Healed and rested the party returns to the altar room where they are confronted by the reformed skeletons. This battle is as quick as their first encounter. Not keen to meet their undead foes again they wrap the skeletons in the gauzy strips and set them aflame for proper destruction. Beyond the room is a small muddy pit. Dahmel’s war dog Rouckan falls into the muck while crossing the narrow plank bridge. Dahmel comes to his companion’s rescue, pulling him to the far side. Kark is last to cross. His cantrip is quite useful as he simply floats across the mud – a messy affair, but quite safe.
There is light in the chamber ahead. Tiertan scouts ahead. He finds a muddy library with thick red carpeting. Loose pages and messy tomes are scattered around. From the darkness above a spider, as large as Rouckan, drops onto the scout. Its stinger finds purchase in Tiertan’s abdomen sending searing pains through his body. While reeling from the surprise attack, a mailed goblin charges from another passageway savagely wounding the elf. The party mobilizes quickly. The goblin and spider fight as one, with the goblin issuing commands as a series of clicks and chitters. Combatants deal fierce blows from either side, but the vile creatures are no match for the rested party.
Realizing that the exit passage connects back to the entrance the party turns its attention to solving the puzzle of the cube. After some experimentation it appears that the cube absorbs the glow of nearby light sources, but fades quickly. The inscription above the cube-sized depression is their only other clue. After a few attempts to absorb the purple glow from the runes in the Howler’s chamber Ulmfor realizes that his seemingly insignificant cantrip is the key. Able to control the color of his glowing eyes he finds the right shade of purple. The cube slides neatly into place. A great stone slab wall retracts into the floor revealing a chamber beyond. It is a circular chamber. Eight glowing footprints are arrayed around a column in the center of the space. Purple runes light up each place. Red glowing runes appear in the column at each position. Thorail is the first to test his bravery. He steps into a footprints and touches the handprint – he winks out of existence. Madly the party debates their next move. After many long moments of discussion the others take the same sudden journey. Kark is the first to appear in another domed chamber slightly larger than the prior chamber. Thorail already lies unconscious on the floor. Two fresh corpses are also present; a mailed fellow in a blue surcoat and badly beaten elf in bloodied gold robes. A glowing purple sphere lights the room.
Cold hands grip Kark’s neck. Wheeling Kark is unable to see his attacker. Tiertan and Dahmel watch the shadows on the wall cast by the purplish light. Kark’s shadow reveals a creature with its grip on his neck and another holding his blade hand at bay. When it is realized that the shadows are the real threat, Ulmfor takes on a dark smoke form and blankets the sphere. A dim glow lights the room and the attacks stop. Dhamel tosses his cloak over the sphere as a more permanent solution. Calael finds a bright silver blade on the body of the mailed corpse. He is suddenly fraught with a notion to destroy undead. The sword has a purpose. Kark recognizes the sword as Utterlight a sword forged by a legendary Luminary Knight named Isidra who died in the destruction of Slaughtergarde. The spirit of Isidra now inhabits the blade, urging its user to finish the oath he took to defeat undead wherever it lurked. With the sword in hand Kark destroys the shadow creatures once and for all.
The party leaves Slaughtergarde taking the cube-key with them for safe keeping. They recovered eight spice crates in all and a tidy sum of treasure.
Next… the road back to Sumberton