The Vault of Vraath Keep
The oppressive heat of the Witchwood combined with the utter and complete stillness caused the sicky sweet smell of fresh blood to hang heavy in the air. In the courtyard of the keep, bodies lay strewn about, each in its own pool of crimson and swarmed with its own personal swarm of flies. Inside the Keep’s tower, both Dirk and Pierre sat wearily on the massive bed – panting with an exhaustion brought on by magically induced weakness.
Triana, now returned to her human self, stood by the door watching as Malak dug at something covered by years’ accumulation of sediment – a hidden hatchway in the floor. “I’m sort of amazed that they didn’t find this. But then, I guess we knew to look for it – and they didn’t.”
Even as he speaks, the hatchway clicks and opens, revealing a long shaft with an iron ladder running down into a dimly illuminated room far below. The four exchanged anxious glances and in one accord began to descend into the depths. At the bottom of the ladder, they found themselves in a small room, perhaps 15×10. It was dimly illuminated by runes etched into the worked stone of the walls. Despite its simplicity, the room was elegantly appointed and spoke of great value. Three alcoves with iron gates marked the walls, and a human skeleton – still dressed in battle gear – lay against the far wall, a giant arrow protruding from its chest.
The party was initially silent, perhaps with awe or reverence, but the silence was broken by Pierre, “Well, eh, I suppose we now know the end to the story of, eh, Amery Vraath. No?” He chuckled to himself and swaggered forth to look behind the gates. “These locks, eh, they are verry good! I think, however, that I can remove them with some work, eh?”
Malak, for his part, approached the body of Amery Vraath and began to search it for any valuables, “No point in leaving anything here. It’s not doing him any good, and I doubt he has any kin to speak of.”
It took several minutes for Pierre to open all of the gates, but true to his word he got them open (though secretly he was sufficiently impressed with the locks and would not want anyone to know how difficult it was for him).
Looking at the combined treasure amassed, Malak broke out into a hearty laugh, “Do you realize that we are getting PAID to find this?”