January 12th, 2013
After waking from a peaceful rest, the party of adventurers continued to plumb the depths of the Ossuary. After encountering some demonic flesh-beast in one of the Runelord’s crypts, Obama decided to venture a different way.
Stumbling across a pile of rotting, disembodied flesh, Obama led the way by leaping over the mess – or at least, he tried. Falling face-first into the pile, he was attacked by a trio of crawling hands. Little more than an annoyance, they were easily dispatched. But the encounter revealed a more interesting find – a hole in the ceiling, leading into the darkness above.
Scrambling up the ten-foot vertical tunnel, the group found themselves somewhere they hadn’t expected – pinned between a makeshift bedroom and an alchemist’s laboratory. Alerting Svilennius Tripe to their presence, the mad alchemist approached and demanded answers for why the group had invaded his home and workshop. Within a minute, the man had succumbed to rage and began to attack. The sounds of battle woke Esme Verisi, a zombie-like woman who had been laying in the bed. Terrified by the attackers and with little choice, she moved to defend herself.
Although the battle that ensued saw the adventurers on the very cusp of death, they prevailed. Svilennius had fallen, and Esme had surrendered – wanting to preserve her unlife, if nothing else. As the group began to speak to her, Fubar ended her life with a single arrow through the forehead.
With the group furious at Fubar’s unsanctioned acts, Obama stormed off into another hallway. While there were a few undead denizens, there was little of note – until they found the great pit.
The room opened into a massive, thirty-foot wide hole, leading down into the blackness far below, with nothing more than a five-foot wide walkway around its edge. Roa’Kkad carefully led the way forward… When a horrific beast shambled up the walls from below. A ten foot long, snake like creature, the beast was made of pure bone – topped, of course, with a human skull. It entranced the raging barbarian with its glare as his companions rushed to his rescue. Yet, the beast would not fall easily. Wrapping itself around the Shoanti champion, both Obama and Throsh tried to pull the man from his snare. The beast would have none of this – easily fending off the barbarians trio of companions before sulking down into the depths to enjoy his snack.
But Roa’Kkad was not yet out of the fight. Throsh pulled out one of the potions they had taken from the mad alchemist – a concoction he had identified as “Enlarge Person”. The vial of life-saving liquid flew thirty feet through darkness and air before landing in Roa’Kkad’s hand. Quaffing the mixture, the man grew to twice his size – bursting from his bonds and tumbling free from the wall. In a freefall with the skeletal snake, Roa’Kkad grabbed its neck and drove it downward, propelling himself off of its back and towards the walls of the cavernous hole. As the beast shattered against the ground below, Roa’Kkad began the long climb to the surface…
Until another beast, awakened by the sounds of battle, wrapped itself around his leg. Kicking the beast loose, Roa’Kkad also loosed himself from the wall, tumbling down another hundred feet before he could get a grip on the stone. Pulling himself up inch after inch, the man grew fatigued. As he was about to give up hope and collapse, resigned to his noble death, an arm reached out to him.
Illano Darkblood, a mysterious stranger – and savior – emerged from the darkness. Unwilling to reveal the secrets of his existence, he merely cautioned the party of the real, unspeakable dangers that lurked further down in the darkness. Fading back into the mystery he emerged from, Illano simply told them that he would be there – somewhere – in the Undercity. He mentioned “others” as he departed, but said they did not care for his work.
Battered once again, the adventurers clambered to a semblance of safety and lay down for some rest. They awoke feeling only slightly less bruised, and pressed onward.
Two secret passages revealed secrets they hadn’t expected. The first lay atop a spiral staircase, and its passageway opened into the level just above – the lowest level of the Ossuary that was supposedly “secured” by the Pharasmins. The secret door was nearly impossible to detect from the outside – meaning they had likely been among the first to discover it. The second doorway led to a small burial chamber. While all of the original denizens of this crypt had been removed, they had been replaced with a few dormant undead. Dispatching these foes, the party continued on into an ancient crypt of Pharasma. These archaic artifacts would surely be appreciated by the clerics above.