Part 2 of our D&D Update (part one):
The third floor has one door, guarded by a zombie that lashes out at Constance as she enters. They surround it, Aymer managing to sneak past to investigate the rest of the room, almost running into a second zombie guarding the back half of the room. Elzeni and Aymer attack the second zombie while Constance and Gantar destroy the first. They begin checking the coffins, finding that of the 12 coffins in the room, 11 have bodies. These bodies are unlike the ones on the second floor, looking remarkably well-preserved. There is a mix of races, mostly drow, but three humans, two half-elves, and a duergar as well. Elzeni and Constance immediately begin beheading the corpses, fearful that they will rise and fight them once the battle with Caedmon begins. Gantar hesitates as Aymer struggles to cut through the two bodies he’s been assigned to behead.
“I’m not sure that they’re dead,” Gantar says, checking the body in front of him again.
“What makes you say that?” Constance asks, beheading the last of her three bodies.
“I don’t know, they just look too preserved.”
Elzeni comes over, checking for a pulse on the body. Not detecting one, she shrugs.
“No pulse, no life.”
Gantar steps aside, not willing to risk killing someone. Elzeni and Constance behead the remaining bodies. Gathered once more by the staircase, our party continues to the fourth floor.
The fourth floor has an open arch leading into a large room. In the room, a marble sarcophagus rests with a brazier at its head and four urns fanning out. Standing at the base of the sarcophagus, a wight turns toward them, its eerie blue eyes boring into our adventurers.
Constance runs forward, swinging at it with the blade she claimed from the last wight, a contest of two spectral blades. It dodges, grabbing her arm and pulling warmth from her body as the cold dark of the shadow realm moves through her veins. The rest of the party springs to action, surrounding and striking at the undead warrior. They manage to destroy the wight, Constance smiting it with her blade and turning its body to ash. Elzeni claims its spectral blade, tucking it into her belt.
They notice a second, smaller room within the large chamber. Constance investigates, finding a zombie standing in the corner. It looks at her, the weird whistle of breath undead corpses have, not moving. She cautiously steps closer, reaching out and touching the zombie. It gurgles slightly, looking at her expressionlessly. Confused, she takes out her blade once more, slicing into the zombie’s chest. It reels back, howling as it tries to grab her. Gantar runs to help, unable to see much of the zombie due to the small nature of the room. Constance grapples with it for a minute before slicing it in half.
There is a coffin in the small chamber, made of newer pine than the others. The coffin is empty, but shows signs of recent use. Moving back out into the main room, our four adventurers work together to pull the top off the sarcophagus. Inside, there is a silk pillow and wraps. The inside walls are carved with symbols from a language Constance recognizes as Abyssal. Based on her studies, she manages to piece together that the symbols are part of some sort of ritual of undeath. Disturbed, she turns her focus to the urns. Each of the party members picks up one of the urns.
Made of copper, the urns each contain ashes. Gantar, clamping the lid on, checks the bottom of his urn. There, blended into the design, is the symbol they saw on the necks of the zombies they fought the night before, the symbol Cyrus told them to look for.
Gantar checks the corpse of the zombie in the smaller chamber, turning over its torso to see that back of its neck. Sure enough, the symbol is burned into the back of its neck. The party, tired from their fight up the tower, decides to leave for the night and camp outside, making sure they’re well-rested before attacking Caedmon in the morning. Who knows that this night might bring…
Combat Map (w/DM notes):