Age of Worms
The Whispering Cairn
In the millennia since its construction, the Whispering Cairn hosted countless visitors. They first made off with the most attainable of the tomb’s treasures, statuettes of peerless sculpt, platinum canisters of priceless incense, and a hundred harder to describe baubles of unquestionable value. No few explorers fell victim to the ingenious traps of the tomb’s chief architect, a noble Wind Duke named Nadroc. Only a few explorers discovered that most of the cairn was but a ruse meant to distract from a still greater tomb filled with even deadlier menaces. Even thousands of years after its construction, the Whispering Cairn yet holds unplundered mysteries from the days of its creation.
The last notable expedition to the Whispering Cairn occurred nearly 60 years ago, led by an unscrupulous archeologist called Ulavant. The reprobate scholar had the backing of the Seekers, an order of like-minded academics and adventurers. The affair ended in tragedy, with all hands lost to Nadroc’s insidious traps. These days, only footnotes in musty tomes in the Seeker Lodge of the Free City record the fate of Ulavant’s band.
About 30 years ago, a young runaway named Alastor Land came to the Whispering Cairn, desperate to escape his uncaring family. Light enough to prance over pressure plates and lucky enough to avoid the tomb’s sentient guardians, Alastor penetrated farther into the cairn than most skilled explorers. But even the luck of youth was no match for Nadroc’s keen intellect and cunning protections. Consumed by hate at the time of his death, Alastor lives on as a ghost, and still haunts the most secret chambers of the Whispering Cairn. These days, the youth of Diamond Lake hold the location of the Whispering Cairn like a shibboleth. They dare each other to spend a night within its depths, using the place as a test of mettle. These visits tapered off about six years ago, when a local girl vanished while sleeping int he cairn, devoured by a snaked that has since left for more fertile hunting grounds. But still the children come, to marvel at the tomb’s uncanny sounds and to carve their names upon the entry walls, their shaking hands etching proof of heir courage upon the ancient stone.