The answer, as it turned out, was some dragonborn jagoff with a pair of sickly black dragons. Seriously, I think those things were half-dead. Maybe they had summer colds. I hear those things can be pretty brutal. Whatever, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Re-equipped, Grughuge wanted to go back out and take out the acid snakes, and for some reason we followed the barbarian’s lead. There was pain, but it proved to be the creatures’ last act(s) of defiance, as they met their end courtesy of our blades and magic. We decided to check out the door with the waterfall sounds coming from behind it and found an actual waterfall in the chamber beyond.
We’d barely stepped into the room with the giant pool when a bunch of skeletons with various implements of stabby doom strapped to their arms marched out of the pool of water and set upon us. Some asshole necromancer had booby-trapped the godsdamned things to explode violently the more damaged they became. Grughuge, Rexcelcior, and Lumiya all dropped unconscious at one point or another during the melee, but I was able to prop ‘em back up and shove ‘em back into the fray well enough. I won’t lie – I was worried for a hot minute, and we were really glad to see the last boneshard explosion.
Following the deadly skirmish, Rexcelcior dove into the pool and swam around looking for treasure. I was dubious, but the giant knucklehead actually found enough to prod Lumiya (the only one among us usually capable of noticing anything more than 5 feet away and not shining brightly) into taking a look around, too. She found a fey-blessed crown on the bottom of the pool and brought it up to the surface, where she promptly placed the silver band on my head. Who’s the man? I’m the man. True fact.
Rexcelcior and Grughuge crossed the pool and went through a passage hidden behind the waterfall, then pulled a lever on the other side that raised a bridge made of countless skeletons that had been sitting on the bottom of the pool. The way cleared, we moved forward and into the next chamber, where we found the guy who’d taken the Bones of Velsharoon – a dragonborn cultist. Yea, the same jagoff I mentioned earlier.
There were a handful of skeletons taking the pieces from an altar and through a portal that the cult leader seemed to be maintaining. He wore a symbol of the Cult of the Dragon, so his interest in a dead god of the undead started to make a lot more sense. We managed to kill the draconic creatures, and I think we made Grughuge – or at least his bloodthirsty spear – mad by not letting him make the killing blow on any of the enemies. Bastard should move faster and hit harder, I guess.
The bad news was that about half of the obsidian bones had been taken through the portal before we closed it, and though we had the ritual book the dragonborn was using to keep it open, it was a bit beyond my understanding. Regardless, we collected the bones and the loot in the chamber and are planning our assault on the rest of the dungeon. Cult of the Dragon, huh? Fine, we’ll kick your asses, too.
No one’s getting away with this.