Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
image


Crypt of the Everflame

Characters
Aette, Halfling Sorcerer
Cael, Half-Orc Monk
Crantz, Gnome Bard
Fergus, Dwarf Druid
Huron, Human Paladin
Merisiel, Elf Rogue

Setting
Kassen

Background

Ekat Kassen was a crusader and fortune seeker who came to serve Lastwall in the year 4515. While he fought with distinction, he soon realized that he wanted more from life and le$ the Lastwall military to find his fortune elsewhere. His travels took him all over the region around Lake Encarthan, and he decided to settle down in 4522 after a very profitable adventure. Using a sizable portion of his fortune, he set out to tame a small area of the Fangwood on the banks of the Tourondel River, making it a natural stopover for those traveling up and down the river to Skelt. For the next 10 years, the town, which was then known as Kassen’s Hold, grew and prospered.

All that changed when Asar Vergas came to Kassen’s Hold with a host of mercenaries under his command. Asar was an old companion of Ekat, and the two had traveled together for some time before splitting up just after their last adventure. Over the years, Asar became sure that Ekat had cheated out of a portion of the treasure when they parted ways. Promising great wealth to his mercenaries, Asar raided the town relentlessly for 2 months. Finally, the townsfolk managed to locate Asar’s camp in an ancient crypt deep in the forest, and Ekat himself went out to deal with his old companion. The battle was terribly bloody, with only a few townsfolk coming back to tell the tale. In the end, Asar was slain and his mercenaries scattered, but Ekat suffered a mortal wound. He died 2 days later, on the 11th day of Neth, 4535. In honor of their beloved founder, the townsfolk buried Kassen in the ancient crypt, interring his bones in a place of honor, above the simple sarcophagi used to inter Asar, his mercenaries, and the townsfolk that lost their lives in the bitter struggle. They placed an eternal flame above Kassen’s final resting place, so that all who visited might find warmth in the wilderness.

Over the years, the Crypt of the Everflame has become an important part of the history of the town, now simply called Kassen. The townsfolk view the crypt as a memorial to those difficult first years of the town’s history. Every autumn, a few of the townsfolk make a pilgrimage to the crypt to light a lantern from the flame and bring it back to town, where it is preserved all winter, a symbol of the town’s resilience. Most years, the town mayor and a group of dignitaries perform this quest. Every few years, however, a handful of younger townsfolk are given the honor of lighting the lantern. Many see this as a passage into adulthood, a taste of adventure before settling down to work and marriage. The quest starts out as a solemn ceremony in town, where the townsfolk gather to wish the adventurers luck, just as it was when Kassen himself left to fight the mercenaries. When the adventurers return a few days later, the town holds a great celebration in their honor. This also marks the final harvest celebration before the long winter.


From the journal of Fergus

The evening before the trip.  The other villagers don't seem to think too highly of us.  Bets are being placed on whether we'll beat the previous record for the journey to retrieve the flame - unlikely given my short legs!

The next day we gather in the town square.  Bells ring out.  The mayor leads the departure ceremony.  Cael declares himself the leader of the group.  The mayor hands out backpacks and a map to the tomb.  We leave the town to the sound of rousing cheers.

For most of the day the journey is uneventful.  However towards late afternoon four orcs burst out of some woods, charging to attack. Screaming loudly and brandishing great axes.

Fergus fires an acid dart at one of them and it falls to the ground, dead.  The remaining three attack - Cael, Fergus and Huron.  They all miss.  Merisiel wounds one of them.  Huron panics and misses!  Cael lashes out with a foot and another orc drops.  He follows it up with a second strike but misses.  2 left!  Aette fires acid at one and it drops.  Aette calls out that they're not real and they all vanish.  For some reason Huron continues fighting.

There is a faint smell of pipe smoke in the air - somewhat familiar.  A blend smoked by someone in town. Huron identifies it as being the blend smoked by the local town sage.  We continue our journey and a couple of hours later stop to make camp.

Fergus is on third watch with Aette when he sees a hungry wolf.  He approaches it making reassuring noises and throws the wolf some food.  The wolf accepts it and leaves.

Later the second day we approach a lake. Nearby we see a dark form lying on the ground, a dead, bloated human.  The body is covered in very large, 2-pronged bites.  Potentially a huge snake - there are signs of venom around the bites.  We loot the body.  A bright short sword (masterwork) and 87gp.

We reach the tomb.  It is at the bottom of a very steep hill.  It has also started to rain and the hill is slippy. Huron and Fergus fall while negotiating the descent.  Fergus is knocked unconscious.  Aette administers a healing potion.

The tomb lies before us.  There are 2 recently-killed horses outside along with a large number of flies.  The horses have been dead for about 2 days and have been killed by claws.  There is a skeleton beneath one of the horses and some sacks lie nearby.  They contain rations and pillows!!

Fergus heals Huron and we venture into the tomb.  There are a number of bodies in the first chamber as well as several skeletons.  We hear an echoing wail from further into the tomb.  We recognise the bodies as locals from Kassen.  The skeletons suddenly lurch into motion, surrounding Cael, Huron and Merisiel.  Merisiel and Cael both take damage.

Huron strikes out with his sword, damaging one of them, though his sword seems less effective. Cael hits one, detaching its jaw bone and dropping one. 3 skeletons attack Huron, hitting twice. Huron strikes back, dropping one. Cael also drops one.  Huron and Merisiel are badly wounded. Aette drops another.  Fergus drops the last one with a mighty blow from his hammer.  We withdraw from the tomb to rest and recover.

The next day we venture into the tomb again.  Merisiel suggest going right.  We discuss stoning her!  Merisiel listens at one of the two door leading from the first chamber. She hears faint wailing.  She opens the door.  We move through the passageways.  Merisiel nearly falls into a pillow-filled pit and we find 3 levers.  The levers open a door but the door closes as soon as the levers are released.  We weight the levers down and advance through the door.

We encounter another person from Kassen, hiding in a room, scared stiff.  He offers us his masterwork crossbow in return for rescuing his sister who was taken.  He's babbling - we need shields to get past the arrows, we need the key, we need to swim....We leave him.

We enter a small chamber with a corpse and a large man-sized beetle. We attack, beetle dies but not before spraying us with acid.  Fergus, Cael and Huron all take damage. Cael strikes the killing blows, pummelling the beetle with his bare hands. Fergus heals Cael.  We continue.

We enter a room with a fire and a corpse.  There is a dark figure hovering over the corpse.  Huron identifies it as a shadow and cries out "Run Away!".  We do.

We continue to explore.  We enter a chamber with a statue of Kassen holding two shields.  One is inscribes home, the other family.  Cael addresses the statue as Kassen and mentions family, home and the Everflame.  The statue puts the shields down and stands back.  We take the shields.

We find a room with a pool.  At the bottom of the pool are many keys.  A voice speaks "Magic is the Key".  Aette casts Detect Magic. One of the keys glows.  She swims doen and retrieves the key.

The key opens one of the doors leading from the chamber with the statue of Kassen.  In the chamber is a table with a number of items, each attached with a note. The notes make it clear that these items were left here for us by our family / mentors. The notes bear our names.  Huron has a +1 longsword. Fergus gets a scroll of Barkskin and a wand of Produce Flame with 10 charges.  Cael gets a +1 Sai. Aette gets a Wand of Magic Missiles (10 charges).  Merisiel gets a potion of invisibility and a potion of CLW.  Crantz gets the Benny Hill music box.

We move deeper into the complex, resting before descending to the lower level.

We explore the lower level.  We find a room partially filled with water and 2 large frogs.  One swallows Cael! The other attacks Huron.  Aette runs forward and Marisiel boosts her over the first frog and into the room.  She lands next to the frog that's swallowed Cael. She fires a magic missile backwards at the frog behind her, killing it. Cael bursts out of the frog in a spray of gore.


From the journal of Aette

Day of the Dual Braids

While I’m wringing the dank stinking water from my travelling cloak, Cael bashes away for a full thirty seconds on the second door to the room. Eventually the frame splits and beyond we can see a passageway which passes by the room of blue fungus. Past that is a room which contains the wheel spoken of in the runes when we descended to this level of the tomb.

Cael charges across the room only to disappear under the water into a pit, taking me with him! As we sink I can feel things swiping through the liquid at me. Feels like those damn skeletons we fought yesterday again….

I struggle to escape from Cael’s backpack as he bursts out of the water in a surge of swimming energy. He jumps out of the water and lashes out backhandedly at a skeleton, missing. Merisiel stabs out at a skeleton with her sword, flat of her blade clattering the skull from the creature. I leap from Cael’s backpack into the water and blast a skeleton, but it doesn’t die!

The skeletons advance on us, one clawing at my back viciously, right as a javelin sails majestically through the ribcage of the skeleton facing Merisiel. Crantz swears in a melodically pleasant way and Huron yells a battle cry, though he still sounds some distance behind us. Merisiel misses, the slick bones of the skeleton knocking aside the blow, but opening an opportunity for her to tumble past.

I dodge as best I can, two skeletons too close to permit me to cast any spells, yet one still claws me. Crantz destroys one of the two flanking me. Cael and Merisiel do nothing and I swallow a potion of healing.  The last two skeletons advance on Cael and Crantz runs in to perfrom some healing on the monk. Huron finally shows his face, ploughing through the water like a hippo. The man-hippo swings a sword across my head and destroys the skeleton that had developed a taste for Aette flesh.

We all adjust, finding there’s five of us left and just one skeleton. Emboldened by the numbers we advance the skeleton grabs Merisiel, dragging her into the water and down into the pit that Cael and I just came out of! Crantz ignores the elf and runs (as fast as a gnome can through two feet of water) for the wheel while Huron heroically dives for Merisiel, disappearing far faster than the elf/skeleton combo, but knocking Merisiel free of the skeletons grasp.

I launch some heavenly fire down the pit, but never discover if anything happened. Beneath the water skeletons assault Huron from all sides as he clambers his way up the sides of the pit. Crantz yanks on the wheel, gears and chains clank and in the distance we hear something move. Cael throws the end of a rope to Merisiel, and dives smoothly into the murky water, perfectly cannonballing into a skeleton.

I launch more fire into the water, illuminating the climbing paladin and the fighting monk. Crantz drops a light spell on a coin into the water and drags the wheel another turn and Huron uses the falling light to guide his way out of the pit and back into the room. Cael uses his elite martial techniques to collide a flurry of blows into the skeletons and the light provides enough targeting for me to connect a ball of fire with a skeleton. Cael faces just a single skeleton now!

The rest of the group drag Cael up from the pit and I use the final skeleton for target practice until it is dead (again). Crantz and I dry the group off with magic tricks and we rest up for a short time the healer types treating each of us in turn.

We move on to the south east and find a fountain of healing! All but Crantz drink from the fountain, but we move on to the south, into an empty catacomb. The stink of rotting flesh pervades the room. I cast some Mage Armor on myself and Merisiel, as there’s an explosion from behind a corner – Cael comes stumbling back round, claiming a zombie just exploded onto him!

A disgusting zombie wanders around the corner after Cael, and the monk responds by punching the zombie in the face. Huron steps between two zombies and cleaves the zombie’s head, still covered in hair. Crantz moves into the fray, singing away to inspire us riverdance style! The zombies attack Cael and Huron, then we back away and launch ranged attacks to avoid the explosion of zombie dust. As Huron kills the final zombie Crantz sucks in the dust and cockily blows it out in a series of fleshy zombie dust rings.

Impressed we all applaud him, then stare in horror as he goes white and starts retching, obviously ill with something… shrugging we search the bodies for gear and find a map, some gold, a potion and a note advertising employment for people meeting at ‘The Rangers Lament’.

Looting done we move into a mural room, the cloth now destroyed. Merisiel moves in to examine the suspicious room, peering into water in centre of the room. She experiences a vision of horror then tries to force her way past us, screaming. Cael pins her to the ground until she comes to her senses. We move our way across the room to find an open portcullis – probably what the wheel earlier moved.

There’s another tomb beyond, and Merisiel spots a swarm of bats in the ceiling. Crantz sings a lullaby to them and they ignore us completely!

The next room has a bridge over a chasm leading to a pair of bronze doors. Two statues of villagers bar the way. Merisiel spots a pressure plate barring our path. Crantz comes up with a plan where we lift a grappling hook using a pair of mage hands – it works perfectly and Merisiel swings across and examines the trap. Figuring out what is supposed to happen.

In a flurry of activity Merisiel charges back at the pit, pressing the pressure switch down with one foot, and launching herself into the air on the rope swinging from the grapping hook. The statues speed across the bridge at an unbelievable pace, then move back slowly – we charge over the bridge after them before it resets, and Merisiel tumbles off the rope in a perfect landing.

Beyond the unlocked doors there is a huge tomb, massive pillars and a large sarcophagus. By the side of it is a comely woman, one we suspect is the sister that was abducted. A skeleton walks out of the darkness and challenges us to face him as Kassen’s heros have before! It’s Aser! Aser slinks off into the darkness as skeletons advance, hissing at us.

Cael charges into the fray with a skeleton, and I prepare to use my wand. The skeletons attack him and ignore my magic missile, then two more appear and advance on us, one coming my way!! Crantz starts an inspiring song and Huron runs past to assist Cael with his growing group of skeletons.

The cackling bad guy appears and disarms Huron, Crantz and I double team the single skeleton and Huron draws his backup sword to attack – yelling  and smiting Aser though the sword appears to do little damage. Cael punches out hitting skeletons and I run forward and douse Aser in heavenly fire. Merisiel tumbles past to the woman laying on the floor. Crantz runs past me and slams his hammer into the leader, ribs cracking under the weight of the magical hammer blow. In return he disarms the gnome!

Cael kills another skeleton. I raise the discarded hammer to Crantz’s hands and the bard swings but misses. All the skeletons are dead now, and we crowd around Aser. He stabs Huron through the shoulder and the paladin cries out in pain. Cael sneaks in behind to attack and I throw more acid at him. Merisiel steals the shiny longsword from Kassen’s body, and all of his gear begins to rot and decay. Kassen has cursed Merisiel it seems!

We light the lantern and a spirit rises up from the body of Kassen. He praises us for aiding him, and tells us the history of the battle between Aser and him. Someone has removed the amulets from him and Aser and this awoke Aser, bringing destruction on the crypt. They are part of a key that opens a treasure greater than any known. The third part of the key belongs with his travelling companion ‘Iramine’ and elven sorceress.

He bestows a series of gifts upon us, armour, a magic gem, and a small scale of silver for each of us (other than Merisiel).

Examining the only body that is not a skeleton, a robed figure with a mask over his face, Huron recognises a priest of a new cult Razmir a new religion. He has a lot of gold, a spellbook, a wand, a horn and some bracers. We distribute it between us.

We journey back to Kassen with our two rescuee’s. We’re hailed by Saigar, a stranger in town. He asks if we’re ever heard of the society of Pathfinders, who would be greatly interested in finding out who disturbed the tomb, and we can join them if we like…..



image

image



Last Updated: May 2010