Outside the tomb, in the mid-afternoon autumnal day, Ratkin mentioned to Alf that when the Lady mummy came out, she ventured into the lightning chamber and returned with the magic armour and sword. He didn’t see precisely where she went, since he was keeping out of sight, but it got Alf thinking: maybe there were other items to be found, hidden away in some secret room that they had yet to discover. He convinced the others it was worth checking out, so long as they did so quietly and carefully.
Leaving Ratkin standing on guard by the main entrance, the others made their way downstairs. Magnus spotted a missing column along the south-wall, similar to the gap where the passageway in the north wall, which led into the shrine. He quickly ran over to the gap, the lightning bursts nowhere near, and after a few minutes found a secret door. He pushed it and it swung up and in, revealing a short passageway. Magnus followed it, backed-up by Jacob and Willow, leaving Alf and Callum watching the other entrance across the chamber, just in case they have guests.
The corridor ended in a square room, the floor a shallow pit full of bones with copper bands and blades attached to fingers. Nothing moved, but to Magnus’s arcane sight he could see a lingering presence of old magic all through the room, and a concentrated aura on a section of the floor, beneath the opposite wall. He protected himself with an evade the dead spell and carefully waded through the foot-deep bones, and found another secret door on the other side. The door pushed in and slid to the left, revealing another room: iron chests to either side, bars at the opposite end, canopic jars behind the bars. He entered the room, while Jacob and Willow stood guard in the corridor past the bone pit.
Immediately the bones shifted and skeletons rose from the put, moving straight to attack Jacob; none of the dead could see Magnus. However, just as he was thinking he was safe, a spectral figure materialised in front of him, and this did see him, and attacked, its cold fist moving through flesh and leaving him cold and weak. The mage backed off and unleashed a burst if magic missiles, which seemed to tear wispy shards from the creature. Jacob cut down a skeleton, only for another to rise up in its place!
Outside, over the noise of the lightning bursts, Alf heard the sound of fighting and called for them to retreat, but that proved to be easier said than done. He and Callum moved towards the secret room, while inside the skeleton slashed as Jacob, and the spectral guardian reached into Magnus’s chest and squeezed. Magnus turned his back on the creature and sent a fan of flames into the room, incinerating the skeletons with his burning hands. He stepped inside, only for more skeletons to rise, blocking the way; but Willow had managed to move in before they did, and he and Jacob smashed another two to splinters; more skeletons rose to replace them, but they were standing on others and preventing them from rising, and the doorway blocked the spectral guardian too. Magnus managed to conjure a mystical shield, as Callum and Alf moved into the corridor.
Callum hurled fire using his ring of many-colours, scorching away some of the spectre’s body. Magnus destroyed another three skeletons with a fiery burning hands, and Willow took out another.
Which is the moment Alf, back at the entry to the corridor, saw the other entrance open and the Lord and Lady mummies, together with their large stone golem enter the room: “Traitors! You dare to betray me!” Alf tried, unsuccessfully, to appease the lord, but they just cursed and threatened and started crossing the lightning chamber, untouched by the lightning, moving towards the heroes.
“Retreat” yelled Alf.
Everyone ran. The spectral guardian and skeletons were quickly left behind, but not before the spectre lashed out at Magnus, bringing him to a hair’s breadth from collapsing. The heroes hurried across the chamber, heading to the stairs, narrowly avoiding the bursts, only a few steps ahead o the hostiles. Callum conjured a globe of darkness to block the golem’s approach, granting them a few moment’s reprieve, enough time for Magnus, bringing up the rear, to catch up to the others. They ran up the stairs and out of the tomb, and fled into the surrounding forest., dragging their mule after them.
The party stayed in retreat until nightfall, putting a good few miles between them and the tomb. Nothing appeared to follow them. They found a defensible gully to make camp, set guards, and rested through the, thankfully uneventful, night. In the morning they headed south, towards the old watchtower and the ancient wall, crossing it without mishap. After some discussion, they had decided to head to Ravenscar and see what was going on there, and then probably on to Appleby to see if the Wordsmith had any more ideas about where to find magical weapons to aid them in their fight. But first, they wanted to scout out the enemy that they had seen gathering in the ruins. Keeping close to the wall, moving carefully, they came within sight and a few miles of the ruins, and then, across the river (narrow but deep at this point) they saw ten fir darrig and a wolf-daoine coming from the forest. They decided to ambush them, as soon as they were nearly across the river. Hiding in the trees, they waited.
The wolf-elf kept watch on the other side as the rat-goblins swam across the river. Before they reached the shore, the party let loose with arrows and magic missiles, killing the elf instantly, wounding another. Callum made one go into a mad frenzy and attack his allies, while more arrows pelted the goblins. Alf and Willow waded in, spear and sword felling more. Soon the enemy were dead, hardly having a chance to even leave the river. Their bodies were dumped, and after a rest, the party began cautiously, stealthily, approaching the ruins. They got within a dozen or so yards, unseen as far as they knew, spotting campfire smoke from the courtyard, but no sign of the creatures they knew must be there. Hiding behind the trees and bushes, they made plans…