Shadows of Northmere

5E Session 8 – The Crypt of Zeregon (part 2)

Synopsis

The Heroes wrapped up their exploration of the Crypt of Zeregon and escaped. They fought a Wraith guarding a lich’s phylactery and found a huge treasure. The lich phylactery was sealed in a magical box designed to prevent the lich’s phylactery from being active, but a female wizard was able to grab it and escape while the PCs fought against her and the Shambling Mound she had baited to them from the cavern.

The Heroes found the crushing wall trap had been reactivated upon their return to the mid-level. Valen had planned to use the earth elemental to escape the crushing wall trap, but they had to improvise. Ki used a Reduce spell on a stone ball from the trap leading to the cavern, and they used it to hold the crushing wall trap open.

After escaping the trap, they found an abandoned Dwarven plaza and explored before finding a secret door with a small tunnel leading to the surface.

Second Tomb

This tomb was the original resting place of a Brellish warlord. A shield was lying on the floor as if tossed. All the urns in here had been smashed, and the tomb had been opened and defiled. There was a stone chest with an iron lid that has the rest of the treasure.
Treasure: Sentinel Shield (dark gray with silver wolf), Cap of Water Breathing, 6400 cp, 3100 sp, 240 gp

Phylactery Chamber

This final room had a large dais with a stone box lying atop it. The box was ornate and carved with religious dwarven runes dedicated to warding evil magic. The runes warn to keep the box sealed and tell the story of the dwarves finding the phylactery of Zeregon. The room had also been defiled.

“This room feels cold and sinister, as if a force pushes against your consciousness seeking to expose you to despair. Your knees waver, as if your strength has left your limbs, and your hearts begin to race of their own accord. The stone in the room is darker than the other rooms, and silvery runes are scribed around the wall calling out to dark powers. The ceiling is domed and projects a certain majesty to the chamber. “

“A large dais dominates the center of the room topped with a stone box covered in dwarven runes. The box seems to be the center of the frightful emanations. An iron chest lies next to the box, and an ash wood staff is lying on the floor.”

“This room feels cold, even compared to the rest of the crypt. The unnatural cold brings a damp chill to your skin, causing you to shiver. A slight breeze blows ever so gently in your hair, and voices seem almost discernible at the edge of your hearing.”

The Heroes fought a Wriath that rose up from the center of the tomb and defeated it, though Dane was hit hard by the Wraith’s dark touch.

An onyx mask was in the sealed box with the phylactery.
Treasure: Weapon of Warning (Staff, ash wood capped with black steel bat set with 2 fire opals in eyes), Bag of Holding, Potion of Resistances, Spellbook, 5 gems (Onyx, 50 gp), 700 cp, 7,000 sp, 2,300 gp, 110 pp, 5 silver incense holders (25 gp), onyx mask (100 gp)

Female Necromancer

The PCs spotted a Shambling Mound approaching them from the hallway, and Valen wondered how the creature had gotten into the tomb from the cavern. Ki went to close the doors to the chamber so the creature could not get to them.

After the group opened the box with the lich phylactery, a female necromancer cast Wall of Fire to cut the room in half, with the lich’s box on her side of the wall.

“The female necromancer has long, dark hair and green eyes that glitter with intelligence. She is quite beautiful and also has pale skin, and bright red lips. She wears a dark, midnight blue gown, cut to accentuate her figure, has a belt with several pouches, and carries an ornate staff. She also wears a silver half mask.”

The female took the phylactery using Mage Hand to snatch it. She takes the periapt and then looks at the group, recognizing Nicholai. “Ah a fellow necromancer so far from home? Does your house hunt for you as well? Let me guess, House Dragomir? Don’t look so scandalized, the black hair is a ‘dead’ giveaway.” “Well, it’s unfortunate, but rather than kill you now, I will let you die a slow death in the depths of the earth. It’s fitting you will die forgotten.” “I will put this (patting the phylactery) to good use. Who would have known personages of such minor repute would find my great, great grandfather?

“Ah, there is my queue to leave you to your deaths, I thought you might want a new companion to socialize with besides your socially awkward elf. Farewell, and perhaps I’ll be back some day to pick whatever trinkets you find off of your bodies, or maybe even use your bodies for my next project. You could gain purpose as my mindless playthings.”

During the battle, Dane crossed the wall of fire to the necromancer’s side of the chamber and attached. Grimbull decided he was suddenly an Olympic high jumper and tried jumping over the 20’ high wall while he was magically enlarged from Ki’s spell. Both were wounded but pressed the necromancer as hard as they could. Ki and Nicholae used spells to wear her down, until the Shambling Mound took down the door and attacked Savina.

The battle was long fought, with Dane and Valen being taken out of the fight and then healed by Savina. Ki tried using Thunderwave at one point to push the Mound and the necromancer back into the Wall of Fire.

The Necromancer was able to use Dimension Door to escape with the phylactery.. The battered group then turned its full attention upon the Shambling Mound and slayed it.

Trapped Hallway (Crushing Walls)

The trap in the hallway had reset, with the walls invitingly opened again. Ki used the Reduce spell on a stone ball from the hallway trap one level below, and they rolled the ball into the hallway with the crushing wall trap after allowing the ball to return to its normal size. They were then able to escape.

“This hallway does not have as much debris as the stairwell. A skeleton that has been brutally crushed lies in shambles near the other end of the hallway, and dried blood smears can be seen on either wall.”

Plaza

“The doors open atop a stone plaza beside an underwater stream, whose rushing waters echo throughout the cavern. Several building fronts made of a light-colored granite are present atop the plaza, some with their doors open. These are carved into the cavern walls, and some have sturdy columns of exquisite workmanship. Old, lichen-covered stone stairs that once had polished granite surfaces lead to the lower level of the plaza, where a stone bridge crosses to another cavernous area. Two especially massive columns ascend into darkness, and which are carved into the likenesses of heavily muscled dwarves holding the unseen ceiling aloft. Two glowing orbs atop pedestals flanking the bridge provide soft illumination in the eerily silent plaza.”

The Heroes explored the plaza area but found it had been abandoned and everything of value had been stripped by the dwarves. They did, however, find a Driftglobe, which can magically light a room while floating.

During this time, Dane asked Nicholae about why the woman called him a necromancer, but he said she was a liar.

Treasure: Driftglobe

Escape

As they made their way to the entrance, they found it had been sealed by someone magically reshaping the surrounding stone to cover most of the doors. The doors were also barred and chained.

The Heroes searched and were able to find a secret door with a small escape tunnel leading to the surface.

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