A Laboratory in the Rectory

13-15 Sunsebb 589

We crossed the inlet with Esmerald, eyes set on the old rectory. Our group consisted of myself, the rangers Mug and Hoftar, Fisser and Dwenda (servants of the divine), and men-at-arms Arnulf and Perdu. We descended into the depths beneath the building, and set about to explore the area past the small frescoed chapel that was discovered on the previous expedition. Entering the chapel, we were greeted by 6 skeletons who we quickly dispatched. Exiting the opposite door, the greeting committee was a single ghoul. This was to be a precedent for the day’s exploration.

Exploring further down the hallway, we found a few empty monk’s cells. While opening the last of them, we heard the hissing of foul creatures down a side passage. We investigated, and were jumped by two ghouls. One of them quickly paralyzed Mug, and her dropped torch went out. The ghouls were fended off with divine power, and fled down a dark passageway. We did not pursue them, and returned to the chapel until Mug’s paralysis wore off. When we resumed exploration, we found that the ghoul we had slain earlier had been hauled off by one of its compatriots, presumably as dinner.

Exploring further, we found one of the pholtan one-way doors that were secured with lanterns — but this one was opened! While Mug and Hoftar tried to shut the portal, they came under vicious assault from two ghouls and a ghast. It was a near thing, but we slew the two ghouls and forced the ghast to flee. Mug, Hoftar, and Fisser were all paralyzed, and there were several tug of wars over the paralyzed bodies of our companions. We closed the portal, and waited nervously for our friends to recover. A light spell I cast revealed an interesting door covered with a block of letters, but we did not investigate it closely. After our companions recovered, we fled that place, being quite low on resources.

The next day, Fisser had religious duties, so we returned without him. On entering the dungeon, we heard phantom sounds. Exploring in a different direction, we came to three doors on each side of the corridor, with double doors beyond. The first pair of facing doors was home to a fearsome apparition, which we quickly learned would not bother us if we left those doors alone. Bypassing the first two doors, we found two monks cells on the right and two storerooms on the left. In one of the storerooms, I was assaulted most violently by six skeletons covered in dust. I retreated from the room, and we dispatched the skeletons one by one as they came through the doorway.

The pathway cleared, I examined the double doors. Finding no nefarious devices, we stood back and I opened them with arcane power. We stepped into the room — chisels, vices, anvils, and lapidary equipment lay everywhere on stone tables. As we stepped further into the room, a number of ghostly arms picked up the tools and assaulted us. We dispatched them, grabbed a number of valuable prisms and lenses and such, and made to leave. Barely had we left the room, when we were confronted with a scolding apparation of a pholtan priest. He raised his staff and darkness came forth . . . and nearly all of our number fled back into the laboratory. Only trusty Arnulf stood by my side. Between the two of us, we banished the ghostly cleric. But back in the laboratory, another hammer had become animated, and it slew poor Perdu before someone destroyed it. We left that foul place, with Hoftar carrying Perdu’s body. He deserved a proper burial; we could never leave a fallen companion in that foul place.