Saltmarsh Journal

Journals for the Saltmarsh RPG Campaign

Archive for the ‘Nailen’ Category

End of the road?

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

We make our way back to Kendra’s house for a rest. There’s been a kerfuffle in the town – another letter has been daubed, this time on a wall in the cemetery. It’s the ‘I’ of Vesoriana.
Over dinner we discuss possible ways to destroy the Splatterman’s spell book. Mahan is sure it needs the application of holy water and some of the other interesting items we have found – tipped arrows etc. The next morning Nailen will visit Arlen. Our discussion is interrupted by footsteps at the door. We hear a scream from the hall and rush out. Halventromm is backing away from a rotting animated corpse – it is Halventromm’s brother.
Olsen attempts to splash holy water on it, while Rufus attempts to use the spirit speaker to communicate.
The holy water seems to have no effect and Rufus struggles to get any signal. Nailen stops faffing around, grabs a silver arrow and stabs the zombie with it. the arrow sinks into its chest and as Nailen withdraws it maggots and gunk drop out.. Bleurgh.
Nailen is hit by the zombie and faints again. As he drops the zombie slashes him across the stomach. Olsen and Mahan stop fannying about and kill it. The boys clean up the mess and head back into the dining room for dessert.
Rosy fingered dawn lights up the eastern skyline. Nailen heads to see Arlen, the others go to see the sheriff. As we leave the house we notice a house we saw yesterday is now a smouldering wreck. When we reach the main square there are dead bodies lying on the ground and the sheriff comes to talk to us. It seems the dead are rising…
Nailen nips off to see Arlen. Yet again he fails to memorise any spells. They discuss the plans to destroy the Splatterman’s spell book.
Olsen, Mahan and Rufus go to see the priests of Zalaton but don’t get much more info from them. They move on to the graveyard. It’s a right mess!
Sherrif Caellar comes to see us again at dusk and asks what can be done to protect the town. Nailen suggests taking the surviving villagers to the temple of Zalaton for protection. The night passes without incident…
Dawn breaks and Nailen pops back to the temple to learn Soul Sight and finally Helim is listening.
We leap frog up the road to the prison, singing ‘Pack Up Yer Troubles’. A montage plays as we make our way down to the cellar. We head down the corridor marked ‘Nevermore’. There’s a portcullis and a side door. Behind the side door is the winch mechanism, but it is warped beyond use. We also cannot lift the portcullis and feel a bit stuck.
We seek Vesoriana and Rufus talks to her. She cannot pinpoint the Splatterman and does not know much of the prison layout as this is ‘her first day’.
Mahan suggests that we molest the spellbook hoping it will draw the Splatterman to us.. We move to the initial cellar room and discuss how to proceed. Rufus wants to burn a single page. Rufus burns a page but nothing happens. Mahan pours on some holy water but nothing happens there either.
We consider the possibility of a secret passage from the torture chamber. Nailen again suffers at the hands of the iron maiden. We tip the iron maiden onto its front so that it cannot entrap him again, and we fail to find any secret doors…
We are stuck.

Can I play with madness

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Mahan had killed the troll with the hammer.

We talk a load of guff and Nailen says we should get on with it.

Rufus is back to his old ways with first aid and inflicts further damage on Mahan.

Nailen spots a hidden door, behind which is a weapon rack, armour stands and a chest. The chest contains 4 healing potions, 10 magic crossbow bolts, a rope of climbing and a wand.

Despite the fine armour on offer there was no improvements for arms or legs, so we left it.

Feeling buffed, we continue…

Mahan raises a portcullis so that we can continue down this westerly corridor… It takes us to a north south corridor lined with cells. It’s a loop, and there’s a door on the west end of the south wall.

We prepare our bows and Rufus opens the door. A big room welcomes us. This looks like a torture chamber, filled with macabre implements…

There’s a skeleton, but it doesn’t react to Nailen’s sword. He then approaches the iron maiden. He cannot play with madness and ends up possessed. Eventually he recovers and discusses the hallucinations with the others.

They saw Nailen approaching the iron maiden and touching it, then losing all caution and opening it and rushing inside; the iron maiden closing behind him.  Following brief screams, the iron maiden then opened and his body fell out with ghostly chains were wrapping themselves around him.  Mahan and Rufus leapt to his aid (and Olsen).  First Rufus tried a spirit jar.  This appeared to remove some of the chains’ potency, while Mahan tried an obsidian arrow, that might be magical.  This had the double effect of weakening the chain further and weakening Nailen’s leg too. And finally Olsen remembered the Holy Water we’d been lugging around since Day 3 of this adventure and sprinkled that over Nailen.  The chains melted away and Nailen was free, with an arrow in his leg.

Nailen then flicks the lid off a basket at the end of the rack. Out scuttle two hands which attack. Nailen fumbles and then passes out from damage taken, some of which is dealt by Rufus with a crossbow bolt. Olsen and Mahan deal with the skeletal hands.

We return to town to recover.

Worryingly close to competent

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

/skill check montage…

We are rested and feel our skills have got better – Olsen is still tired though.

Over a hearty breakfast Rufus yet again expresses a desire to head upstairs in the prison and visit the locked door. He put a lot of effort in getting the herbs for the mosquito repellent so he wants to use it!

We trek up the hill to the prison. Rufus is in the lead and takes us upstairs. As we scout around we can hear the faint sound of piping. Nailen has a practice peep on the pipe, but then is gripped by the desire to play more. Rufus punches him in the goolies which breaks the spell and he drops the pipe.

We find a kitchen, and then a broom cupboard.

Approaching another door Rufus and Nailen are struck down with fear. Mahan gives them a pep talk. The door is opened, and within is a skeleton. Rufus attempts to contact it on the Spirit Speaker but nothing is there. Nailen twats it with his sword – seems like it was just a skeleton.

Nailen is now rooted to the spot and then sees a figure coming down the corridor – it is playing a pipe and leading 2 mosquitoes. Mahan starts to play the pipe and is entranced by it. Things are not looking good – Rufus spots 2 skeletons coming down the other corridor. He stabs at the first and hits it. However, it hits back and Rufus goes down with a sore leg.

Olsen appears from the stairs muttering about sleeping in. At this point Nailen frees himself from his fugue, but the state has done him some damage – he collapses in a faint.

Olsen wields his sword in an effective manner and drops one of the skellies. In the meantime Rufus casts a healing spell on himself and his leg recovers. Olsen is clearly well rested as he lands a critical blow on the skeleton and it crumbles….

Rufus grabs the flute from Mahan and *all* the flute music stops. Could the Piper be vanquished??

Rufus takes Nailen’s lockpicks and attempts to open the locked door that has been bugging him for days. He fails and they realise they can’t do much without Nailen. They try to open a trapdoor at the top of a ladder but no one is strong enough – again the strongest party member is unconscious. There is nothing for it but to have a spot of lunch and wait…

/picnic lunch montage while waiting for Nailen to wake up

Nailen approaches the door and attempt to unlock it. Through sheer persistence the door gives up trying to stay locked. Vast piles of treasure are surely on the other side.

Sadly, no treasure is present, but a short corridor leads to another door.  Nailen approaches the next door and unlocks that as well. It leads out onto a large balcony with some benches and what appears to be a executioner’s block. Two skeletal ghostly arms appear, brandishing a scythe. It rapidly flies towards Nailen. He shuts the door and retreats. The scythe thumps into the door and a foot of the blade comes through. It seems to be pursuing.  Nailen attempts to catch it in a Spirit Jar, but it doesn’t seem to have much effect.

The others finally spring into action to defend him. Olsen and Mahan both hit and Nailen steps back to wield his bow. Olsen and Mahan both take damage. We continue to hit it but not much happens. Nailen produces one of the Sun Rods and blasts the apparition. It succumbs to the POWAH of Helim.

All Lou Ferringo

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

We are in the village and we continue to ponder our next moves.

Rufus hits on the idea of getting a crowbar in order to be able to get through locked doors. Mahan comments that we should get some beeswax or similar to block our ears for when we face The Piper. Rufus chats to his apothecary bird and obtains some wax as well.

We prepare some packed lunches and head up to the prison.

After passing the stupid flying skulls and the cold spot, we get to the locked door. Rufus brandishes his new crowbar and Nailen gets to work as everyone else is too weedy. Grrrraaaarrrggghhhhhhhh!!!! Nailen rips the door open and roars in triumph. The room beyond has a bizarre collection of antique goods on two sets of shelves. Some are tagged. Each tag has a name and number. We don’t find anything tagged with our names of interest. But we do find a fine set of thieves tools, a medallion with a large crystal, a set of silver hair clips, a fine punching dagger, a pouch containing a dozen shuriken and a silver dagger.

Rufus dons the crystal medallion. He feels a hankering for some white trousers and loafers. And a pina colada.

Nailen feels that the room shape doesn’t match the sketch plan of the building. He finds a hidden door in the back which opens into a cupboard. Shelves have a bloodied hand axe, a pile of fine silver chains, a mouldering tome, a hammer and a tarnished silver flute. Rufus checks the book and sees the name Hean Feramin. On the top corner of the same page is a ‘R’, written in blood. The next page has  ‘U’, also in blood which looks fresh. There appears to be the start of a spell. And a ‘F’. Two pages on is another ‘U’. Rufus stops looking!

Nailen takes a look and sees a ‘N’ on the first page. Spooky stuff.

We check the fine silver chains – they are completely entangled. On closer examination they hold 12 different holy symbols. Surely this is the possession of Father Charlatan.

Nailen thinks this might be the time to attempt Soul Sight. It takes several attempts but he manages to cast. Nailen can see a strong essence of power around each item. He can also see that the medallion has innate power.

We agree to attempt to remove the items back to the Temple of Helim. Mahan suggests we need to be prepared to leg it in the style of Tucker, Alan and Tommy. We make it to the Temple of Helim without incident and meet up with Argen.

Rufus plays a single note on the flute and is struck with the urge to play the flute on and on. He starts to bleed from his ears and nostrils and passes out. Mahan first aids. After coming round, Rufus says that he got a feeling that the flute hates the Piper and would do damage to his spirit if played within his/it’s presence. We make our excuses and go to see Halvenstromm.

As the day comes to an end Mahan feels it’s time to stake out the statue. He reappears at dawn looking tired and a bit grumpy. “It was a waste of time” is his appraisal. That day Rufus realises he can store some POW in the medallion so does so. Nailen hangs out at the temple, hoping to learn Soul Sight again.

Olsen lost

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Nailen returns to the temple to search the records for reference to the Lopper.
After many hours and nearly giving up he finally finds a tattered diary. It appears to be the journal of the incumbent at the time of the riot and fire. Looking back a few tears he finds reference to the crimes and arrest of The Lopper. Real name Vance Saetressle.
He was a notorious ambush killer. He would hide somewhere unlikely for days on end then leap out and behead his victim with a hand axe.
In the priest’s account of the prison destruction, there is a note of praise to Helim that 5 of the most notorious prisoners in Merkaine have died earlier than could have been expected. And the followers of The Twelve will be glad that the career of Father Charlatan is at an end.

Nailen heads to the pub to report to the others.
We remind ourselves of who the 5 notorious prisoners are…
Sefick Corvin – blasphemy, not dangerous. Upper cells.
Vance Saetressle – oubliette, awaiting execution. Most recent arrival.
Ispin Onyxcudgel – oubliette, awaiting execution. Very trollish sounding name.
The Piper – Reapers Hold, awaiting execution.
Hean Feramin – nevermore, awaiting execution. Been in prison a long time.

Could Corvin be the Father Charlatan mention in the journal? Nailen will return and scour the records further. Rufus will stalk the woods seeking the local Wise Woman of Tamra.
While failing to find anything in the books , Nailen speaks to Argen and learns of Father Charlatan. He was a notorious con artist and would pretend to be a priest of any of the 12 faiths. He used this to con people out of vast sums of money. When unmasked and arrested his follower attempted to break him out of the prison so he was moved to Harrowstone. Argen doesn’t know the name Sefick Corvin.
Nailen then asks about the Whispering Way – they are an evil order of necromancers who have been in existence for centuries. Nailen proposes that Father Charlatan and Sefick Corvin are one and the same – Argen agrees that is probably the case.
Nailen then gives Argen a synopsis of what they’ve discovered so far. Argen postulates that the spirit of the Splatter Man may be stuck in the MO of the living man hence the letters daubed on the statue. Nailen fears that if the spirit of Vasoriana is destroyed then nothing will stop the spirits of the prisoners wreaking havoc on the town.

All you need is DEET

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

We are at Kendra’s for tea. The food is hearty and some of us feel that it’s increased our mental persistence…
Nailen discusses with Rufus on his thoughts about remounting the stairs up to the cells. Olsen is out of action for a day. Rufus suggests popping to Boots to see if they have anti-mosquito spray. Then he remembers that there’s a marsh based herb, the sap of which repels biting insects. While Olsen is out of action we agree to a short side-quest.

Rufus chats up the bird in the chemist. She doesn’t have any of the herb in stock, problems at the suppliers in Nottingham, but she suggests somewhere we can go.. it’s 3 days ride away though.
We decide to go off on a little trip. We camp out the first night and Mahan hunts a rabbit for supper.
The next day we get to a junction and take the road towards the river. After a while we reach a hamlet. We pop into the inn and have a hot meal and a wash. The innkeeper introduces us to the local crone. She takes us weed hunting and we reap two baskets full. After the gathering Nailen buys the lady a hot meal and we negotiate with the innkeeper for rooms and an early start. We ride like the wind, Bullseye! And get back by the evening.
Rufus will spend the next day preparing the weed sap concoction.
Nailen goes to visit Argen at the temple of Helim. They chat and have a prayer. Argen then invites Nailen to join him for a supp of communion wine. In the vestry are bookshelves laden with many many books. Argen says they are temple records. He’s never read them but Nailen is welcome to take a look. He looks at the volume covering the time of the fire. The lists of presumed dead tally with the prison records. There’s an interview with the surviving guards. Apparently there was a riot and a break out on the day of the fire. The warden, to prevent escapes, triggered a deadfall to seal the lower levels. In the process he trapped himself and most of the guards in the prison with the prisoners. The prisoners took the warden and guards hostage in an attempt to negotiate an escape. This stand off continued for several hours, then a fire started in the dungeons, spread up a lift shaft in the eastern block and caught a store of oil which burned like an inferno. The riot was led by one of the prisoners – the Splatter Man. He started using magical spells against the guards. In the process all of the prisoners and the guards died in the fire and the warden’s wife died of asphyxiation.
By chance, Nailen sees earlier in the book another mention of the Splatter Man – he’d been transferred to the prison and his real name is Hean Feramin. He was transferred due to the enormity and depravity of his crimes, (a monster, despite his obvious intelligence).
Further investigation reveals that Vasariana is a local – could she have surviving descendants who are daubing the graffiti. It then seems she didn’t have any siblings.
It seems that one of the guards might be related to Jarminda the apothecary. Another could be an ancestor of Myrta Strylock, a town councillor.

Rufus goes to see Jarminda again and asks her about family legends. She confirms that a great great uncle was a surviving guard. He left a diary… She rummages through a chest and produces a book.
It starts with an account of the fire – most of the tale tallies with what we know. It starts by saying that at the time of the riot there were some particularly vicious inmates. He was on the top level when the riot started. It was the noise of the deadfall which alerted him to a problem. The only other exit from the dungeons was the lift in the training room. Before the guards could get to it they were overrun by prisoners led by the Lopper and the Splatter Man. He could hear the Lopper’s screams as he hacked the guards to pieces. The Splatter Man was clearly taking charge.
The prisoners demanded that the lift be lowered before they killed the rest of the guards. This demand was ignored and prisoners in sight were shot at with crossbows.
The stand-off lasted for for several hours until Vasoriana arrived looking for her husband. She panicked and lowered the lift. The lift crushed some prisoners standing below. A couple of guards grabbed her and bundled her out. Some prisoners attempted to climb the chains – the guards poured oil down to make them too slippery. At that point the Splatter Man appeared at the bottom and began to cast spells. A guard threw a torch down, the oil caught fire and the fire spread.
Much of the rest of the journal is personal torment, but there are notes on the Splatter Man. he was a noted scholar and sorcerer. He was obsessed with the magical power of people’s names. When he decided to kill someone he would write their name in blood, letter by letter every few days. After the name was complete they would be caught in a trap which would mangle them – hence the name Splatter Man. Most of his victims were women.

Could it be that the Whispering Way removed the spirit of the warden who was keeping the prisoners under control. How is the Splatter Man now writing the letters??

Why you should tidy your room

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

We are in the room with the ghosty lady.
Rufus suggests exploring the remaining rooms in this section of the prison.
The narrow room looks like it was a chapel. The door has fallen off and the room is covered in gossamer threads of what we assume are cobwebs.
The large room opposite is a shambles. Rusty chains and bits of rotten rope lie on the floor. Rufus hears a faint wailing and clanking of chains. He also feels a sense of despair.
Time for the Spirit Speaker! As we ponder, a set of manacles start to clank and then rise from the floor and fly at Nailen. He slams the door shut.
We go to the next room – it’s a laundry. Nailen spots something wriggling within a pile of clothes. Rufus gets no connection with the Spirit Speaker. A strait jacket rises up and attacks Nailen. He gets a hit on it with his sword. It hits him back and he falls to the floor. It grabs his leg and starts to climb up him. Olsen grabs the jackets and carefully hacks it with his dagger. The strait jacket squeezes Nailen into unconsciousness. Olsen and Mahan slice it with their daggers and eventually it becomes scraps of cloth. Nailen is in his fugue state.
Looking at our sketch map we notice the ideal place to make another ‘Peter’ door – Nailen is taken to the ‘Nice office’ to recover.
Meanwhile Rufus attempts to use the Spirit Speaker in the cold spot, but to no avail. The three awake adventurers take a look outside the main door at check for runes or symbols around the foundations. It doesn’t take long to spot that the weeds and creepers have been moved aside. There are sinuous carvings that have been smeared in a reddy brown substance – blood!!!
Rufus is unable to read them so he copies them down in the hope that one of the priests can decipher them. The carvings go all round the building, on the way round Rufus finds the cess pit. Despite the prison being unused for a hundred years the pit is not dry and still smells of poop! Poopala doopala.
The consensus is turning to heading back to town and to discuss the runes with Halventrom and perhaps the priests.
Halvenstrom can’t read the runes and doubt that anyone in the town would be able to.
We discuss a plan to stake out the statue and see if someone comes to deface it. There are low bushes nearby so we should be able to hide out…
We don’t see anyone and head home in the morning. News filters through that the front of the town hall was daubed with ‘VES’

Tea with the vicar

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

We are outside the prison.
Nailen decides we should go back to town for lunch at the inn. Then we go to the temple of Hellim, and chat to the priest. He mentions that settling spirits can depend on what they are upset about. Nailen mentions the spirit speaker so we go to get it.
We return and chat further with Argen. We show him the mahogany box. He recognises it and explains a bit more about it. The flasks are spirit jars – open the jar and the spirit will be sucked in. The Spirit Speaker allows us to speak with spirits – hold the handles and focus. Rufus reveals one of the rods – Argen says it’s a Hellimnistic artefact.
Nailen is persuaded to become an initiate of Hellim. Partly due to the possibility of gaining some spells. And partly because it might encourage Argen to help us.
Nailen, Rufus and Mahan put themselves forward, but only Nailen is accepted – clearly due to his innate politeness, and superior jazz hand moves.
Nailen agrees to return for magic lessons the next morning.

The next day Rufus asks to join the Zalatuns…and gets pretty rapidly turned down.

Nailen learns the spell ‘Spirit Sight’ – it allows him to see people’s auras and those of spirits.

The next day we head back up to the prison, early doors. But we have a stout breakfast first. As we look back down to the town we see some sort of commotion around the statue. We reach the main doors. There is no joy with the spirit speaker in the main hall, or in the cold spot or with the skulls in the training room.
We decide to try the Ember Maw furnace. Rufus manages to get a connection using the spirit speaker – there is an overwhelming feeling of being burnt alive.
Nailen steps in front of the furnace with one of the spirit jars. It glows and heats up – he opens the jar and something is captured. The furnace stays hot and so Rufus uses one of the rods to dispel the spirit – it works but his arms are burnt. Nailen first aids.

We decide to go back to speak to Argen – following some discussion we conclude that there may be remains in the furnace. If we remove them from the furnace and bring them to him he can attempt a funeral ceremony which may put them at rest.
He also suggests that Sheriff Caeller would know what’s going on with the statue.
We pop into our favourite boozer, and it appears someone has defaced the statue and we are prime suspects. Some letters were painted on in blood – VE apparently. Rufus pops to see the apothecary bird and asks about burn salves. However, the sheriff is in there, so we turn around and head back up to the prison.

In the furnace room, we check it for ashes. There are lots of them so we go to the cupboard under the stairs to get brooms and mops. Nailen sweeps out the ashes. Olsen sifts through them and finds some ribs, finger bones and parts of skulls. These bones are hot to the touch. He puts them in a bag and after a while it starts to smoulder. We get a leather bucket, dampen it and put the bones in there. Time to head back to Argen. He suggests chucking the bones in the river. Disappointed with this suggestion we go to see the Zalatonites. They are pretty unhelpful.

We return to the Halvenstrom residence. Halvenstrom repeats the suggestion to use the river to cool the bones. Nailen drives a stake into the riverbed and ties the bucket to it. After a few hours the bones are cooled. Olsen releases them into the river and Nailen says a prayer to Hellim.

The next morning we head back to the prison yet again. Rufus wants to explore the ‘peaceful’ office room – there seems to be a spiritual void. Rufus does a very careful search for wards or glyphs that might indicate the absence. He doesn’t find anything. We decide to explore some more corridors…

We find a room with a desk, a bench and a tipped brazier with two branding irons. The irons start to glow. The Spirit Speaker gives the impression of many souls crying out in anguish. One of the irons flies at Nailen. We debate options on how to combat it… In the meantime we move on to the next room.
It’s appears to be a large tailoring workshop. As we enter the ghostly form of a woman rises. Nailen manages to speak with her – she is the wife of the warden. She cannot rest until she finds her husband. He was in the cellar, but men in robes have removed him and now the prisoners are rising.
The guards locked her in this room, and they set fire to the lift shaft to prevent the prisoners escaping.
There are 5 spirits in the dungeon who are gnawing at her soul. Destroy those spirits and she can regain control of the rest. Or, return her husband’s badge of office and return it to her.

Shouldn’t there be background music?

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The big room we are in was probably a training room for the guards. There’s a shaft in the floor with black scorch marks.
As Mahan approaches the shaft we hear a screaming. From the shaft emerge three flaming skulls. They charge at Olsen, Mahan and Rufus. It’s fight time!
Olsen suffers nasty burns to his arm. Nailen takes a hit too. His bracer heals him and he passes out again.
The others investigate the shaft. There’s water about 25 feet down. Someone spots a door on the far wall. They go through the door, leaving Nailen on the floor near the shaft.
Through the door is another room, the far wall is burnt away and the pond has ingressed. Mahan again suggests going back to town for a spot of lunch.
Mahan carries Nailen and the group head back to the Halvenstrom residence. Olsen dons the other healing ring. His arm instantly feels better, and he doesn’t pass out.
We head out to the pub but there is no news. Nothing much is going on so we go home and go to bed.
Next morning we head back up to the prison. We try the door off the stage but can’t open it. So we try the double doors off the main hall.
We find another corridor, then some stairs down that appear to have been blocked by a rockfall resulting from a trap. The next door reveals stairs going up. Then we find the cupboard under the stairs – buckets and mops etc. The door opposite opens into a corridor that links with the one to the south. Fascinating stuff, I trust you’ll agree!
The decor suggests it was the infirmary. We go in for a rummage. As we enter a ghostly skeleton appears. Mahan and Nailen are scared and run away like big babies. A whirlwind surrounds the skeleton and it starts to pick up items and fling them about. Olsen and Rufus elect to retreat. Rufus and Olsen are both hit by missiles. We all make it to the hall.
We head through the cold spot room. Through the training room and into the partially collapsed room. It contains a furnace with a plaque over the top saying ‘Ember Maw’. As we pass it a tongue of fire whips out and lashes Olsen. We rush for the far door and enter the Infirmary again. Nailen closes the double doors that the skeleton exited from. We exit and rush for the entrance hall and head outside. It all seems quiet inside.

If it hadn’t been for those darned kids

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Olsen readies his bow as we ascend the stairs up to the tower. He releases an arrow…it hits a rat. It squeaks and runs back into the tower. We hurry up the stairs, two steps at a time. Six rats leap out at Nailen and Olsen. Nailen slices into one and it flies over the wall. Four others leap at him and bite.

Nailen and Olsen are pretty heroic and kill some rats, however more and more stream down the steps. Nailen calls for a retreat. The rats don’t follow us down. Nailen dons one of the bracers of healing. His wounds magically heal, but the magic power seems to drain something out of him – the colour drains from his face and he falls to the floor in a heroic faint.

Mahan stops fannying about at the back and shoots a flaming arrow into the tower. It vanishes and does chuff all. He fires another. Olsen tends to the fallen hero.

Mahan imagines the voice of Nailen saying not to bother going up to the tower, maybe focus on the gaol instead.

The party pass beneath a rickety balcony and enter through a pair of doors, which hang off the frames. A semi-circular room – doors opposite with alcoves to either side. They contain rotten furniture. It’s a foyer. The doors are stiff, but Mahan kicks them open. A hall is beyond with several doors inc. 2 sets of double.

The door to the left open onto a long, darkish corridor. Several doors line the right, a single window on the left.

Suddenly, the other doors in the hall burst open, 8 or so disembodied heads fly out, circle the room and then exit. The doors slam shut behind them. It now turns out that Olsen and the unconscious Nailen are still in the hall and Mahan and Rufus are in the foyer. The double doors seems solidly closed. Rufus hits on the idea of hacking a hole in the wall instead! Olsen and Nailen exit and Rufus enters. He quickly opens another door and closes it again. He gets a chance to see a large room with a row of iron bars. Soon after the doors all burst open and the heads reappear. They exhibit signs of burns and are spectral rather than corporeal.

Everyone exits the building and brews up in the grounds. While waiting for the kettle to boil, Rufus tries to look in through the windows. There’s some more fannying around. Nailen has been left outside while Mahan and Olsen go back into the hall and open the door that Rufus looked through earlier. They hold it open this time and take a closer look. The room seems to have benches and a stage. Then the other doors open, the heads reappear and whirl round, then leave and all the doors slam shut again.

Rufus searches the house for a large piece of wood. While he is doing so, Nailen wakes up. Hurrah, they all cry! The new plan is for Rufus to open the door that causes the ghostly heads to appear. When the doors open, Mahan and Olsen slip through into the first corridor discovered. The first room seems to be an office. All the other rooms seem to be offices too. There don’t seem to be any spell scrolls or gold pieces present. What a let down!

Nailen asks Rufus to give him back the bracer of healing, and he puts it back on.

The room at the end of the corridor has a lighter feeling, less oppressive, more light. It has a safe, but we are unable to pick the lock. We return to the hall. After some testing, we have sussed the door locking issue – need to wait a couple of minutes, and the doors will always open to allow us back into the hall.

We enter the ‘Audience’ room – Olsen comments that the middle of the room is notably colder – painfully so. We pass through the double doors on the other side into a large room. It’s bright due to a large hole in the roof on the far side. We can see the ‘pond’. There is also a big hole in the floor…