“The Star Chamber”
As Magnar Ljunberg and Lindus Ashe made their way back to the party, just ahead of another horde of undead, Sebastian Pike was being lowered by rope into the cell pit by Brukhart Ljunberg, intent on rescuing Ambassador Stanford Somerfort.
Somerfort, however, was not what he seemed, as he attacked Sebastian almost immediately. Though claiming to have been down there for weeks, possibly months, “Somerfort” stood over six feet and weighed in excess of 300 pounds.
After a short duel, Pike dispatched his attacker and procured the Treskeggmal Staff. Chieftain Horde climbed down after his captain and aided his ascent.
The party began investigating east, with Quentin Haftspeare taking interest in a crypt further east, while Brukhart and Willem Ashe searched a storeroom to the south. Their investigations were cut short however when the undead broke though the spiked stair door and poured into the halls.
A gripping battle ensued, eased greatly by the divine gifts of Magnar who turned to the majority of the horde away from them. They lost a single man, Eddric Foster, in the fray, who had been turned into one of the undead. Quentin carefully laid out the fallen man’s items to be gathered by his companions. Cullen Willingham knelt over his countryman and said a prayer, then cut out the man’s heart and wrapped it in fur, to be returned to their exiled homeland for proper burial.
Meanwhile, Brukhart and Magnar pursued the undead south while others barricaded the stair door to the northwest. Willem and Sebastian had returned to the storeroom to examine it further, and while they discovered a secret door leading further east, they also ran afoul of a gelatinous cube.
Everyone converged back to the main hall, desperate and turned about, opting finally to investigate the north passage. What they found stopped them dead in their tracks. A horrific torture chamber lay at the bottom of another set of steep stairs.
Quentin explained that it was a Mortainne Blood Altar, designed to steal the lifeblood and spiritual essence of its victims for use in magical rites and spellwork.
More than a dozen skeletal remains were on display — chained to the walls, in suspended cages, and attached to the ungoldly altar. In the midst of this horror, two figures stirred: a man, chained to the blood altar itself, and a woman suspended from one of the cages. As several descended the stair, Lindus picked the lock of a side door at the top of the stair revealing an elaborate bed chamber. She and Magnar entered, investigating strange stains on the floor.
Then the unsettling clamor of the dead returned, pounding on the barricaded door, and echoing through the halls, the slurping sound of the gelatinous cube advancing through the labyrinthine corridors…
to be continued