(Note: This adventure was run in November 2016. In terms of campaign time, this adventure occured immediately following Session 5: Grim Manor Part I and is a continuation of that adventure).
Awakening from the nightmarish images of the demon-lord and his skeletal minion, Kulo, Velnius, Jana, and Tanin blinked their eyes and steadied themselves in the upstairs study. Looking around they noticed that Belladore and Xrax were missing. The remainder of the party gathered themselves with Xerbo in tow and proceeded to explore the rest of this haunted mansion.
Stepping outside the study through the outer door, the party found themselves in the hallway that led to the upstairs landing. Flanking both sides of the banister stood suits of armor. The party, ignoring caution, simply stepped up to the suits prepared for battle. Animating once one of the party was within 5 feet, the armor bashed and slammed the party with plate mail gauntlets. Ultimately the party reduced those ornate suits of armor to battered piles on the floor.
The party headed back to the locked door on the second floor that they had passed when they had climbed the stairs to the second floor from the dining room. Kulo picked the lock. As soon as the door was opened, the hearth became ablaze and two lurching zombies attacked. The party hacked the zombies until they moved no more. The room was smaller than the master bedroom, nicely furnished but somewhat austere. A leather chair sat near the hearth. A fine rug covered the floor. A chest near the bed revealed linens, but remembering the dagger that was found in the other bedroom, Kulo looked more closely at the bottom of the chest, finding a false bottom. Within was a book, similar to the one found in the downstairs library. Bound in skin, this was the second volume of Abyssal Arcana. Tanin relieved Kulo of the book, placing it next to the first one in his pack.
Proceeding to the two remaining rooms on the second floor, the party opened the first small guest bedroom next to the stairs. A single candle ignited on a bookshelf in the room. Other than the bookshelf, the room contained a small bed and a chest in the corner. A door along the southern wall connected this bedroom to presumably another bedroom. Examining the bookshelf, Tanin discovered another spell scroll. Kulo investigated the chest only finding linens.
The party moved on to the second bedroom after Kulo picked the lock to the door. This room was even smaller than the last with a bedroom, chest, and a small hearth. As the party filed in, a swarm of bats erupted from the hearth and attacked the party. In less than a minute, the party had chopped the bats to pieces, covering the floor of the bedroom with twitching remains of hacked bats. Examining the room, Kulo found a pouch underneath linens in the chest containing 45 GP and 75 SP.
Having cleared the second floor, the party made their way to the small staircase leading up to the attic-level of the house. The stairs opened onto a hallway with two doors, north and south. The party entered the northern room first. Amidst the dust and cobwebs were stacks of crates and two chests. Apparently this was a storage room. Holes in the room let in some ambient light from outside. The dilapidated room also allowed four giant bats, each the size of hawk in wingspan, in to attack the party rooting among the boxes in the room. After skewering and disemboweling the bats, the party returned to their rummaging of the room. The crates contained relatively worthless household goods (i.e., mildewed linens, plates, and utensils). The two chests were locked, however. Kulo went to task unlocking the chests. The first revealed a silvered short sword as well as a pouch containing 31 GP and 143 SP. The second chest turned out to be trapped which Kulo hadn’t noticed. A poisoned dart shot out from the chest and punctured Kulo! Luckily the poison on the dart had dried out and had no effect. Inside the chest was a large, ornate key.
The party moved to the southern room in the attic. As soon as they opened the door they were assailed by a swarm of bats that roosted on the rotten remains of the ceiling. The swarm was reduced to bat bits and pieces in half a minute. The small room held three beds, apparently the servant’s quarters. Searching the beds turned up a pouch hidden in one bed containing 110 SP.
With key in hand, the party descended levels of the house, deciding to stop first on the ground floor to clear out the kitchen area they had passed before. Entering the room they had peeked into before, the party avoided the bites of three giant rats in this small, dark storage room. Barrels filled the corner so movement was very limited. Nonetheless, the rats were skewered fairly quickly. Listening at the next door, the party heard similar sounds coming from what must presumably be the kitchen. Charging in they found themselves in a spacious kitchen, a large hearth suddenly ablaze, and on a table in the corner several of those eerie red candles ignited. Five giant rats that had been prowling the kitchen, turned to attack. Between the bard, rogue, fighter, ranger, and hound, the rats didn’t have a chance.
Ready now for the final confrontation, the party found the stairs to the cellar and headed down into the dark depths, torches ablaze. Turning a sharp corner at the bottom of the stairs revealed a long corridor that opened onto another hallway about halfway down. At that junction between hallways stood a brazier that ignited as the party made their way, casting this part of the cellar in malevolent flickering light. The party made their way down this hallway that turned to the right passing a door to a room to the right in order to see what lay beyond.
The hallway opened into a large main room in the cellar, the only light provided by the brazier at the back of the hallway and the torches held by the party. A table and chair made up its only furnishings. In seemingly every dark corner and shadow could be seen beady eyes. Moving into the light eight giant rats pressed in on the party for a taste of their sweet flesh. The party responded with sword, rapier, crossbow bolt, and glaive, leaving the room a vermin butchery.
The party doubled back to the first door they had passed. Opening the door, they found a storeroom containing a barrel, a crate, and two chests. The barrel and crate were empty but both chests contained skeletal remains of a humanoid. Tanin and Kulo searched further looking for hidden loot. Immediately, two spectres materialized from the walls, summoned by the disturbance of their remains, and began attacking the party. No easy vermin were these undead, giving the party a hard fight before succumbing to their attacks.
Moving on to the room opposite of the one just explored, the party discovered another storeroom, but this one held a most unusual find: Belladore and Xrax, frozen in a moment of terror, their faces contorted in fear. Looking closely, the party saw that they appeared alive, yet immobile and waxen. No amount of jostling or shaking woke them from their trance.
The remaining small rooms in the cellar also were storage rooms of little interest, holding moldy and useless household goods.
The party approached the last door along the far wall in the cellar with trepidation. Kulo tried the door, finding it locked unsurprisingly. Taking a breath, the party steeled their resolve. Kulo inserted the key found in the attic in the lock, turned it, and heard the door click unlocked. The party entered the room expecting the worst. Against the back wall laid a coffin surrounded by a score of eerie red candles that ignited as soon as the party stepped inside the room. A skeletal warrior rose from the coffin in the same instance, brandishing a mighty sword. To the left and right of the party, stacks of crates, barrels, and sacks lined the walls.
The warrior spoke, “You have released me from this imprisonment. I will reward you with life after death as minions in my army.”
Tanin replied with, “Perhaps we could work out a deal where we let you go in exchange for some treasure.”
The wight turned to Tanin and said, “You have my scimitar. You met my brother and his wife in the tomb. Now let me introduce you to my sisters.” And with a sweeping motion of his hand, Vlad, the skeletal warrior, motioned to the corners of the room, where two ghastly forms moved into the light.
Tanin shrugged and looked to the party members and said, “Well, it was worth a shot.”
The final battle at Grim Manor began as the ghasts closed ranks around Vlad and attacked the party. The fight was hard and brutal. The party found their weapons did not do as much damage as they could against Vlad, except Tanin’s magical scimitar and Kulo’s silvered short sword. Vlad’s sisters clawed at the life’s blood of each party member they could reach, at one point paralyzing Kulo, leaving only Tanin able to do significant damage against the wight. Vlad appeared to target all of his attacks against Tanin, seemingly focused on the wielder of the Blade of Dark Deeds.
At the first significant damage against Vlad, the house was rocked by a significant tremor almost knocking people off their feet! Tanin, Velnius, and Jana continued to press on hacking at the undead from the abyss. Again, as more significant damage was done to Vlad, the house shook with a tremor, this time stronger than the last. And again, people were knocked prone by the shock wave. But the party held firm and continued to slice and pierce the enemy! Tanin slashed Vlad again with the scimitar seemingly bringing the wight to the edge of oblivion. A much stronger quake rocked the house and most everyone was knocked off their feet! But the tide had turned. With one final stroke, Tanin slayed Vlad. The sisters soon met the same fate as the party, with Kulo regaining movement, were able to target their attacks on them.
The party searched the coffin for treasure, finding a chest with gold filigree. Inside they found an unusual dagger (later identified as a Dagger of Venom), a ring (later identified as a ring of protection), and what appeared to be a potion of healing. In addition, there were five onyx gemstones in the chest. But as the party was searching the room, another wave of shaking hit the house. It appeared that the house was unstable as the quakes got stronger and stronger, knocking the party members off their feet if they weren’t prepared. With haste, the party rushed to exit the building. As they made their way back through the cellar, the were greeted by Belladore and Xrax who had been revived from their paralysis. The party in full ran full tilt out the manor as the very foundation started to crumble and the house violently shook apart. Just as they managed to escape the house, Grim Manor collapsed inwardly on itself in a great upheaval. As the dust swirled, the party saw a faint image of Mina smiling at them before disappearing.
Outside, the mist that had shrouded everything was now gone. The night was crystal clear. The guards who normally watched the house, surprised by the sudden collapse of the manor, collected the party and brought them to the garrison for questioning. After a long and thorough interrogation by the garrison commander, the party was let free to go. The garrison commander told the party that they would now likely be regarded as heroes in the town. Grim Manor was cursed and haunted. The people of Edgewood would be relieved to see it gone. But before letting the Heroes of Edgewood leave, the garrison commander told Velnius that he knew where he got Xerbo, his mastiff. He said he would let this transgression go given their new heroic status, but warned not to do anything like that again or Velnius could expect a nice, long stay in the stockades.
Tanin and Kulo advanced to 4th level. Velnius advanced to 3rd level.
Wight Paper Miniature: One Monk/Mayhem in Paper