The Forgotten City

Tomb With a View

The Bards stumble across a long sealed tomb, but what awaits them within?

The tunnel led the Bards to an ancient and sturdy stone wall, which seemed to have been blasted through. Upon entering, they found themselves in a large, and well constructed, tomb (the grouting was very fine). Having entered, they spotted a man garbed in fine black robes through the door to their left. Before they could react though, he cast some kind of spell, sending the door crashing down, and blocking him off from them. The wall opposite them featured an entrance that remained open though. Now very much on their guard, the Bards ventured deeper into the tomb.

The room they entered was mostly bare, but a raised podium with a plaque greeted them.

“The sun is born in the east and gives its life in the west. Yet the shadow that is born below glares up at the heavens in defiance of its end.”

Pondering this cryptic message, the Bards ventured further within. The next room held five statues, each depicting a cleric, priest, or paladin. They each bore a name; Brother White, Brother Red, Brother Green, Brother Brown and Brother Blue. Another plaque in the room read as follows;

The dead want nothing more than the appropriate deference from the living. From greatest to least, pay thy respects.

Upon approaching the statues, each glowed, and greeted them with a cryptic message regarding their respect for the others teachings. The Bards listened closely, and soon were able to discern the order of importance based on this. They then paid their respects to the statues in the proper order. As a result, the wall at the back of the room slid away, revealing passage deeper into the tomb, and leading to the realisation that this was a tomb of the oldest design, replete with traps, riddles and more, in order to turn away all but the wisest and most skilful of intruders. The designers of these ancient tombs felt only the deserving should be admitted within.

The next area housed yet another plaque, with yet another message;

Two steps forward, one step back is the rule of a world turned black. Once with success, advance within, with persistance you shall win.

Upon entering the next room, the door slammed shut, and they found themselves on a narrow platform, with a lever on either side. Pulling one lever caused darts to fire out, injuring some of the party, though Eredhion avoided them in a remarkable display of acrobatics. The other lever opened the doors, allowing them to exit.

The next room seemed empty at first, but small holes in the ceiling soon changed that, as three strange grey hued slime creatures dropped into the room. After the party dispatched the odd ooze-like monsters, they continued deeper into the tomb. To their surprise though, they found themselves back in the room with the two levers. Some discussion ensued, and they recalled the earlier plaque. With the insight from that, they deduced that to advance, they had to move two rooms forward, then go back one room, then once again advance forward. Doing so led them to a new room, one with a large metal pillar in the centre. The pillar shot off electrical energy at random, and the room’s exit lay above them. It took all of their skill and not a little luck, but they made their way up to the top of the room, while avoiding the majority, though not all, of the electricity.

The next room contained four purple orbs, spread out through the room. Upon striking them, they began to glow, but only, it seemed if struck in the correct order. Striking them in the wrong order, as Belgevain found out to his discomfort, resulted in the person striking them being zapped with a strange energy. Some discussion and arguing ensued, with the Bards finally realising that this room must be what the earlier plaque referred to;

“The sun is born in the east and gives its life in the west. Yet the shadow that is born below glares up at the heavens in defiance of its end.”

Using this as a guide, they struck the orbs in the correct order of East, West, Lower then Upper, unsealing the room’s exit for them to advance.

The next room in this tomb contained an array of undead. Skeletal archers on platforms above, and bare-skulled zombies on the ground level. During the battle, the party also discovered two false floors concealed pits. The battle was fierce, and not without peril, but the Bards triumphed in the end, and were able to move on to the next part of the tomb.

This turned out to be the main chamber of the tomb, where the remains of the interred lay. Also within the chamber was the black robed man, who took some time to talk to them. They discovered this tomb was that of the revered cleric Tehlu, for which the town was named. It had been sealed for a thousand years, but he had broken his way in with the help of the goblins. He was hoping to raise Tehlu to serve him. Annoyed at the interruption, he disappeared, but not before summoning a familiar face to attack the Bards; the recently deceased Ironjaw!

The jaw they had been carrying flew out of their bag and reattached itself, and Ironjaw attacked. Empowered by necromancy, and wielding a new chain-like flail, he was even more of a threat. But the Bards once again prevailed.

Their celebration was cut short though, as a veritable horde of zombies began to come at them from the further reaches of the tomb. Seeing they would be overwhelmed quickly, they beat a retreat through the tomb, but as they reached the way they had come in, they saw the zombies destroyed by a pure white light of immense power and radiance. Looking upon their saviour, they found it to be none other than the long dead Tehlu! But was this revenant cleric friend or foe…?

Behind the Scenes

The puzzles in the tomb were all adapted from the level ‘Lars’ Tomb’ in the Playstation game “The Adventures of Alundra”. Most of the plaque text is taken verbatim, or with only very small changes from the game. The execution was adapted to more suit a tabletop game though. The music the GM played during this session was the background music from this level.
The necromancer in this quest was originally intended to be spotted at the mayor’s gathering, and then confronted soon after. He was then to have no further part in the plot. He was given a larger part to play due to the player’s developing such a dislike of him, going on to become the focal villain of the campaign.
The attack Tehlu uses is in fact an actual attack usable by clerics; Sacred Word. It’s a level 25 daily power. However, it is only a close burst 2, so the actual attack would likely not have hit as many zombies as it did.
Dn d tomb map
This is the (highly detailed) sketch of the tomb that was used when planning this section


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