Week 33 - Dying to meet you.

After a recovery period the group set off to the mountains, still trying to resolve the puzzle of the missing Varnholders. However, they decided to stop of at The Linnorm’s Grave first. They discovered a massive skeleton, years old, half buried, along with various offerings of meat and flagons of drink - that the party assumed had been left be centaurs. Just after they left, they almost blundered into a herd of Mastadon. The big bull came out to challenge them, and Rudy decided to use a ’Speak with animals’ spell to open negotiations. Which seemed to consist of the mastodon repeating elephantine comments along the lines of “Gert orf moi land!” The party obliged by backing off and making a detour.

Then they came to a line of warning markers. Bones and skulls hanging from posts marking the start of the Valley of the dead. Wisely, perhaps, they decided to camp for the night before entering the valley, setting a good strong watch against intrusion and evil looking black clouds (should any happen past). Instead it was a some centaurs that disturbed them. The chief-priestess’s daughter was missing ….

In the morning they started into the valley, and occasionally spotted signs of unshod hoof tracks, that they put down to the missing centaur. The valley itself was covered with thousands of giant grave markers, listing names of ancient dead, and the whole place had an oppressive feel - so they were glad to get to the end where an ancient stair case had been cut into the rock. It was 15 feet wide, well weathered and the steps had a large rise …

And it was guarded by a Zombie Cyclops who was, apparently, desperate to eat their brains! However, it was a relatively short fight, before it was defeated. Leaving the horses in the valley (with instructions to stay close to the stair) the party started climbing - eventually coming out to a pass across the small mountain range. They discovered a lake, with a giant stone stack thrusting up out of it, a 100ft tall stone island. With a beach and, what looks like, a cave entrance.

And the spotted the Wyverns who were gliding down silently, trying to take them unawares. An interesting battle ensued with the wyverns attacking as they flew by and the party resorting to ranged weapons. All except Robert, who cast air walk un himself and sallied forth to combat. A tactic which seemed to surprise and confuse the Wyverns - but was also very effective.

Once the wyverns were defeated Robert was able to air walk to the nest - to find an ancient magical great sword as well as other lesser treasures.. He was also able to scout the stack-islands, and then ferry everyone across to the small beach. The entrance lead to a tunnel, which lead into the rock of the island. And then there was a rune carved arch - that stopped them in their tracks, even though there was the glint of gold just a bit further on. It didn’t take long to work out it was warding spell - but also that the spell had been triggered and the wards activated.. They passed through anyway, and collected the gold, gems and jewellery they had seen glinting earlier.

Further in, there was a diamond shaped chamber, guarded by another two brain eating Cyclops Zombies. That was a slightly longer battle, but eventually came down in the PCs favour. It looked like a dead end - but the set Hebrin searching and he soon found a secret door ….

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