The Slumbering Tsar

It had to be rats!

and did someone says wraiths?

The party returned to The Crooked Tower and continued exploring. Using a key the had found earlier, they entered into a vault that opened off a small alcove. Its floor dropped away into a burial crypt. A narrow stair, hugging the wall, descended 12 feet to the floor below, where a seething mass of large, brown, crawling bodies crowding between stone boxes holding the mortal remains of those interred long ago. The walls were likewise coffered to a height of 10 feet with niches for lesser burials, their contents long since ransacked by the squirming hordes of dire rats that now inhabit the chamber.

Some debate occurred to how to best deal with the rat swarms, after Mallark Illileriel detected magic in the room. Bourne the Damned entered the room setting off the sliding wall trap, however, with his superior monk skills was able to dodge the trap. With that four feral vampire spawns attacked. Darius Huss quickly took a spawn down with his holy earthbreaker, but before he could stab it with a wooden stake, the spawn used its gaseous form ability to get away. Kypello Hilam channeled positive energy to harm undead, and damaged all but the party. Soon the dead rats had pilled up, and one other spawn had escaped using gaseous form. Inside the stone boxes reveilved to be sarcophagus, the party found amount other things gloves of swimming and climbing. Which Darius Huss but on under his gauntlets.

A set of doors lead off the crypt to the south, that was found to be magically locked. Without any method of removing the lock due to certain spells not being prepared, the party decided to leave this room, and go back up to previous floor to continue investigating that floor. Ascending a set of stairs, they first entered a room with a large boiler long since corroded and beyond use. The room to the south appeared to be a kitchen, but again had its floor covered in rats. The party then decided to open the door to the north.

Upon opening the door, the sight of the room caused the parties gorge to rise. The dried remnants of feces, blood and all manner of filth coated the floor and smears the walls of the chamber. There were no furnishings other than the frayed remains of a few woven pallets. Strewn about the room are the skeletal remains of at least a dozen humans, some of the remains conspicuously dismembered. As a result of opening the door, the 12 wraiths that had risen from the horrific scene, and decided then to seek revenge on the living.

They quickly spread out to attack the party, and Kypello Hilam quickly reacted to channeled positive energy to harm undead that caused a large amount of damage to the wraiths. Darius Huss shrugged off the wraiths attacks with his deathless enchantment proving a worthwhile investment preventing any negative energy damage. A second positive energy burst from Kypello Hilam took many of the wraiths down, leaving the rest to be mopped up by the party easily. The result saw Kypello Hilam having taking ability damage, which was partially removed by Darius Huss using a lesser restoration spell.

Kypello Hilam chagrined by the wraiths, walked into the kitchen and dropped a chaos hammer on the rats, destroying them all. A door to the south open into a room with meat hooks dangling from the ceiling. Upon the hooks were suspended dozens of butchered corpses — many of them humanoid corpses. Limbs appeared to have been thrown haphazardly into the corners, as if cuts of meat too base for attention. Flies buzzed about in clouds. A large chopping block occupied the center of the room, its top scarred by years of use. Embedded in its surface was an ornate handaxe of some black metal. Strangely, though great butchery has obviously occurred here, there is not a drop of blood marring the room’s surfaces. As the hand axe detected as magic, Mallark Illileriel went to identify the hammer, finding himself suddenly in a battle of wit intelligence residing in the hand axe. Losing the battle Mallark Illileriel attempted to attack Bourne the Damned without sucess, forcing the party to hold Mallark Illileriel down until he regained his senses. The hand axe revealed itself to Mallark Illileriel as being the Exsanguinator and that to be wielded, it needed to be fed blood at any chance, and reminds Mallark Illileriel of this at every opportunity.

Moving into the room that encapsulated the circular staircase in the south east corner of the building, the party was greeted by a cacophony of hissing bellows. Filling the centre of the chamber was a creature out of nightmare with brownish-green scales, a lizard’s body ending in a pincer-like tail, and many long, snakelike heads surrounding a central maw. Something inside Mallark Illileriel prompted him to immediately attack, which Bourne the Damned and Darius Huss quickly took down. It seemed that Mallark Illileriel did not have full control of the Exsanguinator, and decided that this would be a good time to teleport the party back to The Camp and use this room as a location to teleport back to when they returned.

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