Having taken the Forge successfully, the party secured one of the buildings and spent the night recovering from their wounds. Further discussion of the previous day’s events led them to the conclusion that they had to retrieve the ancient demon’s skull and return it to “the maw” in order to permanently destroy the creature and the Blight. Based on information found up to this point, it seemed that the skull was most likely in the possession of the lizardfolk who occupied the swamp.
The group continued exploring the swamp and soon found lizardfolk tracks leading off to the west. After crossing a few rickety log bridges, they were ambushed by lizardmen who triggered the bridge that they were crossing to collapse. The creatures were either slain or repelled after brief but muddy combat. Trog also slew an opportunistic crocodile that had attempted to take a chunk out of his leg during the fight.
Continuing onward, they reached the shoreline along a low range of hills. According to the map that they had retrieved from the orcs, there were most likely three caves to be found in the hillside. It didn’t take long before they discovered one fairly obvious opening into the hills. After pushing through the underbrush to get inside, they found a set of massive stone doors (seemingly too massive to move!) with two small holes cut into them. While investigating the doors, they were assaulted by ghosts who managed to possess first Trog and then Keaton, leading to a brutal fight between party members.
The ghosts were eventually dispersed and the investigation of the area continued. Fischer looked through the holes briefly and determined that there was something fairly close on the other side, but didn’t take a closer look. Instead, he inserted his left hand into one of the holes at which point it was neatly severed by a falling granite block on the other side. After a brief respite to heal Fischer’s stump and allow him to recover, the party decided to move on and seek out another entrance to the tomb. On the way out Trog noticed a distinct *lack* of tracks near the cave with the massive doors
A brief search revealed tracks leading in another direction and soon the group found a small opening covered by camouflage constructed from reeds and mud. Nat’yet did some scouting and Trog burst through the covering and slaughtered the two lizardman sentries inside before they realized what hit them.
Beyond the sentry post a water filled corridor led off into the darkness. The party continued and found a crude bridge made of floating logs leading off into the darkness. Halfway down the corridor one of the logs revealed itself as a giant crocodile which grabbed Natyet and dragged him under. A fight for survival ensued and the beast was eventually slain with none of the heroes managing to drown.
The passageway eventually emerged from the water at the base of a stairway leading up. The passage changed from a crudely dug cave into what seemed to be ancient worked stone. As they began up the stairs a wave of oily liquid washed down at them followed by a torch that set the corridor aflame. They were soon engaged in combat with a small group of lizard men dedicated to protecting their territory. Once the lizardmen were eliminated, a large fountain was discovered. As the party approached the fountain, Trog and Natyet were allowed to proceed but the remainder of the group had to fight off a guardian water elemental.
Peering into the fountain, the group discovered a series of 7 golden disks attached to the bottom of the fountain with each bearing the image of a different creature. After some experimentation, several party members were conferred various magical enhancements after touching different disks. They also took on certain physical similarities to the creatures represented on the disk.
Continuing onward the party moved past a small room with an unstable ceiling (and crushed lizard man corpse) to a room containing a large preserved owlbear fighting seven straw men holding silver spears. When the room was entered, the owlbear sprang to life but was quickly struck down.
Further down the corridor the group reached a large set of copper doors that remained intact but that had apparently been circumvented by a new tunnel that had been dug around the main doors. In the room beyond was a wide corridor surrounded by niches containing a total of six stone sarcophagi. Trog opened the sarcophagus in the largest burial room which appeared to belong to a prominent figure, but instead of a corpse inside he found a small tunnel leading down into darkness. It was covered with thousands of bronze needles that prevented any further exploration, so the party abandoned the tombs and continued further into the tombs.
As they traveled, they found a covered pit containing an insane lizard man who demanded to be freed so he could take retribution on his tribe that had turned on him. He immediately led the way into an adjacent large chamber and attacked the remaining lizard folk tribe. The heroes were not far behind, with Solus bombarding the chamber with a massive fireball. The lizard men were defeated quickly but the chieftain escaped out of the far end of the room.
A quick pursuit led the party into an ancient throne room, now flooded with about a foot of water. The lizard chieftain reached the throne as the party entered and grabbed a massive obsidian sword that had apparently lain there for centuries. He quivered with electricity and began floating in the air then began pointing the sword and unleashing lightning bolts. He seriously wounded several of the heroes before Trog managed to tackle him and hold him to the ground. Trog endured severe electrical shocks himself but managed to hold the lizard king down until the magic had “grounded out” of him and he collapsed dead.
Despite this victory, the group was left wondering what had become of the demon skull. Some backtracking and searching led to a secret door which opened into an ancient treasure chamber. Most of the treasures of the barbarian king (chariots, skins, food and drink) had long ago wasted away into nothing, but a few items remained along with a massive five-eyed skull…