Around the time that Ez was sending Thea and Rowan to investigate Interstone, the life of Sammael Grisk is being thrown into chaos. The son of Chet Grisk, a noble and close friend of the King of Galesforge, Sammael grew up being taught martial traditions, and joined the King's Guard to help fight against the menace of bandits and the lawlessness of the frontiers. He served with distinction, and often stopped to visit with his aunt, Kallista, one of the most highly regarded wizards in the magic community of Lostvale. Kallista, unbeknownst to most, was in the midst of a long term love affair with a Tiefling Mercnhant, something highly frowned upon for many reasons, not the least of which was the King's well known hatred for Tieflings.
On this day, while out for a walk near the family's property, Sam stumbled across a scene of horror: his father and the King were standing over a hooded figure tied to a chair. While Sam watched, the King himself and his father both took out long bladed daggers and began stabbing the man. Then the King removed the hood, over the objections of Chet, and looked into the eyes of the Kallista's lover as his life fled his body.
Disgusted but uncertain, Sammael went to speak with Kallista. Upon hearing the news, her manner seemed to become wooden, unemotional, almost hollow. She muttered about not expecting things to get this bad this quickly, and then gave Sam a ring and a cloak, and told him to wear the ring. Then she kissed him on the forehead, went to her bedchamber, and drank a vial of black, ichorous poison. She died almost instantly.
Bereft of family and betrayed by everything he believed in, Sam simply began walking. Eventually, after several hours, he realized he was following a strange tugging sensation eminating from the ring his aunt had given him. He followed it to an isolated cabin in the woods, and there he found Brenna, a young student of his Aunt's that he had met once or twice before, but never been formally introduced to. They spoke for a while, Sam explaining the circumstances that lead to him being there, leaving Brenna in disbelief and shock. It was then that Strahd Von Kallis arrived, claiming to be an agent of Sam's aunt and some larger body, and insisting that Sam and Brenna seek an item called a "Necrostone" before other forces could get their hands on it, describing Galesforge as quickly devolving into a series of retribution killings set off by the apparent disappearance and presumed murder of the son of one of the King's men. With that, the two set off to gather this item, while Strahd promised to work his own angles and then meet up with them later in Interstone once he had a better idea of what was happening.
And so Sam and Brenna came to be standing on the southern edge of the washout, face to face with Ike, Randall, Thea, and Rowan. Forming an uneasy alliance, the group decided to investigate the tomb together. Inside, they found a series of doors that could only be opened by Brenna's magic, and an area covered in symbols and writings from the Old Empire. The Tomb was filled with sarcophagi, each containing a body and many of them containing symbols or coinage of various sorts from the Old Empire. While investigating this seeming warehouse room, the man in black arrived again and animated more skeletons to attack the group. They chased him, but he was once again able to escape. Continuing into the tomb, the group found what seemed to be a series of shrines to various Gods, where they dispatched a zombie Ogre, and beyond that a huge silo-like room stretching up and down as far as they could see and containing countless sconces, each with a sarcophagus in it. All of these were exuding a strange misty smoke, and the columns of smoke were all spiraling down a huge iron rod into a central cage. Inside the cage was a black metal orb with a black metal skull embedded into it, the smoke constantly pouring into the nose slits. They had found the Necrostone.
Randall carefully removed the stone and stored it in a bag and the party left to head back to Interstone.