4 Illumination 509
Having camped through the night, disturbed only by the screams of Hekia as she rides through her nightmares, the party wakes refreshed the next morning and begins planning their next approach for the Tomb of Secrets. Having the map of the Tomb prepared by the halfling, Torvald, at their disposal helps in this endeavor.
They decide to approach the next chamber, which they fear is occupied by another Nightshade, a huge undead creature of the plane of Shadow capable of summoning undead shadows themselves, from two directions. Mõrvar , Savaric, Thoras, Caric, Senna, and Aria will approach from the north in a direct assault. Mõrvar will be bearing an item with a daylight spell in order to dissipate the magical darkness surrounding the Nightshade. Savaric will take up a position to fire into the creature, as per usual, and the priests will set up to be able to lend healing support to Mõrvar.
From the south, approaching through the wall via a dimension door, will be Surm Ulrich, Prenella, Prioress Drenham, and Rilka. Drenham will have a Protection from Evil about her that will also encircle the others. She will also be prepared to cast a dismissal against the extraplanar Nightshade, sending it back to its home plane of existence. She will also support Rilka with a Shield Another spell, taking half of the damage inflicted upon the half-orc fighter-cleric. Rilka will take up a position to attack and Surm will support with his sorcery. This team will come in 6 seconds after Mõrvar enters the room.
Sorcha and Tarben will wait back in the room where they first encountered the nosferatu.
Once the plan is decided upon, the party enters the Tomb of Secrets once again.
Lit by the eldritch green glow of the witchlights, they walk through the chambers where they had already encountered various undead creatures, stepping through pools of gore and viscera, remnants of their past battles. Eventually, they come to the point where the teams must separate and Prioress Drenham says a prayer to Halor to shine his blessings down upon their endeavors. The two teams then move into position.
Sticking to the plan, Mõrvar runs down the corridor toward the darkened chamber, daylight lighting his path. Deathblow, his sentient greatsword, bellows a battle cry in his mind. When he arrives in the room, the magical darkness is dissipated and he sees via the darkvision spell he cast before beginning his approach. Crouched in the back of the large chamber is a huge, black, spider-like creature with 9 legs and a chitinous bulbous body. Its head has a multi-faceted eyes and huge mandibles that click in anticipation of the kill. Mõrvar moves into position and attacks. The others follow more slowly behind, failing to take their heavy armor into account.
Meanwhile, once he gives the “go” signal to Mõrvar, Surm counts down from six. Then he casts his dimension door and brings the other team with him inside. Because of the location of the creature, Rilka is slightly displaced, but not too far away, and is still able to attack the huge undead monstrosity.
Eventually, the rest of northern team makes it inside, but not before Mõrvar is grievously injured by a bite from this huge creature’s mandibles. As the jaws close around him, he feels supernatural cold run through him, as well as a warmth of venom coursing through his veins. He manages to fight off the effects of the venom, but he is in dire peril. Savaric is finding that arrows are not as effective against the creature as he would have thought. The Nightskitter, as this type of Nightshade is known, is also capable of filling the room with a burst of negative energy, damaging all of the party in the room. The clerics of Halor try repeatedly to dismiss the creature, but it manages to fight off the attempts through the force of its will and its resistance to magic. Mõrvar and Rilka continue to chop away at its chitinous armor as it bites Mõrvar again, bringing him closer to his mortality. The good priests channel their own energies to heal the party.
Finally, Prioress Drenham calls to Halor and lays her hands upon the creature crying “No!” and channels a burst of positive energy. The sunlight-tinged burst flies forth and burns through the Nightshade. It shrieks in pain and turns over on its back, its great legs curling up and twitching in death. Mõrvar decapitates the monster.
The clerics of Halor all join in joyful praise of Lord Sun. The rest of the party gather around Mõrvar and begin applying healing—which the clerics soon assist with.
Savaric searches the room and finds nothing of interest save a few strands of shadowy web lingering the corners of the room. Surm reaches out with his rapier and touches the web, which dissipates at the touch.
With Mõrvar sufficiently recovered, the party continues further into the Tomb.
Venturing forth, with Savaric looking for traps and Mõrvar detecting magical auras, they come across a couple of empty rooms before coming to a stuck door in front of what the map indicates is a small corner room. Savaric takes a crowbar and unsticks the door. As soon as it pops open, he finds himself face-to-face with a Mohrg—who wraps its long, slimy tongue round his round, orcish head. Savaric feels a slight tingling sensation, but nothing more as the tongue pulls itself away with a disgusting “smack.”
Savaric sidesteps out of the way and allows Mõrvar access to the creature. The Mohrg steps forward to face the Eldritch Knight and the two begin fighting. Rilka steps up to engage as well. Mõrvar can see a second Mohrg waiting behind the first.
Rilka, in a dazzling display of swordsmanship, manages to decapitate the Mohrg with a flourish of her falchion. It falls and the second steps forward to take its place. Soon thereafter, she runs her blade up into its guts, clearly visible beneath its skeletal rib cage. It falls with a gurgling moan. Mõrvar decapitates this one to be sure.
They continue down a brief hall, where Savaric finds magically-triggerable trap. According to the aura, it is an evocation of some sort, according to Mõrvar. Surm takes a look and confirms. They eventually, after a long discussion, decide to go around the trap and approach that room by another route. Savaric enters a long room that had been empty—and finds himself facing a lone ghoul. The ghoul seems equally as surprised to see him. Mõrvar easily slays the creature in a single strike. They head to a locked door and Surm takes his time and picks the lock. They make their way around to the room “guarded” by the trap—and discover that it is completely empty. They confirm the location of a secret door they identified on the map and then make their way to explore the final rooms in the northern portion of the Tomb.
Approaching those rooms, there is a trap marked on the map by the halfling. Savaric finds the trigger and marks it so that it can be avoided. they make their way into an open room covered in old bloodstains. As Savaric and Mõrvar search this room, they hear the sound of meaty feet flapping on stone and see ghouls starting to run into the room from an open archway. The two take position and the rest of the party joins them to meet them. They manage to kill five ghouls in the bottle neck and then make their way into the next room, where they see a large armored ghoul with his back to wall. Five more ghouls are lined up in front of him.
Mõrvar casts storm step and shoots into the foremost ghoul and into the armored ghoul, displacing himself into the back row, next to the armored ghoul. He can feel an aura emanating from the ghoul—an aura of cowardice. It shifts its masterwork greataxe in its hands in anticipation of the battle to come. The lightning of Mõrvar’s step obliterated the lesser ghoul that he stepped through to get here.
The ghoul with the axe attacks Mõrvar twice—one blow is deflected off of Mõrvar’s ominous armor and the other completely misses. Mõrvar swings Deathblow and engages with the ghoul as the rest of the party files into the room. The other ghouls close around Mõrvar and try to bite him—but they all fail to penetrate his defenses. One of clerics lets loose with a burst of positive energy from the Lord of the Sun—the power burns through the lesser ghouls and destroys them all—leaving only the large armored specimen engaging with Mõrvar. Soon, Mõrvar finishes him off and cuts off his head.
In searching him for magical items, he discovers a desecrated symbol to the god Modthras around his neck—a stylized black sun. Modthras is an old Midron god of Night and Darkness. The clerics of Halor rejoice in the felling of an adherent to such an abhorrent sect.
Savaric searches out the rooms and the surrounding hallways and finds nothing, thus concluding the search of the northern section of the Tomb.
They head to a large chamber in the southern portion of the Tomb that they had already explored and begin their new approach from there. In that room was a locked door to the north of the room. Surm begins picking that lock when a pair of ghostly hands emerged from beyond the door, reaching out to touch him. He jumps back out of the way with a cry of horror. The priests begin channeling and the others move into action as a more ghosts begin to move through the walls into their chamber, moaning with a frightful cacophony as they make their way inside. Most of the priests of Halor—as well as the two mercenary guards, are unnerved by the moaning and bolt, leaving the main party to deal with the ghosts. Rilka and Savaric are injured by the touch the creatures, whose touch withers them with the affects of age. However, Surm manages to take out three of the ghosts with his magic missiles while Mõrvar and Rilka take out one apiece with their efforts.
Eventually, the others return, sheepish at their supernatural terror.
Opening the door, the party finds another empty room.
Turning back the east, they unlock another door and Savaric begins to walk into a short corridor. As soon as he steps in to begin searching, however, he manages to set off a maximized fireball that fills the corridor and shoots into the room behind him, catching Rilka and Mõrvar as well. The fighters manage to take the brunt of the damage—though Prioress Drenham is still shielding Rilka from damage, saving her from some of the effects. Savaric deftly manages to avoid taking any damage from the trap. He moves into the next room and finds another empty chamber.
Returning to the larger southern chamber, they check out another of the adjacent doors—finding it to be stuck. Savaric starts working on it—and discovers a spectre behind it! Soon, they are joined by two more of the creatures emerging out of the walls. Savaric manages to send one to its final death and even Sister Aria finds glory in the name of Halor by vanquishing one of the hellish creatures.
The party takes a quick rest after the battle before pressing on, hoping to finish exploring this half of the Tomb before opening what they assume to be the treasure chamber of the necromancer.