Our group decided to continue exploring the tomb, walking past the massive coffin of gold in the hopes of finding some treasure which isn’t trapped, which it turns out is harder than one would think. Anyway, we uncovered a loose tile in the floor leading deeper into the catacombs and were greeted by a group of the undead. My experience with the undead is based mainly on stories but after seeing Strug knocked 15 feet backwards like he was nothing I have developed a healthy fear of the animated dead. This was exacerbated by our opponents interest in me. No matter what happened I seemed to be the most targeted person in our group. If it weren’t for Strug and the rest of the group things wouldn’t have ended so well. We overcame our opponents but were left a bit bruised by the effort, thankfully all we needed was a bit of a breather to catch our breath and examine the corpses of our former enemies.
Judging by their appearance they were grave robbers from a bygone age, wearing a myriad of different armor and, more importantly, carrying metal weapons. We have found metal to be an extremely effective bargaining chip when acquiring resources though I saw that no one else in the group seemed interested in the longsword, so I did the right thing and took it for my own. No one else commented so I suppose it was alright.
We actually came across another living being as we continued. I could tell at first glance that he was some sort of arcanist, though why he was in this tomb is anybody’s guess. Admittedly the same could be asked of our group. He accused us of trying to steal the treasure, we accused him of evil deeds, and he said something to Strug about slavery, which is still a bit of a sore point with him, I can’t imagine why, though as I write this I can see that sarcasm doesn’t always translate well so if anyone else is reading this rest assured I know why Strug doesn’t like slavery. Strug charged the wizard in a rage and Cha’ka attacked because I think she just likes killing things. Either way they proceeded to beat the man within an inch of his life until he cast some magic, defiling the area and filling it with demonic beings and he disappeared. Coward. We fought back against the demons and quickly proved to be superior, thanks in large part to my brilliant power chords which electrify the soul, though there are times where I believe I am under-appreciated. Such is the price of genius. What made this area unique is that any time either of us performed an arcane spell a bit of the floor reacted with the magic becoming a danger to stand on. I hope no one caught on that some of the tiles were my own creation. Especially with the githyanki having a lifelong vendetta against defilers. I’m pretty sure I managed to convince them the floor was all the enemies doing. I really don’t feel like being a pincushion.
As we moved on we were confronted with a room containing a pit and several boxes. As seems to be our current standard procedure we tried to open a box without looking at much else and were rewarded with a gout of burning sulfur from the floor around the box. Once our hearts had resumed a more regular rhythm and we had put out the Thri-keen we tried it again with a similar result. Instead of risking death by conflagration we decided to go back into the hallway and watched as Uzemaya shot them with arrows. What can I say, useful ideas weren’t very forthcoming. We saw that one of her arrows hit a knot on the wooden box which gave a very audible click and we found that it no longer shot gouts of fire. We did the same with the others and opened them revealing an interesting site. Under each box was a pit filled with some sort of extremely caustic liquid, and in the center of the pit was an item giving off some sort of field to protect it from the liquid. Clearly the king buried here had issues.
Regardless this new situation gave rise to long interlude of arguing, each solution being slightly more ridiculous than the last. I think Cha’ka, the thri-keen, got bored, or irritated, or some strange insect emotion and run up, nimbly jumping over the liquid and easily grabbing the item within. I admit I felt a bit foolish at being unable to see this simple solution. But now we have these items which, based on the murals in the chamber, belonged to the former king and I could see that they were clearly magical. We decided to hold onto them until we could find out more. My studies of the arcane had instilled upon me the healthy fear of unknown magic.
The last place we searched turned out to be interesting to say the least. It was a room dominated by a massive glowing crystal, some sort of psionic artifact, emanating a sense of wrongness. It’s hard to describe, it was like listening to a song and suddenly realizing one of the keys is horribly out of tune. Once it becomes apparent it’s extremely difficult to focus on anything else, and judging by the appearance and demeanor of my compatriots I saw that they were similarly affected. Some sort of humanoid manifested from the crystal, a bizarre mixture of humanity and geology who spoke through telepathy. He accused us of being grave robbers which, while technically true, lacks so much of the romance I’m trying to achieve in my endeavors. I respond, being a bit more pedantic and sardonic than is necessary but I take offense to people accusing me of crimes. Or half people in this case. It was then that he yelled at me and called me an arcanist which I could see was heard by the rest of the group and will probably need some explaining later. With the formalities out of the way we charged and the battle began.
Of course, as if fighting some sort of amalgamation of human and crystal weren’t bad enough we were attacked by these masses of teeth and tentacles. What made it worse is that our normally reliable killing machine was having difficulty with the swarm of little abominations. Oh, and the evil, crystal, thing was far more difficult to hurt than one would expect, many of our attacks doing far less damage than we are accustomed to. It is at this point that I should comment on the inferior building design of this catacomb. I sing one note off-key and the entire room begins to collapse. The rest passes in a blur of fighting, digging and shifting the blame away from myself. We managed to escape with our lives and the evil thing pinned beneath several tons of rubble, tired, dirty but thankful to be alive.Sigh, I should have stayed in Urik.