After making sure Gralmor and Zenriel were safe, the party made their way over to the City of the Dead. They were searching for answers and clues as to how to open the door to the Great Vault they were looking for. They walked around searching for the statue they needed first. Then they could focus on learning what they needed to to open it. There were many statues in the City of the Dead. The rich families that buried their dead here often bought statues in commemoration.
There were statues of people as well as animals and humanoids scattered across the grounds. Everywhere, people meandered on the paths enjoying the sunshine. As they walked Kaladrax became more and more sure that the statue they were searching for was Ahghairon’s. It was perfect, with a missing jewel at the top of the staff and a sense of magic that never left the area. There were no other statues that had the same air of magic lingering about them as that one did. He shared it with the rest of the group and they agreed. Now came the difficult part of making the keys by which to enter the Great Vault.
They first searched out a dwarf within the city that was known for playing older songs. None of the local people could recognize the tune they were searching for, but a kind shopkeep remembered the dwarf and his company of players that specialized in older songs. They sought him out and bought a set of bagpipes along the way. Negotiations with the dwarf were harsh as they had no fellow dwarf of their own to negotiate on their behalf so money and lots of it were required in the exchange. Then came the few hours of training they had paid for. Aleera was going to sing the song so Kaladrax volunteered to learn the bagpipes and managed to learn a bit before their time was up.
The next step was putting together the ingredients for the spell required to open the statue. The first key was the dwarven song played on bagpipes, the second key was a grip of gems worth at least one thousand dragons. The third key was halfling blood to quicken the magic needed to open the vault. Milo was extremely reluctant to offer up his blood for this but eventually acquiesced after making Aleera and Kariss promise to heal him immediately after. The party went around the shops looking for the necessary gems to make the second part of the key. Finally, they found the amount necessary to comprise the thousand dragons.
They were ready to make their incursion into the vault and so headed there post haste. Before they re-entered the City of the Dead, they changed their appearances to blend and not be recognized as themselves. Aleera changed into a plain looking peasant wench with her Mask of Many Faces ability. Kariss changed her bright platinum clothing and hair to a more subdued wardrobe and hairstyle. Kaladrax could do nothing about his appearance and so was the only one without a disguise. Milo used his Hat of Disguise to change into his dwarven persona called Dinky Halfpint. Now that everyone was as disguised as they could be, they entered the City of the Dead and headed to Ahghairon’s statue.
Posing as a funeral procession they marched towards the statue and, when they got close, began playing “My Beardy Face”. Surprisingly, the playing went well and the song was clear in the bright midday air. As they approached the statue, they got their ingredients together. They placed the fistful of gems into the empty top of the staff. As they continued playing the song, Milo sliced open his hand and dripped his blood onto the pile of precious stones. They continued playing to make sure the spell took. At first it didn’t seem like anything was happening but a moment later the statue moved. It slid back revealing a stone staircase leading down into unfathomable darkness.
The members of the Hand of Destiny stood quiet for a moment in surprise at their success. Then as they realized that they were in broad daylight and that many citizens were watching they immediately ran into the opening. They made their way down the steps until they were far down enough that the stature was clear and shut behind them. Pure darkness enclosed them as they stepped further and further into the vault.