The Forlorn Cairn
The Forlorn Cairn is a small burial chamber hidden deep in the Cairn Hills. It was discovered, by accident, by a miner named Effimus Brendingund many years ago. At that time, the cairn was filled with treasures and traps as well as the mummified bodies of several ancient beings. Effimus called these chambers the Forlorn Cairn because of the constant moaning and sighing sounds that can be heard within. These sounds are caused by cunningly built, finger-width tubes that lead from the surface into the cairn. They produce sound when even the slightest breeze blows in the hills outside.
When he found the cairn, Effimus was mining for emeralds by himself in a shallow mine. He worked alone because the land of the hills belongs to the city, making his mine an illegal operation. He was very fortunate and struck a rich vein. One night, as he stumbled through the darkness back to his small campsite, he found a carved stone block in the ground hidden under a few inches of sand. Knowing of the presence of many treasure containing cairns in the hills, he decided to investigate the stone the following morning, thinking it might conceal an entrance. Effimus spent several days figuring out the cunningly built trapdoor and disarming several traps inside the cairn. Finally he reached what he sought, a number of chambers containing extraordinary items. Over the next several months, Effimus began to systematically remove all of the objects from the cairn and sell them back in the Free City of Greyhawk, all the while working his mine. With the money he made, he was able to secure the mining rights to the area of the cairn from the city. Then he built several more permanent structures at the mine site, including a barn over the entrance of the tomb.
After a few months, Effimus had sold or stored away all of the items from the cairn and emptied the mine. He was a very wealthy man. He moved back to the City of Greyhawk, bought a modest house in Clerkburg (a section of the city dominated by colleges, administrative buildings and temples), started a trading company, took a wife and raised seven children. Every few years he would sell a few more artifacts just to keep up the illusion that he was a successful merchant. He was careful to take each of his children up to the old cairn so that they could appreciate where their money came from. Effimus was a generous man and was not wise in the use of his money. When he died, most of his money was gone. He left behind only a small sum of money, his house, and a beautiful piece of jewelry, the Necklace of the Forlorn Cairn.