After their encounter with the Bulette house students, the gnome illusionist Isis again succumbed to the strain the fight on her mind, lapsing back into a stupor. Temarith alone had the strength to carry her back to the school infirmary, and wished the party luck as they continued. Exploring the alcove the Bulette students came from, they party found another gnome and a small ratfolk tied up and gagged. Freeing them, they revealed themselves to be another pair from Wolpertinger trying to uncover the secret of the Lich’s tomb. Deciding to join forces, the group of students took another look at the puzzle facing them.
Examining the chess set, the party could infer it had something to do with the mural spanning Eberron’s world history of cataclysm and war. The mural concluded with the Day of Mourning, destruction of Cyre, and the emergence of the five figures depicted on the chess board: a queen, a skeletal knight, a bear, bishop, and warforged. Each figurine was carved from a different type of stone, suggesting their opposing factions, and seemed to represent Aundair, Karrnath, Breland, Thrane, and former Cyre, now the Mournland. Each figure had at least one other in check. Experimenting with positioning, the adventurers found that moving them all away, with nobody threatened, the massive iron door behind the column opened on its own.
Stepping inside, they were greeted by a colossal dragon! After a moment’s hesitation, they determined it was stone, and not any type of dragon they could recognize from study. There were features of every type of dragon they’d heard of, with forward-swept horns of a black, the frontal horn of a blue, the whiskers of a gold, the crest of a brass, etc. The sheer scale and detail of it suggested magical creation, but it radiated no further enchantment.
Surrounding the dragon was a massive orrery of thirteen moons, each also linked to the thirteen planes that orbit Eberron. Surrounding the statue were five chests as well. As one student opened a chest, a distinct click was heard as one of the moons came loose to swing down nearby. Missing any bodies, it continued swinging through the central brazier, lighting it, and causing it to spread a thick black smoke as it swung and bounced around the room. The party hit the floor, hid behind the statue, or fled the room while waiting for the flaming thurible to burn out and come to rest. Just a minute later, as the moon came to a stop, the students collected themselves and examined the bounty they found in the chests. There was a silver shortsword with a wolf head crossguard and etched moon, a wicked looking greatsword inscribed with celestial, a broad serrated dagger that always balanced on its tip, a quarterstaff constructed half of white ash and half darkwood, then the final chest at the dragon’s feet held a jeweled ring and a golden scaled egg still hot from the enchantment that was suddenly evident inside the chest. With these mysterious items, the party found themselves at the end of the lich’s dungeon with no sign of an undead wizard, or any other true owner at all.
With nothing else for it, the party took their treasures and made the long trek back to the village Arcanix. Sneaking into the hippogriff stables, they managed to coax a couple mounts into giving them a ride up to the floating towers, where Professor Shadowell quietly waited in the dark. Unsurprised by their return to campus, he simply checked their names off a ready list and shooed them off to the infirmary and their residence as he waited for other groups to come trickling in.
Cuali stumbled to the infirmary, where Isis was already under the care of the school cleric, being brought back to relative sanity with the blessing of Aureon. The next morning, the party of students was called to a classroom, along with several other groups of students from various houses. Their advisors were all there, explaining that every year, rumors spread of a dungeon or tomb of lost magical knowledge and treasure among the second year students, and that it was as much a test of knowledge and skill as their classes and exams were. It was even the responsibility of upperclassmen to maintain and restore the dungeon and its traps for the next class to discover. Not being caught was also just as much part of the test, however, and they were all given various chores to complete as part of their discovery.