Brooding on their failed attempt on the life of the cult assassin our heroes flee into the countryside surrounding Illmire, a land of farmsteads, hills and numerous copses. Planning to recover and head back to the ill fated town they seek refuge in a barn which provides a good night’s rest, and head back to Illmire the next day. This time they skirt the town and scout it from a distance. It seems the cult have reacted by increasing the guard on the gate, but whether through lack of resource or some other reason, there appear to be no search parties after our adventurers.
Moving around the palisade to the east the party find a spot amongst the trees where they can look over the wall and spy on the town. Standing on Anistor’s sturdy shoulders Kristos peeks over the 10′ wall and gets a good idea of the goings on in the town:
- Activity is subdued, the usual hustle and bustle of a frontier town is just not present at all
- Crying is heard from a nearby cottage and a young girl is seen sitting at the window
- A crowd gathers in the town square and Father Rand’s voice is heard preaching to them, but the temple is in the way and the thief cannot see more
- Quite a few cult thugs are spotted including Rohn the Dragoon
- Kristos spots disturbed ground in the cemetery behind the temple, mostly near a mausoleum. He jumps down and investigates but finds the entrance barred
- As the light fades he spots a dark figure leave a nearby dwelling – it is the assassin!
There is a debate on whether to wait for the assassin and ambush her or try to sneak into the temple. It is decided the assassin can wait, they need to deal with Father Rand and the cult. After dark the adventurers carefully climb over the wall and Kristos picks the lock on the mausoleum. Steps lead down into the darkness and as they descend a sense of dread starts to grow – they have felt this before, in the basement of the old watchtower. Voices whisper to them, trying to sow seeds of doubt and distrust, but our heroes are strong willed and press on.
The room below the mausoleum contains coffins set into shelves in the walls and a quick search reveals a hidden door. The corridor beyond is a dead end, but a nearby lever opens a further secret door (clearly one more difficult to find on the other side) and they move into a large crypt. Ascending stairs to the south indicate they are beneath the temple. Heading to the north their souls are chilled by dry, rattling groans as creatures from beyond the grave stumble out of the darkness at them. Without a cleric to turn undead the party have no choice but to charge forward; this time the gods are with them as the monsters are smashed, hacked and magically burned to destruction in quick time.
Beyond are the five stone coffins the zombies crawled from and little else to be found. Reasoning there must be more to this place a search reveals a further secret door, but this one is trapped and Gravik takes a blast of evil magic which split and cracks his skin, causing painful wounds. Anistor pushes the door open with his hammer and the party move into a further corridor heading north with yet another door ahead. The sense of dread is growing, the whispering more intense and Gravik and Evalore are momentarily paused in their tracks, overcome with fear, but digging deep they push onward.
Kristos picks the lock and a scuffling sound is heard beyond. With no idea what lies beyond Anistor boots the door open…