Shraevyn's Tomb was the crypt of the famous wizard and magical weaponsmith Shraevyn. It was located at the eastern base of the Desertsmouth Mountains in Shadowdale. The crypt was full of traps and puzzles that reflected his experiences and beliefs, a testament to his life.
Sometime around 1369 DR, Randal Morn learned the tomb of Shraevyn had been discovered and led an excursion with some of the Freedom Riders. They successfully navigated the tomb, despite losing some in a portal to the ethereal plane, and briefly retrieved the famously powerful Sword of the Dales.
As Randal and his men exited the crypt, they were ambushed by a group of Zhentarim, whom they fought off after an extended battle. The Freedom Riders were attacked again however, and most, including Randal, disappeared. Only one Dalesman, Atrion, survived. He proceeded to seek the help of the Sage of Shadowdale, Elminster, at his tower but found only the scribe Lhaeo. The latter began to round up adventurers to investigate both the location of the sword and the fate of Randal and the remaining Riders.
The group's disappearance was caused by Gothyl, an ancient arch-shadow whose essence was bound to the Sword. After abducting Randal, she killed and turned his men into skeletons and left them in the tomb, using the Sword of the Dales as bait to draw more powerful prospective puppets.
The entrance to the tomb was carved into the rock of the Desertsmouths. Granite steps led to large metal door that was embossed with magic runes, which were embedded in the mountainside. Both sides of the door were flanked with 20-foot stone statues. The left statue depicted an elven female, dressed in flowing robes, but had been partially destroyed by avalanches and rock slides. The figure on the right depicted a helmed warrior in plate mail, its right arm raised and holding a massive lucern hammer. The elven statue represented the beauty of and respect for a wizard Shraevyn met in his travels to the Astral Plane; she showed him a great deal about magic, that otherwise would have taken him years to learn alone. There was a hidden entrance behind this statue, rigged with a fire trap, that led into the tomb. The warrior statue paid homage to the brave and noble knights and fighters for which he had made weapons over the years.
Boasting of evil they once tamed.
Now they gaze in hate, friend now foe,
But hearts defy what minds now know.
Magic against steel,
Fate of a cruel deal,
A mirrored haze of friendships concealed.
Warrior's heart and wizard's soul,
Both fighting for the same goal.
Magic against steel,
Fate of a cruel deal,
A mirrored view of the end of the road.
The sheath called for its sword,
Wizardly energy withdrew to where it was stored.
Together they gazed at the mighty door,
And their fury for one another
burned no more.
Now honor-bound and steadfast,
An oath sword to last.
— The riddle of Shraevyn's Tomb.
In the passageway through the trapped secret entrance was a brass plaque reading "Hope you enjoyed the show!". When the main entrance was opened, the runes of the door glowed with blue fire and a voice emanating from it would pose a riddle to those inside.
Visitors to the vault were expected to respond with the ideal that the warrior and wizard remembered to stop from attacking one another. The satisfactory answer was a response that conveyed the unity of an adventuring party. Failure to express this concept caused the voice to express its disappointment and no longer speak to anyone inside the tomb.
A 60-foot-long (18 meters), 10-foot-tall (3 meters), magically illuminated hallway led to the main chamber of the tomb. This light came from glowing red orbs that were suspended in air above head-height. Either side of this corridor had a mosaic tile mural, each depicting a mounted king, wielding the sword Giventhar, commanding his army in battle against foes made of shadows. The difference between the two was one mural was dark and murky, nearly colorless, with the only bright spots being the emerald green glow of Giventhar, while the other was lighter, almost iridescent, with the figure of the king appearing vivacious.
In the side of the hall was a small chamber, hidden behind a secret door and trapped with sleep gas and containing spider skeletons. In this room was an oak desk with a intricate vine-shaped carving; in one of the drawers was a scroll tube made of bone that contained scrolls of animal friendship, magical stone, and heat metal. Along the walls were several bookcases that contained a wide variety of tomes and manuals along with a few select, rare titles—The Art of Weaponcrafting and Metal Spellweaving.
The central room in the tomb was a large, square room with a 30-foot-diameter (9 meters) circle of silver inlaid in the stone floor, with the symbol of the sun centered within. Eight rays from the sun extended out into eight small depressions in the floor. The door leading into the next area was made of silver as well, and had a message melted into its face during construction: "Some decisions are more lasting than others". Ten alcoves lined the left and right sides of the room, five on either side, nine of which contained a three-foot-tall golden pot and one which held a book.
The book and nine vessels each represented one of the eight schools of magic and had to be placed over the depression on the ground, opposite its naturally opposing school; two extra pots were added to confuse the magically ignorant and most of the items held a magical effect of some kind. Once all the items were placed in their correct order the silver door would open into the rest of the tomb. The magical effects were:
- When someone attempted to move this jar, it would seem to disappear. It remained in the same place, but couldn't be seen as if it had invisibility cast upon it.
- When handled, this jar would open and let loose a blast of golden energy that would fly around the room, strike all the other pots then return inside. Then one of three effects took place. Either a small dark cloud would form over the person who touched the pot and rain down upon them, a stunning bouquet of flowers would begin to grow out of someone's shoes, or a chime of opening spell would be cast, unfastening and untying all the belongings of anyone nearby. This was one of the unneeded jars.
- The lid of this jar would shimmer and show a view of the area outside of Shraevyn's tomb. This was not a current image as if from a scrying spell but more of a "live painting".
- The surface of the golden jar would display a projection of the Sword of the Dales in its present condition.
- The lid to this container was missing and it was about a third full of dark, damp soil. Deep in this dirt was a small, magical fire that burned without fuel or aid. This was the second extraneous jar.
- In place of a jar, an ancient tome sat in one alcove, entitled Shraevyn's Guide to Magical Mastery. If the book was opened, it would always open to the same two pages, on which had been placed a sepia snake sigil. Once someone began to read from the book, the sigil would activate, the reader would be immobilized, and the book would transform into a matching golden pot to be used in the room's puzzle.
- This jar had no magical effect, but rather an eerily realistic carving of a humanoid skeleton wearing a cracked helm and wielding a rusty sword.
- When lifted, this jar would change into a lopsided, earth-colored clay pot that was much heavier than its original form. After a few moments it would transform again into a sleek, silver that was lighter than its first form. Finally it returned to its original appearance.
- The front of this jar had the picture of a shield with an emblem of fire inside it. When examined the shield would glow and the fire would appear to blaze
- Blue-white electricity raced up the outside of this jar and it would momentarily shock anyone who touched its surface, leaving their fingers numb but undamaged.
If the eight jars were placed in their correct positions on the painting of the sun on the floor, the silver door to the next section of the tomb would open. If any of them were in the wrong order when the eighth jar was put in place a dust devil, a fire snake, and a sandling would appear in the middle of the room and attack anyone inside.
There's no saving you from your own stare.
Whether gold be piled by bar or by sack,
— The inscription on the amulet on the statue of Tymora.
The area beyond the silver door was a T-intersection that shone with a bright, silver light. In the middle of the intersection was an alcove containing a shrine holding a marble statue. This was a depiction of Tymora, as a young, gleeful woman clad in leather armor and carrying a pair of short swords. Around her neck was hung an amulet, a silver chain with a metal disc that depicted her holy symbol. It carried an inscription on the reverse.
It goes on and on, over and again.
But past death's door and beyond each bend,
are those who will take your every win.
To those I cry, begone and flee!
Plunder another's resting place.
Better yet, turn to yourself and see
That evil smile upon your face.
Good luck my friends, turn tail and run,
be warmed beneath the bright sun,
For knowing me is no guarantee
— The final inscription.
The pathway to the right led to a sort of treasure room, filled with several empty chests and coffers. To the right of the entrance, in the side of this small room was a portal to the ethereal plane, embedded in an archway of stone that was far older than the rock of the mountain in which this tomb was built. This room also contained a silver plaque, into which were embedded a final inscription.
The left path in the hallway led to a large chamber with an ornate coffin lined with brass. When the coffin was opened, it would produce a spectral illusion of the wizard Shraevyn, dressed in gray robes, lying horizontal in eternal rest. Any attempts to speak to or interact with this illusion would be for naught. This casket was where Shraevyn kept Sword of the Dales, the last weapon he crafted before his death.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 2. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 25. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 24. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 18. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 19. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Jim Butler (June 1995). The Sword of the Dales. (TSR, Inc.), p. 23. ISBN 0-7869-0126-8.