|Campaign: Dawn Treaders||Quest: Mice and Men, Part I||DM: Austin|
The crew set out from Entsteig to return to Tristram. However, because of the city’s dark past, Kulle thought it best that he remain outside the city gates as to not drawn unnecessary attention to the party. Digoria, Cas, and Alodel find Headrig at his shop and he informs the party that he has finished working on Cas’s sword and requests a hefty pile of gold for it’s completion. Cas is more than a bit irritated as an additional “fee for labor” was never negotiated upon previously. However, an agreeable price is negotiated for. Headrig informs the party that there’s a “lively” crew in his tavern that the party might find of interest.
Inside the tavern, the party finds many drunkards engaging in sporting events and consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Cas handidly wins an arm wrestling contest over the resident douche bag in the bar. Digoria is able to con several of the broham cohorts by challenging her to a drinking contest and promptly freezing all of their glasses. Alodel agrees to a game of darts, and, as luck would have it – and perhaps some divine intervention – he is able to come out victorious in a blindfolded double-or-nothing game!
Headrig waves the party down from the bar and says that there are two mercenaries in the bar (pointing to them) and states that “they look like the type of folks y’all might be interested in associating with.” The assumption is true enough and the party goes over to meet the two, a male Monk named Gatchev and a female Blood Hunter named Natalya. Cas, shrewd as always, is confrontational with the stern Gatchev while Alodel tries to get to know the pair and hire their assistance on their further adventures – Digoria remaining uncharacteristically neutral in the matter.
Eventually an accord is met and Digoria, Cas, and Alodel (with Kulle in tow) meet outside the Tristram Cathedral where Gatchev and Natalya are waiting for them. Kulle states, that because of the divinity of the cathedral – fallen as it may be – he is not able to enter. And so, the party of five set in. Tactfully Aldoel is able to retrieve a trapped (with fire bombs!) chalice from the altar of the cathedral with his mage hand. Moving to the cathedral garden there are several ghasts roaming around which are easily defeated by the party, though Cas falls prey to a poison gas trap – his athletic ability though, allowing him to sprint away with minimal damage.
The first chest that is discovered is another point of conflict between Cas’s miserly attitude and assumption that everyone is out to screw him over and Gatchev who states that he and Natalya will be collecting one fifth of the loot each, or they will be leaving the party. Alodel, diplomatic as usual in the matter. Cas scoffs and stomps off saying something about being the only one who cares about not being taken advantage of because “Aldoel seems like a pushover” and “Digoria will just steal the gold back.”
The party walks into another trap, some sort of time trial where the doors to the chamber are sealed until the party can defeat an increasing number of mummies. Once again, the party of adventurers prove their merit by quickly defeating the mummies. However, the next corridor they follow leads to yet another large chamber that, again, seals them inside. It is the chamber of the Mummy Lord!
In the Mummy Lord’s chamber, the crew is confronted by a voice asking who they are, why they’ve come and what their business is. Most interestingly, the voice – presumably the mummy lord – states that a powerful person has come before the travelers and offered the mummy lord unimaginable wealth and eternal life. The crew decides that they don’t have anything that can match material wealth and are out of options in terms of bartering. The voice dissipates with the parting message that someone in the group wants to betray the others and that another wants to open a portal to They Abyss.
At last, it is is not the Mummy Lord who comes forth from his tomb, but three mummy warriors whose stone figures on the walls come to life and attack the party. Thanks to burning attacks from Gatchev and Alodel’s divine auras the group makes surprisingly quick work of the mummy warriors, though, indeed, they were required to fight through their own fear due to the legendarily dreaded gaze of such creatures.
Cas inspect’s the mummy’s sarcophagus and finds that it doesn’t appear to be trapped, but that it is inscribed with many different wards and powerful spells, written in six different languages. Digoria cautions that, even if she could, it might not be wise to open the tomb until they’re sure that they can handle what is inside, or whatever (else) may be looking for what’s inside besides them. The party agrees and Cas has the strange sense (due to his divine awareness) that the voice that was speaking to them prior does not feel like the same undead energy that is inside the mummy’s sarcophagus. Most peculiarly, the energy inside the sarcophagus does feel akin to the energies of the mummy warrior attackers. Meanwhile, Alodel discovers that a chest in the room contains Zulton Kule’s putrid, rotting, magically (partially) preserved severed head in a bag.
Before Cas can think this over more thoroughly, Digoria snatches a ring she recognizes from the top of the sarcophagus. Rather than trigger a trap, the ring bizarrely causes the door to the tomb to be opened. To add to strangeness, Zulton Kulle is standing on the other side of the doorway. When questioned by the group, his response is that he crafted the catacombs beneath the Tristram Cathedral and thus could travel in them though he had told the group that he was not allowed to enter the cathedral itself.
There is some debate about whether or not to reunite Kulle with his body by pouring his blood over the newly found head. Cas and Gatchev are most displeased with the decision, but Alodel asserts that he made a promise and that he has to follow through with it. To make sure there is no double crossing on the part of Kulle, Digoria makes an agreement to help him renew some of his power further if he obliges her a personal favor and agrees to not murder the group after he has been made whole again. Kulle agrees and Digoria pours his blood over his head, instantly transmuting his ghostly presence in to the physical form of the great wizard (now lich) he once was!
Gatchev is outraged at the group’s decision, but Natalya is able to keep him from getting too riled up and the mercenaries take their money from the party and leave the tomb. Thereafter Digoria asks for a few minutes to talk to Kulle alone. Begrudgingly Cas and Alodel go on ahead to exit the tomb, but try to stay within earshot of the other two. However, they’re not able to make out much of the conversation. When Digoria and Kulle finally catch up to the others and appear disinterested in if their conversations have been overheard.
Alas, the party returns to Tristram where Kulle again states that it is “probably best” for him to remain outside of town. Digoria, Cas, and Alodel enter the town and are flagged down by Headrig who tells them that he’s heard of their adventure to the cathedral and that they’re welcome to stay one night in his in free of charge for their heroics. He also passes the information that more and more people are worried about evil forces gathering in the east deserts and that many of the travelers who had been t his inn and tavern were on their way to Caldeum which seemed to be the nexus of such events. However, there had also been news that while the Iron Wolves had been ordered to leave Lut Gholein and assist in Caldeum, that Lut Gholein had fallen to some other evil forces.
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