The party made their way back to the broken path and followed it towards the looming giant barrow mound. Ancient standing stones encircled the mound and skulls and bones littered the area.
Sue: What kind of bones?
DM: Human, mainly. Although you can make out a few demi-human bones as well.
Kay: I want to look through the bones.
Closer to the central mound, a large stone door lay on the ground. The door was cracked in two and long grass had grown around the split stone.
A foul stench of miasma hit their nostrils as they entered the mound and descended the short stairway into blackness.
Kay: I have two torch-bearers.
Sea Axe: Stop messing around in those bones and have your men light up this place.
They stood in a 60×60 foot chamber. Four huge stone columns supported the walls inside the mound. The columns surrounded an open black hole in the ground. Above the hole was a rusty tripod with a block and tackle for lifting and lowering between the two floors.
Baz: Finn, drop a torch down there.
Kay: No. He doesn’t have that many.
Sue: What kind of torch-bearer is this guy?
Tess: We’ll grab it when we get down there.
The darkness below fluttered back as a torch dropped 35 feet from the vaulted ceiling. Looking down from the ceiling, the party could make out rubble, bones and faded frescoes on the walls of the lower chamber.
Sue: What do the frescoes look like?
DM: You can’t really make them out from above.
Sea Axe: I’ll go first.
The dwarf grabbed the rope attached to the tripod and began lowering himself. The rope snapped. The dwarf slammed into the floor below, near the torch. The falling rope coiled erratically around the moaning dwarf as his ten foot pole clattered on the stone surface, echoing in the silent chamber.
Sue: Ugh. I only have two hit points now.
Baz: Hey, you down there. I brought two 50 foot coils.
Baz secured his rope around one of the central pillars.
Once the party had descended, they raised torches and examined the frescoes more closely. Lining the wall were images of burial processions entering the barrow mounds.
Finn: There’s something here.
Scrawled on the stone wall was a message. Remember: Up then Down.
The girls all wrote this down.