The heroes of this tale began the session in a prison cave inside a densely populated pirate stronghold. The dwarf noticed a section pof wall in the back was meant to look natural but concealed a door. This in turn led to a long sloping tunnel and the roaring sound of water. The wizard was able to guide his snake to the bottom of the tunnel where it opened out into a natural cavern with a swift underground river running through it. the party decided they could exit this way since the river must empty into the nearby sea.
The wizard, aided by the gnomling, used illusion to convince the pirate guards that everything was cool, then the party and thier four rescued savages, the oogachaka, made their way down the tunnel. In the cavern they found a ledge on the far side of the river, and a tunnel beyond. The cursed sword and staff each began to glow with a dim but unholy light, and the party assumed orcs must be near.
They also thought they might be near the tomb whence these items were plundered. To undo the curse that haunted the items, they were told they must undesecrate the tomb of the ghost who haunts them, and so they crossed the river using a little bit of rope and mage hand, and noticed strange markings. At the water’s edge, the stone was gouged with giant claw marks, hundreds of them. Also the keen dwarven eyes of corporal agnes detected the five-edged imprint of a dwarven spike. (though they did not know it, the spike ws driven into the rock when the dwarf Bim and his sons raided this tomb. They were about to find out what made the scratches.)
Following the passage,they came to a pair of huge stone doors, open a crack. When the strongest among them tried to budge, a small pebble under the door caused a great squealing sound to reverberate through the caverns. Removing this pebble allowed the door to open. the party peered into a large chamber decorated with flaking frescoes along the walls. the images depicted that of a human princess and an elven knight in love. Two stone sarcophagi stood at either end of the room, their lids thrown rudely aside. Between them was a treasure pile of gold and silver coins, with a few other sparkling items of interest, like a shield with a mirrored finish and a jacket of woven chainmail of beauteous and delicate art.
above each grave a ghostly figure appeared. They screamed and moaned and held out forlorn arms of forboding, but to the ears of those who held their artifacts, the two wood elves, the moaning took on the sound of words. “give back that which was taken from us…” The rogue answered that she would consider the idea, but first she needed more information while moving into the room and hiding behind the very casket of the ghost to whom her stolen sword once belonged. se found a pile of old rags and bones in a tumbled maess, and realized they were the bones of the ghosts, thrown to the side and intermixed. she began sorting them and had the four tanaroa help. fortunately there were enough differences in man and elf anatomy to make this possible, and in two turns,thy had the male elf skeleton complete and back in its sarcophagus.
just then a roar came from the tunnel behind them, followed by the splashing of water and the clawing of great claws upon stone, as something big emerged from the river. most of the adventurers moved into the room except for the nobleman and the dwarf corporal. they watched as a wall of darkness came towards them, quenching the light source 9which happened to be a gold coin tied to the head of the wizard’s snake staff like a little glowing helmet.)
They wisely backed into the room and closed the stone doors, then barred them (with the little pebble) just before a blast of acid struck and slowly ripped a hole through the door. Both warriors were splashed but escaped great harm. as the darkness enveloped, acid spewing foe slithered and clawed forward into the room, it struck out with claws and a ferocious bite. the nobleman was knocked out, healed by a cleric, and knocked out again.Meanwhile the two ghosts beckoned again for the items and the eyes of the female ghost sparked dimly through the magical darkness. rogue let loose her long sword, and cleric let loose her staff. they head the sound of the items fling through the air then grabbed. suddenly the staff’s gem appeared as a spark of light in the maical darkness which grew to become a shard of the sun. it cast the chamber in cleansing daylight, and revealed a coiling black dragon in the doorway. the sword, in the hands of male elf, became animated and danced through the air to engage the dragon. it never landed any blows but did manage to engage the dragon.
The next round the one ghost used the staff to flame strike the drgaon, while the other continued to duel the dragon. when his bones were at rest, he whispered thaqnk you and disappeared – but the sword continued to dance before the drago, now controlled by the rogue. the staff continued to cast its aura of daylight and dropped to lie athwart the sarcophagus of the female human when she was put to rest.
the wily wizard with his infinite bag of tricks managed to scare the dragon at its weakest, having taken massive damage and being dazed by the light. it chose to retreat,but warned before it retreated into a new darkness,that it would seek out and reclaim every piece of gold, silver and treasure of its hoard that was even touched by them.
which obviously means that before fleeing through the river, the party collected 1500 gold, 3000 silver, a magic shield, and a magic suit of elven chain. and no savages were slain in the rescue attempt.
they made it back to tanaroa to find out that a messenger had bent sent from the colony – an infestation of mites had spoiled their food stores, and there would soon be starvation. The oogachaka, in thanks for rescuing the four captured by pirates, agreed to suppply the colony with food, annd everyone immediately set off in a great dancing, singing procession towards the new colony. There was a feast of thanks giving when they arrived, obviously.
A carnival ship had recently docked, being damaged in a storm and blown off course, but that is a tale for next week.