The group set out for the secret passageway entrance that Aria had staked out the night before. Thoravil and Thalaniel entered first wearing the red cloaks. With McKenzie and Mon Ki helping to disguise them they could now pass off as members of the Redbrand, they hoped. They moved as silently as they could down the passageway and soon entered the cavern area that Aria had discovered. The room had an area glow that was later determined to be from a type of fungus not normally found in this area of the world. Thoravil and Thalaniel motioned for the others to come forward. They came to the entrance to the cavern and stopped. As Thoravil and Thalaniel began to explore the wood bridges and the crevasse, Thalaniel heard a voice in his head asking “Made deal, where is the food.” He answers out loud he has food, a lizard dog that is waiting to be brought from the passageway. The group is not happy that he said this but he motions to them that he knows what he is doing. He says again, come out from wherever you are and get your meal. The voice says, deal is broken. And a strange one eyed creature appears at the bottom of the crevasse between the two wooden bridges. The nothic attacks Thalaniel with rotting gaze. Thalaniel feels the necrotic energy course through him. He realizes this is similar to what he saw when he looked at Daran’s knee injury that could not be healed. The rest of the group comes into the cavern to join the fight with Thoravil and Thalaniel leading the charge. Shortlocke realizes what these creatures are. They are wizards who dug took deep for secrets only to have those secrets turn them into nothics. The nothic jumps out of the pit and attempts to use rotting gaze on Shortlocke but Shortlocke resists and he hears a voice in his head, a sane voice that only says: “I know yours” Shortlocke goes into a panic and races towards the creature yelling “don’t kill him. He knows my secret. I have to find out what he knows. As others engage with the nothic they too hear the sane voice on their heads saying “I know yours, too.” Finally it dies and as the group starts to search the crevasse they hear another nothic in their heads asking where the foods is. Shortlocke casts Tasha’s Uncontrollable Laughter on it and the party hears an annoying piercing laugh in their heads until the creature finally dies. Thoravil and Thalaniel search the crevasse and easily find an old battered wooden chest. Inside the chest they found 160Sp, 120gp, 5 malachite gems, two potions of healing and a scroll of augury. At the bottom of the chest was a silver-chased scabbard holding a sword. The sword is etched with the name Talon and its hilt is worked in the shape of a bird of prey with outspread wings. Shortlocked remembered a story about Aldith Tresendar who was known as the Black Hawk and he used a sword just like this one. Aldith was supposed to have died fight orcs that had attacked his manor.
Shortlocke asks to look at the sword. He casts identify on it and finds out it is a +1 sword. Thoravil will use it. They explore the cavern and discover four ways that they could go. Two sets of stairs leading up are found in the southwest and northwest areas of the cavern. Two wooden bridges cross the crevasse. One in the southeast corner that leads to a passageway. The bridge in the northeast leads to another part of the cavern and then opens up to a good sized store room with a short passageway leading off to the east. (see map) The areas leading off of the cavern are not lit so Nameless uses a Light spell so he and Shortlocke can see. The room had a bunch of old crates and barrels with weeks old trail rations. After searching they found a secret door that opened up into a hallway. There was as door directly across from the secret door and a hallway they stretched south down from the secret door. The group decided to check out the bridge that Mon Ki had looked over and had found out was trapped to collapse when enough weight was put on it. They decide to have Shortlocke walk across it which he did with no problems. Aria looked at the bridge and determined with some rope she could repair the bride. While she did so, Mon Ki jumped the crevasse while others used the bridge. Thoravil, Mon Ki and Thalaniel searched the passageway just down from the southeast bridge. They found a dead end. Suddenly Mon Ki discovered a secret door. It was locked. Thalaniel went to pick the lock and broke his lock picks. This was the second time he had down so. He called out to Nameless to cast Mend again on them and soon he was back in business. He opened the door and Thoravil peaked around into the room. The door opened into a large cellar. On his left was a stone cistern full of clear water. There was a pipe coming from the ceiling into the cistern where rainwater would come from the roof of the manor. Thoravill looked into the cistern and saw a bag on the bottom of the cistern. Being the tallest Nameless was able to climb into it and reach down and easily get the bag. It was a waterproof sack that contained a potion of healing, a potion of invisibility, 50 gold pieces and a clean set of ordinary traveling clothes. It was determined that this was a getaway kit that someone had left here. The walls of the cellar are lined with barrels. Shortlocke looks at some of them and they are in good shape. Inside he finds salted pork and beef, flour, sugar, apples and ale. He sees that the apples are very likely from Daran’s orchard. There are three other doors in the cellar. One in the middle of the eastern wall reachable using the stairs that are found on either side of the room that lead up to a landing. The second door is on the north wall below the landing with the stairs. The third door is opposite where they came into the room by way of the secret door. It was determined that the door on the east wall led outside so Aria built a trap at the base of it. They decided to check out the door opposite how they came into the room. Opening the door, Thoravil saw four Redbrands trying to rest in a storage room turned bunkhouse. There were two bunkbeds on the north wall and several more barrels and crates in the south portion of the room. One of the Redbrands said “Hey. You the new guys? Thoravil and Thalaniel said yes. The Redbrand responded. “What’s the password?” Thalaniel and Thoravil shrugged and the Redbrands attacked. Thoravil attacked the closest Redbrand and then stepped back. Thalaniel stepped forward as two of the Redbrands moved forward and flanked the doors. Thalaniel cast Burning Hands burning those two that were standing in the door. Nameless used Dancing Lights to write Go Team in the air. McKenzie moved into range and cast Fire Bolt at one of the Redbrands. Beauford cast a spell that confused the Redbrands causing them to run to various places in the room. Aria stepped out of the shadows and pinned one of the Redbrands onto the backwall with a very well placed arrow shot from her bow. Soon there was only one Redbrand left. Beauford cast Detect Thoughts in order to learn the password. After searching the Redbrands thoughts, he went deeper and started a conversation with him. Soon the Redbrand said, “muscadine” and dropped to one knee. They started to interrogate him and he bit down on a poison capsule in one of his teeth and immediately died. After searching the room it was decided that Shortlocke, Nameless and McKenzie would go back to the secret door in the north of the cavern. Nameless had a feeling that that area would lead to a room that theoretically was between the cistern room and the hallway that lead south from the secret door. They got to the door, found it was unlocked. Listened and did not hear anything and then waiting for the rumble of the earth that Thoravil would send if they encountered any enemies. The rest of the group went through the door on the north wall of the cistern room. It opened into a 40ft long by 20ft wide hallway. At the end of the hallway was a set of double doors made out of copper plate now green with age. The doors had a relief carving of a mournful angel on them. As they were making their way down the hall they found a false floor with a pit trap under it. Beauford saw that there was a ledge that one could shimmy across on each side of the trap so that they would not fall into the pit. Everyone made it past the trap using the ledges except Mon Ki who jumped across the pit. Thoravil found that the doors were unlocked but they were very heavy. He could open them but would be better if he had at least one person assist him. Mon Ki and Thoravil pushed the doors open and they saw a crypt. Four large stone sarcophagi stood within the crypt. Propped up against each were 2 or 3 human skeletons clad in bits of rusty mail. False columns along the walls are carved in the image of spreading oak trees. Beauford moves into the room to check things out and the skeletons animate.
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