Traevus asked the party to find The Anarusi Codex, a powerful tome which could be powerful in the wrong hands. He knows it is in the dungeons of The Ghost Tower, part of the ruins that make up Kalton Manor.
The party spent a day and a half travelling down the Kings Road east, and then taking the track from The Kings Road down to Kalton Manor, which is situated between Harken Forest and Witchlight Fens. It was around this time that Franklin announced to all that he should now be addressed as Bobo. Everyone rolled their eyes and agreed. Traevus told you the goblins lurk in the western part of the Harken Forest and are always fighting with the Woodsinger Clan elves in the east. The goblins sometimes fight with and sometimes ally with the lizardfolk who live in the swamp. Traevus tells you the goblins who were working for Malareth were from the Harken Forest.
Despite strange noises coming from both the Harken Forest and the Swamplight Fens, the trek was uneventful. Finally the party reached the ruins of Kalton Manor, named after the Kalton family who built it. All the buildings were in ruins – the manor, servants quarters, stables, barns, all derelict and empty, without roofs. The tower itself was on a hill overlooking the rest of the ruins, but it too was just a shell.
Once inside the tower Traevus indicated that the greatest challenge will be the intial guardians, and that he would assist the party with this encounter, and then return to the top to wait for them to find the Anarusi Codex. Traevus explained with a rueful grin that he’s not as young as he used to be and not as powerful as the party.
The party descended the stairs and indeed, the first guardians were seven wild eyed zombies with blackened claws. Traevus reached into his bag and pulled out the skull that the party had recovered in the adventure Entering the Twisted Halls. He exerted his power through the skull and the zombies were transfixed and under his command. Traevus explained he would command the zombies to walk into the swamp. It wouldnt kill them but it would get them out of the way, and who knows, they might take out a few lizardfolk too. Traevus left back up the stairs with the obedient zombies following.
The party explored the ruins, there were more undead to slay, traps to overcome, and they found a mystical barrier that required a multi part key to bypass. So far two parts of the key were recovered, and the party had to battle a minor demon, a dust devil, a spectre, an ochre jelly, and overcome a magic guardian circle to do it.
Tired and battered the party returned to the surface where Traevus waited. He praised the party for their efforts and said they could take a rest for a day or so. The dwarf said he had command over the zombies and that he would recall them and set them to guard the camp at a distance.
The next day the party descended once again to look for the next two parts of the key. They found one part in a room full of statues that animated when someone got too close. They were fragile though, little more than clay warriors and were easily despatched. The last part of the key was more difficult to obtain, and there were rat swarms, dire rats and pony sized spiders to deal with first. They also found a magical amulet of health along with the key.
With all the parts of the key obtained it fitted together in a square. There did not appear to be any place to place the key, so they went back to the surface to ask Traveus. He appeared unusually knowledgeable and told them how to activate it. They returned to the purple mist barrier and activated the key. Beyond was a room where a headless ghost thanked them for freeing him. He claimed to be the necromancer Anarus Kalton (from the Kalton family which Kalton Manor was named after) and that Traveus and Malareth were both his apprentices. He further claimed that Travaus had killed him and taken his skull because he wanted to bring his brother back from the dead. To do that he also needed the Anarusi Codex, which Anarus had hidden before he was killed by Traveus.
There was no reasoning with the insane undead necromancer, and the ghost of Anarus Kalton and his undead minions fought fiercely. The battle raged but the party were victorious in the end. The Anarusi Codex was found along with a ring of protection and some gold and silver coins.
They returned to the surface and decided they needed to hear Traevus’ side of the story. Depending on what they heard would decide whether they would give him the necromantic book or refuse to give it to him.
Traevus admitted to killing Anarus Kalton but claimed he had committed the deed with Malareth because Anarus was evil and was going to enter into a pact with the Lizardfolk of The Witchlight Fens to attack Nentir Vale. Traevus also admitted to becoming a necromancer so that he could bring his twin brother back from the dead, through a portal to the Shadowfell. However because he had killed Anarus Kalton, he needed the Anarusi Codex to study to give him the information he needed to create a ritual to do this.
After a discussion the party agreed to give Traevus the Anarusi Codex, but on the proviso that they be there when he performed the ritual in case anything went wrong. Traevus agreed enthusiastically, he had been going to ask the party do this anyway.
The party slept there at the ruins one more night. During the night they heard the guardian zombies fighting with something that was hissing – lizardfolk raiding party Traevus said – but nothing attacked the camp. The zombies were doing their job.
The next day they returned to Fallcrest. Traevus released the zombies into the swamp where they would probably die at the hands of swamp denizens sooner or later (he said).
They were ready for their next adventure, which would happen much sooner than anticipated.