When Rage Claw joined the rest of the group, they hadn’t done much. They investigated the doors that they found on the walkway. Over what appeared to be the main gate into the stone were several thick metal bars, covered in heavy chains, built into the rocks themselves. It appeared that the gate was barred from the outside. The eastern door showed evidence of a three foot thick stone gate that was slid up into the roof, behind which two doors stood open.
Whatever this place was, it was built to be locked down tightly.
The characters moved into the first room, and found what appeared to be several zombies and a couple of ghouls, simply lying unmoving on the ground. All around them, they could hear a strange sound like wind blowing through trees. The party surrounded and stabbed one of the zombies which caused the others to rise up and defend themselves. Long Tom turned one of the ghouls which caused it to flee down the corridor on the opposite side of the room while the party finished off the remaining undead.
With no immediate threats facing them, Anika examined the mystic symbols that were carved into the room. She said it looked like Pre-Sundering arcane symbology and, whatever power it once represented, it should now be quiescent. Nothing zapped them, so they assumed she was right.
They heard a noise from the northern door and went to investigate. Kicking it open, they came face to face with a group of adventurers pointing bows at them. After some quick talking, the tense situation was defused (much to the smaller group’s relief). They were adventurers out of Restwell Keep that had heard the rumors of treasure up north, headed this way, found a trail of another group and followed it.
“What is this, amateur hour?” Long Tom asked.
The new group felt out of their depth however and were happy to back out and ‘give’ the dungeon to the rival group (the PCs). They warned them that there was a wizard locked in the next room they were trying to get into. When asked why he hadn’t destroyed them all with magic, they shrugged their shoulders. “Maybe he’s not very good?”
After the newcomers left, the party tried to talk to the man behind the door. He was Ardon the Magnificent and he would utterly destroy them with his mysterious powers if they tried to come in the room. Anika asked him a few leading questions about what college he belonged to, and when he said a name she didn’t recognize, probed a bit further. Finally, she was convinced he was just making stuff up and might not even be a wizard. Rage Claw eventually tired of the discussion and started trying to bash the door down. Several failed attemptes later, with Rage Claw growing increasingly frustrated, he finally knocked down the door and then charged the man, back handing him into unconsciousness after roaring “You’ll pay for that!” (his own failures to open the door that is).
When they woke the guy up and questioned him, it became obvious quite quickly that the guy didn’t know anything. He did know about Otho though, saying he was her best friend. They began to suspect he was charmed…and an idiot. His robe was wrong, his staff was hand-made (and poorly at that) and he couldn’t answer basic wizarding questions. After gleaning what they could, they sent him back to the camp with some hirelings to get tied up.
They explored a few more rooms and found some goblins that they quickly killed and looted. Then they found a water-logged room. Poking and prodding revealed a deeper pit in the center of the room. A dead corpse in rusted armor lay in the water. Rage Claw dropped his armor and dove in the water. Twenty feet down he found several skeletons, tied with chains with bags of stones weighing them down. They also found a mace shaped like a skull wrapped by a snake, a totem carved of bone of some strange creature with lots of holes etched into it, and a money belt with some coins.
On the surface, Rage Claw handed the stuff over. Nobody wanted to deal with the mace so it got dumped in a bag. They then explored the room. At which point they heard a scream of distress coming from the western door.
The party beat down the door and found an incredibly ugly man menacing a prisoner. The group launched a quick assault against the man who retaliated with a great sword while screaming for help. He got a massive blow on Rage Claw, a strike that would have slain a mere human. But the party picked him apart, Rage Claw kicked a torch into him after someone threw oil on him, and Kenan-Tal blinded him with a light spell. The burnt, bloodied man surrendered, begging for mercy while brilliant light shown from his eyes.
Freeing the woman, they found out her name was Pinella, and she was an apprentice mage who was travelling with an adventuring group that was jumped by Otho and her gang. Only Pinella and a man with a limp, a priest named Paxton, were left of their party. Paxton told them that one by one, each of their friends had been dragged away by a dark man named Mudras, who muttered about offerings to his gods.
The warrior, named Vivelock, told them he was just a mercenary and had been hired by Otho as muscle. He didn’t know what she was here for, just that he’d been promised lots of gold once they got down there and even more when they returned. Some of the party wanted to kill the guy right then, but they decided instead to return him to the city, figuring the justice there would be harsher then any death they could give him. As Long Tom put it, “I mean, raising some Dead God, or restarting the Sundering, or whatever it is that they think they are doing down here, has got to count as high treason, right?”
Paxton asked them if they had heard the strange whistling noise. He believed he knew what it was, something called a Susserus, a strange plant creature that somehow could put undead into a torpid state. He and his group had seen ‘sleeping’ undead before and judging the noise, it was the only thing he had ever heard of that might fit the evidence.
They waited for Vivelock’s help to arrive, but after a few minutes, they just backed up and spiked the door. Rage Claw went back underwater and, while he was down there, a group of lizardmen swam out of a fissure and towards the surface. Rage Claw swam after them and attracted their attention. There was a moment of tension until Rage Claw indicated they should surface and talk. On the surface, Rage Claw introduced himself and asked the lizardmen what the situation was with this underground area. The lizardmen said that this place was sacred, that interlopers had invaded it and disturbed the spirits here, and already had killed and driven off others of their tribe. The lizardmen asked who the pink skins were and Rage Claw said they were his pets.
After brief discussion, it was agreed that the Lizardmen, Deep Swimmer, White Claw, and Long Scar, would join Rage Claw and his pets and help drive the invaders out. In exchange for their help, Rage Claw agreed they would receive a portion of any treasure they found (especially after the lizardmen pointed out that this was THEIR sacred place).