Crypt of the Everflame

The Column of Infinite Arrows

Something tells me that this Crypt is a bit more than the village has expected. We seem to have found ourselves in the middle of the work of some evil necromancy. It may be more of a challenge than the town had planned for us, but as a cleric of Iomedae it is my solemn duty to do everything in my power to clear this crypt and rescue the sibling of that poor crazy man in the closet.
Thankfully, we were able to rest well during the night, we were not discovered by the evil right outside our door, and the barrier that I put up held. Having beaten the golem, I knew it was time to advance into the room with that awful spinning column of arrows. We took the shields from the golem and used them to defend ourselves from the blunted arrows. We went in as pairs but even with me and Adoku blocking most of the arrows, some of them still got through and hit Myra and Alistar taking cover behind us. We had to retreat back into the hallway and after recovering from some very sore bruises, we were not sure what to do. It was then that Alistar grabbed one of the shields and ran into the room and got to the door with the key and managed to get it open before the column could give him a very sore beating. As soon as he turned the key the pillar shut down and we passed safely into the next room.
Unfortunately, thinking that maybe we finally were about to get a break, we did not check the next room very carefully and got ambushed by 4 bloody skeletons. Thinking that I may have led my party into certain doom, I was relieved to see how well they handled themselves. Adoku smashed the skeletons with his heavy blows while I channeled energy into them to disrupt the energy that bound them together and Alistar and Myra kept the arrows and bolts coming from range. It was a fine show of combat prowess and I am sure they made the angelic hosts of Light proud. As soon as the skeletons were beaten, we noticed the dark staircase going deep into the ground before us.

View
Bad feeling

Upon vanquishing the shadowy monstrosity, we search the area for an exit. Finding none, we decide to backtrack and see if the key that Maira found would work on either of the doors in the mysterious “Magic is the key” room. Surprisingly, the key fits the south west door, and – after searching for traps – we decide to go through and continue our journey.

We come upon a room with nothing but a bench facing a large mural. The mural is a depiction of the legendary hero Kassen fighting off what appears to be a mercenary. Bodies are strewn all around in the picture, and the village in the background was aflame. Suddenly a chilling thought crossed my mind: “What if Kassen wasn’t the hero of this village? What if everyone got it wrong, and he was actually the villain??” Shaking off this disturbing thought, we continue down the corridor until we come across a large room with a pillar in the center. There are hundreds of arrows protruding out from the pillar, which can only mean something horrible is about to happen.

As we enter the room, the pillar starts to rotate violently. As we run for cover, we hear several whooshing noises. Not really caring to look back and see what the noise is, I continue running until I am struck by three blunted arrows. Lucky these things are blunt, I thought to myself. Achingly, I get up and search the room for the others.

Adokul had tried the door to the south, but given the sounds of large, half-orc fists beating on the door, I’m guessing that didn’t work out too well. Instinctively, I sprint to the door to the East, and it opens without a hassle. Bad news: there’s no way to open it from this side…I hope the others saw me come through here…Before long, Trent busts through the door, followed shortly by Adokul, who was dragging an unconscious Maira along behind him. She must have taken quite a few blows, I think to myself. I rush over to her and press my hand upon her forehead, praying to Erastil for the strength to heal her wounds. A warm light covers her body, and before long she is back on her feet.
It doesn’t take us long to recognize where we were. We’ve been here before; this is where we met that poor…distraught…soul. I hope he’s faring better than we, I muse. We decide to go back to the magic key room and try the other door. Surprised again, the key works on this door as well!

This door leads to a narrow corridor. On either side of the hallway there are statues of warriors with swords draw. Some swords are sheathed while others remain sharp, giving off an eerie glimmer. Roughly halfway through this corridor, I spring a trap, bringing down one of the swords upon me – of course, it had to be one of the sharp ones…Luckily, though, the trap triggered all of the swords to come down, so we won’t have to worry about dodging any more sharp, falling things…now just to navigate through the rest of the corridor across the fallen blades. As I clamber across one of the blades, a sharp pain strikes my hand. I look down, and it’s been sliced by one of the swords. I hear Trent wince slightly from behind, and can only assume that he also slipped on one of the swords. At the end of the surprisingly deadly corridor is a door. Not thinking, and wanting to get out of this death trap, I hastily open it and walk on through. I can hear Sir Dramott’s voice in my head docking me points for not checking for traps…

As we all enter this new room, the first thing we notice is a huge statue of Kassen. Like literally, huge. In each of his hands, he wields a wooden shield. On one shield, the word ‘Home’ is engraved. On the other, the word ‘Family.’ Well, he can’t be that bad of a guy, I think to myself. Home and family are too peaceful of thoughts for a bad guy.

We decide to rest here for the night, taking watches in case more of the undead decide to wander into the room. During my watch, I can’t shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen…and that maybe this Kassen guy wasn’t all he’s made to be…

View
Shadows

After finally taking down the large beetle, we exit the room through the south door, leading to a small corridor filled with a thick, oily smoke. We press on, until we come across a fire pit. A pile of gear is being burned, and at the bottom of the pile lies a mysterious dagger. Trent decides to put the fire out by conjuring a large mass of water above it – really? Water on a fire that’s giving off oily smoke? Not the best idea in my opinion, but against my better judgment I say nothing. Instead, I take a few steps back and wait for the ensuing inferno.

What follows can only be described as disturbing, at best. The dousing of the fire didn’t cause the flaming rage that I had expected; instead, it resulted in an exponentially thicker, oilier smoke. I was about to congratulate Trent on not causing a grease fire, but was interrupted by an unearthly moan that seemed to have come from too close for comfort. We look around the room, but due to the smoke, I could see nothing. Maira and Adokul, however, have their eyes fixed towards the corner. I still can’t see anything until Trent approaches, upon which a pair of evil-looking red eyes emerge from the smoke. But there’s no body…what is this foul creature, some sort of phantom?

Thinking quickly and acting even quicker, Adokul rushes for the dagger which had been burning. I’m fairly surprised he wasn’t burned himself; I figured it would be red-hot…Knowing this creature couldn’t be friendly, I invoked the power of Erastil to aid us in defeating the demon. My bow infused with Erastil’s might, I nock an arrow and let it fly. The arrow passed straight through the shadowy figure, but it must have felt the righteousness surging through the arrow, for it let out a fierce shriek of pain.

Maira, sensing that mortal weapons would not be able to harm the beast, asked how she could help. Suddenly, an idea came to mind (Sir Dramott was always warning me about those…especially since mine usually ended up in something blowing up as I attempted to cast spells…a lesson well learned, as the last time I had one of those ‘ideas’ around him, he ended up in the infirmary for a week…but I digress). I asked Maira to light a torch, hoping the creature didn’t like fire.

Trent approaches the creature and produces from his satchel a vial of water. Holy water, I would imagine. I looked away for an instant while Maira lit the torch. Then I heard an unholy chuckle. I looked back towards Trent and the shadow only to see what I assumed to be the water from the vial trickling down the wall. I’m not sure what it was supposed to do, but I have a feeling it shouldn’t have been amusing to the creature…

Adokul approaches, newly discovered dagger in hand. I can’t wait to see if this weapon truly does have some magical quality that will aid us in defeating the creature; however, it seems I’ll have to wait to find out, as the dagger misses its mark. Once Maira has lit her torch, I rip off a piece of my tunic and wrap it around the tip of my arrow. Again, the creature lets out a disturbingly delighted chuckle. I look up to find that Trent looks to be in intense…pain? No, it doesn’t seem to be pain. He looks…physically weakened. I have no idea what this creature is capable of, but it can’t be good. Trent retreats a few paces and puts forth his hand, unleashing a blast of fire, but the shadow is able to maneuver around the blast.

Adokul again thrusts the mysterious dagger at the creature. The dagger must be special, because the shadow bellows long and loud in searing pain. My hopes begin to lift, as we now have a fighting chance at defeating the foul beast. Having finished wrapping the piece of my tunic around my arrow, I nock it and set the tip aflame using Maira’s torch. Again praying that Erastil will guide my arrow, I draw back the bowstring, take aim, and let another arrow fly. Again, the creature seems to have been damaged as the arrow passes through it, the flame bursting slightly as it contacts the figure’s silhouette. I truly hope that this creature isn’t simply toying with us.

Trent attempts once again to launch a fireball at the creature. The flames engulf the creature, and it lets forth a hair-raising cry. When the flames dissipate, I can see a look in the creature’s eyes. It’s a look I’ve seen many a time, on the face of men who realize that they’re looking Death face-to-face. The expression is that of fear for one’s life, yet furious determination to fight to the last breath. It seems this creature can be defeated. Adokul strikes yet again with the dagger, and it seems almost as if the dagger was shredding the creature’s essence like fabric.

Maira hands me another arrow that she had wrapped using the covers from the pillows that cushioned my fall earlier, and I set it aflame like before. Again the arrow finds its target. At this point, the abomination looks as though it’s little crumbling to pieces. In a desperate attempt to take at least one of us down with it, it flies over Trent’s head and slashes at him, but Trent is able to avoid the attack. He retaliates by taking his holy symbol and thrusting it as close to the creature’s face as he dares, releasing a blinding light which envelops the beast. All I hear is a long, fearful, painful shriek, slowly fading into nothing. When the light is finally gone, the creature is too.

A fearful and fateful experience, I am hopeful that this is the deadliest foe we will have to face on this journey; however, it is but wishful thinking, as I have a feeling there are worse nightmares waiting for us in this crypt.

View
Dawn

Dawn. I thrive at dawn, when much of the world is in shadows and I’ve had a good night’s rest. Our party rises in the crypt, feeling better after getting some sleep. We all look around, getting our bearings. I go to the Northwest door and scan it quickly for traps. I have to admit, I am a little surprised there are none. I thought this place would be riddled with them. The door is locked. That’s not a surprise. While the boys look at each other, no doubt trying to decide who would beat the door down, I take out my tools and deftly pick the lock.

I open the door, fighting the urge to say “Tada!” as the boys look on. It is a small room with a rectangular pool taking much of the space. There is a weeping angel statue at the far end of the room, at the edge of the pool. As we look around, a loud booming voice rings out “MAGIC IS THE KEY!” Trent takes a moment to seek out the source. I’m getting impatient, but I know he knows what he is doing. Or not. All he figures out is that it is magic in origin. I could have guessed that! Next, we all look in the pool. There are keys in the pool; so many keys! One must go to one of the locked doors in the room. I check the locks and discover that they are from early Kassan, back when it was founded. So now we know what kind of key to look for, but there are at least a couple hundred in there.

Trent seeks magic in the pool because “MAGIC IS THE KEY!” and determines a section of the pool to dive to. Guess who gets to dive? Apparently boys can’t swim. They can pull me up though, so we tie some rope around my waist and down I go. When I reach the bottom, I grab a key that looks right and tuck it in a small pocket of the backpack I took with me. Then, I grab another 20 or so keys for good measure and put them in the larger pocket. I tug the rope and the boys pull me up, Adokul pulling so hard he flings me out of the pool and nearly loses balance himself. He’s a good kid. Trent looks for magic amongst the keys and chooses one, not the one I picked, not old at all. I’m skeptical, but learning to trust my party. We try it on all of the doors and it does not fit anywhere. We go back through the door that led us here.

Now, we try the Southeast door and enter a shadowy room. We can barely see. A few of us attempt to light up the room, to little avail. The floor is crumbling beneath our feet. Stepping carefully, I find a lever on the wall. I pull it. It clicks, nothing more. Maybe it opens a door? Alastair goes to the one door we can see, other than the one we came through. I pull again and he pushes. Nothing. Then he falls through the floor. He honestly falls through the floor. It appears to be about 10 feet down and he reports landing in pillows. After he is out, the boys find another lever. I’m staying put by mine until we figure this out or give up. I’m not going to risk falling only to have to come back to this one. We pull both levers and push the door. Still no. Finally, one more lever appears. Adokul goes to the door and the rest of us pull the levers.

The door opens and a wailing sound emerges from down the hall, which is strewn with bones. We talk, trying to decide if we continue after the flame or rescue the wailing soul. Unanimously, we go for the rescue and hope it isn’t a trap. We come to a locked door and the wailing behind it stops. “Who? What? . . . trick . . . voice of Death! . . . Angry Ones . . . not real . . .” says a fearful voice. Great. A nut job. Trent talks to the man about Kassan, but the man is still distrustful. Trent keeps talking. The man opens the door. He looks like he has not been eating, so we share our rations. Roldair tells us his story. He and his party arrived three days prior to prepare for the trial (I knew it was a sham!). Roldair’s sister was taken during a fight at the doors. He insists she is not dead and that he is safer here. He offers up his Masterwork Crossbow and gives us a couple of potions to heal. He is scared of the Voice of Death and makes us promise to find his sister and come back for him, then closes himself off in the room again. Like I said, nut job. But at least I got a good bow!

We go through a different door in this dank hall and find a corpse being pushed by a man-sized beetle. I’m sure at least one of the guys flinched. Babies. Of course the bug sees us and we can’t get past him without killing him. That would be too easy. Adokul gets cocky, swinging and missing with his axe. Trent gets a hit in. I shoot him from the corner and he roars in pain. In his anger, he shoots Alistair and Trent with acid. Adokul makes up for his bad shot and annihilates the beetle. Trent heals us and Alistair wastefully drinks a potion we could have saved for later.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.