A knock on the door startled Ravena from her studies.
“Who is it?” She called out, already knowing the answer. Only a rogue would call at that hour.
“It’s Miracelli,” a muffled voice on the other side of the door replied.
“Come on in.”
“It’s locked.” Miracelli said poutily.
“And this is a problem for you?”
A moment later the door swung open. Miracelli entered the small room and plopped down on the bed.
“Go ahead.” Ravena rolled her eyes, “Make yourself at home.”
“So, what are you working on?” Miracelli asked, ignoring the other half-elf’s sarcasm.
“Going back over my notes on a spell Skitter’s been teaching me. It should be handy. She’s teaching me how to fly.”
“Oooo, you could snoop on so many people if you could fly!”
“That wasn’t something I had considered,” Ravena replied, “But yes, I suppose I could. I had cave and tower exploration more in mind. Like the haunted tower where we got our asses handed to us? Didn’t you wonder what was on the upper floors?”
“No,” Miricelli shook her head, “What had been the upper floors had collapsed onto the ground. I could see it all just fine without flying.”
“I dunno, I didn’t get a good sense of the place.” Ravena replied.
“That’s probably because there was a horrifying skull monster!” Miracelli squealed.
“It’s called a Will o’ Whisp. And that reminds me, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about licking things.”
“Zot licked the tower too!” Miracelli replied indignantly.
“Zot doing something doesn’t make it a good idea. That tower was clearly evil. I mean, it was covered in Aklo carvings! That’s the language of the old gods! You know, you don’t tend to listen to me much.” Ravena furrowed her brows, “You must be really bored right now.”
“I’m soooo bored.” Miracelli groaned. “Nothing interesting ever happens around here!”
“What about that Grigory guy? He was interesting.”
“He hasn’t done anything interesting in DAYS!” Miracelli moaned, “He just hangs out in the inn and sometimes in the market. And he’s asleep right now. He’s one of those people.”
“The kind who sleep?” Ravena asked.
“Normally I sleep, I just really want to be sure I have all of this right,” Ravena replied, gesturing at a pile of scrolls on her desk. “If only I had more books at my disposal…”
“You don’t need books! You’ve got Skitter!” Miracelli exclaimed.
“Speak of which, could you keep it down? She’s sleeping one off right now. She got into some of that strong stuff we sent the giant. And I do need books. Books are full of languages and histories and facts about monsters- they can be incredibly handy.”
“You don’t need to know anything about monsters except that they’re fun to stab!”
“Hey,” Miracelli said, crossing her arms, “Last time we went exploring I didn’t lick anything, even though there were gnomes there and I’ve been led to believe that they’re delicious.”
“Their leader, Jubilost, didn’t look delicious.” Ravena replied.
“No, but it was funny how he thought Zot was our leader.”
“Zot could never be our leader. The Hat, on the other hand…”
“I wonder if it still talks to him.” Miracelli pondered.
“Yeah, listening to hats… that’s um, insane…” Ravena trailed off and then quickly changed the subject. “It was funny how those gnomes were trying to ford that river.”
“Yeah, fording a river- it’s so ‘next landmark 317 miles, Grandma has dysentery’.”
Ravena stared at Miracelli in confusion.
Miracelli shook her head. “I don’t get what I just referenced either.”
“Whatever. At least the gnomes helped us fill in our map.”
“Sure,” Miracelli replied, “But what good is a map if you don’t go the places on it?”
“This is true. I suppose you’re getting a little stir-crazy from not adventuring for a few days.” Ravena replied. “I think Zot is too. You know how his kind can be. Tomorrow let’s talk to Melvin about going out again.”
“I think Melvin’s still sick. He was sleeping like a log when I snuck into- I mean- walked by his room.”
“You snuck into…” Ravena smacked her forehead with her palm, “Why does everyone think I’m the creepy one?”
“What?” Miracelli demanded, “I wanted to check on him! He didn’t leave his room all day. He’s a baron, you know. People poison barons and stuff. I was being a nice friend.”
“A creepy friend. I need to sleep, but now I’m a little scared to.”
“So then don’t sleep and stay up and talk to me!” Miracelli suggested hopefully.
“No, I don’t think so. I need enough sleep for my spells to work.”
“Aw, nuts! You’re no fun. Before you go to sleep, can I ask you one thing?”
Ravena narrowed her eyes. “If you’re going to ask if you can lick me, then no.”
“I’m not going to lick you. You probably taste weird. No, it’s about someone else licking you, wink-wink-nudge-nudge.”
“What is it?” Ravena sighed with resignation.
“Are you married yet or what?”
“Akiros proposed to me at Archerfest. Prior to that I’d only consented to courtship.”
“Is that what you kids call it these days?” Miracelli winked.
“That’s it. Get out of my room.” Ravena stood up and pointed to the door.
Miracelli left giggling.
Ravena watched her go, then pushed her desk chair against her door.
And now an awkward switch from past to present tense!
The following day, Melvin and Zot are quick to agree that they could use some adventure.
“Are you at all worried that Grigory will slander us for heading out again?” Ravena asks.
“So what if he does?” Zot replies. “My men are keeping an eye on him.”
“So are mine!” Miracelli interjects. “Let’s go places.”
Since Melvin mostly feels better the four set off for the barrow tomb that Jubilost had marked on their map. He and his gnomes, the Narthropple expedition, hadn’t explored it further because they saw bats come out of it and Jubilost is no fan of winged mammals.
Our heroes arrive near the barrow at sunset and as they’re preparing dinner they see what the gnome was talking about: Hundreds of bats pour out of the cave, darkening the sky.
The following day they enter the tomb and try to stealthily sneak past the bats, but this fails when Melvin’s shield clanks against his armor. Zot kills a bat with his sword but sees that the swarm will not be diminished by stabbing alone, which is the kind of realization that makes Miracelli sad. Fortunately, Ravena is able to web most of them to the ceiling.
With the bats dispatched the group heads deeper into the tomb. The light of Miracelli’s lantern plays off rough but glimmering mosaics. They show people working tilling the earth and engaging in the mundane rituals of day-to-day town life. The images are almost comforting, but the next room they enter is anything but. A skeleton lies sprawled in the middle of the floor as four giant carved faces keep watch over it from each corner of the room. Hallways radiate in each of the cardinal directions from this octagonal room.
Miracelli chooses the hall to the south and calls back behind her that Ravena would love it. The décor is very “her”. There are six caskets propped against the wall, all with a skeleton standing inside of it. As Miracelli calls out to her comrade the skeletons awake from their long slumber, each drawing a sword.
If Miracelli was the cussing type, she would do it now.
Zot rushes in, firing a flare cartridge to blind the risen dead, but years of decay have stripped them of their eyeballs, making them impossible to blind. Fortunately, this same decay has made them weak and stupid. The group quickly dispatches them.
While Miracelli and Ravena scout for treasure, Melvin heads outside to check on the horses and Zot decides to poke around the octagonal room they just came through.
Suddenly, the carved faces on the wall come to life and try to ensnare him with some kind of magic fog tentacles. He finds himself too exhausted to fight. Miracelli and Ravena defend him, and when they’re done Zot passes out on the floor. Ravena pokes him and he jumps up jauntily, feeling refreshed.
In the room to the north the three who are still in the tomb (Melvin is still checking on the horses) find 300 pieces of copper, which is kind of a ridiculous amount to carry.
Finally, in the room due east of the main chamber they find a decayed, dead body sitting on a throne. He opens his eyes and shouts “Intruders!” in Hallit, which Ravena needlessly translates for the group.
Melvin returns just in time to wail on the zombie-like being with his mighty mace. The creature sucks energy out of Melvin, but Ravena shoots it with some really bitchin’ lightning bolts while Miracelli and Zot wisely shoot from a distance. The fight is difficult, but the monster (or wight, as the GM let slip) is no match for our mighty heroes! Yay! Adventure log finished 15 minutes before game time.