Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 30

As the doors begin to open in the age old tomb, Charon, Thriatos and Horacio feverishly try to invent a cunning plan to avoid detection. In the end, they put out the torch and stand still, hoping not to be discovered. The real Esteria, accompanied by a group of mages and armed guards, enter and after a short stand-off between them she offers a peaceful solution and an opportunity for conversation while sharing a meal.

Accepting her invitation, the three quickly realize Esteria's expedition is very large and thus pose a serious hinderance to their mission. However, Esteria offer them to join her expedition in exploring the tomb, granting them 30% of the profits. As this allows them to explore the tomb on their own they agree. They also learn that treasure contained in the tomb cannot be brought out through the entrance due to a curse - for this reason Esteria has brought diggers to open the wall once they find a suitable place for doing so.

Putting up their tent in the camp of the expedition the three mages start making their own plans in the relative secrecy behind a thin veil of cloth. Their primary plan to use Jamal and Victor as spies within Esteria's exploration teams crumbles the moment Charon presents it to her. This leaves them Little choice but to race the expedition for the artifact they seek and so, after breakfast, they head off to explore a second corridor within the tomb.

The corridor contains many small burial Chambers, but they are sterile and of little interest or value as they contain nothing but old sarcophagi. Detecting a faint trace of necromancy they conclude the sarcophagi likely house guardians of the tomb. Two other traces of magic attract their interest, but after finding a room filled with wall etchings they loose the track.

Delving ever deeper, they eventually discover what appears to be a natural cave and an underground river. As they examine the rapid current a group of goblins attack them from the darkness. As they are fought off more arrive but Charon - using a wall of death spell - turns the scene into carnage. As the goblins flee back in terror the three mages discuss whether to pursuit or return to the tomb and eventually decides for the latter.

Attempting to pick up the lost trail they start looking for hidden doors and stumbles upon a second key stone hidden behind a secret mechanical door in a cave beneath the floor. As they grad the stone the door begin to close and Horacio again manages to rip his robe as it gets stuck when he barely makes it out of the cave.

With the key stone in hand they debate whether or not to return to camp. They decide to find the second trace of magic as, hopefully, more magic items found would make it easier for them to keep the key stone from being discovered. A second hidden door is found along with several traps which are set of by Jamal. Using their servant to clear the path the group make it into a chamber with a lone sarcophagus, which Jamal is instructed to open. But as he approaches it the stone lid is thrown off and a dense cloud of dust fills the air...

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