Heading towards the first doorway, the door to this room has fallen from its hinges. The rectangular chamber beyond seems to have once been a chapel, but now thick sheets of what appear to be cobwebs drape everything within in gossamer threads.
Taking to the shadows, Alvranna heads into the room, quite as a mouse… unfortunately the rooms occupants are quite adept at hunting mice and their myriad eyes more than capable of picking out even our very discreet elf.
The three giant spiders that leap down are quickly dispatched and searching the chapel reavels a cabinet covered with webs in the northwest wall still contains a few religious supplies, including five vials of holy water, a scroll of lesser restoration, and a wand of cure light wounds (15 charges).
Noticing the inherent danger of simply walking into a room unaccompanied, Ashryn thinks that seems like such a fun idea and wanders into the next room all by herself to find a set of snapping animated manacles heading straight for her! Prior Daniel expertly dispatches the animated fiend with his hold might and then it’s off to the next room…
Several rusty iron tubs sit in this room, along with washboards, metal buckets, and heaps of moldy clothing. At first there’s nothing of interest here but Ashyrn notices a shape struggling within the mound of clothing, as if a small child or animal were buried within. ‘Could that be another bunny?!’ she must have thought, heading over to investigate but a a strong leather straitjacket flies into unholy life, seeking to throttle our perky little summoner.
Alvranna is quick off the mark and lets loose two arrows before the jacket even gets a chance to move. Despite a solid strike, the jacket keeps coming, even after taking further blows from the rest of our heroes until Noot’s slips inside, filling the jacket until it strains at the seams and bursts in a shower of old leather scraps.
Tangled mounds of moth-eaten fabric sit on several wooden tables, each surrounded by workbenches. Various sewing tools – shears, needles, rolls of thread, boxes of chalk, and other objects lie scattered over the floor, while the arm of what appears to be a skeleton protrudes from a stained heap of fabric to the west.
As our heroes enter, a spectral form manifests immediately before them, rising from the mound of moldering fabric that housed the skeletal arm. The spirit appears as a beautiful young woman dressed in a tattered but lovely blue dress. In fact, much about the ghost is blue, including her hair, the tears that run from her pale blue eyes, and the clouds of smoke that drift from her lips when she speaks
You must be the new guards, Pharasma be praised! We must hurry, the prisoners are revolting !
Now much can said about our team of heroes qualities. They are sharp of wit and sword, brave, capable combatants and fearless. Subtlety and diplomacy, however, are skills that largely elude them so it fell to Prior Daniel to tactfully converse with this restless spirit. It was the ghost of the warden’s wife, Vesorianna Hawkran who died after the guards had locked her here for her safety but forgot she was there in the panic of the fire. She was aware that the spirits of the five prisoners were growing in power since the disappearance of her husbands spirit and pleaded for help putting them to rest. She was also able to reveal, as she told her tale how the professor met his untimely end.
Leaving Vesorianna behind, they move to a stark room containing a low stone bench against the north wall and a ruined desk to the west that sits under three narrow, barred windows. An old brass brazier lies on its side to the south, surrounded by several rusty branding irons. Suddenly the air is full of the scent of burning flesh as five brands raise into the air, their tips red hot then, suddenly, each one lances towards a different target. The first few missed their marks but one struck Alvranna, searing a brand into her skin. The next would have struck Prior Daniel but at the last moment faltered. The final struck home with Tey, again searing a brand mark into his flesh. Prior Daniel fully healed the wounds, and the burn marks should have faded, but they still remain. Perhaps it’s some echo of the spiritual energy of the prison and will remain until the prison is purged?
Harrowstone’s western wing now clear our crew head to the remaining rooms in the eastern section. Several moldy cots lay strewn around the first room, while doors to smaller, more private sleeping cells hang askew to the west. Judging from the rest of this room’s decor, this must have once been the prison’s infirmary. No sooner had the group filed into the room than a hideous, skeletal, ghost-like figure shrieking into existence, exuding an unnatural aura of fear before suddenly turning invisible.
It was a poltergeist and it’s supernatural aura sent Ashryn running for the hills! Kahless, the brave and stoic warrior from Lastwall, soiled his armour and also dashed out the room as fast as his metal laden legs could carry him. Realising it was a poltergeist, an invisible evil spirit, Tey casts Detect Magic to try and locate it. It’s not, however, a invisible magical spirit so it doesn’t help locate it. OK, not magical, undead/evil it needs to be located… Protection from Evil was next. Finally, aha! Detect Evil!
While this was being puzzled out, Prior Daniel flooded the room with the hold power of Pharama, finally banishing the spectral entity. The room, now safe, our team raided it for anything that might be of value. A search of this cluttered room reveals a number of valuable objects—a pair of fully stocked healer’s kits, 3 vials of antitoxin, 2 vials of antiplague, 3 doses of bloodblock, 3 doses of smelling salts, 2 vials of soothe syrup, and 4 potions of cure light wounds.
A huge stone furnace dominates the next room, large enough for a child to climb inside. An ancient fire has burned away the entire east wall the room, providing a panoramic, if eerie, view of the lake beyond. That same lake has gradually expanded into the room, flooding its eastern half.
A brass plate above the furnace reads ‘Old Ember Maw’ but as they approach, it seems to animate into a leering skull-like visage made of metal and bars. It roars, a fire building deep inside ready to strike out.
Having enough of firey encounters already, Alvranna dives out of reach of the face of the furnace. Kahless grabs his shield and prepares to take the brunt of the blast but the haunt is put to rest before it had a chance to send forth it’s firey blast.
Searching the furnace reveals parts of a skull, some ribs, and a few finger bones. Once sifted out of the ashes deep in the furnace, the bones feel hot to the touch. Hurling them into the lake staunches the spirits wrath and destroys the haunt.
Onwards to the final unexplored room on the ground floor and the northeast wall of this room has partially fallen, revealing the dark, murky waters of the pond outside. Moldering training dummies and other similar equipment hint that this room may have once been a training area for the guards. In the northeast part of the room, the floor around a dark, jagged hole is surrounded by black scorch marks.
This is where the fire started and on the approach to the hole to the lower prison, four flaming skulls spring to life and attack. They are no match for our heroes who quickly dispatch them. The ground floor is clear!
A total of 1,500 each taking everyone’s XP to 5,130. Welcome to level 3!!! Summary of loot.