The party cautiously approaches from the rear while the undead remain fixated on the terrified man. Brother Amaar has already spent his Channel Divinity option for the day so his turn undead is not currently an option. Essoq, itching for another stand-up fight simply charges in before other options can be considered.
Magic flashes! Brittle-dry bones are shattered! Black ichors splash the walls and stony floor! In the end both Falco and Essoq are battered and bloodied but none-the-worse for wear.
The terrified man thanks the party for saving him, and when asked he says that his name is Bartal. But Falco gets a read on the guy and corners him with questions. As it turns out, this is none other than Thom Dranik, henchman to the mysterious Reoch Sinerette of Pyrwell!
Thom and a handful of men were hired to wait here at the magical Archives of Tal Ziel for the return of the bronze man, but too much time had passed and the allure of what riches might be waiting for them behind the other vaults got the better of them, and so they broke the seals and plundered the archives.
In the vault of Abjuration they found gold and simple magics enough that when they encountered the wall of dancing lights, they decided to count their blessings and to turn back and try their luck with the next vault. Had they known what terrors lay within… but they were driven by greed and ignorant of the dangers that loomed in the dark.
Within the new vault they found more scrolls and potions and small treasures and baubles enough to live fat, happy lives in Pyrwell. They returned to camp and crated up their plunder with every mind to leave with the dawn. But dawn would never come!
Thom awoke to a strange muttering and found his companion, Meechum hunkered over one of the plundered objects from the vault of necromancy; a wicked blade of bone and dark steel. When Thom approached him, he whirled and attacked as would a madman!
Suddenly undead began to pour out of the vault, cutting off the stairs! The men all retreated into the only exits available to them; the vaults of Abjuration and Conjuration. It was only blind luck that Thom retreated into a chamber that had a protective circle etched into the stone floor that magically kept the undead at bay. And there he remained trapped until the party found and freed him.
Further interrogation by way of Intimidation that included both empty and actual threats reveales:
- Thom has worked for Reoch Sinerette for the better part of 4 years. He was there when the Bronze Man was first installed in The Township of Oakmaul market center.
- Thom’s primary duty until a few days ago was to keep an eye on the Bronze Man and to note any unusual behavior from folks who drew too near or touched it.
- Reoch Sinerette wants the The Star Dial above all else and has devoted years of his life and piles of gold to obtain it. Thom knows not why.
- The portcullis that traps the party within the vault requires a key. Thom’s now crazed companion Meechum has one, but there may be another in the vault workshops.
- Sinerette tried several times to create the Bronze Man himself but failed time and again, ultimately needing to bring in a hired mage at no small expense to make the final monster that adorned the Oakmaul market square. Somewhere within the vault of Conjuration wander Sinerette’s aborted attempts and experiments, and they are dangerious things to encounter!
- The Archives of Tal Ziel are forbidden by law of Byrnaer! While watchmen from Pyrwell may be a problem as early as dawn and bring the threat of incarceration, The Azure Guard will almost certainly be there before sunset! Necromancy is a capitol offense, and it is highly possible that the party will face execution if they are apprehended here!
The party leaves Thom tied up within the protective circle and begins to search through the rest of the vault of Abjuration. After encountering a few more undead and a mirrored room that mesmerized Falco, Essoq and Baragon, a key is found in a room marked “Chamber of The Master.”
With their hard-won treasure and a few additional spoils the party makes their way back to where they left Thom. Long before they round the final corner however, Falco stops everyone in their tracks; he hears weeping and and eery, gravely voice singing taunts and laughing.
Thom is more or less where they left him, only he has inched and squirmed his way back as far away from the edge of the circle as he can. Circling him like a tiger is an ashen-faced man with yellow eyes brandishing a wicked Dark Blade. And with him stand a shambling collection of dead men all wearing the livery of Guardsmen of Pyrwell!
“Thom… Thom, my dear! It is wondrous and glorious, I promise you! Let her sing to you and lift you up! You only have to die! That’s not so bad, is it?”
Game Session Ends