Argenthyne

(GM's note: Stolen from Kristen Britain's book Blackveil in the Green Rider series. This series is the other source of story inspiration for the campaign and I have been robbing it mercilessly)

The party is pursuing the turncoat eledhel wizard Sawdell into the dark forest inside the wall surrounding the hidden fortress tomb of the ancient elven necromancer-general. The forest inside is dark, swampy and evil. Sawdell is fleeing from the party, trying to reach the tombs before the party can stop him. They follow his panicked trail, but the dark forest's denizens try to delay them. First a group of hairy, insectoid pygmies attack them. Their claws secrete paralyzing venom and they try to drag Aldur away into the woods. The party fights them and Adolphus manages to drive them off with a Protection from Evil 10' Radius spell. The monsters are finished off and paralyzed party members revived with Neutralize Poison spells. Adolphus heals the ranger, as he took the brunt of the beasts' attacks (GM's note- modified Meenlocks).
Sawdell's trail leads them on and they come to an old road. The road stretches away in a gentle curve and Sawdell's tracks turn to follow it toward the center of the forest. The party turns to follow the road as well and comes to another ambush. A net of spider webbing was laid across the road; most of the party leaps free, but Adolphus is snared and dragged into the woods by a giant spider. The party attacks, Chunorris and Greywind try to free Adolphus while Rhiann and Giric attack the monster with missiles. The monster replies by shooting Rhiann with an eyebeam of fire and hitting Giric with an eyebeam of lightning. With Adolphus free, they gang up on the spider and slay it (GM's note- it was a modified Retriever).

The road stretches on and following the curve, they see an overgrown town ahead of them. They have come to the tombs of Argenthyne. They hear something in the woods behind them and they prepare to attack. Greywind casts an Entangle spell and they hear human cursing. Tomas emerges from the woods, complaining about how bad the going is… They continue on, following Sawdells tracks. As they approach the ruins, a wave of cold magic sweeps through them; something has happened. They hurry on and come to the tomb, the doors have been opened. They see motion in the woods and turn to look. A circle of dozens of zombies has risen from the muck of the swamp and is closing in on them. Tomas offers to guard the rear, he asks Adolphus to ward the doorway with a Protection from Evil spell. Chunorris and Giric lead the party into the tomb, and they descend below the earth. Aldur and Rhiann are attacked from behind by a skeletal warrior, it uses Hold Person on her. Aldur falls back and Chunorris takes his spot, striking the creature with his axe. Then another one appears at the other end of the passage and attacks Giric and Adolphus. The party is trapped between them, but fight on. The first one is defeated and Chunorris attacks the second. His axe activates on a solid hit and attempts to drain strength from the skeleton, but it taps the monster's negative energy and Chunorris is weakened instead. Adolphus calls upon Lims-Kragma again and casts Seek Eternal Rest, destroying the skeletons. The party believes these were the last two lieutenants buried with their leader, the tombs have been opened…
The tunnel descends and ahead of them they see light and hear sounds. It could be laughing, or sobbing, but as they get closer it turns out to be both; it sounds like Sawdell. The final tomb is open, one door shattered by magic. Chunorris sneaks up to the opening and sees Sawdell crouched by the sarcophagus, it is open. The ranger continue moving, coming up behind Sawdell. He sees that the sarcophagus is empty except for dust, the ancient necromancer's body has rotted away. Chunorris prepares to strike Sawdell from behind, but the elf speaks "It's gone, the body is gone, so I took this one!" and turns to face the ranger. His eyes are black and he casts Finger of Death, striking Chunorris squarely and killing him instantly…
The party attacks and Rhiann strikes him with multiple arrows. Sawdell/Mornhavon casts Summon Shadows. Aldur steps back and begins playing his battle song. Giric closes with the wizard and goes into open hand strikes. Adolphus powers up with Draw upon Holy Might and Greywind uses his last Pixie Dust spell to turn everyone invisible. Under attack by invisible foes, the necromancer casts Fireball at his feet. The spell severely wounds the party, but it kills the shadows as well. The Wizard is untouched within a Globe of Invulnerability spell. Rhiann continues to attack and Giric and Adolphus charge in and finish him off. A dark presence fills the room, cold, but not hostile.
Chunorris is having an out of body experience, watching the battle. He too feels the dark presence and hears a woman's voice. It is Lims-Kragma, she says she has waited a long time to take this one and asks if Chunorris wants to go back. He says yes and she tells him there will be a price…
Chunorris wakes up, alive, although a little singed. There is a silver web tattooed on the back of his left hand, the divine symbol of Lims-Kragma. The party gathers themselves up and prepares to leave, Tomas arrives. His armor, sword and shield are spotless, but his hair and face are covered in splattered gore. He asks if they have been successful and then leads everyone back out of the forest. They return to the gap in the wall where Ryeth is curled up on guard.
Aldur pulls out the scroll of music he copied and begins to play the spell song. The wall begins to grow shut as he plays until the wall itself is sealed and the force wall above it closes. Ryeth complements Aldur on his music. They all board Ryeth and fly back to Elvandar.

In th elven city, they report to the Queen and her council. The queen rewards them for their service with gold and grants them welcome and safe passage here whenever they wish. Aldur is given a position as a court minstrel.

GM's Note
That is the end of the campaign. But Chunorris now owes the goddess of death a favor and Greywind is still seeking his mother. Maybe we'll have a reunion game down the road…

Quotes and Smart Remarks
Jim "It makes Dagobah look like a pleasant place to visit"

Lots of comments comparing this to the Fire Swamp from The Princess Bride and concerns about Rodents of Unusual Size
Kevin "All things considered, if a giant rat is the worst thing we can encounter, that's fine. Now a rat lich on the other hand…"

Konrad was getting caught up on what he missed:
Joanne "Its partly your responsibility to fix the wall"
Michael "And by partly, we mean completely"
Konrad "After all this BS, my hometown looks good"

Michael was going to cast Leaf Dagger but wasn't sure if he had one. Jim mimed unrolling a marijuana roach to get a leaf out of it:
Lee "You hit the guy and he feels mellow after"

The wave of evil passes over them and they talk about if animals might flee from it:
Kevin "Animals fleeing is okay, but if we see the rat liches running…"

Michael "You didn't renew your adventurers' liability insurance?"
There were too many good jokes following that line to catch them all, but I did hear some comments about automatic payment, etc.

Aldur has played the song to heal the wall:
Lee "Was it 'Just another Brick in the Wall'?"