Forebodingday, the 7th of Drowning, 5060
The party reviewed the haul from the baron’s keep, and Valess and her friends went to meet with the dwarves for the reward, taking the dwarven goods and the flask found in the treasure trove. They came back with enough dwarven gold for each person to receive a 300gp share.
The dwarves said that the flask was the personal drinking flask from a member of a good family in a major mountain citadel. His family would be contacted, and a reward will be forthcoming.
Meeting Garrick Corm
Oervind got a lesser sending from Symon Jullet, magister MacArcher’s assistant. Symon reported that an “agent” had come to him with an object and information for trade, which may interest the party. They took the bait, and went to MacArcher’s tower to meet with the agent.
The agent, a roguish Tarshakan called Garrick Frazer Corm, claimed that he was acting on behalf of some friends of his, an adventuring company that had found a burial site that presented perils a bit beyond their skills. The party managed to get into the tomb, collect some samples, and bid a hasty retreat. They are recuperating in town.
Mr. Corm presented a tattered burial shroud, apparently a few hundred years old, long ago stamped with patterns that looked like they had come from an engraved tablet. Several party members could make out short passages of text, which led them to believe the imprint was from one of the stelae they have been collecting.
The shroud is a “proxy,” a temporary replica made via the spell Mephaniel’s proxy. The spell was developed in Greeling College in Orgolash, and is for sale.
Mr. Corm offered the proxy for sale to study (it will disappear after a week or so), and also indicated that his associates may also be willing to sell a captured image of the interior of the tomb, and the tomb’s location.
The party went for his deal, and further spent time impressing upon Corm that his associates stepped into something that is much, much over their head. They paid his price of 6,000 gp (in objets d’art and baronial florins) for the proxy shroud, the captured image of the tomb, and details of its whereabouts. They thanked magister Jullet, spent about an hour studying the proxy, notified their office and Sefu back in the Keep, then headed out into the hinterlands of Tarsh to find the tomb.
Reaching and Breaching the Tomb
Oervind sped ahead on a phantom steed while the party took the quickest overland route toward Wyrmwatch, the closest settlement to the tomb’s purported location. When Oervind reached Wyrmwatch on the 18th, he persuaded the wizards to let him leave an arcane mark with them, to teleport his party. Then he scried his sigil in Edane’s spellbook, and teleported to the party to collect them. Upon their arrival in Wyrmwatch, the wizards burned the sigil and sent them on their way.
It took two more days for the party to find the standing stones that marked the entrance to the barrow. A partial circle of worn megaliths, approximately ten feet high, edged up against the hill to enclose a 35’ lawn with a waist-high slab in the middle. The central “table” slab was stained with fresh blood, as if some hunter had recently used it as a convenient place to dress a recent catch. Where the lawn met the hillock, there was an irregular stone escarpment, extensively weathered.
Valess found a concealed mechanism as expected, and the party was able to pry open the door. The inside of the doors was engraved in an unfamiliar text (crude, but suggestive of a Draconic influence). Duly warned, the party let Valess lead, helping her search for traps. Momentarily ignoring the side passages, the party retraced the previous party’s steps, disarming the various magical and mechanical traps as they went.
Finally emerging from the hall to the central chamber, the party found a round domed chamber with many burial niches branching off, interspersed with engraved panels. In the center of the room, a sarcophagus was pried open, revealing a body wrapped in decayed cloth matching the proxy they had studied. Inside the sarcophagus was an inbuilt stone chest, which was open and empty. According to the report, the box was empty when the previous company reached the chamber.
Valess found traps on two of the inscriptions, which seemed specifically set to catch spellcasters trying to translate/ decipher the text. Circumventing those traps, Oervind and Sender read text that spoke of the glory of the “eternals,” incorruptible exemplars that inspire the most noble to rarefy their spirits and thus become similarly ageless and eternally vital. The expository nature of the inscriptions suggests that the chamber may have had a ritual training or initiatory purpose, since it was obviously meant to be kept secret, and those who already knew the secrets would have little need for such literature.