Uncovering Undead Under Thornkeep
We return to speak to that mighty specimen of goblinkind Great Chief Graalsk and get better directions to the entrance his brother-in-law used – it is at the rear in the bank below Thornkeep’s hill. The humans know about it but rarely use it. Graalsk would make a great catch. I might start preparing some cages.
Taking our leave the three of us return to our new home (Gook having disappeared again) and install the new guard dogs. Reeda in his great wisdom decides we should head straight off to this entrance without any rest, just taking time to carve some halfling to eat on the way.
If this is the Empire of Zog, Zog can keep it! Turns out it’s a maze infected with undead!
We enter the tunnel described. The dull humans do not even notice us. Some flagstones have been removed revealing stairs leading down. It’s nice to be back underground in the dark. There are other passages that appear to have been blocked off. We smell rotting pig. Yum!
Down the stair Gook is again summoned and disturbs two large carnivorous centipedes living in the pig’s carcass that has been staked with iron to the floor. We suspect this is a goblin trap. Gook despatches them both. Slinky took damage and the bite appears to be poisoned. I harvest the poison sacs – never know when they could be useful. Graalsk’s concubine comes to mind.
The next room has eight caryatid columns, lots of doors and a balcony. The statues appear demonic. I offer in sacrifice a halfling’s liver to the one that resembles the great Urgathoa. Jimbob conducts a ritual of respect at another. We look to Reeda as to what to do next. Hopefully it’ll be rest and food.
I summon Bats and fly up to one of the doors above. Beyond is a dread-inspiring room with shadows and darkness. I walk to the far door but feel something pass through me and I feel week. I quickly leave the room. I’m hungry and tired, need to rest to replenish my supplies.
Gook tries to put some gobbets of dead centipede into the indents of a big door, but is thrown back by a jolt of electricity. Shocked by a shock. Hehe.
More doors, more rooms, more corridors. Bored. Still hungry. Still tired. We find a room with a collapsed floor. We stand at the top and all watch Gook loot a human skeleton wearing rusted mail and a backpack. He carefully hides the gold he finds. We all look at one another. I’m too weak, tired and hungry to care.
Despite trying to use a rope, Reeda false down into the room. That’s what spending time reading does for you. We laugh and I perk up. When are we stopping to eat? Gook hands Reeda a scrap of paper he found on the body but keeps the gold. I think this indicateds that Reeda is the one summoning his imaginary friend Gook.
Next is yet another room. This place is huge. It has a long thin blue pool lit by magic tiles in the floor under the water. Water flows into the pool from a statue of a sphinx. At the far end of the room are two staircases leading up to a door. Whilst I test the water in the pool, 4 skeletons appear on the stairs and start shooting arrows at us. Still feeling weak from my encounter with the shadow and armed only with a crossbow and a spear, I am hit and retreat round the corner. Shortly I am joined by Reeda. Perhaps he should have let us rest so I could make more bombs? Just sayin’. I sit against the wall to eat and rest. Reeda recovers the glowing tiles from the bottom of the 5’ deep pool with the aid of a conjured dolphin.
It appears the skeletons have been despatched by the others. Each skeleton has a shortbow and club, and we recover 2 full quivers of arrows. Who is equipping these monsters?
Reeda, in all his great wisdom, decides we should rest here. What a good idea! However, even after rest I still feel weak.
Up the stairs is a room which contains a large demonic statue with fiery red eyes. Reeda says to leave the eyes as the statue has very powerful magic. Another corridor, this one has some magic effect that makes you deaf. This leads to yet another large room with a raised dais and a sarcophagus with a broken lid. Just how immense is this place?
Gook, Jimbob and Slinky go off to investigate the sarcophagus. Reeda creates a celestial bird that explodes in a burst of feathers as it gets close to the demonic statue. Suddenly corpses claw their way out of the sarcophagus like locusts. One is different and appears to control the others. Boss undead nearly kills Slinky with one hit. The two lesser creatures, believed to be zombies, start eating Slinky as the Boss pursues the fleeing Gook and Jimbob towards us.
We await the creature in the pool room and manage to destroy him as he comes through the doorway. Teensy bit of collateral splash damage to those in melee with the creature – must find a way to prevent this if I’m to survive. We need a Shaman, turns out this undead creature was a wight! He wears a silver signet ring with an emblem of his noble house and carries another magical bit of paper. We think he was once a human male.
We return to the sarcophagus room and despatch the two zombies. Slinky has completely disappeared. Both zombies wear well-made hide armour and appear female, one possibly a half-elf. One has nice hair that will suit me better than the halfling’s I am currently wearing.
Inside the sarcophagus is a picture on paper of the indents we found on the door back aways that jolted Gook when he touched it. I laugh when I remember the look on his face as he went sliding back along the floor. Words are also on the paper. We leave it with Reeda.
The next door leads back to the room with the shadowy creature. This time, looking out for it, we see the living shadow and drive it back with the glowing tiles Reeda took from the pool. It dissipates under a sustained combined barrage but leaves behind a small lapis lazuli.
Where the hell has the Chief’s wife’s brother gone? Has he been killed and eaten or is he lost elsewhere in this seemingly endless dangerous maze. We await Reeda’s orders as I check out the walls of this chamber…