Table of Contents
29th of Mirtul of the year 1492
Setting forth in the late morning, they used the directions they had gotten from Pell to make their way to what they were told was a tomb with a ghost in it. Upon arriving, they were able to see the partially collapsed hill and the stone door entrance into the hill. The stone door was cracked open.
Pushing it open further, a piece of metal, something from a wagon, fell to the ground making a loud banging noise. While the party was surprised at the noise, nothing jumped out to attack them. Moving into the dark corridor it led to a staircase heading downward. It stopped at another stone door. Pushing it forward again, they were able to see the room ahead of them.
Inside the mid-sized room, they could see a 20-foot-tall statue of a dwarf holding a large maul. The ceiling was 20-feet high and was held up by four pillars. One was a large horned demon as tall as the room, but appeared to be getting squished by the weight of the ceiling pushing him down, another was a giant grimacing in pain as he too attempted to hold up the ceiling, the third was a large pile of orcs, some dead and mashed on the bottom, while all the others were climbing up and preventing the ceiling from falling, and the last was a large dragon roaring in defiance, but still stuck holding up the ceiling as all the others were.
The party moved into the room and began investigating all the features of the room especially the intricate carvings of the pillars. They were very lifelike and frightening at the same time. There was another door in the room in which Vladimir approached. Angelica was able to identify the dragon statue as a red dragon, and was at least an adult one, if not older. A soft wispy voice filled the room.
“Don’t, don’t go forward. You can look around here, just do not go any further.”
“What are you? A ghost?
“I’m not a ghost, just a guardian here.”
“Do you have a name spirit?”
“I do not remember.”
“What are you guarding here?”
“A tomb of a mighty warrior. I failed in my duty once; I will not fail it again. Do not go any further.”
‘What happens if we go further.”
“Then I will have to stop you. Don’t test my patience either.”
“I am sorry to hear you failed before, what did they do?”
“That is why I am guarding now.”
“These columns are very intricate; do you know the story behind why they are holding up the ceiling?
“The master wants them all to feel pain. He has hunted them all.”
“Who is your master?”
“You have already seen the statue.”
“Who is it though?”
“I do not remember.”
“Guardian, would it make any difference to your master if we are also hunters of some of these creatures? We’ve slain orcs.”
“You should not compare yourselves to the master, all of you are pathetic in comparison.”
“Is his tomb behind the door over there?”
“That is the space you should not go, and you would never have met my master, he died over a millennia ago, several.”
“Did he task you with guarding this?”
“My penitence for having failed him once. There used to be more of us, but I am the only one left now.”
“Besides the little girl, has anyone come by recently?”
“None have entered, the other stone door has opened and closed, and something might have attempted to peek in. but, as long as you do not try to continue, I will not bother you.”
Wanting to strategize outside the earshot of the spirit, the group went outside to determine what their action should be, and if they wanted to delve further in or not. For a while they discussed whether the tomb was related to the cultists or not, but in the end they decided not. There was some talk that perhaps the spirit guardian was fake because of the alerting trap they triggered. Attempting to use some Mold Earth to dig around the tomb, all they managed was to move a lot of mud and expose a lot more clay rock which Fogo’s spell could not effect. They finally decided that tomb robbing should be their goal, and off they went to confront the spirit.
“I see that you must have made your decision. Do you really want to do this? Do you really want to be my foe?”
“I mean, not really.”
“Then you can turn around go back.”
“We do not want to do that either. We have questions that we are searching for answers and are hoping we can find them here.”
“I have no answers, I barely remember that I am here.”
“Does the last war mean anything to you?”
“There were so many, so many wars, trolls, giants, orcs, so many wars.”
“How about the elements?”
“The elements always strike upon you in war.”
“Not any, any that I remember.”
It was at that point that Vladimir moved fully into the room and he could see the guardian standing next to the door waiting for him, and combat began. It was a brutal combat with an opponent that was incorporeal and was able to move through any of them, any object, and was able to fly fast enough to reach anywhere in the room. The most terrifying aspect was that it was able to drain their health and make it unrecoverable except through time and resting. Fogo was brought down into a coma losing many patches of fur over his body. Its hateful glare was enough to send both Vladimir and Angelica running at different points, but they did finally defeat it.
After the arduous battle they camped and rested hoping to regain the health losses almost everyone had suffered. The rest proved to be the best medicine they had, although Fogo was still very spotty with his fur as none of it grew back yet. Moving on to the next room, they found another medium sized room covered in five-foot tiles. Each tile had a different number of brass medians upon them, and another stone door at the opposite side of the room. Pain filled and grotesque carvings of orc heads covered all the walls as well as the ceiling leaving not a single open space. There were hundreds of carved heads. Dancer took a closer look and realized, that much like the other Dwarven tomb, every one of these mouths had an opening of some sort.
With several of them running in and out, they finally figured out that they had to take a specific route with a specific number of tiles and then pause to finally unlock the door. Any deviation from that caused crossbow bolts to shoot from several of the orc mouths at them. It was Fwoosh that came up with the solution and was almost able to execute it through. Once the correct path was taken, the door unlocked and opened itself leading to another hallway.
In the middle of the hall was a set of double doors, and down some stairs there was a cistern. The party debated on going through the doors and investigating the cistern, and Fogo persuaded them to dive into the cistern first. Or at least, Fogo did. Using his wild shape to become a giant frog he dove in to explore. The cistern was 90 feet deep and had a diameter of 50 feet with the opening at one end. He could see a faint light on the ceiling of the other end. Otherwise, it was filled to the top without any breathing pockets left open.
Swimming to the other end, he could see a hatch with some faint light coming from it, and a large lever in the wall. Thinking that this was the way to open the hatch, he pushed the lever down hoping for the best. When the water began draining rapidly and creating a giant whirlpool, he was sucked down through the false bottom that had collapsed into a put filled with jagged rocks causing his frog form severe injuries. With the water drained, and him changing back to his bedraggled form, he could communicate with the rest on what had happened. Tossing down a rope and pulling them back, they trudged forward to the double doors.
Feeling optimistic, Vladimir pushed the doors open with the help of Angelica and they found another corridor with a set of stairs heading down, and at the bottom four alcoves, two on each side, stood a set of full plate armor. Another set of double doors were at the other end of the hall. Excited at the prospect of gaining some real armor, Vladimir ran forward to fondle the standing armor.
Unfortunately for Vladimir, the armor objected, and all four sets began attacking. With limited room, the party had to frequently switch positions to support Vladimir and Angelica. The fight did not hold many surprises until some of the animated armors were killed, and one of the ones in the back absorbed the fallen armor making itself large, bulkier, and most likely much tougher. But even that one was eventually beaten down by everyone. As each of the armors were defeated, they could see that within them was a mummified orc chieftain that had been stuffed inside to rot there indefinitely. Vladimir was very saddened that all they he could recover was a pile of rust and ash from the armors and his dream of parading around in a loud clanking set of full plate was burst.
Hoping that there would be some sort of treasure ahead for all the work they had gone through, the party forged ahead. The double doors led to another corridor with two more sets of double doors, one to the south and one to the east. Choosing the closer southern doors, they burst them open looking for some loot. This room was very large and narrow with stone table lining the walls of the room. Upon each table was some sort of large creature’s skull.
They could see a Minotaur head, that was at least three feet across, not counting the horns, a horned demon skull that looked like it came from the demon pillar from earlier, a dragon skull that also appeared to match the one they had seen earlier, and finally a pair of giant human looking skulls, clearly from large giants. A shatter giant sized great sword sat upon a table adjacent to the giant skulls.
Fogo was able to see that all the tables had a faint amount of magic that encompassed whatever was sitting upon them, but that magic was fading, and would most likely end within a few years. Reaching out to touch one of the skulls, the magic popped, and the skull collapsed into dust. Deciding to leave this trophy room intact, they moved on to what they hoped was the last set of doors of the day.
Behind these doors, which were the last ones, they could see a huge sarcophagus floating five feet off the ground resting on top of some white clouds. The sarcophagus was 12-feet in length, and at least three feet high and wide. Fogo started to step in but jumped back just as a lightning bolt struck out at him from that cloud. ISAC was next hoping to use the protections from the statue to weather to lightning bolts, but even he had to retreat as there seemed to be no end to the lightning.
Again, it was Fwoosh that helped solve the problem. Using his newly acquired dagger, he turned invisible, trotted inside, and attached a rope to the sarcophagus and the party pulled it from on top of the cloud causing it fall and smash open. Out popped a mummified dwarf body holding on to a large maul and a small chest. Grabbing both, Fwoosh made his way out, but not before the lightning now having a target, shot a few bolts at his retreating back.
Thinking that this was everything in the tomb, the party was happy to make their way out into the dark night to escape back to Red Larch. As they stepped out of the tomb, arrows were shot at them catching them all by surprise.
And this is where the session ended.
Good evening gentlefolk, this is your host David Bourgh-Ettin. Last week we reviewed the history and condition of the Kryptgarden Forest, and this week we will be moving further south and look at the Westwood. Westwood was a forest on the Sword Coast North on the eastern edge of the Sword Mountains. Welcome back to our program looking into the history of the savage frontier.
Westwood, as a general term, is used throughout the North to describe the western edges of a forest. This entry, however, details only the Westwood Forest south of the logging town of Kheldell. It’s said that this forest used to extend easterly to the High Forest, north to the city of Yartar, to the Delimbiyr Route in the south, and along the Sword Mountain range in the west. If this is true, Westwood once stood as proud and as large as the High Forest of today. Some sages believe this forest’s been shrinking since the destruction of Netheril.
The closest settlement to Westwood was Kheldell, which sat on the northwestern edge of the wood at the bottom of the Sword Mountains. This forest covered part of the eastern slopes of the Sword Mountains south of Kheldell. Amphail lay to the south of Westwood.
Westwood was part of a group of forests that were referred to by some as the Other Woods and others as the Moonwoods. The forests in this group were Lurkwood, Southkrypt Garden, Southwood, Moonwood, and Westwood.
Local legend claims that the ruins of an elven castle stand in a dell at the heart of the Westwood. Much magic exists in the ruins, and they’re supposedly haunted by owlbears and wild trees (probably evil treants preying on intruders). The way is best sought at night, for the route from Kheldell is marked by ancient spells that cause floating moonglow symbols to shine in the darkness.
Shrine of Mielikki
Mielikki is venerated at a hidden shrine in Westwood, and only rangers are guided to her temple. It’s said those who kneel and place fermented seed or newly sprouted oak trees at the altar are rewarded with a healing, neutralize poison, or remove curse spell (whichever is most needed). Those of evil alignment or who venerate evil deities that kneel at the altar are cursed with either a curse, a reversed neutralize poison, or a reversed cure critical wounds spell (whichever is most dangerous).
The haunted tomb was fun, a different puzzle appeared for them to solve. The specter was a much tougher fight than they thought it would be, mostly because they were not able to get into a better tactical position. The room was a perfect set up for the specter that was able to move through anything in the room including objects and people able to appear anywhere it wanted and attack. Being intelligence, it was able to focus on one character at a time, meaning that the possibility of death was much greater.
And of course, something was waiting for them on the outside. Afterall, who placed the warning trap that they triggered when thy entered?