Vilamia and Val work at Surly Jack’s Tavern for the evening and make 6 gold each after pooling their tips together with the other two barmaids – Treena and Lavanda.
During the evening, a green haired gnome (3ft 3) carrying a satchel is noticed moving from table to table. Akorian drinks heavily and embarrasses himself by not tipping his servers. Val and Vilamia take a table to have some dinner and the green haired gnome joins them. He questions the girls about their skills and introduces himself as Thatcher Griffenchaser Esq. of West River Bank Absylom. He eventually explains that he is looking for adventurers. He acquired a scroll that can grant mythical powers if read under a full moon on a certain day with a certain lens. He claims that he is not interested in the mythical power, but wants the treasure that is with it and has the combination for the final vault. He offers the mythical power and 5% of the treasure for doing all the adventuring, fighting the monsters, disabling the traps and taking all the risk while he waits outside. Akorian drunkenly negotiates him up to 10%; Vilamia adds the condition we keep any treasure we acquire from monsters we meet and kill. Thatcher agrees. We meet Thatcher at the temple of Iomed in the morning to seal the pact.
The justicar warns that anyone that breaks the pact will magically have “oathbreaker” tattooed across their face.
We head NE from Darwin’s landing into some rolling hills He explains that we are raiding the wizard lord Wexall’s tomb. He ruled this area before the Time of Darkness.
We travel for 90 miles which takes 4 days. Thatcher provides food which he caries on his donkey, Petula. As we enter the hills, Thatcher explains that these are the burial mounds of the old horse lords. He stops at a particular mound which has a door hidden by a giant boulder. Akorian tries to move the boulder, but it is too heavy, so Val uses an explosion to split the rock into 6 pieces. There is a hissing sound as a tunnel behind the boulder is revealed. Val and Vilamia take out their hooded lanterns to combat the darkness, and Akorian lights his burning sword. The tunnel is just big enough to stand in and dank and musty. Using his darkvision ability Akorian takes the lead with Val and Vilaminia following. Eventually the group comes to an alcove with dead mummies stacked on each side, and a door straight ahead. Akorian triggers the trap on the door and is sprayed with salt acid becoming permanently blinded. We move through the now trapless door, and continue straight through the darkness. We pass a branch on the right and then one on the left, but eventually enter a large room at the end of the tunnel. Up to this point Akorian continues to take the lead using his sword as a blind man’s cane, tapping it against the wall as we go along. Inside the room there is a fresco of a powerful wizard smiting barbarians on the wall and once fine rugs decorating the now tattered elliptically shaped cavern. There are 12 pillars in the room with torches on each. Vilamia begins lighting the torches. As the torches illuminate the center of the room, there appears 12 rows of benches on each side, filled with corpses in noble dress. The cavern is set up almost as a church. The diaz is not quite visible, but there is a shadowy figure in the center flanked on each side by by an additional figure. There are a total of 24 corpses scattered along the benches.
We point Akorian toward the diaz having him climb the steps but nothing happens and we still can’t see the diaz. Val and Vilamia follow with the lanterns and find an iron thrown in the center with a purple robed corpse on an iron thrown flanked on either side by lion braziers. The corpse is clutching a 5ft high staff with a crystal on top. There are also 2 empty sockets on each side of the top of throne. Akorian takes the staff but nothing happens. Upon further inspection Vilamia notices a perfectly round hole in the floor. She places the staff in the hole and it fits snugly, but nothing happens.
We decide that it is likely that the items that will fit in the sockets on the throne are needed and down the branching hallways. We move back to the first hallway, led by a blind Akorian as a meat shield. He is sliced in half by trap including multiple pendulums and darting knives.
We resurrect him. Swain, Akorian’s bird, flies to the other end of the tunnel and is able to reset the trap, putting the knives back into the wall. Akorian climbs down the hall above the floor in an “X” fashion. He finds a square room at the end of the hall with a fountain and several large iron pots lining opposite walls. The trek is too difficult for both Val and Vilamia. Akorian looks at the pots, which have writing upon them. On each, a lightning bolt, a star, the sun, the moon, and a cloud, and on the other side of the room, a castle, a tree, a cat, a mountain and water.
Akorian decides to look in the pots in this order: In the star pot, he sees 3 almond shapes with lines coming through it, and in the cloud one almond shape with lines coming through it. In the tree, 4 straight lines, making humps, and in the water pot, a half circle. After filling all the marked pots, they tip into the center of the room and a tree grows. Inside the hollow of the tree, there is a large round blue crystal. Akorian easily returns with the crystal, and we move to the next branch in the hallway. Vilamia sends an unseen minion down the hall, but nothing happens. The party moves down the hall without incident into a room covered with vines with a large scale in the center. The scale has gold on one side. We balance the scale with our own money, and a small door opens under the scale and a red orb roles out. We take the orb and move back to the throne room. When the staff is placed in the hole and an orb on each side of the throne, the light from each of those on the throne shines on the staff, and the light from the stall shines on the corresponding picture of the staff on the wall. The staff on the wall radiates lightning throughout the room and the skeletons come alive. After a long battle where most of the skeletons were killed, Val kills the sorcerer skeleton and the rest (4 out of 24 left) drop to the floor. Vilamia looks for treasure from the skeletal monsters finding: 786 GP, Wand of Inflict Moderate Wounds, Potion of Bears Endurance, Arcane Scroll of True Strike, Bracers of Archery, lesser and a Feather Token with a picture of an oak tree. These items are split between the group. In the possession of the wizard, a small silver key is discovered. Under the cushion on the throne is a keyhole. After turning the key in one direction, the color drains out of one of the orbs. After turning the key in the other direction, the color drains out of the other orb. The seat opens to reveal a ladder which extends down through a tunnel of wooden gears and machinery. One of the gears appears to be doorway sized, but there is a gear in front of it blocking it in. There are several levers near the doorway. Akorian sets all 4 levers but does something wrong. The machine starts to shake and come apart, but there is a narrow opening that everyone is able to jump through. A fitted stone tunnel lies beyond. There is a room off to the right or an intricate vault door straight ahead. We choose the side passage first, and a iron door slams shut behind us, and the room starts filling with a brown liquid. A wereshark is released into the water. Vilamia and Val use their aquius earrings to turn into merfolk and breathe underwater, but Akorian is screwed. He is able to hold his breathe long enough to defeat the creature. The liquid drains out. There is chest in the room which contains a chain shirt of +5, archane scroll of charm monster, archane scroll of sleep, archane scroll of passwall (create passage through wood plaster or stone walls), 1,750 gold and a small bag of brown dust. We go back to the surface to retrieve Thatcher for the final vault door. Thatcher is able to open the door without incident, and there is a “National Treasure” sized haul inside the vault. Thatcher insists that we start searching for the focusing lens for the scroll, which he finds fairly quickly. Vilamia takes the lens and Thatcher pulls out a magical abacus to tally the treasure. There is 150,000 Plats in the room. Our 10% is 15,000 plats, 5,000 plats each. Thatcher starts shoveling his portion into his portable hole. He also shows us the map and points out Hangman’s point, 150 miles away, which is where the scroll must be read in 3 days time. The trip there is quick and uneventful, and we arrive at a large tree with a noose. We read the words but nothing happens. We were had.. The scroll was a fake! We rush back to the treasure room, but the door is locked. We spend 2 days trying to open the door, and Vilamia gets her hand lopped off by a trap. When we finally break through, allowing Vilamia to acquire her severed hand, the room is empty. We steal Thatcher’s donkey and tent and head back to Darwin’s landing, Vilamia using Ray of Frost to preserve her hand. Vilamia has her hand restored at the temple of Iomed. After speaking with the first sword of the temple, we learn that there is no justicar at the temple. We speak to a mage to evaluate the scroll, and while speaking to him, we find that the the plats that we got are now iron. We stop to speak to the owner of the general store and to speak to Telonicus the pink haired gnome engineer. While speaking to Telonicus, Akorian is offered a 32 year apprenticeship to become a master engineer, which he accepts.
Vilamia and Val leave without Akorian and go to the donkey rental stable. The mistress shows us the card left by the double crossing, little terd of a gnome, which says “Griffen Thatchercather”. Feeling frustrated Val and Vilamia return to Surly Jack’s Tavern, hoping to work in the evenings for the remainder of the time before the coronation. Folgrim Axesmasher, the barkeep, mentions that he has seen the “justicar” around before, and recommends that we speak to the sheriff. The sheriff has heard of the green haired gnome several times for passing coin that turns to iron. He gives the name of Jeremy Crookfield for the “justicar” but doubts that that was his real name. On the second night, Val and Vilamia are approached by Tom. They are mistrustful of him, but he was recommended by Akorian. Akorian left his things for Tom, which the girls turn over to him. Tom is somewhat abrasive, and Val leaves to go back to work. Vilamia stays to speak with him, since he wants to work for Sandworks Imports. She explains she can’t guarantee employment but he is welcome to come with us when we leave in five days. Val and Vilamia work at Surly Jack’s Tavern for five days earning 182 GP each for their stage act and for working as barmaids. Tom returns with the girls to Newcastle for the coronation. Vilamia has sent a letter to the Sandworks Imports’ owners a few days prior to leaving explaining what happened to Akorian and why Tom is with us so they can decide whether to employ our new found party member.