigued. With a fresh outlook and in greater spirits, they made their way back to the eastern hallway.
The eastern passageway began to slope downward and water had been collecting in the corridor, growing deeper as the passage continued. Looking up, the ceiling was dripping with water in many places. The passage split heading north and south, and the party turned south once more. A strange blue fungus covered the walls, ceiling, and pillars of a waterlogged chamber. It’s wispy strands stretch out from the wall like roots danging in the air, twitching and swaying in an unseen breeze. Floating in the water are four decaying corpses—three large rats and one giant frog—with strange burn marks all over their bodies.
As Flint and Patrick move through the water, they disturb hundreds of little lizards on the walls, who begin scurrying along the walls, hoping in and out of the water. At the largest area of commotion, suddenly a huge lightning bolt spread out across the water…the party felt the electrical current pass through them, and realized that the water carried the current making this room a very deadly trap. Moving extremely slowly, so as not to make waves or splash or otherwise disturb the room, the party made their way through the room without any more lightning being released.
After an encounter with some giant frogs and a few more skeletons, Flint entered a large chamber that was partially flooded with the south end just barely rising out of the stagnant water. A large wheel was set into the floor, attached chains that rose up into the ceiling. A thick layer of slick, black mold covered the carvings on the walls of the chamber. Flint turned the wheel three times in a counter-clockwise movement and a small grinding could be heard echoing deeper in the tomb.
Making their way back to the staircase chamber, the group moved to the final hallway and entered a large catacomb. The smell of rot and decay was overwhelming. As Patrick moved deeper into the room, zombies came out of the shadows. A burst of holy, positive energy made a quick end to the zombies, that exploded in a burst of rotten flesh, disease and puss. Patrick was coated with the rotten debris.
Exploring the chamber they found a large bloodstained pack holding some rotten rations, a map (detailing the area and pointing out the entrance to the crypt), a potion of cure moderate wounds, a pouch with 13 gold pieces, and a small handbill clearly reading as a notice of employment, telling all those interested to meet at “The Ranger’s Lament.” The handbill did not mention a time, date or who the employer might be.
Ivy found a hidden corridor that lead to a shallow reflecting pool that divided a long chamber. The pool ran from one end to the other. The water looked cloudy and stagnant. What must once have been marvelous murals covering both walls are now scorched and ruined, the original subject lost in the destruction. Ivy is drawn to the murals and says, “The murals chronicled the battle between Asar and Kassen. They have been ruined with necromantic energy.”
As if summoning the energy itself, Flint and Patrick spy themselves in the water of the reflecting pool. Each of them sees themselves a horrid, rotting reflection that slowly turns to murder the others in the room. They energy washes over the group leaving them a bit unsettled but otherwise with no other effects. The disturbing sensation however does provide the group a reason to not linger and they enter a second catacomb.
The chamber had a number of recesses carved into the wall and a fissure in the ceiling. Bat swarms disturbed by the light descended on Flint, who was carrying the torch. Ivy without thinking raised her fingers and a cone of ice and snow coated the first swarm. Patrick threw an alchemist’s fire and Flint swung his torch at the creatures.
Ivy paused in battle having just confirmed to everyone present that she did have some “witches” powers and was sure that her party would now abandon her, but seeing the group still struggling with the swarms raised her hands and let forth another blast of searing cold and ice. The first swarm fell frozen by the cold. Patrick tossed his last alchemist fire and Flint hit with his torch sending the last swarm to its final rest.
Looking up, more bats could be seen on the ceiling and the group made sure not to disturb them. Ivy looked at Patrick to see if he was going to change his demeanor since she considered him a friend. Patrick smiled and said, “I don’t care…come on.” Relief flooded Ivy and behind her burlap sack mask, she grinned.
A vaulted ceiling of a vast chamber, showed significant signs of damage, with numerous cracks along its surface. In the center of a room, a 10-foot-wide bridge crossed a deep chasm. On the other side, a pair of stone statues watched over the end of the bridge in front of a set of grand brass double doors. The statues depicted villagers holding shields and spears. Flint examined the area and noticed parallel ruts in the bridge.
Upon closer examination, Flint determined that two of the statues would most likely travel along the ruts and attempt to knock people crossing off into two deep pits on either side. Flint asked for Ivy’s bag of rocks and carefully wedged several into the deep ruts at various locations then moved onto the bridge. About 10 feet over the bridge, Flint triggered a pressure plate and two of the statues moved forward, but the small hidden wheels lodged on the rocks and the party managed to pass over the bridge without incident.
Opening the wide brass double doors revealed a vast crypt. The only light emanating from a torch mounted above the crypt, flickering with a pale golden fire. “The Everflame!” Ivy hissed in excitement. Tall pillars marched across the room, ending at a dias on the far side upon which sat a stone sarcophagus. A single form rests besides the coffin, that of a comely woman in tattered clothing. She appears to be asleep or unconscious.
As the party moved forward, a dry mirthless laugh could be heard echoing from the dark recesses of the tomb.
“So Kassen’s heroes have come to fight me again. You will make fine minions in my army of the dead. Come and meet your fate.” With that, a wicked-looking skeleton strode into view wearing polished mail and brandishing a cruel sword in both hands. A cold blue flame burned in its empty eye sockets."
Flint and Patrick dropped in battle stances while Ivy lashed out with her cold magic once more. The ice magic washed over the skeleton who laughed and was completely unaffected by the snow and ice. Flint moved to the tanking position and drew the first attack from the skeletal champion which bit deep into Flint’s arm. Patrick channeled positive energy attempting to disrupt the creature. Flint countered with an attack of his own, but missed.
Ivy switched from her magic back to her bow. It would not do near the damage but at least it might do some. Her first arrow went into the mail, but the skeleton did not seem to notice. The skeletal champion landed a critical blow on Flint that dropped the monk. Patrick stepped forward swinging his morning star bludgeoning the skeletal creature.
Ivy shot another arrow and it entered the glowing blue eye and the skeleton crumpled to dust. Patrick made a heal check on Flint and help stabilize him by “_rebuking death”_ then gave Flint the potion of cure moderate wounds they had found. Searching the room, they found the remains of several other skeletons that Patrick had unknowingly caught in his blast of positive energy before they could attack of move.
Patrick then moved forward to check on the unconscious woman. She was also near death, but was easily revived. She tells the group about her Asar kidnapping her, questioning her about things that happened since his death and his rising, the torture to reveal what she knew about the coming “heroes” and Kassen. She also mentions that she overheard some of the other townsfolk mentioning that it appeared someone else had been here before them, but she didn’t see any living people, just skeletons and undead creatures. She was very relieved to know that her brother was still alive and left to go find him.
Flint had been carrying the lantern so moved to go light it from the Everflame and thus at least finish their original quest for the town. As the light catches, the spirit of Kassen himself stirs and begins to rise from the grave. He goes to speak, but it is Ivy’s voice that carries the message.
Ivy’s eyes have rolled into the back of her head and through her Kassen tells them thank you for putting an end to Asar. “Asar and I were adventurers together. We split ways after acquiring a great deal of treasure. Asar felt cheated after their last quest and that is why he came to attack the town. Asar and I both were interred here, each with a pair of amulets. The amulets were stolen by the bandits. These amulets are part of a key that opens up the great treasure vault we plundered so many years ago. The amulets point the way to the vault if reassembled from its three component parts. The last part was given to Iramine, an elven sorceress that was part of our group.”
The spirit then reaches into his sarcophagus and produces several items, giving them to the party along with his thanks once again then fades from view, returning to his eternal rest. The items when looked at were a bag of holding, a magical shield, and an elemental gem. Each of the party also received a scale from his armor which he explained would grant them his boon in their hour of need.
A smaller room to the west showed the sarcophagus of Asar. The lid was lying broken on the ground in front of it. A corpse of a masked man lying beside the tomb. Patrick investigated the corpse. The dead man wore gray robes and an iron mask that covered his face. The stench of rot hung heavy about him. Patrick noticed some discoloration about the neck that indicated strangulation. His garments and mask Patrick also identified as follower of Razmir, the living god whose cults have sprung up all around the Lake Encarthan region.
Flint was more interested in the material aspects of the corpse and being practical took anything of use. Flint found a map leading to the crypt along with a note that reads, “the amulets are entombed with Kassen and Asar.” Flint also found a wand of magic missiles, bracers of armor and a horn of fog. A pouch of newly minted coins and a spellbook.
The journey back to Flow is somber and uneventful. Roldare is thrilled to see Dimira again and seems to regain most (but not all) of his sanity. Upon entering Flow, they find the Greathall decorated and a celebration underway in their honor. Jonark Uptal, the mayor, is there to greet them at the gates, but his joy at their return quickly turns to horror when he finds out what has happened. The news spreads quickly throughout the town and the harvest celebration turns melancholy. The townsfolk do not blame Patrick and Flint for what has happened and the great feast is still held in their honor, but it not the same as it was in previous years. This year, many are drinking to help forget that they have lost friends and loved ones. Plans are made to return to the crypt and to bury the slain townsfolk and to repair the damage.
Ivy mysteriously disappears as they group approaches the gates and does not attend the celebration. The townsfolk do not seem to miss her.
During the celebration in the hall, Cygar Anravis stops to talk with Patrick and Flint. He formally introduces himself as a Pathfinder and mentions he might have some work for them if they are interested. He has taken an interest in the recent events and he is sure that his organization would like to see the tomb robbers that caused this mess called to account for their actions. He askes if they might be interested in getting to the bottom of the puzzle. As Flint and Patrick agree, Cygar is swept away into the crowd, saying only that he would be in touch when he has more information.