A line of beautifully carved sarcophagi lined the wall. Torches illuminated the area. Each sarcophagus depicted fey humanoids most of them appeared to be elves of upper middle class. Along the walls there were silver words written in ancient elven script.
Varis, Antoinette, and Harbinger concluded that the script told of the history of Briarthorn, its founding and its prosperity. The primary founder was a cleric of Ioun named Janinin, a distant cousin King Astaldo Celenarta, Nanenlaer’s first formal ruler. Briarthorn was at first a place where scholars met, discusses theories, research and what not.
While they deciphered the script another set of footsteps echoed throughout the halls accompanied by the clanking for armor. Varis disappeared into the shadows creeping around corners to find the noisy intruders. Wrights clad in heavy plate accompanied by armored jars that contained brains. The brains in jars sensed the others and hovered past the hidden half-elf to attack.
(Queue Victory Music)
Peering into the dim light they saw at the end of a hallway there were a set of stairs leading down. At the base of the staircase a body in a black robe sat in front of a large ordinate door decorated with ironwood twisted in abstract shapes. The body itself was of a young teenage woman with black hair. Around her neck was a necklace with an eye pendant made of iron. She had died of suffocation.
Varis fiddled with the lock on the door clicks several times and they opened slowly revealing a large circular room, torches lit this area. Like the first room there were words written along the walls, but this time they are also pictures carved into the black rock which resembled obsidian. In the center of the room was a circular raised platform. A row of enemies watched you from the other side of a trench. A long necked catoblepas, accompanied by nighthawks, and several burly skeletons with flails.
Our intrepid heroes succeed defeating their enemies. When Malbert drew them near to his being Harbinger made it difficult for them to move.
After the battled the party finally had time to read the walls. The ancient scripture on the wall here continued telling of the history of Briarthorn mostly about rulers that governed the small town eventually having it evolve into one of the largest centers for primal and arcane studies thanks to the archmage, Lenn Maeg Namo.
Najar’s sharp eyes spied a glinting light that turned out be a key. When they inspected the circular platform, they saw it was made of a blue agate laced with mithril with many deep incisions slice across the circle. In the very center of the platform was a keyhole. They inserted the key round platform dropped and created stairs leading down into a dimly lit circular stairwell.
At the bottom of the stairwell they arrived into a plain stone gray square room with double doors on each wall. There wasn’t any writing on the wall in here, but there was what looked to be body with the same robes as the girl upstairs. This recently deceased person was about 13 years old, human, wearing a crude necklace made from a leather strap and a wooden eye.
Without a clear direction they picked a door and went through it. The walls of this place were made of hematite. So polished that they reflected an obscure a distorted images. Other than the silver words of Briarthorn’s history which were hard enough to make out there were no other images on the walls. The writing told of the exchange of knowledge with the outsiders. Harbinger then placed a hand on the wall…there was eruption of white light and arcane runes appeared. However no one in the party could figure out what they did.
The rest of the maze were uneventful until they reached the end when they encountered a young boy cornered by some rot grub zombies. After easily dispatching the zombies they learned that the boy was named Stephen and he had been part of Osay’s group that was dispatched to Briarthorn. Winifred and the older cultist had forced to further scour the catacombs after they had the majority of the information they needed. The boy also informed them that the catacombs were split into four quarters rogue, warrior, cleric, and mage. Only a few of the older cultists made it back from the inner sanctums of these quarters.