One day, a group of Diamond Lake children, including Leila Pendragon, Mirriana Conlan and her brother Michael, and Lan Snowstrider explored an ancient cairn near a used-up old iron mine.
These children had spelunked the width and breadth of the region, exploring all the nooks and crevices a curious and fearless child could find.
This cairn was different; the overgrown portal leading inside appeared to radiate evil, chilling even the warm summer day around it. Mirriana and the others were spooked. She dared not enter. Not so Michael. With a laugh and a derisive comment questioning their bravery, he stepped inside and was never seen again.
Years have passed. Leila, now a budding wizard, and Mirriana, town guard and holy devotee of the angel Mystara, stand ready to conquer their fears and enter the Whispering Cairn.
They aren't alone. Mirriana is like a lightning rod for outsiders and oddballs in Diamond Lake.
Bernard, a shifter and treasure hunter hiding from his past. Kavuloia 'Goattracker' Nanuthethokanelonuvuthetha, a goliath cleric of the Ram-Lord Kavaki on his own vision quest. Taliesn Marten, from a race of vaguely wolf-like shape-changers, sent out in the world to face a darkness he only vaguely understands, and Halsaephus Thal'Seretyn, a pitiful snow elf refugee.
This band of misfits entered what the locals call the Whispering Cairn.
As the light faded and lanterns flicker, the group came across a sad relic for Mirriana. Her brother's bedroll. She knew for ten years that he was gone. The sudden… finality of it hit her regardless.
The group pass through a curtain or tapestry illuminated by a lantern giving a greenish glow. From the shape of the chamber, it branches off into several passages, one of them blocked by heavy rubble. Carrying onward, the group was attacked by a pack of starving wolves.
Their first battle together was a chaotic mess, and it was good to have as much healing magic on hand as they did. But the wolves eventually fell to their blades (and bows and teeth and clubs, etc), leaving behind the remains of their last meal and a curious lantern:
After retrieving the lantern, the group found themselves in a central chamber branching of in seven directions. Each path had an alcove that housed a coloured lantern, all but the green one unlit or missing from their sconces. Mir lit the lantern found on the body and put it in its appropriate place. Quick searching showed the other lanterns, but the red lantern was still missing.
In the centre of the room under the highest point of a dome lay a sarcophagus of white marble.
Also found was a finger carve from stone. Also, a statue with a finger missing. Possibly they were related. The sarcophagus in the centre of the room was a marble relief of a stoic looking 7ft tall humanoid on the lid. To Leila's knowledge the glyph on the chain around the throat of the relief on the lid may read Zosiel. The sarcophagus rested on a strange arrow which currently pointed at the orange tunnel.
They placed the missing finger back onto the humanoid, and through trial and error, figure out the sarcophagus could be turned to face each lantern chamber. Turning it to the yellow lantern summoned an elevator of some sort. Turning towards green caused another lift to collapse, leaving a hole which a swarm of acid beetles spewed forth.