We arrived back in the town of Triboar to get our reward, and then separated to get some supplies. While haggling over the price of a potion of healing, I struck up a conversation with an old woman. She told me that her granddaughter had been kidnapped by someone. When I asked for more information, she told me that other children in the area had also disappeared. They had been taken to a haunted mansion on the way to Griffon’s Nest.
I met up with the rest of the group and we decided what to do with the rest of the evening. Kobar, Villag, and Eramyr headed to a bar for gambling, drinking, and who know’s what else. I remember the man I was when I turned to drink, and it’s not someone I want to be again. I decided to turn in early. Feywin and Erydeni went to their room as well. A few hours later Villag and Eramyr stumbled in, followed a bit later by Kobar.
The next morning, we met downstairs for breakfast. Stale bagels. Luckily I had my kit of herbs with me to make the food more bearable.
After some small talk with the group (Kobar’s signature vulgarities included) we struck up a conversation with the proprietor of the inn. He told us of the rich families in Hawkly. What he said was was disturbing to say the least, but he wouldn’t give us more information. He mentioned that there might be prying eyes and ears, and that he was afraid to say anything else. I tried calming him down by searching for any nearby evil.
This is not something I do lightly. My contact with the silver-skulled men… those things… left me with this ability. This curse. To use it, I must open my mind to vile things. Things that should not exist in a world where priests and other holy men make claims about the good that their gods perform. Opening my mind in this way leaves me rattled afterwards, and so I have only done it a few times and only under the guidance of my master.
However, we needed information from this man, and I needed to be certain that no one would kill him for giving it to us. And that’s when my suspicions about Kobar became much stronger. The only source of evil in the room came from the half-elf sitting next to me. It wasn’t the revelation I was looking for, but at least it was clear that the man behind the bar wasn’t in immediate danger by talking to us. Still, he refused to talk. There must be something terrible happening in Hawkly for this man to be so afraid.
But there was also the matter of the missing children. We could all feel something strange in the air that day. Something… spooky. We decided to head to the place mentioned in the rumors. We started down the trail to Griffon’s Nest.
We made our way along the trail until we heard a girl crying off in the woods. It was the same kind of sound we heard at the Temple of Secumber. The kind that you don’t hear exactly. You… feel it in your mind.
When we investigated its source, we stumbled upon the mansion. A large 2-story building made of stone. There was definitely something wrong with this place. You could feel it in the air that day.
We carefully made our way to the entry. An open maw where a door used to be. Some in our group have good vision in the dark, but I don’t. I asked Feywin to put some light on my quarterstaff. Looking through a window, I saw a girl in the house. She smiled and waved. Gave me the creeps.
Finally, Eramyr was brave enough to enter. And seeing that he was still standing, we all eventually made our way inside. There was some kind of strange magic keeping the girl confined in that part of the house. We didn’t see or hear anyone else. Eramyr tried to grab her wrist and pull her from that vile place, but his hand found no purchase. This mansion was definitely haunted, but by who or what… besides the little girl?
She told us about her father, and of a book he kept that contained the secret to “fixing” the house. We made our way to the back of the house and finally found the book.
Aside: It was around this time that Feywin had an unfortunate accident with some bugs. When she eventually returned to the house, her clothes were replaced with some kind of robe made of… bed sheets. And of course this aside wouldn’t be complete without Kobar following her around laughing like a lunatic.
The book told us of 3 objects that we needed to find and bring together. We searched through the cursed house and found 2 of them. Also, Kobar discovered that he could make the house bleed by stabbing the walls. I will not be surprised by his actions anymore.
Eventually, we made our way upstairs. I tried to lead the way, but the stairs crumbled beneath me and I ended up in a basement. A foul place that I didn’t much want to be in by myself. Ordinarily, my training would have prepared me for the crumbling stone. At the monastery we tested our agility every day. My only explanation is that I was still rattled from letting the evil into my mind earlier that day. I will be more careful when using that ability in the future. I made my way back upstairs to join the group, and we finally managed to get to the 2nd floor.
Upstairs, we found a hidden room, with 9 hanged, faceless children. An ugly mark. A desecration left by one of this world’s unspeakable evils. Some of us decided to give the children a proper ceremony. There was no way I could leave the bodies like that. But first, Kobar cut down the center body. The body of the little girl trapped in the front of the house. I don’t know why, but he forced her to confront the reality of her ghostly existence.
We still needed the 3rd object, a gold skull, and so we searched the only place we hadn’t been yet: the basement. It was full of horrors. A room used for torture. A strange prison. There was a room with the symbol that we have come to associate with the Vitreons. The evil emanating from that room was almost unbearable.
Finally, in the last room, we found 7 closed caskets. We all held our breath. By that point we were all itching to fight whatever evil it was that plagued the house, but we knew we weren’t equipped to deal with 7 vampires.
Kobar went to check on one, and to our relief, it was only skeletons that burst forth. We had the advantageous position. The skeletons had to squeeze through the narrow opening of the door. We also had Villag. He is truly skilled in the art of combat. I’d hate to get on the wrong side of his blade.
We managed to defeat them without taking much damage of our own. One of the skeletons’ skulls happened to be a nice shiny gold. We gathered the 3rd item and headed back up the stairs to talk to the little girl once more…