Yenkin and Brume had retreated back to safety to get some rest. Meanwhile, Bogdan and Tamar, feeling more adventurous, decided to tie up loose ends. Shifting into an arachnid, Tamar went scouting deeper into the unknown corners of The Death House. She stealthily crawled along the basement ceiling, entering room after unoccupied room.
She found rooms full of statues and odd relics, empty areas that looked like bedrooms and dens, and an abandoned-looking prison, but not a single living soul. All the while the chanting grew louder and even more eery, “He is Ancient. He is the Land.”. The louder it grew, the more cold chills and shivers it produced. At last, Tamar discoverer the source — a room with chains hanging from the ceiling directly above a blood-stained dais. Murky water surrounded the platform around the dais, with a narrow ledge surrounding the room the only means of egress outside of wading through the water. Unless you’re a spider on the ceiling, of course. Tamar could easily pinpoint this room as the source of the chanting, yet there was nothing here, no people or artifacts or even other animals, that was doing the chanting. The spider was running out of time and had seen enough, so she returned to the attic to rest with her fellow party members.
Bogdan, meanwhile, had planned a quick retrieval of the sack he had dropped outside the house earlier. That sack held the remains of the children, and now that he had located their tombs in the basement he figured they should be laid to rest there. While mistrusting of the fog, the monk was quick enough that he wasn’t too worried about whatever it might do to him. Heading to the first floor of the house, Bogdan existed the house through the front doors (which had shut of their own accord, but thankfully were no locked) and with his left hand resting on the building quickly circled around back. The longer he remained in the mist, however, the more he felt it sapping his strength, and he quickly tired until a deep exhaustion was wearying him. He snapped up the bag and dove into a nearby window, fearing he had no more moments to lose before he lay down and died, so exhausted had he became. Back inside the cursed house again, Bogdan used every bit of strength to climb the stairs back to his friends.
During Bogdan and Tamar’s scouting, Brume tried to diagnose his good friend Yenkin’s bug infestation. After giving Yenkin a close inspection, the “healer” could find no logical explanation, magical or otherwise. Yenkin’s skull would have to be filled with insects at the rate they emerged. Dark forces were definitely at play. Brume suggested using a valuable scroll (remove curse) that Bogdan had been caring around, but the miniature Half-King refused his offer. Hubris, Brume assumed, but just the same he would honor his friend’s wishes. Bogdan returned looking as if he had fought a war single handed, and Brume could find no way to help restore the monk’s state of exhaustion. Rest, and lots of it, seemed to be the only course of action, and that couldn’t happen as long as they were trapped in this house. Tamar finally returned, and with that the heroes slept. Brume had another horrifying vision — a faceless man was chained to a post, surrounded by shadowy figures wearing hooded robes. The figures were all calling for the man to die, that he had to die to appease the great devil. Just as the man was stabbed in the chest, his face was no longer devoid of features, but was Brume’s face instead. Brume awoke with a scream, feeling the pain in his chest as if it had really found its mark.
Brume and Yenkin set out to complete Bogdan’s idea of saving the children by placing their remains in their corresponding crypts. Brume felt Thorn’s spirit leave his body as the boy’s remains were laid in his coffin, but Rose did not do the same for Yenking. The rogue felt like she – like he – had unfinished business. Yenkin was still possessed and cursed with brain mites, and yet he seemed almost stoic. Tamar, still scared fro having seen her own named carved into the empty tomb, asked the others to look at it for her. None saw her name, however, and all proclaimed it was left empty and uncarved.
Brume’s shield, the focus of his light spell, illuminated the dungeon-like corridors and soon they found the room with the large statue, as described by Tamar. The statue held a sphere, some sort of mottled smoke-gray crystal orb, in one hand. Yenkin couldn’t resist and immediately began searching it for traps. Brume warned him greed would be his undoing while Tamar swore at him in Draconic, a language known to have over two thousand curse words. As soon as Yenkin picked up the globe, five shadowy figures materialized. Yenkin quickly realized his folly and replaced the glass ball. The hafling’s blade sliced through one of the figures as he darted away. Brume acted simultaneously, summoning a mighty thunder wave, one that would shake the very earth. A single “shadow” was instantly vaporized and the rest simply retreated back into the statue.
Yenkin decided to press on and came to a door. The Half-King leapt at the challenge of picking it’s lock. Noticing Yenkin’s absence Brume followed after him and was met coming the other direction. Yenkin yelped something about a mimic that looked like a door as he bravely advanced in the opposite direction. Bogdan decided flanking the creature was the key to success and circled around behind it. They could hear it bumping along behind them and then it stopped. As they turned the next corner the anthropomorphic door had relocated into an empty doorframe that they had just previously been through. Discretion is the better part of valor, Tamar said, and everybody agreed, leaving the mimic alone.
The mimic had been guarding a bedroom with dirt walls and floor, a four poster bed, and an open chest filled with torches. Yenkin scrambled over to the chest and as his hands met the wood, two ghasts leapt out of the soft earth and attacked. Tamar, Bogdan and Yenkin were face to face with the cannibalistic monsters. Tamar had taken point in dire wolf form and was ready for a fight. What took place in the next few seconds was over in a flurry of claws, teeth, fists, and steel. In the ruckus, Bogdan had been seriously injured and had fallen. A half-elf sorceress, Clementine, had been held captive by the ghouls. Upon being free she joined the fight. Brume chanted a prayer in celestial and Bogdan’s wounds knitted themselves back together, returning him to the fight. The ghasts were defeated, but victory was not without its price.
The loot in the footlocker was the items kept by the Dursts after killing Clementine’s former adventuring group. She was the last one alive, with her next on the menu to be eaten by the pair of ghasts. The party patched up their wounds, looted the room, and identified the dead monsters as Gustav and Elizabeth Durst. Rose abandoned possessing Yenkin and floated nearby, shocked and terrified at the fate of her parents., Their actions in life had doomed them to transform into these flesh eating fiends instead of dying a normal death. Their grotesque corpses, still wearing the robes they wore in life, were laid in their crypts. The Durst family would finally rest in peace.
The didn’t want to spend anymore time here than necessary. The chanting continued below and the adventurers knew it must be why they were still trapped in this horrid building. Moving on, they entered the flooded room and were careful not to walk through the water.
Bogdan leapt over the water to the dais, and as he landed on the dais a group of shadowy figures manifested along the walls. “One must die! One must die!”, they chanted as they pointed at Bogdan. Brume waded through the water and climbed the stairs of the dais.
The shadowy figured held torches, but these seemed to absorb the light instead of granting any, and Brume’s shield dimmed. As Brume reached the top of the dais, they shifted to point at him, continuing the same chant: “One must die! One must die!”. Brume challenged their demands, saying “There will be no sacrifice, not by our hands!”
As their chanted demand was denied, the chant changed. “Lorghoth the Decayer, we awaken thee!” they screamed in unison. A large pile of refused and bones stirred to life. It was massive, over teen feet tall and as wide around as two of the Vistani wagons. The pile started glided across the water, moving smoothly and quickly. It became clearer that this pile was some sort of undead creature, a massive undertaking involving the bones of hundreds of people, glued together by dark energies and human refuse. At the top, where a head might be on a normal creature, was the intact skeleton of a baby human. The party found out what had happened to the stillborn corpse of Walter Durst.
Suddenly, the chant again changes and the shadowy cultists speak faster and faster, “The end comes! Death, be praised!” The mound was within reach and attacked Brume, dropping the stalwart cleric with a single deadly blow. The adventurers sprang into action. Bogdan blasted the creature while Yenkin poured a healing potion down the throat of his buddy Brume. Tamar, still in the form of a large dire wolf, pulled Brume to safety and then aided Bogdan in fighting the “shambler”. Blow after blow was exchanged, and the monster had hardly flinched. Most of the party assumed this was an un-winnable fight and retreated to the hallway assisting from safety. However, Bogdan and Tamar would not be denied, and pressed the attack. Their resolve payed off with Bogdan landing the final blow, causing the pile of bones to fall apart.
- in room with ghast:
- cloak of protection (Bogdan?)
- 4 potions of healing (1 used already – rest carried by Yenkin, Clementine, and Bogdan?)
- chain shirt
- mess kit
- flask of alchemists fire (used by Clementine)
- bullseye lantern
- set of thieves tools
- spellbook covered in yellow leather, with 9 spells in it
- up to 30 torches
- up to 6 large black voluminous robes
- leather sack with 15 candles
- pair of iron candlesticks
- gold ring worth 25g (on skeleton’s finger, Bogdan has?)
- For letting curiosity dictate “what the hell, these mists can’t hurt THAT bad” … Bogdan is inspired
- For doing what he was told not to – probably because he was told not to – and trying to grab the orb from the statue, Yenkin is inspired.
- For yelling at Yenkin to not do it – please, no really, ah c’mon wait stop GODDAMMIT DON’T DO IT ARGH – and inventing new swear words in draconic, Tamar is inspired.
- For refusing to even consider sacrificing anything on the dais, Brume is inspired.