Stonehell - The Quiet Halls (Session 8)

The day started well enough, with the party exploring corridors close to “Da Dragon’s Den” They discovered a store room and found two coils of good rope, a bottle of wine and Caluki was able to replenish his stock of arrows (24)

Moving North Jeddadiah stepped on a what felt like a loose flagstone and narrowly avoided tumbling into a ten foot deep pit trap. Having safely traversed the pit using rope and pole they group came across four Kobolds who claimed to be carrying out maintenance work. The walls of the two rooms were carved with large (10’) human faces. Terner investigated the open mouth of one of the carvings, discovering that the Kobolds were in the process of resetting a dart trap which would have been triggered by a trip wire. The Kobolds assured the party the traps were for their own defence against wandering groups of Orcs and Goblins. Continuing to explore the party made a grisly discovery: a storeroom where someone (perhaps the Kobolds?) was keeping humanoid corpses, wrapped in Linen shrouds.

Another room contained a tall stone statue shaped like a bearded head. Odourless smoke or steam spilled from the statues mouth and when questioned it spoke. The party worked out the statue will answer six questions a day, sometimes in riddles! The answers were vague but appeared to confirm the Dwarves claims that a dragon was involved with the downfall of the Karag.

Moving East the adventurers came to double doors made of stone and carved with a ‘Danse Macbre’ motif. The doors took a combined effort to move and opened into a dark entrance hall with large stone pillars and a high vaulted ceiling. Jeddadiah explored the northern passageway, finding a hole in the wall which looked like something, or someone had broken through from the coffin sized cavity beyond… The party also found a room which they believed to be a morgue and a room where the walls covered with dozens of wax death masks. Terner uncovered two secret doors which led to another corridor. Jeddadiah, moving ahead heard the sound of shuffling feet moments before a group of zombies lurched and staggered into the area illuminated by his torch. The cleric raised his holy symbol but was only able to turn two away. The adventurers positioned themselves for the coming attack: Jedaddiah out in front with shield and mace, Caluki moved to the best position to use his bow, with the thief (making his roll for once!) hiding in the shadows, close to the elf and ready to backstab the enemy. Sadly, despite announcing his intentions in advance Terner was unable to act before a lone zombie closed the gap on the bow wielding elf and struck him down with one blow.

Concerned that whatever black magic caused the dead to rise in the first place might also defile Caluki’s corpse, the party removed his head and stored his linen wrapped body in the room they had discovered earlier.

Returning to the dwarf Snorri Broadshoulders they were able to negotiate the services of one of the younger dwarves to accompany them further into the crypt. The party returned and began systematically clearing the area of undead, freshly motivated by the loss of their pointy eared colleague. They brought peace to many undead including walking skeletons, zombies and two ghouls, one of which came close to wiping out our brave adventurers having paralysed two of them in one encounter. Their new colleague paid the ultimate price for his bravery. His friends the dwarves, though saddened by his loss were glad to hear he died with axe in hand.

The door at the end of a dark corridor opened into a large pillared room dominated by a life sized statue of a veiled woman. A jug at her feet contained silver pieces, perhaps an offering? Terner snuck in and lifted the jug but as he broke into a run the inanimate skeletons standing in niches around outside of the room jerked into action and nearly took the thief down. Having survived once again thanks to Jededdiah’s faith and ability to turn the undead, the party set about searching the chamber. The statue carried two ornamental flails. They discarded one but kept the second (gold plated) one.

Terner uncovered another secret door which led to a room or cell containing old furniture including a bed. The secret door was behind a small altar on which was a smaller version of the statue seen in the previous chamber. The room also contained old books and scrolls, most of which were ruined. When Jeddadiah started to read from the only legible piece he felt a sudden sense of unease and his vision quickly dimmed until he became blind. Only afterwards did he link his blindness to the fact that the statues represented a veiled or blind woman.

With their main line of defence from the undead effectively crippled, the party elected to make their way back to the surface and consult Father Dalgaard. Dalgaard was able to confirm Jeddadiah’s opinion that the statue represented a (pagan) goddess known as Sorcha (or Sorcha the witch bitch!) Father Dalgaard was unable to repair the blindness and could only suggest prayer as a possible cure. He was deeply saddened to hear about Caluki and has started to feel that this trip was perhaps a naive venture. He is expected back in Redwood Mill soon (the party were initially paid for a 14 day expedition and are currently on day 12) and so suggested they all return all to the town. Father Dalgaard also told Arturio that Father Rasmus at Redwood Mill is the only person he knows who might have the knowledge and experience to raise the dead but stressed that this is not something that should be undertaken lightly…


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