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Session 7b – The Crypts

May 4, 2011

Retracing their steps back through the silent corridors of the dungeon, the adventurers find themselves in an ancient crypt. The stone walls are lined with small iron doors, embossed with the heraldry of knights long dead. Based on the age of the of the metalwork, these likely hold the fallen soldiers of the original Keep. But how peaceful has their rest been?

Deeper into a maze of hallways, the crypt appears to the be the final resting place of scores of soldiers… Knights of Nerath from the heraldry. The chill in the air is even more pronounced here than in previous corridors. A low moaning that always seems to come from just around the next corner sets the party on edge. The visibly disturbed layer of dust on the floor reveals recent activity… sloppy, shuffling steps.

The last corridor opens into a decent size room, an antechamber of sorts. Huddled in the darkness, 6 zombies turn to face the torchlight and shamble at the party. Draper kneels to the ground, summoning the warmth of the earth itself and channeling its energy to Abraxus’ blade, infusing it with searing heat. Abraxus charges forward and dispatches the quickest of the foulspawn while Cam and Naivara make sure that the rest never make it to their dragonborn companion.

“We’re getting close… to something”. Press on.

Cautiously, the four explorers find their way into the main chamber of the crypt. The long, narrow chamber is lined on both sides with upright sarcophagi. The stonework in the chamber is beautifully worked from pale marble and granite. Each of the stone sarcophagi is adorned with the raised image of a regal knight and etched in ancient draconic script. Cam spots some inconsistencies in the script, however… the lettering has been altered recently.

At the far end of the chamber are twin altars beneath a high domed ceiling. The ceiling is covered with an intricate mosaic depicting a great platinum dragon… Bahamut’s symbols adorn the altars. At this end of the hall is a pair of great double doors.

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

Startled, the party looks back down the narrow hall to see the doors of the sarcophagi slamming open two at a time and a skeletal warrior emerge from each. Cornered in this sanctuary of Bahamut, Cam and Abraxus run back into the narrowest part of the chamber attempting to hold back the oncoming threat. Naivara senses that these altars still possess powerful magic and calls to Draper to assist her in activating them.

The skeletal warriors take up positions against Cam and Abraxus, those in the front of the line wielding their long swords and those in the back knocking arrows to their short bows. The first volley finds its mark across the party, but only serves to fuel the fever of battle taking hold of the heroes. The line holds as skeleton after skeleton drops to the floor in a pile of bones.

BANG! BANG!

The sarcophagi are open again and more skeletons leap into battle. What looked at first like a challenge is now starting to look more like overwhelming odds… the skeletal warriors once again press forward, this time beginning to find a way past Abraxus’ defenses through sheer force of numbers.

But from the back of the chamber, Naivara and Draper complete the ritual at the altars and a dazzling white light pours into the room. Naivara, Draper, and Cam step back to the corners for cover. Abraxus steps back from the front line into the space between the two altars. Just as the light reaches an almost blinding intensity, it is gone, replaced with a soft glow from above. The mosaic depiction of Bahamut writhes with energy and from the tile work emerges an ethereal image of the great platinum dragon. The insubstantial form passes directly through Abraxus to rest on the ground, it’s great wings disappearing into the walls of the chamber as if they weren’t there. Abraxus falls to the ground unconscious and the dragon leaps down the narrow chamber, incinerating the skeletal warriors as it passes.

The room is quiet again now, and the dragon mosaic above glows as if twilight was setting in.

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