The group enter the circuitous corridors of the tumulus, slowly moving in towards its heart. There are signs of vandalism everywhere; caused by the alliance armies as they moved on the heart of Lac'Loriel during the wars, and crude messages in Dundorin runes compete for space with shattered bones and smashed funerary urns.
As the group move deeper into the tomb, more glowing bloodstains are found. It is noted that within this place they have blossomed into carpets of luminescent mould, which sends a shiver through the heart of anyone standing too long within a patch.
01:10 – The group reach the inner chamber of the tumulus. The air is filled with an unnatural chill and the chamber ahead glows with foxfire and shadows. The horrible screams - tormented, grief stricken and insane – echo dully in the cloying atmosphere of the place, and the stench of soil and mould is overpowered by the fishy stink of rotting meats and haemolymph.
01:11 - At first the group get little opportunity to see into the chamber, for several weakened sections of ceiling have come crashing down over the years forming earthen walls. However, Jager scouts forwards, and gets a brief glimpse of the chamber beyond.
It is a large burial chamber, covered thickly with lush carpets of the glowing mould, as well as several areas of dense debris. At the far end stands a violated aelwyn sarcophagus, its lid smashed, its sides covered in more dundorin graffiti, and on the steps of the dais on which it rests stands a ragged, dripping thing of rot and madness that can only be Quicksilver.
Quicksilver is all the group feared he would be. Wounded by both Adrielle's Eight and then the Ravensoul's undead, he has recently become a Woeforged; a Warforged undead. His flesh is relucent with foxfire light, and thick strands of luminous mucus pour constantly from his weeping sores. Many of the body plates that once covered his form have either rusted into bubbling patches of corruption or are missing, and his eyes now shine with a fevered decaying glow.
Worse though is the invisible aura of utter despair and misery that surrounds him; tearing at the psyche of anyone that gets too close and slowing their movements to a stunned, horrified shuffle.
Jager also spots four strange globes of shadowy flames hovering near the woeforged; incorporeal spirits of some kind that emanate an aura of unsettling fear.
The assassin is detected by the undead abomination, though it is not sure what it has sensed, and as the rest of the group move stealthily into the chamber, using the walls as cover, Quicksilver moves forwards, the four Ghost Lamps spreading out in a line; their auras of fear fanning out in an invisible wall of dread.
And suddenly battle begins! One of the Ghost Lamps' encounters Schnecke and strikes him, filling him with deathly cold and suppressing his ability to heal or draw courage unto himself. Another strikes at Emmiven.
01:12 - Then Quicksilver staggers forth, glowing brightly with his rotted light. He babbles a clotted incantation and thrusts forth a mould encrusted sceptre. At once, black lightning licks forth like the tendrils of some unholy monster, flickering around Emmiven, Seren and narrowly missing the priest. Those struck by the tendrils are badly hurt by its rotting power, and Seren feels a portion of her life energy being drawn away.
Worse, the psychic aura that surrounds Quicksilver, aroused to a horrific fever pitch, actually burns the minds of those that get too close, and reduces their movement to a crawl. Only the assassin is safe from the damage, as runes sewn into his armour brightly shine; soaking up the psychic energy, keeping him safe from harm (though he too suffers the crippling despair that slows his allies).
The party are spread out in a wide arc behind the scattered walls, and althouh the Ghost Lamps are quickly dispatched, initially things do not go well for them.
Those souls who stand within patches of the luminous mould that has sprung from Quicksilver's rotting fluids, find that the woeforged is able to strike them with more accuracy (Quicksilver has Combat Advantage against anyone standing in a square filled with his mould), and with his slowing, damaging aura, as well as numerous attacks, he quickly weakens and scatters the party.
First blood to goes to Seren, who hurls another prismatic orb of seething energy into the horror's face, a blast of icy energy surrounding him and keeping him stuck to the floor.
Gorthias allows the primal energies to rise within him, and draws on the might of the mountain rams. Despite being dazed, he expends all his efforts (spends an Action Point), and charges the woeforged, blasting into him, hurling him 15' back to the floor.
By this point, the monster has been struck a deep blow by the Barbarian, the wound being set alight with mystical flame as the Ulnyrr activates the runes on his axe, and it is further blasted as it's flight from Gorthias' attack forces it out of the area of another of Seren's spells, which blasts it with more fire.
Quicksilver is prone but has a lot of fight left in him! Repeatedly he unleashes great waves of psychic anguish which blast the group.
Varracuda and Jager move in and attack the prone woeforged, the former unleashing a torrent of fiery spells through his blades, whilst the latter, who has been quietly sowing kernels of dark power within the monster's being, strikes at him with a blade made more of shadow than steel, and scores a deep blow.
As this blow lands, shining tendrils of corrupted flesh explode from within the woeforged, striking almost all the party – rotting and tainting their flesh, as well as pulling them closer to the horror, within its terrible aura.
01:13 - Quicksilver rises to his feet, and blasts both the sword mage and assassin away with a scream (Varracuda, having dealt much harm to the monster takes the full force of this, and is hurled back and knocked unconscious), before attempting to drain life from the assassin to heal his wounds (he misses).
Chanting prayers of logic and power, Grigori unleashes a wave of logic fire, which sweeps over the undead. Quicksilver staggers back, his body streaming with wounds, his wails and screams a constant din about him, and is finally cut down by Schnecke, who charges towards him with a scream, axe leading, and splits him to his wishbone.
A final howl of psychic agony, this one more powerful than the others, explodes from the monster, and finally, the battle is over!
01:14 – 07:45 - Grigori quickly runs over to Varracuda, and brings him round. The group, utterly spent, decide to rest a while in the tumulus...
During their rest, the group explore the area a little, and discover a cunningly hidden doorway at the back of this chamber, which opens with a little manipulation to reveal a long corridor of green and white swirled marble, its walls carved with bas reliefs depicting aelwyn dressed in archaic clothes participating in various leisure activities.
07:45 - After an uncomfortable rest in the cold chamber, the group (now feeling the collective bruises, cuts, burns, scrapes and fractures of the last few days' activities) stiffly move to look at the corridor.
07:46 - Emmiven actually goes one further, and with only the briefest of glances for danger, strides into the corridor...
...Half way down, there is an ominous “click”, and huge sculpted blades drop down at each end of the corridor, and flash along it. The warlord's armour deflects their initial pass, but he is not so lucky a moment later, and is badly cut by the blades as they slash down again.
Grigori hurls himself into the corridor, and makes it into a small chamber at the far end before the blades sweep through again. Alas, as he enters the tiny chamber (which holds a marble bier, on which sits an alabaster urn scribed with aelwyn runes and sealed with platinum), he feels magic crawl across his soul, and a moment later, a searing jet of flame blasts down over him, igniting his clothes and sending him careering forwards in agony.
07:47 - Schneke, Jager and Gorthias join the priest in the room, whilst Emmiven runs to safety back in the main tomb. However, when Gorthias suggests that the party leave the urn, stating that disturbing the remains would be beneath them, Grigori insults him by suggesting he favours the aelwyn (an enemy he fought tooth and nail during the wars). Gorthias informs the priest that were they not in a place of danger, he would kill him there and then, before leaving the tumulus in a rage, and waiting for the group outside.
07:48 - Jager examines the urn and determines that its base is a façade, and that a plug of stone extends down from the base of the urn into a space in the bier.
Meanwhile, a control panel for the fire trap has been spotted in the front of the bier, and Schnecke, in a moment of Ulnyrr rage, hits it twice with his axe, shattering the mechanism and sending the trap into overdrive!!!!!
Groans all around as the box explodes, peppering all in the chamber with red hot shrapnel (and amongst the players, raucous laughter).
07:49 – 07:53 - A plan is hatched, and a rope is tied to the urn. Then, timing their actions to trigger whilst the traps are not actively firing, the group leg it from the chamber, and pull with all their might on the rope, yanking the urn free (it shatters on the floor spilling funereal ashes), and releasing the things that lurk within the bier.
At first, from their distant viewpoint, the group think that a swarm of strangely rattling spiders has burst from the bier's interior. Then they realise that it is a swarm of animated skeletal hands!!!!
The tiny undead swarm rushes the group, but is destroyed by the traps.
07:56 - After a while, the traps reset, and the group, having identified the triggers, creep down and retrieve the ancient items hidden within the bier.
08:05 - The group join Gorthias, and after a brief rest, head homeward!
Group make good progress, but that night, notice a strange menace to the darkness, and an unsettling stillness to the night.
24/3/1472 – Light snow / some sleet, becoming colder and more snowy in the evening.
The group, now feeling their cumulative wounds keenly, finally stagger back to Greenford.
Arrive at 14:50
14:50 – 14:55 - Outside the main gates, they meet a small group of local millitia, lead by a mercenary named Brin. All are clearly pissed off at the party, and Brin challenges them, asking them how they dare to return when their “Gob chasin'” lead to a delay in the healing components being returned, and a further six deaths from the sickness.
Emmiven and Grigori are obnoxious to them, flying into a diatribe about how they are the true heroes, and the Eight “missed” many foes. They loudly proclaim their victory over the vampire Arrash, and are nearly attacked by one of the militia when they imply that the dead were unworthy.
The rest of the group – embarrassed – move into the town, flinching at the hostile glares they receive.
The group learn that a celebration in honour of Adrielle's Eight is to be held that night at the Kingfisher, the local inn. Emmiven, Jager and Schnecke decide to head straight there; the warlord to stir up trouble, the assassin to get a room, and the barbarian to have a drink or ten
The rest of the group go to their various homes; Grigori with a high degree of paranoia after their encounter with the guards.
15:20 - At the Kingfisher, the two adventurers and Jager are allowed in after a chat with the door guards, who echo (in slightly more friendly terms) the disappointment the entire town is feeling with their group, and the horror they feel at the six deaths that occurred in the absence of the components. Emmiven remains unrepentant, and Schnecke just looks uncomfortable.
Jager has taken steps to ensure that he is not associated with the two adventurers, and after getting his room sorted quietly watches the taproom, whilst trying to learn as much as he can about the Eight.
15:20 – 16:00 - Inside things get more than a little heated. The barbarian buys some drinks, but is thrown out along with Emmiven after an argument breaks out between the warlord and Adriell's Eight – all of whom are drinking in the bar at that time.
Jager also strikes up a conversation with a Dundorin merchant heading to Peregrine in a day or two, and offers to consider guarding their caravan on its dangerous journey to the northwest.
Schnecke, upset at being thrown out, takes a keg with him and stomps over the Grigori's house, whilst Emmiven shifts his form and walks back in.
19:00 - Gorthias has returned to his home to sleep, but after as night draws in, and the sounds of the celebrations at the Kingfisher drift through the streets, he also journeys to Grigori's, disturbed by a dark mood.
19:25 - In truth all have felt this growing menace from the darkness. After being turned away from the party, an upset Varracuda sees Sister Elandra – the Oerdaine'Maelandrian High Priestess – moving around the perimeter of her hospital temple checking the protective wards. When he hails her, she looks worried, and comments that the night “breathes with wrongness”.
An ominous, faintly luminous mist is seen gathering amongst the trees arround Greenford, and the guards on duty, sense a growing dread, as do the group as they all meet at Grigori's home.
19:40 – 01:20 (25/3/1472) The group share Schnecke's beer, and try to determine what they are doing next, but all sense the gathering malevolence in the foggy night outside, and so are not at all surprised when the first screams and howls are heard, along with ragged gunfire, from the walls.
The group rush out as more screams join the horrible threnody echoing from the walls, and meet with Brin and Jager.
“Get to he walls” screams brin, sweat gleaming on his brow, “The dead are attacking!”
01:30 - The group look worried and run to the pallisade walls that stand within the half built outer stone walls. Against a weird blue-green flickering they see countless shambling forms staggering in rough ranks towards the walls, whilst other dark figures stand ready amongst the foxfire glow of the fogs that billow and pulse wretchedly from the forests deeps. Several units of men are marching towards them from Greenford, and others guard the main gates into the town.
From the Kingfisher distant screams of alarm are heard as the party is broken up and people sent to shelter.
Grigori becomes aware of something pulsing in his pocket...something wet and cold that feels almost squelchy when he touches it...something that sweats a noisome moisture which has caused grey clots of mould to grow on the cloth of his clean clothes with unnatural vigour and speed. Something utterly vile that calls to the Ravensoul forces out in the luminous night...
The phial. The rune struck phial.