After our last cavern adventure, Prilin Stormscale takes a few days of for himself. For the rest us of, a new quests comes kicking in the door of the tavern.
It is an average day for our party. We hang around in the tavern, drink and eat a bit, while waiting/looking for work to come kicking down the door. We play some games, talk a bit, but most of the time we bore ourselves to death waiting for work. Luckily, a new adventures comes kicking through the door in the form of a funny-named cleric.
Brother Keefe, or Brother Queef as we like to call him, is looking for some swords for hire. He is a keeper of the dead, and needs help investigating a matter in the local graveyard. He has suspicions that Xandria Welltram, who is buried in a crypt, is actually a polymorphed green dragon. As we come into contact with dragon-related quests often, and we literally have a son of dragons (Prilin Stormscale) walking with us, Durog applies us for this adventure and we head to the graveyard.
That f-ing puzzle section
We arrive at the crypt of Xandria, which is a beautiful stone crypt. This plane of existance clearly likes to honor their deaths in the form of beautiful monuments, where beauty hides the inequality between the dwellers of these lands. I hope that one day, when I become the ruler of the burning skies, I shall be remembered with a monument as well. But if I got to choose how to be represented, let it be as a symbol of equality instead of glorified wealth.
Inside of the crypt, we find a sarcophagus and open it to investigate the buried body. Alas, what we find is no dragon, but an empty crypt. Save for some bones and 5 gems, it seems that we have arrived too late. But we were exaclty in time to accidentally activate a mechanism in the sarcophagus, which closes the crypt. With the crypt closing, gas starts pouring from the ceiling into the now dark room, and it is starting to take away our breath. Most of our party is accustomed to the darkness, but I am not like most, so I light a torch to see through the fog of gas. In retrospect, I am rather lucky the gas was not flammable, or I might have doomed us all in this action. A party wipe by torch is not the glorious battle in which I hope to find my hopefully late demise.
With everybody being able to see now, we start investigating the crypt for ways to deactivate the traps. Alas, the only thing we find our some scenes of naked ladies on the walls, portraying different locales. After some further investigation (aka groping around the walls for hidden nooks and crannies), we discover that each of these scenes have gem-sized holes in them, which would brighten up the image if they had the correct color of gem inside. We don’t need 18 on our intelligence roll to connect the dots, and each of us rushes to the sarcophagus to grab a gem and put them in the correct scene. Blue goes with water, green with alchemy, et cetera. With the gems in place, the gas stops pouring, and a secret entrance beneath the sarcophagus opens up. While the gas start clearing from the room, we run toward the secret entrance to quickly escape the remaining —gas, and with some minor damage from the gas we find ourselves in a new part of the crypt.
Rattle those bones
We stand in the hallway beneath the crypt entrance, catching a breather from our gas-escape. Since we already activated one trap today, ER decides to not leave anything up to any chances, and starts investigating the hallway for traps. In his investigation, he finds some illusionary walls, hiding some shortcuts to different parts of the lower structure. A great find from our excellent tracker. TeeWee decides to walk through one of them, and feels weakened by necrotic forces (aka takes some necrotic damage). We actually manage to find traps and activate them, silly us.
While we take the long way round the hallway, TeeWee finds himself standing in some sort of skeletal throne room. There are three skeletons around the big throne. After we catch up to TeeWee via the safe route, ER investigates the throne room. TeeWee and I, Ka’akh, The fifth torment, Ruler of the Burning skies, don’t trust the presence of these skeletons, and start disarming them. We take the swords they are holding, and chuck them away. They seem to not respond to this, so maybe they won’t resurrect when we least expect it? just to be safe, we also decide to take of their heads and throw them away. This way, if an encounter were to happen, we have a head start on them. (NO I WILL NOT APOLOGISE FOR THAT PUN!!). In the meanwhile, ER found loot beneath the throne, and did not activate any traps. We split the loot, TeeWee keeps one the skulls as a memento, and we continue further down the hallway.
A bit further down the hallway, we find a new room, this time containing an alchemy station. On a note nearby the station, we find a common script, describing an alchemic process and how to complete it. We follow this process in the kettle standing nearby, and suddenly some smoke pours out of the cauldron. This smoke revives the skeletons from the previous room, which we luckily disarmed, so we rush towards them to meet them in glorious combat. We also notice that one of TeeWee’s decisions is has come to bite him in the ass. Literally. The head of one of the skeletons, which he took with him, was attached to his belt. This head also came to life, and starting biting him in the ass to defend himself. In a quick reflex, he takes the head and throws it away, straight into the cauldron. Apparantly the recipe is very volatile, since adding the mere ingredient of bone marrow caused the mixture in the cauldron to explode. TeeWee is hit from this explosion, and is left barely standing on his feet from the explosive power. While this is happening, we are in the other room fighting of the skeletons, which is easy work. Without weapons and heads, skeletons are as dangerous as the training dummies we used in our youth to master our rapiers. We quickly dispose of them, and continue further down the hallway.
The glyphs of die-already-scumbags
At the end of the hallway, we stumble upon a big room, on the remnants of a large dragon nest. The nest had glyphs on each of the 4 walls, and the nest is a pile of gold coins. It seems the suspicions were correct, and Xandria was indeaad a dragon with a nest hiding beneath the crypt. Hazog, who was adopted and raised in a dwarven society, sees the piles of gold and his dwarven education starts to kick in. He goes towards the nest to grab the coins, but upon grabbing a few from the nest notices that these gold coins are in fact yellow painted wooden discs. Bamboozled again it seems. Some dead zombies on the floor start to become less death, and attack us. In a fit of rage, Durog shouts at us “I’ve had it with all of you and your stupidity. Had it!”. In his rage, he charges forward and chops one of the zombies back to the floor. Suddenly, one of the glyphs starts glowing, and the zombie stand back up. Again, we don’t need 18 intelligence to put one and one together. We gather into formation, a frontline of two and a backline of three. Hazog and Durog are occupied on the frontline with the zombies, while ER and TeeWee use magic and arrows to remove the glyphs from the walls. I, Ka’akh, The fifth torment, Ruler of the Burning skies, remove one of the glyphs close to us with my rapier, and then help my party wherever needed with heals and vicious insults towards the enemies.
One of the zombies manages to get through the frontline towards Teewee, who is already barely standing on his legs. I come to the aid of TeeWee, while ER keeps focussing on the glyps. We quickly manage to destroy all but one glyph, but not without cost. Hazog and TeeWee sustain quite some damage, and are coming into close contact with unconsciousness. The final glyph is protected by a magical barrier, so ER is unable to take it down. TeeWee frees himself from the zombie trying to maul him, focusses and destroys the magical barrier. With the way open, Durog charges in, destroys the glyph with his axe, and all zombies fall lifeless to the floor.
We are now in the clear, and take our time to investigate the room. All of us, except for Durog. It becomes clear that his rage is also focusses towards us, and he runs upstairs still enraged. What he is doing, we have no clue. In the corner of the room, we find a portal, leading to somewhere far away. We lack the knowlegde to go through it, so we don’t know towards where, so we head back upstairs towards Brother Keefe. Once upstairs, we find Durog, who is trying to close the secret entrance of the crypt with us still in it. Luckily for us, he lacks the strength to shove the sarcophagus on the entrance, so we can simply just walk out. The vengefull bastards really hates how our adventures are ending up it seems. We talk to Queef and explain what we find, and he tells us that this means that somebody is trying to steal and use dragon bones to create a dragon lich. Sounds like something big is brewing. But that is not our concern according to him. We get our reward and go back to the inn. Maybe some beer and a tavern brawl can cool Durog down again.