The party consisted of the following:
Max, Human Bard 1 (Yann)
Embara, Wood Elf Fighter 1 (Erica)
Verdt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 1 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 1 (Nikki)
Riia, Human Ranger 1 (Hanna)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 1 (Erik)
With the cog repaired enough to limp to the next town that had a proper dock, the companions again boarded the ship and left the abandoned village behind.
The voyage to the town of Salt Bay was uneventful, though the arrival was not. Upon disembarking, the adventurers (and the ship’s crew) were told that any repairs would have to wait, as most of the townsfolk were busy dealing with the disappearance of 7 children the previous morning. The adventurers made their way to the inn to secure lodging before heading to the civic hall for a town meeting.
Nessendra, being totally tapped out for cash, decided to check in with the Ladies of Mercy house to see if she could stay with them. She arrived to the well maintained stone farmhouse to see several young robed women drop their tools, and scurry into the house. After knocking on the solid door, a crone cracked it open and demanded to know what Nessendra wanted.
“I was hoping to find lodging with you. I’m a cleric of-”
“Leave your weapons outside.”
“I can give them to my companions, and be right back”
“If you leave, you can stay away.” the crone snapped.
So she did.
The meeting at the civic hall was rowdy with townsfolk demanding that the Sheriff do more to find the children, and to protect those who were still safe, that the old abandoned manse be checked, that the river pirates be tracked down, that old farmer Wiggins is a witch, and Goodman Trellis has been acting strange… etc. etc.
Bach impulsively stood up in the back row and offered to help with the search, and implied that the rest of his traveling companions would do the same. The Sheriff thanked them, and called the meeting to an end, since nothing productive was being discussed. As the townsfolk were filing out, one of the members of the search parties ran in reporting that one of them had been killed near the manse!
The sheriff, some deputies, the adventurers, and a good number of townsfolk hustled the mile or so out of town to find a group of searchers clustered around a dead man at the tree line about 50 yards from the manse wall. They’d found him strung up against a tree by vines with several puncture wounds in his chest. The tree was smeared with blood.
After making a quick examination of the body, Bach charged up the hill to the manse with his companions trailing behind with varying levels of enthusiasm. The manse was surrounded by a wall, lower in the front, taller around the back, and in the back apparently enclosing an overgrown garden. The entrance to the manse was a freestanding stone staircase that ended at a 10’ gap (missing drawbridge) to the main door. Max used his mage hand to open the door, revealing a skeleton sprawled out just inside the door. Still using the mage hand, Max grabbed the skeleton by the leg and pulled. The leg came apart easily, so he grabbed the skull and started making it bob around in front of Bach.
Bach didn't notice that it was Max controlling the skull, and introduced himself to it. Once inside the door, the party stood at the top of an interior flight of stairs, with a hallway running the length of the manse, and doors to either side. Rather than explore this area, Bach went right down the stairs, triggering a false step trap, which he managed to mostly avoid. At the base of the stairs, as he turned to wave down the rest of the group, a ghostly image emerged from the wall, yelled a warning, then charged into Bach, who fell over unconscious as the ghostly form seemed to merge into him. He woke seconds later, his eyes briefly flashing with light, but apparently none the worse for wear. Exploration continued, and the party found:
a trashed library
- kitchen with a giant centipede thing with a beak and tentacles that took out Bach before being sliced apart
- stairs down to a storage room
- a hidden door with caltrops scattered about in front of it
- a demonic summoning room
- back upstairs to a walk-in freezer
- a workroom/store room for unused large goods
- servants dorm
- the reappearance of the ghost image.
back up to the 2nd floor
- little girl’s room with a murderous doll (door quickly closed)
- boy’s room with lots of blood stains
- older boys room, with blood stains
- tower room with a grand hall and stairs down…
- to an alchemical lab protected by 2 fart demons
back up to the other wing of the house
- unused guest room
- spinster aunt room
- spinster aunt room 2, blood stains
- chapel, blood stains, hidden stairs under altar
And the party descending the stairs is where we ended for the night. There wasn't much in depth investigation of the manse, as the party is focused on finding the children. Sadly they didn't end up investigating the pirate lead, which would have been very appropriate for Talk Like A Pirate Day...
Kills: 1 giant centipede-thing (carrion crawler), 2 fart demons (dretches)