Galea

Refuse and Reunions

Death House

Eberk and Torrin awake from a fitful sleep in the cold, dank basement beneath the Victorian era townhouse to find Loman has disappeared sometime during their nights rest without a trace.

Regretfully, and worried for their companion, they press on through the labyrinth and stumble upon a room with a large wooden sculpture of a handsome, gaunt man and a large wolf. Torrin continues to work through the room and down an isolated hallway to find what appears to be a small pile of linen. Being wary of the previous days conflicts, he readies his great sword and calls out to the pile of cloth which moves.

Underneath the pile of cloth, a small gnome appears with a bow seemingly too tall for the small creature. He introduces himself as Frug, a ranger that became lost running through the house trying to escape some ghastly horrors. He had found this isolated hallway sometime during the night and attempted to hide in the dark corridor to escape unnoticed.

Frug joins the party, eager to escape the nightmares and the chanting and seeing that an advantage of numbers is better than continuing the foray solemnly.

Further investigation of the large chamber, had Torrin fiddle with a large glass orb and awaken some Shadows from the dark. After a couple of close calls, the party dissipates the aggressors and continues their investigation of the ominous room and statues. A misuse of strength, and Eberk removes the arm of the gaunt man, and sheepishly sets it beside the statue.

Frug and Torrin's keen eye sight finds a slightly covered door that leads from the basement to the den on the first floor of the townhouse. Frug's inability to open a large wardrobe had Torrin resorting to his barbarous strength to open the furniture to a cash of range weapons on a deck of cards.

Torrin starts fiddling with the cards and notices that the King cards in the deck have a striking resemblance to the statue in the basement below. After showing Frug and Eberk the party presses on.

A twang of conscience and guilt pains Eberk, and he requests the party to accompany him to bury the bodies of the children upstairs in their crypts below the house. After regressing upstairs to the attic and to the locked room, Frug questions why the party has the door locked. A quick run down, and a confused glance from Frug, he readies his bow as the party unlocks the door and proceeds inside.

Torrin embraces his inner father and with the help of Frug, quell the children's ghosts while Eberk rolls the bones into his bedroll out of sight. Torrin proceeds to read stories to Thron while Rose looks on and Frug anxiously tries to avoid drawing his bow. The book Torrin is reading at the request of Thron is called "Stories of Barovia" and Thorn's favorite story is about a man names Count Strahd Von Zarovich and the Tatyana. Eberk is hastily making his way to the crypts and begins a burial ritual that he oversaw while working in a chapel of Lathander.

Torrin continues reading aloud to Thorn while scanning the book ahead it dawns on him that this is not a tale of romance, but a tragedy. He tries to delay, much to Thorn's disapproval. As Thorn is lashing out over Torrin's laggard reading, Rose disappears in a burst of Divine golden light, as Eberk completes the burial ritual in the labyrinth alone.

Thorn starts uncontrollable crying and grows increasingly angry with Torrin and his deception. Frug placates the boy by saying that soon he will be with his sister and should let Torrin finish the story for him that he was enjoying. Torrin reluctantly continues reading and discovers that Tatyana had fallen in love with another man named Sergei, Strahd's own brother. As Torrin begrudgingly reads on, before getting to the conclusion of the tale, Thorn's expression changes from anger and depression to pure bliss and his form is illuminated with divine light within and dissipates as Eberk completes the burial ritual for the boy.

Frug and Torrin rejoin Eberk in the crypt and catch each other up on what had occurred. Proceeding further, the party clears out an abandoned living quarters and proceeds deeper into the labyrinth. They stumble upon a large room, with alters and various offerings. Eberk is unable to discern what possible outcome this could lead to through his knowledge of the Divine. After inspecting a prison, a hinged wall gives way to a large water filled room with a raised dais.

Cautiously the party enters the large room. Torrin and Frug approach the dais while Eberk inspects the room for details. As Torrin and Frug begin climbing the immaculate white marble stairs, they can see a pristine alter, with a crimson stain that has seeped into the alter and the floor below, with a pair of wrist chains hanging from the ceiling.

After Frug and Torrin reach the top of the dais, thirteen shadowy apparitions appear around a raised balcony surrounding the chamber.

"One must die" echoes through the marble lined underground cavern as Loma O'Carra appears in shackles unconscious above the raises alter. The adventures try to free Loman, snapping thieves tools and blunting a sword before trying to flee. The shadowy apparitions begin chanting

"Logath the Decayed, we awaken thee!"

A shambling pile of refuse rises from an alcove and begins advancing towards the party and the dais as Torrin, Eberk and Frug ready for battle. Echoing through the chamber, the voices ring in the adventurers ears:

"The end comes! Death be praised!"

The shambling pile of refuse rounds on the party and is felled finally by Frug's steady shots, Torrin's sharpened edges and Eberk's divine guidance.

The chanting stops and the cavern begins to quake. As the party looks back to the hanging shackles to free Loman, they find him missing.

The party races to escape the underground dungeon and as they arrive in the den of the townhouse through a trap door, the house has changed.

Black smoke billows out of the fireplace choking Torrin, the windows are bricked shut and the only light is from the single torch being lit.

Fearing that the house is collapsing around them, the party darts through the door to the main hall. Eberk and Torrin make it through quickly, while Frug falls unconscious as the blade trapped doorway mortally wounds the gnome ranger.

Torrin grabs the unconscious and bleeding form of Frug and rushes through the main hall, escaping the poisonous smoke that fills the air and through the front doors into bright light….

And then darkness.

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