Heroes of the Mists

Death House

Not a typical cozy place to hang your hat.

The party heads into the attic, finding several doors off of the main room. They quickly identify a locked door & decide to begin their exploration there. Inside, they find a bedroom fit for children, complete with toy box. There are also a pair of small skeletons wearing somewhat familiar clothing, one clutching a doll that they just saw outside not long before.

Ruby immediately goes to check out the toy box, but as soon as she touches one toy, the ghosts of Rose and Thorn, the children who convinced the party to enter this house, manifest. Rose politely asks Ruby to not touch their toys. The ensuing conversation covers several subjects: where to find the hidden stairs to the basement, how the children died, the fact that the children don’t seem to know who the party is, and the fact that the family has a crypt in the basement. When Ziggy starts the leave, the two ghost children react strongly, Rose attempting to possess the gnome.

A brief discussion and negotiation takes place, and Ziggy allows Rose to ride along inside his body. Ruby does likewise for Thorn. The party collects the children’s remains, and then heads straight to the hidden stair, which is accessed in another room. Before long, the party is descending ever deeper into the bowels of the house.

The first thing they encounter is the family crypt. After a little exploration, they find two crypts that had been prepared for the children. The remains are put in place, last rights are given, and the only disruption is Ziggy bizarrely attempting to keep one of Rose’s bones, something she does not like. Once that is sorted, the two child ghosts vanish. All the while, the party can hear some distant, indistinct chanting.

It becomes very clear that this underground complex is more extensive than expected. As they explore, the encounter some sort of worm creature that tries to eat them. They manage to kill it. The party then finds even more stairs leading deeper into the earth. As they descend, the chanting becomes louder.

At the bottom of the stairs they discover a reliquary. Several gruesome items are displayed, but none prove to be magical, valuable, or useful. The party also finds a portcullis that appears to lead into a flooded room. The chanting grows even louder as they approach the bars.

Using a little dwarven brute force, the portcullis is raised and secured. Beyond, in the middle of the flooded room, as a dais with a blood-covered alter. The chanting stop as soon as they enter. The party spreads out, Brimstone & Sterling moving forward to examine the alter. The party also notes a pile of seemingly rotting vegetation piled in a gap in the room’s wall. When the brothers start to climb the dais, ghostly apparitions appear around the room, clothed in dark robes. They begin chanting that one must die over and over. Brimstone strangely suggests sacrificing Ruby’s pet mouse, the idea being immediately dismissed. It is quickly decided that the apparitions can screw off and that no one is going to die. Apparently angered, the apparitions call forth Lorghoth the Decayer, which turns out to be that rotting pile of vegetation. Brimstone, Sterling, and Sigra form a line to hold the plant monster back and allow the rest of the party to retreat from the room. The battle is brutal, but ultimately the party wins, hacking apart the plant monster.

Further exploration finds a prison, where the tired adventurers rest for a while. Then they’re off again, back up the stairs. They start to expand their exploration, only to be ambushed by a number of ghouls. Sigra goes down, but the ghouls are dispatched. Deciding that the party may need to recuperate a little more than they have, they decide to vacate the cellar and head back up into the house. Sigra remains unconscious but stable the whole way.

Upon returning to the attic, they see that the house of undergone a strange transformation: the doors are replaced by whirling magical blades and the walls look like they’re rotting. Sterling quickly decides to not brave the blades and uses his axe to hack his way through the floor. Back down in the nursery, the dwarves continue hacking their way. In the room on the next floor down, it is discovered that the fireplace is spewing forth poison fumes. Thanks to his dwarven fortitude, Sterling is able to withstand the fumes and hack through the floor to the house’s entry hall on the first floor. Pewter, deciding it might be a good idea to have a second option, starts hacking through the nursery wall, only to face a swarm of rats as the vermin stream out of the wall.

Before it is all said and done, the rats are dispatched and the entire group is down on the first floor again. Outside, they see Gedney attempting to confront an intimidating figure astride a nightmare. This figure holds the seemingly dazed form of Sylva in is grasp. Behind him, the party can see shambling figures coming out of the retreating fog that had surrounded the house. With utter contempt, the figure has the nightmare smash in the gnome’s head with one flaming hoof. He then simply waits to see what the party will do about it.

Brimstone, almost completely overcome with rage, has to be held back from barging through the whirling blades to attack the rider and his infernal mount. The party opts to use their abundant missile weapons, with Brimstone striking a truly palpable blow with his heavy crossbow, only for the rider to seemingly brush it off. Deciding that the confrontation is boring, the figure rides off into the sky, leaving the shambling undead at the house to wait for the party. To their horror, the rider takes the slack form of Sylva with him. The party decides to bed down in the hallway rather than risk a fight with very poor odds.

When morning comes, proving to be almost as dark and gloomy as the night, the party sees that the house has returned to normal. The undead are gone, but poor Gedney’s body is still where they last saw it. They take the forest gnome’s remains out into the woods to bury it in the custom of his people. Maiesse also takes the time to gather up some medicinal herbs. Once all of this is done, they head back to the road, where they see a lone figure of small stature trudging along towards the town where so much has happened in a very short amount of time.

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