The group emerged from the supply closet and discovered the remains of Roldare, tooth marks and claw marks on his bones confirmed their suspicions that he had been devoured the previous night. Thorgrun searched through the gore looking for anything valuable, but found that all that remained were tattered clothing and rope scraps along with some gnawed upon viscera/ red fleshy goop that was stuck to the bones.
They heard sounds of conversation coming from the nearby room where they had slain the giant beetle. Thorgrun decided to approach the source of the noise by sprinting into the room and loudly asking “WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THIS CRYPT??” A half-elf Cleric with a heavy cockney accent named Orianus immediately answered that question by lobbing a barrage of his own words and questions back at the hostile dwarf, spurring a back and forth bickering that would have suggested that the two were jilted ex-lovers.
After cautiously sending Bakery in to investigate, Gnomad the rest of the group followed suit and decided to approach the new arrivals. Among the new arrivals were the aforementioned Half-Elf cleric- nicknamed Oreo, a quiet yet luxuriously mustachio’d dwarven ranger named Swanson, and a travelling elven tinker with bloodshot eyes named Bernie.
After a wary introduction (throughout which the bickering/flirting between Thorgrun and Oreo provided a nice, steady backdrop), The group learned that the new additions had discovered the Crypt through a tunnel they had found, most likely created by the giant beetle who had chosen to make that room into a den. Also, Bernie, made a quick sales pitch but was clearly uncomfortable inside of the crypt, attempting to make a quick sale and then get back on his way to the town of Kassen.
Among the goods that Bernie was offering were:
- A silvery cloak that would flap and furl in a non-existent wind every so often:
- 2 bottles of a grayish liquid:
- 2 bottles of a cloudy, misty liquid:
- An assortment of various strains of Elf root
Thorgrun, Gnomad, and Zirul were intrigued by the cloak and the gray bottles. With the help of Oreo, they cut a deal to trade a crossbow (the one they had taken from Roldare just before his untimely demise) and 25 gold pieces for the 3 items. To seal the deal, Bernie shared some goofy boots with Gnomad before taking off, back through the tunnel and on his way to Kassen.
The party relayed their quest to the newcomers, and due to a feeling that the quest to retrieve the Everflame was turning out to be a little more difficult/dangeruos than they originally expected, solicited the two to join their party and help with their adventure. Both Swanson and Oreo accepted the invitation and offered to help see the quest through.
The group discovered a large room containing a burning pyre which filled the entire area with smoke. They entered the room briefly, but were overcome by coughing fits and had to leave.
After running into a dead end caused by what looked like a collapsed ceiling, the group backtracked and began exploring the western side of the crypt. They passed back through the entryway, stepping over the bones from their previous battle and discovered an enclosed area with a crystal clear pool being fed by a fountain/statue engraved into the stone wall.
When they looked into the pool, they could clearly see what looked like one thousand silver keys at the bottom.
Gnomad could sense that one of the keys was giving off an aura of magic and so enlisted the help of Thorgrun, Grimryk, and Swanson to tie a rope around him so he could dive down and inspect/grab the key. The pool was much deeper than he had anticipated, and he had to light his belt buckle in order to see past a certain point. Oreo also helped out by tossing a lit rock into the pool, which allowed Gnomad to see that something was in the pool with him as it disturbed the path of the lighted rock while it sank.
Gnomad felt something brush against his leg as he descended to the depths of the pool, quickly locating and snatching the key giving off a magic signature and then tugging on the rope. As soon as they felt the tugging on the line, Thorgrun, Grimryk, Hank, and whoever else could grab the rope began heaving Gnomad out of the pool. During his rapid ascent, Gnomad narrowly sensed an attack by the other inhabitant of the pool and just barely twisted his body out of the way of a large, many-toothed maw closing its jaws in the space where he had just been…
After pulling Gnomad safely out of the pool just in time, the group decided to scout two of the three doors leading out of the room. Through the first door, they found a small room with a bench surrounded by a faded mural carved into the walls surrounding them. Jameer inspected the mural and found that it depicted the battle between Ekat Kassen and Asar Vergas’s bandits. He also noticed that both Kassen and Vergas were wearing gold pendants that looked to have a relief carved into them that looked to hold some sort of amulet or gem but that they were empty, no gems to be found.
Through the second door, Swanson couldn’t see much from the opening, so he had Oreo light his carpentry hammer up before he flung it towards the wall blocking his view and rebounding it into the dark beyond. He discovered a long, dark hallway flanked on either side by several tall statues. He looked a little closer at the statues and noticed that they were each holding a very large blade, yet the ones closest to him that he could see seemed to be covered in some sort of cloth.
While the group was spread out searching the pool room and inspecting the dark statue-filled hallway, Zirul opted to head back through the mural room to the small hallway containing a door on the far side. Zirul opened the door and saw a large circular room a door on 3 of the sides, 2 of which were locked but otherwise empty except for a giant stone pillar in the center of the room, touching both the floor and the ceiling. As he stepped through to get a closer look, he immediately heard a click as a pressure plate was triggered below his feet and a thud as the door swung shut behind him. Seeing the door close on it’s own, Jameer, Gnomad, and Bakery all piled into the room to investigate (each stepping on the pressure plate near the entryway), with Zirul heading back to the door and holding it open in case they needed to leave.
Jameer walked up and inspected the pillar, finding that it was covered top to bottom with a weaving pattern of small vertical holes. About a minute after they had entered the room, the giant pillar in the middle of the room made a grinding, tearing noise as it began to slowly rotate. The rest of the group in the previous couple of rooms heard the stone pillar and began heading back towards the noise to find out what had happened.
Jameer figured out the purpose of the small slits on the pillar just a hair too late as the rotating pillar abruptly began firing a constant barrage of arrows out of said openings at every angle, blanketing the room from the ceiling to the floor in a barrage of arrows. Jameer, Gnomad, and Bakery each were instantly dropped by the sudden blast of multiple arrows, which luckily happened to be blunted, only knocking them out cold as they turned to flee the room.
(Sort of like the arrow part in this video, except, you know, hitting them in the face and crotch regions and knocking them the FUCK OUT!)
Zirul deftly grabbed Gnomad, who was close enough to the door to allow him to grab onto his slumped form, pulling him into the relative safety of the hallway before Thorgrun came barreling down the hallway at a dead sprint, bushy red beard wildly flowing behind him (his bearded lover would have gasped at the sight). Thorgrun darted into the room, with Zirul opening and closing the door as needed (using it as a shield for the constant wall of flying arrows), and hefted the limp badger onto his shoulder before sprinting back out of the room, taking several arrows on both his front and backside. Hank also rushed down the hallway and into the room, dodging and weaving through the flying arrows like a graceful swan. Somehow, he used flatulence to propel and adjust his hips as necessary to avoid all arrows, grab Jameer, and escape back out of the room….in and out like a fart’s shadow. As soon as the trio of injured companions were clear of the room, Zirul slammed the door shut again, a steady thudding of arrows continuing to pound against the opposite side.
The group took a breather, collected their thoughts, and applied some healing/first aid to the badly injured gnome, halfling, and badger. After resting a bit, they pushed on. Thorgrun opened the third and final door of the key/pool room.
The door opened to reveal a large pyramid-like pedestal with steps leading up to the top. At the top of the pyramid stood a waist-high pedestal with a single button on it. The group began to file in and check the room out, with Zirul, Grimryk, and Oreo hanging back outside of the new room and keeping an eye out for anything coming from the rear. Swanson’s eyes lit up when he saw the button, and he made a beeline straight for it, definitively bringing his hand down to press it.
As soon as the button was pressed; both the entry and exit doors slammed shut, splitting the group, a steady rumbling/grinding metal and stone machinery sound began to rumble and grow in the walls around them, and a runic display appeared on the wall – which appeared to be a countdown from Twenty. The rumbling grew louder and louder as the time display neared the end, and the group frantically ran around checking the corners of the room, checking the pyramid, looking for anything out of the ordinary. The party couldn’t find anything significant where they were looking and allowed the timer to hit 0. A slow hiss filled the room followed by a click, and both of the doors swung open allowing the three outside to rejoin the others and revealing a path forward from the current room.
The group chose to walk through the newly opened door, into a pitch black room. Thorgrun and Swanson cautiously stepped into the room, finding a short angled corridor which led into a larger opening, every corner of which was covered in large spiderwebs…
Walking further into the room, they heard a hissing noise coming from overhead. Looking up, they saw that the ceiling was also covered in thick, large webbing.
Thorgrun called out to Oreo to come in and beseech Sarenrae to help burn the webbing away. Oreo walked in and began to cast a great gout of flame up at the ceiling just as a giant spider was descending to attack.
The group found that 2 giant spiders had made their nest in the area and they were being very territorial. The group filed into the room to try to get at the two massive arachnids, hacking, slashing, punching, and shooting anything that looked like a spindly leg. The flames spread across the ceiling, with flaming webbing intermittently falling down on top of the combatants, burning holes in their armor/clothing. The party dispatched the giant spiders fairly quickly and continued south through through an exit to a small alcove where there stood two chests.