The party thinks something is up with the funeral caravan, and follows them into the wilderness.
They discover their camp in a quarry, and slowly sneak in.
They stealthily investigate the covered wagons, only to find that one of them is filled with villagers and townspeople who have been cast under some sort of mass sleep spell. The funeral caravan must be a front for bandits transporting slaves….or worse.
The adventurers are discovered by the bandits, and a scuffle begins.
The scuffle is quickly interrupted by a great shaking of the earth and an enormous roar, as large boulders begin raining from the sky.
Oakson scurries up the side of the quarry’s edge and sees an earth elemental racing towards them!
The entire scene is thrown in chaos. Boulders randomly begin falling across the camp, one of them landing on one of the covered wagons (still filled with bandits).
At least one of the bandits escapes, but for the most part they are all restrained or slain, and the earth elemental is defeated.
The bandit’s leader is Yarik Grandir. He knows little about the slaves. Yarik was a thug leader in Fallreach who was approached by a strange messenger. he was supposed to round up two dozen people from the Silver District and transport them to Stonebridge. He was only doing it for the money.
The captives are released and Absolom takes the staff for himself, and the adventurers continue on their journey.
The continue traveling along the coast of the Silver Lake. The air grows colder, and they come across a thick cloud of fog covering a forest. The road continues on around the forest, but traveling through the forest would be the quickest way to their destination.
The forest is eerie and empty, and filled with fog.
A wailing is heard as they travel through the woods.
And suddenly, a ship! A large ship that must have wrecked along the shore is, miraculously, nested in the middle of the woods! It looks very old.
The party decides to investigate the ship.
It’s haunted by ghosts! They are very scary and quite dangerous. They manage to defeat the ghosts wandering the upper deck of the ship.
More wailings and sounds are coming from both the bottom decks and the captains chambers. They decide to enter the captain’s cabin, and find his ghastly remains still haunting the room, seemingly bound by the presence of an enormous treasure within the room!
They defeat the ghost, but just barely (everyone almost dies), and manage to grab the treasure and run—leaving whatever mysteries dwelling beneath the ship’s decks as mysteries.
The adventurers escape with their lives and the greatest treasure they have ever seen, but all is not well. They are slowly and increasingly haunted by madness and hallucinations, seeing that which they fear most.
At first they question if it is the necrotic side effects of the ghost’s attacks, but they slowly begin to wonder if the treasure is to blame.
Maelokh, in particular, is attracted to the wealth. As their journey continues he even proposes options for how to maintain their treasure. Perhaps if it is cursed, they could bury it, escape the curse, and then return when they know how to lift it!
But what they did not know was that it was their own greed and desire for treasure that gave the curse power.
Over time, they found a cave near the shore to rest for the night. While sleeping, Maelokh is plagued with dreams of an old wizard on a rocky coast, overlooking a calm sea. On the waters floats an enormous ship with tattered white sails and a black flag. Pirates?
The wizard is running through rocky hills, fear in his eyes, He holds a spell book in one hand and a knotty staff in the other. his robes billow in the harsh wind, revealing a long bloody wound across his side: the slash from an enemy sword.
The robed wizard stands in a dark chamber. The fear in his eyes has been replaced with determination. The wound on his side is clearly visible, and the blood has soaked clean through his robe and is started t pool on the floor. He is sitting . . . on a large pile of gold and gems. The room is littered with previous artifacts . . . shouting can be heard and banging, as if on a door—but they are not seen. The wizard closes his eyes, opens his tattered book, and lets out a few, unheard syllables. His body erupts in green light and collapses to the ground. His flesh bubbles and oozes beneath the robes, disappearing into the shimmering treasure. The door to the room bursts open. Pirates! Their eyes see the hoard and shine with greed.
In the morning, Maelokh awakes, and thrusts himself into the depths of The Silver Lake.