Session One Hundred and Thirty-Five Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)

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Session 135, April 26 2023



We continue at 10:30PM on the 25th of Denrilden ( on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party counting their losses and treasure after defeating the mucus-beholder and its shambling minions in the ancient elven tomb. After resting and mourning, the group can continue their journey to the surface with a new ancillary goal of replacing their lost stone artifact and resurrecting the queen of the dragons. Is their another stone shard to be had? Who will the party sacrifice to bring back Prixithalma? Tune in to find out ...

Larry's Summary

The mucus is sliding off the walls, the corpses, and the strands are sagging. The stuff on the floor is more puddly/splish splashy than muddy.

We finish flying the party to a dry spot, Kauri and Renthark still have fly.

Crack in wall is a natural cavern in what we think is NE-ish.

Velkin goes 30 feet on into the tunnel and listen, and if no noise detected, he will move another 30 feet. The passage opens into a larger space into some sort of a chamber.

Velkin goes up to the chamber and listens. As he approaches it is about 50 feet in diameter and extends upwards quite a ways. The irregular surfaces look like ledges and can't see the ceiling with his 90 foot infravision.

Velkin hears the sound of the air, like the wind whistling somewhere up above in the chamber. It is the noise of some sort of opening. There are no other passages on the ground floor where we are.

He does hear something besides the wind. Somewhere from above, there is an irregular sound of hammering or digging. There are no voices. But somewhere above, maybe echoing.

90 minutes later the entire party is transferred from the upper tunnel to the non-mucusy cave.

Besides the double-doors, there is the four-way intersection with two sets of doors on the left and a single door on the right, and the entire tunnel past that was clogged with mucus.

Two other doors in the chamber leading to the altar room, and stairs leading down to what.

The fly spells are still working, but we don't know how much longer.

We leave the Dealbators and Lambertus and Nixomanthus with them, Ithirialma, Abel Brix, and David Boger, and Druul. Plus Alician, Roheis, and Philomanthraxus.

Velkin, Thorfus, Sorel, Peronel, Felix, Renthark, and Kauri go to investigate, with Renthark and Kauri flying.

Velkin listens at the double doors and checks for traps. Renthark flies Velkin over there, and then gets someone else to go check out the rest. Thorfus and Sorel are carried with Renthark and Kauri, with Renthark carrying Thorfus, and Kauri carrying Sorel.

Back in the altar room 80x60 feet. The Altar is on a raised dais that takes up about 60% of the room and the double doors are at the back of the dais. The stairs are in the South end of the room.

All the tendrils have fallen to the floor. Get to 40 x 40 room with 4 pillars and a few shamblers fell into the muck. Besides the hall going to south.

Single doors to East and West on South. Both closed, reinforced wooden doors with locks. Thorfus has the chatelaine with the 4 keys. It looks like they could fit the locks.

We look for open doors and to identify any other locked doors.

Down stairs to intersection. The exit to the shaft the cross passage in each direction, to the right at the end about 50 feet away is a double door and one is cracked open slightly.

On North wall of same passage c. 30 feet down single door that is closed. the other way is a single door and a lot of mucus. It has fallen and appears to be deeper.

About 70 feet down is the frame to what would have been a double door, it is gone.

There are doors to either side with burial niches below the shaft.

Go past the shaft we took down to the stairs leading down.

20 feet to stairs leading down, and 20 feet of stairs. The entrance to a 50x50 octagonal chamber. In the center is a well or pool with a raised lip around it with tendrils of the mucusy stuff coming up out of the well. These strands are also losing their coherence, about 6 of them. No further passages beyond this points and a few former shamblers.

Other than the natural cave, it all looks like a coherent structure built over a close amount of time.

There appears to be writing on the lip of the well. The characters appear to be elven. Kauri knows elvish and Kauri tells us it is archaic, and suggests getting someone who knows drow or ancient elven. Thorfus offers to stay while Renthark goes to get Peronelle.

Meanwhile Velkin hears nothing and searches the double doors for traps. He is sure that there are no traps. The door has two locks on it. Renthark flies up and explains that we need someone to look at elven and his fly spell wears off.

Velkin, Peronelle, Renthark, and Felix walk to join us and Kauri's fly wears off.

Velkin and Peronelle check out the writing. It circles counterclockwise.

  • Pool of our Home's Melted Waters to Wash and Preserve our Dead to Serve Again.*

Kauri saw that only the shield glows with a white colorless glow, somewhat similar to the sword Thorfus has.

Druul reflects on his knowledge to see if he recalls anything about the shield, but he doesn't recall anything.

Sorel uses an arrow to see how deep it is and he stops before his hand touches the water. So he ties a rope to it to see how deep it is. It is a 50 foot length of rope and gets about 40 feet down and might have curled at the bottom at 30-40 feet.

Velkin and Peronelle search the octogonal room for secret doors and the rest of us go to the two rooms with niches either side of the shaft we came down. 3 levels of niches on the walls where the door isn't. To the left many niches are empty. To the right it looks like many more niches are occupied. There are about 30 niches in each room. Other than the remnant of the mucusy stuff there is no treasure. Pretty plain, not even any fancy carving. One with a body the niche matches the empty one. The bodies have remnants of deteriorated clothing. No weapons or armor.

Velkin and Peronelle finished their circuit and didn't sense any secret passages.

Back to the large intersection. two doors one way and one door and an opening where there used to be a door.

We go look in the partially open double doors past the single door on the North wall, and it has a lock.

At the double doors they open away from us. The one cracked is pushed in. Either more passage or a room.

We push it open with a slosh of the melted mucusy stuff. Alcove 20x10 that opens into a larger room. 60 feet away is the opposite wall and can't quite see the left and right. The far wall is some sort of shrine with an altar. A carving on the wall behind it, like a raised relief like a hunter with either dogs or wolves with a horn. The horn is 3-D from the relief.

The altar is not empty, there are piles of coins on it. There is also a good number of collapsed shambers, look like they fell the same way. They all look like they fell face forward towards the altar. It is like they were facing the altar when they went down.

The horn is very detailed. It is carved in such a way it looks like a separate piece. One would have to climb on the altar to check that.

Thorfus offers to raise him up, but Renthark is much taller, so he boosts Sorel. In the room, it is a wide chamber, about 80 feet wide, also packed with shamblers fallen on faces in direction of the altar.

Up closer the horn does look like something that could be taken off the wall.

Renthark boosts Sorel so he can lean over and wiggles the horn. The figure is an elf with a full beard starting above the top of the altar. Two wolf heads at stomach, groin area as boosted by Renthark. The horn is loose in his hand and tapers towards his mouth. It is just resting in his hands. Sorel slides it out and has to save vs. breath weapon. He fails. As he lifts the horn out of the hand, there is a blast of chilly air on his midsection from the wolves. He is severely chilled, but Sorel has the horn.

Renthark is missed by the blast and lowers Sorel.

The horn is nice and has a motif of deer or elk around the wide end and the narrow end is reinforced with either silver or platinum. There is no strap to carry it.

Kauri sees a faint colorless glow.

Sorel blows the horn. It makes a loud baying sound and there is a blast of cold air out of it. Thankfully it is straight up and frosts over the ceiling.

The coins appear to be mostly silver. We are not familiar with the stamp, it looks kind of like the guy we took the coin from with the wolf's head. Sorel takes two of them for reference.

The Winter King has a beard. Without a reason to believe the carving is someone else, it is probably the Winter King in the Relief.

There appear to be a couple hundred coins, mixed in with rotted fabric, that may have been sacks or pouches that rotted away.

We stop at the door that is closed with a lock. Velkin tries to determine which key to use. Any of them could work.

Thorfus gives Velkin the keys to try. He gets it on the first try. The door unlocks and falls toward us with a pile of bones and scrap cloth. Beyond is a 30x30 room that is empty. The niches are empty. These have a border done up with stonework carving with repeated motifs of stylized snowflakes. Similar to the tomb under Vilgram. Kauri sees nothing that glowing.

At the next door, Velkin still can't determine the key to use and tries a different key it doesn't work. He tries the prior key and that works. This door doesn't come flying open. There are burial niches with similar decoration. The bodies are still in the niches and appear to be undisturbed. One of the bodies actually does have a necklace on it. On the central niche opposite the door. From the scraps of cloth, it is probably robes. The necklace is platinum with e blue stones in settings on his check, and we have Kauri take a look at it. He doesn't see any aura. Velkin checks for traps on it. None are evident. Velkin gently lifts the necklace to ensure there are no wires. It twinkles and is nice. There is no writing or engraving on it. Velkin checks to see if there is anything else in the niche.

We then check out the missing double doors. The room beyond is large and is a match for the shrine on the other end. No exits and no shambler bodies and empty. 40 feet across and 80 feet wide. There are bits of what was once wooden furniture that is piles of kindling soaked with the mucus. The ceiling is nicely vaulted, similar to the shrine. Nothing else of interest of value is evident.

This leave two doors with the pillars and then the double-doors in the altar room where we fought the snot monster.

Velkin goes to next key on the ring and looks at the left/West door to check for traps. He feels pretty good it it OK. The next key on the chatellaine unlocks it and the door opens toward us. 20 foot passage then the ceiling is collapsed and not much mucus in here.

On the next door the same key, 60 foot passage with a door at the far end and about 30 feet down doors opposite. Mucus only made it 20 feet in the passage.

Go to door to North, and there is a key hole. It is a wooden reinforce door with no writing or decoration. Same key opens it. It again opens towards us. The narrow passage means that not all can see in the room. Velkin opens it and reveals a small chamber only 20 feet deep and 30 feet wide and no burial niches and there is a sarcophagus centered in the room. It is on a platform, raised up so top of sarcophagus is chest high on a normal human. It has a carved wooden scene with hunters chasing a stag through the snow. Each panel is different stages in the hunt.

There are no inscriptions in the room.

We have Felix positioned so he can see the sarcophagus. We could potentially squeeze in around it.

Velkin describes what he sees and asks if Felix and the others can gather in case something tries to kill us. Sorel knocks an arrow, and Thorfus prepares to charge, Kauri receives the keys from Velkin, and Renthark and Peronell are in the room. We then open it by sliding it to the side so it pivots. There is a bit of resistance so it takes a hard push. Very stale air escapes. Peeking in, there is a body that has decayed and it is dressed in full plate armor with its hands holding a sword tucked behind a shield over the lower body. It does not get up. Kauri does not see a glow.

It is stylistically similar but not as nice as Brendil's. They don't show any signs of rusting, but no magical aura. We take the platemail (7 slots), sword, and shield with us and will decide what to do with it back in the cavern.

Velkin looks for secret panels in the sarcophagus, there are none. He also does a circuit in case he senses a door, he does not.

The same key opens the next door. It is a mirror image of the room across the way. This sarcophagus has a hunting scene, but this time the creature being hunted is a wild boar. Same process to open as before. The body is identical so we take the shield since we barely have the means to carry one set of platemail. Velkin does a circuit and the panel where the boar is killed catches his eye, the image is a bunch of spears hunters stick in to the boar and there is a small hole in the boar. This hole is facing out toward the viewer. It is circular, smaller than a pinky. It is possible it is a vent for a trap. Velkin looks in the sarcophagus to see if anything fits the hole. The walls are thick so something could be in it. The other sarcophagus has a hole in the stag.

Once of Velkin's thieve's tools is the only thing we have that could fit.

We then check out the end door that is more ornate with a wolf's head medallion affixed to the center of the door, and there is a key hole. Velkin stands to the side of the wolf's head and tries the same key and it doesn't work. None of the 4 keys work. Velkin hands a cure poison to whoever is fast and lays it near the door and ties a rope around his waist (Peronelle takes the rope.) and heads back to the boar motif and knocks on it to see if it sounds hollow, there is a different sound than the others. Velkin inserts a pick and jiggles it and bends to the side and the boar starts to jiggle loose. It comes out and he can grab it a pull on it. As he is pulling, it is a small drawer, the boar is the face of the drawer with a key in it.

Velkin repeats the procedure with the other one with another drawer and another key.

Velkin tries the keys on the end door and the first key (boar) clicks when he turns it, he tries the other (stag) key, and it turns a bit further. We all back away and use the other doors as a barrier. Velkin checks for traps. He doesn't notice any traps, and pulls the door open. He puts a shield in front of the mouth of the wolf and opens the door. Nothing happens. It is a 30 x 30 room. Instead of niches or sarcophogi there is an ornate seat with a skeletal figure. Dressed similar to the warriors in the sarcophogi with fancy scrollwork matching the seat. Large two handed sword across its lap and a diadem on its head. Kauri takes a look and there is no magic. We take the diadem. Velkin asks Felix to be ready with turn undead and the rest of us make ready. Velkin steps in and the floor falls away as he enters and hurtles into the darkness. It is a 40 foot fall. He survived with 1 HP left.

Sorel sees that the floor is on a hinge and slowly rising back into position. Thorfus grabs a sword from the sarcophagus to jam into the mechanism to stop it and leave an opening and the other half closes.

While he's down there, Velkin looks to see if there is anything worthwhile. There are rusted and broken bits of weapons and armor and jumbled bones and animal bones of some sort, but nothing alive.

Sorel tosses a rope down and tells Velkin to tie it off. We pull him up.

We can step around the corner and go up to the throne. Thorfus does it. The skeleton is particularly well preserved compared to bodies in niches. It is paper thin, but he still has skin. Thorfus asks Felix to be ready and Thorfus draws his sword and takes the diadem with one hand. The head turns and then the body falls apart. Since it is better quality platemail we gather it up instead of the other platemail. Sorel wants the two handed sword.

Velkin tests doing the keys in the opposite order, stag then boar and the floor is solid.

We then go to the double doors in the altar room. Roheis is keeping an eye out and waves as we come in. Roheis asks Velkin if he is OK. Velkin asks Druul if the scepter is able to heal him.

Velkin goes to the pillar room and uses the scepter on himself. He is almost totally healed. He gives the scepter back to Druul.

Each door of the double doors has a key hole. No evident traps and no sound. There are two keys left we have not used. They have no labels and relatively the same size. Velkin tries to determine which key fits the left lock and is pretty sure he knows which is which and puts the keys in their respective doors. He studies the other door and it seems to go together. He turns together and there are two clicks. The doors open inward and he pushes them open. There is mucus on the floor.

Beyond the door is a 40 x 40 room. Instead of 4 pillars, there is a single pillar in the room with a crazy amount of carving detail, like swiss cheese. It is a single piece. In some places can see all the way through its 5 foot diameter. In a climbing spiral is a really long scene with a camp on each end of the pillar and the meeting of the forces in the center. It appears something metallic and long, at least ten feet is sticking straight up in the pillar. It is a plain stone room and there are open sarcophagi in the room on diagonal corners of the room. One of them appears that the forearm has flopped out and fallen to the ground.

Work our way around to the right checking each sarcophagus. The bones are floating in the mucus, and they have scraps of fabric in there. Kauri only sees magic on the item in the pillar, it is again the clear glow. Velkin looks for anything that isn't bones, goo, or fabric scraps, and repeats on each in turn. All are the same.

The pillar is the only thing decorated. The armies all look like elves. The elves at the top have snowflakes and elves, and the ones at the bottom have sun motifs. Up close and can see through the openings the object is a spear. Peronelle looks at it and says it is my families crest with the sun motifs, so she is a descendant of the Summer Elves. My father's banner had the same symbol. I saw it fall in the battle against the dwarves who took me. Druul is brought in to take a look.

Druul says it is clearly a battle between the Winter King and Summer Lord. Both bearded elves, look almost identical, but Summer Lord has an angry face and accompanied by birds. One is weirdly large. Then he shrugs. You know how old this stuff is? Velkin, your people didn't know anything about this.

There are no symbols on the spear and can't quite make out the material, seems to be all metal. Neither figure in the scene have a spear that resembles the one in the pillar.

Velkin looks for mechanisms to open the pillar. Velkin is pretty sure that the different sections in 8 different bands appear to rotate separately.

The Pillar is 25 feet tall. So eight three foot high bands. Velkin asks Peronelle to help look to align or if it is out of sync as is rises. Similar to a barber's pole. One swirl is the forces moving towards each other in the center and the other swirl are the skeletons moving away. Each are connected in a single band. The two lines could be moved to cross at each part.

The lower half and upper half are mirrored. Can move it all to be opposite what it is now, or alternate, or do half and half so that all the living meet all the dead either from top or bottom.

We practice on the two we can see at the bottom where the living run into the dead. It looks like the Winter King's forces come up to the Summer Lord and they are all chasing away the dead forces of the Summer Lord.

Try to manipulate so that the Winter King is totally victorious. The living are always heading towards the center and the dead are heading away from the center no matter how we manipulate it. The only choices are living all the way and dead all the way, or mix and match.

We try alternating each ring to be Dead/Living to reverse back and forth at each level and nothing happens.

We then try putting all the ones on the bottom opposite. Then there is a clicking and the side of the pillar opens up. Each living army has completely defeated each other and both go away dead.

It is a metal spear, we think it is not platinum. It doesn't glow to our eyes, but Kauri insists it has a glow to it.

We then go back to the chamber and Caspar looks at the items.

Necklace with blue stones is worth about 8,000 gp - blue sapphires and the diadem is worth about 2,000 gp. Plus the magic horn and the spear.