Crypt of the Everflame

Crypt of the Everflame Pt1
I cast some light and we entered the darkness of the tomb.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

Pushing open the heavy door, which CREAKED far too loudly for my likening, we entered the long room, Conner bravely volunteered to go first (as in I said your big, you go first) while we took in the scene of carnage of 2 dead humans, we was attacked by group of skeletons. Ugh I hate the undead, people should like just stay dead. Like me you mean ? Oh you had to chirp in, shush you.

A very one sided fight ensured, with Alonzo crying out for Milani to put the undead to rest and bathing us in a very nice glow of energy, Connors shear brute strength just smashing those skeletons, I found I was picking bits of bones out of my hair several days later (and I keep it short for a reason)

Soon the skeletons was sent back to wherever they came from. Searching the room and the unfortunate people we found backpacks filled with pillows and blunt arrows. If they was attempting to use this against the skeletons it didn’t prove to be very effective, The Skeletons really went to town on them, From what we could see, these did not look like hardened thieves or similar, instead farmers or similar. Conner recognized them as Gerol and Vark. Looks like they died 3 days ago.

So if they was here, why was we needed to gather this damn lantern ?

We had two exits, the right one (to the west seemed the most promising, it had a pool of water, which smelled clean, two doors which proved to be locked and a statue apparently of Kassan himself, however some had decided that his head wasn’t needed and had taken it off.

Examining the pool we could see it was full of keys, however detecting magic Showed one of them glowing. The pool was not shallow either, half stripping off I dived in and grabbed the key. It was not warm, in fact it was freezing. Not amused.

It was getting late as this was late evening now, and we chose to get some rest, recharge our spells and for me to get warmed up and dry. Doing our best to ensure that it was as secure as possible we got some rest.

Night descended while we pondered what we have discovered so far, and what it meant

Kassan, what a Dump Pt4
The night passed peacefully. Dawn brought a new day filled with excitement. Yeah right

When you say ‘fear of the unknown’, that is the definition of fear; fear is the unknown, fear is what you do not know, and it’s born within us so that we feel safe. We feel scared of the woods because we’re not familiar with it, and that keeps you safe.

Dawn began with some breakfast and a talk over the villagers behavior, The way Conner handled his sword last night, and the fact that it almost as big as me, yeah his money pouch is safe, plus for a stick up his arse, he doesn’t have that much of a stick. Maybe its only older paladins that have to learn to sit with a stick.

From the description that the Mayor gave us, another day of travel past a lake and we should be there. As I didnt know what to expect I chose some suitable spells for the day and gave my whip a quick rub down with some oil, You have to look after your equipment, otherwise it doesn’t look after you.

Several hours after breaking camp found us beside the lake, and an a grisly discovery. Beside the lake was a corpse, Alonzo checked it (it was far too smelly and dead for too long for me to want to check) and found it was dead for some months. From the bite marks some damn huge snake took a dislike and filled it with poison. Pretty much explains why nothing apart from flies and bugs took an interest.

A check of the corpse uncovered a very nice short sword, and a coin pouch. While I am always glad to see the glint of gold, that they was newly made from the country we are in Nirmathas. Newly minted which meant it was direct from the city.

From the design of the gear, this looked like a hired thug, and I hoped that this was the last of them, Thugs like this tend to travel with friends, and friends who can give almost 100 gold, don’t tend to like people who are not their friends.

After spending some time digging a suitable grave where both of them said words over the corpse, we continued south.

Towards the end of the day it started to rain. Great., We finally reached a steep slope going downwards, apparently called serpent gorge (I hope that is called so for the shape and not what lives here) Below us on the lower part of the valley we could see the crypt we was heading for. From here we couldn’t see much, the door way entrance was darkened.

Tying a rope off allowed us with some grace to decent to the bottom without out ending up on our arses, even Cryspy went down with some grace.

There we made a further grizzly discovery. 5 horses and ponies butched, Most likely by someone swinging swords. They was tied up then killed. Alonzo did his checking and declared that they have been dead a few days. Unlikely to be from that thief, but its possible that they killed them. Some of the trails of blood led into the crypt, which was, of course, open.

Readying our weapons and bringing Cryspy with us (not a good idea to leave a mule beside a load of dead mules) I cast some light and we entered the darkness of the tomb.

Kassan, what a Dump Pt3
Off we traipsed into the Forest, What Fun

I love the fact that we are surrounded by this spectacular natural beauty that routinely strikes us dead

The Trail was windy, narrow and surprisingly dark, however with our vision this was just like walking in daylight, the others introduced themselves and it turns out Conner was asked to come here to Volunteer to assist them with this “Quest” as part of his final initiation into the order of the paladins (great real DO Good-er)

The rest of us was some poor chumps to happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. However it did set my mind at ease that they was some dark cult, they wouldn’t risk upsetting a holy order of paladin’s.

Although I had my doubts they were not bad types, at least my wallet and honor would be kept “safe”. Unlike some who tried to remove both, and ended up with a dagger in the right place (well I thought it was right, hopefully they can walk straight now)

A hour or so into the walk, we had some excitement

4 Orcs jumped out over a log and went all menacing, Conner and Alonzo (what sort of Orcish name is that, turn out he was raised by a dwarf, insane I would guess) readied their weapons while I got the jump on them and lashed out with my whip, its easier to kill or run away from if they are lying on their back, or sat on their arse.

Crack, the whip it true, and went through them. Dammit an illusion, a quick look around showed no one else, but a strange bird flew off, almost chuckling to itself and there was a strange smell of smoke, maybe from a pipe.

We kept wary for more such illusions, I was almost tempted to tell one of them that the tree was an orc in disguise, just to see if they would hit it. But they didn’t seem the type to find that funny.

The evening got on and we made camp. My prowess in bargaining got us a suitable tent and we ate rations while they spoke about themselves, Now was not a good time to say im possessed by the spirit of a dead perverted wizard., I am NOT perverted , shush Esdalf, you want me to write this down, its in MY words.

We took straws on watch and I got dibs on first watch. Did I mention we was hearing howling, probably not, the problem was it was steadily getting louder. Either it was that damn weird bird (probably a fey, the writings of the lantern king mentions them) or we were going to have some company.

Turns out it was company, 3 wolves came snarling in, unusually they was looking thin and hungry, Cryspy was understandably nervous but I figured feeding them might be better than a fight, a pack of wolves is no laughing matter. Good thing I did chuck some food at them, after eating what was probably several days of rations, and that there was a fire nearby, they decided to go else where.

The night passed peacefully. Dawn brought a new day filled with excitement. Yeah right

Kassan, what a Dump Pt2
By the Eldest’s green light, I was being Volunteered.

“Here’s to all volunteers, those dedicated people who believe in all work and no pay”

Volunteer, a word used by people of power to encourage the masses to work for free, so they don’t have to pay. No way this fat man was going to get out of getting a Volunteer and not pay.

He was stood there smiling with some dopey looking human, sorry half elf, his ears and eyes was a give away. His clothing, armour, huge sword and dear gods he was bearing the symbol of Iomedae he goes by the name of Connor. Great hes one of those protectors of justice. Justice, mind you made by the rich and powerful, often to keep the rich and powerful just that. Last time I had any dealings with one of these, involved me having to find a nice hole and wait. Meh how was I suppose to know that fat priest had so many guards wandering behind him.

The fat man, who turned out to be a the Mayor spotted another Victim, this one turned out to be a half-orc. Looking at this half-orc, which wasnt as ugly as some I have seen, also turned out to be religious as well, from the necklace hanging from the neck I wasnt sure what he was prob some war god worshiper (edit, wow didn’t I get that wrong, some god of of freedom and liberation)

This fat annoying Mayor, explained they needed some Heroic people to light the flame in some lantern which keeps the village safe. And we were the ones to do it. Seems every year same day it happens, Just a few days south of here and back again.

Why do I get the feeling that these black robed people was some sort of secret cult and we was all going to be high on the alter menu, with a side dish of daggers in various organs. I guess he saw my skeptical looks and said dont worry we usally send some suitable villagers, but this year there was none of suitable age (yeah that made me feel a LOT better)

“How Much”, dammit if I’m going to be traipsing off into the forest, I’m damned if I’m doing it for free, if they are going to mess around sending me off course for a week, they might as well pay me for it. I’m pretty sure I heard Esdalf chuckling at me, Dammit he knew this was going to happen, damn that cranky old, dead, wizard. I had to remind him of that No need to curse me apprentice, it does your soul good, to do good deeds. Us with power should help the less gifted

I’ll help them alright, but by my needs come first as well. And they can afford to pay. They are not that poor, the cut of the clothes and that jewelry is worth more than they are saying.

The mayor (whos name was Uptal, hmm more like Uptight) explained that if we didn’t have supplies we could, at a discount stock up. So give us discounted crap and make some money from us. This damn bloke was more crooked than me.

A quick visit to the local store, had me almost humming with glee. How that fool shopkeeper can make a profit was amusing, After some haggling and saying it was for a worthy cause, I got out of them a nice tidy profit of supplies, and a nice mule. While I’m no animal expert, I could tell it was a good mule, and seemed to take a liking to me, However unfortunate name Cryspy. it nibbled at my coat sleeve in a friendly way so I will try to do what I can to make it NOT live up to its name

All set off we went south through the path with the villagers cheering and huzzaing, like a pack of squawking buzzards. I’m pretty sure I saw some of them sniggering as well, no doubt happy to keep the mayor happy and to see us leave the village on some fools errand.

Off we traipsed into the Forest, What Fun

Kassan, what a Dump Pt1
I really should of Kept my Head down.

“Great Wizards always keep a journal to record the great things they have done, and to server as valuable lessons to those that follow”

What a pot of horsedung, like really, do I want to leave a record of what I have been doing, Im sure the town guards would LOVE that, so that fat merchant lost that amount of gold on this day, This shopkeeper had X taken on that day.

Im sure its that thrice be dammed Esdalf idea of trying to keep me well behaved, hes probably sneaky AND smart enough to dream up this way to try and keep me “Behaved”, screw him, hes probably reading what I am thinking now and chuckling to himself. URGH I knew taking that damned knife would get me in trouble, but nothing I can do about it YET!

Although I have to admit some of what hes teaching is rather handy, and anything that can be turned to a coin has to be useful. Greatest Invisibility, cannot wait to try that one out.

SO at his prodding he recommended to go through Kassan, he wanted to see the quaint village which was raised by an adventurer and the lantern ceremony that they hold each year. Oh and its on the way so bonus…….. Makes my teeth grind, plus he threatened to start singing the greatest hymns of Nethys while I was trying to eat and go to the loo.

Its one thing to have an snarky, smart old man in your head, its another thing when your trying to take a piss or give yourself in a wash. He says he doesnt look through my eyes, but I bet hes just an old pervert. No im Not, Mutter wish he would stop doing that.

Anyway Kassen hadn’t changed much from when I last saw it, mind you I didn’t stop for long and I was quiet young at the time. The town square was pretty quiet even the inn keeper seemed to be acting like a funeral. The bells rang out about mid day and everyone started to gather in the town square. Like seriously everyone, EVERYONE, was dressed in black like some great person had just died.

They all stood their freaky like, with their eyes down cast. I tried to mingle a little bit (should have worn more black) and them all looking down made it really hard to get a good grab on a person.

I had just spotted on the edge of the crowd this fat farmer, or minor lordling, his clothing looked a bit smarter and he was distracted by saying things to what could only be a maid, the maid looked pretty upset, so guess he was one of these rich IM THE GREATEST types, perfect, a bit of humbleness from poverty might do him some good.

I just got into position when I heard a voice from the centre of the square shouting out, sadly clearly at me. The damn crowd parted, and I had to give a little smile, I was just about to say wasnt me didnt touch anything, when I heard him say something worse than “Guards Arrest her”

Ah A hero, come forward young lady

By the Eldest’s green light, I was being Volunteered.

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