Upon arrival at the licheyard, nothing unusual was seen. We ventured further in and a bit to the east and saw several figures milling near a tomb.
As we approached through the neat rows of headstones dating to the time of the great crusade we began to see the figures were shambling corpses: zombies. We fought the zombies amid the grave rows, avoiding the freshly overturned dirt where restless corpses seemed to have recently clawed their way from the ground.
The zombies hit hard, but we were victorious, though Monique Iron Raven was knocked out again. I am somewhat concerned that she might be rushing to Lady’s embrace before her allotted time… Ultimately she was revived and we were victorious. We found the zombies wearing the tattered remains of Imperial soldiers of old. Monique also recovered some enchanted armor from the toughest of the zombies.
While we caught our breaths and examined the bashed doors of the tomb, Monique climbed to the roof to see if there were any other undead in sight. She reported seeing no others nearby. Where then were the other bodies from the disturbed graves? There were more than the zombies we put down could account for.
Soon we turned our attention to the battered doors of the tomb before us. It looked as if one had been bashed in and then shoved back into place with the outside surface facing in. Once we moved the door out of the way, the light from outside spilled into the building, dimly illuminating three intact sarcophagi, and a whole in the floor where a fourth had been. Four animated skeletons, wearing the tattered remains of Imperial army officers moved to attack as soon as Drelf entered.
Drelf quickly assaulted two, but they returned the attack with brutal force and he fell to a pair of short ranged arrows. It was clearly not his day to die, as only a different fate could explain how the skeleton standing over his fallen body could have missed with its killing blow. We quickly rushed in and drove the creatures back with the Holy Wrath of the Raven Queen and we quickly put the creatures back to rest. As we caught our breaths and made sure everyone was ready to continue on, we noticed with some curiosity that the three sarcophagi were still sealed.
Once we ventured down into the tunnel where the fourth sarcophagi should have been, we found ourselves bathed in a harsh, blue-white light and I sensed a dark, unholy presence. We had entered into a series of chambers, three arranged off of a central chamber, each with some sort of large plyon, emitting the light. The chambers themselves appeared unworked by tools and were arranged to the north, east and south of the central room. Each pylon was surrounded by defiled ground that I believe was boon to unlife, providing reanimating force to abominations that were felled within it.
We faced off against a spectral undead who directed zombies and skeletons against us. The foul power of the pylons kept animating piles of nearby bones into more skeletal foes. We fought the monsters while buying time for one another to disrupt the powers of the pylons. As each one was broken, their light dimmed, and they stopped animating more foes.
The ghostly creature fought hard against us, proving hard to hurt and very elusive, able to slip beyond sight, evaporating like so much mist before our blades and prayers. It also proved able to cloud our vision and judgement, causing us to see foes where our friends stood… A terrible foe indeed. However, our prayers and spells protected us and tore at our foes, our strikes shattered skeleton after skeleton, and our determination saw us through. We emerged the victors, all pillars dark and our ghostly foe and its minions vanquished.
As we caught our breath and assessed our surroundings, we found quite a number of riches in the cave-like chambers: coins and gems, and a blackened helm set with green gems that seems to be enchanted with potent, dark power over the souls of the recently dead.
Many questions remain… What is this strange place? Is it new or old? Have we accounted for all the disturbed grave sites? Perhaps the Abbess will be able to provide insights once we return to report our findings.
At least for now there are fewer afronts to the cycle of life and death wandering about.