Seekers of the Ashen Crown week 4: Looting the tomb, tracking the kruthik

Our intrepid heroes, still in Ashtura’s tomb in assorted states of disrepair, got to the business of patching themselves up thanks to Lestok the eccentric old gnome being the only one with the presence of mind to have procured healing kits before entering the kruthik lair (gotta love the gnome’s love of anything remotely resembling a gadget!). Jak threw caution to the wind and let Lestok tend to his wounds, a gamble which paid off when Lestok proved surprisingly adept at it (well, not surprising to him), and though Kayde rudely declined Jak’s “dying” wish to let him inherit his bar tab if he didn’t make it out of the tomb alive, Jak paid it forward and stitched up Kayde and Lestok. 

Their attention then turned to Ashtura himself. The hobgoblin blademark Aruget was determined that they not do anything to desecrate the body of his ancient kin, with Jak catching a rebuke after kicking at the corpse to ensure that the undead was really dead. A cursory examination of the body by druid/Dhakaani scholar Quentin turned up nothing out of the ordinary. Meanwhile, Kayde strayed to the far end of the tomb and discovered two chests brimming with treasure – carvings, gemstones, a veritable mountain of strange coins, and, much to Lestok’s delight, a whistle (he assessed it for arcana; it was a perfectly mundane whistle, but he believed it can go on on to do great things). The party was faced with a decision: to take the treasure and run, or to finish the job we came for – exterminating a kruthik hive and collecting specimens – and hope the treasure would still be there when we got back. Jak pointed out that he has a reputation for getting the job done, and that that meant something, and the others agreed. Jak removed a handful of gemstones from one chest to guarantee the party wouldn’t leave the tomb empty-handed, and Quentin salvaged a bottle of fire oil before using shape earth to cover the chests with rock, a very clever disguise and deterrent against any opportunistic treasure-hunters who are not themselves.  

Backtracking out of the tomb through the mysterious room with the pressure plates in it, their only options for going forward were a door with no lock…and down into the kruthik tunnels. Kayde went into his shadow form and scouted through the door, finding no way to open it, another room full of pressure plates, and below the pressure plates, a series of pits full of grinding gears. That’s a mystery for another day, but he was able to backtrack through the kruthik tunnels to guarantee that the one we were at would connect further down. With nowhere to go but down, the party went down! Jak happily retrieved the net he’d lost to some pesky kruthik earlier in the day, and made chalk marking along the walls to mark the party’s path. Eventually, they came to a larger natural cavern full of kruthik goo…as well as an unnatural cavern that appeared to be the foundations of one of Old Sharn’s towers.

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