Notem Burial Grounds
After defeating the dragon in the Golem Factory, several members had some questions for Nixero the Cold about his decapitation act in the final moments of the dungeon. Shemuel cast a zone of truth over Nixero and began to interrogate him along with Faust. They asked him many questions about who he was working for and where the contract for killing the Golemancer came from. While this was happening, Arawn and Bishop left the group very silently and secretly.
Nixero answered truthfully (as he was forced to) and assured them he was not against the Syndicate, but his allegiance was and always would be with the Frost Wolves. It began pouring down hard, so the group decided to set up camp for the evening and rest up. Sarin accidentally set fire to Nixero’s tent, forcing him to sleep in her tent for the night. They spent a very warm and comfortable evening together…
In the morning, Shemuel and Sagemon were given messages by their deity. They were told to go to the place known as the Notem Burial grounds and search for some artifacts that would aid them on their quest. In need of magical items and wishing to please their gods, Shemuel and Sagemon pleaded with the group to allow them to go on this quest. There was not much resistance given, so off they went to the burial grounds of the ancient battle.
After three days, the group arrived at the bowl shaped battle grounds of Notem. It was still a bit rainy, and the ground was soaked. In the center of the bowl was a single Mausoleum, most likely belonging to the important generals of the war. There were various kinds of tombstones and graves scattered about the battle field, some made from sticks, others made from actual stone, and some were just mounds of dirt with a flower on it. There must have been close to 800 graves here, not to mention all of the unmarked graves of the forgotten fallen warriors.
Nol Laf the barbarian wanted to go into the mausoleum because he was cold and wet, and everyone else wanted to go in because they could all feel an arcane energy emanating from somewhere beneath the ground. The Syndicate traveled into the Mausoleum.
The Fog Room
When the PCs entered the mausoleum, it looked like any ordinary mausoleum. There were tombs embedded in the wall in alcoves all around, and there was nothing but an eerie silence filling the area. Through further inspection, Marduk was able to detect the magic one of the tombs was emanating. He went over to inspect it, but as he touched it, a mechanical click was heard from behind it. The tomb slid back into the wall a bit, and then lowered into the ground, revealing a passage way with stairs leading underground.
The Syndicate got into a single file line and walked down the steps carefully. When they reached the bottom they saw nothing but fog covering the floor of the natural cavern room. The fog must have been a foot thick, it was impossible to see through. They pondered there for a few minutes, thinking of different ways to make it across the room. Suddenly, Sagemon spoke a few words and created a gust of wind that moved the fog off of the ground and into the air. Luckily the fog was less dense while in the air, allowing them to see their way across the room. The floor, as they could now see, was covered in traps of various kinds. Spike traps, pits, all sorts of death dealing traps.
Just when they thought they could get across the room with ease, ghosts suddenly appeared out of thin air. There were three ghosts that looked stronger than the other ones, but there was a total of 10 ghosts. The barbarian walked up and tried to reason with one of them, but after about three words the barbarian got bored and decided to attack it with his great hammer, initiating combat. With that, everyone drew their weapons and started attacking the ghosts. Faust, Jeffery the water elemental, and Nixero were all very afraid of the large ghosts however, so they stayed away from them.
Everyone whacked on these undead warriors until eventually there was nothing left but ash from their incorporeal bodies. The Syndicate felt very satisfied, and Sarin smiled and Nixero, who in return gave a small and uneasy smile back. With that, Hildagard and Marduk decided this dungeon was way over their heads, so they left the dungeon and waited outside. Sarin was slightly relieved at this. She still didn’t exactly feel comfortable around Marduk.
After searching around for a bit and finding nothing at all, the group moved on to the next room. This room had no visible exit, and also was only filled with natural looking boulders scattered here and there. Faust used detect magic and discovered that three of the rocks in this room were probably not actual rocks. Shemuel commanded Jeffery to go ahead and inspect the closet rock. As he did, the rock started to move and come to life. It unfolded itself as if it were made of Aluminum foil. It Chiseled out a mouth and two holes for eyes and began speaking.
Shemuel and Sagemon tried to have an intelligent conversation with the creature. It was going well, however, since most of the party did not believe in divine gods (especially Nixero. For some reason he kept stressing that point every 30 seconds) and the group did not know the pass phrase, they were not allowed to pass without a confrontation. With that, the battle began.
The Syndicates made short work of the Galeb Duhrs. Faust used his Eldritch Nova, and Sagemon basically blew one of them away with a thunderbolt at max power. He also took out part of the wall. In very little time the Syndicate was searching the area for the way out and for anything the rock people might have been hiding inside their bodies. It just so happened that the Galebs had an Amethyst inside of them. The barbarian started smashing on the ground all around with his magic hammer. Eventually he found a hollow spot, so he started smashing at it. He managed to put a hole in the floor, revealing a hole that was actually hidden underneath one of the boulders. Nixero and Jeff moved the rock and everyone went down the hole which had a ladder attached to one side. Nol Laf just jumped down the hole he had created. Faust decided he was no tired and headed back to camp to have a long drink and good afternoon’s rest.
Abriel and the Water Room
As the adventurers got off the ladder, they landed in a pool of water. TO their surprise, the entire room was covered in water, with room sloping downward in front of them. The Floor also dropped off to a 40ft deep end at the other end of the room. Since it was water and they just so happened to have a water elemental, they decided to send him in and scout out the water to see if it were safe. He melted into the water. About five minutes later he reappeared with some news. He told them of a crack in the wall leading to the next room under water, but it was too small for someone to fit through without some trouble. He also informed them of a fish person living under the water. Shemuel told Jeffery to ask the man to come up and have a talk with them.
Moment later, when Jeffery returned, the fish man popped his head out of the water. He spoke to the Syndicate telepathically, with nothing else besides head movements and hand gestures. To sum it up, he agreed to help the weak swimmers through the crack for a small price. Nol Laf gave him a spare set of shorts, Shemuel gave him a hood, and Sagemon gave him a ration. The group now got ready to dive in the water, so they took their armor off and limbered up. Who knew how long this passage would be?
Nol Laf was the first to jump in. When he jumped in, his body became as stiff as a plank of wood, causing his feet to bob out of the water. He suddenly remembered he had forgotten to put himself on swim mode, so he turned his gears and took off into the crack in the wall like a dolphin in its true habitat. Following him came everyone else, with Shemuel in the back. Everyone was a perfectly fine swimmer except for Shemuel, so Abriel stayed with him and Jeff and helped guide him through the crack.
About half way through the tight crack, Sarin started to run out of breath. Luckily Nixero was beside her and gave her a very tender mouth to mouth air transfer, putting her health and safety above his own. Very surprising coming from a mercenary. Finally, without any other troubles, they popped up in a pond in the next room. As extra payment for his help, the group gave Abriel a random potion and some extra rations. When Abriel took the potion he began to make cat like noises. He waved his hand in a few different ways and cast remove curse on himself. He told them how he disliked the potion, but thanked them for the thought. At that, he left them and returned to his lake room.
Like a Fairy Tale
In this room there wasn’t much to look at. There was simply a ring of arcane symbols laid out on the ground in a circle. The runes said: “Meaningless for one, Bliss for two. Embarrassed when shone, Best when true. Express me in this room, and for you, the door will be shown.” Eventually, the group figured out that the phrase meant two people had to show some kind of affection. Immediately everyone turned to Sarin and Nixero. Nixero threw his hands up and started backing up from Sarin, trying to explain that there could be some kind of other possibility to open the path. Sarin, however, paid no mind to him and tackled him into the circle and kissed him.
Suddenly the passage beneath the kissers was opened, sending them hurling down to the floor with a thud. At the same moment, a chest appeared in the original room. The rest of the group decided to look in the chest while Nixero and Sarin had their moment at the bottom of the hole. Inside was just a few odd and in things with some minor value.
After traveling down the hole and peeling Sarin off of Nixero, who was just laying on the half dazed mercenary, the group found a strange room. One of the walls was chiseled out, while the rest of the walls were natural. ON the chiseled wall was something that resembled the letter “Y” There were also 4 chests laying on the ground in the room. The group opened the chests and found some pretty good loot, most of it money, but some had cool items like spider climbing slippers.
The group could not find out how to solve this room. They knew it had to be some kind of magic seal or puzzle, because the chiseled wall was giving off magic. Eventually, almost two hours later, Nixero picks up a chest and looks on the bottom of it. Inscribed on the bottom were some jumbled up letters that just had to mean something. The group flipped every chest and saw that all of them had different jumbled letters. They had to create some kind of pass phrase.
The Silver Syndicate understood that this was a difficult puzzle, but even in the face of defeat, they trudged on. Eventually, the group deciphered the code! Everyone cheered, the wall came down and disappeared, and Sarin Kissed Nixero again. Happy days! On the other side of the wall, they saw two skeletons holding each other, as they each held a knife into the other’s side. It must have been the two leaders mentioned in the story behind this place.
On their persons, they found two great artifacts created by the gods. The Mace of Disruption and the Quartestaff of Healing. Shemuel and Sagemon took these in their possession. Everyone agreed to bury the two of them in honor of the gods. They said a few words, and decided it was time to go.
Outside of the dungeon, they spotted something peculiar. It was an old man on a horse pulling a wagon. They hailed him and he stopped. He jumped into the wagon, pressed some kind of button or lever, and the whole thing seemed to fold out into a shop in a matter of seconds. He was a traveling salesman.
Eventually, the PCs found two things they wanted from him. A Red Elemental Gem of Power and the Alchemy Jug. He was asking quite a hefty price, and even though the group just cleared a dungeon filled with loot, they did not want to part with their precious gold. So instead of paying him, Nixero came up with a better idea. He turned around and told the party he would be back in about ten minutes.
Ten minutes later, Nixero came strolling out of the mausoleum with Abriel at his side. He walked up to the old man and asked if he needed an apprentice. The old man said he did, and if Nixero was willing to part with his apprentice and give him to the old man, the old man would give them the two items they had wanted so desperately. Nixero and the group agreed to give Abriel to the old man for the two items that would have only costed them about 1500 GP. Abriel signed a contract, and the PCs received the items. The old man took Abriel and set off on his travels once more.
A few minutes later, the group saw Nixero and Sarin taking a walk by them self with a jug of mayonnaise. They later came back to the group and Shemuel had a talk to the two of them with Nol Laf. They both scorned Nixero and Sarin about how she shouldn’t cheat on her husband, and how Nixero should be ashamed for trying to get with a married woman. Sarin grew sad and depressed because no one understood her side of the story, and Nixero just kept nodding like an incompetent man. They then made camp, with Sarin and Nixero in separate sleeping tents.
With the burial grounds clear, and no other obstacles in their path, The Silver Syndicate no heads for the Citadel of Clouds! Who knows what wonders await them there? Perhaps Nixero will finally get the platemail he has been desperately trying to find! Find out next time!