Spoiler alert: if you plan to play The Evils of Illmire don’t read this!
@Dragongirl74 is really turning out these session reports, this one brings everything up to date as the party explore and ponder on the nature of the Forgotten Crypt of the Lost Clan.
The room is full of dark shapes whose baleful stares turn towards Anistor as he steps into the room. As Flambolg sheds its light upon the figures they are revealed as humanoids in bones. “Evalore bring the raccoon statue” says Anistor as he swings Flambolg into the one in the front.
The figures make rattling sounds from their throats and an energy rises in the air as something wraps around Anistor and tightens around him, but he shrugs it off leaving only a chill in its wake. Gravik moves into the room, squeezing past the fighter and takes on the second figure, his mighty blow swinging wide. The figure rattles at the back of what was once its throat and the room falls into darkness, the flames on Flambolg only dispensing a minute glow rather than its normal righteous flaming light.
Kristos draws the burning lady statue from his bag and can see a small space in front of him while Vigark draws his sword but stays where he is, not sure where is safe to step. Evalore casts Detect Magic hoping to enable the others to see their targets a little more easily. Anistor steps forward to where he last saw the third figure and far enough away from where Gravik last was, so he is confident not to injure his companion. Flambolg’s first swing misses but the second finds its target, skewering the figure and it rattles no more, though Anistor feels a creepy breath tickling across his throat as it expires.
Gravik uses his flail to great effect and crunches the dry bones of the last figure and sees a small puff of magical dust thrown up in the air where the figure previously was. Realising the darkness will last for a long while the party retreat out of its reach into the room before the skeletons can regroup. They discuss what to do and decide to pass through the dusty corridor to the west of the pool room. The stairs there descend approximately five feet into a corridor that continues south. After about forty feet there is a door to the east, then the corridor continues for another thirty five feet before it ends.
Kristos listens at the door and being greeted with silence from the other side starts push it open, but stops as he hears a sound from the end of the corridor that attracts his attention, a rhythmic clacking of some kind. He spots two skeletons marching side by side just as they enter the very end of the corridor from the south, they make more clacking sounds as if raising the alarm then run towards the party.
Vigark throws his thorny arcane energy towards the skeletons and shatters the closest one, just as two more race round the corner to join their comrades. Kristos fires an arrow (now there is space to do so) taking out the second one. Gravik misses with his crossbow, dropping his quiver on the floor and ducks down to retrieve it. Anistor closes the gap and tickles the third skeleton with his first swing of Flambolg but cleaves it in twain with his second try.
Evalore sends out the pure blue magical energy of his arcane dart towards the fourth skeleton, hitting home, knocking fragments of bones off the creature, but it resists its true death a little longer. Vigark holds as it is too cramped in this corridor for him to draw his longbow as Kristos shoots the last one with his smaller short bow and sends it to its final rest.
Whilst the party pauses for breath, more clacking is heard just before another one turns the corner and runs up the corridor. Gravik is still picking up his quiver and Anistor is taken by surprise and misses it, but Evalore tries his arcane dart again and this time envelopes it in his blue magical dart, exploding it into dust.
Vigark and Gravik head down to the turn in the corridor that the skeletons appeared from to ensure they would not be surprised by any more skeletons showing up. Looking into the room they see a 45ft room lined with seven alcoves at regular intervals (three on each side and one at the end) each containing a stone pedestal topped with a skull engraved with magical symbols of some kind. Declaring the room clear, they return to their fellows in the corridor before Kristos pushes the stone door open. It doesn’t seem wise to open doors or enter rooms here without everyone being around to assist with the seemingly unending not-quite-dead creatures and traps around.
The darkness spell cuts through their vision about five feet into the room. However, in that short space they can see that there are animal carvings visible on the wall similar to the statue Evalore is holding. To the north of the room, at the limit of the darkness, a corner of a table or alter can be seen. Kristos holds up the burning lady and approaches the altar; it is cold stone with another carving atop it of a large animal as if it was a sarcophagus. Moving closer he can discern it is a figure of a racoon, unusually large, bigger even than a man, in repose on its side. He also notices that there is lock of some sort on the stone coffin. They look to see if the statue will fit into a lock, but it does not appear to do so.
Wisely deciding to do something else until the darkness dissipates, they head down to the room with the skulls on the stone pedestals. They see another small room at the east end of it with another downwards staircase beyond. However, they decide to rest for a while and bandage up their wounds, returning to the first room they came to in the crypt to do so. The small room where they found the cultists seems the safest place to do so, easily defensible and the cleanest one they have seen so far.
It appears this place is having some strange effect on our heroes as they come up with a crazy plan that just might work. They carry the cultists bodies towards the room with the spike traps, passing through the room with the broken slabs scattered across the floor on the way there. They spot the door with the four symbols in the recessed circles on it and decide to try the amulets in the circles, holding the gecko one up to the earth symbol and the eel one up to the water symbol, then realise that none of the other items they have match these and they need four amulets to open the door…
The party continue towards the spike trap room carrying the bodies with them. Pausing at the door they try to finalise the crazy plan. The floor is covered with sand hiding the flagstones from view making it harder to spot traps. They decide to drop a body lengthways along the back wall to the left (where a spike has already sprung) to see where the spikes are going to appear, then drag the body back, pick it up and walk in its path and lay it down again, deciding that, even though they were cultists of their own free will, walking across their bodies is still disrespectful. They carry the other bodies with them in case one gets stuck.
Gravik lays out the bodies followed by Anistor, then Kristos , Vigark and Evalore. They get to the corner they reached before easily. Then as Gravik lays the body down on the next set of flags it triggers a spike that pokes up through its skull poking out of the eye socket, the eyeball on its end hanging there as a grisly warning of the danger in this room. The next body catches a triggered spike as well, but the party pass through the room reaching the door in the far north-east corner with no further issues.
Silence lies beyond the door again, but it is another thick stone door, so they open it carefully and peer in before entering. Roots and vines are poking through the ceiling and hanging down from the forest floor above. There are two more stone coffins in the room, one on either side of it, each with warrior like human figures carved atop them. A further door lies in its south-east corner. The floor is covered with fallen earth from above, reminding them of the other room with roots hanging down and all the snakes. Gravik senses that the damage has been caused slowly over time with the natural growth of the roots and it does not seem that the ceiling it likely to collapse.
The party enters in order, Evalore filing in last; just as he does the coffin lids explode and huge 8 foot tall skeletons jump out of each of them, holding brutal looking swords in their hands. What is it about this crypt that makes death so very temporary? Evalore muses before preparing to call his magics to him…
* Not sure this the official collective noun for skeletons, but it’s what the internet says and sounds about right