Fleeing from Ostia Antica, the adventurers chose to steal a ship and set sail for Everlasting Dawn across the Empyreal Sea. With no knowledge of how to operate a ship, or make use of navigational tools, the group was hopelessly lost with a black storm on the horizon.
By luck, they found their way to a humid, overgrown island, but what drew them to the island was the presence of a great stone keep atop a stone plateau that climbed high above the trees. They dropped anchor and made their way to the island, through the mosquito infested jungle, and finally to an ancient set of worn stone steps that were carved into the cliff face.
The keep was ancient and in disrepair, the grounds overgrown and the surrounding fence collapsing into rust. As they explored the plateau, lights began to flick on in the house, startling the adventurers who had thought the place abandoned.
Entering the house, they were greeted by a blue, spectral apparition of a tall, lean man, regal in manner and bearing a fine mustache. He introduced himself as Thruvian Redwater, a name which Aiko recognized as an ancient folk hero spoken of in adventure stories, bardic songs, and crude limericks. The specter was clearly pleased to have some company and proved a most gracious host as he set the house to magically conjuring up refreshments and a steaming meal for the group to partake of, while they exchanged stories of past adventures.
Excusing himself from the rest of the group, Henrik left to find the house library. The books there were ancient, most of them falling to pieces in his hands. He spent some time there, looking for books pertaining to the undead, but in the end, left with only a delicate, old ritual book, written in ancient Highspirian – something which he would have to translate in the future.
Thruvian made it clear that he wished to leave the decrepit keep and return to a life (or unlife) of adventure, and having endeared himself to the group, they were all too pleased to extend an invitation for the ghost to join them. Highwater revealed that he would not be able to leave, despite his very great wish to, because of some visitors he’d received a few hundred years prior.
When pressed for information, Thruvian revealed that a pair of necromancers had come to his home with a third in tow – someone who seemed out of place with the sorcerers, as she was an elven paladin of Pelor. Though he’d hidden from the trio, Thruvian learned that the necromancers were named Sever and Glance, but he’d never gotten the name of the third. They had been all through his home, and soon found the entrance to the natural caves beneath in the mountain beneath the keep, which Thruvian had been using as treasure vaults. The trio descended into the caves, and when Sever and Glance returned, they did so without the paladin, and by using summoned servants to carry most of the riches and magical items out of the vaults.
The necromancers had also done something to Thruvian’s body, which was left in the vaults after betrayal brought an end to the aged adventurer. Fearing that his own body had been risen as some kind of vile undead, thus anchoring his spirit to the place, Thruvian chose never to return to the aged vaults.
Eager to make a companion of the ghost, the adventurers volunteered to head down into the vaults to retrieve his skull, thus allowing Thruvian to escape the island with them.
Descending into the caves, the adventuring group found that they were humid and wet, with moss and lichens growing on every surface. They fought kobold interlopers that had mined their way through the mountain and into the cave, as well as acidic slimes as they made their way through treasure vaults that were indeed bare.
While swimming through a water-filled cave deep in the mountain, Aiko saw a dark, humanoid shape in the water, which he chose to investigate. He found the shape to be that of the elven paladin, who appeared to have been petrified and left deep in the cave system for unknown reasons. They chose to retrieve the statue to revivify later, and then delved deeper into the caves.
Passing a golden door, the troupe entered into a room that was clearly of grand design in the past, as there were still remnants of great mosaics reflecting scenes of long lost Highspire. The storm beat down on their heads here, as a huge rockslide had exposed this portion of the caves to the sky, and the storm had finally arrived while they were deep within the mountain. Also in the room was Thruvian’s skeletal remains, animated and wearing immaculate armor, sitting upon the back of a skeletal horse.
The fight was intense, the skeleton receiving support from a pair of homunculi that had hidden within the room, and Hania was nearly lost as the undead seemed to focus his attacks on her. In the end, however, the skeleton fell and the homonculi were destroyed, allowing the troupe to recover Thruvian’s skull.