DANCE ALONG THE EDGE
The party stealthily made their way into Herron Hall, entering a grand foyer and descending the decaying, but once elegant stair. Two stone gargoyles stared down from overhead, while the rush of the waters in the central fountain deadened any noise from without. Elrian examined the intricate design, noting the three fountainheads representing the Maiden – Mother – Crone of a faith long since relegated to the history books. His closer examination of the gargoyles, however, wakened the magical spawn, and a battle ensued. Elrian and Nodnal both fell in battle, though each were, thankfully, tended to by Raben Crawfjord and Rhaina Sinclair. The party worked cohesively to quickly route the assailants and continue their investigation of the manor ruins.
Past a long hall, the party came to a crypt. Peron was able to discern a fair amount of traffic through the crypt, while the others discovered the entry to a series of cells where two prisoners were being held — Nilsa Mimmosa, a local fortune teller and Sildar Hallwinter, a prominent businessman. They were imprisoned apart, with a cell between them occupied by a zombie. The ranger laid the thing to rest with a masterful shot from his bow while Kari and Alford struggled to break down the cell door, but Nammosi was able to skillfully pick the lock and, eventually, the inner cells as well.
Getting very little information from the prisoners, the party freed them. Nammosi encouraged them to make for Phandalin with all due haste. Hallwinter agreed to pay them a reward, reiterating that he and Nilsa were supposedly being held for ransom, but that weeks had passed without communication with their captors, only an occasional morsel of food thrown in past a preoccupied zombie, being fed human remains. Hallwinter was an obnoxious fellow, while Mimmosa seemed a more gentle spirit, though their obvious dislike for one another was palpable.
Pressing on, they explored the back hall and discovered an armory tucked away, but Peron keenly spied a secret passage across from it heading north, deeper into the manor. While Elrian and others examined the weapon room, curiosity got the better of Nod, who opened the secret door, quickly hiding in the shadows as he caught sight of an elven archer exiting another secret door and marching into the expansive ruin of the manor’s great hall.
The party stealthily filtered into the chamber, taking up defensive positions, but Alford Mann stumbled into a crate, drawing attention. He paid for his indiscretion with his life as the elf let loose an arrow that pierced the northman’s throat. Nammosi responded with a firebolt and then it was an all-out battle royale as the elf called for reinforcements.
Fighting along the edge of a deep scar that cut a divide through the once magnificent hall, Nodnal bolstered his companions, doling out timely inspiration (and witty jabs that stung his adversaries), while Kari raged, taking the battle to the growing throng of villains to great affect. Raben kept the party on their feet, while Elrian and Nammosi lit up their foes with ranged spell attacks. Quick thinking led Peron to sever one of the two bridges crossing the great rift that split the hall in two, sending an enemy to his death and limiting the rush of combatants.
While the party successfully met the charge and devastated the ranks of the enemy force, Raben had depleted his array of healing spells, their companion, Rhaina, whose stepfather had met an untimely end, was missing, and fresh enemies had taken the field, and among their number, a wizard…
— end of session —