Riches from Rags
Adventure 5 Recap
The PCs were able to smooth things over with the caravan members.
At The Great Thrift, Alys and Princess Agna agreed to assassinate Arthur in exchange for Drakmor making their bounties go away. Egan disagreed, but accompanied them at a distance in case anything went awry. The assassination went well, and Arthur was dragged bodily into an abyss. Afterwards, Drakmor was nowhere to be found, but the copies that Egan and Alys had of their bounties had vanished, replaced with the image of a Black Hand.
Continuing the journey, the PCs fought both the dragon and the troll/bandits during the final fight. Borthal was still slain by the troll, but Agna and Tordek survived. Alys jumped on Zeuroth’s back, and jumped off from 120’ when it became apparent that he was fleeing. She survived the fall, but broke her right leg which reduces her speed to 5 and requires a regeneration spell to heal.
After time for mourning and interaction, eventually the caravan continued and arrived at Underhome (during the segue).
Alys is T-55 days; payoff is 135,000GP
Underhome Royal House
The next morning, you’re woken by a member of the guest-house staff, and you’re guided to the dining hall for breakfast, with an additional servant helping to support Alys as she hobbles along.. An elegant long-table awaits you, covered with a variety of foods: colorful fruits, boiled gryphon eggs, an assortment of meats, and graincakes all catch your eye before you’ve even fully entered the room. A glance around the room shows multiple servants standing at attention, ready to hop to any need, and you each have a distinct servant take your drink order as you walk to a seat. As you sit, you finally notice a stern-looking older dwarf in ornate clothing seated at the head of the table, with two royal guards standing at the ready behind him. He has graying brown hair, and wrinkles are apparent through his thick, decades-grown beard. His expensive-looking clothes are accented by the many bejeweled rings he wears on each hand. The guards are wrapped in gold-colored full plate, and you notice runes similar to those on the gates of Underhome etched into the armor. Long swords hang at their waist, and they each hold a glaive at attention.
“Princess Agna,” the lordly dwarf begins with a slow drawl. He continues, “It is a pleasure to see that you’re safe and sound,” his face showing a distinct lack of pleasure. Improvise conversation. Quotes include:
“Why, I am Chancellor ”/campaigns/riches-from-rags/characters/chancellor-reihne" class=“wiki-content-link”>Reihne of course."
“What have you learned from the elders?”
“You understand our doubt; you leave the palace with a contingent of guards, none of whom returned, and you come back with no memory and two non-dwarf ragtag companions.”
“I’m afraid I can’t let you see your parents yet; there is too much mystery surrounding your return.”
“You must complete the task given to you a month ago: Go the Tomb of the Elders and consult with them regarding the recent portents (the earthquakes). This will serve the additional purpose of verifying your identity, as only those with royal blood may open the tomb.” (He’ll give directions to the Tomb; it’s in a valley near a large body of water.)
“It is my job, highness, to protect your parents from any danger. I am the gatekeeper, and you will not see them until I have proof you’re who you claim to be. As you “don’t remember,” the Tomb of the Elders is not merely some oracle; it is a rite of passage for all royal children. As such, there exists a way to verify that the rite is actually completed: the crystal in the throne room changes color whenever a royal enters the Tomb. It is currently orange; when it is no longer orange, I will know that you have been granted access to the Tomb, that you are who you say you are, and I will grant you admittance to the palace to see your parents.”
“I will see that you’re given riding ponies and provisions for your trip. Should you return, I will see you then.”
If PCs question the “should”: “It is clearly a dangerous journey if your guards were all lost; you understand my incredulity that you’ll return safely with two meager adventurers as your only aid.”
At that, Chancellor Reihne stands and, with the help of a golden walking stick, exits the room along with the two guards.
(PC’s perception check to overhear servants in kitchen:
“Cerise, did the Chancellor like my food? Did he ask who prepared it?”
“Cyas, give it a rest.”
“Look, it’s not every day I get to cook for the person 3rd in line for the throne. I’d love to be able to cook in the castle one day…)
The journey to the Tomb is uneventful, and after a day’s ride you find yourself descending into the humid valley where Chancellor Reihne said the entrance would be located. The muggy air weighs on you, and mosquitos harass you as you travel. It’s now dusk; camp or continue? (Ultimately irrelevant; if camp, Drow party attacks that night; if not, they attack upon PCs exiting Tomb.)
Drow Fight (now over night or after Tomb); PCs’ perception check to avoid ambush. PCs’ perception check to recognize Relenor as the head of the attackers.
“I couldn’t believe it when he told us you were still alive.”
“*Who* doesn’t matter, because we’re here to fix that.”
“If we succeed, we might be able to take the spot left vacant by Ilmlice’s failure.”
Tomb of the Elders
The ground ramps downward as you approach the actual tomb’s entrance. It continues to descend, the earth around you forming first walls, and then the ceiling to an actual cave roughly 15’ across and 10’ high. Approximately 100’ into the cave, you come across a pedestal in middle of the hallway, with a stone plaque resting on top. Written in dwarven, it reads: “Here be entombed the remains of the Deep Lords, rulers of the Great Rift. Only their descendants, those of royal blood, may open the entrance to this sacred place. All others will be wiped from existence.”
Beyond the plaque, each wall of the cave is lined with a dozen statue of dwarven warriors. The eyes of the first six pair sparkle with green emeralds, and their gazes are fixed in different directions. The next three pair have glittering ruby eyes, and are fixed straight ahead. The last three pair have what appear to be shiny onyx eyes, and are fixed overhead. Just beyond the gauntlet of statues, an obvious lever is mounted on the wall. The floor of this length of cave is littered with the occasional skeleton, none having gotten further than the 6th pair of statues.
(This is less a trap and more an obvious “Rags has to be the one to walk the gauntlet and disarm the entrance” sort of thing. If the PCs don’t figure that out, the first 6 statues shoot the Disintegration spell from their eyes, and there’s no 100% safe path through. The next 3 use a rock-to-lava spell on the entire gauntlet. The last 3 collapse the ceiling. After Rags disarms the entrance, the gems all lose their luster indicating safe passage. As the PCs continue past the gauntlet, the lever begins clicking, indicating that it’s going to return to its original “armed” position.)
A sealed stone door marks the entrance to the actual Tomb itself. Engraved on it, again, in dwarven are the words “Do not be alarmed by the spirits you meet in the tomb. Treat them with respect, and no harm shall befall you here.”
Upon opening the door, a blast of cold air hits you in the face, and a deafening wind whips-up around you as the hot and humid exterior air rushes inside. As you step inside, lanterns mounted around the room simultaneously alight, but the sudden mixture of damp warm air and the cold air of the tomb has created a mist that hampers your sight.
Give PCs time to react. Eventually, mist descends through the flooring and the room is revealed (as per the map).
As PCs explore, the apparition of an armored dwarf appears in the center of the room, a bejeweled crown resting on his head. “Ah, the Princess Agna. We have wondered when we might see you. Your spirit has been lost for some time.”
“No, you are not here for me. You seek the old ones, and I though I am King Marcus, I am barely fit to serve as their greeter. Of all of us, they rest the deepest in Mother Earth. Safe journey on your way to them; this would not be a rite of passage if it were simply a matter of there.”
-Mist is lingering in long corridor; as PCs progress, mist thins and they notice catacombs
-Some NPC ghosts (including old ones)
Ghost 1 – Queen Verhis
Ghost 2 – Child Prince Narvi
Old One – King Telchar
Old One – Queen Dis
-In royal chamber of the old ones, 2 thrones (for original King/Queen) face entrance, and an orange-colored crystal in the center (which turns blue upon the PCs’ arrival)
-After old ones answer questions (“The Deep Realm is indeed in danger; a dark power grows, and the crown is threatened.”), crystal will turn blood-red, and they’ll become enraged. “Deceiver! Defiler! DEATH!”
-After fight with old ones, caskets of catacombs begin to empty and PCs must race out or be overwhelmed by undead (should be difficult with Alys’ handicap).
-King Marcus is confused; “What’s happening? What have you done?!”
After crawl, fight with Drow if not done earlier.
Returning to Underhome
An imposing female dwarf stands at the gates to the keep. The gem-encrusted hilt of a sword is visible beneath her deep blue robe. The large group of castle guards standing directly behind her, give a strong indication that this is a high-ranking knight. (Chancellor Reihne stands off to the side, looking even more sour than he had when you’d last seen him.)
“Welcome home, Princess Agna,” her steely voice reflecting decades of discipline. “Your mother is waiting for you.”
The Captain Gorgini leads you through the castle hallways towards the throne room, with Chancellor Reihne plodding silently along beside her. (Passive sense motive reveals that he seems anxious.) Upon reaching the door to the throne room, the chancellor at last speaks up. “Captain, I must protest!”
After a moment of being taken aback, Captain Gorgini replies “It is their majesties’ orders, Chancellor.”
“But you were in the room!” a frantic Chancellor replies. “The crystal turned blood red! Never before has it been that color!”
“And it returned to blue not even an hour later,” the captain counters. “The temporary foreboding hue may have simply been another portent.”
A female voice interrupts him as the throne room door opens. “That these individuals were able to enter the Tomb is proof enough to me that this is the Princess Agna,” the beautiful dwarf queen Karrivvaspeaks as she steps through the door. “When you also consider the incident at the gate of Earthheart, plus the testimony of a high cleric of Oghma, I see little justification for your protests, Chancellor.” She steps forward, laying a hand on Rags’ cheek and looking into her eyes as she speaks “My daughter’s return is a joyous thing.”