Real World Info
After an ill-fated encounter with a magician on the road, our heroes reach the Ghost Tower of Inverness to find it ghostly no more. This signals greater dangers in the cellars below. After more fruitless probing for treasure, the party meets trouble on the way out, and one of our heroes does not survive the encounter.
I: Of Wizards and Wands
Our heroes accept a shifty acolyte who calls himself The Boss into their ranks. They also hire another young local, a fellow named Kenneth. The party then heads back to the Ghost Tower. En route, they hear a baby's cry on the road ahead. Hamish and The Boss move off into the trees as a precaution, while the rest stand in the road and wait. They meet a pair of young nobles accompanied by two goblins, one of whom suckles a human infant.
The male noble, Rainier d'Ivernesse, behaves in an aggressive and erratic manner. Recognizing the d'Ivernesse blade that Pog carries, he demands its return, calls the party assassins and waves a magical wand in a threatening fashion. Black Water's efforts at conciliation are rendered moot when The Boss rushes out of the trees and seizes the infant, using its life as a bargaining chip.
Immortus' sleep spell downs half of both parties. As a distracted Rainier rushes to retrieve the infant, Immortus identifies himself as a fellow noble and offers to kill The Boss personally to set things right. Rainier accepts the proffered peace, but ends the matter personally by turning The Boss to stone. Awakening his fellows, he offers Immortus and his companions a sizable reward to escort them to Glantri City. The offer rebuffed, Rainier and his companions continue on their way. Our heroes likewise turn back to civilization to allow Immortus the opportunity to restore his expended magic.
II: Further Exploration
The party replaces The Boss with an admitted bandit named Kwarash, who claims to know the areas below the Tower from his membership in a group of bandits dwelling beneath it in a river cave. Kenneth also parts ways with the group, disturbed by The Boss' barbarous act. With their latest roster, our heroes set out again the next day. Strangely, the normally-invisible tower is now plainly visible!
Once again, the party takes the southern route into the cellars. Hearing chewing, slobbering noises from the door to the Rat Room, they spike it shut; barking and howling ensues, along with a failed attempt by what's behind the door to batter it down. Quickly moving south to spike the door to another corridor heading to the Rat Room, they move on to the Mask Room to further enlighten themselves as to the contents of the cellars.
Finding the door east of the Mask Room unbolted, they enter to find a round chamber with a stair leading up. Kwarash heads up the stairs. After evading a trapped step, he decides not to press his luck, though he lies to the party thereafter as to the extent of his exploration above.
A door to the north leads to a chamber with a strange pointing statue in the middle and oddly stuck doors in the middle of each wall. Immortus figures out the puzzle. The party takes the north door, rightly thinking it leads to the former territory of the goblins.
III: Bloody Encounters
The goblins' chamber is full of old furnishings, including chests and wardrobes empty of valuables… almost as though their owners had left in a hurry. (They had.) Pog spots a disturbance in one corner; this proves to be the largest rat yet encountered, being almost the size of the dwarf himself! The rat pursues him as he lines up with the rest of the party, and savages him (and Bill, the party's mule) before being put down by Black Water's magic missile and the party's blades. Kwarash eviscerates the creature in hopes of "finding some kind of magic hidden inside," and discovers three silver coins lodged in its gizzard.
As the direct route to the entrance passes through a narrow stretch of unmapped territory, the party retraces its steps. As they pass the spiked door to the Rat Room, it bursts open to reveal a pair of slavering wolfhounds, their sloughing flesh and exposed bone revealing them as undead! While Kwarash sprints out of the room, the rest of the party — dearing that someone would be left behind and devoured — stand their ground. Pog, already wounded by the great rat, soon falls to one hound's teeth, though it in turn succumbs to Hamish's hammer. Meanwhile, Immortus steps up into the front rank to protect poor Bill from being eaten! He hurls vials of holy water that burn the second zombie hound, but it seizes him in its jaws and tears him open before Black Water, a returning Kwarash and, finally, the inestimable Hamish put it down.
Despite his injuries, Pog will live. Immortus, however, is too far gone. He whispers to Bill the mule how it was the only one ever to love him unconditionally, and the wise beast licks the salt tears from his face as he breathes his last. Dispirited, the party loads their fallen on the mule and leave the Tower behind. As they pass the petrified form of The Boss, they raise the statue as a marker and bury Immortus at his feet.
IV: Losses & Loot
The party killed one oversized giant rat and two zombie wolfhounds. They acquired the last couple of wine casks, with a total value of 100 gp, and three silver pieces.
For creatures defeated and conflicts defused over the course of the session, each surviving PC received 125 xp.