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Linda is interested in the seal too but used to studying first and then tinkering with anything she is less rashful to break it open.
"This seal must be here for some time and for a reason. Breaking it open before learning what it does is not so good an idea. On any account we should be careful whith what we do with everything we don't fully understand."
"Lassie, never insult my clan again or you will be shorter by a head. Friend or foe, we do not need our bodies once we die. Moradin remakes our bodies out of stone and creates life again. Also, I now need a new suit of armor. I was going to use the dragons skin to make a new suit, but you decided to go ahead and sink the dragon below the swamp. How do u suggest I get a new suit with no availbale money and my scale gone? You are getting me new armor, lass."
*fairly piqued at Thokks threats and insults, Taern storms out of the cave, A few minutes later, she returns, leading her horse. She frustratedly unstraps a shovel from the side of the horse and thrusts it in Thokk's direction, then jabs her finger at the tree*
I am done honoring the fallen. If you wish to desecrate the bodies, so be it. You can start digging.
Dwarves! Do all they know how to do is fight, drink ale, and spew threats and insults?
Oden's spell allows him to translate the spiral inscription, which apparently dates back to the earliest days of dale reckoning, over 700 years ago.
It tells the tale of an evil necromancer named Sethra who terrorized the area for many decades. Much of the spiral is dedicated to enumerating the many horrors he brought down on the Vilhon Reach as well as the stories of many failed attempts by various would-be heroes to defeat Sethra.
It was not until the Year of Dreams (10DR) that a band of adventurers, led by a rival wizard (whose wife and two of three children had been murdered by Sethra), hunted down the necromancer, eventually tracking him to this very crypt.
The four adventurers descended into the crypt, sealing the entrance behind them to prevent Sethra's escape. Witnesses outside the barrow reported hearing shouting, fighting and explosions, then an eerie silence. Sethra was never heard from again; however, the adventurers did not resurface either, and no one was able to penetrate the magic wards they had left behind. They were assumed to have died in defeating Sethra and were posthumously hailed as heroes. The entrance of the crypt was later sealed with this commemorative plaque. The inscription ends with the sentence, "Their brave, selfless deeds will never be forgotten."
Oden adds that ironically it was only a few generations later that a great plague devastated the Vilhon Reach (75DR Year of the Clinging Death). Much ancient history was forgotten, including apparently the existence of these barrows and the tale of Sethra's reign of terror...
Meanwhile, Fizahn's careful inspection of the borders of the disc have revealed that it is held into place by 8 pins that have been placed through bolts driven into the stone. It may be that the people of that long ago time were more concerned with preventing anything from exiting the tomb than preventing entrance. The pins and bolts are heavily corroded, but could likely be hammered open with a moderate effort. Fizahn finds no evidence of mechanical traps on the disc itself.
"I've had a change of mind, let's not open this tomb, lets find a way to make sure it stays closed. I know the necromancer must be dead by now, but then again, if he was so powerful, he might arranged a revenge, magic can be devastating in capable hands..."
A necromancer... He may even have found a way to stay alive...
Linda the White.
Linda moves near the seal and thinks for a moment then turns to the others frowning.
"Things might not be as easy as choosing to open the seal or not. The dragon had evil in his blood but being raised by you master Oden should let him know of a good and benevolent way of life and allow him to pick good over evil. But what if his choice was forced? He was clearly drawn to this place. What if this place retains a portion of the evil it once had? What if its presence nearby turned your dragon back to evil ways even if you tried to raise him as a good creature? The mere fact that the dragon was drawn here means he was drawn by some kind of power. What if evil endured beyond the seal? Wouldn't it be our duty to open the seal and destroy the evil if we can? Such decisions should be taken after careful consideration though. And they can't be taken if the party is divided."
She turns towards the elf and the dwarf fighting.
"I am not familiar with your customs but fighting over tradition is not the right thing to do. Traditions that honor the dead that fought valiantly don't come after traditions that honor an ally who fought bravely for a task that was not his own?"
Turning to the dwarf she continues
"You are of different cultures but this should not mean that you mustn't honor eachother's customs. At least if you want to be friends. You just fought side by side and now you fight over frivolities? Is a new armor from dragonhide worth more than a good friend? And I am quite sure that such a young dragon would not have a hide thick enough to make as good armor as an adult. But it is your choice is it not? I am not in your group and I can't tell you what to do. But I can tell you what I think is wrong."
After her speech Linda goes away, letting the elf and the dwarf decide what they will do.
*Starts walking out the door, then turns to Taern*
"I have nothing against honoring the fallen, but i do have something against wasteing possibly valuable supplies, espicially armor. If you no another place where i can get some fire resistant armor without sellin me own leg in the process, lead on. If you dont, i shall start digging."
"Linda, I'm not putting in question your theory about the dragon being drawn here, put this place did not force evil upon the dragon. That dragon was born evil, and nothing could have changed that. Maybe evil still lingers behind the seal, but it took more power than all of us together to seal this evil, and if we open, we might be unleashing it upon the world. If we are going to open it, we should get more information before. I say that for now, our duty is to make sure time doesn't wear the seal out."
*Turns to Oden.*
"Master Oden, do you know of any spell that could enforce the seal, or repair the damage time did on it?"
"Well, Master Elthan, of course there are 'wizard locks' and also various protective glyphs that can be used to keep people or things in or out. No doubt, as you surmised, some are in effect here.
"I have not the ability to cast those spells in particular, but it seems to me that this barrow had remained fairly well hidden for many centuries without our help. I suppose that it could remain hidden for centuries more if we seal the entrance back up and tell no one about it.
"Sir Thokk, surely you realize that the dragon was far too small for even as skilled an armorsmith as you to make more than a suit of armor for a child's doll out of its hide. If all agree with Elthan, then that shovel would be put to better use covering up the two entrances we discovered here so that no one else might stumble upon this hidden crypt."
"I know there is not enough scale on the dragon to fully funish myself with a full suit of armor. I simply need what i can get, and I can get some right now, so i will. And find yer own blasted shovel!"
"I don't understand why you can't simply repair the damage on your armor Sir Thokk. If you can make a suit of armor out of dragon scale, certainly you can make the repairs needed for your armor. Anyways, I thought we could stay a day or two in town, I would like to inquire the locals about the history of the place."
"I agree with you master Oden that the chances someone else finds this place are slim, but WE stubbled upon it and were ready to bash it open in an instant. If you haden't decoded the inscription, I would have opted for the destruction of the seal. What realy bothers me is that the seal is in such an bad condition, do you know of a spell that could take the rust off, making it more secure?"
"Those are good points, Elthan. Unfortunately, erasing the effects of time are beyond me (would that I could erase 50 years worth of wear and tear on my own body!). In any case, it looks to me as though the rust might actually be making the pins harder to remove now than they were when they were new.
"Perhaps there would be a way to leave a message or warning, however, in case anyone else were to stumble upon this barrow?"
*Goes over to Thokk and speaks so only he can understand.*
"I don't know why you are so interested in the planes, but perhaps it is not my buisness, but don't do anything irrational like trying to pop open the seal. Maybe it has what you are looking for, but it is more likely it has doom, yours, mine, and many more. If you are looking for information on the planes, then we should look for a large city with a great library and powerful mages."
*In response to Oden.*
"I do agree with the warning, but the warning should be inside, if someone is actully looking for this, maybe he shouldn't find it. Maybe we could cover the whole seal, making it look like there is nothing in here."
"It sounds as though some of you would like to open and explore the crypt, whereas others would prefer to leave it alone. Either way, however, I agree with Taern, the first thing to do would be to return to Mimleth to rest and restore ourselves. Many of us are injured, and our magic reservoirs have been depleted.
"Let us quickly make a decision on whether or not to seal this crypt (and if so how), so that we may do what needs to be done and still return to Mimleth before nightfall. For my part, I have no wish to return to this bog, but if you adventurers would like to debate the risk vs. reward of returning and opening the crypt, you should do so in a safe place, rather than this dark barrow."
"For once I will agree with the elf, I am slightly battered right now. However lads, I think we should explore these crypts. If you panseys dont want to venture down into the lower crypt, under the seal, thats fine with me, we should just search the ones above the seal. If all these hills are barrows, some of them should have the treasures the dead were buried with."
*OOC: When the move happened, did our OOC chat get deleted? I just looked for it and i couldnt find it, and the link Rouge has is now broken*
"I agree with exploring the crypts above the ground, but the seal is there to keep whatever is or was in there from getting out. Whoever put that there gave themselves alot of trouble. Let's just go to town and rest for the night, we can talk about this some more later."
Taern and Thokk use their combined strength to refit the stone slab into the opening of the barrow. The shovel is used to collapse the hidden rear tunnel.
Oden Homm talks the group into burying the uneaten animals (including Fizahn's pony) that were festering in the central pond. It is a ghoulish, nauseating task, but with the animals buried (and once a light breeze has dispersed the charnel house stench) there is little left here to attract attention to the area (you hope).
Your protective spells and the glow from Thokk's armor have long faded by the time all of the digging and lifting is completed. Everyone is tired, achy, and filthy.
You arrive at Oden Homm's estate by sunset. He insists that you stay overnight. After a bath, a change of clothes, and a good meal, everyone is ready to collapse into Oden's guest beds. Any discussion of crypt raiding will have to wait until the morning.
OOC: End of Chapter 2: The Black Dragon. Please check the OOC thread for a wrap up.
In the morning, after breakfast, Oden Homm brings out a small chest and places it on the table offering "a small token of thanks." The chest contains 500 gold pieces. Added to the ioun stone, the potions, and the remaining scroll of passwall he gave you earlier, it is a generous reward for slaying the dragon.
You are welcome to stay with him as long as you like. His library is also open to anyone who would like to use it. It contains many old texts covering Arcana, History, Local history, and Religion.