So there’s the party, wondering what lies ahead in the chambers beyond. They start to cross the rock strewn chamber and are immediately attacked by strange, eel-like creatures that try to eat their faces. The party wins the fight and continues on.
In the next chamber, they get ambushed by four of those rat creatures. Ziggy Bismuth is immediately dropped.Brimstone Silverforge gets the gnome out of the way and lures the rats into the tunnel, hoping to create a bottleneck. Except they can burrow, which one does. Right into the wall. Ziggy succumbs to the effects of the poison on the bone daggers being used against them, temporarily losing his sight and being generally impaired. There is fighting, there is blood, and finally the rats all die. The party seriously considers retreat, because at this point, they are in rough shape.
Maiesse Tolivant volunteers to go on ahead and scout out the situation. As they party waits, they can hear some sort of chanting. Then they can hear an exchange between Maiesse and someone else. Then Maiesse comes back to the party, though not before she fired off an arrow at the person she was talking to. Hearing that Sarrus Togren appears to be in a very bad situation, the party runs forward, with Sigra Ironshoulders leading the way.
In the chamber, they find what is definitely a very bad situation. There are approximately 20 of these rat things, Togren is suspended by roots that appear to have grown into his skin, the missing student Drew is deader than dead, and Nymea Goswynn seems to be running the show. Later on, Maiesse reports that she also saw Regis strung up in the chamber, though she wasn’t certain if he was alive or dead.
Nymea hits the group with some magic, since it turns out she’s a spellcaster of some sort, and Sigra succumbs to the magical fear and runs for it. Maiesse tries her hardest to kill the traitorous bitch of a half-elf, but then she and Sterling Silverforge get flattened by Nymea’s magical counter attack. It is at this point that Brimstone declares a retreat.Ruby Silverforge picks up some droped weapons and then the entire party runs like hell for the entrance to this hellish underground domain. Once they get outside, Brimstone dumps a very large amount of oil down the hole that is the entrance, then sets it on fire. The party quickly sorts itself out, grabs the mule, and hastily puts some distance between between it and the burning hole.
After some distance, the party decides it can’t go on anymore and needs to rest. Camp is set up and people rest as best they can. During the night, the ever-present fog gets significantly thicker again. Come morning, Maiesse points out that the terrain is different. Sure enough, it looks like the camp was somehow moved during the night. Meanwhile, the fog swirls around them. Not knowing what else to do, the party picks a direction and gets going.
After a couple of hours, the group finds a dirt road in the woods. Everyone is pretty sure it shouldn’t be there, but with no other good options, they start following it. After a while, they start hearing the howling of wolves. Howling that unfortunately seems to be getting closer. Before long, four massive wolves come out of the woods and attack. The party takes down two of them, while the other two kill the mule, then retreat back in to the fog shrouded trees. With little else they can do, everyone takes what they can from the dead mule and continue on.
After a couple of more hours, the group comes to a gate, which is flanked by a pair of ancient statues depicting warriors. As they draw near, the gate opens for them, then closes again once they pass through it. There is no sign of anyone about. A short distance later, the smell of rotting meat is detected. Following it, the group finds the remains of a young man, clearly dead for a few days and bearing the marks of fangs and claws. In his hand is a letter, apparently written by the Burgomeister of Barovia and addressed to any would-be heroes who might enter this mist-enshrouded land.
The party buries the body as best they can, though it’s only a shallow grave because, before long, the howling of wolves can heard once again. Sterling says a few words over the grave, and then they group continues on. After a couple of more hours, the group comes to a quiet, seemingly empty town of strange architecture. A faint sobbing can be heard from somewhere, but beyond that, there is initially no sign of life. And then they see the pair of children.
The children, who never actually introduced themselves, nor were they asked their names, tell the party that there is a monster in the basement of their house. They indicate a three story (not including attic) house. After a little bit of unhelpful questioning, the party decides to check it out. The children remain outside, being unwilling to enter the house while the monster is still loose. Sylva Montrose decides to stay in the foyer of the house and wait for the party to sort the monster out. Gedney Foulkes decides to stay with her to keep her company and protect her.
Inside, the party finds a nice, richly appointed house. Different party members have to keep reminding other party members that they are there to help these people, not rob them. That doesn’t stop Ruby from acquiring a top hat. On the second floor, a secret room is found. Inside is a library of books about necromancy and summoning demons. There is also a dead body slumped into a chest that has been there for a very long time. Inside the chest are a few scrolls (held onto by Sterling) as well as a will, deeds to various properties, and a letter that Ziggy pockets without opening. He also decides to hold onto the deeds and will.
On reaching the third floor, they find it in a state of disrepair, unlike the first and second floors. There is also an old suit of armor, and no sooner does Ziggy make a comment about it attacking them, when it attacks them. After knocking the crap out of it, Brimstone starts to joyously dump some of his camping gear so that he can gather up the armor. Meanwhile, Ziggy, Maiesse, and Sterling go on to check out what turns out to be a bedroom.
As Ziggy checks the room out, a spectral undead manifests and tries to kill him. Working together, the party is able to take it out, and then are able to finish checking out the room. A nursery is found off of this room, with an old crib in it that is empty save for a bundle of sheets that made a convincing baby-sized decoy. There is also an exit out onto a back balcony, though not much can be seen due to the wholly unnatural fog swirling around the house. Finally, a secret door is found that leads to the stairs up to the attic. Gathering together, the party prepares to head up and face what awaits.