After studying the runes and informing the party of the potential resurgence of the Cult of Vecna, the ritual-caster begins to prepare G’yest for his return to the land of the living. The ritual is performed without incident and all seemed well for our adventurers for a change, until Oloramas arrived at the spell-caster’s shop in a frantic state with the lifeless body of a woman in hand. He then proceeded to inform the group that the Bolt’s position in Shorehold had been compromised and that there were a number of casualties as a result.
The key to finding out the root of this treachery, according to Oloramus, was to revive the very woman that lay dead before them. And this posed a problem because the spell-caster had just used the last of the most rare component in the revival ritual, the elusive Nightfern.
Being the only members of the Bolt that Oloramas could trust (our heroes were not in Shorehold at the time of the betrayal) he turns to them for help in collecting this rare shrub.
The group agrees to make a trek to the closest location known by the spell-caster to find the shrub… the mausoleums of Andok, ancient city of the dead, located just over the northern border of the province of Samia.
But leaving the city proves to be no easy task. Shorehold is overrun with city guardsmen looking for whatever remains of the Bolt. So our heroes are smuggled out in the false bottom of a carriage and taken north.
Guided by a hand drawn map that had been given to the spell-caster by a merchant who recently survived the horrors of Andok, they arrived at the large mouth of a cave, surrounded with concentric circles of runes that stretched back for hundreds of yards. Using his experience with the arcane, Tkar was able to identify these as symbols of protective rituals, probably designed to keep something from exiting the cave. The party was able to pass over them without effect.
Entering the cave, the three heroes slowly and cautiously made their way through dark, rough tunnels lined with broken patches of cobblestone. Midway through the decent they came across a large iron gate. The gate was ornamented with etchings that depicted the demon prince of the undead and lord of Andok, Orcus. The thought of Orcus possibly being around in a time when the cult of Vecna is poking its head up again and causing trouble seemed to be a recipe for disaster. But our heroes had more immediate matters to tend to and pressed on deeper into the city.
Beyond the gates, the city reached an underground avenue lined with ruined stone buildings, as well as smaller structures that seemed to be constructed out of bones. In the middle of this path, the trio was confronted with a giant blue sphere of light, surrounded by skeletons and zombies that seemed to gain some sort of strength from it, though when our heroes approached the light it seemed to weaken them. Luckily, the party was able to identify two piles of skulls as the sources of this ghostly energy and Torinn and Tkar were able to dispatch with the vile energy using brute and magical force, respectively. They then made their way to the mausoleums where hell hounds and more undead lay in wait. These ghouls where also dispatched and the Nightfern was successfully recovered in bulk along with:
• 400 gold
• A steel mace with beautiful carvings
• A black pearl
• And a wand with copper bands
Now our heroes are on the road to meet Olaramas in the outskirts of Shorehold to plan their next move and hopefully rejoin with their newly revived friend G’yest.