Characters Present: Logrin by Mike, Wetherby by Ken, Navarius by Allen, and Grius NPC.
DM’d by: Greg
See What Lies Beneath.
Increased reports of undead activity have been pouring in from the Barony of Koken in the west of the Dutchy, and the Man in Black was sighted in the town of Goldplain and the surrounding area. In response to these reports Prior Brother Yeshvin assembled this group of heroes to investigate the rumors of the Man in Black, bring him in if possible, and deal with any undead they may find along the way.
Prior Brother Yeshvin also told them that he had sent out a special team to investigate the greater undead problem in the area. This group led by Deputy Brother Garom Khuzladar was sent to explore the ruins of the village Lizath, and the surrounding area. They were to share any information that they found with the Deputy Brother, and his group, should they cross paths.
After staying in Geln Pass for the night, and delivering a package of books to Father Galamar (cleric of Pelor) there, they pressed on toward Goldplain. On the way they stumbled across a farm being attacked by a large group of ghouls. During the fight a fire started in the barn, but the Undefeated were so quick in dispatching the vile undead that the farmers were able to put out the fire before it caused real damage.
The farmer expressed his thanks to the heroes by putting them up for the night, and feeding them a hearty dinner. During the meal he told them a now familiar tale of the mysterious Man in Black’s visit to his farm, and how after that fateful visit the dead started to rise and attack his farm.
As the meal ended, and the farmer’s family was heading off to bed, there was a knock on the door. It was an elf wizard with a severe limp who called himself Daelnik. He claimed that his father had been a member of House of Dragons (an adventuring group that was based in the area years ago) and that he had last been investigating a mine that is on the farmer’s property. Daelnik asked the heroes to help him retrieve his father’s journal which he believed contained a divination spell that he could use to locate the Man in Black.
The next day the heroes headed off to the mine shaft leaving their horses in the farmer’s care. Investigations there revealed the tracks of a host of ghouls, and the bottom of the shaft looked to be flooded. So they tied a few ropes together and headed down into darkness.
On the first level of the mine they found signs of an old battle and much carnage. Upon setting off a tripwire several large skeletons and a dwarven wight rose from the floor surrounding the party. They were no match for the Undefeated, although Navarius was struck from behind by two of the monstrous skeletons and nearly perished.
On the second level they found the twisting, mined-out tunnels, walls, floors, and ceilings covered in some moist substance. As the heroes explored further they encountered a gelatinous cube that engulfed Logrin, but it was also no match for the party. The tunnels were already stripped of any visible ore, and the cube had nothing of value floating inside it.
Deep within the mine the heroes discovered the journal that Daelnik had asked them acquire for him. They also found the source of the undead attacking the farm, a dark crystal of great evil power that somehow called an umber hulk to slay the intruders. The beast’s gaze confused Logrin and Grius who began fighting each other before running from the umber hulk and jumping into the water at the bottom of the mine shaft. Wetherby and Navarius were able to finish off the hulking terror which came close to ending another group of adventurers in this dark chamber.
After Grius and Logrin came to their senses they searched the rest of the House of Dragons and found skeletal remains littered on the floor of the cavern. They found a shield with the symbol of that old adventuring group, and Logrin chopped the shadowy crystal from the wall.
When they emerged back into the sunlit world and gave Daelnik his fathers diary the Man in Black arrived on the scene shouting in a raspy voice, “Kreigoth!” Daelnik looked up at the Man in Black in terror and shouted back,”You! I found it, you cannot have it, or me!” He then somehow took the form of a cloud of smoke and flew away, the Man in Black galloping off after him leaving his spare horse behind.
Navarius took the Man in Black’s spare steed and galloped off to the farm to retrieve the party’s horses while Wetherby began tracking the Man in Black. Once Navarius caught up with them they quickened their pace and continued on their way.
The Man in Black took them by surprise and blasted them with a fireball as the rode. A mighty battle ensued in which Brother Grius and Wetherby’s mount lost their lives. Wetherby was cursed, Navarius blinded, and Logrin enfeebled, but it was not enough to save the Man in Black who fell before them taunting them with his last few moments.
He revealed that the elf wizard they knew as Daelnik was actually Kreigoth the Summoner, once a member of the Undefeated, and that he was none other than the lost initiate Hurstok Jevlin. He blamed Kreigoth for his current fiendish state. Right before he died he told them that his master Meldivak was awake and that the Undefeated’s days were numbered for Meldivak would surely destroy them all.
Logrin lead the badly battered group back to Bastion where the shadowy crystal was taken by the Temple of Pelor for study and disposal, and Wetherby and Navarius were restored. The corpse of Grius was taken to the Temple of Kord as well.
After hearing their reports Prior Brother Yeshvin expressed his concern for the group he had sent to explore the site at the old village Lizath. It seemed that all of the Barony of Koken’s undead problems were centered around ancient Sharilizath, and the ruined village Lizath lay under its unholy shadow.