23 Calistril, 4710
We get back to the Professors house and the group makes their plans to watch the memorial over the night, hopin’ to catch Gibbs in the act. After all of the action over the last few days, I am feelin’ rundown, so I decide to retire early, expectin’ that they won’t find anythin’ happenin at the memorial; at worst, they will have some new story about dragons and demons threatenin’ the town.
24 Calistril, 4710
The next mornin’, I awake at sunrise, to find the house rather quiet. The Doc is not in his bed. Maybe somethin’ happened durin’ the evenin’ and they hadn’t returned yet? After freshenin’ up, I head downstairs, hopin to find the Doc cookin breakfast. While I do find the Doc downstairs, he is not makin’ breakfast. Instead, he is clutchin’ a small book in his arms, and talkin’ quietly to himself. Strange…
I try and talk to him, but he does not even seem to notice me. After a few minutes of tryin’ to get his attention, I decide I’m hungry so I head to the kitchen and grab sumpin to eat. I can still hear the Doc mutterin’ to himself in the other room. A few minutes later, the rest of the group trundles downstairs and after they all get together; they tell me a wild tale of the previous evenin’.
Supposedly, there was a town meetin’, which all of these folk from NOT HERE were invited to. The story doesn’t seem too coherent, and seems really hard to believe, but from what they tell me, somehow the town hall caught on fire (the Phantasma cleric must love that) and a riot broke out. Somehow, they were able clam everyone down. Afterwards, they decide to go to the prison and check thin’s out there. Gotta love it, they are here for less than two weeks, brin’ all these strange happenins with em, get the whole town in an uproar, think everyone in my town is either evil or scart of their own shadows, THEN they take a trip to the prison. And they don’t even ask me, someone who has been there hundreds of times, to lead em on their “quest”. Typical.
While in the prison, they are accosted by all kinds of horrors; doors openin’ n’ closin’ on their own, more undeads walkin’ around, and such happenins. While the story seems wildly fantastic, as I had been in there lots of times and never saw any of them thin’s, they decide that they wish to go back, “there is much evil there that needs to be cleansed” as the Phantasmite proclaims. I tell them that ifn they wish, I will lead em on their quest. With my knowledge of the prison and its environs, they gladly accept my assistance. Also, the Doc still seems to be actin’ a bit strange.
25 Calistril, 4710
After restin’ fer the evenin’ and resupplyin’ in the early mornin’, we head back to the prison (the cat lady is tasked with followin’ Griggs and keepin’ an eye on him). As they seem to know their way around here pretty well (only been here just yesterday, my ass), the party splits up, with a few of em goin’ in thru the back way, and the rest of us goin’ thru the front door, all of us meetin’ at the bottom of the staircase at the center of the ground floor. The stairwell to the lower floor seems to be filled with large rocks and other rubble, probably from some sorta cave-in or sumpin.
We head up the stairs and enter a room containin’ a bunch of tables and chairs (probably a chow hall of some sort), a guard station to the south (behind some bars) and to the east and west appears to be multiple holdin’ cells (a few empty, but most contain the remains of its long dead prisoner). The north wall is mostly destroyed, allowin’ a view of the outside environs, a small balcony that surrounds the second floor (probably fer the guards to walk the perimeter) and a small portion of the “pond”.
The holy men (Kyxerus and the paladin) decide they will some searchin’ (to the east and southwest, respectively), while the Doc just stands at the staircase with Fernhook. I decide to go check out the western part of the room, but as I start that way, I am attacked by giant mosquitoes. Two of them I am unable to evade, and they start to suck out all my blood!! The Doc just stands there, as Fernhook helps to remove them from me; I’m not sure what is wrong with the Doc. A bit weak after the attack, the priest gives me a vial of holy stuff that helps me feel better quite quickly. The priest says that everythin’ he searched was empty (other than the common remains of a jail cell) and heads to the area that I was to start searchin’, cuz he can obviously see thin’s better than me.
As he rounds the corner, we hear the clangin’ of cell doors openin’ and the rushin’ of humanoid forms, as skeletons erupt from most the cells. A few of us take on the majority of the attackers, while the paladin and Ky are handlin’ a few on their own. Almost as soon as the battle begins, I also hear a hushed dirge begin to play, from whom or where, I cannot determine. As I am able to dispatch my attackers quite quickly, I rush to help the group of holy men. As Fernhook gets to their side, he decides to just stand there, not even defendin’ himself against the attacks of the newly risen prisoners. Ky and paladin are able to hold off the dead, without my assistance. Moments later, I am paralyzed by some sort of evil sorcery and I see a ghastly apparition appear and slowly begin to walk towards me. A moment later, I am able to break free from its spell; as I do, it disappears from my view. It seems to only appear to those held by its magic.
I realize that this is the creature (quite possibly the ghostly form of the Piper of Illmarsh) that is playin’ the dirge and I use my harmonica playin’ to try and counteract his magic. With my leadership, they are able to fend off the creatures advances and we are able to finish off the skeletons that are attackin’ us. We then turn our attention to the ghostly musician and rather quickly dispatch him.
Durin’ this battle, the Doc seemed to not care so much about us as he did about further searchin’ the area. We eventually find him standin’ in the next room, which before the previous battle was locked behind a large iron door. Openin’ it, it appears to open out upon a large balcony overlookin’ the entire flank of the prison yard. As the paladin steps out to search the area, a ghostly pair of dismembered arms appears, floatin’ in air and wieldin’ a large scythe. The more-melee apt members of the group rush up to the apparition and, with the Docs assistance (finally), they are able to dispatch the haunt.
We head back inside and across from the iron door stands a smaller door, locked but obviously not a cell. The Doc is able to get the door open and Fernhook takes point, enterin’ the small room and climbs up an old iron ladder, built into the wall across from the door. As he reaches the top, he proclaims that the hatch found there seems to be either locked or stuck. As he attempts to force it open, it crashes open, with a large pile of bricks and rocks tumblin’ down upon his head and shoulders (im not sure ifn these people will ever learn). He takes a few bumps and bruises from it but is otherwise able to hang onto the ladder.
What enters the room next from the open hatch, he is not happy with tho- another one of those large mosquitoes from earlier, only this one is even larger, damned near as big as me! It flies down and attaches itself to Fernhook, who jumps down off the top of the ladder, attemptin’ to squash the bug against the floor or wall with his momentum. The paladin enters the small room and together they are able to dispatch the critter; Fernhook is a bit woozy from havin’ his blood sucked out, but claims he is able to continue in his current state.
We determine that the rest of this floor is as empty as it appears to be and head down the stairs into a large backroom, obviously in older times used as a trainin’ room for the guards. Near the back wall of the room is a large hole in the floor, the edges irregular and scarred from the prison fire and years of ruin. Below the hole is a room about 20 feet below us, the ground covered in twisted metal and broken timber; at one time, this was the elevator shaft used to get to the lower level of the prison, where the worst offenders were housed.
We look down into the room below and see nothin’ other than the wreckage and a small pool of undisturbed water.
Tyin’ a rope off, Fernhook takes the lead and descends into the room below. As he climbs down, he announces that other than the pool, he can see nothin’ else. As he reaches the floor and steps into the shallow pool, we see it begin to ripple and moments later, 3 dead creatures erupt and swarm Fernhook. Standin’ at the edge of the openin’, we do what we can to assist, with the paladin climbin’ down to help more directly. These creatures are also easily dispatched and as the two members on the lower floor announce the room is now cleansed, the rest of us head on down as well.
The room appears to just be the receivin’ room for those comin’ from above, with a hallway headin’ deeper into the catacombs to the east. We cautiously make our way to the short hallway beyond the exit and enter into a large room, the center of which contains the ruined staircase, rubble filled and unusable without many days of excavation and rebuildin’. From our vantage point, we can see a hallway to the south and the north and can tell that the room extends beyond the other side of the staircase, but are unable to see how far from where we are. As the holy warriors enter the room, again we see the mounds that once were dead prisoners and guards rise from the floor. Moments later, they are dispatched and we are able to search the other side of the staircase, findin’ yet another hallway.
I notice that next to each hall is a plaque upon the wall. Usin’ my magic, I conjure floatin’, glowin’ orbs of light and send then down the halls, to search them some without actually enterin’. The plaques upon the halls read:
The Nevermore: The hall to the south extends 40 feet then opens into a small chamber; the back wall lined with cells and a large pool of liquid fills the center of the chamber. The entrance is barred.
The Oubliette: the hall to the north is identical to the southern chamber in regards to construction, but the center of the chamber is actually an oubliette, makin’ the one in the other room the same thin’, just filled with water.
The Reapers’ Hold: to the west, down a long hallway, this large chamber houses multiple prison cells. Nothin’ more can be discerned without enterin’ the hallway.
As it is closer to our present location, we decide to first search the room to the south. As the entrance is barred with an old, rusted portcullis, enterin’ the room takes a bit longer than we thought, but we eventually get the gate to open enough for us to slip under and enter the chamber.
As we get closer to room proper, the Doc rushes in and starts to look around fer what he can find. I follow closely and as I reach the center of the room, use my magic to attempt searchin’ the pool- dark, murky water is all I can see. From behind me, the paladin rushes across the chamber, enters one of the open cells, and he begins mutterin’ to himself and scratchin’ at the wall franticly. As I turn around, I see Fernhook doin’ the same, near the end of the hallway entrance. As I look around the room, on one of the walls, near the floor, I see the letters of my name, in what can only be blood, appear. I quickly run over to them, some other-worldly force compellin’ me to try and erase them before my name is spelled out; this has to be the work of the Splatterman.
With each letter emergin’ from nothin’ness, I feel my sanity slippin’. I try usin’ simple measures at first, but rubbin’ the letters with water, even holy water, has no effect. Takin’ a second to think, I draw my crowbar and just start to whack away at the wall. One by one, the letters spelt out in front of me are destroyed. With each letter, I feels my sanity returnin’. After destroyin’ 2 of the three letters that have appeared, with a lurch, I feel released from their hold and no longer see my name bein’ spelt out in front of me. I hear my companions around me reactin’ the same.
Moments later, the walls and ceilin’ collapse a bit, broken timbers and shattered stone eruptin’. We all take a small bit of damage from this, and the floor is now a bit harder to cross, but otherwise we all seem to be fine. Lookin’ around, I do not see the Doc, but I do notice a door is now opened that was closed as we entered the chamber; damned guy is wanderin’ around all by himself, not thinkin’ of anyone else. As I start to head that way, from the pool behind me, with a shriek arises the ghostly form of the Splatterman. Rather quickly, the ghost attacks us, sendin’ magical force missiles at us from its fingertips. Moments later, a trio of large rats appears out of nowhere, surroundin’ Fernhook, who quickly dispatches them.
Our motley band quickly attempts to dispatch the ghost, usin’ all of our implements of holy power. We slowly seem to whittle away at its essence, and as the Doc appears in the room, it seems to get a newfound bit of power. Appearin’ as if he really doesn’t want to assist us, the Doc tosses a few of his vials at the ghost, further erodin’ its essence. With but a touch, the ghost is able to devour our life forces, and we quickly get the feelin’ that we have bitten off more than we can handle. Steelin’ himself, the Doc holds forth the spellbook, obviously the Splattermans, and tears out a page! With a shriek, the Splatterman moves toward the Doc. Two more pages are torn, causin’ the ghost even more weal and woe. The Splatterman attempts to escape by flowin’ thru one of the nearby walls, but with a final action, Doc rips the remainin’ pages from the book, and from a short distance away, we hear the death scream of the Splatterman.
We take a moment to recover ourselves, and as we do, the Doc tells us of a door he had found in a room adjacent to this; the door opens into a small cavern or some such and within this room, the Doc saw a small mass of grayish “ooze” flowin’ across the floor; He then closed the door and returned to find us bein’ accosted by the Splatterman. A moment later, the paladin had opened the door and entered the chamber (damn, I hope these guys will learn eventually). About 20 feet in, he stops, starts screamin’ and swingin’ his weapon about. Seconds later, he is covered in a mass of gray liquid, smoke risin’ from his steel weapons and armor. From outside the door, a few of us attempt to remove the ooze from the paladin and Ky and Fernhook rush in to help. With each swing and blow, the ooze seems to grow less mobile, parts of it appearin’ to become lifeless. Eventually, the creature stops movin’, and the paladin emerges from beneath the mass, his armor and weapons havin’ been eaten away by what appears to be some sort of acid. Removin’ his ruined armor, he dons an armored coat stowed by Ky and we search the small chamber, only findin’ bits of animal bones and broken furniture and such. As we are about to leave, the Doc proclaims he had found a hidden door, and after workin’ upon it for a moment, he is able to release the catch holdin’ the door closed.
As we enter the room, we see what appears to be the prisons torture chamber. The “door” we had entered was actually an iron maiden, in the center of the room stands a rack with a corpse still bound and chained, and around the room are various implements of torture as well. Me and the Doc go and peruse the remains on the rack, while the others search the remains of a small fire pit. The Doc takes a closer look at the remains upon the rack and determines the skeleton has broken bones, severed hands, dislocated hips and shoulders, a shattered jaw, and numerous long, thin needles that have been driven into his ears, eye sockets, elbows, hips, and knees. We find a set of keys in the pelvic area of the skeletal remains. The skeleton still wears a suit of tattered chainmail and a guard’s uniform, and his badge is found stuffed into what once was his throat.
At the head of the rack is a basket and as I go to look into the basket, two “hands” jump out and attack me and the Doc. I bash at one with my crowbar, but miss and a moment later, the paladin is at our side. Unfortunately for him, the hands are now around his throat, grippin’ tightly. After a few arrows are loosed by the Doc (barely missin’ impalin’ themselves into the paladins’ torso) and a few swings are taken by Fernhook, we eventually are able to remove the disembodied hands from the paladins’ neck and end their existence.
Moments later, we hear Fernhook scream “Kendra” and rush towards the iron maiden. As he does so, the door slams shut, trappin’ him within. We are able to pry open the lid to the torture device and out falls Fernhook, his body covered in deep, bloodless puncture wounds. In his weakened state, Fernhook will be a burden to continue on, but the priest is able to use a few soothin’ magics on him to help him recover most of his stamina.
We leave the room, exitin’ thru a door to the north and enter into what was probably the main cell block for the prisons’ worst inhabitants. We head down a hallway and open a door into a room just to the south. As we enter, we see a single large table with two chairs astride it and a single saggin’ cot pushed up against the eastern wall. Several battered cabinets line the northern wall, with a few arrows and bits of chainmail lyin’ scattered on the floor nearby, yet the most eerie sight are the three fractured skulls sittin’ on the table next to a heavy hammer. It looks as if someone has arranged the fragments of the skulls in some sort of pattern, as if an attempt had been made to construct a fourth skull from the broken fragments of the trio on the table. The leathery body of a long-dead dwarf, his wiry red hair and beard still strangely vibrant in death, lies slumped on the ground behind the table.
As we open the door, the skulls upon the table rise into the air and move towards the doorway. Doc steps forwards, throws one of his vials into their midst, and the ragged remains drop to the floor. As we enter the room to investigate it further, a ghostly form rises from the dwarven remains, with another disembodied skull floatin’ nearby, and moves up to Fernhook. The ghost swings its “hammer” and strikes Fernhook about the head, and a tiny “fragment” of his skull erupts from his head, flies towards the disembodied skull and fades into non-existence. Fernhook swings at the skull in a rage, with his favorite axe swingin’ thru it, but causin’ no apparent damage. Everyone else rushes into the room, while I move over to the corner and use my leadership abilities to help the rest. They surround the ghostly form, and end up endin’ the continued hauntin’ by the Mosswater Marauder.
We take a little bit to recover from the recent battles and search the room. We find nothin’ of any value or use and as we are ready to leave, the Doc finds a hidden stone door. Usin’ the set of keys we had found recently, we are able to open the door and find a cache of armors and weapons within- obviously, this is the storage area for the guards of Harrowstone.