Having scared off the tentacle-beast, a much wounded, and close to death pair of adventurers, decided to follow the stone path up the cliff and find somewhere to laager for the night; but not before pillaging the boat for supplies to replace what had sunk to the bottom of the underground lake.
Greenslade replenished his arrows and found an axe. Shade stocked up on daggers and flasks of oil. They found some spare adventuring equipment courtesy of the dead thieves (The Crimson Cloaks whose map and contract of plunder they now had) and decided to rest as well as someone can, in a situation such as this. There had also been two healing restoratives that they had found, but they decided to break glass in case of emergencies only. They used a small indentation in the side of the rock as home for the night. (With no sun to guide them it was impossible to know).
In the morning they headed further up the stairs to the source of the blue balefire. It turns out it was a brazier outside a set of double doors that they recognised from the contract they had taken off the body of the crushed thief. They surmised that this must be the last known resting place of the Dread Knight. With nowhere to go they decided to probe carefully into the tomb as far as they could, and if possible, find the sword that the Crimson Cloaks had been tasked to find.
They prised the doors open with a crowbar and saw a pair of stone steps heading down into the dark. Shade went in front with his ten foot pole, doing his thang. Greenslade was behind with his axe and lantern burning. They proceeded cautiously for a few minutes with the air becoming colder and the angle of descent deeper. Then, at the edge of their lantern light a pair of red eyes stared up at them from the bottom of the stairs. Greenslade put his lantern on the step and knocked an arrow. Shade drew his daggers and crouched. So focused where they on the danger that lay ahead that they failed to hear, or see, the ghoul descending the wall behind them. It reached the stairs behind the ranger and attacked. All hell broke loose.
|You know him, you love him. Mr Ghoul.|
The two players were sandwiched between two ghouls. Some judicious dice rolling later, one of the ghouls had had his leg taken clean off at the hip and the ranger was unconscious. Shade, all 2hp of him, was on his own. In an instance such as this, oil is your best friend. So he poured it, threw a lantern and managed to build a wall of fire between him and the other ghoul. He dragged Greenslade’s ass up the stairs and out onto the front porch as it were. He closed the doors and waited for the ranger to come around. Eventually the ranger rejoined the land of the conscious and they decided to rest up a bit longer as the skirmish had left them even worse off than before. This is what I love about 1st level characters, you really have to play them cautiously or death will be beating a path to your door, over, and over again.
So, they regrouped and headed back down. The ghoul had fled and they made it all the way down to a circular room that contained the stone sarcophagus of a knight. Realising that nothing is ever that easy, they opened it up and checked for secret doors. They were in luck. Seconds later they were heading down another corridor. Shade fell into a pit-trap and landed on top of a cleric’s skeleton. Everything was rusted except for a shield that Greenslade took with him after offering up a prayer of thanks. There were several rooms they had to clear before they came to the final resting place of the Dread Knight. And so, by the time they found it, they were surprisingly better off than when they had entered the underground complex. Some magical arrows had been found, as well as a healing potion.They crawled on their bellies down the tiny shaft, slid open the secret door and entered the tomb. They came out behind a pillar.
It was your standard stuff, a throne, grinning armoured skeleton, a few amphora, chests, and a pile of broken weapons, cue some Megadeth tunes, and let’s get ready to rumble!
They came...they saw, and surprisingly, they conquered. The Dread Knight met his just rewards and our intrepid adventurers made their way back to top of the tomb with the golden sword in hand. Victory all around, but still no apparent way out of this underground lake area,or the whereabouts of the Ring of Karn. All seemed bleak until they spied something burning in the water...