A Gathering Darkness

Crypt of the High Priest

The heroes find a danger-filled subterranean crypt

Moving to a river to make camp, the party encounters a chimera and manage to overcome it. As they retire to nurse their wounds, they are ambushed by a river monster. This monster threatened to wipe the party out, but without explanation, the party wakes up, unharmed, around their campfire, as though the river monster was only a bad, shared dream. What’s more, the party finds a cache of magic items and a note, and they discover that each of the heroes bears a quickly fading glyph on his or her forehead and a clear, familiar knowledge of their new magic items’ functions. Treasure includes a cloak of comfort, a silver-lined copper ring, a pair or rings enchanted with a familiar fire spell, a magical warhammer, an enchanted dagger, an eldritch glass crossbow, and a powerfully ensorcererled bear-skin shirt with the power to transform the wearer.

As the group continues, they happen across an hieroglyph-lined, above-ground crypt of Algor-Khan, a prominent priest to the pharaoh Ammon, door ajar and half a dozen goblins therein, struggling to break down a secret door into a staircase descending into the earth. Dispatching these goblins with some of Tavain’s fire magic and managing to escape a clay golem which seemed to take offense at that fire, nearly killing Tavain, the group discovers a magical glyph under the plaster concealing the door. Upon seeing this glyph, Thom casts a spell which opens the door enough for Virlym to pull it back the rest of the way and lead the party down to a complex below the surface, leading the party to question whether there may be more to the Bennetonian lordling’s arcane prowess than he has let on. Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, an enormous falling block falls from above, injuring Thom, Gog, and Virlym, and blocking any retreat. Rhys finds antedeluvian curiosities – canopic jars – but is unable to investigate whether these might be cursed before Gog wakes a malevolent, creepy darkness that possesses him, and then later Rhys, turning the party against one another and snapping Gog’s neck before Tavain can blast the nightmare into oblivion with a magical light.

The heroes’ individual might is growing quickly, but their trust in one another is still uncertain at best. A clear division persists between Sir Thom’s retainers and Khalil’s pupils. The party’s future is even more uncertain, but if the threats they’ve met thus far in the High Priest’s crypt are any indication of what is to come, they’ll have to work together if any of them is to see daylight ever again.

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