The Coffers of Kundarak

A Rapid Recap

A number of incredible adventures befell the heroes after leaving the Harvest Lord’s domain through the third Coffer of Kundarak. When the story would later be told, bards generally agreed that the following events most certainly occurred, though the sneaky and rapid nature of the thieves at work has made it difficult to discern the exact truth at times.

  • The adventurers found themselves back in Rubyvale, at the exact spot where the first Coffer that they located (though the fourth Coffer in the progression) was buried. However, the Coffer had been dug up and taken to the college of magic in Rubyvale, an institution dedicated to the magical studies of the followers of Wee Jas. A student in the arcane tower had moved it to his chambers for personal study, believing it to be an artifact of great power (which, to be fair, was accurate.) While moving through the college, the adventurers once again encountered Gibbet the skeletal gatekeeper of maze-like realities which were being used to house the special projects of the students. They found the student’s room easily enough, but were assaulted by a team of five incredibly unusual bounty hunters named Rag-Tag, Montague, Gustav, Rune and Frobzell.
  • After making their way through the fourth coffer, they found themselves near a city called Reken, the City of Giants. Ruled by Thuzdek the Undying, the city (and the road leading into and out of it) seemed to sit on a climactic dividing line with a dry desert wasteland to the east and a lush jungle to the north. Here they encountered a boy named Samyn and a new ally, Tyr Psicry. They escorted Samyn to his home (the royal palace of Thuzdek the Undying), routed some sphinxes from the royal cellars, and learned that in some fashion, Samyn was, himself, Thuzdek, even though that name (or title) was currently held by an elderly ruler who was soon to retire to the priesthood.
  • D’artagnan was separated from the party during the teleportation, and wound up inside a pyramid. He was attacked by a mummy priest, though he was able to barely destroy the monster, stealing a glove it was wearing and the Ankh-like scepter that it was carrying.
  • While Charles Cavandish snooped about to learn more of Thuzdek, he was met by priests (and even Thuzdek himself) and asked to cease his studies. To make up for the minor transgression, Charles and friends were asked to handle a problem of giants, regularly storming the city from the desert to the east. The three hill giants were not much of a challenge, however, as they each had illnesses, magical curses, and in one case a set of cursed Gauntlets of Fumbling (which S. Danger (human ranger) promptly picked up the moment the giants fell, causing great difficulty whenever it came to holding anything.)
  • The death of the hill giants led the party to the cave used by the giants as a hiding spot. Deeper into the cave, a clutch of Shocker Lizards had taken up residence in a damp grotto. Fortunately, Cavandish made short work of them with a powerful Cloudkill scroll that he had earlier found in Thuzdek’s library. Beyond the Shocker Lizard Grotto, an underwater passage led the party to a strange chamber marked by the seal of House Kundarak, where a guardian asked for three challengers to pass tests of Great Speed, Great Fortitude, and Great Patience. D’Artagnan took the challenge of great speed, and narrowly made it through a deadly corridor filled with traps and tricks. S. Danger (the human ranger) found himself in an illusory mead hall, engaged in a drinking contest with a mighty dwarven warrior. And Charles Cavandish found himself listening to a speaking stone and very slowly, very patiently, having to navigate a series of questions from a pre-programmed voice before he could speak to anyone who could help him. With these otherworldly challenges behind them, the ethereal spirit warding the cavern allowed them to see their prize: what appeared to be one-third of the fifth Coffer of Kundarak! It appeared to have been cut away, with a green and glowing patch where the rest of the chest would be. Having evaded the Chamber of Threes, the spirit asked them to “use their dragonmark to exit the chamber safely.” Without a dragonmark, the heroes merely ran for it, up through the water-filled passages, the shocker lizard grotto, and the former home of the diseased hill giants, before making it out, the cave collapsing right behind them.
  • A clockwork nightingale, capable of putting creatures to sleep with its music, was able to incapacitate D’artagnan and Philosopher Bronze enough for a small gang of orcs to put them on horses and ride them out into the desert. At a certain sand dune, unremarkable from the others, one of the orcs turned a small hourglass (though it truly only lasted three minutes) that temporarily shifted everyone into the Ethereal Plane. The Ethereal Plane’s desert was much like the real one, except for the presence of a massive and gaudy palace, one that surely would have been bright and colorful if not for the plane’s muted colors. The people were brought in, Bronze taken to a cell in a dungeon and D’artagnan to an audience with the palace’s master, a rakshasa who called himself Maricha of the Seven Wastes. Unknown to all, Maricha was the evil outsider who had become infuriated with the life of Philosopher Bronze when the (possibly insane) factotum drew a multitude of cards from the Deck of Many Things. D’artagnan navigated the conversation with Maricha, lifted an hourglass from one of the orcish guards, and departed, marking the position of the sand dune. On horseback, he raced back to Reken, found the other party members, and encouraged them all to race back. Meanwhile, Maricha of the Seven Wastes had gone to the dungeon to find Philosopher Bronze hiding from him, having broken out of his cell. It wasn’t long before Maricha found him, however, and a quick battle of spells ensued. Bronze was saved by the ever-ready Wish spell that the Deck of Many Things had also imparted, wishing to turn the floor to lava. Maricha perished, stubbornly standing in the superhot flooring and receiving a number of well-placed and well-timed arrow wounds thanks to the arrival of the other heroes.
  • In order to remove the curse of the gauntlets from S. Danger (who is, lest we forget, a human ranger), the rest of the party sought out magical aid. A diviner in the Wizard’s Quarter of Reken guided the group to a kobold who performed tricks during the day and knew a bizarre variation of the Rope Trick spell: the first casting happens normally, but the second casting, if done within the extradimensional space of the first casting, could create a passage to the Elemental Plane of Air. The party went to this plane in search of a Noble Djinn, and after many attacks by arrow hawks on an island made of cloud they found just such a creature. She had no particular desire to grant a wish for the adventurers, but was more than willing to trade three if the heroes would bring to her a wizard named Billin the Red that had imprisoned her on the material plane decades earlier. A party member left his magical sword as a down payment in exchange for one immediate wish to free S. Danger (the human ranger) from his Gauntlets of Fumbling.
  • To make some quick cash, the adventurers asked around for work and discovered that a half-elf named Halas Martain needed some helpers to go on a jungle expedition. Taking his skiff out to a series of ruins from the giant civilization that populated the area before Thuzdek’s rise to power, the party landed at the nearest convenient landing spot near the truly titanic temple. A patch of red, and oddly warm, mud and slurry ringed the ruins like a moat, caused by a volcanic rift in the mud below the surface (caused by a small waterfall that tumbled down the massive stairs of the gigantic building.) Charles Cavandish, that noble conjurer with the love for fine tobacco, died in the mud, struck by a sneaky Thoqqua. More dangers arose: a gang of steam mephits where the waterfall hit the mud (and causing a large steam cloud), a statue of a forgotten Cyclops King that drained the life force of anyone who passed it, statues of three trollish warriors (who would have come to life had Martain not been able to read the giant codeword at their feet), a gelatinous cube in the bottom of a pool of water, and the oddly animated skeletons of several trolls and an ettin, remnants of the giant civilization that once lived there. Exploring further, a chamber was found with even more troll and ettin skeletons, and the massive skeleton of a cloud giant, the final king who had made this palace his burial chamber. A necromancer, known and reviled by Martain, was hoping to use the giants as the beginning of an undead army. Fortunately, the heroes were able to stop him (especially thanks to Cher’s ability to turn troll skeletons to dust with Cure Light Wounds spells, and D’artagnan’s ingenious method of climbing the cloud giant skeleton and dismantling it from the inside.)
  • The party was here joined by a scout, a shifter who had been wandering the jungles: Briar Wererabbit he called himself. Briar, Philosopher Bronze, and Halas Martain explored a hidden chamber while the other adventurers stood watch. They discovered a hidden recess owned by an Illithid who claimed to be guarding something for House Kundarak, but also eager to see people that he blamed for the death of his former master, Maricha of the Seven Wastes. While his mental attacks nearly defeated the three adventurers, ultimately the Mind Flayer shifted to another plane to escape death, leaving the three to continue. They found a room with three more thirds of treasure chests. A quick investigation revealed two of them to be mimics. Once dispatched, the players left with yet another third of the fifth Coffer of Kundarak in their hands.
  • After returning to Reken, the next day they were invited to a ritual that would initiate young Samyn to fully grow into his role as Thuzdek the Undying, officiated by the high priest (who was also Thuzdek the Undying.) At the ceremony, a wall moved apart and the statue of an aboleth was revealed, its three eyes shooting beams of lights at all the gathered crowds, many of whom died instantly from the attack. At the same time, Samyn was bathed in sunlight from the open roof. D’artagnan rushed to the statue and disabled it by breaking each of the three eyes with a mace, and when it was revealed that the sunlight was healing all damage done to young Samyn, S. Danger (human ranger) climbed the balcony and pushed him off, interrupting the ceremony. Thuzdek was not amused, neither of him.
  • In a private audience to which the heroes were escorted, young Samyn, only partially imbued with his destiny as Thuzdek the Undying, grew angry as a child of his age might. He conjured five undead servants and sent them back into the past to defeat the heroes before he could meet them. While he then expressed sadness that “that Cavandish fellow” was the only one who died (he seemed to like him), he knew that each minion had drained some of the life essences of the previous selves of the characters. He had the collected gauntlets that the heroes had picked up from all of their fallen undead assassins explode (though the heroes were smart enough to toss them away), and the auras of life force coalesced into a creature that Samyn called “The Amalgaman!” This person, made of the skills and abilities of all of the heroes, was a unique opponent, but one that the collected efforts of the heroes were able to quickly dispatch. This angered Thuzdek and rocks began to fall from the ceiling, convincing the party that it was time to leave…
  • The party sought out the elderly Thuzdek, who was more reasonable given his age and experience. Thuzdek the Undying agreed to spare them…but only if they could solve a problem that had baffled him for centuries. He knew the location of an artifact, but it was beyond a door that he could not open. As some added incentive, a statue of Anubis was placed at the end of the hallway far from the door when the heroes were teleported to this spot. As their candle grew shorter, the shadow drew nearer, seeming to pull the deadly Anubis statue (that they soon learned was capable of coming to life with deadly scimitar attacks for anyone who dared go past it) toward them. Using their knowledge of ancient languages, a book of tourism, and a handy book of medical phrases they learned why Thuzdek had never been able to open the door: while the passage was written in the ancient Egyptian language that he knew, the rhyme scheme was decidedly meant for the common tongue. Their eventual translation was as follows:

There once was an Ancient Inscription
That had to be read in Egyptian
We read it real great,
It opened a gate
And our enemies had a conniption

When the door swung open, Thuzdek appeared, enraged at having missed the solution to opening the door. The heroes stepped through, and the door closed behind before Thuzdek the Undying could reach them. There they found the final third of the fifth Coffer of Kundarak which, when touched, teleported them to Thuzdek’s alchemy lab where he had concocted a method of recreating the mystical energies that the previous coffers had, up to that point, been imbuing upon everyone who had been opening them, thus allowing the new party members to continue the quest. Once this alchemical item was in their possession, they were teleported to their rooms at the tavern where the other two was kept. They quickly put the chest together, unlocked it, and leaped within, vanishing to the next location…

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Maze of the Harvest Lord

Armed with the information provided by The Sleeper, the heroes left Brightstone Keep and went in search of The Harvest Lord. Using the map that D’artagnan had gained from Ujaset the Ghost Sphynx, the party was able to determine which of the various corn fields near the town of Miel would provide an entrance to The Harvest Lord’s domain, and when.

Knowledgeable conjurer and tobacconist Charles Cavandish cautioned everyone that The Harvest Lord was likely some manner of Fey Lord, albeit a low ranking one, and that he could have nearly god-like control of his private domain within the corn fields (especially considering the fact that his maze wasn’t located in the corn so much as it was using the corn fields as temporary entrances to a demiplane shaped to suit his interests.) With this knowledge, and a hefty bit of gold, some of the party members made sure to invest in Cold Iron weapons in Miel, fashioned from the horseshoes that were put over the doors in the town to ward off any fey creatures that came due to the Harvest Lord’s influence.

Entering the Harvest Lord’s domain, they quickly came to the fork in the path that was manned by the Scarecrow, though this time the Scarecrow didn’t move or speak at all. The party chose a path and walked through the tall stalks of corn, finding new rooms and hallways. At one point, the dining room where Cavandish had previously gotten help to leave was found again (and the picnic goers were concerned that he hadn’t found his way out yet.) They learned from these people that the Harvest Lord’s true domain was in the center of the maze, behind a locked door. The Harvest Lord had recently locked himself in, putting the key to the gate on a chain around the neck of a Fairy Dragon that his chief Huntsman was tasked with tracking down. He had either prophesied or assumed that he would be ready to finish resting by the time the huntsman found the key, and as such anyone wanting an audience with him would need to find the Fairy Dragon.

Soon, the Fairy Dragon was found, but it was near a company of angry Centaurs who knew that the Harvest Lord had decreed that all humans in his realm were open sport. A brief battle ensued with one Centaur running in fight, another died, and a third (charmed by Krishna’s bardic music) apologized for his behavior and asked to give his deceased friend funeral rights. S. Danger (the Human Ranger) almost killed the Centaur for taking away the treasures left by the fallen Centaur, but his recent change in heart to be a mostly good person thanks to the Deck of Many Things stayed his hand. Plus, he was distracted by the attempted fleeing of the Fairy Dragon.

The Fairy Dragon was armed with a number of abilities, such as the ability to turn invisible and to breathe a befuddling mist at potential attackers. However, after a number of attempts, the party was able to catch it (while it perched invisibly in a tree, no less) and steal the key from around its neck before it vanished. Shortly thereafter, they heard the sound of a trumpet and The Huntsman arrived.

The Huntsman was baffled that someone had beaten him to the key, and was further baffled that it was a group that contained humans. He attempted to charge the heroes on his horse, but was evaded. The party nearly became lost within the corn in their attempt to escape, but S. Danger, growing tired of the ever-shifting paths and maze-like corridors of the corn field, used his magical connection to the land to understand what the layout of the environment was. Not affected by the presence of the corn, he understood exactly where the center of the maze was, and moved the party toward it. The Hunter began to close in on them at that location, but Krishna used another Charm spell to send him happily on his way.

Soon, while striding boldly through the corn, a pair of assassin vines attacked, one in particular snagging S. Danger very badly. He escaped easily, but the combination of previous battles with no real time to heal had left him very wounded. Charles Cavandish used his Tobaccony skills to harvest the assassin vine and offered it to the wounded S. Danger who asked if it had any healing properties. “Why not?” said Charles Cavandish.

Unfortunately, it turned out that the Assassin Vine was cursed.

The curse was mild, though dangerous. Not only did it not have any healing property for S. Danger, but it also made him fully believe that he was completely healed. Not only was he healed, he was in better health than he’d ever been in his life, as far as he thought. Possessing a surge of vitality that few could ever match, he continued striding forward, dangerously wounded and on death’s door, a truly inspiring sight for any lesser adventurer who didn’t actually know what was happening.

In the marshy center of the maze of corn (which was beginning to look more and more like a jungle) they found a wall of elvish workmanship, complete with a golden gate. They unlocked it, and entered a pleasant courtyard, and the simple house within. The house’s door was unlocked, and they were able to enter unopposed. The Harvest Lord himself greeted them to the massive hall (that was much bigger on the inside than outside) before asking them, politely, to leave since he had no inclination whatsoever to let them anywhere near the third Coffer of Kundarak. The heroes revealed what The Sleeper had said, that the owner of the chest wanted these heroes to open the last one, and that put The Harvest Lord in an odd circumstance, though he didn’t elaborate on what that circumstance was beyond saying that he now had a duty both to Kundarak and the owner of what was in the last chest. So saying, he was willing to let the party have access to the chest, but only if they fared well in a combat against him.

The Harvest Lord drew his rapier and leaped into combat without warning, proving to be an incredibly skilled duelist. He considered the “five on one” fight to be “roughly fair”, though as the party noted later, he may well have been holding back. The heroes did not pull their punches, however, and easily dealt more damage within twelve seconds than they had previously dealt in any single previous fight against the one opponent, though he seemed barely concerned.

Eventually, and possibly arbitrarily, the Harvest Lord declared that they had proven themselves to be worthy combatants, and that it was not, in the grand scheme of things, entirely impossible that they could eventually do some serious damage to his person, given enough time and resources. As such he “surrendered” and invited the heroes into his treasure room. There, after D’artagnan took a quick moment to call all of the other party members outside so that they, too, could benefit from their good fortune, the Harvest Lord opened the third Coffer of Kundarak and allowed the party to use it to teleport away.

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Secret of the Sleeper

With Brightstone Keep theirs to use, and a massive favor done for both the village of Miel and The Harvest Lord, the adventurers set off to meet with the Harvest Lord yet again. Using D’artagnan’s map they were able to determine which of the local corn fields would provide access to the Harvest Lord’s Domain, and at what time it would do so. Once within the field of corn, they again met the Scarecrow who pointed their way (through a different direction) to the clearing where the Harvest Lord would entertain them.

When they reached the banquet table’s clearing, which had once held feasting elves and humans and gnomes, they now saw the Harvest Lord pleasantly sitting beneath a tree, humming to himself. He heard the news of the Kurjan Sawtooth’s passing with great glee and, as promised, gave the party members the means to teleport to, and use, the two Coffers of Kundarak that came before his. However, despite much begging, pleading and bartering on the part of the party, he adamantly refused to simply let the heroes anywhere near the Coffer that House Kundarak had entrusted to him. The corn began growing, then, quickly pushing the PCs out of that clearing until they took the hint and left on their own. When the heroes reached the Scarecrow who pointed the way out, Charles Cavandish decided to go in the opposite direction. While the rest of the party managed to leave with no trouble, the conjurer soon found himself lost in the corn field, occasionally stumbling across clearings. After nearly an hour, he found one populated by gnomes and an elf, all enjoying a picnic. He asked them for the way out, and they pointed in a random direction through the corn and told him to keep walking that way.

Charles Cavandish walked in that direction. And walked. And walked. And Walked…

And eventually, the corn cleared and, rather than being lost forever as he had started to think he would be, he was outside of the corn field (though a different one than he had entered the Harvest Lord’s domain through.)

Convinced that there was nothing they could yet do to convince the Harvest Lord to change his mind, the heroes returned to Brightstone Keep to gather their thoughts and explore their new fortress.

Beneath the keep was, of course, the gemstone mine that had largely been picked clean and was only suitable for mining small loads of metallic ore. A little luck on the part of the explorers revealed a strange cleft in a wall that featured a crystalline wall on one side, and a mirror on the other. The mirror revealed Dwarvish letters written in fire on the crystaline wall that were not there in reality. When read, nothing seemed to happen. However, at seeing the vanishing and reappearing of their fellow adventurers as they explored the wall, they began to realize what was happening: the word was transporting the explorers to deeper levels of the mine, where more gems yet could be mined!

Thoughts of business buzzing in their heads and dollar signs flashing in their eyes, they explored this new level until they found what appeared to be worked stone, covered with etchings and ruing depictions of dwarvish history. The walls were constructed as if they were the side of a castle, one that had been buried beneath the ground. In time they discovered a hidden door, which opened easily.

Beyond the door was a passage with torches lining either side. The torches lit up as the heroes neared them, and darkened as the heroes left them behind, providing a source of light all the way down the tunnel. After some twists and turns, they came to a small room, with torches in each of the four corners, and two candles sitting behind a stone altar, and upon the altar rested a dwarf.

Krishna identified this dwarf as a “Midgard Dwarf”, a type of protodwarf that was known for building things of which even the gods were jealous. Further exploration revealed runic writings that said “Wake the Sleeper” in the dwarvish language. Very quickly, the heroes lit the two candles behind the altar, and the Midgard Dwarf, who identified himself as The Sleeper, awoke.

The sleeper revealed that he had been sleeping for centuries, waiting to be awakened by the very people who stood before him. While cryptic on his reasoning for how he knew he had been awoken by the right people (much of which seemed both prophetic and circular), The Sleeper informed the party that they needed to return to The Harvest Lord and inform him that the true owner of the contents of the final Coffer of Kundarak had decreed that these adventurers should be permitted to open the coffer, even if House Kundarak had to officially oppose them.

Armed with this knowledge, the heroes left the Sleeper (even as he was beginning to fall asleep yet again), and returned to the upper levels of The Keep. They left Jaalask behind to watch the Keep for them, and armed with their new information they departed to confront The Harvest Lord.

And, all the while, The Sleeper would continue to Sleep.

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Brightstone Keep

With both the favor of The Harvest Lord and the people of Miel up for grabs, the heroes set out to assault Kurjan Sawtooth in Brightstone Keep. Aware of the orcish necromancer’s plans to raise an army of undead to attack Miel, they stopped at the town first to gather supplies.

Fortuitously, an old friend named Blok appeared with a friend of his own. Having travelled for a while on missions of his own, the cleric of Obad-Hai was glad for the chance to aid the people that he had last seen in Rubyvale.

The party ventured to the Keep, managing to sneak up the mountain pass under the cover of daylight when the orcs, dazzled by the sun, were less likely to see them approaching. The heroes reached an entry gate to one of the Keep’s three defensive towers, picked the lock through D’artagnan’s expertise, and entered.

The tower was well staffed by a large group of orcs though, unfortunately for the orcs, they weren’t well trained. Charles Cavandish wiped out most of the orcs with a well timed casting of what would thenceforth be known as Plan Bison. Two more towers remained, guarded in similar fashions with only one orc out of the scores encountered being much of a challenge. The orcs not beaten by the rampaging bison were easily dispatched by the other adventurers.

The courtyard beyond was mostly empty, though a well near the far end featured a ravenous Winter Wolf, imprisoned with a mighty chain. While the gigantic wolf might have been a powerful foe, the knowledge of S. Danger that this creature was intelligent, and Charles Cavandish’s ability to speak to it in the language of the Giants (though it was soon revealed that it could speak in Common as well), along with an offering of food convinced the Winter Wolf that the party would leave it alone if it left them alone. In exchange for being released from its chains, the Winter Wolf agreed to not alert the two trolls inside about their presence. Once freed, the wolf bolted for the entrance to the keep, and into the cold, wintry mountains beyond.

Two lengthy barracks joined in the middle at the far end of the courtyard, shielding the entrance to the mine that gave Brightstone Keep its name. The use of a spell to disguise an adventurer as one of the recently slain orcish lieutenants in the towers revealed the knowledge that the barracks housed scores of kidnapped people from Miel, and that each building employed a troll bearing powerful magical items that compensated for their weaknesses to fire. One at a time the two trolls were tricked from their posts into going outside, where they were ambushed and killed before their regenerative properties could do them any good. All of the villagers were freed (to the modest disapproval of some of the party.)

With all of Kurjan’s lieutenants dispatched, the party approached the entrance to the mine. Blok entered first, and was instantly seen by Kurjan and a number of skeletons and zombies, the first minions of Sawtooth’s impending army. Blok retreated, and was followed by the necromancer and his undead minions, only to walk into a powerful turning attack courtesy of Blok’s clerical powers.

Weakened (and, in some cases, outright destroyed), the other undead followers of Kurjan Sawtooth fell quickly, and the orcish wizard soon followed. Through the terms of the agreement with the town of Miel, this made the adventurers the rightful new owners of Brightstone Keep (and, more significantly, the mine beneath it.) Kurjan had apprently become recently aware of just how lucrative the mine still was, as a treasure chest was found near his personal belongings that contained a variety of gemstones that helped to supplement the heroes needs for the immediate future.

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Dinner and a Show

After helping the ghost of Ujaset and befriending the kobold known as Jaalask, the party of adventurers returned to Miel to consider their options in the continuing search for the Coffers of Kundarak. Apart from the fact that there was a Keep for sale to anyone willing to make sure that it was empty since there had been a few reports of activity in that region, the only point of interest seemed to be the one known as The Harvest Lord. After making use of the town blacksmith to pick up some gear made from Cold Iron, a material known to be extra effective on the inherrant magic of the fey, D’artagnan used the map given to him by Ujaset for solving his last riddle to determine where and when the best entrance to the Harvest Lord’s domain would be appearing.

The adventurers went to a corn field which, at the appointed time, seemed to open, revealing a lengthy passageway that twisted out of sight. Soon, they came to a fork in the road and were greeted by an animated Scarecrow, that informed them that to speak to the Harvest Lord they would need to head to the left. They did so, and the twisting passage eventually opened up into a wide clearing.

In this clearing, a long banquet table had been set up, and dozens of humans, elves, gnomes and a few odd dwarves, hobbits and orcs were enjoying a feast made from delicious fruits and grains, exotic animals and rare wines. Beyond those eating the food and playing simple party games, the Harvest Lord sat at the head of the table.

The Harvest Lord was taller and leaner than most elves or humans and seemed to glow with a faint light. He was dressed in the clothes of a wealthy merchant, lightly soiled with the finest of farm dust, and his hair was adorned with sticks and twigs that resembled the horns of an elk. He greeted the adventurers warmly, and asked them to sit at his table and partake of his meal, an offer which all but Charles Cavandish accepted. The Harvest Lord gave a bit of friendly advice: never accept an invitation to sit or eat while in the land of fairies, otherwise the local lords might hold them captive forever…not that he would be doing that, of course.

The Harvest Lord also revealed that he was aware of their quest for the Coffers of Kundarak and that he had no intention of allowing them to get to the treasure chest that House Kundarak had put into his guardianship.

A spirited session of haggling and diplomacy then began as the party continued around them. While the Harvest Lord was adamant about not allowing any of the adventurers to use hit Coffer of Kundarak (and yes, he knew that they wouldn’t want to take it, just borrow it), he was eventually persuaded to help them by promising to grant future companions a safe and immediate passage to the first Coffer of Kundarak (which, with a proper bit of preparation, meant easy access to becoming attuned to both the first and the second chest very quickly.) However, in exchange for this task, he demanded a service, and some entertainment.

For his service, he revealed that the Keep that was currently available “for free” to anyone willing to clear it out had significantly more creatures in it than most had guessed. A Wee Jas worshiping orcish necromancer named Kurjan Sawtooth had invaded it, and was collecting slaves from the local townspeople, forcing them to work in the ancient dwarven mine beneath the keep. He had a small army of orcs guarding the tower, along with some other monstrous friends, all of which were merely safeguards for the day that he had built up an army of undead creatures powerful enough to attack the town of Miel directly. While The Harvest Lord had nothing against death and undeath in principle, Kurjan’s build-up of deathly magic without a balancing force of life was one that could, in the future, make his life difficult. As such, The Harvest Lord demanded that he and his minions be stopped.

For his entertainment, he brought much of the food on the table to life. THe zombified remains of wild boars and the skeletal carcasses of chickens attacked the heroes relentlessly, aided by the (mostly immobile) head of a boar on a plate and, eventually, the zombified Roast Crocodile from further down the table. The adventurers were surprised by the sudden attack of their dinner, but were easily able to fend off the already partially-consumed former meals.

The Harvest Lord was well pleased with these antics, laughing uproariously and drinking merrily as the fight worked to its conclusion with the same number of casualties that it started with. He granted them his blessing, and bid the adventurers on their way to deal with Kurjan Sawtooth.

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One Last Riddle

After considering their options in the hamlet of Miel, the party (consisting of Charles Cavandish, D’artagnan, Krishna and S. Danger, Human Ranger ) decided to investigate the strange, glowing leonine presence that had been haunting the night sky south of town. At dusk, they made their way to the hill where most of the sightings had occurred. D’artagnan saw something odd out of the corner of his eye and stared at a patch of stars that were just becoming visible. Soon, he saw among the stars a constellation that gradually became a man’s face staring at him. The image moved forward and was no longer lost in the background: a large, ghostly sphinx with the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle and the face of a man. The sphinx addressed the adventurers and growled:

What is half of dragon, but has not a wyrmling’s strength?
What is half of canine, but has not a mongrel’s length?
What is it that is of two halves, but has but half to stand on?

Charles Cavandish, being a learned student of the arcane and a fine tobacconist as well, instantly responded that the answer was Kobold. After a brief explanation of the answer to his fellows, the Sphinx nodded and introduced itself as Ujaset. Ujaset said that by answering the riddle, the adventurers had proven themselves clever enough to hunt down the tribe of kobolds that (it was shamed to say) managed to overpower it. In exchange for their aid, Ujaset would be willing to let the party have the treasure that it had collected in life. When the heroes agreed, Ujaset told them how to find his former lair.

Though the trek to Ujaset’s lair is a brief one, it was not brief enough for the party to avoid catching the attention of a hunting Wyvern. A combination of guile and skill allowed the team to bind the Wyvern and entrance it. Wondering if it might have some treasure stashed in its lair (since Wyverns are related to dragons), they released it while it was spellbound, allowing S. Danger to get a rough idea of where it might be nesting when they saw it leave. It wasn’t long before they found the Wyvern (who wasn’t at home when they came). While there wasn’t a pile of loot, they did find a small trinket among the bones, a silver brooch that S. Danger began to wear (which he would later learn gave him protection against the Magic Missile spell.)

They soon found Ujaset’s cave, which looked as if it had been expertly tiled and carved by talented artisans. There were many footprints going into and out of the cave, and the cave itself was empty…empty, that is, except for a single kobold named Jaalask who had been left behind by his former friends in the Blackspear Tribe, the very tribe that had murdered Ujaset. With a little convincing, Ujaset was willing to join the party and let them know where his former friends had camped.

The party slowly followed Ujaset’s directions (aided by S. Danger (human ranger)‘s tracking skills, and the vast number of footprints) to a small encampment of kobolds who were celebrating their recent victory around a fire. Krishna used her magical music to cast a lullaby at the camp, causing most of the kobolds to become very drowsy and distracted (though the kobolds seemed to have two dire weasels as pets who were also not affected.) Of note, however, is the fact that the Kobold Sergeant and War Leader were also affected. This allowed D’artagnan to quietly sneak into the group and backstab one kobold at a time without attracting the attention of the others. However, after a few of the kobolds dropped, the Dire Weasels noticed and began to rush at the intruder.

Charles Cavandish took the opportunity to intervene by conjuring a Bison, which charged the two weasels and took out a couple of the kobolds as well before vanishing, and S. Danger, human ranger, joined the fight as well. D’artagnan decided to stop focusing on underlings and moved to attack the Sergeant, who was not felled in a single blow as the other kobolds had been, though he did fall quickly. While Krishna continued to play the entrancing lullaby, Cavandish summoned yet another bison to charge the war leader (the bison in question being ridden by an enthusiastic Jaalask.) The sergeant fell to D’artagnan at this time, and S. Danger’s arrows began reducing the war leader’s resolve (though he did notably stand up to a charging bison and took the damage from it, seemingly without flinching.) Soon, however, he threw down his weapons and surrendered when it was clear that he would not win the fight.

The war leader revealed that their tribe’s spiritual (and, in some ways, true) leader was a sorcerer named Oppol, and that Oppol organized the plan to strike as a way of removing a potential enemy from the area and as a means of gathering finances to increase the clan’s might. He said that Oppol was not around, and that he had returned to Miel. Though tempted to spare the remaining kobolds, the heroes remembered that Ujaset had demanded revenge against those who had killed him, and the battle was, briefly, rejoined with predictable results (especially since the war leader no longer had his primary weapon.)

A quick trip back to Miel and some questions around town gave the heroes two names of people who might know something: Caramip was a gnomish merchant who was knowledgeable about the town’s not-quite-human population, and the town’s blacksmith, Potter Holm, dealt with everybody and saw much. Potter Holm wasn’t much help, however, saying that he hadn’t seen any kobold sorcerers recently that he was aware of, possibly due to how busy he was with a sudden rush for masterwork weaponry that he had received. Caramip was slightly more helpful, however, pointing out that a kobold sorcerer might not look like a kobold thanks to well-timed magic. She said that there was one gnome who rented a building in town, but the gnome never seemed to have problems moving through the doors with the horseshoes on them, like other gnomes did. She was glad to give the heroes this gnome’s address (he had been unusually cold and unfriendly for a gnome).

Charles Cavandish and Krishna had to replenish their gear at the blacksmith’s, but two new people came to town at about that time: Izuma the halfling ninja and Philosopher Bronze the human factotum. The four went to the building and knocked on the door repeatedly, but no answer was given. Philosopher Bronze then tried knocking on the window, with the same results. D’artagnan pulled out his thieve’s tools and began to pick the lock on the door, when Philosopher Bronze decided to noisily break the window, step in, and open the door from the inside.

The bottom floor of the small house only had two empty rooms and a staircase. The staircase was searched carefully, but as soon as the party stepped on it, a magical trap was sprung, hitting the entire party with a Cold Blast, leaving them weaker and wounded. The good news, however, is that D’artagnan knew that Kurtulmak, the favored deity of the kobolds, was a god of trap making, and a trap in a residential building indicated that they were probably on the right track.

The top floor was slightly smaller, but more interesting. One room was a study, a study containing books, maps and treatises on war, military strategy and conquest. The other room seemed to be a living quarters of some sort, though no one was there…or so it seemed. Oppol, having heard the sound of the breaking window and the trap discharging, had taken the precautions of casting mage armor, expeditious retreat and invisibility on himself, meaning that the party didn’t see him until he chose to reveal his presence by attacking with a spell. The Cone of Cold swept over the party, rendering Izuma unconscious and the rest of the party nearly the same.

Oppol’s next move was to create a thick webbing to ensnare the party, though the only person so entrapped was D’artagnan, who was easily able to escape (even Izuma seemed to be able to dodge the web, despite being prone on the ground). S. Danger, human ranger, began to attack, as did Philosopher Bronze. Distressed, Oppol might have considered leaping through the window of the room, but instead chose to attempt to summon a viscious beast. The lengthy spell was his undoing, however, as it not only provoked attacks from the adventurers, but took too long to cast, giving the heroes more time to work against him. As such, Oppol died and the dretch that he summoned was weak and easily dispatched.

Leaving Oppol’s house, the party discovered Potter Holm arriving with the masterwork weapons he had been working on, apparently intent to give them all to Oppol (who had used the Sphinx’s treasure to finance the creation of the many weapons.) They claimed Oppol’s weapons as part of their payment from Ujaset for dealing vengeance.

Krishna and Cavandish rejoined the team at this point, and as they traveled towards the exit of the town, they heard a familiar Pssst from an ally. Looking in, they found Gemdust, the fortune telling construct that had sent them to search Malloroy’s casino for her deck of spells. Sensing that they were once again near her, Gemdust requested that the cards be given to her in exchange for a fortune reading with, as she revealed, a Deck of Many Things. Many of the adventurers accepted the cards, though Izuma did not. Both Philosopher Bronze and S. Danger were fated to meet a Dread Wraith in single combat, though they also gained some helpful bonuses to their personal skills and insights to give them edges. Charles Cavandish benefited from increased intelligence, and D’artagnan discovered two knights who wished to offer their services to him (though he also lost all of his personal possessions and property.) It was a bittersweet meeting with the fates, as all such meetings are.

The party continued heading out of the town to report their successes to a pleased Ujaset, who tossed in an extra bonus: his lair contained a secret panel, behind which was an elvish chain shirt. The question was raised, though, about whether or not Ujaset knew anything about The Harvest Lord, to which Ujaset merely smiled and recited another riddle:

What has Cities, but no People
Beaches, but no Sand
Forests, but no Wood
Mountains, but no Land?

D’artagnan thought for a moment and responded that the answer was a Map, and Ujaset nodded. A map appeared in D’artagnan’s possession then, one that would reveal the location of the current entrance to The Harvest Lord’s domain in the nearby corn fields (his domain had an ever-shifting entrance that required a time table and chart to keep track of, apparently.) With that, Ujaset faded back into the stars and allowed the heroes to go back to their normal business.

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Welcome to Miel

When D’artagnan and S. Danger, human ranger, stepped into the second Coffer in Ixichitoporox, they appeared in a thinly populated forest. S. Danger (the human ranger)’s keen sense of geography and knowledge of local flora let him know that they were probably back on the continent where they started, only a few hundred miles from Rubyvale. Some quick looking around led them to find a small city, Miel.

From the opposite direction came two new travelers. One, a human conjurer and tobacconist, was named Charles Cavandish. The other, a half-elf bard (who as luck would have it was the half-sister of Cher Chang Gu was named Krishna.

Approaching from different directions, the two groups noticed that all of the buildings in Miel had horseshoes nailed above their doors, and a careful glance told them that the horse shoes were made of Cold Iron. When Charles Cavandish and S. Danger, human ranger, easily moved into a tavern, but Krishna and D’Artagnan found an invisible force blocking their path accompanied by the mysterious red-glowing and hot sizzling of the horse shoe over the tavern door, the theory was devised that the horse shoes were meant to keep fey creatures away. Thanks to the fact that elves are only distantly related to the fey (and half-elves even less so), the two eventually managed to push past the force and enter the tavern.

Their, they encountered a bartender and a city official who was enjoying a drink while going over some light paperwork. The bartender explained that the horse shoes were because of The Harvest Lord, a powerful fey creature who, while welcome, seemed to attract other less savory sorts that the horse shoes kept out. They also learned that there was a standing bounty on eliminating a flying leonine figure to the south of town. Finally, they heard that there was a small Keep to the northeast of town that the locals were worried would become a home for monsters, sitting unoccupied as it was. Anyone who went, cleared it out, and was willing to maintain it would legally become the owner of the Keep and the mine that it sat upon.

With three mysteries to consider, the party began to consider what they would do in this new town.

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City of the Devil Rays

After a brief night’s sleep in the somewhat safer company of pirates, Meara Quickblade’s crew launched at dawn, setting sail for the buoy that was reportedly the destination of the House Kundarak representative’s daily swimming excursions. At the buoy, D’artagnan drank the Deep Breath potion that Gemdust suggested he acquire and dove beneath the surface of the waves. The buoy was held in place by a long, thick chain that stretched to the ocean bed (fortunately, they were still near enough to the island that D’artagnan avoided most major pressure-related dangers from the crushing weight of the water.) D’artagnan expected to find one of the Coffers of Kundarak tethering the buoy to the sea bed. What he found instead, however, was a gigantic boulder in its place. After a few moments, however, he thought he saw the strange lights of a city in the distance…

Meanwhile, at the surface, S. Danger (human ranger), Meara Quickblade and the rest of her crew watched as the house Kundarak guardian approached on his magically enhanced rowboat (rather than swimming out.) He was, understandably, angry at the boat that had parked right next to “House Kundarak Property.” Unable to convince anyone to come down to his little rowboat to talk about it, he quickly climbed the side of Meara’s boat and angrily threw S. Danger, human ranger, over the side. When S. Danger, human ranger, looked up next, the Kundarak representative was leaping down towards him, morphing into an Ixitxichitl on the way down. It bit S. Danger, the ranger who is notably human, and revealed itself to have some measure of command over negative energy. Angry at the deception and at the attack, S. Danger cleft the Devil Ray in twain with a single mighty blow.

The party rejoined quickly and came to the conclusion that the Ixitxichitl must have located the treasure chest and decided to take it for themselves. Meara’s first mate cast a water-breathing spell to allow all of them to survive the ocean depths, and they swam down and found a massive city of coral and glass, filled with the Devil Rays and containing walkways and air tubes for their humanoid slaves. Entering the city of Ixichitoporox was fairly simple. Navigating a bit (and finding two Anguillian guards who were easily dispatched), they eventually found a gate that was protected by a barrier of negative energy that Meara’s first mate identified as a “Blackgate.” D’artagnan was able to translate the runes on the gate enough to sound out the words (even though the meanings were lost.) S. Danger, human ranger, then spoke the words and found himself unable to stop speaking them. More and more phrases in some alien tongue came unwilling from his voice, but eventually they stopped and the field of shadowy energy dissipated and allowed them to enter.

The heroes found themselves in a monstrous temple dedicated to the Demon Lord known as Dagon, a monstrous, primordial entity from before the Blood War. A Vampiric Ixitxichitl began a ceremony when he discovered the adventurers there, and the massive statue to Dagon began singing a song not unlike whale-song, but very clearly malevolent and with a keen intelligence backing it up. All of the humanoid slaves in the immediate area began walking into the water towards the statue of Dagon, heedless of the drowning danger. Meara, her first mate, and S. Danger (human ranger) all began walking towards the statue of Dagon as well, but physical violence on the part of D’artagnan, sustained for a minute, kept the other three adventurers from walking under the water. At the end of the song, the trance ended for the adventurers, though the slaves stayed where they were (many drowning). One slave had walked up a ramp leading out of the water, reaching the top of a rocky outcropping. The statue seemed to come to life, and its head snapped forward, devouring the entranced slave in a single bite.

After this horrifying scene had passed, the Vampiric Ixitxichitl taunted the adventurers, but was persuaded through some carefully worded diplomatic pleas to let them use the Coffer of Kundarak that they had stolen. This was agreed upon providing that the heroes agree to give the knowledge of the contents of the final chest to Dagon, since Dagon is the master of the secrets beneath the waves, and Kundarak had unknowingly kept a secret from him by hiding the chest on the ocean floor (which was why the Kundarak representative at the island had to be killed and replaced by a shape-shifting cleric to Dagon.)

The adventurers all agreed. Since the coffer would not work for her or her first mate (since they hadn’t gone through the first one), Meara decided to steal the chest from the Ixitxichitl (reasoning that their promise had been made to Dagon, not his minions.) D’artagnan carefully spent his time picking the lock on the coffer in preparation for the battle to come. A quick scuffle with the Vampiric Ixitxichitl that had been running the show and a rapid looting of much of the treasure in Dagon’s hold prompted the quick getaway through the glowing aura within the chest as Meara and her first mate, being left behind, prepared to levitate the second Coffer of Kundarak and fight their way out of the city and back to their ship with it. As for D’artagnan and S. Danger, Human Ranger, their fate would resolve elsewhere…

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The Worrying Well

When D’artagnan and S. Danger, Human Ranger found after leaping into the first Coffer was a seemingly endless expanse of Ocean, though Cher Chang Gu was nowhere to be found. Luck was on their side, however, as they spotted a ship with a lovely red sail. They managed to attract the attention of the crew, were pulled aboard, and were then introduced to Captain Meara Quickblade and her sorcerial first mate. A tiny amount of investigation revealed that Meara was an adventuring privateer who spends most of her time retrieving treasures (which often seem to include cursed items that send giant sea monsters after her ship.) Her current mission was to voyage to a moderately obscure island to plunder the shipwreck that allegedly claimed the life of her old employer, Captain Razorbeard (a pirate named for the majestic beard that he filled with dozens of scabbards for swords and daggers, ensuring that he would always be well armed as long as his beard was nearby.) In time D’artagnan and S. Danger (human ranger) told Meara most of the pertinent details of their quest, and while she was technically running a job on the side for Kundarak she would certainly be willing to give what aid was convenient. She also looked over the “map” that had fallen out of the lid of the first chest, and recognized the writing as being that of the Ixitxichitl, a race of monstrous aberrational fish that resembled Manta Rays (and were, in fact, occasionally called Devil Rays by those who did not know their true name.) She hypothesized that the large word on the map, “Ixichitoporox”, was likely the name of an underground city (as pictured in the rough drawing of coral on the map), though she also said it was rare for Ixitxichitl to ever stay in one place long enough to find it worth their time to name their cities.

When the ship landed, the natives turned out to be friendly (ships docked here frequently and brought enough amusing and exotic items from other lands that they had set up a modest economy to make the smugglers, pirates and sailors feel welcome.) Meara took her first mate and the other two adventurers to locate the shipwreck. Three monstrous crabs later and the treasure within, vast and ill-described as it was, was theirs for the taking.

With time to explore the village, they discovered that there was an odd House Kundarak “outpost” (really just a fishing shack) that was occupied by a dwarf who loved to spend his time fishing. Periodically, he would swim (or row, though he’d found that less enjoyable lately) out from the beach where the shack was and, after some time, return. The villagers who had witnessed this had never been able to keep up with his swimming or his magical self-rowing boat, though they had found a red buoy in the ocean in the direction he swam to, anchored by a chain that descended into the depths below the waves.

Hearing from the natives some stories about missionaries sent by St. Cuthbert every so often who would suddenly decide to leave without a reason, D’Artagnan and S. Danger, human ranger, the two adventurers went to the missionary compound deep in the forest. The compound was largely abandoned, with nearly all of the supplies taken years earlier. There was a journal left behind by the previous leader of the expedition talking about increased nightmares, strange dreams, and a building sense of dread in all of the missionaries. He also seemed to think that the well in the courtyard of the compound was particularly terrifying, and that those who drew the water seemed more likely to have the nightmares and horrifying visions.

Intrigued, S. Danger went to listen to the well, and it did sound eerie. He listened more closely, and almost thought he could imagine whispering words in the odd, echoing noises come up from the well. Listening a third time, and he almost felt like he had lost some of his senses. Using the bucket to lower themselves, the two adventurers slowly descended into the well. Rather than being a tube all the way down, the two found that the well opened up into a dome-shaped room before hitting the water below. The walls of the cave had tiny holes and odd carvings in them (though no passages to other areas, at least not above the water.) The holes were allowing wind to enter the cave, and the odd carvings interrupted the blowing wind in just such a precise way as to create eerie noises that could resemble moaning or whispering. Suspicious of the well’s cave, but not quite willing to dive deeper to explore the mystery further, the two adventurers rose back to the compound and went to sleep (taking shifts, naturally).

Near midnight, the chief of security that almost stopped the adventurers in the 13th Floor of the bank, arrived. He attempted to battle the two, but was overcome due to their flanking maneuvers. He was knocked out, tied up, and relieved of his weapons and armor before a quick interrogation session could be held.

It was revealed that he was hunting them for their crime of breaking into House Kundarak’s vaults, killing two members of the security staff who were not senior enough to gain Resuscitation Benefits, and conspiring to continue to search for the other Coffers of Kundarak. He also revealed that he did qualify for the Resuscitation Benefits and as such death held no terror for him (and, in fact, torture would cause him to be paid a hefty bonus.) Deciding that his life as a slave might win them some favor with the local Ixitxichitl, and thinking that the well might be related to their schemes, they left the dwarf tied up by the well and left the compound to return to the village.

With the village surprisingly awake and lively (a late-night luau was being held for the visiting ships), the two adventurers contacted Meara and, with the knowledge that House Kundarak was actively scrying for them, asked if they could sail out to the buoy to inspect it to see if it marked the position of the next coffer. Meara agreed, and said that they could leave at dawn.

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Break In On Floor 13

In the city of Rubyvale the heroes had just taken a side-trip to an underground casino…not an illegal one so much as an unwanted one. Blok and The Dude went on their own to their own adventures. Cher Chang Gu, D’artagnan and S. Danger (human ranger) had a very particular task in mind: breaking into the bank of House Kundarak, the most secure banking facility in the known world! After burying the coffer that they had already found, they proceeded to pull off their heist.

It was known that the individual branches of the Kundarak Bank were connected to the central branch by means of a teleportation system: anything put into a safety deposit box would find itself in a vault in Kundarak’s primary citadel in the Mror Holds. It was simplicity to purchase a chest large enough for the three of them to hide within (naturally, one coated with lead to block any scanning for life signs by pesky magical security systems.) A hireling was hired, as is the nature of hirelings, to deposit the chest at the bank on their behalf.

When they crawled out of the chest, they found themselves in a dark vault containing knickknacks, trinkets, and other items of low value. While the vault door was one of the most advanced that D’artagnan had ever seen, the fact that he was picking it from the inside helped him enough (along with some inspirational music from Cher) to get the lock open. Sneaking into the hallway, the adventurers avoided the patrolling guards (two dwarves and a warforged) and discovered an elevator.

The elevator had twelve buttons, each indicating a different floor. Where a thirteenth button might have been there was, instead, a keyhole. Coming to the realization that security would have to be engaged, the patrolling guards were attacked: the warforged and senior dwarf (who held a key and a book) were killed, while the junior dwarf (on his first week as a guard) was merely knocked out (he had a scrap of paper with a sequence of numbers upon it.)

When the purloined key was used in the key hole, the numbers on the buttons of the elevator began to flash. Thinking quickly, the adventurers pressed the buttons in the sequence that they found in the possession of the junior guard. The elevator began to descend, but before long an ethereal voice identifying itself as Kundarak Security spoke to the elevator’s occupants and demanded that they identify themselves. Unable to provide a satisfactory answer, the voice informed them that they would be stopped. The voice went silent then and the elevator continued its descent to the 13th Floor.

Upon exiting the elevator, the bank robbing heroes(?) found themselves in a massive hallway lit by torches with monstrous looking vault doors on either side that made the ones on the first floor look childish. After taking a few steps more, they were halted by a very professional imp who informed them that they were trespassers and would be put to death (but if they had any questions or complaints regarding this policy, Kundarak had customer service branches available in many versions of the afterlife.) They battled the imp, and seemed to do well until the imp declared that it “was also a client” and zipped to one of the vaults, pulling a key ring from its vest pocket that had three keys. Opening a vault that was presumably his, the imp activated an artifact that Cher identified as a “Zombie Cauldron”, which continually generated more and more zombies, dumping them onto the ground for the heroes to fight. S. Danger handily kept the zombies at bay while D’artagnan did what he could to disable the Zombie Cauldron and prevent it from dumping anymore zombies (though this left him open to the imps frequent attacks.) Cher proved to be the deciding factor when she managed to charm the imp with her bardic abilities, and convinced it to become a temporary ally. The now-friendly (though still lawful) imp handed his key ring over, explained what the rest of the hallway would contain, and made them promise to not steal anything before using the coffer to escape.

The adventurers walked down the hallway and found (just as the imp had told them about) a chasm in their way. A pedestal with a keyhole was available, and the heroes removed the proper key from the imp’s key ring, and used it to activate the pedestal which generated a magical bridge across the chasm (the key needed to be left behind to keep the bridge.) Just as the adventurers could begin to make out the far side of the chasm where the hallway appeared to resume, a cloud of smoke issued from one of the mouths of the basilisk-statues that lined the bridge, quickly coalescing into a genie. Cher entranced the genie (a janni, to be specific) before any fighting could begin, and the adventurers ran past.

As they reached the opposite end of the bridge, the heroes witnessed three massive vaults (the imp said to pick the middle one) sitting behind an adamantium statue of a dragon (which the imp claimed was a powerful golem.) Rushing as fast as they could, the heroes weren’t stopped by the chief of security who then fell from an air vent in the ceiling above, just narrowly missing them. The Ironwyrm Golem activated the moment that the heroes put the key into the lock of the second vault. Not wishing to fight the chief of security and the massive fire-breathing golem, the heroes quickly locked themselves into the vault which contained the first Coffer of Kundarak, a massive treasure chest that would comfortably accommodate three horses when closed. Inspired by a quick tune from Cher, D’artagnan picked the lock of the chest in the nick of time, for the Ironwyrm Golem had started breathing fire at the vault door, turning it into a gigantic oven. When the chest opened, a strange map (of sorts) fell from the lid of the chest into the waiting hands of the adventurers who then leaped into the glowing vortex of light within the chest, vanishing from Kundarak Bank and being sent elsewhere…

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