The Diary of Rolen Duskwalker,
The city of Silverport, Bemexia 5 days after arrival
My companions and I are taking a moment to compose ourselves, now that we have cleared the tomb. I must take the time to record what has happened here, if only to keep my sanity. There is much on my mind, as within the span of a day my party has been pushed to its limit. This whole enterprise it seems has been veiled by deception, peril, and trickery from the start…
We spoke with Eliza Tekar at great length after meeting her. She requested that we retrieve some wares from the tomb while we went there. She told us relatively little of what was inside. My comrades came to the conclusion that we’d be better off raiding the tomb for her and not the Khan, so I decided to go along against my better judgement.
We arrived at the tomb as planned and just as we thought, there was a Gunyin watching the place. We sent the goblin around to cover us should the need arise and the rest of the party approached on foot. When we got close enough to this person who was “paying homage” to a headstone. His mannerisms, appearance, and the military grade short sword he wore gave him away straight off. When we confronted him about his identity, he attacked us. Thankfully, Horo was quick on his feet and kept the man in check and we managed to settle things down. Just as we managed to talk the man down, a stone whizzed out of the night and struck him in the head, rendering him unconscious. Savol, it seems, did not overhear our conversation. Little did I know, but that was just the start of the downward slide that would be our trek into the dark beneath Silverport.
Upon entering the tombs, we carried the spy with us. Darph had the man slung over one of his shoulders as we tried to find somewhere to deposit him. This proved to be a treacherous undertaking as there were traps all over the tomb. I had read in the family history of the Tekars that this tomb might have boasted traps, but I had not planned on the kind found here. Focused light traps are indeed a rare find and truly fitting of nobility such as the Tekars. The traps were not the worst of it though. We were attacked by ants, massive ones. They ravaged Horo and Darph something fierce, but in the end they are just some more dead things to occupy this accursed place. We continued downward, further into the tomb. The ants were just the start.
When we reached the basement level, we discovered more traps and the presence of the undead, just as I feared. The ghouls attacked us with the kind of mindless determination and aggression that one could associate with the undead, but we managed to triumph over them with little trouble. As I breathed a sigh of relief, I heard the clatter of feet on the ceiling, and readied myself. There, descending from the dark vaulted ceilings of this tomb, were leaping spiders the size of grown dogs. They had quite the vicious bite and proved to be quite the adversaries. After another brutal fight, we emerged triumphant but at a cost. Many of us were starting to feel the wear and tear of close quarters, underground, combat. To add to it, the Gunyin we brought in from the upstairs was no longer breathing. In the melee, Darph never had time to put him down, and it appeared the spiders managed to bite him as opposed to Darph. An acceptable loss, but it still tasted bitter in my mouth.
As we recovered from our fight, I could sense the group was beginning to have doubts…well maybe not the goblin. Savol is not that bright, he likes to think he is but I have seen through enough of his charades that know that he’s not all there. Perhaps that was for the best, for much like the rest of the evening things kept getting worse, and if he would have been able to put two and two together he may not have had the courage he displayed later on.
Killian discovered a secret staircase, one that led even deeper into the bowels of the tomb. We could feel the chill coming up from the dark below, nobody had been down there in many, many, years. Begrudgingly, we entered what would come to be the last chambers of the tomb. Awaiting us, were what at first appeared to be ornate statuary soldiers, but upon our closer examination they were animated skeletons. Clearly, we were in the presence of some dark arcane force…Which is weird considering that Fe is a warlock of some sort, but this was different. The taint of this room was that of a necromancer or one with control over the powers of death.
Upon clearing the skeletons, who did not attack us right away, we were greeted by a shriveled old man who asked if we were here to pay homage. He kept asking us, “Will you honor blood with blood?” As a cleric, I knew that while an older ritual, this was not an uncommon practice. In an attempt to forego any misunderstandings, Killian gave of his own blood. Amid the necromancer’s shouts of “Defilers!” I could tell that we had yet to see the worst horrors this tomb could offer. The skeletons drew their weapons and we found ourselves in the midst of yet another fight. I couldn’t help but remember the words of my late friend and Lord Commander Merek Hawthorne, “I’m getting too old for this shit.”
Corran, who had been displaying courage beyond measure, chased after the necromancer. It seems his hatred of the undead is substantial. The rest of us were busy fighting the skeletons, who in spite of their aged gear and lack of real musculature proved capable fighters. We felled a few skeletons before Savol dropped the necromancer. That was when it happened. The man’s body began convulse and contort, his skin boiled off and his robes burned to ash. From this horror, a construct of bone and black magic emerged, crawling about on all fours like some massive beast; this kind of horror being the exact thing I was afraid we would find tucked away within these halls of the dead.
The bone golem was indeed a monstrous adversary. It was covered in sharp, bone-like, spines that were hazardous to any who tried to attack it. Corran fought it bravely, but even the mighty Avenger of the slain god was no match. It also had the ability to blast out shockwaves of energy and bone shrapnel that left those of us who were unfortunate enough to be caught in the blast feeling dazed and sporting nasty cuts and bruises. The creature attacked and incapacitated both Horo and Corran, leaving them on the brink of death. Our Minotaur was delayed by skeleton archers, but arrived in just the nick of time to distract the monster. Dazed and wounded, I managed to get Killian a health potion that I had on my person and he somehow found a way to administer it to our fallen comrade before he could bleed out. I could tell that if this fight was not ended soon, we would all surely die, so I drew my sword and channeled all my fury and battle wrath into a charge against the abomination. With a mighty blow from my weapon and an appropriately mighty clap of divine thunder the beast was reduced to a pile of bone and dust. We survived but by the skin of our teeth; we were battered but unbroken.
After tending to Horo we checked the tomb and found there were two chests atop a small dais. We tried to get them to open and it did not work. Some methods were rather unorthodox, such as the goblin removing the arms from a skeleton in a coffin and trying to get the chests to open, and sure enough it led to problems. Corran, Darph, and Savol began to mix it up with one another, clearly their battle nerves and the stress of the last few days had boiled over. While annoying and childish, this is typical among soldiers who fight along the ragged edge like us. We still have much to work on, but I see potential in the group yet.
After observing the fight, I had come to realize that my sword was acting strangely. That was a revelation, I knew little to nothing about my weapon. Hawthorne would have tanned my hide for that. I had taken this sword from the temple out of spite, just to get under Grand Master Horace’s skin, and have been laboring under the impression that this was some enchanted longsword he would have used to cow the masses through Grayfield. However, upon closer examination, it became apparent that this was no mere sword. This was indeed a blessed weapon. I have come to realize that I have actually stolen a legitimate relic of the Kordite order. The sword I wield is none other than the infamous Cloudbreaker. I remember reading of this blade, but had figured it had been lost for centuries or locked up in a vault somewhere. It appears that my slaying of this beast to defend my friends activated its powers, powers that have laid dormant for who knows how long. This is the second best thing that has happened today, the best being we all made it out alive.
Now that I near the end of this entry, in spite of my gratitude for being alive and discovering that I am now in the possession of a mighty holy weapon, I find my thoughts growing darker. They have been coming to me in brief flashes. The faces of my shield brothers and sisters as they fell at the hands of the Black Scourge’s orcs that fateful day at the Gate of Storms, the pass that leads from the Toirneach Mountains to the lands of Stormvale. We were told that they had inferior numbers, the scourge was actually raiding villages to the east, that some hobgoblin upstart was leading the attack headed for Stormvale. We were told that we would have reinforcements should anything go wrong. All of that was proven to be untrue and everyone but myself died at the hands of the Orcs. Today, in spite of the fact that I had thought I had put my past behind me, these thoughts have come back to my mind, along with another emotion I have not felt in full for quite a while; rage. I had hoped that writing it down would dissipate the flames that burn within me, but they only seem to be growing hotter by the minute. White-hot, righteous, fury boils in my blood, much as it did the day I drug myself from the battlefield, through the sea of corpses that were my brothers and sisters in arms, and to that small overhang where I healed myself enough to walk back to town. This deception, this betrayal, will not go unanswered. I will confront Eliza and see what she knows of this chamber and the horrors that almost claimed us for their own dark purposes and try to get some answers. She should consider herself lucky, if this had happened when I was younger I doubt I’d have given her the chance to defend herself.