Lullaby of the Crypt
As we finished gearing up and preparing for our escape from the crypt. I decided it would be a good idea to get a feel of my surroundings, and using my Paladin abilities I scoured the nearby area for the presents of evil beings. I was able to locate a few evil essences nearby and I knew It would be a fool’s errand to try and root them all out. The necromancer was strong enough to bring the four of us back to life and he said he was only able to get to us by avoiding all the fights he could. With the four of us with him now his progress would be slowed, for our bodies were still weakened from being dead.
I then pointed my spear at Morgul, it was time to get some answers out of this elf. With my spear less than an inch from his neck, I asked him how he knew so much about these crypts and by what means did he manage to resurrect us. He answered in a calm, collected voice as if I was pointing flowers at him instead of a nice sharp spear. He told us all of a counsel, a parliament of mages from every school of magic. The most skilled and knowledgeable in each school was given a pendant. And he was in possession of the pendant for the school of necromancy. He also told us that he used this pendant to figure out who he was, for he too, had also been brought back to life. The pendant being the only clue he had. He went questing for his memories and found out about the crypts. And since he is probably the most powerful necromancer to exist he believes that it was him that put this plot in motion. Now all he can do is try an unfurl this wicked force of undead warriors from being released. He then said he used a spell to recreate us into who we were, not by filling our bodies with negative energy as most necromancy would. Instead, it was done by reaching beyond the material plane and pulling us back into our bodies and then having our bodies slowly begin to heal and come back to life.
Hearing the last part alone was a great relief, I was no monster, just someone dealing with the trauma of resurrection. I then moved my spear away from his face. The sincerity in his voice was more than enough for me to withdraw my hostilities from this tormented soul. Then one of the elves walked into the room, he looked like he had seen a ghost or a foul murder scene. Before I could ask what was wrong with him the older human began walking downstairs and we decided that we should stay together so we left the guard room and headed into a lower area until we came up to a ladder well. I decided it would be best to detect if there was any evil presence down below. The older human seemed to have little patience for my act of forethought for he pushed me aside saying we have no need for such magic. Then he followed Morgul down into the darkness. The others and I reluctantly followed them. Once at the bottom we were met by a large pile of bodies, Morgul said they were likely the remains of those too strong or weak to be used for this crypt’s dark purpose. The older human began to sift through the dead for what I could only guess was their personal effects. The male elf looked through an opening in the ceiling and the same look that was on his face from earlier when he had returned to the guard’s room, it seemed unfair that he would have to look upon what I could only guess was a horrible and gruesome torture room. He seemed to be handling this all about as good as I was, but whatever he was seeing, was pushing him to his limits.
Then I felt it. An evil being was close. I readied my spear and told the others we were not alone. The female elf let out a flare spell and the room came to light. The bodies decomposing and horribly mangled, and some hideous vestige of decaying flesh and organs was scurrying across the ceiling. Clumps of thick rotting blood trickled out of its toothed maw as it growled a deep reverberating blech and I immediately trusted my spear upwards at the creature, but my joints were still stiff from rigor mortis and all I managed to do was knock it loose from the ceiling and on to myself. I could feel its teeth trying to scrape through my leather armor but it could seem to pierce through. Morgul then caused the creature to explode, covering me and the nearby area with the congealed blood it had been feasting on. As I watched the sickening globs of caked blood sliding down myself and the walls we began to check for useful items that were discarded with the leftover dead from the room above. A quick look through the pile of corpses had directed us to find some better equipment, more specifically we found a lance! It was nice to have something work out for a change, my second go at life was turning out to be a little bit of a mess. Finding a lance steadied my emotions I seemed to recall training with lances from my past life. I grabbed it off the ground from under a horse and the handle snapped…. Morgul muttered a few words under his breath and mended the object with more of his magic.
I have begun to trust him.
We then headed back up the stairs, and upon entering the guard room we did a quick double-check to see if we missed anything useful and we found a note from the man in charge of the crypt. It talked about how they needed more elves for their experiments because they have been proving too frail to serve their intended purpose. Morgul then explained that each race was being used for certain roles in the army of death, and the elves were being used to create magic weapons of immense power. We then headed up the stairs, Morgul explained that to leave we needed to get the key to go in the courtyard. The only way to do so was to head to the main office and return to the gate. We then began to ascend the pathway leading up and out of the ravine the crypt was made inside of. The incline was steep and the path was worn smooth by countless bodies being brought down to be experimented on. We traveled onward still, our progress slowed by the poor conditions and as we reached closer to the office we came to a split in the path leading us upward. We decided to hook left and to see if we could find anything useful before we headed down the other pathway. A long hallway took us to what we could make out as a lookout point. We could hear the stomping of a large creature as we approached and we knew combat was upon us. We prepared to fight and we charged into battle.
When we rounded the corner we saw two combatants stinking of decay, the hunger for flesh the only look on their rotting faces that could be deciphered. One of them was a thin wight, the other a large ogre that I could only guess was the strongest source of the scent of decay. Morgul using his necromantic powers took control over the larger creature and made it attack the smaller wight, the speed of the other human was far greater than Morgul or any of us could have expected as he charged in at the wight and attacked it with a strike from one of his two blades. The ogre and his strikes landing at almost the same time. He then took a stab with his off-hand weapon at the larger of the two undead. I then saw my chance to act as I ran within striking distance of my lance and buried it deep in the ogre’s chest. The female elf cast another spell on the wight and the battle was already in our pockets. The male elf then used a cleric’s ability to try and duplicate Morgul’s rebuking of the undead creatures. Then Morgul had the ogre attack the wight again but it seemed to be fighting to regain control for the attack missed, however, the other human let a flurry of blows lose on the wight dealing two good hits. I plunged my lance seeping the chest of the ogre once more and it must have broken loose of Morgul’s command for it tried to strike me, luckily I am a master of combat and deflected his blow with a reposition of my lance. Morgul swept in and took care of the ogre with a slash that seemed to flow perfectly with his every movement. With the ogre dead for a second time, the wight was made short work of by the others.
We then all collapsed from exhaustion, our bodies needed rest and nourishment if we were to continue. We then decided to take a break, Morgul prepared us some food and we looked into the chasm from the lookout. The ravine was before us, and as far as the eye could see there were either structures dedicated to the goal of creating an undead horde or keeping them detained. Heading from the courtyard that we needed to get to, I could see that a large area in the middle that seemed to be used for sorting out the processed undead. The path split into three areas from there, two of the areas had mounds of undead piled up throughout them, and the cleric noticed they were separated by race. Also lining the walls of the ravine were wooden bridges and paths built methodically. Each path with a purpose, crisscrossing around the ravine. Then I looked up and saw that the walls leading to the top of the great canyon were coated in a red moss, that I could only guess was from the copious amounts of blood created in the harvesting all the bodies needed for this vast and evil project. I then turned to ask Morgul about the world outside only to find him in a trance, and I figured it would be best to leave him undisturbed.
As we all prepared to rest the female elf began to sing a tale of this crypt, and how it was used to make kids behave or they would be taken here. If parents knew of the foul happenings that took place here I doubt these songs would have caught on. Whatever is happening out there Morgul will need our help. Our ragtag party of a necromancer, a cleric, a bard, a swordsman of some sort, and myself. I just hope that we will be enough.