In the torchlight as the dust cleared, the party could see that they were in a dank chamber with rough stone walls and a damp, oppressive atmosphere. This large chamber seemed to have been partitioned off into three storerooms, each piled high with crates and jars; each storage area was about 20 feet broad and 40 feet deep, and the areas were separated from one another by walls of red brick. To the south, a low tunnel leads deeper into the catacombs. There was no noise except for the distant drip of water, a faint scurrying, and the burning of their torches.
Keestake then sat down against a wall and in a very shaky voice launched into a monologue:
Well, we made it. Knew we would. Haven’t been down here in a while. Remember the worst trip I ever had to make down here. Right after them first pirates left, 60 years ago. I had to do right by my sovereign, don’t you think? I couldn’t leave him lying there, hacked up and stripped down. Had to prepare him right and fine for the afterworld.
So I hauled his body down here. Hard work that was. Dressed it up in some clothes and goods that the pirates missed. Laid it in a crypt near his son. Hauled his queen’s body down, laid it between her husband and her son. That was grisly work. I was sad. Never been so sad since. Himself had a ring, something he’d found adventuring. Made things happen, if you just wished for it. But they’d stabbed him in the back before he got a chance to do any wishing.
I took it off him and prayed that they’d never decay, they’d always be in one piece when it was time for the dead to rise up for the afterlife. Knew I’d done right; it always seemed his eyes followed me after that. Year after year after that, he never decayed. He’s in as good a shape now as he ever was, likely. Don’t know for sure. Haven’t been down here in a while.
You need to get used to your quarters, you know. You’re going to be down here a piece. You’re not leaving, you know. No more so than me.
Y’see, I really couldn’t let you wander off with the Sea King’s treasures and pretties. Can’t let you profane the tomb of his son. What kind o’ servant would I be if I let that happen?
I wanted to get down here and shut up that shaft when the ores first landed, but they got me. You’ve done me a favor. Got me down here so that I could shut it off. Sorry to say you won’t be leaving. You’re not going to find the entrance to the tombs.
Going to die here, like me. Say, that’s a pretty good idea.
The old man had clearly gone mad, which was not surprising in the circumstances! Nevertheless, the party wasn’t going to await their doom and go quietly in to the night and set about examining their whereabouts with considerable energy.
Looking about in the open areas near where they entered the catacombs, the party found many rotting supplies, most of which were spoiled beyond use. In the furthest section, Bruce was hurt slightly as he had to throw himself out of the way of a pile of boxes that collapsed upon him as he crossed a steel wire in the entrance to the area.
Realising that the catacombs had been trapped, the party suddenly became much more cautious, especially as they approached the rotting tapestry which covered the passageway leading out of the area. Deepdelver carefully examined the tapestry and its surrounding area, but found nothing. Carefully moving the tapestry aside, they saw another tapestry 20 foot along the passageway. Again, Deepdelver looked carefully and this time noticed that the far tapestry had a wire attached to it. She threw a rock at it and triggered the partial collapse of the ceiling between the tapestries. The dust choked the party but no one was hurt.
The party continued its investigation of the area, avoiding a pit trap and a crossbow trap and having a short but violent encounter with a nest of giant rats, but no way was found to escape. Returning to the front area, they then heard a disturbing sound! Someone was trying to excavate the shaft down to their level. Inspired by the noise to greater efforts, they eventually found a secret door leading into a long corridor which they entered.
The party moved carefully along the dank corridor until it came out in to a large chamber with rough-hewn floor and walls. Looking in the open crypts to the side, they see that one is empty, but the two others are occupied by the bodies of King Viledel and Queen Liala lying atop raised slabs of stone, upon which crudely carved epitaphs have been written.:
Tamed the Islands
Laid Low by Pirates
Laid Low by Pirates
Rests Besides the Sea King
Their bodies do not seem to have aged at all, their wounds look as if they only happened yesterday and to the party’s horror, when one of them stepped across the threshold of the crypt, both awoke and moved threateningly towards them.
Combat ensued and in the end the undead bodies of the King and Queen rested on the floor. This was much to the distress of Keestake whose unwise use of a Ring of Wishes many years ago had led to his beloved lord and lady being turned into undead monsters.
Free to examine the room without the deadly attentions of two zombies, they found two brick walls, one with an iron lever beside it and the other with a beautifully carved bronze plaque saying:
Here lies Prince Horedel
Brought Down by Illness
In the Twentieth Year of Viledel’s Reign
With effort, they managed to lower the iron lever and with a great crashing noise the wall collapsed into a large cavern filled with water leading out to sea with a slip for landing boats. They now had a way to escape the catacombs, but to add their woes, they could see that it was late afternoon and sunset was not far away and then the Goddess’ wrath would descend upon the island!
Meanwhile Urr and Don Orlando had broken into Prince Horedel’s crypt to reveal that he had been buried on a small galley, which was laying upon rollers. Spike examined it and said it was still probably seaworthy. After removing Prince Horedel’s body, all except Keestake. joined in desperately to free the ship and move it to the slip, hoping that either the orcs and goblins didn’t get down the shaft or were fooled by the secret door long enough for their escape to be made. As they were nearly ready, Keestake announced that he was staying and would die with his lord and lady, but Don Orlando refused to allow him to do that and bodily threw him aboard the ship.
And luck was with them, for the orcs raced in to the chamber as they launched and the evil creatures were only able to send a flight of arrows their way as they sailed away. Leaving the cavern, they saw that a huge storm was heading towards the island.
The sky overhead is completely covered in storm clouds, but you can still see the island — it seems to be lit by a faint glow, enough for you to see what’s going on. As you watch, tornadoes—10 or 12, at least—descend from the heavy mantle of clouds cloaking the sky.
The tornadoes begin tearing along the island and stripping great tracts of territory up into the air. Hurricane-force winds are scouring the island, and from your vantage point you can see the ruins of the town, plus the manor, barracks, and stable, begin to disintegrate, being thrown plank by plank and beam by beam into the air.
The orc and goblin boats on the beaches are being driven up onto the beach, torn apart by the winds and battering seas. You can dimly see their crews running, scattering, some of them being thrown like leaves up against the cliff side, others swept out to sea by the waves.
By the time you’re a quarter of a mile out to sea, the rocking and pitching of your own boat begins to subside — it no longer threatens to throw you overboard. But things are worse, not better, back on the island, which seems strangely obscured now, covered from shore to shore by a gray-brown whirlwind of rocks and scrub brush and sand and sea which seems to scour the island.
And that’s just what happens: by the time you’re a mile away, the whirlwind lifts and the island is gray-white and smooth, resembling not at all the island you landed upon yesterday. There’s not one hill, not one topographical feature that you remember. And, suddenly, the seas around you are still, the clouds overhead clear, and the stars and moon can be seen overhead.
Keestake lay moaning in the bottom of the boat, distraught at the destruction of everything that he had ever known, but Don Orlando over time convinced him that now was a new beginning and that as they sailed away from the island, he could have a new life!
Wand of Magic Detection (9th level – 37 charges)
Ring of Mind Shielding
Scalemail + 1
Mace + 1
Clerical Scroll of Hold Person (1 use)
Dagger + 2/+3 vs. larger than man-sized creatures
Potion of Super-Heroism
Javelin of Lightning (1 use)
Coin: 700 gp
Grave goods: 600 gp
Viledel’s Crown: 500 gp
The galley: 10,000 gp
Prince Horedel’s chainmail, bastard sword, shield and dagger: 300 gp
Pirate Captain’s log (in unknown language)
Monster XP: 600
Trap XP: 100
Story XP: 500
Total XP Awarded for Adventure: 1200