The party, fresh from their defeat by the ghouls, bought more supplies after resting a day or so in town. Long Tom’s player couldn’t make it, so I decided that his several failures at turning had tested his faith and he needed to meditate (read: drink himself silly) for a while.
Before they left town, they discussed what had been happening with Vallerend the curate. He told them it sounded as though they had discovered the lost city of Dalagar, a city of humans and dwarves that had been lost to chaos and cursed by them a few hundred years hence.
Though the borderlands had been pushed back since then, no one had really found or reclaimed the lost city. They asked if he knew any more and he said no, but he might see if he could find out.
They hunted some more for a few retainers (they are henchmen crazy) and found a menacing woman named Onara. After a terse discussion, she agreed to work with the Kinslayer (which was kind of funny since Arakhe had been the one looking for a henchman, but upon seeing her, Alfric made a beeline and ‘henchblocked’ him). Turned out that, thanks to several good rolls, Onara was actually a 1st level Assassin, something that made the PCs very happy…finding a henchperson with class levels that is, not that she was an Assassin specifically (though that made Alfric happy). Most of them think she is just a thief.
The third time into the tomb was the lucky one, right? Well, upon arrival, Havelock, Arakhe’s faithful henchman noticed that several graves in the graveyard outside the tomb had trails leading from them towards the tomb. The party was uncertain if this meant more ghouls or zombies or what, but they entered into the crypt to find out. Piles of bones littered the floor next to the dead zombies (who had been mostly eaten by this point).
The bones turned out to be skeletons but they posed little threat to the players, other than Havelock who took a strong blow from one of them. Luckily, he was nearly the toughest person in the party so while they had him retreat to the second rank, he was still able to fight with his spear. They found two of the ghouls and killed them. Now they had to choose between heading north, to where they thought the scary dwarf was, or east to close off the passage. They chose east.
What they didn’t do, however, was spike the door or throw the bar back on it. Had they done so, things might have turned out differently.
To the east, they returned to the room where the thief leader Xanthus had been. A ghoul hid in the darkness and leapt at Alfric as he rounded the corner. A lucky strike later and the dwarf was paralyzed, again. The rest of the party cut the ghoul down and found a large, heavy chest. Two of the henchmen carried the chest out, while two more helped the heavy, paralyzed dwarf out.
Before they reached the outside though, the northern door exploded open. Onara was the only one not surprised and she shouted a warning. The creature swung at her but she danced away from its claws. It then spoke, telling the party to give it the dwarf and it would let them go.
Seemed like a reasonable offer.
Instead, the party launched an attack. Faith failed against such a potent undead. Weapons couldn’t touch it (except the magic sword). Holy water and oil were thrown on the creature until it got a good dosing. Then a torch ignited it. Grimly, it kept coming, refusing to die as it burn and smoldered. It reached Havelock, brave Havelock who had survived the Caves of Chaos and the wild man of the woods.
He did not survive this.
One touch and he shrivaled until his body was nothing but a desiccated corpse, all life drained by the voracious wight.
Luckily for the party I forgot that monsters cleave… *shudder*
The party launched a more vigorous assault, and by now, the holy water and flaming oil were taking their toll on the creature. Thorsigar stepped up with his master’s magic sword (I was nice and, even though they hadn’t said so before hand, I let them transfer the sword to one of Alfric’s henchmen). One mighty back hand stroke and the monster fell, headless and truly dead. The holy water consumed its body, turning it into a horrible pile of goo.
They then escaped back into the sun to await the paralysis wearing off. Some of them counted the treasure from the chest while Havelock’s corpse was given last rites by Arakhe and then burned (to prevent him returning as one of those things). The last vial of holy water was sprinkled in the tomb by Kanen-Tal, as he said a blessing to cleanse the place of its taint. Inside the sarcophagus, they found an axe-head that had belonged to the dwarf in life (the haft had long since rotted away). They took that and the ruined armor, and a necklace the dwarf was wearing with a fist sized ruby.
Inside the sarcophagus room, they discovered someone had made new markings within the room, chaos sigils and runes of unknown purpose. Kanen-Tal marred these with his mace and chiseled the signs of Law over them. But they don’t know who left them there, or how the ghouls found the place.
Amongst the ghoul’s treasure they found several difficult to sell items, including two silver wrought Stars of Chaos. Certainly saleable, but not in decent society. Now, they are looking at their book of fences and the town of Threshold as the next stop to dispense with their goods. But where to go from there?