Diary of Captain Nomed Oppenheimer - Entry Number 16
Thursday, November 12th, 907 of the Third Age
Crap. Just when you think things can’t get worse, you accidentally release an ancient lich from her prison. We are in a world of hurt in an ancient temple with very few options to get out, but hopefully this will not be the last entry of Captain Nomed Oppenheimer.
After our “fun” in the alternate dimension, Finn and I went back to the ship. I went to my workshop to let off steam while Finn was feeling “ill” after giving up our leverage in the other realm. The rest of the party decided to join Chironomous on a light gravedigging run. I only heard some of what happened, but from what they told me, the trip was more energetic than it should have been. Although the graveyard did not have any new occupants, the group was beset by some rather stupid villagers inside of the tavern nearby. They attempted to rob the group after drugging them, but the group easily bested them, and brought their corpses back so they could be of good use.
On their way back to the ship, they encountered a druid along the road, after a slight misunderstanding, the man announced his name was Scylla, and he was part of an order of druids who had been following our exploits. He thanked us for getting rid of the storm, and as thanks gave us a gem of weather reading, as well as his services for free. Not ones to turn down a free body, we let him join us for the time being.
While the crew were busy with Scylla, I noticed a couple of carriages ride past the ship, entirely black in appearance. This strange sight was too much to pass up, and I followed quickly down the road where the carriages entered Haggelthorn Manor’s grounds. I also saw the rest of the crew and relayed what happened, and we went to the manor to find Mr. Haggelthorn kill Gretchen and Finch, the two servants who betrayed him, only to bring them back to life as his new gardeners. We felt this was an appropriate end for them and went back to the ship to rest for the night.
That morning, we made sure to procure some supplies for the ship, as well as odds and ends, (like a great new cloak for myself,) and bought some horses for the day so we could ride down towards Dreadsfield and hopefully restore the mirror. The path led us south, where the plains gave way to swamp land, and we saw an unfortunate sight. The town had been overrun with zombies, and they were clogging the streets of the village. We came across the remains of a battle on the outskirts and in the nearby cottage we found a little girl hiding inside. She told us that she and her father were attacked by the zombies and some wolves, and that she only barely managed to get inside and hide from them. We told her that we were safe for the moment, and we headed for the town, as the zombies headed for us.
These were no ordinary zombies though, as in their mouths were totems that when disgorged sent out spells to attack us. We took out the first wave of creatures, but there were plenty more behind them, and we questioned whether we could actually defeat all of the creatures. Just as the next zombies were about to attack, a bell rang out from the center of town, and the zombies turned around. We also caught a glimpse of a large wolf watching us, who then leapt over the fence around what we could only assume was the town hall and go inside.
We believed that the key to defeating this evil was inside the chapel of the village, and so headed there, doing our best to avoid the zombies and make it there intact. At the foot of the chapel, which was swarming with crows, was the body of a man who we discovered was a disciple of Father Bartholomew, the mysterious priest who had put the mirror on our ship in the first place. His notes told us that he had been sent there to ensure that some ancient evil stayed down, and that he was inspecting whether the local priest was collaborating with this evil. We entered the chapel, and after we each left a coin in the offering box, we moved into the central chamber and defeated a pack of zombies inside. With these threats defeated we looked around and discovered several items of note in this area.
- A large number of stained glass windows with various scenes depicted in them.
- A set of stone effigies in the South, which ties to a puzzle we have yet to decipher.
- A small side chapel which we determined could be used to create an apple to heal grievous wounds.
- An altar which held a priest’s book and the words to a cleansing ritual we have yet to complete.
We moved upstairs, where there were three rooms. The first held the ghost of a child and his zombified corpse. The corpse held a silver key, and inside the room was a ceremonial dagger which we discovered was very effective against the undead. The second room was a common room in which we did not discover anything of note inside, and the third was a store room that had been taken over by the crows. These were led by two large crows, and when we killed those, they burst into swarms of the feathery rats. We destroyed the creatures, but in the process destroyed most of the room, and did not find anything useful. We also went up to the bell tower of the chapel, in the hopes that it would be useful to restore, but it did not seem to do anything.
We finally made our way to the basement, and in the first room were six sarcophagi, each depicting a warrior, and we left these alone for the moment, and we headed deeper down, through a small opening to a room that seemed removed from the newer building above. The room was lined with floating manacles along the walls, and keys flying from the ceiling. One of the sets of manacles held a young woman, who was passed out, and nearby was a dead man, whose neck was snapped. Along the walls was the puzzle that the disciple of Bartholomew had been trying to solve, and so I quickly solved it in the hopes it would help. It did not, as the manacles fell limp, and released the woman, who revealed herself as a lich.
Now we are in a small room with an ancient evil and the only way out is back through an army of the undead who have been magically amplified. If we do survive this, we definitely need to consider retirement while we are ahead.