Andros Grey (+Tim Shorts) Level 2 Cleric
Athena of the Forest (+Ken H), Level 2 Warrior
Beryl Wayfarer (Athena's NPC Henchman), Level 1 Conjurer
Boris Bonesnapper (Andros' NPC Henchman), Level 1 Warrior
At the end of last session, the party had defeated the ghoul, Finneas Flogg, and his three ghoulettes. The party then entered the mausoleum wherein they found one of the two missing dragon eggs, the half-eaten body of Ugly Sue (one of Andrea Nadsnip's two treacherous henchmen), and a niche in the back wall containing a swirling mass of grey-black smoke, from behind which came wretched, pained and pleading voices: "Help! You must release us! Don't leave us here!"
Taking their courage in both hands, the party plunged into the smoke. They emerged on the other side in a large round chamber with no sign of the niche through which they had passed behind them. The domed ceiling of the chamber had a wide opening in the center giving a view to the starry night sky. Torches with green flames lined the room. Bound to the walls with ethereal chains were eleven ghosts. Above each ghost's head was its name written in burning flames. There were two empty sets of ghostly chains, above which burned the names "Andros Grey" and "Athena of the Forest" (the PCs). In the center of the room stood a ghostly great sword in the middle of a pentagram traced in coal on the floor. In the center of the pentagram, beneath the point of the sword, was a large gold ring, set there as if to anchor something.
The ghosts pleaded to be released. Andros and Athena spoke to the ghost of Ugly Sue, who told them that Finneas had made a deal with the devil – if Finneas fed thirteen souls to the devil, the devil would release Finneas from his ghoulish state and make him human again. The ghosts wanted to be released in order to go on to a proper afterlife.
Athena and Andros could not touch either the ethereal chains or great sword, but found as they erased parts of the pentagram, the sword became more and more tangible, until they could finally grasp it. They then cut the chains of the ghosts, who sighed with relief and rose through the hole in the ceiling and flew off into the night sky.
Grasping the gold ring and pulling it, Andros and Athena opened a secret door in the wall of the chamber leading to a tunnel lined with writhing zombie arms and hands. With no other way out, they tried to make their way down the tunnel, dodging the groping appendages (GM note: each successful Dex check got them safely one third of the way down the corridor; a failure meant they got one third of the way down but got grabbed and had to melee with the grasping zombie hands in order to get free). It took some time, but they made their way out through the end of the tunnel with relatively little harm done.
Emerging from the corridor, they found themselves standing in a black, burnt circular patch of grass, in the back yard of a run-down shack in the middle of a marsh. Once again there was no sign of the passage-way through which they had come. It was still night and a fog was starting to rise. The area around the shack looked lived-in and light glowed from between the planks.
Athena and Andros knocked on the door and met the conjurer-hermit Grimling, who turned out not to be Ugly Sue's old employer (as Andrea Nadsnip had told the party), but rather her husband. The zombie-arm tunnel had teleported the party all the way to Dankmarsh.
After hearing the party's story about Finneas and Ugly Sue, Grimling explained that he had found Finneas mortally wounded in the marsh and could not save him, keeping him quasi-alive by turning him into a ghoul. Grimling promised to search for a way to make him human again and in the meantime would keep him as an apprentice. But Finneas got impatient, rebelled against Grimling, and ran off.
When Grimling had originally found him, Finneas had been pursuing a dragon in the marsh – apparently Finneas was looking for a dragon egg which was to play some role in curing his sick mother. When Finneas the ghoul ran off, Grimling sent Ugly Sue to find a dragon egg and offer it to Finneas in order to bring him back to Grimling. Evidently Sue's mission failed, as Finneas felt he had found a better offer.
Grimling offered to teleport Andros and Athena back to Ravensburg (the burnt patch behind the shack was his teleport site). The party accepted and soon found themselves back in their inn at Ravensburg as the sun was rising. They decided to get some rest and then go to the university of Ravensburg for more information on dragon eggs.
And there ended the session.