*Obligatory Dramatis Personae*
Friend: Fallon von Schroeder, Human Bard (CG)
Friend's son: Garuk Wornfist, Dwur Barbarian (CN)
Friend's brother: Ulradune, Human Cleric of Norebo (CN) [joins the group in Session Two]
NPC: Pseudodragon, Vithshond's familiar
7 November, 2015
In the first session, the party had infiltrated a Haunted House (courtesy of U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, which in my campaign is being ported from the Keolandish coast to Lendore Island, east of Restenford, as suggested by +Stuart Marshall several times on the forums at Dragonsfoot.org). They decided to venture there based upon the word of Reginald the Poacher, whose own tales of traveling to the Haunted House perked up the ears of Fallon von Schroeder, a human bard; Garuk Wornfist, a dwur barbarian; and Vithshond, an olven magic-user/thief. Upon hearing of Reginald's visit to the ghostly locale, the trio decided to form an adventuring party to see what they could see -- and gain what treasure the house's former alchemist owner had inside before all went quiet over the last two decades.
As I was saying, the party infiltrated the house in the first session, only to be thwarted by the centipedes in the ground floor kitchen. Garuk makes quick work of several of the vermin. Fallon the bard nearly died, due to a venomous bite, so the party decided to immediately take him back to Restenford. Vithshond casts a spell just outside the Haunted House so the bard could be transported on a Floating Disk of Tenser's make. Since the clerics in Restenford could not neutralize the poison, only slow its progress, the party headed north for the Dweomer Forest, wherein could be found The Church of the Big Gamble. They were told the High Priest or one of his brethren there could probably heal the bard.
Soon after leaving, the trio was beset north of Restenford by a bandit group led by a pair of half-orcs. Vithshond responded with a sleep spell, which knocked out six orcs. The remaining bandits panicked into disarray at this and the three heroes fled north, continuing toward their destination. Upon reaching the Dweomer Forest, they were relieved that no other mishaps occurred on the way. They came to a large clearing inside the forest, where an egg-shaped building sat upon a domed hill. The trio were welcomed, after waiting inside for several minutes, by a cleric of Norebo. Vithshond and Garuk explain what has happened to Fallon. The clerics agree to heal him in return for magic items and/or gold within a year's time. They also state that they have rewards to give to anyone that rids the bridge of the bandits (the very same ones who had just accosted the group) and/or destroys the undead said to be haunting Bone Hill. The priests do not know what sort of undead are there, but they have news of nasty creatures haunting it at night.
At last, the party asks to stay the night and makes an offering. The priests share a small evening meal with the travelers before sending them on their way at first light in the morning. A stag is sent with them as a guide, so that they can avoid the bridge until they have greater numbers or are more capable of taking on the half-orcs' band. They leave the Dweomer Forest and their stag guide behind and make their way back to the coast, to once again enter the Haunted House.
This time, the trio enters the basement through the stairs near the kitchen and scullery -- in spite of the awful sounds emanating from the bottom of the stairs. Fallon and his fellows see a body in the middle of this wine cellar, but nothing else that would have caused such horrendous screams as were previously heard. He investigates the corpse of the armored man, only to have seven rot grubs infest his arm. Thankfully, he knows what they are -- being a well-traveled bard from the Flanaess mainland -- and quickly burns them off with his torch. Better a burnt arm than a dead heart! The bard then follows tracks he had noticed from the stairs as they go past the corpse to the wall of the wine cellar.
Vithshond the olve discerns that there is a secret door and discovers it after searching. On the other side is a large, brightly-lit, and well-furnished hall of sorts. Although there are 10 beds (each merely a thin mattress over a board), a giant table with a dozen or so stools, and plenty of meat, drink, and other foodstuffs; there is just a single occupant at the moment. His back is to the secret door as he whittles away at a model boat he is carving from wood. The bard and olve fell the man with unsuspecting missile fire. The bard checks him and then the footlockers located at the foot of each beds.
The three examine a connecting room and loot it. They find a map of sorts that appears to contain some sort of code, but are unable to decipher its meaning. Frustrated, they then foolhardily ignore a barred and nailed-shut door that is clearly marked, "DANGER." They remove the wooden beams from across the door and open it to find a room that is cloaked in darkness. Within moments, they are attacked by six skeletons, spotted by Garuk in the dark. Vithshond brings light to the room via casting a spell. The trio prevail but get scratched up in the process.
Beyond the skeletons' room, the olve finds another secret door. Upon entering this room, the group sees what must be the alchemist's laboratory. The olve fires an arrow at the alchemist, who is seated facing away from the door. He appears to be lost in thought, as he does not move. The arrow takes the head off of body of the deceased alchemist, who must have died years prior, judging by the state of his body. Fallon, the dwarf Garuk, and Vithshond thoroughly search the laboratory and pile their findings into their sacks and pouches. Several books are taken, as they figure they can be sold -- even if they have to find specialists that would buy the tomes. Now they want to further investigate just what is going on here at the Haunted House.
Here ends the first session of The Haunted House near Restenford...
Thanks for reading. Happy gaming!