The evening sun was rapidly approaching the horizon as Hugh, O’nai’u, Nora, and Scallywag rushed the last few hundred yards to the gates of Scapegoat. The soldiers at the gate beckoned them, the clanging from the town belltower indicating that the gates would soon be shut for the night. The heroes made it inside not long before they were shut and barred. Many torches were lit all along the wall and numerous patrolmen began appearing to do their watch. The mood was somber and siege-like. Not knowing what else to do the survivors made their way to the tavern. Nora struck up a conversation with some travelers and soon lost track of the others. The remaining three, Paladin, Druid, and Rogue, sat and gathered themselves. They had lost one friend to an undead assault and barely escaped with their own skins.
Two strangers in the tavern drew attention to themselves, though in quite different ways. A young human man approached their table and inquired whether he might sit with them. Too tired to argue, the companions agreed. It soon became clear that Red Foxx, the newcomer, was interested in learning about the druid as he peppered the elf with question after question. The other stranger was a belligerent, hard-drinking dwarf who made a ruckus at the bar. At one point Scallywag, on his way to fetch a round for his table, overheard the dwarf making outrageous claims that could only come from a seasoned adventurer. After striking up a conversation, all parties agreed that they would benefit from joining into a larger adventuring company.
The first order of business was to track down the scholar that they had been directed to in Scapegoat, and to have him translate their ancient book for them. This they did and after giving him an evening with the tome they gathered a good amount of information. The Book turned out to be an ancient document authored by a prominent historian of the Amatherians. The scholar also told them that there was an old graveyard outside the town walls, to the Northwest, that housed a tomb labeled “the Historian”. The party determined to seek this tomb in the morning.
Upon arrival at the graveyard the party encountered an odd sight: a large man huddled near the very tomb they sought. They addressed him and he responded. He turned out to be a human man named Little Thunder. He explained that he was from a mountain tribal village several days to the Northwest. He had been on the run since a necromancer and undead forces overran his village. In fact Little Thunder himself had been affected by the dark magic and was suffering from a strange sickness. He could only tell them that a strange internal force had drawn him to this place, ad upon arrival he had seen the tomb glowing with an otherworldly light. He knew it to be called the Necroshine but he did not know why.
A bit of investigation revealed a very old and fragile lock which was soon bypassed and the party made their way down a few low steps into the tomb of The Historian. A small, plain chamber awaited them, containing a massive stone sarcophagus. Opening it, Talisker the dwarf saw a stone relief of an old man with a beard and a book. After patiently waiting for the others to explore every nook and cranny, Talisker decided to smash the contents of the Sarcophagus. He found it to be a thin shell and discovered beneath it a passage downward.
Down the passage and through a doorway was a larger and more decorated chamber. In the center was a massive block of stone, five feet on a side. Emanating from the top was a faint glow to human eyes but to Little Thunder it was like a blindingly-bright spotlight pointed at the ceiling. To him the room looked brightly lit. On the far side were three doorways, each with a symbol engraved in the stone above them. The first bore a sword, the second a star-burst pattern, and the third a winged skull.
The party chose to explore the sword doorway and found a deep pit in front of them with two large stone columns. Talisker, ever impetuous, decided to climb down into the pit. He discovered the floor to be misty with magical darkness. After a bit of looking around he was surrounded by living shadows and attacked. Little Thunder attempted to come to his aid by dropping off the cliff like a rock. The other party members quickly climbed down and engaged the shadow monsters. Then the members of the group found themselves stranded at the bottom of a very deep dark pit. They elected to form a human pyramid and boost the young human up enough to use his climbing tools to scale the smooth stone wall. They were successful and on the other side they found a passage that led to a small burial chamber.
The chamber had two alcoves lined with books and scrolls as well as a locked cabinet. At the far end was a pair of statues and a bare patch of earth between them. As the party entered the statues lit up and a pair of ghostly guardians appeared and attacked. The party engaged the ghosts and were beating them handily when the statues lit up the room with blasts of necrotic energy. Then soon afterward, the patch of earth rumbled and a ghastly figure wearing a key on a necklace emerged. After a brief but vicious battle party was victorious.
They discovered from reading The Historian‘s documents that he was actuall one of Zed’s servants. They found several magical items including Bloodlust, the Historian’s sword.