From the Journal of Flynn a’Lynnalynn, Cleric of Desna
Our shock at discovering the slaughtered animals outside the Crypt was quickly forgotten as we searched the site of the attack. We found one full saddlebag amongst the carcasses, and the others were emptied, so our first thought was that brigands had most likely attacked some poor travelers passing through the area. We then found ancient bones near the animals, which made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck—the thought that the animals may have been slaughtered by undead skeletons crossed our minds. I made a small prayer to Mother Moon that the grisly site was merely another dweomer set in place by Holgast and the people of Kassen for our entertainment, and we approached the stout wooden doors of the Crypt, one of which hung ajar. Our guard was up. We drew our weapons and entered the Crypt.
Inside, our worst fears were realized. The owners of the horses were indeed townsfolk of Kassen, and victims of a hideous crime. Just inside the entrance of the Crypt, two bodies lay, which we discovered were Gerol and Vark, a woodworker and farmhand from Kassen. We also discovered, to our horror, who murdered them—or what murdered them, rather. Undead skeletons rose up around us and attacked. Krug and Wood Creeper fought back well, and Desna smiled upon me, granting me her power to blast the undead back into lifeless piles of old bones. Wood Creeper fought the skeletons with particular vigor—I suspect his hatred of the undead runs as deep as mine. As for Krug, the anger at seeing his neighbors slaughtered lent a strength to his weapon that was staggering to behold.
As we explored deeper into the Crypt, we found evidence that Gerol and Vark were indeed there to prepare a welcome for us—one that must have quickly gone horribly awry. A frightening wailing echoed through the desolate place, which we tracked to a door at the end of a hall. Beyond the door was another member of our unfortunate welcome party—Roldare—who was panicked and nearly mad. I talked to him until he calmed down enough for us to get small bits of useful information from him. He told us the group numbered six, and had arrived at the Crypt three days ago to set some harmless traps for Krug, Wood Creeper and I. They were attacked a day after they arrived. One of the attackers, with a “Voice of Death”, had taken Roldare’s sister Dimira, and we immediately vowed to rescue her. We left Roldare barricaded in his haven, but before we left, he told us we needed “shields and keys”, and gave me a fine crossbow to take along.
We explored deeper into the Crypt. We found another body of a Kassenite, and an acid-spitting beetle atop it, which was almost too much for us to handle. The beetle was nothing, however, compared to the evil shadowy creature we encountered in a large room just a bit further south. A large, smoky fire blazed in a firepit in the center of the room, which must have served as a campsite for the Kassenites before they were attacked. Krug’s greataxe passed right through the creature, and I prayed to Desna that her power would help us vanquish it. To my astonishment, Wood Creeper leapt into the fray, wielding his two blades, and sliced at the creature with such ferocity that I would swear his weapons glowed with the power of the divine. Perhaps it was just an illusion created by the smoke and flames in the room, but nevertheless, Wood Creeper did what I thought would be impossible—his blades both struck true, and the shadow was undone. As an added benefit, Krug found an enchanted dagger, which will come in handy if we meet any more of the malevolent shadows further on.
Near the center of the Crypt, we almost blundered into a room dominated by a particularly deadly arrow trap, but we fled the room before disaster struck. As for the “shields and keys” Roldare told us we would need—we eventually found both. A room with a deep pool, where a loud magical voice proclaimed “magic is the key”, led us to an enchanted key. And the shields were not far from there, just down the hall through some entrapped statues. Unfortunately, the shields—oddly labelled “home” and “family”—were in the hands of a huge animated wooden statue of Kassen. Krug’s axe made short work of the golem, however, and now with shields and key in hand, we head back to the trapped room to face its many arrows, and whatever lies beyond.
I pray to Desna we find Dimira safe and sound.