Saturday, June 13, 2009
After returning from the Isle of the Dead, you decided to take a week to rest and rehabilitate, and enjoy the comforts that your recent adventures and your new sources of income afforded. As the week drew to a close, however, Inaki received a Message from an unknown spellcaster who beckoned you to meet him or her at the Fat Man's Ecstasy for an opportunity that you would not want to refuse. After some debate, you decided to send Inaki with Alayna and Erth, who would be in disguise. The three entered the inn, which was a medieval version of Nick Tahoe's, and waited. Soon, a human with thick, waist-length blond hair entered and sat down. He cast a True Seeing spell on himself, glanced around the room, and asked Alayna, Inakai, and Erth to join him.
The stranger introduced himself as Avaris, a merchant from the Eastern City and the Governor of the Merchants' Guild. He coveted a small, jeweled box, inscribed with an upside down triangle transected by a battle axe, which he said was somewhere within Graves' end, an ancient, abandoned area on the western edge of the city. In return for this box, Avaris promised to cast a Wish spell on each of you. After some discussion, you accepted, and proceeded to the Camel's Rump, a tavern in the Bull's Head section, where Avaris said you could gain further information about Graves' End.
After finding the tavern amid the refuse and stench of the butchery/tannery district, you entered and engaged the barkeep, Dmitry, in conversation. He told you that the safest path to Graves' End was outside the city walls, through the Bone Middens, a maze of heaped bones accumulated from decades of slaughtered animals, and around the western wall to a creek that led directly back into the city. He also told you that Graves' End was the home of the Kipchaks, who ruled Uyghuria for generations, before the country fell into chaos. With that, you thanked him and left.
After passing the bone middens, you came upon a strange cluster of spires to the southwest. these did not appear to be man-made, but instead looked like massive tapers of rock honeycombed with holes and tunnels. An eerie song emanated from the spires, which entranced Inaki and Kier. Fortunately, Erth and Hrolff each cast a Dispel Magic spell, which ended the enchantment and stopped the two from approaching the spires.
You rounded the city wall and entered Graves' End via the creek and breach in the wall that Dmitry had described. You could see that the city bordered the ruined cluster of buildings, but that all the streets and alleys accessing Graves' End had been barricaded. The only intact structures were a church and a three story keep, so you entered the keep via a ramp that led to the second floor.
You found yourselves in what must have once been an impressive great hall, but which was now in ruin. As you entered, you were confronted with three, large-sized Shadow Mastiffs, which immediately attacked. The fight was not difficult, thanks to some well-placed spells and a steady stream of arrows from Inakai's bow. The third story of the keep was almost completely gone, so you proceeded downstairs via an unsteady staircase. On the first level, you found some scattered human bones and the remnants of a massive chandelier that had fallen from the ceiling in the hall above and broken through the rotted floor. An open doorway led down.
You found yourselves in a wide, vaulted burial hall, with sarcophagi lining the walls and a massive iron statue standing guard, flanked by massive stone pillars that formed a hallway of sorts through the center of the room. The floor was littered with human skeletons, which had clearly fallen in some sort of battle centuries earlier. You made your way past the statue carefully, but it did not animate, and you followed a stair down to an identical burial hall with another iron statue and an even heavier concentration of skeletons. Here you found a small-sized Keen Shortsword +1, still in the grip of one of the skeletons. The sword resembled Unferth's Bane in style and design. You again made your way past the Iron statue and descended to the next level.
This hall was similar to the two above, save that there were no human skeletons on the floor, and the iron statue was in ruins. A shrouded figure lay on top of each sarcophagus, save for one in the far corner of the room. As you entered, eight of the figures sat up. They were skeletal, and were clearly dwarven. They moved and fought with a skill that surpassed that of typical skeletons. The fight was a long one, but was not difficult, thanks to some clever strategy on the part of your spellcasters. A wall of stone delayed four of the skeletons, and by the time they finally broke through, the tide of battle had already turned in your favor. You destroyed all eight, and proceeded to open the unoccupied sarcophagus.
You found a shaft leading down to a similar burial hall. Something was different, however. The light from your torches seemed to strain against the darkness, and what little color there should have been was faded to black and gray. It only took a few moments for Hrolff to realize that you had somehow entered the Plane of Shadow. It was there that the evening ended.
Inakai & Kier: 3,600
Erth, Hrolff, & Alayna: 2,160