With the task of searching for the missing Waterdhavian Creatures at hand [a cocatrice, a yahn-ti, an intellect devourer, and a dryad], Lady Arabeth DeTylmarand quickly warned the group that finding the creatures that had disappeared into the city would only be part of the challenge. Nearly every district had erupted into chaos of some kind over the week between the attack on Neverwinter Academy and now. The magical barrier used to stop the Waterdhavian Creatures from leaving the city was still holding strong. With a final blessing, the group emerged into the light of the early evening sun.
Once clear of the Halls of Justice, the mage walked straight for the Many-Starred-Cloak guild; the greatest Mage guild in Neverwinter. Seeing something about his potential, the guild leader asked for him to perform the guild challenges. The first challenge of the guild is the Resourcefulness Challenge. With a key to the alchemist labs for the Neverwinter Districts, the challenge is to gather the ingredient of each lab and bring them all to the tower and await the second part of the guild challenge.
With their destination decided, the group turned their attention toward the gates to the Beggar’s Nest. As they passed the ancient oak, the druid of the group simply nodded at the troubled druid and wolf next to him taking refuge under the oak’s branches.
Nearing the gate, the group overheard one guard telling the other “I used to be an adventurer like them once; then I took an arrow to the knee, so I had to take up the job of city guard instead. I say to you now; never travel with an archer who can’t hit the broad side of a barn at point blank range.”
Turning his attention to the group, the guard asked their business. Hearing that they were sent by Lady Arabeth, the guards relaxed and allowed them passage into the district saying “We’ll inform the other guards of who you are, so most of them will allow you passage into their districts also.”
The Beggar’s Nest that normally housed the Great Graveyard, Neverwinter Academy, and city slums has over the last week become infested with undead. Bodies of the nobles and commoners alike have emerged from the city crypts to attack the living. Several scouting teams have been sent in to investigate the cause, though none have returned.
With dreary thick fog giving way to overcast night, the group decided to follow the shortest route from the district entrance to the Great Graveyard, passing within a block of a pair of arguing halflings; convinced by the mage to be nothing but bandits around a looted wagon.
The closer they got to the graveyard, the more undead they encountered. In the confusion, the druid of the group fell to two powerful zombies. From out of nowhere, the wolf that had been sitting at the base of the tree emerged out of nowhere, turning into a fellow Drow druid before them.
After the battle, the stranger introduced himself as Lathander Coal, a member of an ally’s [Immeral’s] spy ring. Finding the body of Marcus (a young mage) and two guards. The gates to the Great Graveyard held closed by its old drawbar; the moaning of undead beyond it. The mage took up Marcus’ staff and journal before turning their attention. Safely atop a nearby building, Lathander informed the group of a local gang; the Snake Cult, that had ruled over this district until the events at the Neverwinter academy until the members suddenly disappeared without a trace.
The question arose as to which of the Waterdhavian Creatures could have done this, and so it was relayed that a Cocatrice can only turn beings to stone (not back again), Yahn-Ti are known as reptilian warriors (though some shaman exist that can resurrect fallen allies), an Intellect Devourer can only take possession of a being (though if it took control of a powerful necromancer it could have similar effects), and Dryads are not opposed to unnatural beings like undead (so not a likely candidate). With the information of a Snake Cult revealed, it is believed that the Yahn-Ti is the best candidate for the problems of this district).
With the information passed along, Lathander informed the group that though Immeral had instructed him to watch over them in his absence, he had to check in regularly with a progress report. Being unable to communicate over long distances, Lathander would not be able to accompany them full time; only appearing when they needed additional assistance.
After they were fully rested the group continued to the great Graveyard, shooting through the slots in the gate as the undead tried to push through. The druid stared confidently in until catching sight of a waith in the mix before the blinding spell “light” was cast on the barrier between safety and undead.
One of the group members got the idea to scale the wall and attack from above, which worked for a while, though with the next wave of undead plans began to go downhill. As the zombies began attacking the wall in unison, the lofty adventurers began to quickly lose their balance, falling in with the undead beings. With two members left atop the wall, they simply drew their blades and made the first attempt at a mosh pit in old world history.
With the last of the undead dispatched, the group gathered the now broken wooden gates to the Great Graveyard and piled them in front of the mausoleum that the undead had come from and decided to rest once again to regain their health for the battles still to come..
Rested once more, the group peers into the darkness of the catacombs. At the bottom of the stairs, one of the group members spots a man curled over and screaming in pain “Please make it stop! It hurts so much!”
Before the group can react, the man collapses lifelessly in a heap. The dwarven cleric of the group gives last rights from Malor, before removing his head with a great swing of his Warhammer. The group continues through the room. Beyond the far door stands a hallway going in both directions and a wooden door opposite them.
They enter the adjacent room, finding a treasure chest and sarcophagus. The cleric orders everyone to leave the room without disturbing the dead. Everyone leaves and continues down the hall to the left (the direction Natalia had found the tracks of the Yahn-Ti heading in). Without anyone looking, the thief doubles back to the room, curious as to the contents of the treasure chest. He chops away at it with his scimitars, creating a small gap in the wood.
In the darkness, he lights a match to see the contents. Unable to see more than a faint glitter of gold, he drops the match into the chest. The old boards begin to smolder as the thief fumbles in the dark for some water. He pours the water out blindly over the chest. Still smelling smoke emanating from the chest, he leaves quickly to rejoin the others who had gone ahead.
Carefully, they traverse the corridors, eventually finding two doors along a west wall in the second hallway. One housed another man, doubled over in the same pain. The dwarf kicked the unlocked door with all his might (luckily the door did not slam back in his face).
At the far end of the room stood a caged door with a district guard standing beyond that; the last survivor of a search party sent several days before by the Beggar’s Nest Captain of the Guard. In the middle of their conversation a loud explosion is heard from near the entrance. Everyone jumps as the thief casually looks around.
Under the circumstances, the group decides to allow the thief to escort the city guard to the entrance of the catacombs. With the guard safely out of harm’s way, the rogue sneaks back into the side room, finding a heap of melted gold, and iron amid the wood chunks and splinters. With all his work, the rogue is unable to drag the chest through the doorway and is only able to chop 2 gold pieces worth of melted gold off the pile.
Catching up with the rest of the group at the far end of the catacombs, the group questions how to go about taking on the Yahn-Ti, and if there is any way of taking it alive. They decide the best means of entrance is by force through the double-doors.
The cleric bursts open the doors. As the only being of the group able to see into the darkness, he stares out, seeing eleven zombies and the Yahn-ti with a longbow at the far end of the room. Seeing the outnumbered odds, the cleric steps back out of the room, closing the left door in an effort to funnel the slowly charging enemy forces.
Taking out one of the closer enemies, it suddenly occurs to the cleric “Something has been raising the dead down here. Wait, the Yahn-ti is a shaman, which means he can just keep resurrecting the zombies.. that… oh crap!”
The Yahn-ti raises its hands, resurrecting the very zombie that had fallen moments before. With a new plan in progress, Natalia races out in a barbarian rage, taking on a small cluster of the zombies head on. As the zombies close in, the first to approach the door punches downward, dealing a decent amount of damage to the dwarven cleric.
The drow casts Moonbeam successfully on the Yahn-ti, searing it severely. When it dodges out of the way, Natalia is quick to break away from the attacking zombies and deal significant damage to the Yahn-ti. As she ducks back out of the way, the moonbeam that had seared it once returns to finish the job. With the Yahn-ti falling limp to the ground, the zombies it had risen fall in unison on a heap where they had stood.
Exhausted from the battle, the group began searching the body of the Yahn-ti, finding a bow, 13 remaining arrows, and a journal written in Undercommon. Using a combination of Thaumaturgy or The Force, they call for Lathander, who had been up to his usual routine; making fun of the drunken surface dwellers who had taken refuge in the district tavern. He translates the most recent entries for the group.
The Journal of Gulnan, 2nd last entry
The heart of a Yahn-ti to cure the poison of the mind. The Brain of an intellect Devourer to cure the affliction of the mind. The ever evolving feathers of a Cocatrice to encompass all those afflicted by the Wailing Death, no matter the race or status. And a fresh lock of hair of a Dryad to bind the ingredients together as strong as the great oak. It is because of this that we have been captured and take to this tarnished Jewel of the North. By the power of Zehir; God of the Yahn-ti, if there is a way to escape this putrid city of surface dwellers, we will.
By the luck of Zehir we have escaped our confines, and now only this magical barrier holds us in. What luck that I; a tribal shaman, should find myself among the limitless undead. I shall burry this city of surface dwellers with their own dead! With the helpo of these fools that see me as a god, I will use what means I can to destroy everything that stands in my way.
With the knowledge gleamed from the text, the cleric breaks open the Yahn-ti’s chest, pulling out the heart and placing it in the ragged cloth from one of the zombies. The group traverses the passages once more, stopping at the room with the sarcophagus. The cleric almost trips over the melted remains of the treasure chest in the doorway (not realizing how it had gotten across the room). He walks up to the sarcophagus and looks in, finding the linen-bound remains of a noble in tarnished scalemail armor. Asking his god for guidance, the divine orders fell upon him “This noble was not a soldier in life. Though rich in life, his armor is for show only. It is best to let him rest in peace.”
Following the divine guidance, the cleric closed the lid and used Sacred Flame to solder the iron clasps together; allowing the noble’s body eternal rest. With all business in the catacombs complete, the group departed, to rest once more among the gravestones of the Great Graveyard.