At last, the sixth and final installment of the heroic doings of a band of young adventurers...
Returning to the tower, to the moment when Degar set off the alarm, we see a marked improvement in play.
Hearing voices from the floor above, the party rushes up the stairs, weapons ready. They arrive in time to greet the first of the troglodyte zombies as it spills out of its tank. Degar thumps it with his axe, and Norman turns two of the vile undead, who run and cower for the remainder of the combat. Advancing further, Sarmek concentrates arrows on Filge, the necromancer. He misses, but hey, it's doing something - namely, keeping Filge moving around a lot! Wren fires a stream of magic missiles at the largest zombie, so that by the time it reaches Degar in the forfront, one swing of his mighty axe drops the hideous thing.
The party mops up the remaining zombies, with Norman destroying the skeleton in his next turning undead attempt. Filge is knocked unconscious, then trussed up. Once he is awakened, he offers to sell out his friend Balabar Smenk (a powerful man in Diamond Lake) in exchange for his freedom. The party agrees, they gather tons of clues and information, and set Filge to wandering back to Absalom, the huge city three days from Diamond Lake. Filge also dispels his necromantic hold on the remainder of the Land family, allowing the heroes to collect their earthly remains for burial.
The party returns to the Land farm and decently bury the dead. Then they rush back to the Cairn, hoping to beat the other party of adventurers to the True Tomb. Remember, Sarmek spilled the beans about the Whispering Cairn only a couple of days before to rivals.
Arriving in the cairn, they find that someone else has obviously been exploring the place, but has not penetrated into the tomb yet. Our Heroes quickly light the lanterns and rush tot he inner sanctum. Alastor was true to his word - the doorway is opened. With the end of the quest in sight, the party enters the tomb, only to be confronted by the final guardians of Zosiel's rest: two Wind Warriors (see below).
These fellows are pretty tough, but the party handles them pretty easily, then ascend the wind column into the tomb itself. Opening the sarcophagus, they find a few treasures, and one minor artifact.
In the aftermath, Greyson decided he just didn't like his Dwarf Knight (Degar). Being a nice dad, I allowed him to remake his character into a Human Fighter. He kept his original stats (adjusted back from the Dwarf racial adjustments), and I forced him to take a rank of Knowledge (Nobility and Heraldry) to represent his minor nobility upbringing. All party members had reached third level, so we did all of the level increase paperwork.
The party also did a good bit of shopping, since the money from the sale of the baby owlbear arrived, giving them each 700 measures (gold coins). Sarmek purchased a new longbow, which will provide him with benefits to accuracy and damage due to its quality of manufacture. He also picked up a quiver of serpent's tongue forked arrows.
Norman took a new name as well, indicating the fact that he has moved upward from the novitiate of Heironeous, and is now an acolyte of the Order of the Sword, one of Heironeous's militant clerical orders. His new name is Brother Tighraine, casually known as Tigh ("Ty").
Eager to move on, the heroes rest up for two days, recovering formtehir adventures, and then set out to explore the metropolis of Absalom, an immense city three days to the west of Diamond Lake.