We determined to look for the Key of Fire while we were in the crypt. We kept our marching order, with Marwin in the back. It was a slow advance, one by one, across the stone menagerie to the archway on the right.
The room was a large pen of some sort. To the east wall was the skeleton of another basilisk chained to the wall. The length of the chain only allowed the creature partial, maybe half, use of the room. If the living basilisk to the west had a similar setup, the beast must have broken its chains and be roaming free!
There were also water and food stores in the upper east corner, which seemed to be magically refilling!
In the southeast corner we found a rough tunnel into the room. We didn’t figure the key was kept in there, so we ignored the tunnel for now. Kaden collected some basilisk bones for future spell components, either to use himself or to sell.
Back to the statues room, we took the archway to the north. After a dozen feet, it split into a T. First we tried the right hand hallway.
That led to a large open room, separated into two parts and connected by a worn stone bridge. To either side of the bridge we could see arrow slits. Nobody was keen to try the bridge, so we left the room to try the left side of the T.
The left corridor ran straight but also split off to the north. While the party headed to the north split, we peeked straight to where the corridor opened into a room. The room had a number of shackles on the wall, similar to the basilisk’s room but more human sized. There was nothing else interesting or moving in the room.
In the corridor branch to the north, Ryfon stepped on a pressure plate. We couldn’t see what effect, if any, the plate caused. Eventually, while mulling it over, I went back to check on the shackle room. There was a large, translucent creature roaming free about the room! The southern wall of the room had rolled to the side, opening a compartment where the creature had apparently been housed. From what we could see, the translucent creature was too big to fit through the archway. So we crossed the room off our list for the moment and kept going up the corridor past the pressure plate.
The corridor ended with a doorway on the east and an actual door to the west. The east led to a room with broken up, rotted crates and barrels. Mostly metal barrel rings remained. Kaden went inside the room and came out talking to himself a bit. We’re still not sure what that’s all about.
The room to the west was the interesting one…for many reasons (and not just because I don’t know what went on in the room to the east). First, the door pushed open easily. However, after we were all in the room, the door closed and locked us in. the room was full of old alchemy equipment: beakers, test tubes, and potions. There were 4 potions and an amulet on a bookshelf. Three potions had different swirling colors and one had a caduceus.
Getting out of the room involved pouring potions into test tubes, placing the tubes in three holders in the north wall, and removing certain tubes until a secret door opened. That took a while! The secret door led to an inner sanctum/burial chamber.
In the sanctum we saw a skeleton wearing a cape and standing beside a sarcophagus. The room continued as a hall to the east. It was quite an impressive room indeed! All around the room were murals recording the fights of some great heroes as they claimed the surrounding wilderness.
The journal we received from Remo had mentioned a sarcophagus. I tentatively approached the skeleton to get a better look before nearing the sarcophagus. That was the beginning of chaos.
Of the 5 of us, 3 disappeared as the skeleton animated. That left only Ryfon and me to battle the animated creature. My attempt to turn the creature failed, and Ryfon’s arrows didn’t seem to do much better. The creature did shy a bit from my holy symbol, though. Ryfon switched to his sword as I tried hitting the thing with my symbol, but that wasn’t a lot better. We coordinated, and I kept swinging the symbol while Ryfon backed up to focus on the sarcophagus.
Ryfon ducked behind the sarcophagus, and I repeated to him the instructions for opening it. Ryfon’s efforts led to a secret compartment which had the Key of Fire. He decided to also open the sarcophagus lid while he was there. Luckily this action 1) destroyed the skeleton, and 2) freed Marwin from the sarcophagus! The poor guy was freaked out!!
Marwin jumped out to huddle, shaken, in a corner. I joined Ryfon to check out the items he had found. Besides the key, there was a very fancy and obviously magical sword in the sarcophagus. Also in front of the whole setup was a chest. I asked burly Marwin to carry the chest as we tried to exit through a door at the east end of the hall. We ended up pushing this door open just as Kaden and Delenn were banging on it to try to open it from the other side.
It was a short reunion, as Kaden pointed out that the only other way out of this new room was a door slowly closing on the south wall. The room looked to be some kind of underground bedroom, and it was rather empty except for the bedding. I made sure everyone exited before me, especially Marwin since he had the treasure chest.
It didn’t look like I was going to make it out, so I slid the head of my maul in between the door and the jam. This stopped the closing mechanism enough for everyone else to push the door back open and let me through.
The other side of the door was the far side of the large room with the stone bridge and arrow slits. This is where we had our reunion. Kaden told us about the armor and the book he had found in the bedroom. These were now outside the room with us. We also found out what had happened to Kaden and Delenn (they had been teleported to other parts of the crypt…Delenn all the way outside) while we battled the skeleton. And Kaden decided to open the chest we found at the foot of the sarcophagus. This was a bad idea. He was poisoned by a trap in the chest. He was becoming groggy and incoherent, but he was insistent on drinking one of the potions we found in the laboratory. By some miraculous luck, the potion healed him of his poisoning. I detected magic on all the loot we had gathered so far, we distributed items, and we decided to leave the crypts since we had found what we came for.
We headed back to Baldur’s Gate, which was easier said than done. .We had to exit the lower level without catching the attention of the roaming basilisk. That was easier than expected (I’m starting to wonder if the thing was daft. How ever did Marwin get caught by it?).
We had to leave the ornate table and chairs behind (which still makes me a bit sad) and get past the fallen bars. Luckily Kaden and Delenn had removed the center bar on their way back downstairs.
We had to sneak past the giant bats, and Ryfon wanted to go explore the archway on the other side of the room! Who can fully understand the motivation of elves? We let him sneak off and do that by himself while we caught our breath in the entry room.
Outside the crypt we found our mounts alive and well, though Delenn’s horse had been scratched up a bit. Mabye Ryfon could ask it what happened? He likes to talk to animals.
Oh, and Marwin and I had gained new (magical?) abilities. Marwin can now sense evil. It has woken him up right out of a dead sleep (thought I get ahead of myself). And I can apparently see alignment as auras around people. So far I’ve been able to judge which colors are which alignments, though my sample size has been small (not of the colors I’ve seen as a whole, but of the actual known alignments to compare to).
I healed Delenn’s horse a bit before we got back on our rental horses and struck due west. The many maps we had access to indicated this was the quickest route to a maintained road.
The moors were quickly becoming uninviting. It took us the rest of the day to get back to the campsite we stayed at on the way through previously. I used my new abilities and a spell to confirm the presence of evil people at camp. We decided to keep an eye on them throughout our watches…and it’s a good thing we did.
Marwin woke from a dead sleep to point out evil going on by a caravan’s lead cart…or so I’m told. Apparently everyone else woke up and fought an attempted murder/robbery but left me getting my beauty sleep all night!
The next day we finally made it back to Baldur’s Gate. I would have felt more comfortable back in civilization if we hadn’t been dodging murderers the last time we left.
We returned the rental horses and decided to help Marwin retrieve his belongings from the room he had shared with Remo. His dead partner had left a note, some money, and some magical items for Marwin. That made our next stop Trielle’s shop to identify magical items…both Remo’s and the ones found in the crypt. Getting the items identified was NOT cheap. Luckily we had valuable items for trade and a little extra coin (not a lot, but some). A list of our found magical items will be addended to my journal.
The letter from Remo suggested Marwin forget this deadly quest in favor of searching for his sister in (Suzail?). Instead, Marwin decided to help us see our quest through AND share his new found magic with us!
My current goals include talking him into becoming Lawful/Good so he can use the magical sword we found in the sarcophagus.
- He’s already lawful
- He wants to perform great deeds (good)
- He can detect evil (like a paladin)
- He was drawn into the sarcophagus where the sword was when the skeleton teleported people.
We should also revisit the fact he had a missing brother who was left in an orphanage in Baldur’s Gate, just like I was. We also need to follow up on the clues about Hawk, Persiliad, and retrieve the info that was being gathered for us on the Diadem. We should touch base with our contacts. Ryfon should finally question Delenn’s horse (does that thing have a name?)
Magic Items and Money:
- Armor of Haste (chain)
- Broadsword +3 “Lightbringer”
- Longsword +1
- Potion of Healing
- Flask of Regenerating Health
- Potion of Archmagedom
- Potion of Speed
- Amulet of Protection +1
- Ring of Strength
- Rod of Etherealness
- Bag of Holding
- Gold: 368
- Silver: 87
- Platinum: 134