The party, having finished clearing the maze-like system of corridors and sonic runes, decides to press further into the dungeon. It currently consists of Zil'dejin, Morgue, Typhus, Mikhal, and Lythanis, accompanied by Valthrun, the aged wizard of Winterhaven, and Splug, the cowardly goblin companion of Typhus. While Lythanis remains in the twisting corridors to study the runes further, the others choose to head east from their current location; this is the exit to which they were drawn when the runes caused them to flee earlier.
They enter into a room with much better lighting. It is cross-shaped, with three stone sarcophagi along either wall leading towards the intersection further into the room. Valthrun accompanies them to the doorway, but then turns to assist Lythanis with his studies. Splug, as always, remains faithful to Typhus, and the remaining five enter further into the room.
After passing between the two pillars in the center of the cross-shaped hall, they begin to feel somewhat uneasy. Before long, the doors on the sarcophagi open, and hordes of the undead begin to emerge, and close in on them from all sides.
As they begin to fight the zombies off, the four quickly realize that there is simply no end to the zombies - more than should be physically capable of emerging from the relatively small sarcophagi. Still, faced with no other option, they continue to fight. Meanwhile, Splug - trapped further down the hall amongst other zombies - struggles against the odds, but is finally beaten to death by some stronger, more muscular zombies than those faced by the rest of the group.
Typhus seems more or less unfazed by this turn of events, and is more concerned with the overwhelming force of zombies around him, which - combined with those who have felled Splug - are now concentrated upon him. Without any route of escape, he is beaten down to the ground by the horde.
The zombies move onto the more pressing matter of Mikhal, Zil'dejin and Morgue, who are attempting to knock over the sarcophagi, essentially hoping to seal the lids on them and prevent more zombies from emerging. While they are distracted from devouring him, Typhus eventually regains his footing, and stands up to unleash a color spray spell upon the zombies, thinning out some of their numbers and allowing his companions access to the sarcophagi further in.
With this, the party topples the remaining sarcophagi, sealing the zombies in, and moves to the door at the end of the chamber.
It leads into another, smaller chamber, containing only one sarcophagus, this one more ornately decorated than the last. Morgue attempts to open it, and moves forward to do so, but as he tries it opens widely, and a skeletal figure emerges. They prepare to fight it, but then it speaks.
It identifies itself as Sir Keegan, who was once lord of Shadowfell Keep. But he murdered his friends and family due to temporary madness instilled upon him by a "dark priest, serving demons." To atone for his crimes, he locked himself in the crypts to watch over the rift to Mabar.
He begins testing the four to see if they are worthy of helping him in this task. He deems that they are after questioning Morgue's craftiness, Typhus' knowledge, and Zil'dejin's imposing presence. He then tells them that, in his current state, he can do little to prevent the ritual that is about to take place; however, he offers his sword, Aecris, a holy blade which is taken by Mikhal, and tells the party to seek the blessings of the dragons outside. He then sends them on their way.
The party finds that the altars outside do, indeed, carry in secret compartments a number of small images in the shape of dragons, carved apparently out of platinum (as identified by Morgue).
They choose to take some time to dwell on this, and after bringing Lythanis and Valthrun in with them choose to take a rest in the room, waking in shifts to keep watch (seriously, what is it with these guys and sleeping in crypts?).
|Truly, we mourned Splug most of all.|