In the Shadow of Netheril

Deeper into the Imperial Archives

Rising dead, rising suspicions

When the central door swung open, the party found itself looking into some sort of reading room or library. Bookshelves were set into the walls around the perimeter of the room. Several long wooden tables ran the length of the room, strewn with decaying books and parchment. A few corpses slumped over the tables where they had apparently become so engrossed in their reading that they died.

Ander stepped forward to examine one of the bodies. It wore a plain, tattered robe of coarse fabric. Perhaps in life it was a monk. Ander decided to search it for valuables. As he reached into the corpse’s robes, the skeletal hand shot out and grabbed him by the wrist.

All around the room, the other dead readers began to rise.

The adventurers fought them off without much trouble. With the last undead creature slain, they were free to search the bodies uninterrupted. They discovered that at least one of the readers kept a circular medallion hanging from its neck. The medallion had a thin black outer rim with a deep purple center. Qualin identified it as a holy symbol of the dark goddess Shar, an evil deity popularly worshipped in Netheril.

Further search of the room yielded a small amount of coin and a few books on the theory of magic. At the other end of the room, two doors led out.

The next room turned out to be a massive storeroom the likes of which the adventurers had never seen. Row after row of tall shelves filled with crates stretched hundreds of feet into the distance. Wary after the skeletons in the previous room, Nez reached out with her divine sense. She immediately pointed out three undead creatures similar to the ones from the library. They were wounded and some were crushed under shattered crates. The party made quick work of them.

Then they set about exploring the room. There were far too many crates to search each one, but they remembered the inventory list that they found in the locked desk drawer. The format of the numbers on the crates matched the format on the list. Soon they were able to find the crate in which the Nether Scroll was supposed to be stored. However, to no one’s great surprise, the crate had been pried open and now lay empty. Qualin prepared a ritual to detect magic, while the others located a crate filled with gold. With the ritual complete, the adventurers realized something unsettling: someone had cast a spell on the area around the Nether Scroll’s crate. They guessed it was an alarm spell and reasoned that the caster could not have gone far. Furthermore they began to become suspicious that the antiquities dealer, Noross, may have known more about the missing scroll than he originally let on.

Expecting the caster to return now that the alarm had been tripped, the party shut themselves in the office adjoining the antechamber and set a watch. Yet the night passed uneventfully.

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