Found myself exhausted when I awoke this morning. Thoughts about the gods have weighed heavily upon me as of late. Guilt floods through me as I question what I am involved in, and whether the gods have truly returned, or perhaps there is only one true god? Signs of Bahamut seem to appear all around and cause me to question myself and my beliefs.
We managed to enter the dark mausoleum as the skies above continue to darken. Just inside the antechamber we discovered three sarcophagi standing against the wall to the left. The wall opposite of our entrance point shows signs of another seam in the stone work, an obvious tell tale sign of another hidden door. After much effort we finally managed to gain entry, it was no small task.
Beyond the second door we discovered a ten-foot wide passage that quickly veered to the left after a mere ten feet. Stone sarcophagi are set into a nook in the stone wall directly ahead of us. I quickly ignited my lantern before moving ahead. For such an old mausoleum it seems surprisingly clean inside with little dust on the floor, yet cobwebs hang from the walls and ceilings above.
As we made the first turn the scraping of stone upon stone was suddenly noticed before Jacare sounded the alarm. Three skeletal looking warriors could be seen inside the antechamber to our rear, yet these were no ordinary skeletons, instead they appeared skeletal but with a thin layer of flesh pulled across their bones with nearly no muscle tone to speak of. Quickly a number of us moved to the rear to assist Jacare, and soon the threat was removed as we managed to avoid any significant injuries.
Yet as one threat was extinguished another seems to always present itself as a ghoulish-looking creature suddenly sprung from behind one of the sarcophagi niches down a dark passage ahead. Before it was all said and done four ghouls in all made themselves known. Yet once again any significant injuries were avoided by us all. Our skills upon the battlefield have grown and I can’t help but feel impressed as we work together as one, yet caution myself as overconfidence has often proven to be the enemy of more than one group of companions in the long annals of history.
Nearly sixty feet into the mysterious tomb we realize that we may have moved too quickly. We decide to back track a bit to further investigate many of the niches and sarcophagi that we had so carelessly passed by before. We want to avoid becoming surrounded at all costs, as we have learned over the past several months how sound tactics often lead to victory on the battlefield.
Alacry enchanted an unexplored section of hall up ahead to ensure we are not taken by surprise while we retrace our previous steps, while Moonglum inspected the three niches along the nearby wall. It was there that he discovered the outline of what looked to be another door in the middle niche behind one of the sarcophagi. Badger then stepped forward and helped muscle the door open using handholds hidden near the floor. Slowly the door raised up vertically into the wall above revealing a secret chamber!
It was during this raising of the heavy stone door that a sudden bolt of dark energy shot forth striking Moonglum in the chest! We were under attack before we even knew what lay beyond. Two arrows followed in quick succession, one grazing Moonglum in the left shoulder. Moonglum reacted as quickly as one might expect under such dire circumstance and released a massive fireball into the entire chamber. Soon Badger had stormed inside in an attempt to get at the gaunt warriors firing their bows, but not until the gaunt-spellcaster wearing tattered dark robes had fallen in the fiery holocaust of Moonglum’s spell. Then two more heavily armored and gaunt warrior with longswords stepped out from their previously unrecognized corner positions.
Badger was now in deep with no passage of escape. Moonglum, realizing his desperate state, released a poisonous gas into the room but it seemed to have no effect upon the enemy. I raced in to help shortly thereafter, and then began to rethink my tactical positioning when we began to notice the stone column near the entrance beginning to change color to a deep blood red. Then the column began to bubble, each bubble morphing into a mysterious face before melting back into the column, many of the faces reappearing and vanishing time and again, their crying voices filling the air around us. At that point Alacry had arrived and released several arrows into the chamber before taking a direct hit. She was badly injured and Varis quickly recognized the situation, and pulled her off the stone sarcophagi and back into the hall to safety. It was then that the seriously injured female elf sounded the alarm, the enchanted hall had apparently been breached by something! I raced to the other end of the dark hall to inspect what might be lurking ahead with Jacare by my side, but there was nothing to be seen? Perhaps a false alarm, or something invisible?? Unsure, we both took up a defensive position at the turn while the battle for the secret chamber continued to rage behind us. Inside the secret chamber things continued to grow worse by the second, as a strange mist began to form around the blood red column of faces before taking the misty-shape of many disturbing faces itself, then spectral hands began reaching out toward those of us inside the room! Then seconds later a poisonous greenish-yellow gas began to fill the chamber entrance and the hall outside the room. We all began to choke as we gasped for fresh air, and many of us began to retreat as visibility fell to almost nothing in the thick gas. Some unknown force had suddenly made itself known inside the secret chamber as a mysterious cackle could be heard emanating from beyond the poisonous cloud. It was within this cloud of deadly gas that we all scrambled in our own direction in a desperate attempt to find some form of breathable air, and one by one each of our voices could be heard declaring themselves free of the poisonous cloud as they gasped for air. That is all voices save for one. No one had heard Badger’s gruff tone through the chaos, and he had last been seen fighting the insubstantial spectral faces near the mysterious column. Where was he? What had happened to him in the sudden confusion as the poisonous cloud obscured everyones view? It was then, amongst the chaos and confusion, that we finally heard that familiar gruff voice, just one simple word – SHIT!