Our saga continues as the intrepid companions delve deeper into the underground dungeon sprawling out below the Death House. Dante roused a swarm of insects while investigating the tombs of Gustov and Elisabeth Durst. Upon opening the stone sarcophagi, everyone was shocked to find them both empty. But, where are the bodies?!
After some more investigation, signs of living things among the dead began to surface. The party had already discovered various foodstuffs, cots, clothing, and some kegs of ale and mead. Someone (or some*thing*) is living in the Death House basement.
Carefully creeping thru more of the underground labyrinth of a basement, several more barracks rooms and dining halls are discovered. In what looked like a bedroom, Daine and Ora happened upon two ghost-like forms that looked striking like Gustov and Elizabeth and were summarily attacked. The rest of the group quickly jumped into the fray, followed by Adriana, Nithtish, Dante , and Lark. After the undead creatures were put down, a few small valued possessions were found including a rare cloak that imparts additional protection to the wearer (which Dante was quick to snap up).
As the group explored deeper, they began to hear chanting coming from further on down the halls: “One must die! One must die!” Down a long hallway everyone almost fell for (literally) a pit trap in the floor – most made it over with no issues: Adriana and Lark in style, in fact, doing a mid-air flip. And then, there was Nithtish. Clad in full plate she attempted to make the jump several times in fact, each time finding herself too weighed down by her armor to clear the pit opening. With some rope and a helping hand from the rest of the party she was able to make her way across the pit without injury.
Inside the next room stood a large wooden statue of an imposing man with a wolf next to him on one side, and a swirling globe in the palm of his right hand. Lark (in his best Pippin impersonation) took the globe and attempted to use it. While he did feel as if he was being watched, there was nothing he could see or hear through the device.
Next, they walked into a room filled with waist-high pillars. On each one was what appeared to be some type of offering or relic ranging from a bag full of bat guano to a hag’s finger bone. The chanting here was quite loud, reciting “He is ancient – he is the land”. Two doors lead out of the room – one down a ramp into what appeared to be water. Thinking better of that, they pressed on through the other door.
Here, the sounds of the chanting grew louder and louder. The companions found a small area that looked like several prison cells, mostly empty with rusting chains hanging from the wall. A lone skeleton was chained to one wall. After relieving the corpse of it’s only possession (a ring), the group prepared to move on. Near one wall, Daine sensed a slight draft and upon further investigation the group opened a secret door directly into a large sacrificial chamber.
The chanting reached a fevered pitch, and changed to “One must die! One must die!” A large stone dias made of stone was raised up in the middle of the room, surrounded by a pool of water. A stone walkway went around the outside of the pool, and had several spots where a ramp descended from the path down into the murky water. On the central dias, a large pile of old rotten bones began to coelesce into a 7’ tall three-headed creature of animated bone! In rage, it began attacking the group. Dante took several swipes at it only to discover it seemed to be resistant to his attacks. Adriana was able to inflict solid bludgeoning damage, as the bones audibly cracked under her punches and kicks. Nithtish, scimitar blades whirling, pressed the attack to the undead abomination, making strike after strike count. Daine and Ora used flame and spell to damage the creature, while Lark shot crossbow bolts to little avail.
While the chanting reached almost deafening levels, Nithtish landed a critical blow that sent bone shards and splinters in all directions. Dark spectral forms appeared all around the outer walkway and told the group their sacrifice had been accepted. The cult seemed to be appeased, at least temporarily. Bruised, beaten, and out of spells the group made a hasty retreat back to a trap door they had found earlier leading back up through the room with many stuffed wolves.
Just as they left the old mansion, it began to quake and the room started caving in. Backing away quickly, the whole house seemed to implode and collapse into a large crater-sized hole full of debris.
And so the Death House died.
Once it had fully collapsed, a small pack of wolves surrounded our intrepid adventures, lead by the largest wolf they had ever seen. It had gleaming red eyes, and seemed to only watch from a distance, never openly attacking. The wolves were slain (much to Daine’s dismay). Finally having a moment to breathe, the party felt a new sense of accomplishment and power (aka, they leveled up!) and prepared to investigate the creepy, seemingly deserted village they have found themselves in.
But that is another story…