Three polished skulls, lined up on a tabletop, stared at the pirates, as if daring them to approach. The two dwarf pirates and their new druid companion cautiously approached the table.
Baz: Poke one with your pole.
Sea Axe gently pushed the first skull back with a ten foot pole.
Sea Axe: Nothing.
Baz: It can’t be nothing. Try the other ones.
Sea Axe: Aye, captain.
After a bit, the previously lined up skulls were now in various places across the table.
Sea Axe: I don’t think there is anything to ‘em.
Baz: Who polished them? Why are they here?
Sea Axe shrugged.
Tess: Screw this! I walk up to the table, grab all the skulls and smash each one of them on the ground. What happens?
DM: The skulls are now broken. One of the teeth ricocheted into your beard.
Baz: There’s nothing here. Come on.
As the dwarf pirates, druid and the hired men went deeper into the Barrowmaze, a dead skeletal tomb-robber, wearing a striped yellow tunic, silently cried out in a hidden chamber.
The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out
The party walked cautiously down a passage that smelled strongly of miasma; death lingered in the air. Aria’s canary was silent.
Baz: Let’s avoid the bricked up walls for now.
Sea Axe: Where to, Captain?
Baz pointed to a narrow passage off to the side. It was on the west wall and only 5 feet wide.
Baz: Check that passage. We’ll wait here.
Sea Axe and Baltag entered, while the others remained on guard. At the end was a small 10 by 10 foot room. Octagonal burial alcoves lined the walls, each with a single skull. Baltag held aloft his torch as Sea Axe rummaged through each one.
Sea Axe felt his skin crawl as he reached into one of the alcoves. Quickly pulling his arm out, he panicked as he watched little grubs begin to burrow into his arm.
Sea Axe: Baltag!
Baltag immediately brought his torch about and began burning them off.
DM: Lucky. He killed the three on you. You got burned in the process for . . . 4.
Sue: These are those things that burrow into your heart?
DM: That’s them. Rot Grubs.
Sue: I’m done searching here. We head back out to the others.
They made their way back to the pillared chamber. Flies buzzed around the rotting Giant Rattler carcass. Torchlight reflected a writhing shimmer across its flesh. It crawled with maggots.
DM: Kay, your canary is silent again. It doesn’t like the smell here either.
Each time this happened the extra chance for a random encounter was temporarily cut back.
They covered their noses and moved passed the horrible stench towards the north passage.
On the western wall, they discovered an entrance to a small temple. Beyond the entrance, their eyes were greeted by a large foreboding statue. The likeness of Negral, the former god of the underworld, beckoned them forward.