After having a brief council, the circle determined that they would strive to limit their interactions with the former subjects of the foul necromancer Octavious. A delegation was sent down to establish that the new occupants of the tower would exercise a lighter hand when levying taxes and requisitioning supplies from the locals. This news was greeted with guarded optimism by the locals and soon a steady supplies of food and other sundries were being carted up to the small keep.
Meanwhile, the wizards of the circle began to settle in to their new quarters, exploring the grounds and cataloging the library and laboratory, which they found to be adequate, but not exceptional. Ultimately, Archibald determined to perform some acts of divination to survey any and all sites of magical significance in the immediate vicinity. After gleaning some intriguing hints from Octavious’ journal, his scrying found that there were three interesting sites with easy marching distance. Bringing this information to his colleagues, the circle voted to send an expedition to the closest of these sites, despite (or because of) the fact that one of the others was undoubtedly more powerful and also accompanied by a rather vivid and disturbing vision.
The wizards Cyrus and Maron were chosen to lead the initial survey of site 1, and after selecting a cadre of traveling companions and arranging some supplies, they sent out.
The four day journey proved relatively uneventful with the notable exception of a roadside ambush by local ruffians. As the party entered into a narrow defile they were sent upon by a small party of savage local raiders. The wizards, with the aid of their more mundane compatriots, were able to send the raiders packing with minimal loss to themselves.
On the morning of the fourth day, the great bulk of their destination hove into view out of the mist. It was clear that the grass covered hill in front of them was no natural formation, its shape and proportions were far too regular, and smooth gray stones were arranged around the site in formations that clearly marked pathways and even stairs. Atop the bare hill were several massive stone slabs, laid out in a deliberate but inscrutable pattern.
Wasting no time, the expedition began to methodically survey the base of the hill to look for some means of entering the ancient subterranean complex. A small patch of stone on the eastern face of the hill, near the base, was discovered but the wizards deemed it a trap and subsequently ignored it.
The team that had ascended to the summit of the hill began examining the standing stones in depth. Between the ancient runic inscriptions and the general layout of the stone circle, it appeared that it was arranged with some kind of astrological significance. Each of the three main menhirs each seemed to correspond to the orientation of a constellation on the night of the Autumnal Equinox.
After puzzling over this for a time, and being unable to find any other obvious means of egress, the two wizards set their companions to simply digging into the cairn from the center of the henge.
This took some time, but underneath a few feet of hard-packed dirt and clay, a series of ancient and weathered logs were found supporting a portion of the cairns roof. These were hacked apart by axe-wielding henchmen and finally, the interior of the Royal Cairn lay open to them.
One of the henchmen was lowered down to explore the first chamber and was almost immediately attacked by several creatures. He managed to clamber back out with only minor wounds but it was clear that there was still danger as Sylena Blane laid down to fire her crossbow and one of the shadowy figures lept up and tore her entire forearm off.
After this the expedition was able to organize a concerted resistance and eventually force the defenders to attack them in the open. It was discovered that they were some unusual former of wight, mummified undead warriors with ferociously enhanced strength and dexterity. However there were only four of them and, powerful as they were, they were no match for the combined strength of the entire expedition.
After this, the expedition took stock and decided that, since they had only enough supplies to last a few days and that they had a severely wounded member, they would return to the tower to allow Maron to properly care for their injuries. They vowed to send a follow-up expedition as quickly as possible though. Cyrus especially realized the potential treasure trove of necromantic knowledge hidden in the massive tomb.