The party decided a rest was needed after the numerous combats they’d seen already today. But, as they debated where to rest, one of the 25 shades following them suddenly rushed at and through Wulfric. It somehow seemed to drain some of his life force and became more visible substantial, yet still incorporeal, a true ghost, which now attacked. Jimmy fled in terror from the mere sight of it, and the ghost struck Perudo, aging him twenty years in a single hit. With the ghost and 4 more shades standing about, Lune could take no more. Calling on the power of the Finger of Kavkaz, he brought into being a black ball of nothingness, much like a sphere of annihilation, which he commanded to move at the ghost. It did so, and the Ghost was suddenly whisked from existence; he then turned it on the remaining shades, which made no move and were also blotted from existence. It was a potent display of the Finger’s growing power. What price Lune would pay for invoking it was not clear.
Somewhat shaken, the party decided to explore to the west a little more, hoping to find a safe resting spot close by. They came to a disused hall in poor condition, decorated with many decayed frescoes depicting aquatic motifs such as sea serpents, under water cities of Sahuagin, horrific unknown creatures of the deepest depths, and the like. Though the air was briny, it was less so than it had been. Exploring several side doors, they encountered three more Shades that dutifully began following them, but also found a long staircase up, which they followed (avoiding a nearby room that Jimmy could hear noises in).
Up the stairs they came to a small guard room with a pair of armored creatures that looked like ghouls. They fought like men, however, and turning did nothing to them — they were, indeed men, but more ghoulish in appearance than was healthy. They were not overly skilled fighters, but they were well armored and the party was greatly wearied. Worse, another door opened and almost a dozen more were rushing to aid their comrades — until Pandemonious used his lightning wand to blast a number of them. Still, the melee continued and it became impossible to use the wand safely a second time. Lune was disarmed by one and had to shift to chop-socky, but finally the guards were destroyed. The room they’d come from had a fresh corpse, partially consumed; they really were quite ghoul-like.
With options to go north or east, the party took the latter (first briefly scouting the other way). Down a small stair in a side passage, they came to a door that opened to a room of indeterminate size as it was filled with a roiling grey mist or cloud that severely limited visibility (the “evil smog of LA” it was dubbed). The party turned right around and continued searching for a rest spot. They now came to a large round room with a high domed ceiling. In it were three raised stone slabs, all badly stained with old blood. Carved in the wall to the south read, in Common, “Look ye on we who were once Kings, not but food for the Lord of the Underworld.” Other writings were also around the room, but in a script and language unknown to all in the party. Two side chambers opened out of this one, one containing all manner of implements of butchery and sacrifice; the other contained heavy leather aprons, also bloodstained. Despite this, the room seemed somewhat unused, so the party decided to rest right here, despite the grisly purpose of the place. Aside from some weird buzzing outside the door, the passed the night peacefully (the three shades remained with them, of course, but made no hostile actions).
Next morning, the party continued explorations and soon found another stair up. Expecting that the Aspergillum would be in the monastery above, they decided to take it (bypassing a very large room that opened up into darkness nearby). A level higher up, they turned a corner into a pair of guards, real humans and not ghoulish like the others. Perudo managed to hold person both of them, and they were questioned under ESP from Pandemonious. They knew nothing of the location of the Aspergillum (they knew of it, of course). They also indicated that there was a large treasure to the southwest and stairs to the northwest from this room. With this information, they slew the held guards and took a southerly passage that led them to a prison and torture chamber, where they heard some moaning. There was a smaller, more “high end” torture chamber adjacent, and the quarters of the jailer/torturer, with whom the party fell into melee. He was a powerful fighter, and the party remained plagued by lingering weakness from previous fights. Jimmy, though, got a great strike in with his spear, though Wulfric took a terrible hit from the jailor’s broadsword. He was slain, eventually, and proved to a small but nice assortment of magic items. He also had a jug of surprisingly good wine, which the party helped themselves to…
And we broke there early as Brian was under the weather.
– Experience: 1711 XP each (that was up to when you rested and does not include the torturer and his treasure.)