The party resumes play in a domed room with a desiccated corpse of the dragonkin, Pierce, the body of Volnirda (Talamander’s fabled Shield Maiden) and a human corpse in elven armor.
Stone finds a locket on the corpse of Volnirda and then collapses, crying uncontrollably.
Sigrid discerns a trail of shattered spikes pointing to an earlier entrance by an unknown party. It appears that someone fell into the room, made a beeline for the locked door and then circled around to the opposite side of the room and made their way to the slightly raised bowl of stone that held the Hammer of Thodish.
The female corpse seems to flinch from the light. Sigrid inspects it. Although her Arcane knowledge isn’t so helpful, she moves to take the skull, which crumbles, but she takes the jawbone and hair. And takes Pierce’s claws. Fiendish actions, no?
The party moves on to inspect the human corpse; it is slightly mummified in Thornwatch armor. There is a ceremonial dagger lodged in its throat.
The scabbard on Stone’s hip starts to vibrate, and Nils makes an (unconscious?) grab for Wristcutter. “When the Hunt is done, you may go wherever you like,” says Stone. The blade remains with Stone.
Meanwhile, exhausted from trying to save the local villagers and slamming the ancient monastery gates on a mind-bendingly powerful undead dwarf/vampire, Milo emerges into the Room of Doors. The door with liquid leaking from it is stubbornly shut tight. Milo has a funny feeling about this passage, detects a whiff of lamp oil, and proceeds to blow up the monastery’s sub-basement. Doors explode causing damage to those above and below. Stop, Drop, and Roll (into an Ettin corpse) proves handy for Milo’s hot feet. Pulling himself through the door and the missing ceiling using the dangling arms of an extra crispy roper,
Meanwhile, the door at the top of the Roper chamber has exploded into the room where the rest of the party is, knocking Tansil out and dealing a hefty blow to Sigrid.
Greetings are less than cheerful, as Milo identifies the human corpse as his little brother, Rafe. Rafe had disappeared after going in search of a missing caravan with a mysterious figurine. Milo collapses in grief, and Stone gives him the ceremonial dagger. Milo takes the dagger and the family holy symbol. Sigrid notes that Rafe appears to have committed suicide while walking backwards from the center of the room.
The party turns to figuring out to get topside, and Sigrid sends a mage hand with a rope to the ceiling and attaches it to the ground. “Yes,” she notes, “magic has returned.”
The party ascends, and Milo takes all three corpses up the rope to be buried properly.
Above ground, all is black and the clouds boil with lightning flashes. The valley below is dark, with just a few flickering lights. The party finds a ring of standing stones with a damaged circle of protection. Milo heals the circle somewhat. The party recoils after spying a strange face in the direction of Thornwatch in a lightening flash. The party buries the dead in the circle with a cairn and sigil of Oghma. The party notices that Tansil disappeared while we were all watching the mage hand. He never ascended the rope.
During his watch, Milo watches huge lightning bolts crash into Thornwatch, repeatedly. Upon wakening, the party notices that the standing stone protective barrier has grown stronger. Stone finds an elven grappling hook. The party begins to descend to the valley towards Thornwatch via the monastery gate. The rain has washed off the lamp oil. As the party walks towards the monastery gate, Will appears to have problems with his sword and scabbard. Again. Stone says that his Hunt is now focused on a beast; after defeating it he expects to return to the Court.
The party sees a dark figure with arms upraised in the distance. As the party makes their way down the monastery face, Will finds a satchel with three mysterious vials. No one knows what they are. Milo suspects these may be Oghma holy water, and now could be healing
As the party approaches the river bridge, they notice the bodies of villagers on the bridge and in the water. Milo feels something undead and advances warily. Zombies attack!
Milo lights his oiled glaive with Stone’s help and lights up a zombie.
Stone attacks two zombies, killing them both.
Some of the re-dead zombies get back up.
The dark figure notices the melee, snarls and casts down another lightening bolt upon Thornwatch. Bark flies wounding Nils.
The other pile of dead bodies begins to shuffle.
After 6 zombies pile on Milo, he pushes them all off with a whirl of his glaive (20!)
Thorn, a huge Ent, stops his watch, raises a foot, and crushes the dark figure.
The party polishes off the last two zombies.
The ent’s foot grinds the figure down, while elven arches fire arrows into the pile of bodies, suspecting more undead.
Will and Milo rush towards the pile. Milo saves a schoolteacher and attempts to save her
Will runs to the ent’s foot asking it raise up and allow Will to strike the figure. Thorn parts his toes. Will slashes the dark figure and sets it afire.
It dissolves and reforms diving into Milo’s pack.
Milo drops his flaming pack, rescues the child, and turns back to his pack.
Sigrid uses insight on the dark figure. Will attacks the pack, misses with the firebrand, but nails a 20 with the axe.
A metallic “ping” rings out, a cry of pain, the bag spins levitates and implodes, scattering the remains of the vial.
The sun peeks out behind rapidly dissipating storm clouds.
Stone solemnly approaches the Ent, tossing Wristcutter to Nils, and is then happily crushed under a large wooden foot.
A portal in the ent opens and the non-flattened party members enter into a fey plane.
They encounter Oberon, King of Faeries, who cancels Sigrid’s disguise—she’s a tiefling.
Pixies come out with libation and dirty jokes.
We find out that Milo’s brother killed himself, rather than becoming food by the vampire
lich that Will dispatched. Odd are that was Talamander who was noted to have drunk the blood of his enemies during battle.
“What’s in your pack?”, Milo asks Sigrid.
“I should have asked you the same thing!” she retorts.
Oberon offers boons:
Milo asks for his brother to be restored to life
Nils asks for “untold riches” and receives the greatest gift of all—friendship!
Sigrid asks for immortality, but not by way of becoming undead.
Oberon answers some questions:
The Hammer of Thodesh exists and WAS Talamander
Thodesh is an ancient god…a “Great One” that existed before the time of gods.
The monastery lies over vast mithril mines carved out by the ancient dwarves.
Tansil has been tasked with taking Weenit and going deep into them to preserve knowledge from whatever the heck was going on outside at the time.
Weenit is a living book which contains the original magical text of “The Bones of the Mountain” and can be used to grant enormous powers for good or evil.
The party decides to pursue Tansil and the book. But first, they must stop at the standing stones, revive Rafe, re-bury the Shield Maiden, and take a breather.