I. The Lower Tunnels
Leading the way, Zed neared the entrance to what would later be known as the Lower Tunnels. The rusted gate hung wedged, barely touching the floor in places. The musty, dank air hung thick in everyone’s throats. Except for Tripper, of course. But even he could feel the humid weight in the air, expanding his wooden cores and making passage uncomfortable. There was no light this far underground. Luckily, the group had paid back in Sharn to get semi-permanent Darkvision. More than the musty air, though, the atmosphere was one of ominous suffocation. It gave an oppressive overtone, bordering on Claustrophobia. Regardless, Tripper stepped up to lift the gate leading into the 10×12 hallway beyond.
Astonishingly, Tripper could not, after several attempts, raise the gate. Zed moved in to “show Tripper how to do it.” Remarkably, after one try, he was able to lift the gate free of its hold. Tripper claimed he had loosened it for Zed. Once through, the group winded through the hallways, searching out for traps. The first room they came across was empty. At the second one, they narrowly avoided a pit trap that lead to a junk room. After coming out, they caught a glimpse of a tentacle escape around the corner. They pursued, but whatever it was, it had escaped.
In the next room they came across, they encountered a massive crystal-like spider that attacked them as soon as they entered. Tripper, exploring a new perspective on life, opted to try to reason with the beast. After much delegation, mostly because of Tripper’s refusal to kill a creature who may well be just defending itself, the group finally collaborated and destroyed the monster, Osh removing its skin to be used later for armor. On searching the room, Harlos discovered a secret door at the back.
Through the doorway, another chamber opened. But this one appeared to be much better kept. It was divided by a wall with a curtain. Beyond that was a grand piano, and a throne-like chair on a dais. The group fanned out and approached the chair. Tripper attempted to hide behind one of the wall curtains. Osh went straight up to the chair. Upon doing so, 2 spirits emerged from the wall, attacking him, then bouncing back into the wall. The battle ensued, and no sooner did it, but the doorway to Osh’s left burst open, and a Vampire who looked identical to Dughan came forth. He exclaimed at the “racket” that was being made, and how his brother was too incompetent to take care of his own problems. He passed by Tripper unsuspecting, and planted a cyst directly into Osh’s brain. Tripper came up behind and lashed at Ares dealing significant damage. The group moved in for the kill and made short work of the otherwise powerful foe, catching him in a pickle as his misty form became his dead form and back again until they finally destroyed his coffin in the next room. Lying next to the coffin was a disabled Warforged, Tome, who joined the group after being brought back to consciousness. Exploring the remaining rooms of the chamber, Omega found a cell containing Kae’lyn, who eagerly accepted their rescue, and another chamber with 4 chests, containing some useful items.
The group rested then pressed on exploring the remainder of the lower tunnels, mostly to help Kae’lyn locate his missing gear. The reamainder of the lower floor was relatively nondescript. All rooms being used mainly for storage.
Ascending the stairs to the subbasement, the group moves east. The first room nearly caught the team in a crushing rock trap, but they avoided, gathered the treasure, and moved on. Around the following corner, the team encounters two Bloodmote clouds that nearly bleed a couple of members, but they systematically reduce the swarm and press on.
They come to a bend and a door on the left (south). Tripper enters first, into a room with giant ants. THe room appears to be a foodstuffs storage, but the ants want a different meal. When any flsehy creatures tried to enter the room, the ants went crazy, but they left Tripper alone, so he explored the room, finding nothing of real interest, so the group moved on, leaving them be.
At the next bend, the head North then West to a small room that offers them 3 phase spiders. After a shaky fight, they finish them off and seal themselves inside to rest. During the evening, there was a scratching at the door, made by some Tomb Motes. They prove no match for Omega, though, and the team moves on, back to the bend and NOrth. At the end of the hall, past one door, they encounter a Spirit Naga in a small room. They make short work of the beast and backtrack to the skipped door from which emitted a soft, sweet music. On entering, they encounter a Spectral Lyrist. Osh attempts to read her thought, to which she laughs and attacks, realizing she cannot sway them. Dez counters her charms with his own music, and the group dispatches her quickly. They destroy her instrument for good measure.
Through the other side of the room, the explore the hallway they passed up earlier. Only one room occupied that hallway. Inside was nothing more than a ruined throne and some tarnished gold coins. The group toys with it, but decided to leave the gold alone, bypassing the haunting of the Invisible Stalker inside.
Back down the hallway toward the Spirit Naga room, they turned north and discovered a dead end room that was some sort of underground garden with fungus and a pair of will-o’-wisps. The room actually turned out to be a sucking air trap. The door closed in and the air began to rapidly be sucked out the SW corner. Luckily before anyone was lost to the trap, Harlos disabled the trap at the same time Zed worked a hole in the door. The will-o’-wisps were sucked through the far hole.
Passing back to the last fork, the group heads further in west to a dining room. In the south mirror, they notice a pair of red eyes leering at them. When they approach it, it screeches forth shaking up most of the party, but Tripper breaks through it and hacks away, but Only magic and some lucky strikes take the Wraith down. Though it was unnecessary, they shatter the mirror to be sure. Through the across doorway, they follow the hall north and find the exit. But to the south is a door and the sounds of a rowdy group beyond. On the East side, they also find a secret door. The group splits and engages the room from both sides, finding a group of Ghasts playing poker with fleshy appendages as ante. The Ghasts rampage Omega, but OMega makes short work, again, of the group. Aside from some dice and cards, nothing of real use is in the room, though, that appears to be an underground well they were guarding.
Omega decides to backtrack and make sure they explore every room. The first room they uncover is a secret room filled almost to the rim with gargoyles. Easily enough, OMega funnels the gargoyles to their death. But during the battle, Tripper notes a strange rumbling in the walls and ceiling around him. Others confirm. The next room they come to, Harlos discovers a trap, and bypasses it. On opening the door, 3 wraiths charge out from an underground stabling. Harlos decides to set the trap off to catch the wraiths in the effects. Unfortunately, the trap is a HArm spell that not only hurts him, but heals the wraiths. After a little struggling to regain his power, Kae’lyn manages to hallow the ground, vanquishing the undead and clearing the area for a night’s rest.
The final room they backtrack to, at first glance, appears to be empty, but on entering, they discover that it was an illusory wall concealing a Gauth and 3 Ettercaps. The Gauth gives the party a little trouble, but being beholderkin, Omega focuses their efforts on him, offing him quickly. The Ettercaps are little challenge after that. Among a selection of really nice items, they discover all of Kae’lyn’s belongings. Having cleared the floor, and made it this far, the group decided to press on topside to the next level.
Coming up to the next level, the Basement, the halls look nothing like the previous floors. SOme sort of cave-in has occurred, though they cannot asses how long ago. THe only accessible halls lead North and East. Omega heads east first. Straight ahead they see one door, but to the north, down a long hall, lies another. Beyond which, Kae’lyn feels a very strong evil eminating. OMega decides to go straight first, addressing the evil second. On entering the East door, they see a large, almost empty room. Across the entryway, on the back wall are two tapestries, at the foot of which, lie chests. HArlos braves the trek and heads in. In one chest are 200 gold and a hidden cache of 1400 more. Harlos discovers both. In the other chest, Harlos bypasses a rather nasty Geas spell trap. DEciding nothing else will happen, a few others enter, after which time a Bulette blasts through the floor, causing a cave-in. Some fell, some didn’t, but they all went in and engaged. Dez charmed the Bulette and the group decided to encourage it to seek its food on the surface, preferrably in the form of goblins.
They work their way back up and head to the single, evil room. Inside they find a sepulchur fallen in by the cave-in. Emerging from it, a rotting mummy. Accompanying him, two Greater Shadows. Omega makes a mockery of the undead and sack the room, finding plenty of treasure.
Heading back north, they find the exit and a door. Through the door, they find a dining room, empty, except for a bookshelf. Among the books a Manual of Gainful Exercise.
One more floor.
IV. The Main Floor
Working their way up through the rubble, OMega finds this floor to be almost entirely caved in, save one clear path leading east to a room and west to a ladder. Omega moves east first to find a bedroom. INside, the only real threat, violet fungi, the group avoids it, snags the treasure, and moves to the ladder.
V. Ending at the Beginning
Climbing the ladder, Harlos peers through the trapdoor to find the “exit” to be the inside of a sepulchur. Omega clears the opening and gathers themselves. They are in the sepulchur of the founder of Vathirond, dead in the middle of the southern graveyard behind the Sovereign Church.
VI. Undead Abound
Omega cautiously emerges from the sepulchur into the graveyard. Open graves lie as far as they can see. An unsteady silence whisks across the dead grass. A chitter draws their attention one direction, while a scuffle draws it another. Slowly a muffled groan creeps in from the distance. As they peer north to the town of Vathirond, all they see is smoke, flame, and a horde of undead. Suddenly, as they near the church, bits of graveyard and tombstones animate and form into a massive figure that lunges toward Omega. They run toward the church, fighting as they go. At the same time, more TOmb Motes pop up. The Motes are nothing more than a hindrance Omega makes a joke of. The Grave Dirt Golem Poses a real threat, but after a bit of a slug out, OMega drops it in a pile of ash.
Into the church, OMega finds a strange calm. The sanctuary seems to have remained relatively untouched among the death all around. OMega decides to make a break for it through the front doors, moving west and north, bypassing the major hordes and head straight to the docks where they hope some of the ships remain intact. Just as they are about to exit, they hear someone yell “NO!” and catch sight of a little girl fleeing from somewhere beneath the church outside. She runs toward one of the zombies crying “MOMMY!” A man bursts forth from a cellar door aside the church just as Tripper blasts from the church in pursuit. They both get to the girl, barely in time, but the attention of the hordes is now on them, and the garrisons turn and move in. Two large groups lead by Karrnathi Zombies, split around a mansion and attempt to flank OMega, but Omega systematically shows the horde why they just cleared an endless dungeon with nary a scratch.
They gather up the survivors who were hiding under the church and follow their original plan. They manage to move to the docks unscathed, but when they get there, there are ships in tact, but they appear to be guarded by goblins.
The goblins sound the alarm, and engage Omega. One ship in particular spouts a Half-vampire who Omega subdue. It turns out he was guarding Dughan’s ship, with his coffin aboard. On a quick search of the goblins who were slain at the docks, a note was discovered among them.
Duun Tan, o agaan duun aluulkakec Agen ac men okaaguur. Duuc men dhuugaan an tuuc, rhec terthec der ar daan ghoul tuuc rhaan akaan duun kaaluul’daan Shagaar Druulkaluul, or rhaal’duugaal akaarach muulkaan daaraan daakhaal molkac tuul’daan dhuul an.
Ar o ghaar akec or Rhaal’dac’n kaarerakaan, druun khruur maarekhakhaan duun dhaan. Or draach dan okec duun al ac daan talec or Zakheguuc.
Ar ach huun tuur, daan Zalkegaan maac daar shuuklec draac rhaal’duul daan shuc or Zakher, daan dhuukaar or den shekhec. Daagaan agaan duun okakaan. Okaan an rhaal’duul daan taguukharlon akerthaan daan shuc. Daan okhaar an merthaac ac daan hagaar, akhaach. Daan ter an rhaakaar daan maarthuukaan or Ghel’duul Ghaguun, Zakher’n taalaar kuugaan.
Okaan duul or daan okhaar, daan dech magaan duun ogarthelakhaan duuraan shuuklec, A’l togaan, an Shagaar Druulkaluul ken druul daagaan, duun.
Huul kon, Tan.
Translated it reads:
To Slack, you are to accompany Aries in his endeavor. Though his force is strong, by siding with it we may soon be able to recollect Cavern Dromaka, our beloved ancestral home these wretched humans stole from us.
If you meet any of Breland’s resistance, do not hesitate to flee. Our deal was only to aid in the sacking of Vathirond.
If all goes sour, the Vampires keep their coffins deep below the crypt of Vathir, the founder of this city. There are two entrances. One is below the sarcophagus inside the crypt. The other is hidden in the graveyard, itself. The switch is beneath the headstone of Milla Markos, Vathir’s secret love.
One way or the other, we will have to eradicate those coffins, I’m sure, as Cavern Dromaka lies down there, too.
Good luck, Slack.
Omega, after silencing their foes on the docks, take the steamship and Dughan’s coffin and head out on the open water. Once they hit the Thrane river, at the deepest point, they shove Dughan’s coffin overboard, sinking it beneath the heavy currents below. Omega then heads north.