Sensing the power within Radiant Servant Elodin, the shadows leaped at the cleric and delivered unto him an unholy beatdown. Before anyone who could help him, he was beaten into unconsciousness.
The room erupted into chaos as the party tried to break up the shadows to create some kind of tactical advantage. Unfortunately, their weapons did little to harm the creatures and several of them found themselves close to fallen alongside Elodin. Calling upon his dark powers, Despair unleashed a blast of necromantic energy that engulfed the party and their shadowy attackers. He did not know the shadows would be immune to that particular power while his allies were not. Lupa was knocked unconscious and several others were nearly so as well.
It was at this moment the party was joined by Terra Lynn, a half elf rogue who had been sent into Death House to find them. She would tell her story to the party but not before she added her blades to their defense. With some quick healing and Terra’s aid, the party turned the tide against the shadowy monsters and destroyed them.
While they recovered, everyone introduced themselves. It seems Terra was sent by Lady Morwen Daggerford with another party to find this one because they had been inside Death House for several weeks. The party exclaimed they had been inside the house a day or less and Terra explained to them that time worked strangely in this haunted place. The house had killed or driven mad most of her party and she was captured by a shadowy cultist and held a prisoner in a cell on a lower level for several weeks. She had finally managed to escape and was looking for her friend, Asher, when she stumbled into the battle.
With some questions left unanswered, the party decided to press on to explore the lower level Terra had mentioned. She guided them down to the cells where she was held and they uncovered a large room she had not seen before. Inside was a large, stone altar covered with blood stains standing in the middle of a pool with raised platforms around the outside of the room. The west side of the room had collapsed in and a refuse pile had been started there.
Despair announced he had a plan and made his way out to the altar. He then proceeded to urinate on the altar. A portcullis dropped to block the exit and then it got bad.
DM’s Note: This is a nasty habit for this player. I might ask his wife to shoot him with a nerf gun the next time he suggests it.
Shadowy cultists appeared around the room and began to chant, “One must be sacrificed!”
The party refused to give in to such a ludicrous demand and as they moved to leave the pile of refuse burst to life, revealing itself to be a shambling mound.
The party quickly surrounded the massive, smelly beast and paid the price for it. Samial Fabra transformed into a large, predatory cat and leaped onto the mound, raking it harshly with his claws. He then leaped back to his perch on the stone steps. The mound turned on him and smashed him with both fists knowing him unconscious. Onyx, Lupa, and Terra tightened the circle around the beast while Elodin and Willy attacked (and insulted) it from afar. Bits and pieces of the creature flew off in every direction but they could not drop it before it turned on Terra and nearly knocked her unconscious with its fists as well. It would have finished the job but Onyx and Lupa landed mighty blows, drawing its ire. The party continued to hack away until finally the shambling mound fell and shambled no more. The shadowy cultists faded into the darkness.
The party recovered and found the mechanism to open the portcullis had been damaged. Samial transformed into a rodent, climbed inside the works, and forced the portcullis to open.
Escaping the room, they found the house had taken a disliking to them. Terrifying noises began to fill the halls of the dungeon and doors transformed into bladed death traps. The group insisted they needed to retrieve the body of the children and lay them to rest. They climbed back up to the attic and used sheets from the room with the antiques to gum up the blade traps so they could pass safely into the children’s room. Unfortunately, they found the remains were no longer there (if they had ever been there at all).
DM’s Note: Props to the group for trying to keep their vow. Death House may be cruel but I give you credit for taking this risk for the good of the children’s spirits. It will be repaid before the campaign is over.
Samial used his entangling vine spell to gum up several more sets of doors but they were forced to brave the final door themselves. Each of them leaped through one at a time and although some of them suffered grievous wounds, they all survived. The doors to Death House slammed themselves shut.
They quickly discovered they were no longer in Daggerford but had somehow been transported somewhere else. They stood on a well-traveled road leading west into a heavily forested valley and east into a thick, ominous fog. They decided to avoid the fog and head west to see if they could find shelter. After several hours of walking, they stopped for the night to camp and get what rest they could.