After some experimentation, the levers opened the door on the west wall. Beyond it lay a corridor lined with doors, more crypts apparently. The party moved cautiously forward. Some of the doors revealed empty rooms, others held surprises. The first of which was a pair of giant crab spiders that made their webs on the ceiling. Fortunately for our heroes, Bhishma’s and Grania’s armoring was too tough for the venomous fangs, and the creatures were slain.
As they searched the room, they found a long dead halfling under some webs. He held little of value other than a sturdy, well-made dagger.
They also found two runic tablets. When Skiven looked at the first one’s writing, a magical trap was triggered blasting him with arcane fire. The thief was singed but not cooked. Bhishma wrapped the other tablet up i a cloth without allowing anyone to look at it.
Before they moved on however, a clanking sound was heard from back down the hall. The steel door had swung shut! Apparently the levers had re-set. There was no sign of a latch or lever on this side. While Skiven felt sure the door could be broken open, given time, he preferred that the group press on and see what the rest of the hallway held or led to. The others concurred.
One room contained an odd pair of murals: one depicting the gods of law, the other the chaos pantheon. Bhishma defaced the chaos gods’ likenesses.
Farther along, Grania heard muttering sounds. The party stopped to listen, but the sounds shifted to angry cries and a pair of ghouls came scrabbling out of a doorway. The pair of raveners was no match for the group and were quickly put down. Inside the room was a partially dismembered and gnawed corpse. Skiven and Bhishma took the poor soul’s helmet (removing the severed head) and one boot (removing the leg and foot).
The room across the hall was odd. The torchlight danced oddly in the room. The reason became clear as three shadows came away from the wall and attacked!
The foul things were not undead, but being of negative energy. Normal weapons and fire did no good. Lannek considered his silver dagger, but realized that it too was no good. Graina and Bhishma both felt the icy touch of the shades and were weakened by the attacks, but the creatures were slain.
The hallway ended here with no sign of other exits. After a fruitless search for hidden doorways, they returned to the steel door. Several minutes of diligent prying at hinges managed to wrench the portal open, though.
As the group re-entered the room with the levers (again), a gang of skeletons with glowing blue gems in their foreheads charged them!
After smashing one of the skeleton and see it reform unharmed a few moments later, the party began smashing the gems as they downed the creatures. Skiven was able to gather a few of the larger gem fragments, but it was a patch on what the whole jewels would have been worth.
With the latest batch of monsters defeated, the party took stock of their situation and pondered their next move. While they rested, Bhishma and Grania both felt the fatigue from the shadows’ touch fade away. Apparently the effects were not permanent.