Guardians of the Past

9th of Ches 1365 Year of the Sword (Part II)

A contingent of armed elves dressed in the livery of Evereska stand outside the Elfstone Tavern. One gold elf with jet black hair steps forward and motions to the two carriages to take you to your destination. The members of the Circle of Valor climb inside the carriages and depart the Elfstone Tavern. Their conveyance quickly takes them to the Sea Ward and the Evereskan Embassy. The carriages stop outside the grand edifice of white marble.
The heroes are escorted into the embassy. A smiling moon elf female asks them to follow her. She leads the adventurers through several antechambers where elven servants hurry past them, several clusters of guardsmen stand watch in different chambers (Including a glimpse of Pelordan) and scribes sit scribbling upon parchment. The elven woman leads them up a broad staircase and then down a long hall decorated in elven sculpture and paintings before knocking upon a set of double doors near the end of the hall.

A door opens and the moon elf woman motions for the party to enter. Seated inside the large room on comfortable couches Saedellas and the others see a group of moon elves and a scarred and grizzled gray haired human male who smiles at the young adventurers. Standing nearby in front of the fireplace is a centaur female with long blonde tresses. She raises an eyebrow at their entrance into the quiet room.

One of the female moon elves of great beauty with platinum hair and purple eyes stands before the group and speaks in common. “Well met, Circle of Valor. May a star shine on the hour of our meeting. I am Shilera Mooncloak, Ambassador of Evereska to the City of Waterdeep. You are welcome here in the house of my people.”

“May I introduce you to my honored guests from the High Forest. This is Plarra, Speaker for the Huldarrak, Nightbranch, Red Arrows, and Xamm centaur tribes", she gestures to the centaur. She approaches the human man. He is aged but fit. His gray hair is long and his eyes are piercing dark blue. He is dressed in simple leathers and woolen clothing. “This is the ranger Gamagor of the North, Defender of Uldree, New Oak, and Free Meadow.” Nolia, Erith, Tellazar have heard stories of Gamagor, he is a legendary ranger spoken of in the North. He is said to be able to track anything anywhere and survive impossible situations. Nolia has even seen him twice in her village when she was younger.

Ambassador Mooncloak motions to a male moon elf with dark blue-black hair that he wears in a braid.“This is Rolthan Hightree, Leader of Greenhold in the High Forest.” She then steps over to a female moon elf with black hair and silver eyes dressed in green robes. “This is Asharea Blackthorn, adept of the arts.” She motions to the remaining moon elves. “You already have met young Maith Slenderbow and her family. They have returned here today to give proper thanks to you for your compassion to their family.”

“But first let us join in celebration and friendship. Let us retire to the dining hall where we may share words over dinner.” The entire group is escorted in an elegant dining hall. Servants seat the guests and then begin serving the meal. The staff pours evermead into the fluted crystal glasses and bring out the 1st course – A mushroom and herb soup. The group talks and share pleasantries and a few laughs. The servants serve the 2nd course – A wild leaf lettuce salad with grape leaves, raisins, chives, and sweet-root. Finally the 3rd course – Baked fish, rice with carrots, and elven bread is brought to the dinner guests.

After talking and at the conclusion of the meal and evermead, the Ambassador escorts everyone back into the lounge and the comfortable couches that surround the fireplace. After everyone is seated, Tramlar Slenderbow, the bowyer speaks.

“I can never truly repay the heroes who risked their lives to save our precious daughter, Maith. She is our lives and I would have gladly given my own life had I known she was prisoner to those black-hearted enemies of our people. I can only offer you these small gifts as a small repayment for your kindness. May your arrows always fly true!”

The bowyer walks over to a covered table and pulls aside a cloth. Lying on the tabletop are beautiful elven crafted weapons. Bows of Ash and honey colored leather quivers of arrows lie before the party.

“These are for you, my friends. They were made by my daughter, wife, and I. My cousin placed several enchantments upon them, including the ability to make them glow with faerie’s fire when the word “duvae” is spoken by the owner."

The members of Circle of Valor thank the bowyer for the gifts. Corthen, Erith, Vilnullas, and Saedellas were gifted with enchanted elven longbows and a quiver of elven arrows. Cortonas, Nolia, Silvaris, and Uldred were gifted with enchanted elven shortbows and a quiver of elven arrows. Tellazar was gifted with an enchanted ash staff.

Rolthan approaches the party and lets them know he wishes to speak with them. He shares that he and the others have traveled to Waterdeep to thank the heroes but also to meet with Lord Piergeiron. He states that the Elves of Western High Forest have come to begin discussions of an alliance with Waterdeep and the other members of the the Lords Alliance. The proposed government of elves, humans, and centaurs would be ruled by a council of twelve. The area they are trying establish will be known as the Ellar Protectorate. They are in need of diplomats known as emissaries for the Protectorate to help their fledgling land navigate a path to peace and prosperity.

Rolthan Hightree asks Nolia if she would like to help the people she grew up with from the High Forest. He says that to the council members she is a logical choice to aid their cause. She is half human – half elf. She understands both cultures. She is also a ranger who cares about nature and the High Forest. Finally, she is a native of the High Forest and is living in Waterdeep. Rolthan explains that the position is an Emissary of the Ellar Protectorate to Waterdeep. She would serve under new Ambassador Asharea Blackthorn in the city.

Asharea asks Nolia if she is willing to take on the responsiblity. She explains that it would likely take up much of her free time. Nolia takes a few minutes to consider the offer before finally making the announcement to everyone that she would like to do whatever she can to aid the people of the High Forest. The Councilors are happy and glasses of fine elven wine are poured in celebration. Nolia’s friends all congratulate the half-elf on the honor bestowed by the assembled leaders.

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9th of Ches 1365 Year of the Sword (Part I)

The members of the Circle of Valor put on their finery and walk to the Elfstone Tavern together. There at the entrance they are greeted by the scent of a rain-washed forest, and they see that the taproom’s roof soars up at least five stories to accommodate the live trees that grow here and there in the room. Gentle, floating motes of blue light drift among the clientele, who are almost exclusively elven. The reason for this is immediately apparent: a pair of well-armed gold elf sentinels guard the door like a pair of glowering bookends. They look the group over, considering.

One of them speaks, “There are no others of your kind inside, master dwarf. Perhaps you would feel more comfortable drinking somewhere else.” The elven guards move to block the door to the dwarf. From the corner of his eye, Uldred can see an ancient elf lift one long-fingered hand in a peremptory gesture. Immediately the guards halt. The elf—marked by his fine white robes and platinum torque as a personage of some importance—whispers a few words to the hostess, Yaereene Ilbaereth. Her angular face lights in a smile of genuine pleasure, and she comes to meet the party with outstretched hands. The door guards melt away at her approach.
Yaereene is tall and slender, with the silvery hair and eyes common to moon elves. She wears a sparkling gown that is alternately blue or green, for it changes color to match the whim and color of the tiny faerie dragon perched on her shoulder. The creature grins and flaps its gossamer wings as the pair approach, and its jeweled scales are echoed by the fine blue topaz woven into the intricate silver mesh of the elf’s necklace.

“Welcome to the Elfstone Tavern,” Yaereene says, holding out both hands to Erith in a manner common to ladies of the Waterdhavian court. It is a gracious gesture, accepting a human by his own custom. Erith takes her hands and kisses the slender fingers, and then responds in kind: holding both hands, palms up, before him, he bows low to her in a uniquely elven gesture of respect. Yaereene’s smile widens, and then turned into a delighted laugh when the bard addresses the faerie dragon with a few words in Elven. In response, the tiny creature graciously cranes its jeweled head to one side, allowing Erith to scratch its neck as he would that of a housecat.

Yaereene greets everyone making them all feel at home and several of the heroes notice the many gracious nods the elven patrons have sent their way. Lady Yaereene claims Uldred’s arm and leads him deeper into the taproom. “Today you are the guest of Evindal Duirsar, Patriarch Priest of Corellon Larethian,” she said, indicating the aged elf who had interceded on his behalf. “May I call on you later, after you have spoken and shared a drink?” She asks Erith. “Of course,” Erith replies graciously.

The elven priest rises when the party approaches and says “Fair be our meeting, for our hearts are light and our swords sheathed, we hold peace in our hands and its light guides us.” After the rituals of greeting are accomplished the priest motions to the group to sit down. “Do you drink elverquisst?” the priest asks. Corthen speaks up, “Yes, please. We would all enjoy a glass.”

Evindal Duirsar smiles and signals for more goblets, which are immediately supplied by an elven servant. The priest’s mood abruptly sobers, and he leans forward and speaks in a quiet voice. "My son is Erlan Duirsar, he is the Watcher of Greycloak Hills and the Lord of the Hill Council of Evereska. My niece, Shilera Mooncloak, she is the Evereskan Ambassador to Waterdeep. She has told me of your service to the elven people. Shilera is hosting a delegation at the Embassy that wishes to pay tribute to you for your heroics against the drow and the rescue of the bowyer’s daughter, while they are here in the City of Splendors. My niece will be sending transport and an escort for you shortly.” The aged priest carefully pours the elverquisst for each of them before setting the crystal decanter back down.

The elven priest becomes silent and gestures toward the middle of the taproom. There sits a flaxen-haired elf maid, singing and playing upon a gilded harp. The song she sings is in elven. It tells of a young maid who loved a brave knight. One day she watches as her knight and the many other knights ride off with the king to face an invading enemy. There is a terrible battle against a horde of orcs and trolls, but the elves have won a great victory. Many rejoice at the news in the kingdom. The maid waits for her knight to return. Finally, the army returns to the city. Less than half of the knights return with the king to the garrison. The maiden’s love was not among them. The maid now weeping and her heart breaking asks the king where her sweet love can be. His reply, he now resides in Arvandor his duty done. He has honorably served his people, his king, and the gods. He had killed hundreds of the enemy, before he was mortally wounded. But still he did not give up. He asked the gods to allow him to fight on so that his maiden and his people would be safe. So compelling was the knight, the gods intervened and removed his pain. The knight battled on, turning the tide of the battle and he saved the king’s life with his last breath. The maid wipes away her tears at the King’s words. Her love had saved the people of the forest kingdom, he had truly served his king, and he had kept his faith strong in the Seldarine. The maiden swallowed the pain and smiled, she would see her love again one day.

Erith and the elves recognize the tune as ‘The Maiden of High Damador’. “That is such a moving song,” Evindal says. “Only the elves can sing of such sorrow of the heart and give such inspiration at the same time,” Erith says wiping an eye. Evindal smiles, “Such understanding of the melancholy and the joy of my people by one so young as you lifts my heart.”

Saedellas speaks, "Patriarch, can you tell me where the closest grove of Corellon is to the City of Waterdeep? I would like spend time there, when I am not engaged in seeking my father’s inheritance under the city. " Evindal replies, “The closest active groves to the Creator are in Evereska and the High Forest, but I do hold services at the shrine at the embassy. You and your friends are welcome to attend services there if you wish.”

Evindal rises from the table. "I’m afraid it is time to leave. I see the escorts have arrived. Yaereene glides over to the table before the party has a chance to leave the table. “I want to thank you all for gracing the Elfstone Tavern with your presence today. You are most welcome to return whenever you please and I sincerely hope you will do so. Erith, I must ask you to perform for us one night you are free. It would be our honor to have you here.” She says.

Erith reddens for a moment, before bowing deeply to Yaereene. “No, my lady, the great honor of playing in one of the most esteemed establishments of the Sword Coast would forever be mine.” Yaereene smiles at the bard’s compliment. She then addresses the party. “Sweet water and light laughter until next we meet my friends.” The party says their goodbyes to Yaereene and Patriarch Dusair.

As Uldred is leaving, the gold elf door warden who addressed him as he entered the Elfstone approaches him. He speaks to Uldred in the dwarven tongue. “My apologies, Uldred of Gorm. I offended you earlier I wish to right that wrong. Many say my people are too often caught up in their own affairs and in doing so treat others as less than equals. I apologize for my lack of respect towards you. I should have asked you who you were and why you had come here. Had I done my duty properly, I would have known you were expected and I would not have shamed myself and brought shame to Lady Yaereene. My name is Olniarr Highspear and I humbly ask you for forgiveness for my shameful actions.” He bows his head and drops to one knee before the dwarf. Uldred speaks to Olniarr, “Rise, sir elf. You have not offended me. You were only performing your duty as a guardian. I serve the Lord of Vigilance, and I respect your duties here. I am a dwarf, we are made of tougher hide than most. I shall return another day here to enjoy the songs and drink. It would be my honor if you would join me, when you are off-duty.” The gold elf smiles and nods, “I would be most honored. Thank you for allowing me to right my wrong.” The two shake hands in dwarven fashion and the group leaves the Elfstone to meet the Evereskan guards sent to escort them to the Embassy.

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8th of Ches 1365 Year of the Sword

When the party returns to Silvaris’ mansion from their services at the Tower of Luck, the guardsman Muldreg hands a sealed note to Silvaris. The thief hands it to Saedellas and smirks, “I’ll not risk my sight so soon after having it justly restored," he jokes. "I offer it to you to read, my friend.” The elven priest opens the scroll and sees the message is written in elven. He reads it once then reads it aloud to his companions.

Greetings to my brothers and sisters of the Tel’Quessir. Greetings to the children of Moradin, the father of Dwarvenkind. Greetings to my human cousins of the North. May these salutations find you in good health and safely returned to the lands under the sun and moon.

I write to you to inform you that travelers from the High Forest have come to the city seeking an audience with you. It is my honor to have them as guests among us here in our Embassy. Upon your return I ask that you dispatch a messenger to our Embassy on the corner of Diamond Street and the Street of the Singing Dolphin in the Sea Ward. Your messenger will return with further instructions.

Shilera Mooncloak, Evereskan Ambassador to Waterdeep.

The group discusses the letter for a few minutes and agrees that they will attend the meeting tomorrow. Silvaris pens a piece of parchment and asks Muldreg to carry it to the Evereskan Embassy. The guardsmen returns several hours later with a short note asking the party to appear at the Elfstone Tavern the next morning at Highsun. There they will be met by someone.

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1st of Ches 1365 Year of the Sword

Corthen Nightglade makes an offer to Beltaff Suldvin to purchase his home in the Castle Ward. The elderly Beltaff and his son, Grambarr, agree to the price and promise to be out by the 15th of Ches.

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7th of Alturiak 1365 Year of the Sword

Velbenda Assumber, the noble involved in building the new mansion in the Sea Ward contacts Corthen and informs him that he has spoken to his uncle, Lord Laeros Assumber. Lord Assumber has told his nephew that Corthen can purchase the house since it is for sale. Corthen thanks Velbenda but tells him that he has decided to seek property closer to the center of the city.

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6th of Nightal 1364 Year of the Wave

Tellazar spends hours with the items that he has found radiate magic. He casts Identify on several items including the dwarven plate armor. He informs the others that it bears an enchantment of protection. Uldred and Saedellas are able to wear the armor, and the Barakor of Gorm takes the plate armor as part of his treasure split. Everyone tries to read a parchment scroll and learns that it is probably cursed, because it makes everyone who tries to read it feel slightly ill but whatever effects were intended do not come to pass.

The party goes out shopping in the city for replacement adventuring gear, to replace worn and frayed items as well as buying a few things that could be useful like a shovel and a ten foot pole. Corthen spies a new mansion being built in the Sea Ward and inquires if the home will be fore sale after its construction. The young man present says that he must speak to his uncle before he can answer the elf’s question. Corthen gives the young noble his name and where he can be found when an answer is forthcoming.

The party travels to see Honorable Mistress Seenroas Halvinhar, the High Priestess of the Tower of Luck, Temple of Tymora. The party asks for aid in helping restore Silvaris to full health. He was weakened by the wraith attack several days ago in Undermountain. She agrees on the condition that the members who are not servants of other deities must come to the Tower of Luck for the next three months. The members attending must spend ten hours a day in prayer or service to the Goddess of Luck in exchange for the aid of the Goddess. Silvaris must also agree to tithe one tenth of his earned wealth for a full year.

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5th of Nightal 1364 Year of the Wave

The Circle of Valor returns to the entry well. Vilnullas bangs the shields and the rope is lowered from the Yawning Portal. Uldred pays Durnan the gold coins for lifting the party out of Undermountain. The party has returned from a successful seven day foray in Undermountain and are hungry for fresh food; they order a huge breakfast. Gnossos Valmar, a gnome that walks with a cane, enters the tap room. Gnossos held the coins that were wagered by Corthen and Julas the moneylender. The heroes show their map to Durnan and a few older veteran explorers who verify that the areas the party mapped and are now describing are accurate. Gnossos verfies the results and gives the party the winnings. Corthen suddenly decides that perhaps the party should give the coins back to Julas, but Saedellas and Silvaris are opposed, thinking it could make the party a target as easy marks more than enhancing their reputation, so Corthen relents.

Corthen and Cortonas try and get information from a few of the veteran adventurers who have traveled the Underhalls but they learn that most experienced adventurers don’t usually brag about their experiences because things can change in Undermountain, sometimes in just a few months. Lavro, one of the grizzled old men explains to Corthen that what was a kobold lair can later become the domain of an eye tyrant. Corthen asks if Lavro can tell him about any areas that the Circle of Valor might see unchanged on the first level of the dungeon are. Lavro, Enek, and Durnan mention places in Halaster’s dungeon known as ‘The Grim Statue’, ‘The Hall of the Sleeping Kings’ and ‘The Falling Stair’.

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4th of Nightal 1364 Year of the Wave

Corthen has spent the night miffed at being denied passage past the demon door. He speculates that the room beyond is the lair of some minor mageling who has scared away others by pretending to be a demon or powerful sorcerer. He has spent the night plotting a way to breach the door quickly. He convinces the majority of the group to return this morning ready to face the magical portal.

The group prepares spells to face a mage and heads back to the frost covered door. When Corthen, Vilnullas, and Uldred are 10’ from the door, six skulls come floating out from the eye sockets of the demon-faced door and circle Vilnullas. The same raspy voice speaks from each of the six skulls in unison, “Who disturbs Blagazul the Black?” Vilnullas speaks and gives his own name. One eyeball comes out from the right eye socket flitting about like it is inspecting him. Cortonas and Tellazar back away fearing what is to come. The others stand nearly frozen, caught off guard by the eye and the floating skulls. Laughter booms from the the demon-face door and shards of bone spray forth from its mouth dealing a massive amount of damage to the party. The members of the Circle of Valor flee as fast as they can from the room. A bloody and dazed Corthen decides it would be best to not mess with the sorcerer anymore and no one disagrees.

They all bind their wounds and the priests use their healing prayers to help with the worst of the wounds. The party decides to go find another direction away from the lair of this Blagazul the Black. The heroes enter a 20′ × 50′ room with a 40’ high ceiling. The room is dusty and scattered with trash and broken glass. The room has a smell of honey. Dwarven runes are on the wall. Uldred reads them aloud to the party. “Here lies Dolbok, Thane of Tybor. He fell to the evil Fobitogg in the Year of Doom". Uldred and Corthen investigate a gray pile of rope in the room. The duo are caught off guard; it is actually a creature with tentacles and several of them grab hold of the elf and the dwarf. It becomes clear that the tentacles are burning them with acid. The creature is strong and there seems to be no end to its tentacles and they continue burning each person they catch. Cortonas and Vilnullas are also briefly entangled by this creature before the group manages to kill the thing. The party discovers it has a large haul of treasure behind and beneath its bulk. They move the dead beast and gather their spoils.

The party moves back to the north to the room where they slew a gelatinous cube the previous day and they check the west door. The door is cleared by the rogues. The area beyond the door is a 30’ by 60’ room. There is a 10’ square block pillar rising from the floor to the ceiling. There is also a human corpse in rusted chain mail armor with 3 arrows sticking out of it. A search finds a battered shield, a pouch of orange sand and a gold earring.

Down the next hall the Circle of Valor finds three dwarven skeletons that have already been looted. Nolia finds some torn and moldy pages strewn around the room. The party gathers 18 pages in total; Tellazar is interested in the pages and feels they may contain useful knowledge.

Traveling down a hall they come to a room full of water and mud. There is a waterfall in here. Corthen wants to go out and explore the area so he cajoles Saedellas to let him borrow his ring so he can walk out onto the water. The elven warrior is moving about above the mud and water when creatures composed of wet earth appear up out of the morass and attack. Saedellas throw one of his homing daggers at one creature and it tears a big hole in the creature’s torso. The mudman breaks apart and falls back to the wet mud. Cortonas, Nolia, and Erith fire arrows but they have no effect. The party destroys a few of the creatures before deciding there is nothing to be gained in the battle so they decide to retreat back to the base camp to heal up for the night.

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3rd of Nightal 1364 Year of the Wave

The party travels north again up the short flight of stairs and heads east from the 4 kings statue room. The party has two days left to stay in Undermountain at this point to win the bet they made days ago in the Yawning Portal. The group comes to a bare room with broken glass on the floor. Uldred and Cortonas move in to look for traps and then stop moving. Their friends realize something is wrong quickly but prepared for magic or a hidden trap. As they close in, it becomes clear that it is a gelatinous cube that has paralyzed them with its secretions and is engulfing them with its mass. The others battle the creature with weapons and spells managing to kill it and save their friends.

The party moves out from that chamber. Later the group comes upon a stone door that is locked. Cortonas and silvaris both make attempts to pick the lock and fail. Everyone tries to force the door open, but Silvaris manages to put his shoulder into the door and the lock breaks allowing entrance to the chamber beyond.

The room is empty but for a large bronze door on the north wall with a screaming demon face that covers the surface. The door is also covered in frost. As Silvaris moves forward to inspect the portal, the demon face says, “Turn back. The lair of the black sorcerer lies ahead. Nothing but death awaits.” Being full of swagger, the party ignores the warning and prepares to break into the room. Tellazar enhances Nolia’s strength through his spells. When the group approaches the door this time, a swarm of black wasps fly out out of the fiend’s mouth and assault everyone. The stinging wasps inflict pain upon the heroes. Unable to fight back, they run away as fast as they can. The group returns to their base camp and let the priests tend to their injuries.

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2nd of Nightal 1364 Year of the Wave

Returning to passages around the skeleton on the the throne the party finds a small dusty room. It doesn’t seem like anyone has passed through here in many years with the thick dust and mold everywhere. There are Elven runes on the walls. Saedellas reads them, “Few will mourn the passage of Jerlan the Bookless. May he be forgiven his folly.”

The adventuring group opens a room filled with stale air. They cover their faces and let fresher air enter the portal before entering. There is stone rubble on the floor and it looks like the northeast corner of the chamber has collapsed. After a very long hallway, the group comes to a room where the air is freezing. Everyone feels uneasy; they have the sense of some unseen evil. When some of the party approaches the door across the chamber, a vague man-figure appears behind Silvaris. It grabs ahold of him and begins to feed on his life energy. Silvaris’ friends leap to his aid and manage to destroy the evil wraith. Silvaris is weak but thankfully he has survived the touch of the dead spirit. Under a loose flagstone, Corthen finds a 6’ deep pit with a strongchest in it. Cortonas and Corthen remove the chest and add the spoils to the packs and sacks the group carries.

The group exits the wraith’s chamber and come to another throne room. This one is an ivory throne for a giant or some other titanic creature. Uldred manages to fall into a pit trap. It is a shaft filled with large webs and giant spiders which rush towards him. Corthen springs into action throwing a rope down and making the others lower him down. Corthen cuts the dwarf free of the entangling webs but the dwarven priest falls down the shaft to a cave below. Corthen and Cortonas climb down to the cave to assist Uldred. The rest of the party use ranged attacks from above to help kill the spiders. Cortonas finds the husk of an adventurer in the webs along with bones of two other victims. After the climbers get back up, the group searches the throne and find an inscription carved into its back that no one can read, even Tellazar.

Later the group comes to a dead end passage and there is a message written on the wall with torch soot. It says in common, “Aghairon lives.” Erith tells the others that Aghairon was a wizard of power who lived for several hundred years and that he established the rulership of the Lords of Waterdeep in 1032 DR by defeating the last cruel Warlord of Waterdeep who had attempted to kill the wizard.

the party comes to a 20’ by 50’ chamber. It is empty except for a large black battle axe that Corthen adds to the party’s loot. The heroes comes to a locked door. They open the door and go inside. The room is different than the rest of the chambers nearby. The floor is packed clay and earth. Moss and fungus grow on the floor and walls. There is a small stream cutting through the room. It is a little cold in the chamber. Corthen finds a spike driven into the ground. He digs it out and finds a verdigris bronze box beneath the spike. Inside the box are silver coins and a dagger.

The explorers come to a room dominated by worn limestone statues. There are four of them. Two of the statues have runes on them. The one on the east wall says “Cortamm of Tybor” in Thorass and the one on the south wall says “King Jerlan Hameny I.” The group decides to pull back for rest and needed healing and secures an empty room for the night.

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