AiS #020: A New Friend

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Gathering themselves, the party prepared to open the false bottom on the double sarcophagus. With the help of some of his friends, Thangrimm levered the bottom up to reveal a double tomb. Within lay two mummified humanoids locked in an eternal embrace as if sleeping.

Clearly danger lurked here, and so the party decided to attack before the things could animate. As they manoeuvred into position, however, the mummies awoke and rose from the sarcophagus! Thangrimm—quicker than his comrades—destroyed one creature with one massive strike of his sword. Meanwhile, the other undead monstrosity stood up and ineffectively pawed at the rest of the party gathered nearby.

By now, several of the heroes had identified the creatures as mummies—powerful undead. Seconds after the surviving creature badly injured Alice, Johann remembered mummies were infected with mummy rot—a virulent cursed disease that transformed the infected into mummies. No matter, the thing was awake now and so the party fought on. Eventually, the second creature was slain, but by now the party were exhausted and out of healing. Searching the sarcophagus, the party found some minor treasures and Johann made an important discover—the creature’s weren’t mummies after all: they were merely mummified skeletons. It seemed Alice had a narrow escape!

With resources low, the party carefully searched the rest of tomb before deciding to rest in the crypt’s antechamber overnight. Before doing so, Veronwe and Johann dragged some bushes and shrubs in front of the tomb’s entrance to hide their temporary home. The night passed mostly quietly, although Johann heard wolves calling to each other from the hills surrounding the tomb.

The next morning was cold and bright. As his friends slowly gathered themselves, Orithur went foraging and discovered the carcass of a recently slain deer. It seemed the deer had been brought down by the wolves Johann had heard in the night, but there seemed no reason why they hadn’t then fed on the carcass. No matter, Orithur dragged the carcass back to the tomb where Thangrimm butchered it and cooked up the meat for the rest of the journey.

Refreshed, the party pushed onto Coldwater. They had been travelling for barely three hours before danger—a pack of wolves—assailed the party! Rushing the party from behind, the wolves were among the group before the adventurers could organise a proper defence. Quickly Veronwe was knocked over by no less than three assailants that seemed intent on tearing the elf limb from limb. Somehow, the brave elf survived while his companions battled to reach him. Thangrimm engaged the pack alpha while both Wrag and Johann rushed to help Veronwe. Eventually, the pack was driven off and the party took stock of their situation.

Several of the adventurers were injured—it what had been a surprising difficult fight—and it seemed the party were doomed not to reach Coldwater before nightfall. With this in mind, and with the realisation that Toliyrath’s funeral was tomorrow the party reluctantly turned around and headed back to Languard. The mystery of Kanbrar and his strange, no doubt sinister, machinations would have to wait for another day.

Arriving back at the city after dark, the party made the unwelcome discovery that the city gates were shut at dusk. Sharing a campfire with another traveller waiting for daybreak the party met Grogor a half-orc recently set upon by bandits near Dulwich. Grogor told a terrible story of deprivation and thievery and confirmed the bandit who had stolen most of his equipment was none other than the notorious Firean Maiethil. With this revelation, Grogor was invited to join the party and plots were made to head south to capture this vicious bandit who may—or may not—be lurking in the vicinity of Valentin’s Folly—a ruined watchtower/keep hidden deep in the southern woodlands.

The next day, the party attended Toliyrath’s funeral at the Garden—a temple dedicated to the Mother which stood several miles outside the city walls—before returning to Languard to rest, recuperate and plot.