Joette is still in India, although she will be heading to London England for most of the week. She will return Saturday, which means she will be present - at least physically - next Sunday. As for the rest of us we have an as-of-yet unopened door to go through ...
Last week the party decided to not further explore the natural cavern but rather to go through the remaining unexplored door located in the southwest corner of the Guard Room. Upon arriving Oester listened, heard nothing, so the door was opened and revealed a set of steps leading down into darkness. There was still no noise, no attack, no alarm, and no footsteps, but whereas the rooms so far had the stench of goblins this room had the smell of death and decay.
Jenneth created a floating light to send ahead of the party and at the bottom of the steps the party could see a hallway leading north, another south, and straight ahead the hallway jogged a bit and continued on. The party moved quietly down the steps and Oester explored about 20 feet up the north hallway only to find it opened into a still larger area, but otherwise uninhabited. Bogar choose to explore the hallway leading south and using his dwarven stealth ability managed alerted a Zombie Rotter to his presence.
The party quickly attacked, only to find a room full of zombies whose goal was to swarm the party and inflict damage. Krstic and Bogar stayed in the front of the party, but stayed in the hallway leading into the room in an attempt to throttle back the zombie attack. The zombies had no weapons or armor but managed to grab Krstic and Bogar. Eldred executed a Turn that pushed the zombie on Bogar back three full steps, ending the grab. Krstic was able to break his grab before his zombie could do any damage, and the party soon overwhelmed the zombies.
As soon as the zombies were killed the silence resumed. No magic was detected in this small room, although there was a passageway heading south out of this room. A set of at least four sarcophagi stood in this new room, so before going on the party opted to take a five minute rest. As the party looked around the saw:
8 Zombie Rotters and 3 Zombies. The zombies had no possessions, weapons, or gold, but each party member earned 100 XP.
After the brief respite, Bogar and Krstic took the lead and moved south down the small hallway toward the room to the south. The room was more of a east-west hallway, with two sarcophagi on the north wall and two more on the south wall located directly across the hallway from each other. Each sarcophagus had a relief picture of a armored warrior etched upon it. To the east, likely at the end of the hallway, some kind of dim light was being given off, but without stepping into the room no more could be seen.
Since no monsters were seen, or were at least obvious, Bogar and Krstic stepped into the room and BOOM - the doors of all ten (ten!) sarcophagi swung open and out stepped skeletons from each of them. The skeletons wielded longswords, but the party half-expected an attack and was able to stay the initial attack ... BOOM ... the doors to the sarcophagi all swung shut.
(L-R) Skeleton, Boneshard Skeleton, Blazing Skeleton, and Decrepit Skeleton (Monster Manual, Pg 235).
Most of the skeleton minions were quickly dispatched but the party soon found out that not all of the skeletons were minions ... BOOM ... two sarcophagi doors opened and out stepped two more skeletons. The party had the upper hand by this time and had most of the skeleton's defeated ... BOOM ... the open sarcophagus doors slammed shut. Krstic and Jenneth had taken some skeleton bodies to stuff in the two open sarcophagi to see if they could prevent them from opening and closing, but the closing force simply snapped the skeleton bodies in half and sent part of bones and metal flying.
The party then decided to double time it up the hallway toward the room with the dim light ... BOOM ... out stepped two more skeletons, a minion and one of the tougher ones. The party fought the two skeleton's as Eldrid looked about the dimly lit room - the ceiling featured a brilliantly painted picture of a platinum dragon, there were two altars, one at the north and south end of the room, and on the wall behind the altars were the pictures of armor clad warriors on bended knee. On the eastern most wall there was a large set of double doors as well.
Eldred inspected the north altar and saw an inscription in a language he could not understand, but knowing that the platinum dragon was Bahamut and taking his cue from the kneeling warriors offered a quick prayer ... BOOM ... the open sarcophagus doors back down the hallway swung shut, but otherwise nothing changed.
With the battle now at least temporarily in hand Krstic moved to the south altar and with his knowledge of draconic was able to read the inscription on the altar: "The platinum dragon is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. He is my stronghold, my refuge, and my armor against the foes of life - I need only kneel and offer my praise." As he completed reading the inscription the light in the room went from dim to bright, and with the last of skeletons dispatched the party waited, but only silence followed.
The party was able to quickly catch its breath, and Jenneth was able to claim a longsword for which she has long been looking. Other party members inspected the set of doors on the east wall, nothing could be heard, and the party prepared to move ahead. The party discussed the possibility of this being the Tomb of Sir Keegan.
As the party looked back up the hallway they saw:
13 Decrepit Skeletons, no armor, but wielding a longsword and a short bow and wearing a quiver with ten arrows.
3 Skeleton Warriors, wearing chain armor and a light shield and wielding a longsword.
The skeletons had no gold, but each party member earned 110 XP.
DM Note: The party has chosen not to end this encounter, so the current initiative order will be maintained and no additional action point is earned. I do wish to point out the party did make it through two encounters tonight, a first for us.
Scorecard: Let's get caught up ...
Gold and Silver Pieces: 29 GP and 134 SP from miscellaneous Kobolds, 600 GP from Irontooth, 600 GP from Lord Padraig, 700 GP from Balgren, and 207 GP and 259 SP from miscellaneous Goblins - 2136 GP and 393 SP total.
Experience Points: 825 Before the Keep, 745 in the Keep, 1570 total (680 needed to get the 2250/Level 3 and gain one Encounter Power).
Dungeon Time: The party has been in the Keep for ~80 minutes of Dungeon Time.