Date: 12 jan 2012
Party (Part A): Martin le Renait, Hamish, Charlie Darrowkin, Audrey Carcasonne, Thurogood, Roland, Richard Loubeau, Pigshit Pat, Greengoat's Cleric
Party (Part B): Martin le Renait, Hamish, Pritchard Hood, Hanna Darrowkin, Roland, Richard Loubeau, Jorge Fitz, Greengoat's Cleric
Part I: The Wheel of Fortune
I have just returned from another foray into the depths beneath the Ambreville's ancestral home. I am weakened from my harrowing, but still alive. I bring back disturbing news.
We continued our efforts to explore beneath the tower, keeping an eye on our obligations to House Sylaire. After an encounter with a number of mindless animate corpses, we discovered a unique shrine to chaos: A room whose portals evoke the wicked compass, spinning on a great crystal axis that imprisons a malevolent force. My mind-reading facility gleaned its name- Galarag- and a suggestion that it originates on another plane entirely. The demon was able to manipulate the room around us, confounding the doorways such that we spent much time vainly attempting to leave while it tempted us to free it. We resisted: While I briefly considered attempting the demon's destruction, we had no assurance that it would even be assailable when freed from its prison. I trust Sommelinde will have advice on this matter; I am confident we may return to that chamber as necessary.
During our attempts to escape we were attacked twice more, once by eternally burning corpses and again by the soulless shadows of earlier guests in the chateau. In the meanwhile our small companion, Charlie, uncovered a great pot of gold (reflected in the offerings). Upon our eventual escape we were ambushed by two lieutenants of the Ambrevilles, Dumont and Duval, cursed to unliving service of the house. The two lost souls commanded a small squadron of lifeless bodies. They struck me, but I convinced them that our attempts to restore the Lady Sylvaire were to the good of the Ambrevilles. Rather than continue their attacks, and much to our surprise, they conducted us to the chambers of Lady Phoebe d'Ambreville, now a chilling shade of great power. Phoebe's specter was interested to know of our quest for her daughter, and directed us to Lady Evangelista's last known location.
Part II: The Greater of Two Evils
We descended into the depths, to the very limits of even the Ambrevilles' magical light. We came upon Lady Phoebe's withered and lifeless body, inscribed by a circle of runic wards. There was a great door we could not open without magics we lacked. In this chamber we were confronted by a disembodied voice here that claimed to be an enemy of the Ambrevilles' wickedness, and I was convinced, more than any other, that it was a valuable ally. My companions doubt my instincts in that moment, but I tell you the voice rang of hot light and righteous justice.
The voice guided us back to Phoebe's chambers with the Lady's body in tow. Somehow compelled, I followed the invisible presence into those chambers and saw… Lady Camellia, I saw great and terrible things, and witnessed the revelation of two horrible truths. First, that our ally was a demon of Cocytus: a shape-changer appearing as a succubus and as a troll-ish nightmare. Yes, one of the loyal houses resorted to a pact with Chaos in their lust for revenge on the Ambrevilles. I know not which, but there are dark forces in the noble houses still.
A great melee followed, in which Lady Phoebe unleashed four monstrous autamatons to protect her from the demon's fiery wrath. When Phoebe was finally dispatched, the demon abandoned us to her constructs- but not before I saw her body restored to life in anticipation of the torments to come in Cocytus. This was the second hard lesson, Camellia, for the Lady was fanged… I fear that we may not understand how early the Ambrevilles had forsaken a natural life for the embrace of undeath.
While we recovered a number of arcane implements from Phoebe's chambers, none yet appear to be artifacts of Chaos. I am sure the House Marais will aid us further in that assessment. While the natural order of the great Houses is, of the three tenets, that which I struggle most with, Sommelinde should be pleased to hear that we strive to continue in service to both the Marais and the Sylaire. With regard to the latter: The demon appeared to be allied with a creature called Suu that his holding Lady Evangelista hostage. It is apparently invisible, and smells of cinamon. Do the histories of Trianoma treat on such creatures? We have not yet reported this to the Lord Sylaire, and would welcome the Temple's advice on how to deal with the Lady's captor. I hope I have done the Thrice Blessed Lady and her Temple good service.
Losses and Loot
Richard lost a life level to a wight. The party defeated 6 normal zombies, 6 burning zombies and 3 shadows. They retrieved 5,000gp. Each character received 555gp and 600xp.
Wounds abounded and the spear Passager was lost, but those were the only casualties. We fought the specter of Phoebe de Ambreville and her 4 golem protectors.
A great hoard was exhumed including a staff, three wands (one of metal detection, another of secret door detection), a manual of golems, a piece of Amelie's Mirror, laboratory notes, tomes, scroll tubes and reagents, a locked strongbox (containing Phoebe's spellbooks), several sets of golem-forging tools, a golem-head paperweight, Phoebe's jewelry and a large grandfather clock (!).
After selling everything not inherently magical, each character received 567gp and 806xp (minus 250gp per player for dispellment of wards on the chest - for a net of 317gp).