On September 1st, Year 4, Citadel House adventurers answer a call from Dargos to return to Slighe Domhainn to investigate a tomb beneath the town. They are the same pair that have helped Dargos in the past:
- Verdis (HuS): Level 9 Human Fighter
- Phineas, Talking Rock Companion
- Q (TrS): Level 2 Human Thief
Their journey to Slighe Domhainn is fairly uneventful, staying a night in the Rathad Oidhche inn and Verdis greeting those they pass on the way. On Wednesday, the 3rd, they arrive in Slighe Domhainn under a fog and go straight to the old palace where Dargos governs. They are given a room and told they can see Dargos in the morning, as expected, but things turn secretive when the attendant who showed them to their room returns with food personally. As they are preparing for bed, Dargos arrives and thanks them for coming.
He tells them that beneath the palace is the tomb of Glic Cuirm-Cogaidh, a ruler from the Fall of Kings era in gnomish history, 3000 years ago. Leaders in Slighe Domhainn have long been entrusted with keeping gnomes from entering the tomb and finding the secrets hidden there, but now he believes that Ar-a-mach forces have found another way into the tomb and are seeking the knowledge. Because he has sworn not to allow gnomes inside, he needs them to enter on his behalf and make sure the secrets have not been compromised. In the morning, he will sneak them into the tomb.
In the morning, Thursday the 4th, Dargos carefully leads them down to the sealed tomb where a pair if guards move the stone to allow them entry. Dargos gives them a statue through which he can speak, see, and hear to help them, mostly with translation. He translates the words above the door:
From sharper to smoother,
Removing corners adds more,
Until there are none at all.
They make a note of this on the rough map Dargos had given them (he knows the number and positions of the chambers but not how they are connected) and enter. Inside (4,1 on the map), they see a number of concentric shapes etched on the floor: a triangle, a square, a hexagon, and an octagon.
With doors on each of the four walls, they start with the left, which door creaks loudly. In that room (3,1), they find after a search (the room has deposits from when the dungeon was flooded in the past) a hexagon and square engraved on the floor. They pass by the North door to continue West, finding a room (2,1) with lesser deposits than the prior two with a square in the floor. (TrS observed how quickly they were losing shapes.) As expected, the only door is North and they continue, finding the next room (2,2) again heavily covered in deposits. For the first time they see an inner wall with no door on the East, a square is etched in the floor, and of the two doors the one in the North is more substantial than the doors they have seen thus far. Q attempts to pick the lock, but finds it too complex for him.
Returning to their original plan, they continue West to another room (1,2) with a square etched in the ground and the expected door to the North. They open the door and hear the sound of rushing water and the echoes of the door’s creaking. A deep canyon, whose bottom their lanterns do not light, crosses the center of the room (1,3). By leaning out, they are able to light part of the next room (2,3).
Q decides to descend the canyon and see how feel it is, securing his rope to a door and climbing down to river level. As he ascends again, a crossbow bolt strikes him in the side from above and behind, puncturing a lung and rupturing a kidney. As he is about to pass out, surely falling from the rope and drowning in the river below, he sees the face of the last man he killed before coming to the Vale (right after finding the dagger that called him there) and feels energy flow through him, allowing him to stay awake and keep his grip.
Q ties himself into the rope and when a second bolt drives him unconscious, Verdis hauls him to the top of the cliff, pulling him back into the doorway and making sure he is stable. Returning to the cliff edge, Verdis takes a couple of bolts but hurls one of their lanterns toward the shots, getting a glimpse of two gnomes with crossbows two rooms away (3,3) along the cliff. He sends several arrows into the room but hears only clattering on stone.
With the threat driven off, Verdis takes the Dargos sensory extension from Q’s body, but with only one ear Dargos can’t find anything over there with echolocation. With four uses of Lay on Hands, Verdis brings Q back up without any fatigue on top of his two recent traumas.
They traced their steps back to the second room (3,1), going north through one room (3,2) to another (3,3) they can hardly enter for the chasm crossing it near the door. In this room, where Verdis saw the gnomish attackers, there is no sign of the enemy. Across the chasm, a door to the North appears strong and locked, and the door East is their presumed escape route.
While they backtrack to their point of ingress (4,1) to investigate the central room of the tomb (4,3), they come upon a band of five gnomes entering a room (3,1) from the other direction. In the ensuing battle, Verdis cuts most of them down with a blade dance while Q handles an outlier. One of the gnomes, not dressed as the other warriors, throws some powder on Verdis before dying and Verdis loots the remaining powder and a couple of vials from him. They find a fair number of Gnomish coins and split them. One of the gnomes is living and after a failed interrogation turn him over to the guards outside the tomb.
They continue to the central room where they meet four more gnomes who hurriedly withdraw their plank bridge. In the battle that follows, Q contributes with throwing knives across the chasm and Verdis soon shoulders his bow to leap across and accelerate the battle when a robed gnome starts throwing fire bombs. With Verdis on their side of the chasm, the gnomes start to fall quickly, but the robed gnome downs a potion that causes him visible pain before blowing a frigid air over Verdis and being cut down.
Verdis replaces the planks and they again loot the bodies, splitting some coinage and potions. They find access to the room from which the gnomes shot Verdis, but no forward opportunity. Q descends a rope ladder into the chasm and finds a boat on the river.
Done with the gnome camp, they explore the East side of the dungeon, following triangle signs in the floor to the Northeast corner (6,5). There they solve a puzzle and obtain three triangle keys, one of which they use to traverse the North rooms following hexagon signs in the floor. This path brings them to the Northwest corner (2,5) where they solve another puzzle after a single failure to obtain five hexagon keys.
At this point, they feel that the chasm has rendered the rest of the tomb impassable, but they descend the chasm back at the central room and work their way up river. Q climbs out of the chasm in the room (2,3) a lock had previously denied them access to on the North side of the chasm. He opens the door at the top and uses it to dangle a rope to Verdis who climbs up behind him. They proceed to the other Northwest corner (1,3) where a more challenging puzzle leaves them with only two square keys, with the help of Q’s Infiltrator’s Intuition.
With no other course available to them, they climb back into the chasm, Verdis using the rope and Q untying it to descend unaided and keep the rope. With the square keys in hand, they are able to access the Eastern rooms (7,3 and 7,4), where they solve a very complex puzzle for some octagonal keys.
With an octagonal key and a hexagonal key, they access the circle room (7,2) and solve a final puzzle, gaining access to the room below. It is slimy and encrusted with water deposits and reeks with a foul odor, but inside they find Glic’s body, obtaining his map to the sealed tomb of Luath Draoidh na Roinn (one corner they find clutched in his hand). Q also makes off with Glic’s sword.
Out of the tomb again, Dargos implores them to take the map back to the Vale in secret so it can be kept out of the hands of the Ar-a-mach. They consider destroying it, but determine that they might need it in the future. They agree to hide the map in the Vale and Dargos secretes them out of the city to a country home where they spend the night.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday they move briskly to return to the Vale, where they turn the map over to Matthias to keep in his lock box.