Having dispatched the undead guardians of the catacombs as well as a Caryatid Column, the party advanced into another room with three statues. Again nothing different except that one — named Llywel the Silver — appeared to missing something out of one of it’s hands. The hand was crafted to appear to be holding a rod of some sort, but it had been removed. Beyond that room was a stairway leading down into a octagonal shaped room. Seated at the back was a figure in a throne-like chair. Oxyl was the first to get a good look at it: leathery shreds of skin clinging to a skeletal body, it’s eyes glowing red and staring straight ahead. Badger crept in to look and identified it as a Crypt Thing. Held in it’s bony hand was what appeared to be a stone rod about 24 inches long. The party huddled and quickly decided the rod the creature held was the one that was missing from the statue they stood next to. Gellak volunteered to go and take the rod, hoping that it was not the trigger to set the monster off in defense of it’s lair. Hoping, but knowing the consequences, the party prepared for a fight, and and soon as Gellak touched the rod, a fight was what they got. As the monster rose, a wave of fear rushed over the group, sending Gellak and Halladorn running for their lives. The rest of the party battled with the creature, enduring an Unholy Blight and several attacks with it’s claws, which also sent Oxyl and Stanislau running in fear. The creature finally unleashed it’s Teleporting Burst, which only succeeded in sending Oxyl – recovered from his fear – out of the catacombs and next to the giant/troll cave entrance one level above. After several tense moments, the creature was finally brought down, though much damage was suffered.
After healing what wounds they could, Oxyl took the rod and slid it into the hole in the statue’s fist. A grating sound was heard followed by the opening of a door behind the statue. It led directly into what can only be described as a treasure room. Having a bit more time to examine the treasure, they found 1270cp, 947sp, and 856gp in three separate chests. A scroll rack contained several very old copies of maps of the surrounding area (antiques?) and another held 5 masterwork weapons of exceedingly high quality (a great axe, longsword, heavy flail, shortspear and a heavy mace). Coffers on a finely carved desk contained 8 garnets and 7 alexandrites, a set of pearl-handled writing instruments with gold nibs and a leaded glass ink-pot, and three rings of a magical nature. The desk and chair were of very high quality as well, but proved too difficult to remove without destroying their value. These sat upon a rug woven possibly 200 years or more ago from one of the north eastern countries – maybe Zeif or Ket. Lastly was a bookcase that contained much information valuable to sages and historians, plus a set of books detailing the lives and deaths of the inhabitants of the now-ruined keep.
The party gathered the spoils, headed over to where their comrades waited with the horses and the prisoner, and set off back toward Hochoch…….