Secrets of Mystara

Post 15 (Long live the king?)

Long live the king?

When the party is ready to set out, Thrud and Bhelgarn are sent to fetch FluffyKitten. Once everyone is at the gorm base, there is a brief conversation about the next course of action. The consensus is that they will explore and open tombs on the fourth level in an attempt to obtain magic items.

Ember is against the idea of “tomb-raiding”, but is not willing to go against the others in their goal of equipping the party. She understands that Thrud may “turn”, and that they may encounter other creatures, more powerful than rat-men, who are harmed only by magic. She does say however, clearly and emphatically, that her goddess will not support thieves and looters. Anyone who wishes her ministries must take only items that are needed, not simply wealth, and anything that is taken must be replaced with something of equivalent value.

Once she has made herself clear, the party checks the anvil, then descends through the trapdoor. They pass through the gorm temple, the revolving passageway, and into the ruined temple. There they find the bodies of the gormites are gone. A quick examination shows that they were dragged out into the hall by others, but there the trail is lost as the party itself has just passed over and obscured it.

Down the ramp they go and to the fourth level, that of the tombs. Morgan declares that they will be searching the place WELL. She organizes the marching order, with herself and Bhelgarn on one side of the hallway, Iris and Remmy on the other. They will pass down the hallway examining the walls, with both people checking each side so as to have some redundancy in case one of the pair misses a door.

In front of the “searching square” are Odleif, Ember and Bhelgarn, looking ahead for hazards. In back are Thrud, FluffyKitten, and Hazrad, protecting their rear. They travel to just beyond the skeleton room before starting. Going slowly and carefully, they cover about a foot per minute, and it is nearly three hours later when they have reached the chamber with the ever-burning flames. They remove the stone lid from the sarcophagus. There is a mummified body inside, but no weapons or other items. Remmy notes that the bandages around the neck and forearms have been cut open – someone has already looted the jewelry.

Leaving the room, the party works their way back up the hallway toward the rat room. They are perhaps halfway back when Hazrad hears the sound of footsteps dragging along the stone floor. FluffyKitten turns up her lantern, shining it down the hall and revealing three once-human figures. Their clothes are in tatters, they have long claws and fangs, their bodies are covered in festering wounds, and their eyes glow evilly.


Hazrad is stunned for the briefest of moments, then fixes the spear-head on his lance. “GHUL!” he shouts at the top of his lungs as he charges forward. As his cry echoes down the stone hallway, he impales the lead ghoul squarely in its chest with his lance.

The creature looks down at the wound, then grins malevolently. Grasping the shaft of the lance with its clawed hands, it leans forward and strains, until with a great ripping of flesh the spear blade erupts from its back. Hand over hand it pulls its way down the nine-foot shaft, threading the lance through its body until it arrives at Hazrad. One swipe of its hand across his face, and the nomad is frozen rigidly in place. The other two creatures sniff greedily at Hazrad, but the impaled one snarls at them and they turn and advance on the party.

Meanwhile, the party has begun realizing there is a threat to their rear. Iris has stopped searching and has pushed her way to the back of the group, saying, “Ghouls! Paralysis! Elves are immune! Let me through!”

Once clear, she and FluffyKitten begin taking shots at the two advancing ghouls, she with first a magic missile then her bow and FluffyKitten with her stones. Behind them, Thrud readies his axe but does not charge in front of the missile fire.

By the time the ghouls reach the party, one has been wounded by the _ magic missile_ but the arrow and stones have missed wildly. The ghoul on Hazrad has spent most of the time stripping off his chain armor, but has begun to feed hungrily upon his flesh. A glancing blow from a ghoul paralyzes FluffyKitten, but Iris and Thrud make short work of the two ghouls. Then Thrud charges the remaining ghoul, his wild battle axe blade coming within inches of Hazrad’s face, lopping the ghoul’s head clean off, and spattering the paralyzed nomad with gore.

While most of the party listens carefully for any other monsters drawn by the sound of combat, Ember tends to FluffyKitten and Hazrad, using her healing skills on both and an orison or two on the nomad. Soon thereafter, they become able to move again. Hazrad sinks down to the floor, leaning his back against the wall. He points feebly at the ghoul-corpses and whispers, “the bodies…burn them…”

Bhelgharn arranges the three bodies in a neat row and liberally coats them with an entire flask of his oil, then sets them alight. The smell of searing, putrid flesh and a dense, acrid smoke fill the hall.

Morgan surveys the burning corpses and mentally ticks off their remaining resources. “One flask for the ghouls, and at least another one while we were searching…so much for slow and careful. I was sure their were secret rooms on this level, but our priority now is using what oil we have left on the rooms we know are here.” She looks over Odlief’s map. "Okay, we haven’t looked in the “dragon room”, or seen the end of the passageway beyond it. Hazrad, let us know when you are ready to travel."

Eventually the party gets moving, on beyond the ramp room and down the hall, around the corner and to the room with the burned outline of a human shape still on the wall. This time they actually enter the room. Along the walls are paintings of a priest performing ceremonies. On a raised dais in the middle of the room lies an open bronze sarcophagus. Bhelgarn and Remmy are first at the sarcophagus, checking for traps. They report that whatever body was once there has been torn apart – all that are left are bits of cloth wrappings and small fragments of bone. They find no treasure or weapons.


A quick search of the room concluded, the party continues down the twisting corridor, farther than they went before. After a long straightaway, they are approaching yet another corner. Suddenly, the shimmering, ghostlike figures of a man and a woman appear before them. The translucent figures are dressed in costly clothing, and both wear golden crowns. The man raises his hand and gestures for them to stop. Every member of the party finds themselves rooted to the spot, unable to move.

“Go no further,” he warns, “lest the curse of King Alexander overtake you!”

“I am Queen Zenobia,” the woman says. “Turn back; only death awaits you!”

(Later, when conversing about this, the party discovers that for each of them, the figure seemed to speak in their own native language, whether that be Hin, Dwarven, Elven, Darokite, Glantrian, Nordic, or Ylauri.)

A wave of terror overwhelms them all – as the figures fade, they are released from their paralysis but barely can contain themselves. Hazrad and FluffyKitten collapse on the floor, trembling in fear. The others turn and bolt pell-mell back up the hall, unable to think of anything but their desire to flee.


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