As the party inspected the stairs inside the mound and debated their next move, they heard a call from outside. Hurrying outside to see, they spied a lone man leaning on a staff several yards away. He was Lannek, a mage who had come to the Barrowmaze in order to learn its secrets (and possible profit by it). His robes were somewhat faded and in travel-stained, but he was equipped for adventuring. After some nervous parley, they all agreed they might try working together.
It was late enough in the day that the group decided the stairs could wait until morning. They took a few minutes to disguise the entrance and to mark it so they could see if anyone went through during the night. Then they withdrew to their old campsite near the road. The original trio kept an eye on their new companion, but he seemed quite unoffended by their suspicion.
The next morning, the group returned to the moor. As they worked their way back to the mound with the stairs, a group of zombies staggered toward them. As they got closer, they could see they were the animated corpses of the tomb robbers they’d met the day before! The fight was short and the zombies were put down.
Back at the stairs, Skiven carefully checked for traps on the steps as he slowly proceeded down ahead, forgoing a torch and relying on infravision. At the bottom, he found an interaction of corridors. Rather than exploring too far, he brought the rest of the group down. The hireling Pelric was instructed to wait with the mule topside until two hours before sunset, then –if they had not returned– retreat to the campsite near the road (beyond the moors) and await them there.
Down below, the hallways branched and ran off in different directions, the party elected to try the nearest door first. It was somewhat warped with damp, but through main strength, Grania was able to wrench it aside, though the noise was startlingly loud in this dark place.
Inside the walls were damp from moisture seeping in from the moor. Dozens of ossuarial niches lined the walls. Several skeletons that had been stood against the walls were now covered in a layer of limestone. They broke free and moved to attack the party. ￼ Their stony carapaces made them harder to hurt than normal skeletons, but the party managed to put them down without sustaining too much hurt.
After some debate as to whether to take the time, the party searched all the niches. Among the bones, they found some coin and some jewelry.
Moving on, they debated which direction to try first, ultimately choose to head west down a long corridor with some doors visible from their vantage point. They found several strange things, including a barred room with a tapestry or curtain hung on the far wall, but they chose not to enter there for the moment. The two doors they found each revealed a small crypt, one with a shrouded skeleton on a stone bier with an offertory bowl at its head. A faded fresco depicting Orcus and Set’s battle with Nergal was on one wall. The bowl contained many coins and the party took those. Bhishma defaced the demons’ faces in the mural by hitting them with his hammer. The sounds of metal on stone echoing through the halls.
The second room had a pile of shattered tablets on the floor, they looked as if they may have once held magical writing, but they were now illegible. Underneath the stones they found a war hammer with silver filigree on its head.
The next area they investigated was an open room with a faded mural in front of a blood stained altar that looked as if it had been used within the last few weeks. The mural was too faint to make out any entails, though. A side door revealed the dead body of a strangely twisted human (odd bestial features mixed with normal ones). He had been apparently stabbed to death. His arms clutched a rusty cauldron like a pillow. Inside the pot were hundreds of rotted human teeth. The dead creature also wore some fine jewelry (doubtless looted from some crypt).
Beyond the altar room were halls that led to a row of small rooms, each shut with its own door. There was also more of the corridor they had originally come down, not to mention the other passages they hadn’t taken. As time pushed on, the party pondered its next move.