After descending into the lower loading room, the heroes were assaulted by several cursed destrechans.
The party began to discover than the mine itself was cursed!
After travelling down the tracks for a long time the party encountered a ladder left behind, dropping from the tracks 40 feet down to the cavern floor. As soon as Garyn regained his footing at the bottom, he was rushed by three wights. One of the was Skahlton Gairg himself, the former crew chief who led the rescue party! Apparently, these three were killed in some horrible fashion by undead, and then somehow raised to “greet” intruders into the depths of the mine. The heroes are certain this was Gairg, as they found his wallet on him after defeating him.
Just beyond the wights was an uncharacteristic smooth section of the mine, with an open passageway and a once-sealed entrance.
The straight-walled tunnel opens into a huge cavern whose floor is a macabre carpet of bones. What must be the skeletal remains of thousands of creatures are strewn from wall to wall, piled so thickly that there is no sign of the real f loor beneath them.
In the center of the chamber rises a jet-black pedestal. On it stands a huge golden statue of a hideous demon, hunched and stooped. Gold chains as thick as a human wrist truss the statue to the outer cavern walls by its hands and feet, while a fifth gilded chain binds the creature to the pedestal floor by the throat. The expression on its face seems broken and defeated. Thin coils of sulfuric smoke vent from its nostrils and lips.
Here the heroes were attacked by several undead, including two bone nagas. During the battle, Vier’gara was afflicted with the curse, after getting too near the acrid smoke coming from the statue. This time, however, Vier’gara was able to overcome the curse on her own.
After a mighty battle, the heroes vanquished the undead, and disovered a tomb underneath the statue.
Runes on the base of the statue read:
Woe to those who seek to call forth the Prophet before the time of reckoning, for they bring upon the world a plague of curses. None shall find peace until the Prophet sleeps.
Lukey recalled the following, from a tavern tale he heard once:
Upon his death, Oenamagros’s mage-priest servants bore his remains to a secret tomb, so that when the time of the new prophecy came, the high prophet could be called forth to speak the wisdom of the ages and open the way to the future. Using powerful rituals, his servants placed wards on his tomb that would curse any creature attempting to call forth the prophet before his time. In the end, Oenamagros would rise once again to complete his final prophecy and usher in a new age of wisdom.
Upon entering the tomb:
The glass walls of the cylinder are faintly etched with hundreds of mystical runes. Beyond the glass is a wall of tightly packed bones, the charnel floor of the chamber above descending to a depth of 50 feet here. At the base of the cylinder floats a black iron sarcophagus, suspended upright by an unseen force.
The perfectly symmetrical sarcophagus is cast to resemble three humans facing outward. Their arms are locked, bodies and heads meshed into a single being. The figure is garbed in strange robes and hundreds of metal rings. A crack along the side of the sarcophagus suggests that it can be opened. Beneath the sarcophagus, you see a small pile of ash and bones.
The bones and ash accounted for an entire skeleton, except the skull was strangely missing.
Moving on past the ossuary, the heroes came upon a couple of miners attempting to defend a small fortified wall. Before they could do anything, two boneclaw guardians and four flaming skulls attacked the two miners, and destroyed them. As combat began, the flameskulls nearly decimated the party by unleashing four simultaneous fireballs. The heroes defeated these creatures handily, though.
After moving on, the party discovered that this corridor led to a dead-end, except for a section of raised track above them. After climbing the wall, the party moved across the track. Garyn discovered that the tracks had been sabotaged, after nearly falling through a section. He was able to grab on and pull himself up.
At this point, moving back across the now-repaired tracks, the heroes decided to make camp. Six uneventful hours later, they were ready to continue searching for the miners, and the cultists.
After crossing the tracks once again, they came to a fork in the tracks. After travelling north about 50’ the party heard gutteral howling and the sounds of scraping stone up ahead.
A wall of rubble blocks the passage ahead, aging mine machinery crushed beneath it. Before the wall, misshapen creatures claw at the stones, howling as they try to tear their way through. At intervals, pulses of black light flare at holes in the rubble wall, knocking the twisted ones back. Someone is behind the rubble, and fighting for their lives.
The heroes dispatched several twisted, cursed creatures before the miners emerged from behind the wall to assist with the combat. During the battle, several of the party members were cursed.
As soon as the miners escaped from the makeshift fortress they had created for themselves, the heroes decided to investigate, and discovered more creatures. At this point, the “miners” ran past the heroes, exposing themselves as the cultists, and escaped into a couple of mining carts down the tracks!