With the knowledge of Demise’s desire to perform the Rite of Arkantaash in Ashurta’s tomb, they return to the kruthik caves.
They follow the familiar tunnel leading to Ashurta’s tomb until they see light emanating from the crypt’s entry chamber. Ahead, they hear voices. “We’ll gather these animates to guard this entrance with you,” says a raspy male voice. “Then I will rejoin Demise to prepare for the ritual.” “Aye, Jaenus,” says another male voice.
A willowy male elf with a stylized skull tattoo on his face stands among kruthiks that have oozing wounds on their bodies. He bears a rod of black bone. Two heavily armed and armored humans stand nearer your entry point, their tabards and shields marked with the symbol of the Emerald Claw.
Encounter 28: Swarm Reanimation
Jaenus, Demise’s apprentice
2 Emerald Claw stalwarts
2 kruthik young zombies
3 weak kruthik zombies
The players move on to the next room. The iron doors at the end of the stairway are open to the lit room beyond them. This room is little changed since your last visit, except all the bones once in the alcoves are 8one. The fiendish statue is lowered into the floor, leaving the passage to the inner tomb open. Two Emerald Claw knights flank that doorway.
A black skull floats silently in an alcove, shadows dancing around it like smoke. A sallow doppelganger with Tikulti’s dark armor and rapier lurks in an alcove. A horned female humanoid with dark skin and darker leather armor skulks in an alcove, short flamelike blade drawn.
Encounter 29: Dark Lantern, Indeed
2 Emerald Claw stalwarts
Emerald Claw fireblade assassin
Tikulti makes a run for it, but is slain in the southern passage. Tikulti’s items include a +2 false blood amulet. Alain puts this on and assumes Tikulti’s appearance. The characters quickly plan their entrance into the next room, knowing that it is the main tomb room.
Encounter 30: Final Demise
Gydd Nyphret, dreadclaw soulbound
4 Skullborn ghouls
4 Skullborn zombie husks
Alain, as Tikulti, bursts into Ashurta’s Tomb room, yelling to Demise and the other enemies about the PCs in the next room that just attacked him. He positions himself behind one of the ghouls as the PCs run into the room, ready to attack.
Ashurta’s tomb is changed only slightly since you last saw it. No bones linger in the alcoves; instead, they are piled around the northern doors. Mummified corpses with Aereni tattoos lean in a few alcoves.
The immense statue remains in the center of the room, but a silvery circle of arcane symbols surrounds it. Demise stands to one side of the circle, clutching her black staff Several hunched, ashen corpses tattooed with Aereni designs stand between you and her. They bare fangs and flex their clawed hands as they eye you hungrily.
“Welcome,” says Demise.
“Thank the Host you’ve come,” says Gydd in a hoarse voice. Her hands are bound to Ashurta’s sarcophagus. She looks haggard and ill-treated. “Get me out of here!”
Gydd isn’t herself. She has hollow, milky eyes and a subtly feral look. Her flesh peels, exposing bone and clawed hands.
The characters have no choice but to kill them all, including the now evil and undead professor. There is no saving her.
Once defeated, they find Demise has +1 shadowdance robes and a staff of ruin. They loot the rest of the room, take all the ritual items and the Ashen Crown pieces Demise possessed, and leave the tomb, hopefully for good this time.