Having defeated the bulk of the tarek forces, the adventurers used the overturned tables to bar the heavy southern door in the hope of keeping the occupants of the next room trapped while they descended into the pit to rescue Finnan.
Tying their ropes to the massive cauldron, the characters lowered themselves into darkness. The pit descended farther than any of them could have anticipated, and as the darkness grew deeper and more oppressive several of the party despaired of finding their friend alive. Finally, however, Crawn touched the bottom – an unstable floor that seemed to shift beneath him as he stood.
As the rest of the party arrived, Bhean Tine used her mastery of the elements to create an eerie red light, revealing a massive and ancient chamber built of entirely different stonework than the ruin above. Cracks along the walls slowly trickled sand into the room, and a sloped floor led to a narrow crevice through which the flowing sand fell. Barely visible in the dim light, a small halfling form lay with one arm caught in the crevice, surrounded by shadowy figures that seemed to be almost caressing him.
Whenever one of the shadowy forms touched the fallen halfling, his flesh seemed to briefly turn translucent, a vision which sent Crawn into something akin to a blood frenzy. With little choice but to join their companion in his effort, the adventurers attacked the shadowy wraiths with some of their most powerful abilities, upon which the wraiths vanished, leaving only the still form of Finnan.
As the party approached their friend, the wraiths returned, appearing behind them and touching them with long fingers that seemed to emit cold. Unlike the party, the wraiths hovered above the shifting sands, resulting in a difficult battle that saw the companions attempting to revive their Halfling associate while Ceol tried to staunch the flow of sand into the room.
Eventually the wraiths dissipated, and this time did not return. Finnan was revived through the combined healing skills of Ceol and Spartacus, though after his experience he found he had acquired some strange new capabilities. The touch of the wraiths left him with access to unnatural powers, the full extent of which none in the party were able to discern.
A careful exploration of the cavernous chamber revealed a partially-blocked passageway to the north, and after several hours of clearing away rubble the party proceeded down a narrow passage to find themselves in an ancient tomb. Sitting upon a central platform was a massive stone sarcophagus, while ancient braziers in the corners glowed with a strange blue flame, illuminating the room. Upon an altar in the north end of the chamber were several ritual items, though they predated the historical knowledge of even the most educated members of the group. Curious as to the contents of the tomb, Genna tried to pry open the sarcophagus, making little progress before freeing a Raaig Tomb Spirit.
Individually, the party members were no match for the spirit – it took a concerted effort just to survive long enough to devise a strategy. Over and over again the spirit unleashed its vengeance upon them, but time and time again the party rallied thanks to the inspiring presence of the dray Spartacus and the elven healing of Ceol. Holding off and eventually defeating the ancient spirit, the party discovered within its sarcophagus the remains of a humanoid in priestly vestments, the body mummified by the desert environs. Safe for the time being, the bold adventurers prepared themselves to face the remaining tareks in the ruin above.