Dead bodies lay on the ground in front of the round stone. Smoke wafted from behind. Further from the stone, the ranger found a large claw print…far too large for any of us to feel comfortable exposed. The bodies…their leather armor was shredded by similar claws.
The bodies were dressed the same a the Zhentarim we encountered in Baldur’s Gate. They had been working off the same information we had. There were a few holes dug around the south portion of the stone. We headed north. It was obvious someone had dug there before. It took us until nightfall to dig a passable tunnel toward the middle of the stone. That’s where we found the worked stone stairway.
We followed the stairs down under the stone. It was getting late, and we had to decide whether to sleep on the stairs or keep exploring. There was an archway, no door, at the bottom of the stairs, so we peeked in with our torch.
It was a square room, with another archway on the opposite wall. It looked like people had walked through the middle, but the rest of the room was covered in dust. We set watches on the far archway and settled down to rest.
We heard squeaks coming from the archway during the night. Nobody was foolhearty enough to go investigate. The journal had mentioned a hallway trap, and the archway opened into a short hall.
This hall wasn’t trapped.
There was a large hall on the other side. Complete with 4 large pillars holding up the high ceiling. And a pile of guano in the middle of the room. And a number of giant bats hanging above the guano. We aggravated the bats, but none attacked. And we didn’t attack them. We waited for them to settle down, and we walked very quietly along the edge of the room to an archway on the east wall.
The next room was another large one. All the footprints in the dust led to an archway in he north wall. However, all the sounds came from a barred doorway to the south. Also of note was a square block of the floor in the center of the room which was a different, lighter color than the rest of the floor. We didn’t figure out the significance of the color. Finally, there was a lever in the east wall. We initially ignored the lever…at least until we had investigated further.
The barred door was actually the first of three barred doors, each leading to a large, separate cell. The first cell was empty, but we heard the moaning still further south. We muscled our was through the stuck gate.
The second cell was empty, save for a skeleton in a corner. The third cell had a few zombies. We were able to lure them back to the original barred door, shut the door, and beat on them as they reached through the bars at us.
The room through the archway to the north is where things started to get dicey, and we still hadn’t even tried the lever yet.
Looking into the room, we saw many piles of bones (painstakingly noted on the map). Or torch only lit half the room. When the first person stepped into the room, the bone piles formed up into skeletons and attacked (due to a pressure plate in the floor). We backed up into the archway and let our warriors face the undead mob a couple at a time. The cleric provided a little support with healing.
A far corner of the room was cloaked in magical darkness until our thief/mage threw a light spell.
We couldn’t leave the lever alone. Neither position seemed to affect the cell doors, the colored floor tiles in the middle of the room (which, incidentally, didn’t look to have any kind of seam around them), or the pressure plate we had stepped on in the room of bones. The lever, at this point, is still a mystery.
From the bone room, another archway on the west wall led to a short hallway. It was there we found a tripwire, and we all decided to step over it instead of seeing what happened if we set it off.
The last room (of the night) was hexagonal, with a table and chairs in the middle of the room…and more skeletons scattered throughout.