The fate of the children and spooky monsters
As the party completed their rest in the safety of the children’s room, brief discussion was had to search the rest of the top floor of the house, as well as a discussion about a secret trap door on the first floor that Rose had pointed out. Sevahn asked the children what they knew of Strahd Von Zarovich. Rose flippantly answered “My fathers got a really big library. Perhaps there’s a book there that would have that information?”. Nuz suggested they may want to recheck the library for more info. However, as they turned to leave, the children protested. “You aren’t going to leave us here alone, are you? The barbarian, Nuz, having developed a rapport with the children despite his brutish appearance, offered the children a chance to come with them. The spirit of Rose then possessed the barbarian, who asked Thorn if he was coming too. Thorn possessed Aenar and the personalities of the children were shown through Aenar crying softly in a corner, and the Barbarian taking charge of the group, and stomping his feet and getting a bit emo when he did not get his way. Despite being possessed, both of them retained full control of their movement and thought. Nuz packed up the bones of both children with care and added them to his pack along with the baby bundle.
The party explored the two remaining attic rooms – an empty servant’s quarters, and a large room being used for storage. Inside the storage room was a large wooden chest, with the remains of Ieulia the nursemaid inside, a bloodied sheet covering her remains. Adrik harnessed his detective skill and was able to surmise that the woman had been murdered – her skeleton’s condition showed she was brutally stabbed several times. The true motive of her murder was not completely known, however with the terrible encounter they survived with the woman’s spirit led them to believe that her murder may have been a form of revenge. Nuz packed the bones of the nursemaid into his pack with the other remains. During further exploration, it was discussed on how to proceed – look for the hidden trap door “that could only be opened from underneath” or check the secret door Rose revealed in the attic. Aenar and Nuz felt a strong pull to the secret door in the room. Inside the hidden door was a dark spiral staircase that looked to go downward into the bowels of the house.
The darkness felt overwhelming as they descended to the earthen basement level of the house. The musty, dark hallways were a tight squeeze and movement of the party members was limited. The floors were covered in ancient looking foot prints. Unfortunately, Onyx took off into the darkness of the tomb and the barbarian was not able to trace his whereabouts easily. Hoping they may find their lost ally later, the party did some scouting ahead and found what appeared to be two empty tombs. One of the stone slabs read the name “Frederick Durst”, the other was blank. There was no evidence that anything lay in these crypts at any time. Moving further along the blackened corridor, they began to hear strange chanting. To their immediate right lay another set of tombs. Stone slabs with the names “Rosavalda Durst” and “Thornboldt Durst” were etched on the outside. This made the party members somewhat suspicious as they had found the remains of the children upstairs. The cleric advised that something may be wrong and perhaps there was a cover up here, to make the children appear to have passed of natural causes in an effort to hide the fact that they had been left to die in the small attic room with its bricked up window and padlocked door.
With some force, Nuz was able to unseal Thorn’s tomb. In it lay a small coffin on a stone bier, empty. Nuz placed the bones in the coffin. Aenar then moved into the tomb and the spirit of Thorn left his body, ascending to the afterlife and freeing the child’s soul from the hell of the house. The crypt was resealed and a blessing of the morninglord given Nuz struggled with Rose’s tomb, but after a few tries with assistance from a well-placed crowbar and the fighter, Rose’s tomb was opened. Nuz placed the bones in their proper place. The spirit of the little girl left the barbarian with a warm smile on her face, she whispered to Nuz “Thank you” and ascended into the great beyond, her soul at peace. With another last rights blessing, her tomb was sealed and the party moved on. The voices seemed to be louder to the west of the dungeon. Nuz then headed the direction of the noise – only to be met with two lumbering undead ghouls who attacked the party in the narrow hallway ahead. The first ghoul was dispatched with a well-placed shot, while the second was turned and began fleeing. A third ghoul appeared before Skamos and attacked. With help from Aenar and Sevahn, the third ghoul met its end without any lasting effects to the party.
A bit more scouting was done by Nuz. Hearing some commotion from behind the wall, Nuz attempted to bust through the earthen wall. His head hit the dirt and bounced off like a basketball, discovering a small room to the west. One of the Ghouls still remained in a room that revealed a large painted statue of a man with a cape, resting his left hand on a wolves’ head, in his right hand, a smoky looking crystal orb. The bard and the fighter combined were able to dispatch the remaining ghoul. Meanwhile, Nuz explored to the north and found a staircase that appeared to lead down into a sub-basement of sorts, and more connecting hallways, quickly returning to a location close by his party. Skamos decided to venture into the west room alone and attempted to open a door to the south of the room. A set of pointy teeth sprung forth, attempting to grapple and bite the warlock. While the bite was avoided and the grapple pending, Skamos’ hand stuck to the “doorknob”. Three party members end in the statue room, Nuz in an upper hallway, and Skamos, alone in the west room with an angry, hungry door Mimic chomping at the bit. We’ll see how our party fares in the basement next we meet!