Page IV – The Catacomb of Gremmerald
The entrance to the Catacomb
Once the party approaches the catacomb, they will find mostly empty building. However, while getting closer to the East side of the castle, the Party is able to hear some chatting. Inside what appears to be a temple, there is a D6 group of warriors.
At least half of them are Taws. They are all male and are heavily armed. The Taws are discussing anonymously in common language about whether to enter the Catacombs or not. They appear to be camped outside the Catacomb for quite some days. The majority of the Taws want to wait outside, while some other Taws want to enter the catacomb.
The Legend of the Party
The Catacombs are dedicated to an ancient Army of Kumerians who fought to defend the fortress above. Legends that almost every inhabitant of Ter knows stated that every catacomb was built around the Tomb of a Kumerian Lord, whose room contains the most valuable treasures of the catacombs.
Once you enter the catacomb you feel a freezing cold, notice pools of water and feel a lot of moisture, even on the walls themselves. Continuing on you see boxes, a metal trunk not fully visible being hidden by the latter. In addition to this you realize that there are inscriptions, old low-reliefs and some mining tools and boxes containing stones. These boxes and tools are visibly old, brought certainly long before, almost a century now. After scanning the area you get closer to the metal trunk, being half open and you find a very particular book.
The secrets letters
Players enter the catacomb, where there is a first room where there are old remnants of a construction site, including a bonfire, abandoned crates. In one corner, they find an iron casket. It is closed but not locked, and inside it is possible to find an old text, written in Common Language, in the middle of the book is present a drawing that contains some concentric circles. The Old text seems surprisingly well preserved and is covered with a subtle layer of cinder. If the party also reads the other pages of the book, they find many notes, which do not look like to have sense. Also, the cover of the Book is written in the same way.
On the top of the Iron Casket, there is a clean mirror that can be used to understand that the writings are actually written in reverse. Using the mirror, in general any mirror, they can understand what the writings actually mean “If thou search to defeat the evil hidden there, thous shall pray the flames to reveal the secrets that the Divine Order hides”.
The cover will be translated to “Indestructible notes of Mooser Broder, mage at the court of Herber II, Duke of Crimson Hall” Most of the book is revealed to be covered by the magic signs. Only someone who has studied magic can decrypt them and understand their purpose: the signs make the notes indestructible.
Right before the middle of the book, it is possible to find an annotation that explains what were the purposes of this book. Many years before an expedition of mages entered the Tom of the Defender to retrieve the piece of the Medallion, but they suddenly awoke a shadow entity. The guardian of the Medallion. The party was almost completely wiped out. Only the author of the book, Mooser Broder, was able to escape. From that day a sense of menace propagated from that Tomb. The Mage realized that not only they have awoken the Guardian, but the magic chains that prevented the Guardian to escape were weakened by the fight: if someone opens the door of the Tomb again, the Guardian will be probably able to escape. That’s why he decided to close some hallways and to put many traps in the tomb. The book has hidden the solutions to avoid the traps.
If the party burns or destroys the manual, it will reappear inside the Iron Casket that will close itself (but lock itself). This means that the Manual is indestructible and reconstructs itself to the status it was left in around 1d4 rounds. However if the party passes a small flame under the surface of the page, it is possible to reveal hidden writes that reveal some symbols inside the circles of the image. The party has to rotate the circles to form the shape of a triangle.
The magic over this item is very powerful and could not be broken by low level player and, generally, requires a long ritual and many special spells.
Using the mirror inside the Iron Casket, or a similar mirror, it is possible to uncover the enigma. The enigma suggest the players to search for a tringle and explains that the book is indestructible. The aim is to reach the shape of a triangle, cutting for example the pages of the book and fitting them so as to get it.
The symbols on the vertices of this triangle can be pressed on a stone bas-relief present at the access of the tunnel with the traps.
[3. Sigil in bas-relief]
The decoder sigils
The party continues the path and see a small corridor with smaller stones than the previous, and at the end of it, it will find on the right large boulders blocking the passage, while, in front of the characters, a burned man with a rock next to him and the same seals in the book placed each on a different stone. In addition to the corpses will be engraved a suggestion written with ash : “Avoid the square”. The same thing will be present at the end of the left corridor.
The long vertical corridor that joins the two corpses is deadly, as there is a trap that will provoke 2d6 of fire, of a magical type but doesn’t work the dispel magic, and 1d6 necrotic every three boxes, if the puzzle is not solved. On the contrary, if the players manage to solve the puzzle pressing the stones with the right symbols placed on the floor, the trap will be deactivated, along with the lever in the next room.
Once the lever is pulled, they will hear a loud sound of ancient mechanisms that slide, and they will hear a noise, similar to a wall that collapses, without yet understanding the origin.
Failing to continue in that direction they will find themselves continuing the path through other ways. At this point there will be two more levers to lower in order to bring down all three walls and get out. The two levers are located respectively in point 5 and 6.
In case the players arrive at point 5, they will receive 1d6 due to the collapse of the floor, visibly unstable and with a hole in the corner of the room. If the party continues to investigate in the second floor, they will find a trunk with a magic helmet and once put will be able to find a way to open the visible walls, slightly crooked and newer than the others. This same thing is possible with the truesight. On these walls it will be possible to see a symbol that once crushed will open it. In this area, apart from the trunk they won’t find many other things, apart stones, ruins and tombs. In order to be able to go up there are stairs, more resistant and built before the yielded floor.
1 – The Entrance of the Catacomb
2 – Access to the tunnel with the Traps,
where it is possible to find the Bas-relief
3 – Access n. 2 to the tunnel with the Traps,
where it is possible to find another Bas-relief
4 – Room with one of the Lever
5 – Room with another Lever and the
6 – Room with another Lever, hidden by
a fake floor. It contains also another
Iron Casket with the Magic Helmet.