30 Rova, 4714 AR
Our intrepid trio plus wolf gears up and enters the Dragonfen on a grey morning, the last day of Rova. Heeding Bassy’s advice the group keeps to the south bank of the river once the trail disappears, hoping to catch sight of Tula Belhaim’s tomb somewhere on the eastern edge of the bog. The going is tough and wet; although the days have cooled slightly with the coming autumn, the air in the bog is heavy and the black flies and mosquitoes are out in force. About a mile into the fen the group is attacked by a swarm of stirges – housecat-sized creatures like a nightmarish cross between a mosquito and a flying rodent that try to drain the heroes’ blood with a long proboscis. The stirges are killed, although Hammy gets walloped by the blood-sucking buggers.
By mid-afternoon the group suspects they’ve either missed the signs Tula’s tomb or somehow misjudged the size of the cursed Dragonfen. FInally, the ground gets dryer, and the insects mercifully begin to dissipate as they come closer to the eastern boundaries of the swamp. Scanning the area, Emraeal the elf spies it first – a low mound in the distance, out of place in the flat swamp. The group approaches the mound and sees the unmistakable off-white of bone. Even hundreds of years after the dragon’s fall, its bones are an awe-inspiring sight. The skeleton has partially sunk into the bog, but enough remains that it still appears to be draped over the low, earthen mound. On the side of the mound is a stone door with a single, rough keyhole. The entrance to Tula Belhaim’s tomb.
As the group approaches the door, an old resident of the dragon’s skull issues forth – a writhing mass of flesh, teeth, eyes and gristle. The horror drives Hammy loopy with its insane gibbering and drenches Emraeal with gobs of acidic saliva, but with Maffei’s help they eventually manage to destroy the beast.
Bat uses the key given to him by Bassy to open the old stone door, releasing hundreds of years of stale air and dust. The group strikes a sunrod and enters Tula’s crypt, stepping into a short corridor and then 30 feet down a narrow shaft, where they enter an oval chamber dominated in the east by a marble statue of a rearing warhorse and featuring small alcoves to the north and south. Each alcove contains two child-sized sarcophagi – sons and daughters of Tula’s line, according to plaques on the sarcophagi. As the group search for exits from the children’s crypt, they hear a strange tapping from inside one of the sarcophagi. Opening it, they are horrified by its resident – a grey, emaciated child’s corpse with a fox’s skull for a head. The undead thing breathes a forlorn sob that threatens to overwhelm the party with sadness. It is a kindness when Hammy finally puts the troubled spirit to rest.