After taking out about 20, no 30 weird brainiac zombies, we headed back downstairs to the secret door on the third floor. Oddly enough, the stuff we had piled in front of the door before we went upstairs had been moved. So we cautiously go inside to find what looks like a small natural cave that opens onto a set of descending stairs. So we head down. On the way down, some moron, I can’t quite remember who, triggers a pressure plate on the last step. The stairs go flat and everyone slides. The cleric and I fall into a pool at the bottom and a grate closes over our heads, trapping us under water. Well it is a darn good thing I can hold my breath really long because Andy took his sweet time opening the grate. Must have been at least 3, no 5 minutes that we were trapped under water.
Once we got out of the water and everyone found their footing again, we entered a large, dark chamber filled with several inches of water. It is a tomb. The walls are lined with crypts. On the right is a row of 4 sarcophagi, on the left is a pile of broken wooden coffins. The first sarcophagus is the final resting place of “Barron Alexyandre Corraigne, In vayne he died”. The second sarcophagus, well, we got around to that one, but as we approached it, a child’s voice called out to us.
We head over to the room that is off to the side. This room seems to be a little higher up and less wet and more merely damp. It appears to be some sort of hall of records. The walls are lined with baskets full of scrolls. Sitting at a large desk is a little boy. He is gray in pallor, resembling the zombies we have encountered. But he seems friendly enough. His name is Crackle and he doesn’t remember his life but he does remember the day he was reanimated. He has spent much time reading the scrolls in this room. He has figured out that the Barron’s zombie, called Khazaak, is the strongest. He also tells us that Khazaak is upstairs guarding a talking mirror and other treasure.
He also tells us what he has garnered from his research. He was the Barron’s son. In life, the Barron has come to the area to establish a Barronry, but he was overpowered by local monsters, including a vampire that took the Barron’s wife, Lillian.
Crackle tells us that he would like to leave the keep but he appears afraid of Khazaak. So we head upstairs to confront Khazaak. The stairs are wet, and as we enter the room we find that a retention wall that was meant to contain a natural pool has crumbled and the water streams across the room. As we reach the top of the stairs, Khazaak and his thugs verbally threaten us. But who could possibly be afraid of a few undead morons, right Forinar? Right? (What on earth is Josh’s new character’s name)
I, of course, single handedly destroy the zombie thugs and hurl a terrified khazaak into the pool of water. I might have had a little help from the Cleric. I think. Maybe. Eventually. Satisfied that Khazaak is no longer a threat, we poke around checking out the things in this room.
We head upstairs to the Barron’s bedchamber. Here there is this wooden chest full of platinum coins that is trapped and smells of deadly poison and has the most complicated lock you’ve ever seen. Of course I manage to get it open without any trouble and don’t get a single drop of poison on me. I would have collected some for lacing arrows but it wouldn’t have been very sporting of me to use poisoned arrows. There is also a chest of drawers, a new wooden bed and a portrait of the Barron and his family.
On top of the chest of drawers is a mirror and in the mirror is a man. He calls himself Rheddian and asks for assistance to escape the mirror, citing great danger to our world if he does not get out to stop events already in motion. I of course immediately recognize that the mirror isn’t really a mirror but is a polished shield. Rheddian tells us a long boring story bout mechanical golems, mgic ships, betrayal, hibernation and murder and claims that if he can get out of the shield, he can keep the energy that is leaking from his world into ours from causing disaster.
Heading out, we take the cash and the portrait and stop to take out Kazaak before getting on our way. Really that was a bit of a debacle. It would seem that some of the people in the group need to brush up on their skills, but they can’t all be great fighters like me. Andy finally manages to kill Kazaak by poking him with a spear. Kazaak carried a +1 magic longsword and wore chain mail. Yeah, like my new chain mail? Anyway, we take Crackle and. met up with Norad.
After a bit of rest, we head back to civilization.
When our ship reaches shore, I volunteer to enter the shield and save the world but realize that the world will need me and that there would be a chance I might not make it back, so Gaaran dives in instead. Rheddrian goes all hulky crazy like and vanishes with the shield. I knew that would happen but everyone else was stunned.
After about 5 hours Gaaran and Rheddrian appear before the group out of nowhere. Upon returning, Rheddrian says:
“I apologize for what has just happened. Some day, perhaps, when I understand it all better myself, I can tell you what it meant. for now, accept this as partial thanks… and know tat I do remember the favors I owe you” He gestured and a medium sized chest appeared. It was full of 2000 gp, which had no mint on them.
The group continued on back to Darokin City.
On the way the group met up with Glantrian travelers. They may be the Glantrians refereed to in this event. They did mention they were on a diplomatic mission.
They give Gaaran some names of Wizards in Glantri that might be interested in buying Crackle / aka Young Edgar Corran (they expect a commission of course).
Arrive at Corran residence in Darokin City. Jeddarian Corran is a little taken aback by Crackle, but he takes the “boy” in, as he is “family”. As the group is leaving the meet Ricardo who is makeing a visit to Jeddarian. He offers the group a small job to deliver a package to Specularum in Karameikos. The group accepts and heads that way.
After about a three week journey the group arrives at Specularum Karameikos. On the way to deliver Ricardo’s package the hear a town crier informing them that the Church of Traladara is looking for adveturers. The group inquires at the church. They meet Desmik who asks them background questions. Upon being satisfied the group is qualified they are introduced to Barris.
They explain they recently found a map that gives new clues to the location of the Temple of the Shield which is where the Shield of Halav was kept. If they could recover the shield the church would gain back many followers that either lost their faith or joined the church of Karameikos. The map reveals that the temple is near the town of Zedreth.
The first needs to find the location of Zedreth as its location has been forgotten over the centuries. The group splits up into two. One group, Elrond??? and Androth search the library in the church. Upon entering the room that Desmik has prepared, they meet Jenna snooping around. She flirts with Desmik, but Androth is suspicious and alerts Desmik, and in turn he alerts Barris. Barris speculates that she is a spy for the church of halav. Androth and Elrond find many clues in the library. The clues pertain to the location of Zedreth, how to find the temple from Zedreth and info on what might be found in the temple.
The other group, consisted of Gaaran and Richard. They went to the Library of Magic. There they meet a very creepy man named Klas Jorga. He is very excited about the cult of halav and talking about how the Grand Duke Stefan Karameikos III is actually Halav returned. The two dismiss him. He feels insulted and tells them they will regret this. The two also find many clues of the same nature as found in the church library.
After leaving the group is ambushed by some thugs. They capture one and he just says they were hired by a man in a “hooddy”.
The group rejoins and gets ready to leave in the morning for Threshold, where the clues point to as the region that Zedreth can be found.