The party followed Noth Queha’ha into “The Whispering Cairn”, one of many tombs that pepper the Cairn Hills outside of town. Inside they find a fake sarcophagus surrounded by 7 colored glass lanterns. The sarcophagus and lanterns are an elaborate mechanism that hides various underground chambers. After encountering swarms of beetles, fighting and underwater ghoul, and nearly falling to their deaths from a wind-blowing door, they finally make their way into the inner tomb.
Inside they are stopped by a seemingly un-openable door. However, the ghost of a trapped child, Alastor Land, strikes a bargain: If they bury his bones with those of his family, he’ll fly through the wall and open the door. The heroes reluctantly leave the cairn with the boy’s remains and walk them to a small homestead outside of town. Much to their dismay, the other bones have been stolen. They return to the cairn and convince Alastor to open the door.
Inside the heroes find a column of wind blowing through a hole in the ceiling and 4 bas-relief carvings that seem to move when they approach. The 4 carvings depict 4 scenes from an ancient battle between the forces of law & chaos from when the world was still young:
1) The Vaati (an ancient elemental-air race seen in bas-relief on the sarcophagus) relaxing, suddenly attacked by monsters that are a cross between wolves and spiders. The Wolf-Spiders consume the Vaati worlds of the Vaati Empireof Aqaa one-by-one.
2) Icosiel, a great Vaati “Wind Duke” standing before other vaati (including Zosiel, for whom the Whispering Cairn was build). He raises two swords, clangs them together, and the crown of vaati release a great war cry.
3) 7 Wind Dukes, including Icosiel, present a staff-like blue rod to a council of elders. The central elder holds the rod over his head and it shatters into 7 parts.
4) The final battle between Law and Chaos. Icosiel and another Wind Duke battle the Miska the Wolf Spider, grand general of the chaos armies. The other Wind Duke impales Miska with a fragment of the shattered rod, opening a planar rift. The rift consumes Miska, the wind duke, and the rod fragment, but not before Icosiel is struck by a beam from Miska’s eyes, killing him.
The heroes then encountered two Wind Warriors guarding the true tomb. They were beaten and had to retreat. Alastor Land would not reopen the door until his curse was broken. The heroes left to track down the Land Family bones (read more below) and, eventually doing so, returned and faced the wind warriors again. This time they were victorious. They entered the true tomb of Zosiel and found two artifacts – a silver diadem that granted wisdom, and a curious object later identified as a dormant artifact called “Talisman of the Sphere”, and the horns of an ancient demon.
When they searched for the Land Family, clues led them to Boss Durgha, enforcer at the Maratesh Mine. Questioning two of his cronies revealed the bodies were dug up on the request of the necromancer Filge. The heroes found filge at the Old Observatory where they dispatched him and found the bones. They also found a note from Balabar Smenk (Maratesh Mine manager) speaking of “strange green worms and unkillable zombies” being studied under the Dourstone Mine. They confiscated a jar containing one of the worms.
After returning to Koshepa and speaking with their friend and mentor Master Delaron, the heroes began forming plans to infiltrate the Dourstone Mine.
Important People to Remember:
Icosiel – WInd duke killed by Miska the Wolf Spider at the final battle between law and chaos ages ago.
Miska the Wolf Spider – lost in a planar rift, effectively ending the war between law and chaos
Balabar Smenk – Corrupt mine manager somehow tied to the green worms from Dourstone Mine.
Filge – Necromancer from The Free City, hired by Balabar Smenk to study the worm from the Dourstone Mine. Killed by Kraldar.
Boss Durgha – Balabar Smenk’s go-to enforcer. All-around bad half orc.
Alastor Land – young ghost trapped in the Whispering Cairn, released by the Heroes.
Master Delaron – “The Smartest Man in Koshepa”. Delaron Neff runs the arcane academy and moved to Koshepa to be closer to his brother Lanod Neff and to study The Rift.
- The rod rescued by the heroes in their first adventure very closely resembles the rod depicted in the bas reliefs. Delaron is currently holding the rod for study.