Vanreim provided funds in exchange for Rappan Athuk intel and bringing back the head of Vorlak the ogre. Morgrimm chose to stay put in town to learn more about the Fourth Crusade, but Vanreim provided Aribon, priest of Iomedae, to guide the party through the dungeon of graves. A crusader returned from the World Wound, Aribon sought the paladin, Braimen, and joined the party in looking for his lost friend. After buying supplies the party returned north to the coastal road:
- Camping near stone ruins, the heroes encountered magic-wielding skeletons and armored skeletal ogres. They destroyed the undead and moved on.
- Noises came from a cliff cavern. Inside were phantom armors. Urg fired arrows and Torring launched himself at the armored undead. Taking down the sentinels, they found a small cache of potions and magic armor.
- They returned to the second level of Rappan Athuk, avoiding wandering monsters. Rot grubs inhabited an old corpse, but perished in fire. A magical spiked ball tried to throw them into a patch of brown mold, but was easily avoided, especially as Hiso blinked his way through the corridor.
- A pentagram-shaped room contained two mobs of ghouls. The 60-plus undead swarmed the party, nearly overwhelming them. Aribon channeled to heal and harm. Hiso performed hit and run tactics. Urg fired into the mobs while Torring grappled and punched. Azrond hacked and slashed. Hendel unleashed all of his spells, burning them with fire. Hendel’s web held them at bay. Yet the noise attracted an ogre leader named Ambro and his four ogre servants. Stuck between the two foes, Hendel continued to Web the ghouls while the rest of the party took down the ogres. At last, the corridor was choked with corpses and the party looted both the pentragram room and the ogre lair.
- They returned to the secret hold on the first level and rested. After going back down, gold-plated doors greeted them covered in Infernal runes spelling out Celestial words: “Here lies Saracek…” Poison needle traps protected several doors into the inner sanctum. Motifs told a story of the holy warrior, Saracek, captured by the minions of Orcus and forced to convert to darkness and, finally, undeath. Inside the sanctum, the skeletal remains of Saracek himself greeted the party, “Orcus welcomes you. You will join his legions in undeath.” Fear overwhelmed the party. Saracek’s green, glowing greatsword cut an unholy swathe through Azron and Torring. Torring fell, bleeding out. Azrond healed himself repeatedly as the party surrounded the skeletal anti-paladin. Urg and Hiso ran in panicked fear. Aribon healed until exhausted. In a bold move, Azrond managed to disarm Saracek and Hendel cast Levitate on the unholy sword. It levitated beyond Saracek’s reach and the undead howled in frustration. Azrond screamed as Saracek faced off against him, his corrupting touch replacing the greatsword. Aribon stood behind the fighter to heal him and Hendel tried to penetrate the skeleton’s spell resistance. At last, Azrond’s axe crushed the skeleton, Saracek cursing him with his final crusty breath.
- Saracek’s treasure, including the gold-plated door, was ransacked. A shining steel shield called from the corner of the sanctum…