21 Growth 509
After receiving their information and map from Torvald the halfling about the Tomb of Secrets, the Crimson Cord head to the University of Aldasar to set their sages to work on information about the Shadow Plane and creatures known as Nightshades. According to Torvald, the necromancer Kalthior has two such creatures guarding his inner sanctum. They give the sage until the next morning to gather what information they can. Then they head out to the market place to purchase spells and for Mõrvar to purchase a pair of magic boots.
After this foray into the city, they head back to Lord Cannach’s estate.
22 Growth 509
That morning, they all head back into the city to consult with the sage to see what they had to offer concerning the Shadow Plane and Nightshades. According to the sage:
The Shadow Plane is a dimly lit dimension that is both coterminous to and coexistent with the Material Plane. It overlaps the Material Plane much as the Ethereal Plane does, so a planar traveler can use the Shadow Plane to cover great distances quickly. The Shadow Plane is also coterminous to other planes. With the right spell, a character can use the Shadow Plane to visit other realities. The Shadow Plane is a world of black and white; color itself has been bleached from the environment. It otherwise appears similar to the Material Plane. Despite the lack of light sources, various plants, animals, and humanoids call the Shadow Plane home.
As far as Nightshades, these creatures are monstrous undead composed of shadow and evil. They all emit a desecrating aura about them for 30’, essentially treating the area around them as desecrated ground. They have the ability to channel negative energy. They are light-averse, being sickened by bright light and more so by natural sunlight. The various iterations of Nightshades can summon a variety of undead creatures.
One of the creatures described by Torvald was a spider-like creature. This is probably the Nightskitterer Nightshade. It is a huge creature with the ability to spin umbral webs, summon a greater shadow, and whose bite is highly poisonous. It is immune to cold and is resistant to all damage but that from good-aligned or silver weapons.
The sage did not have time to get information the other creature, the huge ram-horned, bi-pedal creature that Torvald described.
After speaking with sage, the group decides that they need to enlist the aid of the church of Halor on this quest. So Surm and Rilka head to that temple while Mõrvar and Savaric head to the Tavern of the Blue Moon to wait for them.
At the temple of Halor, Surm speaks with the Abbot Padraig Ororke, who listens to the story of the quest they propose, as well as the fact that one of their own, a cleric named Thalia, died at the hands of this necromancer. Abbot Ororke tells them that he will send 6 priests with them and that they will be ready to leave by the morning.
Surm and Rilka head back to the tavern and gather up their companions to head back to Lord Cannach’s.
23 Growth 509
The Crimson Cord, their retinue of guards, and the group of six priests of Halor, lead by the Prioress Drenham, all head out of Aldasar toward the east to the awaiting Tomb of Secrets.
After about 10 miles, they cross the bridge over the Mondira River into Borael. The Boraelan troops inquire as to their business, but Surm manages to talk their way through, helped by the presence of the benevolent priests. On the other side of the bridge is a clearing with a group of bronze statures venerating The Five, a legendary group of adventures from the early days of civilization.
The column moves on after a brief discussion of the group and makes their way to the other side of the city of Whitheron where the troupe makes camp on the road.
24 Growth 509
The troupe continues down the road toward Yulania. At the end of the day, they pull over to the side to make camp and note that a small adventuring party made up of three human’s and a dwarf are making their own camp on the other side of the road. The two camps do not interact.
27 Growth 509
After a few more days of travel, the party makes to the other side of the city of Ebongate, the capital of Borael and into Yulania. As they pass the city, it appears that there is a fair going on there, based on the people heading inside. Nevertheless, the troupe moves on.
28 Growth 509
After traveling through the wooded hills of eastern Yulania, the troupe makes camp for the night. During the second watch, Rilka hears movement heading out of the camp. She tries to pursue it with stealth, but fails and hears the sound of someone running off. She calls for help and Leif and Jerrik come up with torches. She loses track of the runner and starts rousing the camp.
Savaric armors up and starts tracking. He finds a trail fairly quickly and he and Mõrvar start following it. As Savaric armors up and finds the initial trail, Rilka determines that 5 days of food are missing from their stores. Surm hints strongly that Rilka should accompany Mõrvar and Savaric in chasing down the thief and orders Mahgnus to check all of their gear to ensure that the food was all that was stolen.
Savaric tracks down the thief to a group of scrub brush and spots him hiding. He draws his bow and orders the figure to come out. The others, who did not see him, watch warily. A man dressed in a tattered Boraelan prison tunic comes crawling out. Savaric recognizes him a Trews Hanric, an Ornish thief. Mõrvar pats him down and finds nothing more than a shiv, which the thief apparently used to kill a guard during his escape. The three, after a brief discussion, decide to let him go after recovering the five days of food. They head back to the camp.
Surm seems upset that they let the man go, especially as he had apparently murdered a guard. But there was nothing to be done about it at the time and everyone went back to bed.
30 Growth 509
After another couple of days of travel, the party pass by the city of Edeva and move on toward the Tomb of Secrets.\
1 Illumination 509
After another day of travel, the troupe makes camp some five miles from the entrance to the sanctum of the necromancer. As they make camp, rain begins to fall and thunder begins to roll.
That night, during the second watch, Rilka hears a thunderous sound that is definitely not from the storm. She rouses the camp and as Mõrvar and Savaric get ready, they see three hill giants lumbering toward camp from the nearby mountains. Savaric fires repeatedly with his bow, as does Mõrvar. Surm even casts fireball between two of them to bring them down. Finally, before any of them can strike a single blow, they are killed. Everyone works together to move the giant bodies out of camp and the rest of the night passes without incident.
2 Illumination 509
That morning, the troupe arrives outside the entrance to the Tomb of Secrets. It is a cleft in the side of a mountain from which an eldritch green glow can be seen emitting from the inside.
After a discussion, the party elects to only bring in two of the guards. Alasir calls for volunteers and Tarben and Sorcha step forward.
The tunnel appears to lit by eerie green witchlight that casts many shadows along the corridor. Surm stands at the head of the tunnel and casts dancing lights down the hall, illuminating it more fully.
The party lines up to head down the narrow corridor. Savaric takes the lead, followed by Mõrvar, then the Prioress, Brother Thoras, Rilka, then Surm, Brother Caric, Sister Senna, Sister Prinella, Sister Aria, Tarben, and finally Sorcha. They finally head inside.
Savaric searches for traps all the way down and finds none. He finds the secret door marked on the map at the end of the corridor—and also discovers that it is trapped. Surm makes his way forward to try and disarm it. Instead, he sets it off and two greataxe blades spring forth from the walls and cut through him. Fortunately, one of the priests has iron spikes and the party is able to jam the blades into the walls to keep the trap from springing again.
The map has the next room marked as “ghouls.” Mõrvar, Rilka, and the Prioress come forward, ready to address the threat. Mõrvar darts inside and side-steps to allow Rilka to come in. He is immediately facing off with a ghoul wearing a breastplate and wielding a greataxe surrounded by four other lesser examples of the species in the room. In short order, between the Prioress’ channeling of energy and the blades of the two Crimson Corders, the lesser ghouls are dealt with, as well as greater one.
As per usual, Mõrvar decapitates the bodies.
Savaric searches the room and finds nothing of interest. They do find a magical belt of giant strength +2 on the armored ghoul and opt to let Savaric wear that for now.
Checking one of the north doors, Savaric finds that it is not trapped, but it is locked. Surm comes forward and manages to unlock it on the second try. Savaric then carefully opens the door onto a large room that appears to have 8 spectral beings floating in it. He shuts the door and reports to the group.
While the group decides what to do, and how to do it, one of the spectres comes floating through the door. They all work together to dispatch it, though the priests are clearly expending a lot of their channel energy abilities. The spectres keep coming, one by one, and soon two by two, through the walls. Eventually, all eight are finally dispatched.