The party spends some time gathering supplies, hirelings, and preparing for their next foray into Zeleska’s Hypogeum. Ozric, Cullen, and Atticus lead the hirelings back to the ruins.
While the party is still in Dragon’s Bend, Ozric studies the strange bottle Atticus and Dufin recovered from the torture chamber. He learns the item is unique, it has some sort of necromantic binding enchantment. There is something with some weight to it inside the bottle but no one dares to open the vile construct.
- The party heads south toward the hypogeum.
- Partly through the first day a small group of Oktar’s warriors ride up hard looking for a fight. The party is cool and avoids a fight.
- As the party is making camp, a group of Aglent’s warriors try to sneak up but Cullen hears their horses. Atticus knows this group and they recognize him. The leader was the warrior that had been raiding and encountered the party a few weeks ago. He introduces himself as Gellen and has a short conversation with Atticus. He gives Atticus a gift of a full wine skin that he liberated from some of Oktar’s people. The warriors who had been chasing him the last time Atticus had met Gellen were ambushed and killed. Gellen was very pleased with this and tells Atticus that if the party meets any more of Aglent’s men that they should mention his name and tell them he is their friend.
- The next day the party travels without incident. They see the sons of Chaga tending their herds. She is one of the better known leaders of a small clan who is trying to stay out of the conflict between Aglent and Oktar. She trades in Dragon’s Bend.
- The party camps within the circle of old burial mounds. A headless undead steppe warrior attempts to attack the party during the night but is quickly destroyed.
After three days of travel, the party arrives at ruins of the hypogeum.
- The party bring the goods they bought for the wererat Erka. On the way they encounter a rat with some sort of toothy snout growing out of it’s back. The creature runs at the party as if were rabid. The snouty growth teleports onto Atticus and bites his arm. He bashes at the creature as the rest of the party kill the rat. Ozric blasts it a magic missile and Atticus kills the parasite. The priest is disturbed that he may have been infected with something.
- The party find Erka’s lair and give him the supplies. He is well pleased and informs them he hasn’t seen any new monsters. Things have been quiet for the week they were gone.
- The party returns to a very large chamber of the hypogeum they hadn’t searched very well.
- They discover a large filled in pit that once had bleachers around it. Using a wand of trap and secret door detection, the party learns there are two secret doors in the bottom of the pit but it will take some time to dig their way to them. The three laborers the party brought a long are set to work.
- Using the wand, the party discovers another secret door.
- It takes nearly an hour to figure out the mechanism. One party member suggests that maybe the bracelet they found on the remains of the torturer might be of use. After some experimentation, Ozric determined a waving hand motion that would unlock the door.
- The door opened into a wide passage that was completely black with magical darkness.
- Ozric banished the darkness with a light spell, which revealed a wide passage with two large statues of Zeleska in a warrior aspect flanking the door. One of the statues seemed to have a black cloak. It turned out this was a monster that released a terrible moan that caused a couple of the laborers and a few of the draug warriors to flee.
- Atticus uses his inspiration ability to give the warriors the will to fight. This helps some. The creature flies into the room and envelopes one of the draug warriors who bites it. The party attacks the monster which decides it has had enough and attempts to flee. The adventurers give chase and kill it. It takes a little while to find the draug and laborers that had fled but they were located and safely returned to their work.
- Atticus and Ozric continue down the new passage and find a banquet hall. It had been abandoned in haste and the fancy plates, platters and silverware was left among the detritus of dry rotting tables and furniture. They gathered up the valuables and tried one of the service doors.
- Within a kitchen attached to the banquet hall was a large oozy looking pile of filth. Atticus pitched a torch atop it. An eye and a large toothy mouth opened and let out a terrible gibbering. This left Atticus and two of the draug warriors standing around confused. Ozric quickly shut the door and attempted to drag his friend and hirelings away from the creature. This took some doing. After some brief difficulty the wizard was able to get his companions out of the range of the creatures sonic assault. It moved slowly and was just coming through door of the kitchen as the party retreated back to the larger chamber. They shut and sealed the door. They would have to come up with a plan to deal with that threat.
- The diggers worked throughout the rest of the day and there was no further problem. Eventually they dug down to the bottom of the pit and found the secret door. They had to pry it with crowbars and work it with pick axes to finally get the thing opened.
- With everyone tired from a full day of labors, the party returned to their camp in one of the old towers in the above ground ruins.