Chapter 10: On Second Thought

Frazious was marched through the streets of Respite by his guard escort while his companions followed behind, Greyson and Rughdar disguised as guards themselves using Greyson’s magic. The group approached a large stone structure which appeared to be fairly recently constructed. Above the entrance was a steel plaque which read, “Respite Guard Headquarters” with an inscription underneath which read, “Peace Through Strength”. As the journey had taken nearly an hour, Greyson was aware that their disguises would be wearing off soon so the group took refuge in an alley across the street and watched as Frazious disappeared inside the building with the guards.

Heading inside with his escort, Frazious walked into the lobby of the Respite Guard Headquarters, which was lined with imposing bronze statues of warriors gazing intimidatingly down upon those who enter. While the art of them was quite impressive, it seemed like the intent was, in fact, to intimidate, rather than inspire guests. The guards moved the drown down a side hallway towards a reception desk where they explained they had captured a suspect of the docks murder and brought him in for questioning. The receptionist, Terry, asked them to bring him to the holding cell and told them that he would summon Marshal Wolfe and prepare room two for the questioning. Frazious demanded of the receptionist if this Marshal Wolfe would be prompt, as he had done nothing wrong, and Terry mentioned that he would be along very shortly.

The guards then escorted Frazious further into the Headqarters and into a spacious common room where a large number of guard recruits appeared to be training under a few experts. The guards them brought him through a door in the back of the room which two other guards stood patrol over. The guards, seeing the prisoner and escort, allowed passage through. Heading further in, Frazious arrived at his cell. The guards then requested the place his equipment in the nearby chest, which Frazious complied with. Of course, the exception being his arcane focus which he was able to sneak into the sleeve of his robe without the guards noticing.

Upon placing Frazious in his cell, the one of the guards gave him a piece of advice before departing:

“Wait here – Marshal Wolfe will be in to question you shortly. Do not lie to him – he will know. If you actually aren’t here to cause any trouble, you should be fine. Remember, you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.”

From the sounds of it, the guards had mostly left except for one down the hall. Frazious decided to take a moment and examine his surroundings. The cell he was in was rough and uncomfortable. It seemed like he could try to lay down and get some rest but in this condition, it would be more likely to make things worse and it seemed the cell was designed with that intent. The door to the cell was made of solid oak and iron with a small grate at eye level. A large grate was in the floor near a pile of what appeared to be garbage. It seemed this grate was his toilet as water could be heard splashing below. The “bed” provided was a sack of flour and some hay spread on the cold, stone floor. Unhappy with his confinement but hesitant to place himself in a situation where he would have to fight his way through every guard in the building to escape, he decided patience would be the safest course of action.

Not long after he did so, the usual chatter from down the hall seemed to go quiet until he heard the sound of metallic footsteps approaching. He went to the grate and saw a guard walking up. As the guard came up to the door, he addressed Frazious, “Well hello little mage. What’s your name?” Unsure of the man’s intentions and a put off by the insult, Frazious refused. The man then introduced himself as Wilhelm. The man’s image then shimmered suddenly and shifted from one of the guards to a man with a striking resemblance to Frazious’s companion, Greyson Oakes. The man had black hair in a common military cut and wore leather armor. The most distinguishing aspect of him, however, was the weapon he carried – without a doubt another deadly thunder cannon like Greyson’s. The man seemed to notice Frazious’s gaze and continued:

“Ah, I thought you might have seen one of these before. A little birdy told me that you were travelling with a group: two large human warriors, a halfling ranger and his ape, and a fellow rifleman. Tell me, are you by chance travelling with Greyson Oakes?”

Frazious, not liking the situation and wanting to protect his friends, said that he hadn’t heard the name and was unfamiliar. Unfortunately, Wilhelm saw right through the drow’s lie.

“I admire you trying to protect your friend but you can’t fool me. Ha! I knew it. My little birdy was right.”

Frazious then asked how this Wilhelm knew Greyson. Wilhelm went on, in his now apparently normal cocky tone:

“Well, Greyson and I go way back. We were both valuable riflemen in the Mullenstone Brigade. Or, we should have been valuable. Frankly, the pay was never enough for me and I got sick of all the nice guy work we had to do. We wield the weapons of the future! We’re gods among these common soldiers. So, I left the Mullenstone Brigade. On my way out, as a nice farewell, I gave the Dragon Knights the location of my old company in exchange for safe passage. From what I had heard, everyone was killed but when I heard that there was someone matching Greyson’s description and I had to see for myself.”

Interested, Frazious then asked Wilhelm how he had come to the island and what he was doing there.

“You see, I had originally come to Planks to investigate this “New Gate” in hopes I could find some items to augment my tech but, due to some rotten luck, got captured. However, after my capture, I spoke with Lord Blackstone and I’d say we’re on the same page. I’ve been working with him since. He’s got big plans. No just for Crescent Island but for the whole world. It’s going to be beautiful.”

He seemed almost wistful at the last part. Before he could go on, however, more plated footsteps could be heard coming from down the hallway. Wilhelm looked at Frazious and said to the drow, ”Well, it’s been fun. Give Greyson my regards and tell him I’ve got a bullet with his name on it for later.” He then began to laugh and then placed his hand in his jacket. As he did, he immediately faded from view. As the footsteps came closer, it was a set of guards which took Frazious and wirelessly escorted them into a room where a man was waiting for him across the table.

While Frazious had been stuck inside of the Respite Guard Headquarters, the rest of the party had been outside, deciding what they were going to do to get Frazious out of jail. Rughdar had taken cover in a nearby alley as he knew that guards were looking for a man closely matching his description. Kerry and Greyson were observing the headquarters, taking note of its large, bunker-like design, and seeking potential ways in. There had naturally been a great deal of guards coming and going from the headquarters as well as patrols on the outside. Kerry had been able to spot a potential way in, however, via a side door that could be snuck into in-between patrols. Unsure of how sneaking in would help, he began to think that maybe he should just scout the place out from within since there was no word of a search for a halfling. While Kerry was investigating the outside, Greyson noticed a well-dressed couple, probably nobles, off on the side of the street searching around.

Greyson then took a moment to duck into the alley and cast a spell to make his clothes look like that of a local noble. He then approached the couple and greeted them. Originally unwilling to chat but seeking help, the nobles asked if they had seen their daughter, Elise, and described her as being 5 feet tall, with red hair, a white shirt and brown vest.  Greyson asked where they had last seen her and they told him that their daughter had gone missing the day before in the general store at the market and while she had run off a few times before, she usually turned up after a few hours. More than a day was not typical. Greyson asked if they had gone to the town guard and the couple explained that they had and were confident the guard was searching but were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to give the matter their full attention due to the murder at the docks the night before. When pressed for details on the murder, however, the admitted they didn’t know much about it.

Determined to help the couple find their missing daughter, Greyson took a few moments to conjure up some stone and worked with the parents to create a near perfect likeness of the girl. While the father seemed fairly confident that Elise would turn up eventually, the mother seemed less so and offered Greyson 10000 gold for their daughter’s safe return. The father didn’t seem to believe Greyson but conceded to his wife and said that if they do find her, to bring her to Walter in the Gilded Rose – that he was an old friend and knew how to contact them. Greyson swore to the couple that he would find their daughter for free and the couple left, thanking him and praising him for being a good man.

Greyson then called mailbot over to his location which took some time and then used the recreation of Elise to create a mold which he then used to apply the girl’s image to the front of his mechanical companion along with a message that said “If you see this girl, touch the robot and speak the words below – 200 gold reward”. He then sent mailbot off after enchanting it to alert him once someone had activated his spell. It was then that Kerry had said he wanted to head inside the headquarters and try to scout it out. Still in disguise, Greyson joined him as the two headed inside, leaving Rughdar in the alley.

As the pair stepped inside, they noticed the statues in the interior lobby of the building. Moving forward, they saw a strange fountain with a man standing nearby with a conflicted look on his face. The fountain was of a fairly typical design although the centerpiece grabbed Kerry’s attention. At the middle of the fountain was the metal head of a dragon with water flowing from it’s roaring mouth. However, the entire neck of the dragon was wreathed in chain, which gave the appearance that the dragon was roaring from captivity. After observing the you gain, Kerry then hopped up on the ledge and greeted the man standing nearby.

The man, named Jacob, returned Kerry’s greeting and then Kerry asked if there was something he could help with. The man replied, somewhat unsure, that he was thinking about joining the guard. When asked why, he said he just hadn’t been great at anything else except for brawling (which had landed him in jail a few times). Kerry tried to cheer the man up and insisted that he must be good at something – everyone is, after all! The man said that he was a pretty good drinker and asked Kerry if he thought competitive drinking was something he could get into. Kerry, wanting to reassure Jacob, told them that this sounded like something he co ups definitely, plausibly get into. Jacob seemed to believe Kerry and thanked him as he headed out to start his new life as a probable alcoholic.

As Kerry was speaking with Jacob, Greyson headed over to the reception desk and demanded he speak to his client. Terry, the receptionist, seemed confused and explained that this was not something they normally allowed. Undeterred, Greyson insisted that this injustice be answered and he be allowed to check up on Frazious. Cowed by Greyson’s authoritative tone, Terry permitted him a brief period to speak with Frazious and asked the guard nearby to escort him to room one. Greyson followed the guard into the room. Shortly after, Frazious arrived, escorted by another guard and the two were told they had five minutes.

As the guard gave them their privacy, Greyson asked Frazious if he was okay and what was happening. Frazious said that he had been treated relatively fairly so far but relayed his encounter with Wilhelm. At the mention of the name and description, Greyson became visibly angry. Wilhelm was the man who had betrayed his company and Greyson didn’t sound like he was ready to let that one go. After regaining his composure, Greyson asked Frazious if he felt like he was alright and if there was something they could do to get him out. Surprisingly, Frazious seemed to have a great deal of faith in the process and was ready to confront Marshal Wolfe, telling Greyson that he’s “got this.” Unsure of what Frazious meant but trusting his friend, Greyson prepared to leave.

While Greyson was meeting with Frazious, Kerry decided he would visit with Terry and see if he could get some information. As he approached the reception desk, Terry greeted the halfling and asked him if there was anything he could help with or if he had anything to report. Kerry asked him a few questions about the guards and if there was a problem with murders in town despite the heavy guard presence. Terry seemed quite surprised by this and explained that the city was quite peaceful and relatively low on crime but that the brutal murder the night before came as a surprise. As he explained it, a terrifies eyewitness reported seeing a group of individuals commit the crime, among which was a large warrior and a drow mage. Terry also explained that the town guard had been recently bolstered. Ten years ago, Marshal Wolfe had been promoted to his position and given control of the town guard by Lord Morgan.

As Terry explained, the forests and mountains nearby had been plagued by goblins. Lord Morgan and Marshal Wolfe had wanted to rid the goblins and began patrols outside of the walls to deal with them. One day, as they were pushing into the mountains, the goblins launched a major surprise attack on the city, setting fires and killing dozens of people. Newly angered by the attack, the public rallied behind Marshal Wolfe and supported massive funding and changes to the guard to support the effort. The changes came to full fruition two years ago as a majority of the guard had been outfitted for full protection and the new headquarters had completed construction. Now, regular armed patrols journeyed into the wilderness to keep the vile creatures at bay. Satisfied, Kerry headed outside to wait for Greyson.

Completing his conversation with Greyson, Frazious was escorted back to his cell as he watched his friend make his way out of the building. Frazious settled in for a bit as he waited for Marshal Wolfe to arrive. Expecting the head of the Respite Guard to take a while, he was surprised to see guards arrive after only a short time which walked him through the common room and down the hallway into the second room. Immediately upon setting foot in the room, Frazious felt an intense pressure on his mind and a compulsion to be truthful. He realized that some force was magically forcing those present to be unable to lie without suffering, and that the caster of the magic would know when a lie was told. Realizing the spell had taken it’s hold on him, he looked across the room to see a man seated across the table against the back wall was a human male who appeared to be in his late thirties.

The man’s eyes were sunken and his skin had a grayish tone which gave him the appearance of a man who had not slept in months. The appearance, however, did nothing to reduce the man’s powerful presence – he was large with a strong build, and wore thick armor that seemed like it would easily weather the mightiest of blows. Strapped to his back was a greatsword of peculiar design – the blade appeared to be steel at first but seemed to shift in color every time Frazious glanced at it changing between red, blue, green, even seeming to take on white and black tones. The hilt looked like a strange blackened steel and had a design of a dragon spreading its wings which formed the crossguard of the sword, the dragon’s mouth opening into the blade.

The man glanced up at Frazious and asked him to take a seat. Frazious refused and said that he preferred to stand. Unintimidated by Frazious’s defiance, the man continued.

“My name is Marshal Wolfe. If you’d like your visit to my city to extend past these few precious minutes, you will answer my questions to my satisfaction. Do you understand? A yes or no will suffice.”

Frazious agreed and the Marshal began his interrogation.

Wolfe: “First, what is your name?”

Frazious: “Frazious.”

Wolfe: “Where did you come from before Crescent Island?”

Frazious: “Where I come from is not important.”

At this, the Marshal seemed to pause but otherwise did not care, apparently. He continued:

Wolfe: “And what brought you to my island?”

Frazious: “I came to the island seeking glorious treasures with my companions.”

Wolfe: “What are you doing in Respite?”

Frazious: “We’ve been hired as private defense contractors.”

Wolfe: “And who are these companions and how do you know them?”

Frazious: “Our group came together recently. It is myself, a few fighters, and a halfling.”

Wolfe: “Are you or any of your associates here to cause harm to any of the residents of this city?”

Frazious: “Of course not.”

Wolfe: “And have you encountered any individuals since arriving on the island who acted in a suspicious manner?”

Frazious: “Yes. Earlier, a man name Wilhelm who was disguised as a guard, approached my cell. Do you know anything about him?

Wolfe: “I do not.”

Frazious: “Well are you going to do anything about it?”

Wolfe: “I’ll be asking the questions here.”

Wolfe: “Finally, what were you doing between the hours of 9pm and 1am last night?”

Frazious: “Our contract had us headed into the cemetery. Afterwards, we headed back to the inn and went to sleep.”

Wolfe: “But what were you doing at the cemetery?”

Frazious: “Mostly fighting skeletons. You’re welcome.”

Wolfe: “Appreciated, but you realize they always return.”

After a few moments, Wolfe had considered Frazious’s answered and finally spoke:

“Very well. Thank you for your cooperation. You will be released shortly and your possessions returned to you. In the meantime, you will remain in your cell.”

Marshal Wolfe then summoned a pair of guards who escorted Frazious back to his cell. On the way, he asked the guards if this would take long and they informed him that release papers would need to be prepared releasing the city from any liability. Not long after, Frazious was released from his cell and his equipment was returned to him. The guard which walked him back to the reception area mildly apologized for the confusion and explained that it sounded like the group that was responsible for the murder at the docks had struck again. Frazious then signed his release paperwork and headed outside the headquarters, wondering where his companions were.

Earlier, after Greyson and Kerry had stepped back out the headquarters, they met up with Rughdar and, based on Frazious’s confidence in things working out fairly, decided that they would use the time to investigate the disappearance of the little girl in the market. When they arrived, however, they saw that several guards were standing in front of the general store, one of them near the body of the old woman who had sat out front. As they approached the guards warned the party to stay back as this was the scene of a murder. Looking at the body, the old woman had been badly burned and had her throat slashed wide open. They could hear wailing and talking coming from inside the store and Greyson, stepping inside was able to see a guard captain talking to the shop owner, Waldu.

Leaning in towards the guard captain, Greyson asked what had happened. According to the guard captain, it seemed that the group responsible for the murder the previous night at the docks had struck again at the market. This time, it seemed they had a more reliable eye witness so they would be on the lookout for them. The guard captain gave the descriptions: one large man wearing practically nothing wielding a giant axe, a drow mage, and a woman wearing heavy armor and a shield. The guard captain noted that this was especially confusing as a group like that would undoubtedly stand out in the streets of Respite. Curious, Greyson asked the guard captain if he could speak with Waldu and the captain agreed, stating that he had gotten the information he needed. Greyson then asked Waldu if he could tell him more about the attackers. Grieving over the loss of his wife, Waldu had been reduced to mostly sobbing but Greyson was able to calm him down and get a better description. He said that the large man wore a loincloth or something and that the drow had grey hair, grey skin, and purple robes. He repeated the information about the woman but noted the symbol on her armor of a fist grasping a lightning bolt. Greyson then swore to Waldu that he would find those responsible and make them pay. He then asked Waldu if he had seen a little girl and conjured the statue of her. Waldu seemed to recognize her and told Greyson that he had seen her and she had headed outside the previous day to look for some kids. Greyson thanked Waldu and left the general store with Kerry and Rughdar.

Heading around the corner, they met up with the local kids who immediately asked them if they had seen any monsters. Kerry stepped up to the children and told them that they had, in fact, faced some undead in the cemetery. The kids seemed surprisingly disinterested and Greyson then asked them if they had seen the little girl, Elise, the previous day. One of the kids began to speak and the another elbowed him in the ribs before he could finish and said that they might have but couldn’t remember when their bellies were rumbling. Greyson then offered each of the kids some gold and asked if they needed any more repairs to their clothing, although they declined. The kids said that she had been by the previous day and was talking about magic weapons and seeing “real dwarves”. Apparently, the kids told her they would meet her there but had no intentions of actually doing so. Kerry asked the kids if there was a particular place to find dwarves in town and the kids were unsure but did mention something about dwarves being at a smithy. Greyson then offered a hefty reward, hefty to the children at least, if they could find Elise around the city. The kids immediately ran off as Greyson’s search and rescue force expanded.

The group then headed to where Mishka had previously mentioned the “Delrak Brothers’ Smithy” in the north of town on the odd chance that this was Elise’s destination. As they arrived, they opened the door and were greeted by the dwarven brothers they had run into in Planks, Arvin and Garin Delrak. The brothers were delighted to see Kerry again and thanked the group once more for their heroics. They also introduced their other brother, Gamil, a dwarf of few words but master blacksmith, according to his brothers. They noted that Gamil tended to make the goods while Arvin and Garin sold them. After the introductions were complete, Gamil returned to his forge to continue working. The group then asked the two brothers if they had seen Elise and presented the statue of the little girl. Arvin said that she had been there yesterday and wanted to buy a sword. He added that the girl was quite sweet and asked Gamil some questions.

They mentioned that she had been speaking with Gamil. Heading over to Gamil, Greyson again asked about the little girl. According to Gamil, the girl had been asking him about making magical weapons and fighting dragons and whatnot. It sounded like he had squashed her aspirations a bit and that he couldn’t make magical weapons nor had he ever even seen a dragon. He said that the girl was disappointed and said something about “finding real heroes” before running out of the shop. Meanwhile, Rughdar decided to purchase a set of plate armor from the dwarves and, on the way out, Kerry and Rughdar presented Magthrandul’s Fury to the two brothers at the desk. The brothers seemed quite amazing by the weapon and noted its ancient design and that it would be priceless. Talking to Greyson, the party reasoned that the girl might have headed to the Lazy Moon Tavern to look for some mercenaries and headed that way.

Getting inside the tavern, Greyson immediately headed for Julius and threateningly placed him against the bar and ordered him a drink from the bar. He then rather impolitely held Julius and asked him if he had seen Elise while conjuring the statue. Julius responded saying that, yes, the girl had come by and was asking for old war stories. He had told her that the spookiest stuff in town was at the old cemetery and laughed as the girl left at this. Greyson threatened Julius and said that if they found her body at that cemetery, it would be his head. Julius seemed surprisingly nonchalant about it and said that it wasn’t like she would actually go in, right? Greyson let him go and headed toward Cosima, the fortune teller. Greyson asked Cosima if she could find the girl and she gazed into her crystal ball what she saw based on the statue that Greyson was able to provide was “a girl in the city. She is here, and I see her in the cemetery, and now in the forest, and now… darkness”. Greyson pondered the reading as it was unclear whether Cosima’s visions took place in the past, present, or future. Kerry then described what they had for the murderers and asked Cosima if she could find them using her visions. She closed her eyes and, after a moment, began shrieking in pain. Afterwards, she apologized to Kerry and said that she was unable to see and that she felt some terrible power when trying to search for them. Kerry apologized and asked if she’d like something to eat. Sometime. Maybe later? Cosima, picking up on the halfling’s intent, agreed and said that the pizza in the tavern was quite good, actually, and that she would be available later that night. Kerry and the others then left to return to the guard headquarters.

When they arrived, they were pleased to see that Frazious was waiting in front for them. Realizing that they were again headed for the cemetery, Kerry decided to see if he could find a cleric of some kind in town. It occurred to Kerry, however, that they had not actually seen any temples or holy people in Respite and so he approached a man walking along the street and asked him about it. The man, who appeared to become more drunk as the conversation went on, explained that they didn’t need gods in Respite – half the people in town were magic users, after all. When Kerry asked him if he was a mage, himself, the man wiggled his fingers over the top of his bottle and said some gibberish. After a few tense moments, the man blurted out “GUESS NOT”. Kerry asked if there were any schools of magic or academies of some kind in the city and the man told him that magic was generally taught within families. Greyson then conjured the image of Elise and asked the man if he had seen her. The man squinted, bent down, and brought his face to within in inch of the statue and answered, finally, with a definitive “nope”. Feeling that he wouldn’t get much more out of the man, Kerry and the rest headed towards the cemetery where they hoped to find Elise.

Arriving at the cemetery, they asked most of the guards present if they had spotted the little girl but it seemed that none could recall seeing her. Worried that she might be inside, the headed for the north side of the cemetery wall and listed for the chanting they had heard before. Rughdar was able to detect the chanting from previously and the group climed (or jumped, in Rughdar’s case) on top of the wall. Moving closer to a set of graves, the spotted one of the skeletal mages with its hands up in the air and casting some kind of spell. Frazious was able to determine that it was some kind of summoning ritual and the group immediately attacked. Taking the mage by surprise, they were able to disrupt its casting and end it quickly. They then began moving along the middle hedge and back up the path towards the back of the cemetery.

It was here that they ran into a fairly large group of zombies. Frazious saw them grouped up around the hedge and let loose a massive ball of fire which seared about half of the zombies present while Rughdar wrestled with several others on the side. Slow creatures, the zombies were no match for the group’s powerful attacks and several of the zombies were quickly brought down. However, as soon as they were defeated, there was a horrible cracking sound as the corpses of the zombies flew together and reformed into a massive hulk of rotting flesh which attacked. The new, giant zombie was being handled by Rughdar and Frazious found an opportunity to strike nearly all of the remaining zombies with lightning, killing most of them. However, as they fell, the corpses again came together and formed two other giant zombies. The giant zombies were tough but it seemed that the party would prevail as Rughdar and Harambe held them off while Greyson, Kerry, and Frazious pelted them from afar. One of the giant zombies fell. Then another. Again they heard the horrible sound of undead flesh being reshaped as the mass of rotten meat and crunched bone coalesced into a massive form which grew arms and legs the size of tree trunks. The colossus then howled at the party. It almost sounded like the word “out”. At that, Kerry began to wonder if if maybe they should leave the cemetery but Rughdar and Greyson would have none of it.  After nearly killing Rughdar, the colossus roared its last as the group managed to bring it down.

Shaken from the lengthy and difficult battle, they looked at the structure in front of them. In front of them seemed to be an old mausoleum, it’s black stone walls matching the those of the cemetery itself. The front of the mausoleum was barred with two heavy oak doors. However, upon giving the doors a cautious push, they slowly swung open. Stepping inside the mausoleum, the party saw that there was a sole sarcophagus which was surrounded by two braziers. The braziers were lit with an eerie blue light. Uncomfortable with the clearly unnatural fire, Greyson used his magic to snuff them out although it did little to improve the room. They then approached the sarcophagus and Greyson inspected it. The design on the sarcophagus depicted several images on its sides and on the lid. What he could immediately tell from the images was that they depicted five prominent figures. Two of the figures appeared to be knights or warriors of some kind, one wielding a large sword the other wielding a sword and shield. One of the figures seemed to be an archer with a wolf at his side, another figure had pointed ears and carried a staff. The last figure was a man wearing robes and leaning on a staff. It was difficult to make out details as the designs were well worn by time Greyson figured he could piece it together with a closer look.

On the back side, the five figures could be seen battling some kind of massive reptilian creature. The robed man had his hand on a gem which was part of a ring of gems surrounding the creature  The scale seemed to be figurative, as the reptilian creature looked larger than a building as depicted although lacked the wings of a dragon. This seemed like it would be somewhere in the middle of whatever tale was being told. On the right side, the robed man and one of the knights stood to the side as the elf, archer, and other knight walked away separately. It seemed that the group were splitting up for whatever reason. Closer inspection of the archer revealed that his head was turned slightly towards the robed man and the knight, maybe in regret? This was likely  toward the end. The front of the sarcophagus showed the figures at the edges facing, presumably moving towards the center. The figures looked light they could be meeting up from different places. This was probably the first part. The left side of the sarcophagus showed the fighters clashing swords while the elf and robed man shot lightning at each other. The archer stood to the side with his wolf, hands spread out in front of him. Greyson was able to determine that the people were fighting each other, perhaps over a disagreement of some kind. The archer must have been trying to broker peace. This looked like the second part. Finally, on the lid of the sarcophagus he saw the robed man at the center, larger than everything else shown. His hands were spread wide across the lid and encompassed the other four figures laying down with their arms crossed. Below them were countless bones. From what Greyson could tell, the robed figure had gathered the others at their apparent passing. It would have been difficult to say what for, though. The bones could be for the undead creatures the party had encountered, maybe thralls of the robed man. This felt like the final part of the sequence.

Having fully examined the sarcophagus, Kerry pieced the order of the images and touched the sides in sequence, however nothing happened. Looking at the lid it did not seem that it was secured in any way and was simply a heavy stone lid. Rughdar and Greyson then lifted the lid to see what was inside. Upon doing so they were surprised by what they saw. Instead of the expected interior, the inside was a hidden, dark stairway leading down below. Kerry looked down and while it was obscured, he was able to discover that the air was dry and it looked like the pathway had not been used in possibly thousands of years. Worried at what lie below but unwilling to risk taking a break inside the mausoleum, the party headed down the stairs, into the dark below…