On the 4th day of the 11th month, that one called Cricket, Tienarth and his companions rose from rest to find another dim day in Tosasth. Low clouds hung over the city in the distance. The encroaching winter sapped warmth from their limbs. The ate dry rations quickly, not bothering to light a fire and marched back towards the city.
At the outskirts, they spied no roving undead, those monsters now being somewhat diminished during daylight since the closing the portal and the collapse of the cathedral in the north end of the city. All was still as they climbed the steps to the front doors. As before, demon faces animated to pronounce a grim greeting.
Talanashta Morwenys welcomes you to your doom! Haderax devours your soul!
Ghevont produced a map he’d sketched of rooms they’d previously explored. They agreed to search down a west-going hallway. What appeared at first to be carpet was soon found to be four inches of putrid gore, a shallow trough of blood and innards, impossibly fresh compared to the otherwise undisturbed state of the mansion. They stepped cautiously, producing glopping and squishing sounds.
Pausing at the first door, Ghevont grasped the knob and found it unlocked, though a stinging quickly spread through this hand. He jerked his hand away and quickly wiped away a thin oil on Azrak’s jerkin. Azrak responded by kicking in the door to reveal a motionless army of large, humanoid skeleton, each gripping a barbed spear.
Presently, the skeletons sprang into combat as the dwarf charged into the room. Within moments, Tienarth watched the other four crowd into the room and smash bones. Despite having the advantage of numbers, the bony undead fell quickly from the stout adventurers. In the end, they stood among a pile of wrecked bones.
Moving down the hallway, the opened another door to find the room behind filled with black, writhing tentacles. Before he could step back, two tentacles wrapped themselves around Ghevont’s ankles and pulled him into the room. He muttered a spell to protect himself from evil, and still the sticky tentacles continued to drag him into the room. Furthermore, they began to squeeze and batter him.
Aderian rushed in to slash at the tentacles and was likewise grappled. He turned, struggled against the sea of black limbs and made his way out. Meanwhile, Ghevont called for a flash of burning oil which crashed against him harmlessly owing to his ring of fire resistance. It burned a circle of tentacles around him. He dashed out of the room. The door was shut once more.
Next, they entered a parlor at the end of the hallway. An ever-burning fire raged in a fireplace over which a shattered mirror hung. A mural on the ceiling depicted an epic battle between elves and dwarves. Aderian puzzled at the ruined mirror and then noticed a seam in the ceiling of the passage leading north, out of the parlor. Azrak confirmed it to be some sort of worked stone device.
Disregarding safety, Aderian strode into the hallway, right below the ceiling panel, which immediate let go. Just in time, he raised his shield, deflecting the heavy rubble. He had narrowly avoided a deadly trap, and now moved down the hallway once again to find a small room inhabited by a minotaur raised from his grave as a zombie. A heavy chain around his ankle and bolted to the floor kept him in. They easily dispatched this monster by use of the femur of St. Jaludi. They found nothing else of interest except another door leading outside.
They retraced their steps back to the grand entrance and then entered a room in which dwelled two skeletal monsters on four feet and bearing three heads. Once again, the bones of St. Jaludi were produced, causing the undead to flee. These they let cower in a corner and moved onward into an attached office. In it were a desk, a small bookcase on the west wall and a southern exit over which hung a plaque declaring Daru’s Library in elvish.
Immediately upon opening the door and facing the translucent figure of an elf maiden, most of them fled in terror. Ghevont and Tienarth held back a growing fear to confront the ghost. She soothed them with calm words, or the illusion of words, for even Ghevont understood them though he spoke no elvish. She explained she was looking for a lost spell and asked for help.
During their dialog, she related the need to find a lost spell in order to aid what she called the Great Project. She spoke of the blessings of Haderax, a name well-remembered by Tienarth as the lord of the underworld realm in which they adventured before closing the green portal.
The old elf warned Ghevont to retreat due to his understanding of the extreme danger of ghosts. The priest persisted in dialog, then resorted to a spell to detect magic within the library. At first, he spotted none as was about to depart. Then, they noticed one book glowing faintly. Although he could not decipher its words, he knew it to be wizard’s spellbook. He tossed it through the doorway to Tienarth, immediately turning the ghost’s attitude from light to dark.
At that moment, Aderian had made his way back to the scene. Ferris and Azrak remained outside the mansion, maintaining a rational fear of the ghost though no longer under the helpless terror produced by her visage.
The ghost attempted to plunge her essence into Aderian who resisted possession. Tienarth let loose a haste spell, which quickened their limbs while Ghevont prepared a spell to enhance his battle performance. The next moment, which furious speed, the cleric and the ex-pirate landed several blows on the ancient spirit. Tienarth contributed a magic missile or two. And with great fortune, she was destroyed, leaving no trace.
Aside from the spellbook, they grabbed a few others, then leaf the mansion again for camp.
- Treasure: Doru’s Poisonous Beasts, Healing Salves of Famous Alchemists by various authors, Doru’s Spellbook, The Origin of the Sun by Apoklopus, 12 columns of Fiendish Realms.
- Minotaur Zombie 500 xp
- Ghost 5,500 xp
- Aderian (fight, lead, front) 1,356 xp
- Azrak 1,200 xp
- Ferris 1,320 xp
- Ghevont (smite undead) 1,332 xp
- Tienarth (collect magic, patient, avoid combat) 1,368 xp