The Journals of Njörd Eissen - The Caves of Necromantic Mystery
“And may this foul creature rest tranquilly forever in the same squalor and filth that he preferred.”
With those words, said at every Goblin burial, Nobbla’s somber and impromptu funeral came to a close. We wrapped him in the leftover pelt of the fatal feline killer and laid him to rest.
Afterwards, we searched the cavern. Across the way, a brick wall stood, behind us, a ledge. I benevolently provided a boost to our bard, Bay-Winn, in order to ascend. Upon the ledge she discovered the the skeletal remains of a black robed figure. Upon his persons, besides tattered and unkempt covering, gold, a signet ring, and magical blue vials. Magical detection determined the intent of these potions, being of the ability to cure light wounds. We surmised that the remains belonged to one of the necromancers that we had heard of in the area. This morose discovery prompted many new theories as to our necrotic conundrums, as well as the inspiration for many in our party to intend to undergo a new training in that of the forensic arts.
After a much needed rest, we examined this brick wall. Pint took to breaking it down through tireless swings of his mighty martial weapon. In the cacophony, a familiar foe snuck up behind us. More undead wolves, collared in platinum, came charging into the cavern. I drew their undead ire, nearly escaping their advances. I did not want to suffer another slight from one these beasts and don’t intend to see the effects of their affronts either, having come so close before. The party flanked around and easily dispatched my pursuers. Pint, having built up enough rage, rips off his shirt bounds about the room. He then grabbed the rotting wolf’s head and smashed it into the ground. I can only imagine this is some form of brutish Dwarven celebration. No showmanship whatsoever.
After finally penetrating the wall, we discovered inside several more skeletons. These unfortunate souls had their wrist and ankles broken as if had having tried to escape. This finding confirmed any doubts the group had about forensics training becoming a requisite skill.
We left our temporary home and followed a worn path into another cave, this one filled with formations of stalactites and stalagmites. We were then ambushed by a horde of ghouls, which were dispatched easily enough with the help of Otho’s ability to channel against the undead. Unfortunately, that was not before Bay-Winn and Mira were bitten, though they seemed fine at the time.
We found a bone club and spiderweb necklace upon the ghouls and proceeded to wade up a small stream, which reached a dead end upon an alcove and a horrible stench. In the area laid a chest and bed. From behind, out popped a large and nude figure draped only in rotting flesh. Mira leaped to action and halved the disgusting creature in one blow. In the chest, my eyes immediately were drawn to a very fine black robe. It was similar to the robe of the departed necromancer that we had previously found, but in excellent condition. There were other findings as well, which I cared less about, like some vials of water, a silver cup, and three potions of some cure. At the bottom of the chest lay an old parchment. Upon it, a map identified only as the Hall of Dead Heroes.
I threw the mattress upon the stream and blissfully floated back down. The others followed and we entered another area of the cave. In this room were many stone alters adorned with bodes. We checked a few, but were surprised when one sprang to life. This creature was quickly dropped by our forces. However, a moment later, it jumped back upon its feet and induced a great fear in bold Bay-Winn. She immediately took off, bounding briskly towards the cave entrance. Mira tore off after her, tackling her, but time after time the slippery singer incessantly escaped her grasp, making it far out of the cave before the effects wore off. Inside, Pint continually strikes, only temporarily knocking the fiend off his feet. Pint was then feared and took off in a similar fashion, but being a dwarf and slower, was easily catchable. And I? Grabbed and slammed against the ground. I could feel the veil between life & death lifting slowly. Within moments of the end itself, the cunning cleric channeled his powers, again halting our aggressor. With the last of my strength, I gained my footing and with the help of Otho, escaped facilities intact.
We rendezvoused at our previous evening’s residence, resting up and easing our anxieties. We were determined to finish solving the mysteries of that cave and sought revenge upon the craven creature. We returned with a much better plan and attacked him simultaneously, quickly dispatching him. Around him, more black robes covered in necromantic symbols, the third set we had found. I believe this evidence to be that of a following of the darkness, a cult, gathering for a much grander act of destruction.
In the final cove of the cavern, laid a laboratory of sorts, filled with empty vials and flasks of all measure. Pint, enraged by the formality, ran about the room smashing all the the glassware to bits, and any evidence we could have gleaned from it. Bay-Winn and Mira suddenly began to feel ill. A latent effect of the previous day’s bites. Taking a large gulp each of the disease-curing vials we’d found, the two could feel their normal sensations returning.
Our mystery grows larger with every discovery. In order to hone our search, we decided to return to the town, resting and gaining insight for the troubles ahead.