The Book of Deeds, Earth dreamers. Ninth Entry
The whole party of dreamers arrived. All dreamers were present. They closed the door to the ritual area and discussed their options. It was decided to attempt to get into the secret room across from the zigzag corridor. They did so stealthily and Darkel was able to open the lock in the secret door without the key.
Inside they saw three large chests, one overflowing with silver pieces. Two specters flowed from the walls and stood between the party and the treasure. They look expectantly at the party waiting for something. Soon all but Darkel entered. One specter made a gesture and the door swung shut. The party was alone with the two beings. They did not immediately attack and their guise was of an unspeaking noble knight and a human warrior who did speak.
“I am what remains of Thar Darvelon and the specter behind me once was Goerlin first paladin of LongShadow after the fall. He and I are served too long and were not able to completely avoid the curse. We choose this form to guard the treasure looted by “The Sundered” from their betters, the good people of LongShadow. If you were seeking it speak now your case to us to walk from here or face our wrath.”
the party took a moment and decided what to do. Darkel searched for any traps or trouble outside the secret room, unable to enter but all he found was an unfortunate cockroach who had obviously been reanimated with the other dead creatures in the hall. It made a dry, disgusting crunch under his boot.
The party began speaking to the Specter of Thar diplomatically. First they pointed out that the council had sent them to this place.
Then their recent gained knowledge of LongShadow history was employed. They spoke of their recognition of Thar and his deeds at the east wall. Noting that they too served LongShadow if not yet as bravely as Thar.
The Specter of Thar smiled wistfully.
Then religion was used. The specters were informed that the curse that befell them already is chanced by the party based on their service. That the party would learn from their example and work to benefit all.
The specters nodded and seemed pleased by this.
Then an attempt was made to bluff the Specters. Immediately they reacted harshly. Thar speaking, “We do not fear anything about you. You speak to those who have died for others. Have a care or face the wrath of the fallen.”
Tactfully diplomacy was used again, they parted assured the guardians that they wished to use the items there in service and not for personal gain.
Finally Arcana revealed that the guardians were being held here and once they met their obligation they would be freed at last and haunt the world of mortals no longer.
They smiled and agreed. The party was welcome to the treasures stolen by the long dead thieves. The guardians made another series of gestures and the chests unlocked as well as the secret door. Then they faded completely, gone it seemed, forever.
The party found various treasures, Baldric of Tactical Positioning, Sunblade, Onyx Dog, Master’s Wand of Dire Radiance and much of value: 750 Gold, 1800 Silver, 2 Rubies w/50, 1 Sapphire w/150, 1 Diamond w/250, Ornate Silver Mask (Halfling/Gnome sized) w/75.
They quietly divided this and prepared for the encounter across the way. As they did, first Reille clutched her stomach and faded out as her dreamer grew too sick to continue. And then Jamin who had temporarily been inhabiting the avatar of a Wizard rubbed his avatar’s eyes and faded out as well. The dream weave whisked them away and the remainder of the dreamers looked at the foes waiting for them across the way with trepidation and reservation. Two Corruption Corpses, Two Chillborns, A Gravehound and presiding over then an Animated beholder, dripping pus where it’s many eyes once were.
The party also saw that a pair of statues in the first alcoves were trapped with an fire activated by a pressure plate. The group wisely made their stand in front of the pressure plate. The undead seemed aware of the trap and tried to avoid it but they were pulled ever closer to it. Darkel slipped around the plate and made her stand behind one of the statues. The Beholder hovered slowly towards the party slowly, methodically as the Corruption corpses threw necrotic filth at any who presented themselves. The chillborns engaged Darkel who blasted them round after round, until finally Tinnyen hit them with an acid orb. One exploded, destroying the other and both showered frost down on Darkel and the fire trapped statue. The stature broke into tiny pieces of rubble. Darkel was wounded but fought on blasting the Beholder coming down the passageway again and again. Tinnyen joined in. Jathyier took a few shots with mixed success.
Corik stepped up and impaled one of the Corruption Corpses with his spear and pulled it onto the pressure plate where it was destroyed in fire. The gravehound crossed the pressure plate with ease, not setting off the trap and fought against Corik who managed to miss it many times even as it tore into his legs. Jathyier finished off the other Corruption Corpse as the Animated Beholder arrived. Corik was bloodied and badly wounded and shifted away, allowing the bear to face the gravehound and beholder. Sammael turned and gave the final blow to the pile of bones and viscera that was once a hound. The entire party concentrated fire again and again on the Beholder. It was driven back into Darkel who was so startled she missed it with her blast. In the next few chaotic seconds it was finished , falling into a pull of pus and goo. But a moment later it arose again weeping pus and gore but fighting on. The exhausted party fought like demons and in a few more strikes the beholder was reduced to a large pile of diced flesh and gore.
They searched and found only a blue key that fit in the secret door lock, already opened. They took a short rest and bound their wounds and fortified themselves for the task ahead, escape.
Corik searched the rubble on the stairs but there was too much of it. Without the proper tools it could take him weeks to dig the party out. Darkel looked for another way. He opened the only remaining door near the original entrance and found instead a room filled with various ghouls and a stench so foul it was overwhelming. She snuck in and the ghouls saw her. There were four horde ghouls, once orcs they now slavered with insane hunger. Three other ghouls capered with madness from behind pillars while a plaguedtouched ghoul and stench ghoul watched over it all.
Darkel went invisible and slipped past the Ghouls, seeing a pit running the length of the far wall. Tinnyen blasted the plaguedtouched backwards and into the pit. It climbed out angry and charged down the hall. The Horde ghouls spread out, climbed the pillars and walls and waited for someone to come into the room. The ghouls hid behind the pillars as did the stench ghoul, awaiting a chance to pounce. The plaguedtouched ran into the hall. Corik faced it down. Darkel found a secret door on the right wall and quietly and carefully picked the lock. The doorway opened to a passageway beyond, leading to two flights of steps turning left and going to a trap door. Escape could be had at last, if they could defeat the ghouls.
Unfortunately one of the ghouls saw the door open and perceived Darkel charging, another nearby joined in until she was surrounded and being clawed. Darkel’s blood struck the wall and floor as the ghouls clawed at her. Corik fought bravely and the rest aided him. The plagued touched healed himself with each attack, erasing Corik’s effort. Corik hewed into it again and again with a double bladed axe. Jathyier healed him as he could but Corrik strength was ebbing The ghoul grew cocky and sensing Corik’s weakness it went for the kill. Using it’s claws instead of the great maw in its chest. It missed. Corrik and the others threw everything they had, it worked the plaguedtouched was killed in a single coordinated attack by the party. Only Darkel fighting alone was unable to help. As she fell to the ghouls, disappearing just before she fell.
Sammael slipped down the hall and saw the Horde ghouls in wait. He blasted them with radiant light and they were all destroyed. Tinnyen ran into the chamber and right by the stench ghoul to save Darkel. They stench ghoul was so surprised by this it missed him. Tinnyen fought the ghouls near Darkel and they turned from feeding on her to the new threat. Darkel’s heart beat erratically as it pumped smaller and smaller amounts of blood. Tinnyen ran in and engaged the stench ghoul, blood streaming down his beard and along one arm. One ghoul fell but another bit into Tinnyen paralyzing him. He used his new robe to teleport away. Darkel’s heart pumped adrenaline thorough his body and he awoke. Darkel moved away running up the stairs. He summoned courage to hit the wounded ghoul with his eldritch fire. One of the ghouls fell but the other ran up the stairs and dropped her again. Tinnyen sighed, reached within himself and blasted the ghoul from across the room. Pieces of it splattered against the far wall. Darkel was down but breathing shallowly.
Corrik was struck once too often by the Stench ghoul and fell at its feet. An avenging angel in the form of Sammael drove into the Stench ghoul, hammering it with radiant power. Tinnyen fought against the last remaining ghoul as the bear now screamed his hatred and anger and struck at the Stench ghoul who wounded his friend. Tinnyen quickly dispatched this ghoul and joined, Jathyier and Sammael against the stench ghoul. Raw power arcane and radiant flowed into the Stench ghoul from Tinnyen and Sammael, as Jathyier continued to fire on the creature. It fell. The party bandaged its wounded, rested and then opened the trap door. They were in Embalmer’s hall. Safe and free at last.