The Rising Mountains

The Caverns of the Draugr

Bjorn lights up his holy symbol, and the party ventures into the opening at the back of the cave where they had set camp. Continuing on into the caverns beneath the hills, the party finds themselves in some sort of tomb for the tribe of humans who used to live in this area. However, some of the bodies have been reanimated as malevolent undead whose touch is chilling cold.

In the first burial chamber, the team discovers that Bjorn can call upon his deity to repel the undead, which allows them to make quick work of the frozen corpses. However, the delay while Bjorn insists on performing proper burial rites turns out to be dangerous, as they are attacked by a group of goblins. Clearly, the goblin tribe has also discovered these tunnels!

Haepha and Edris fight off the goblins, while Mithraelyn turns into a Bullette and pulls some of them under the dirt. Bjorn finally finishes his rites, and they continue on their way.

As they continue to explore the burial chambers, they realize that some of the niches are carved with runes, and that the corpses in those niches are still at rest. They quickly determine that whatever is raising the corpses, the runes are somehow preventing it. Also, in one of the chambers, Haepha finds a sword, somehow untarnished or blemished by the years it has spent under the hills.

Continuing down the main hallway, they discover a break where one part of the hallway is a good 10 feet lower than the rest. Clearly, these burial chambers and passageways were opened to the surface by some sort of earthquake or seismic activity. They continue from chamber to chamber, destroying the undead when they find them, and occasionally skirmishing with the goblins. At one, point, they run into a concerted group of goblins and are driven back by them, turning and taking another passageway.

Heading down this side passageway they discover a tunnel that was clearly not part of the original construction. It appears to have been clawed out of the earth and stone by the skeletal hands of the corpses! Following it down, they find themselves in a short passageway that ends at a massive set of doors, covered in runes. Some of the undead are attempting to chip away at the ruins covering the door, even though the touch seems to hurt them. As the party enters the hallway, however, another number of the creatures turn and advances towards them to attack!

What follows is a desperate fight in the confines of the underground hallway. As Haepha batters aside the animated corpses, Edris proceeds to fire flaming arrows down the corridor at the undead who are still attempting to enter the far chamber. Bjorn attempts to drive back the undead with his holy power, but a strange, mobile shadow steps forth from the wall of the cave and attacks him! Something has apparently noticed his efforts, and sent a hunter after him!

The light from BJorn’s holy symbol is quenched by the shadow, as it drives him back against a wall, wounding him. Mith turns into a wolf, and howls, calling to the wolves that serve the goblin tribe to her aid. With the only light being the flickering fire arrows that Edris continues to fire down the corrider, Haepha pushes her way through the undead to Bjorn’s aid, taking a number of injuries in the process. She takes a rune carved piece of stone that had been used as a protective amulet, wraps the chain around her fist, and proceeds to punch the shadow assailant. Now able to return to his feet, Bjorn cast a healing spell to help, and the party finally succeeds in driving off the undead.

Wounded and exhausted, the adventurers stumble into the chamber at the end of the hallway and shut the doors behind them. Inside, they find the tomb of a chieftain or king. Bjorn finds a rune carved shield that he takes with them, as well as carvings around the room describing the deeds of the king and his champions. It was believe that all would return someday to save their people. This is the only reason their bodies were not cremated which is what was normally done to protect the bodies from being possessed by the “spirits of cold and dark” who ruled the world before “Lann the Lucky stole the sun and banished the winter.” The bodies that were possessed by these spirits became walking corpses known as Draugr.

With a name and the beginnings of an idea as to what happened here, the party decides to use the safety provided by the rune carved chamber to rest and prepare for further ventures into the tombs. They prepare camp, and attempt to sleep, knowing that the morning would mean fighting both undead and goblins, and trying to stop some sort of ancient spirits.

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