The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have... is now.
½ pep 15*level xp
Brian and Eric ½ pep playing extra chars.
Paul is playing with the ambiance...
We’re at the temple. Recap the lady’s experience about who she saw. We’re looking for attentions regarding our possible ghoul fever. We decide to stay at the church while Solomon cares for us. Solomon can’t take 10 so he must roll for each of us. He can tend us in about 10 minutes each. We stay for the rest of the day.
Solomon makes his rolls. He gives us all a +4! We all save!
That day, the sheriff comes to compare notes. Do we tell him about Aldern?
We’ve heard things about Foxglove. He wanted us to visit. He also has a family house that is outside of Magnimar proper. Foxglove Manor is about 80 years old. Some tragedy struck the house/family years ago and the place is supposed to be haunted. It’s know to the locals as “The Misgivings.” Has a bad reputation from lights going on and off as well as screams in the night. A fire burned down the servants buildings. Cyralie fell to the rocks below and Traver was found dead, apparently by his own hand. Aldern recently returned to the Manor but had difficulty hiring people to staff the estate. Crazbe was the man who tended it in the interim
We don’t spill to the sheriff yet. He'll have carts and people ready by 4. Mayor Deverin also stops to see us. She shares that our work has not gone unnoticed. She’s gotten more funding from the Mercantile League (and the paladin) as well as other parties. The Scarnetti’s owned the logging mill. She gives us 1,500gp. We thank her!
At 4:00 the sheriff arrives. We inquire about Shalelu. He still hasn't’ heard from her. He has brought guards, carts, and shovels. We head out. We stop at a few farms and convince them that the area is much safer now. They can move about without us. We here talk of Camlo’s horse being found by farmers a bit inland from here!
We arrive at the farm and the guards begin the gristly work. They clean the house enough that they can spend the night. We consider staying here and then continue to Foxglove manor in the morning. It’s much closer than we thought. Less than an hour by horse.
For now, we toss the barn. We separate the body parts. Take 20. Nothing of special value.
It’s about 8:00 pm. An hour until sundown. Foxglove Manor is only a half hour away. So what do we do? We do what any self respecting party of thoughtless, inexperienced, loot-whoring, glory-hogging heros would do.
We head straight for the haunted house!
The manor overlooks the coast of the Varisian Gulf, rolling surf far below. The trees are lifeless and the wind is unnaturally cold. It certainly appears as the nomenclature is accurate: The Misgivings. The roof sags. Diseased vines are attacking it. It looks crooked, somehow. Several leaning chimneys. Gargoyles leer from the eaves. We see a long burnt outbuilding nearby. An old well is next to it..
Solomon mumbles something about the outbuilding.
We tether the horses to a nearby tree. Where do we approach? We see two sets of doors. Cesar sneaks to a grime covered window. No light inside so he doesn’t see much. It’s some sort of entrance hall. Trophies on the wall. Some large statue. An animal? He moves to the near window in the other wing. It seems to be some kind of parlor? Glass smashed in the middle of the room.
Cluddox approaches the well and a few crows flap lazily away. Which door? Cesar heads to the door farther from the cliff. It’s weathered, but doesn’t appear rotted. A rusted lock. Cesar gets out the thieves tools. After a few tries, it’s unlocked. Cluddox is up. He opens the door. Cesar has a torch. Long, damp, high ceilinged room. Mold is everywhere. A curving flight of stairs to our right head up. Two fireplaces. Heavy dark blue curtains. Carvings of gargoyles and skeletons. The monster statue is on display in the center of the room. Body of a lion, scorpion tail, and batlike wings!!!
Cesar and Cluddox step in. The rest file in. There is a hallway leading further in. As Solomon steps in, the manticore comes to life! The face becomes a woman’s and it’s fur ignites!
Manticore: At Sol. Tail attack 1hit 12burn and reflex? Fail. Solomon is on fire!
Sol: Slaps the flames out and notices the manticore is just full of sawdust.
Us: Be careful with your damn flames!
Solomon: The manticore! It was alive.
Us: It’s stuffing is falling out…
Solomon: It just ignited!
Us: Just like the rowboat?
Solomon: I have the burns right here on my body!
We move in a little and see a door by the stairs. Take 10 search and we find mold and cobwebs. Nothing of value. Do we stay on this level, go up, or fall through the floor?
Paul: ½ pep to Eric
Cesar heads down the hall. A rather gruesome antique is hanging up on the wall. A mummified monkey head. A bell rope from its mouth. A moldy throw is on the floor. We see a large parlor ahead. Camlo thinks he hears a woman crying upstairs. Solomon agrees.
Cesar does a quick search of the hall. The monkey head appears to be less decayed. The rug is covering a stain in the floor. As we pull it back the stain is a swirling pattern of black, blue, and green mould.Cesar pulls it all the way back. He can see a pattern almost like a spiraling staircase leading down. Each step littered with skulls. Cesar pulls on the cord and the head shrieks quite loudly! Chano relates what is known as an alarm spell! He thinks it’s probably a magic item.
Chano detect magic on the mold. As he looks he realized the whole damn house is necromancy, but the spiral isn’t special in itself. He checks the head again and notes it is a Hungry Decapitant. The Chelaxians use it as a morbid curio. Cesar takes it down and puts it by the front door. Guess he wants it? Into the parlor.
Large Table. Fireplaces to the west. Stain glassed windows to the east. Each one an intricate monster billowing up from smoke filled boxes. North to south:
Tree with humanoid face.
Hook beaked bird.
A winged centaur with a lion's body and woman's upper torso.
A deep blue colored squid with red eyes.
Doors north and south.
Fireplaces first. Nothing of value. Table: No value. A few of us move up to the windows. The smarter people note that the tree like creature is a Trent. The bird is a Roc. The winged centaur thing is a Sphynx. And the deep blue thing is a Kraken.
Cesar: There is something about the way these are crafted that makes it look like the monsters are being drawn into the smoking boxes. Their snarling faces are fear, not rage. We don’t all agree with him.
Cesar goes to the south door. No traps. Not locked. It is swollen with wet. Cluddox puts his shoulder into the door. Pop! A library. A pair of chairs before a fireplace. One tipped over. Floor to ceiling bookshelves. The books are riddled with mold. A bright scarf over the arm of the fallen chair. A book is open and down on the floor. An angel statue lies on its side over the fireplace.
Once we’re out of sight, Solomon tries to light the Manticore, but it’s too wet.
Solomon: Were not done…
Cesar approaches the scarf and it flies into the air and wraps around his throat!
Cesar: Quickdraw and attack. 1miss
Scarf: Wraps and his mind is flooded with ghostly images. Will save? Fail. He’s paralyzed with fear as a ghostly image of Aldern appears to be using the scarf to choke Cesar. Fort Save? As Aldern is choking him, Cesar realizes he has become a woman named Iesha. He falls to the floor at -8hp!!!
Cluddox PEPs a heal check to stabilize him. Cluddox: Solomon! We’ve got mould poisoning in here!
Solomon comes in: Cluddox, have you been choking him?
Two hits with the wand and Cesar is conscious.
Cesar explains his vision. “It was Aldern. In the library. With a scarf!”
We toss the room, giving the scarf some space. We note that a bookend is out of place. The bookend is covered in blood, brain, and bone. The tipped chair seems to have much fresher bloodstains. They match the bookend. The book on the floor looks newer as well. The book is on Varisian history. Not uncommon.
Solomon slaps a few more heals on Cesar.
Solomon checks the scarf closer. It’s in good shape of a Varisian style. He takes it.
Solomon finally convinces us to head straight upstairs for the unheard woman. So we pass all those unopened doors and go up a level.
Cesar advances with the torch and we follow. Cobwebs, mold, and stink fills the hallway above. Cesar checks the first door on our left. No traps or locks. It's swollen so Clud smash. A small hallway/crawlspace. Another small stair heading back down. A servant path? Quick search reveals nothing. The door a the bottom comes out by the moldy rug in the hallway. The stairs creak from Cesar’s footfalls but a few of us realize that he’s already at the top of the stairs...
Next door. No locks/traps. Clud slams it open again. A child sized bed. Chair by a toybox. And a fireplace large enough for a child to get lost in. Cesar and Cluddox head in.
As Camlo looks in he hears the sound of a child sobbing behind him.
The sight of the bed and toybox brings a vision to his mind. He is a child again and his parents are trying to kill each other and he’s certain that whoever wins, he’s next. His save is good and he manages to realize the truth of the evil and shakes it away. The rest of us hear jack shit.
Fireplace: nothing. Toybox: empty. Bed: Nothing.
Back up the hallway. Door on the right. Nothing. Cluddox smash.
A large room. Two chairs and a couch facing an alcove with windows. Several music stands with unkempt instruments and a grand piano centerpiece.
Another bay of stain glassed windows face the Gulf. Each depicting another scene.
North to south:
Pale, ghostly scorpion
A white man with 12 bats hanging from his arm.
Moth with skull pattern on it’s wings
Dull green plants with yellow flowers.
Maiden sitting on a well with a dog sized spider hanging above
Chano checks the windows. All 5 of the subjects represent spell components from necromancy magic! We turn right around.
Back across the hall. Door is clean. Clud smash.
Stone fireplace to the north. Painting on the walls covered in cobwebs. We can’t see the subjects. 3 on the north wall, 5 on the south. Cesar wipes away some cobwebs while Clud complains of dust.
The north wall:
A tall, gaunt old man. Foxglove crest on his magelike robes.
A woman with a handsome bearing but similarly aged.
A girl about 12 with features matching the first two.
Chano comes in and notes the style of dress is about 35 years old.
Cesar goes for the south wall:
1: A man, tall and thin, clearly related to the north wall
2: A young woman with long red hair and a smile.
As Cesar wipes away the cobwebs he finally notes plaques under the thick mould
3: A young man, 10yo, matches Aldern as a young boy.
4: A young girl, twin to #5
5: A young girl, twin to #4
As the last cobwebs are cleared away we feel the temperature drop dramatically and everyone in the room sees rime and frost climb the walls.
Chano’s eyes widen as he sees the pictures shift from living to dead people.
The young man has his throat open and blood pours out.
Woman twists and darkens to look burned
Aldern deforms into a ghoul
The girls frost over but remain unchanged
The oldest explodes into fungus and disease and washes over the room!
We’re too slow. We need fort saves. Fail? Tiny splotches of mold cover our hands.
Cesar fails and he can’t stop trying to rub it off.
When we blink, the explosion is gone…
We get the old bedspread and wipe the plaques clean of mold.
We search the rest and find no value. Doors to the west. No traps and the doors are stuck. Clud gets them open.
Opens into a bedroom. The furniture doesn’t appear badly damaged. Only a dark stain on a desk near an open window.
Cluddox steps in and the others see nothing. Cluddox feels an overwhelming despair as a dagger appears on the desk. He wants to walk over to it and jab it into his neck! After a few steps closer he manages to shake off the self destructive urges. No, it was just a piece of wood.
We take 20 on the desk and bed. Nothing valuable on the desk. The dark stain appears to be an ancient blood stain. Decades old. But it was a massive amount. The bed provides nothing interesting. The cloth may be worth a few gold as there is no damage.
Cesar rolls up the rug. There is no fungus.
XP: 1204 4th
We keep heading north to a cross hallway. We see stairs heading up at the end. We check the closest door. No traps. Cluddox burst. The entire bedroom is caked, CAKED in dark blue, green, black spongy mould! There might be a bed. A dresser. We don’t go in…
Clud smashes the next door. An iron tub sags into the floor. A vanity in the corner. As Cesar steps in the tub collapses into the room below! We see a bath below. No, it really was a bath. Well, a double bath now... A horde of rats runs squeaking into the cracks.
Last door. Same routine. This room is destroyed. The bed is smashed, paintings ripped, walls clawed, and chairs destroyed.
A portrait on the wall is hanging backwards and untouched…
We leave the room.
Heading toward the stairs we look up. There is a hallway and a few doors. Cesar peaks around the next corner. Another hall with many doors.
First door: Same dealio. A large number of planks, ropes and supplies. Dozens of urns and pots are trying to catch the leaks. The supplies seem newer. Nothing of note.
First door on the left. Same routine. Cobwebs, mold and stacks of linens and old furniture. Storage.
Door to the right. Same routine. Another room stacked with rugs, urns, and an old dresser.
Next door on left. Same routine. Stacked with furniture.
Cesar peeks around the next corner. More hallway. More doors.
Next door to south. Stacks of crates etc. Same, same, same.
Door in corner of the halls. Same routine. The ceiling angles down steeply. Low cot and a dresser. Cesar looks around and there is a sudden scream and shriek of pain to the north. Cesar runs to the door to the east at the end of the hallway. It’s locked. He hears a sobbing woman behind it. He tries to pick the lock. Click! This door is in good repair. Cluddox runs up and swings open the door.
The room is small and cramped. A full sized mirror framed in dark roses. Mouldy brick indicates the outside of a chimney. A woman so pale of skin she must be ill has blood running down her face. With empty eyes, she stands staring at the mirror. She doesn’t react to us.
Cluddox takes a step in. “Ma’am?” Nothing.
Cesar calls Chano up. “What do you make of that?”
Chano: She doesn’t look alive to me?
Cluddox looks into the mirror. It looks cloudy but reflects light as normal. He sees reflections all around.
Cesar steps up and feels a palpable cold from her. Cluddox pokes her and her skin is “not alive” cold. Cluddox takes the mirror and slides it from in front of her.
Her: “Aldern! I can smell your fear. I’ll be in your arms soon.” She turns toward the door. We scatter and let her pass then follow her flight through the house. Back down to the main floor she goes to the north door in the hallway and begins clawing at the stuck portal. After several tries she forces the door to reveal stairs down!
Us: Well, shit.
We follow. Arriving in a basement we see an open kitchen. A huge oaken table covered in mold and rat droppings. Shelves and an oversized fireplace are on the walls. To large cracks lead into the wall.
Her: “Aldern!!!” She heads south.
Cesar hears the sound of rats, en masse, coming from the cracks in the wall. We’re indecisive just long enough for…
Cesar: “Solomon, you’re up!: Draw nunchucks with move and attack 1hit 6dmg.
Camlo: Move to table drawing flail and ready to smash if rats come.
Yellow Rats: They pour out. Camlo ready: 1hit 6dmg. 4dmg to Cesar and Camlo
Check for disease in 24 hours.
Sol: move and cast burning hands 13fire
Red Rats: Move to Camlo & Cluddox.
Clud: Fort save. Good 5’ 1hit 13dmg
She: Slam door. Fail.
Cesar: Save Fail. Cesar is nauseated. Move around table.
Camlo: Need 2 saves! Good. Move out and attack Yellow. 1miss
Yellow: Chase Camlo and Solomon 6dmg
Chano: 5’ and quarterstaff 1hit 2dmg The last few scatter!
Sol: Fort save? Good. 5’ and burning hands. 22fire The last few scatter!
More pour out.
Cluddox: Move up and attack. 1hit 11dmg
Her: Smash! She’s opened the door.
Cesar: Stomach is clear. Jump on table and swing. 1hit 9dmg The swarm scattered!
Out of combat.
XP: 420 4th
We hustle after her. She’s down the hallway. Around the corner is another door and she’s clawing. It’s made of iron. Patches of rust. She pounds for minutes with no effect.
So Cluddox grabs her.
As Clud reaches for her she turns and shrieks “No! No one must stop me!” A baleful shriek of supernatural horror! Will saves. Only Solomon saves. The rest of us are cowering in fear.
Solomon: Can’t do much.
She: Glares at us.
Eventually Cesar regains enough sense to yell to her, “Let us help open the door.”
She: Ignores him.
After a few minutes of banging we stop cowering in abject terror.
Camlo: If we don’t hear her do we still get afraid?
Chano: It occurs to me she may be a revenant. Someone who was killed and their body has risen, fueled by hatred for it’s murderer. Powerful undead to hunt their killer. They are 9HD or more. They shriek that cowers anyone in 60’ They have a weakness of self loathing. Confronted with their reflection, or an object of themselves, they can be overwhelmed with self pity. They have the supernatural ability to know where their killer is.
Solomon pulls out the scarf and she loses her undead shit!
Her: She goes for Solomon. We step aside. 1hit 10dmg and a grab. Success. Solomon is grapple.
Cesar: Move to door.
Solomon: Threatens her with the scarf. Now she wants to kill him. Oops.
Camlo shouts, “Stop threatening her with it! Just give it to her!”
Chano: Mage Hand Snatches the offered scarf and pulls it 15’ down the hall.
Camlo: Move back out of hallway and draw sword.
She: Drops Solomon. He complies in every way. As does Chano. She moves to the scarf and grabs it.
Cesar: Two of Mike’s PEPs. 29 Open lock. Fail!
Cluddox: Cesar, you got that? Delay
She: Destroys the scarf! Full round of shredding.
Cesar: Move to hallway.
We let her pass back to the door. She begins beating on it again.
Now what? We go to the doors off the kitchen. Both are swollen and jammed but no locks or traps. Clud shoulder! Once a pantry this is now a nest of thousands of rats! Yuck. Close the door!
Other door and Cluddox push! A wine cellar. Two racks are empty and broken glass covers the floor. Quick search reveals a small switch on the top shelf. Camlo can’t resist. A ka-chink reveals a secret room. A narrow nook hids a few more wine racks, empty save for 8 bottles.
Camlo ransacks the little room. Vegardis Vineyard from Cheliax. Each bottle is worth 100gp.
The last door is same. Cluddox budge! Two bunks and a single chair in this room. Relatively free of dust. Take 20 on the bunks. Nothing of value.
Back up to the first floor. Door to the north of the foyer. No locks. No traps. Cluddox push. Beyond we see a dusty room with a long couch facing a stone fireplace with imps and birds on it’s mantle. Dust swirls on the floor. We step in. Fireplace is nothing of interest. Take 20 on the dust…
As we watch we realize it's more like someone walking and the dust is being disturbed. The path of the footsteps is someone pacing back and forth in a line.
Cesar checks the door leading out of the room.
Cluddoxs steps into the footsteps and sees a memory of a woman worrying about her husband in the basement. Suddenly Cluddox is screaming at Cesar about getting his kid out of the house. Cluddox is convinced that her daughter (cesar) must get out of the house! Cluddox goes to grab him.
Camlo: “What are you doing? Crazy lady is downstairs.” Delay.
Cesar: Ah! Run away.
Cluddox: Run after Cesar. Grab 1hit
Sol: What are you doing, Clud?
Chano: Draw scarf. Grab Cluddox. 1miss
Cesar: Lemme go! Fail to break free.
Cluddox: Move with Cesar. “Don’t touch that, (pattern on floor) your father probably did that.”
Chano: Runs up to Cluddox and tells him to stay
Cluddox says “Follow me, it's not safe!”
Cluddox: Moves again? Success
Chano: 30’ to the door. “You're not leaving this house. That’s not your daughter!” Ready to real slap Cluddox when he gets close.
Cesar: not free
Cluddox: Move? Fail. Clud stays.
Cluddox: Moves to doorway
Chano: Ready action goes off. SLAP!!! 1hit 2nonlethal Cludd is reinforced, actually
Camlo: Runs up and opens the door for Cluddox.
Cesar: Can’t escape
Chano: Ready a trip
Cluddox: Move? Success. Chano’s ready: 1miss. Cluddox carries Cesar out the door.
Cluddox: “Come on, Lorey. It’s a long way to Magnimar.”
The ruins of the outbuilding are covered in hundreds, perhaps thousands of crows. Cluddox doesn’t seem to notice
Cesar: Escape? No.
Cluddox: Move? Success. Another 20’
Everyone else: Delay
Cesar: Escape success! Slither to the ground. Poof. Invisible!
As Cluddox’ mind is clearing, the thousands of crows take flight. Bits of feather and their glowing red eyes reveal they aren’t really crows!
XP 464 4th
½ pep 15*level xp
½ X3 to Kevin for clever RP actions on his new character.
½ to Brian for attempts and plans in many different situations
½ for Brian for good Solomon RP
½ to Eric for humor
½ to all three of us for following her and cooperating with her
Player to Player
We just split the 6 ½ peps three ways. ½ X2 for each of us.
Next week: Joe not here. Eric not here.
Possible cancel next week. Keep your emails peeled.
Not playing on the 27th.
Cesar is updated in Hero Lab The Server
Camlo is updated in Hero Lab Google Drive
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