Realm Runners

CHAPTER TWENTY SIX: The Tomb of the Tiefling Princess

Megilwath falls into an ocean of fire. There are no boundaries, extending as far as the eye can see. His ebon skin burns off in flakes, but there is no pain, only terror and dread. The flames burn brighter and brighter until he can no longer see through his tears, turning to ash as they leave his eyes. At the moment of his death, he is awakened from his meditation.

He turns to see Sona next to him, her hand upon her forehead, as if having awoken from a nightmare. He asks her what it was and she describes exactly what he saw in his own vision. They talk about it for a bit and he comforts her.

Mentathenis awakes from his meditation feeling right as rain. Just a little upset that it continues to drizzle in the lower sections of the peaks. He can hear the voices of Saranine and Modreg, and his brow furrows,“Too early for either of those.” Especially after his keen hearing picks up what the two are speaking of… “Modreg’s personal mating customs.” The clearly excited goblin talks of “Goats, padded helmets and dollops of crab paste, his favorite romantic setup!” Sara scribbles notes in her journal as fast as the little green guy can talk, and catches Mentathenis’ eying her. She politely thanks Modreg for his exciting information, and walks over to the Eladrin. She bids him a good morning and asks that they take a walk together. He accepts, knowing the Silver Dragon in Eladrin form has been a loyal friend of his family for years.

They walk up around a ridge overlooking the north. The skies are mostly darkened, The clouded peaks still cast their shadows over the land and beyond, the great Netheril, home of the Shadovar. Sara asks Mentathenis about the details of the Wraith Blade and it’s vault. She talks about her studies, locating an island that holds secrets, one that disappeared. She thinks she has placed the island within a 500 mile area, somewhere beyond the Trackless Sea, halfway to Returned Abeir. She also mentions the security of the vault, and says she knows just the thing. She summons a dove to her from the forest below, and whispers it a message. She waves it away and turns to Mentathenis to tell him that she sent message to Trysta Riversong, and that as the best Ranger Sara knows, she could get them a worm.

She tells Mentathenis that she will go on ahead to the Sword Coast and secure them a ship, bids him farewell and asks that he avert his eyes as she transforms. Her shining silver wings beat once and her long slender body is sent diving over the edge. The Eladrin watches as she banks west and disappears from his view. He walks back to camp.

Sona and Megilwath talk about her situation and what the bounty hunters are willing to do for them. She says she wants to stay with him, her love, but is scared. She also mentions to Megilwath about Fanidea staring at him while sharpening her scythe. She looks irritated and gloomy, her shifting chromatic eyes squinting in the overcast light.

He approaches her and asks her again why she is with their party. She tells him that her guild in Menzoberranzan assigned her with the task of watching over him and that he is in danger. She did not choose it, but could not refuse it. She stands and walks a ways out of camp Megilwath follows and they both pass Cliff, returning from his circles of the camp through the mountains. He reports to Ehd and Sam that he didn’t see anything to stir alarm. Aces, Krushi and Terrlen awaken and start breaking down camp.

Megilwath watches Fanidea as she sits on a stone and continues polishing her scythe. The group finishes breaking down camp and decide to head west along the Vale Road in the direction of Arabel. A little ways down the mountain road, Megilwath and Modreg pick up the sounds of battle and barking dogs somewhere below them. A Pegasus carrying an Eladrin rider zips past above them, raining fire arrows down on an unseen conflict. Megilwath climbs to get a better view but can not see the fighting from his position. He sees the Eladrin notice him and train an arrow on the Drow, he waves and when the Eladrin sees this he turns back to loose it into the fray at hand.

The group continues down to see a dwarf and a cloaked humanoid joined in battle with three skeletal dwarves and a skeletal hound. A large black swirling orb of shadow floats off to the side. A blackened trail of death lay behind it. Shadowy tendrils writhing and twist in search of flesh to feast upon. They find a recently slain body and begin stripping it’s flesh away, leaving only bleached white bones behind. Aces, Sam, Terrlen and Modreg stay behind to watch over Sona. Megilwath, Fanidea, Cliff, Ehd and Krushi engage to help defeat the undead. During the battle, a lot of blood is shed, and the black Shadow Spreader manages to be a challenge for the party to take down. Two small pugs run up on Sona’s group, one of which sparks when walking through shadow. The elf recognizes the two small dogs to be Berend Irongull’s. An old friend and servant of the Summergale family. She begins to fear that Sam’s plan will not work.

Before the battle draws to a close, Cliff is knocked unconscious, and when the Spreader is finally defeated it’s darkness explodes away revealing a hideously gaunt cloaked figure to be at the center of it’s evil, who falls to the ground in a crumpled heap.

Cliff and Ehd come to recognize that the dwarf is indeed Berend Irongullet of the Silverymoon Brigade, who thanks them for their assistance and asks about Sona. The mysterious cloaked figure stands near Berend and is as still as a statue, it’s bladed staff sticking in the ground at it’s feet. The Pegasus mounted Eladrin lands nearby and strolls up, introducing himself as Lythannis Ech’thilion. Cliff and Ehd give the dwarf good news. The group gathers, and with Sam’s help, persuades Berend that using Sam in place of Sona would work out to benfit everyone. Sona gets to stay with Megilwath, The Bounty Hunters get their 10,000 gold, Berend gets his bonus, Sam gets to play nobility and Aramil will get what he wants.

Sam takes the guise of Sona and Berend uses a piece of Sam’s equipment to home the two pugs “Sparky” and “Radar” to her scent. Sona hands Sam her Songblade, as it was given to her by her father, and he would expect her to have it on her person. Soon after, the elf drops to her knees, clutching her chest in pain. Her skin pales and she begins to sweat. For a moment, the color drains from her eyes. Megilwath, Sam and Krushi rush to her side to offer aid and help her stand. She says it is alright, and that she didn’t know what that was, but she feels okay again. She grabs Megilwath’s hand and pulls off her necklace, handing it to him. She says she still fears for the future, and her dreams. She promises that she will always love him and wants him to have her necklace so that it may be a symbol of her heart gifted only to him.

Lythannis finishes flirting with Mentathenis and catches up to his friends and Sam, who continue along the road west toward the Brigade. The band, leaves the road to travel in an arc, around the Brigade and back to Arabel.

After a three day journey, they arrive in the ruins of the city. Mentathenis wants to investigate the Tomb of the Tiefling Princess. A place of ancient mystery that his father, despite having tried many times failed at discovering. Cliff and Ehd are interested as they have a map taken from the ogres describing the same place. Everyone ends up following the Eladrin.

When they reach the entrance to the tomb it has been boarded up with three signs…

“By order of the Arabel Authority
these doors are to remain sealed at all times.
Forgive us the inconvenience.”

“We beg of you,
please stop desecrating the princess’ tomb.
There is NO ancient magical treasure inside.”

“No Seriously, the magical doors do not open.
People have tried for years, and many have died in the attempt.”

It doesn’t take much for Aces to smash the boards, Megilwath to pick the lock, and Mentathenis to disable the magical seal. Mentathenis strikes up a light, and playing guide, leads them through a room that his father explained as having a poisonous cloud trap and skeletal tiefling guards. Much of the tomb has collapsed under Aurgloroasa’s attack, and many stains of blood and chips of bone lay about. The eladrin takes his friends through a small trap door in a small alcove to the lower level, where he lays eyes on the doors that have denied so many before him.

The large double doors have graceful dancing engravings flowing throughout their surfaces.
A man’s body lies at the base of them. His skull is crushed in and in death, he kneels before them, his head rests gently against the door. A long dried puddle of blood lay around him.

After a little investigation the group figures out that the doors function through contact with living flesh. In order to open them, a beautiful song must be played through tracing ones fingers with the lights pulsing along their seemingly whimsical paths. Mentathenis snuffs out his light so they can see all of the song’s movement and requires nearly the whole group to play the song. Once started, it feels less like they are being mimics to the door’s playing and making the music themselves, as if having heard the song before, a lullaby perhaps from childhood. Even Aces thinks she has heard it before.

When the song is finished, the doors open to reveal a large room with a skull pit in the center. Behind it, lie an ornate sarcophagus. The sarcophagus is magically sealed and four blue rune discs glow on top of it. After having to stave off a fight between Cliff and Terrlen who nearly get into a scuffle in the skull pit, the group discovers that the runic discs can be removed from the sarcophagus by spinning them off. They place them into round indentations in the walls which activate glowing patterns like waves of light along the walls and across the floor into the skull pit, releasing the skulls into a hidden chamber below and off to the side to reveal a hidden trap door below.

They open the sarcophagus to find a small orb. Blue sky and swirling clouds are enclosed inside. When Krushi picks it up, it activates! The clouds and blue sky explode out of the orb and fill the room with light. A Tiefling-like woman appears before them and speaks…

“Well, here she is.
Body broken beyond repair.
She’ll probably look pretty bad by now.
Skeletal and rotting. Oh well.
I tried to arrange everything as we agreed.
It sure was a pain to get her buried, hopefully she’s not petrified or anything.
I still don’t understand why we needed the skull pit though, it seems a little excessive…
Now, when you meet Desper, make sure you give her this orb, she’ll understand…
Don’t forget to lock up when you leave, can’t have anyone else getting in here
So…yeah! Good luck, and I’ll see you soon! I’m really excited!”

The daylight is sucked back into the orb and the Tiefling woman is gone.

Megilwath, Modreg and Cliff notice that while she was shaped mostly like a Tiefling, she has strangely colored bluish skin and green glowing geometric patterns and designs crawled about her skin.

The party heads into the large trap door in the floor to enter a small area below. It’s dusty and dirty, and while some of the intricacies remain in the strange skeletal beam’s framing, much of the room has collapsed in on itself. There are a bunch of random items of little value scattered about the room. Carvings of foreign landscapes. Scattered parchment. A ship’s helm. Some old books, who’s pages are also faded. A single chest lies hidden underneath some junk, behind the ship’s wheel.

Cliff and Megilwath notice some writing on one of the beams above. It reads…

“O come from afar, from those ages away.
O don’t ever yon wander to return there someday,
O the great wheel beyond, must be held sway,
O through spaces between, we will find our way.”

The party starts to suspect that this small room may actually be a ship of some kind. Megilwath grabs the wheel that when touched, glows in chromatic waves, the whole room shifts and rocks begin to fall and the wheel tears itself free of it’s base. They open the chest and find only 3 gold, and an old spool with a single length of thread still wrapped around it’s core.

Aces wants to take the entire wheel with her but the others point out that it won’t fit through the upper trap door, and can not be placed into the bag of holding.

Mentathenis takes a piece of the wreckage and wipes the dust away. He cannot identify the strange material, it is neither metal nor wood but somewhere in between. on the back of the piece, carved in elegant script are the words “The Tiefling Princess.”



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