We came to an enormous cavern which entombed countless individuals. An eerie sound wafted through the entire chamber, echoing off of countless pillars. Walkways were 50-100 feet up, granting access to the tombs of those with more family connections and wealth. The dwarf was able to locate the source of the sound, and we made our way to the tomb of the Quintus family. On a platform connecting three of the pillars, in the center was a horn. The circulation of air in the cavern was just enough to sound the horn and fill the entire space with its sound.
We found a scrap of parchment which read:
Quintus’ tomb completed today.Family complained, but they will pay our price. An expensive construction, but well planned.
T’was fortunate for him we had space in the northwest corner. Several novices have complained of the noise, but they have not yet learned discipline. Ordered more lye. There come groans from the Thieves Reward, and the unrepentant oft do not lie easy.
After examining the Horn of Quintus, we could not see any magic, and we picked it up. The sound stopped abruptly, and all was disturbingly silent. Then, somewhere below, we heard something groaning and begin to stir. We quickly put the horn back, and eventually the sound began again, gaining volume with each passing moment, but the eerie quality that had somehow kept the undead content to rest was gone.
Kildrak put the horn in his pack, grunting, “The damage was done,” and we proceeded to run for our lives.
We eventually made our way out of the cavern and down a passage way that was 50 feet above the ground level where the serpent tunnels has brought us in. Some of the footprints led us this way, and we hurried after them (the horde hot on our trail).
The passage ended in a small chamber with a hole in the floor, with a rope still tied. We climbed down, and realized that we had brought ourselves into the center of a very large trap. Someone else had fallen prey to it, and his body lay 30 feet away, riddled with the hefty shafts which had brought him down.
Rolan ran to check the body, the few spears that made contact passing through him as he turned insubstantial, their damage significantly mitigated. The body had very little left on it, except for a bloody journal:
It’s so close! I hears the sound of the Horn, echoing all around. That coward Sutter, he left me an hour ago, after Cather blundered into a trap, but you can bet I’ll be finding the prize on my own!
It seems that I’m not the first grave-robber to muck about in these halls. The infamous Adolpho was down here, probably after one of the richer but heavily warded treasures. It looks like he failed, the poor bugger.
This part of the tombs is filled with traps, and there’s no way I’m plundering some of these crypts, but the Horn’s gonna be mine, I know it. If the rumors are true, the sound of the Horn should be keeping the Serpents happy, and peaceful-like, with no thoughts of bothering old Felix.
My only trouble now be my dwindling supply of holy water. I thought there would be a font in this area, but I’m blasted if I can find it. And the dead seem to be getting restless about something.
We quickly followed the footsteps out, mindful of the undead horde on our heels, and found ourselves back where we had entered. We quickly checked the last room where the footsteps had led, hoping to find Felix. We did find a body, but it wasn’t Felix:
I’ve had enough. If Felix wants to stay and be killed, that’s his business, but the pay’s not good enough to keep me down here a minute more. We already lost Dranko to a bite from those damn tunnel serpents, and Marcus didn’t make the jump across that huge chasm. He probably drowned, if he wasn’t dashed to bits. (I thought about looking for his body, as he was carrying some loot from a poorly-guarded tomb, but it wasn’t worth the risk.)
Then we watched Cather get filled with arrows from a clever trap in one of those great octagonal vaults. Not that I cared one whit for Cather, the bastard, but I have no intention of ending up the same way.
I don’t expect I’ll see Felix again. He seemed sure that the Horn of Quintus was somewhere in the north of the Vaults, but I think that was just a guess. (I thought those strange X-shaped marks off that branch of the serpent tunnels were worth investigating, but Felix said they were irrelevant.) Anyway, if the traps and undead don’t get him, the serpents will. Those tunnels were a nightmare. At least our marks were mostly still intact.
I’m almost out, but I need to sleep. I think the place I’ve found it out of the way enough that I won’t be found.
Unfortunately for Sutter, it appeared that his body was killed by the poisonous bite of a spider.
We quickly made our way out of the mausoleum, and found that it was dark. This meant that the walls of the cemetery were being guarded by the City Watch.
We accidentally drew some attention trying to escape the cemetery, and quickly backtracked to try our luck on the other side. We were successful there, fortunate that our blunder on the other side had cleared the way for us, so to speak.
Eventually, we made it back and dropped the Horn off to Farkus, and continued on to a safe location where we could rest.
The next morning, the whole city was abuzz with the news: the Paladins of Torm had sealed off the cemetery, supposedly because a horde of undead was boiling up out of the earth…