Rehs and Corthen finish searching the well chamber for treasure. Rehs discovers a letter to Anphrantul from Tirostar. It states that the Dark Druidess will soon be traveling near Darkhorn Castle and Anphrantul is to be ready to assist her. Corthen speaks to the two captives, Jute and Kirian. He asks them about the dead priests. Corthen learns they were Anphrantul and Oishannan.
Corthen asks the two bandits if any more of their comrades are still about. Jute says that three others fled out the escape tunnel after leaving the keep. He says that Oishannan became enraged at their cowardice and that he was unable to flee as well. Samira asks the prisoners where the shaft leads to. Neither man knows, but Kirian says that Anphrantul did not allow anyone near the loose flagstones. Asked about the Dark Druidess, Kirian tells the party that she is headed to the Great Grove.
Corthen turns the duo loose with warnings to them that if they take up banditry again, their lives with be forfeit. Jute and Kirian flee the room. The group descends down the shaft cut from solid rock. The air is chill, but the air is breathable. The shaft descends into a tomb lined with twenty eight coffins and an arched stone door. It is lit by magical amber light cast upon the ceiling. Erith’s handharp begins to play louder on its own in the tomb. The party cautiously inspects each stone coffin finding nothing more than a few bones, rusting bits of metal, dust, and a few moldering scraps of cloth.
Finding nothing of value in the tomb, Rehs moves forward to inspect the stone door. He finds that the door is locked and it is trapped. Rehs takes his time and he cuts a wire connected to the portal and then he picks the lock. Uldred opens the door; the sound of metal striking metal and the sound of breaking items falling reverberate in the chamber beyond.
As the group is focused on the door trap, a coffin near the shaft suddenly pivots and a weird looking man emerges from under the coffin. It is soon clear the man is not living; his features are twisted and his body is warped in undeath. Corthen quickly casts a web spell from his cloak. The elf plans to burn the webs, but before he can act the wight uses magic of his own and blasts a 20’ tunnel through the webs and knocks Ayremyr down. A spell battle erupts between the combatants with the heroes emerging victorious. Corthen recovers a metal rod from the wight which he believes to be a Netherese Blast Scepter.
The party enters the inner chamber. The handharp grows even louder inside the room. The tomb contains a raised dais and a stone coffin atop it. The lid is worked with a carving of an armored woman wearing a crown with light spilling out from within the stone box. After Rehs examines the sarcophagus, four members of the party lift the stone lid from the coffin. Immediately all magical light ceases from inside the coffin, the party’s magic lights, and the harp ceases playing.
The scared heroes light a torch. Gazing into the coffin Corthen and Rehs see dust and a black object 7 inches across. Picking up the half circle Corthen is wounded by electrical energy emanating from the object. The party members all try to touch the item with similar results before placing it into the portable hole.
The Guardians of the Past leave the undertomb and climb back up the shaft. As Corthen reaches the top of the shaft a figure darts from the room and runs down the hallway for the surface. The elf yells to the others that someone is fleeing and then he runs after the figure. Reaching the surface, he doesn’t find the runner, but he discovers a large leather tube lying in the ward between the keep and the wall. Corthen stops and waits for the others to catch up. Rehs examines the dropped item and declares it safe to handle. Corthen opens the end discovers a vellum map of Amn.
The party is insistent on finding out who the mysterious stranger is. They catch a glimpse of him in the far distance crossing a ridge. The heroes pursue. For hours the group follows after the figure. Eventually Samira begins scrying him using his map as a foci. The party closes in on him after a day long pusuit. As Tellazar and Corthen use the Dimension Door to come beside him, the cloaked man reaches to his belt and tosses his loosed coin purse into the air spilling coins across the ground. He yells, “Take it! I have nothing else, highwaymen!” Ayremyr moves with swords ready to strike the man with raised hands in surrender. The elf yells, “Who are you and why are you running?” The angry man tersely tells the seven figures that he had seen enough and he ran to get away from losing his life. He refuses to give his name or what he was doing at Blackhorn Castle. The hot-tempered elf threatens the man if he does not answer their questions.
The man hesistates before giving his name, Volothamp Geddarm, and he says he was traveling to a village to the south. Corthen asks why he was at the castle. Volothamp states that he saw ravens gathering in the air above the ruined fortress and he grew curious as to what had occurred. He says that he saw the scattered dead stripped of armor and the ravens working on the corpses. Volothamp says he stumbled onto the dungeon beneath the hill and saw the other bodies stripped and that he ran when he saw someone climbing from the pit.
Corthen asks the man if he is sometimes known as Volo. The man nods and several of the heroes relax. Corthen explains to some in his party who have never heard the name Volo. He tells Rehs and Ayremyr that Volo is an author who writes books about locations and knowledge of the Realms. Corthen sheathes his longswords and picks up the coins and hands them back to the famous man.
Volo soon learns that the party are a group adventurers working against the Dark Druidess. Corthen reveals that most of the Guardians are Harpers. Volo shares some dark news. He tells the party that a battle took place at a sacred grove of Chauntea near Blackstone and that the Dark Druidess was victorious. He says that High King Tristan was led into a trap and fell in the battle. Volo says that he learned that the forces of the Dark Druidess were planning to gather near Dultann, so he came to Corvu and has been traveling for several days to learn more. The party saddened at the news of the High King, decide to make camp nearby and travel back to Dultann in the morning.