A couple new PCs joined the party of “permanent-guests” (or “treasure-hunters” in the local parlance) who have taken up residence in the village inn. These included: Le Pierre, a strong farmer from a smaller village downstream that wondered what the people of Hommelet were putting in the water; and Danderion, an elf from Grey Mountain who didn’t explain what had brought him there.
Fernac the card-shark, glad to make another go of it with some new recruits, offered to “lead” them. When the party (Le Pierre, Danderion, Osric, Aurelia, Mapper, and Fernac) arrived at the moathouse, they saw clear general signs of what was causing problems downstream—a large chunk of wall near the front entrance had crumbled into the water, additional debris had collected, and the main flow of water was being diverted into an expanding mudflat. Frogs were there in abundance and the party prepared for their assault. Well-armed with bows and other missile weapons, the party made short work of the giant frogs. During the fight, they saw an enormous lizard head peak out from inside the courtyard and grabbed one of the larger frogs for itself. After the fight, the party retreated some 20 yards, hoping the lizard would round out its meal with more frogs. But after gobbling down or one two more, the lizard showed its preference for large meat and charged. Le Pierre and Aurelia met the charge, while the others shot arrows into its sides. Both Le Pierre and Aurelia were badly wounded, and the lizard pounced on Aurelia to make a meal of her, again trying to retreat to the courtyard to eat. The party killed it with more arrows, but Aurelia could not be saved.
The party decided to return Hommelet and invite Lili the fighter to accompany them and, to replace Aurelia, invited the “other” cleric—Fezziwig—to come with them and left Mapper the thief at home.
In their second foray, the party mode cautiously but quickly across the debris and into the courtyard and then through the courtyard into the house. They scouted the rooms on the ground level. There were signs of recent structural damage, including a hole in the ceiling of the main hall. After spotting some glowing red orbs that they wanted to avoid, they decided it was time to go down. This proved difficult. The stairs were burned out. And after they threw down some burning brush to illuminate the place below, they began hearing an unearthly wailing sound, from an unseen source. They retreated to the main hall to discuss their next course of action. There they noticed some small rocks falling through a hole in the ceiling. And then the face of a wild looking man with flecks of bloody flesh in his beard. And the claws of lion. And wings. Le Pierre rushed to meet the beast and was knocked to the floor. The rest of the party closed in with melee weapons to rescue the monster and kill the beast. At Lili’s suggestion, they found a way to climb onto the roof and found a bronze statue of a meditating figure, obviously valuable, and not impossible to carry back to Hommelet.
Bronze Buddha statue inside the main chedi (Wat Yai Chai Mongkol), a photo by Adrian Lazar on Flickr.
They sold the statue and bought bows and suits of chainmail. They also bought a rope ladder. They brought the ladder back to the moathouse, nailed it into place. Again, the shrieking started. Fernac offered to climb down into the cellar. After a few steps immediately climbed back up. Why? Something undead. Something that Fezziwig couldn’t turn and that wasn’t injured by normal weapons. Fernac let Lili borrow his magic dagger. She stabbed the creature before getting dragged down into the hole.
The survivors returned to Hommelet. They bought silver arrows, silver daggers, and each received a vial of holy water from the church of Saint Bocrates. They recruited Gunthar, a fighter. And back to the moathouse.
This time the undead creature was met with a volley of silver arrows and put to flight. They pursued, Fernac recovering his dagger. They moved into the area where some of them had been held prisoner, and then through a door secreted in a large pillar in the torture chamber. Another volley of arrows followed the creature down the shaft inside the pillar and they killed it. At the bottom of the pillar, they found a crypt—and more undead. Four of them, not as deadly as the half-ghost thing, and vulnerable to regular weapons, but deadly enough to kill Osric and severely injure Fernac. After the four ghouls were destroyed, the party returned to Hommelet for a long rest.