As you can tell from the title, this is NOT the mini-painting spotlight that I normally do. This is for two reasons: 1) I have had ZERO time to paint in recent days, and my ability to do so when I am symptomatic are hampered severely, and 2) I have a lot of catching up to do for my various game stories.
Therefore, today will be dedicated to finishing out The Haunt. Enjoy!
When last we left the party, they were preparing to enter into the room with the double doors. They carefully checked it for both traps and locks. Finding none, they entered into the room…
They entered into a large room that appeared to be a spellcasting chamber including three stone practice dummies. Seeing yet another set of double doors to the east, they continued onwards.
A fire had gutted this once beautiful library. Charred books and the remains of several skeletons lay around the ground. The only intact thing in the room seemed to be a leather cloak hanging on a melted metal coat rack on the far back of the room. Ignoring caution, the bloodhunter bounded across the room to examine the cloak. The cloak, not being a cloak but a cloaker, turned on him and attacked, fully enveloping him in its folds!
After a difficult fight, in which the tabaxi bloodhunter was injured as he was wrapped up by the cloaker, with the death of the cloaker and the bloodhunter surviving.
Deciding to go back and finish exploring the rest of the house, they continued to be harried by the evil doll, with the cackling gleeful laughter and horrid lullaby predicating its attack.
Along the way, the party noticed the portcullis covering the stairs was lifted, but the party decided to finish exploring the first level.
They made their way back to the tea room, where the party went to the dining room, seeing a ghostly visage of people eating around the table. The artificer decided to simultaneously and independently check out the fireplace, where the evil doll attacked yet again! Fending her off, who disappeared into the shadows yet again, the party continued onward.
This time, the ghostly visage began anew, and the party was accosted by the visage of, what they could only assume was the General himself. The visage and ghostly meal concluding, the party continued onward toward the double doors to the south.
As soon as they entered, they were witness to a ghostly scene from the past, in which Gertrude and the General made plans to run away together, despite the General’s marriage to his wife. As the scene dissipated, the party noticed that, within this grand ballroom, to the east was a set of mirrored doors. The party set themselves to open it.
They find themselves on the edge of an outdoor pool area, although the pool itself is a murky algae, with the occasional ripple disturbing its surface. On the far side of the pool, laying on the stonework, is a jewel-encrusted sword.
The monk, using his shadowstep ability, teleported to the far side and picked up the sword. What rose from the depths of the algae-covered pool will haunt the nightmares of the party for years to come: a beholder zombie.
Of course, a fight ensued, with one character nearly hit with the creature’s disintegration eye beam! All that, however, was for naught, for the beholder zombie, as the dragonborn sorceress cast a fireball at it, the zombie dodging right into the line of fire (beholder zombie rolled a Nat 1 on it’s Dex save and my table rules state this causes double damage; a way for non-crit type spells to be able to crit)! The beholder zombie was obliterated to ashes at the immense ball of flame that struck it.
Upon examination, the sword ended up being enchanted!
Going back to the stairs, the first level being explored, the party decided to forgo the basement and head upstairs. Seeing a hallway, they followed the hallways to the right, and ended up in a waiting room of sorts, with the killer evil doll smiling demonically at the end.
Initiative began and the doll carved its way into the party but the party was nearly too much for the evil toy, which disappeared at the last, into the shadows once more. Cursing their luck at being unable to defeat the doll for good, the party continued through the next door.
Here, they met a curious sight! A skeleton writing at a desk over a ghostly ledger. The skeleton bade them welcome, telling them that they were expected. Suddenly, the door flew open, sucking in all but two of the party!
There they were met with a ghastly sight: Gertrude, her masked beauty unveiled to show her wicked demeanor as a night hag! The poor general, plastered to the ceiling a green gem stuck in his chest, and some sort of tentacles throughout, seemingly sucking the life out of him.
The battle was quick and brutal, the party successful in defeating Gertrude. At the end, the general fell to the floor, whispering thanks as he disappeared into dust, the evil green gem left behind. It was then the house began to shake.
The party, deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, broke the large bay window and jumped or teleported out of the house to the ground below, watching as the large manor house collapsed upon itself, the party standing in awe.
This is the ending the party received:
You manage to escape the falling manor, which has been the epitome of true evil. The night hag, Gertrude, has been defeated and the undead have been laid to rest. You know not who the hag’s victim was, however, but they did leave you the emerald in their departure. Now, standing before you, are the piles of rubble and decayed remains of the manor; finally resting in peace. The night begins to grow old as the first hints of dawn start to creep over the horizon. It is then, among the woods that surround the manor; you all notice a pair of glowing crystal blue eyes.
A horrifying girlish giggle carries over the, now, still night air, and the eyes fade into blackness.”
Suddenly, the previous storm began to produce hail the size of one’s fist, and the party found the rubble of a building, with stairs going down as the only refuge from the storm…
Stay tuned for “The Haunt: 2” this coming Tuesday!