After recuperating from your strenuous fight with the Panagalan Vampire at the ruins of a long abandoned tower you all decide that today’s the day that you adventure to Holk House. You start your journey back a little more cautiously than before because of the peril that you’ve already faced during your journey to the House previously.
How can something influence your mind so easily? Are there stronger threats than the Panangalan for you to face once you are at the House?
These are the questions that are weighing heavily on your mind as you row into the Monolithic circle again. Looking around you don’t see any threats; neither lizardfolk or floating, charming, blood-sucking heads. Without anything preventing you from going further into the Mere you decide to press on. Tiny, Sigurd and Mirrin were given clear mental images of the location of Holk House during your encounter with the vampire so going the rest of the way was no issue.
You rowed your skiffs in silence for another 2 hours and came upon a massive stone wall surrounding what you would guess was some sort of compound. You knew that this was the Holk House. As you row up to the stone fortification you realize that even though the wall towers 15 feet above the water there is probably about 20 feet of the wall that is below the surface. Holk House is most likely sunk under water.
In an attempt to get the layout of Holk House and see if their are any sentries or lookouts Tiny grabs his magical broom and stealthily floats above the wall. Inside he sees that Holk House and it’s surrounding compounds are mostly underwater and they they are all in different states of disarray and destruction. Tiny also notes that there are some lizardfolk and the largest crocodiles he’s ever seen lounging on the roof of the Holk House, which because of the water level is essentially an island in the middle of the compound. Besides the lounging lizards on the roof there was one roving pack of lizardfolk travelling the outside of the compound in a small skiff similar to those that you have.
Not wanting to lose the daylight hours you have or chance another encounter with the Panangalan you spring into action. Tiny lands on the fortifications, drops down a rope for the rest of the party, knocks an arrow, takes aim, and fires at the lizardfolk on the skiff. As the arrow embeds itself into the lizardfolk’s shoulder the fight is on. Schyld and Jikar lay a trap on the outside of the fortifications in their skiff while Sigurd, Tiny and Mirrin take the high ground. The lizardfolk put up a good fight but are all eventually melted by Tymora’s radiant light emanating from Mirrin’s clone. The Giant Crocodiles on the other hand put up a much better fight. Their bite attacks are vicious and when they grab you they start their crocodile death rolls. And that is not the only side you have to worry about….the Giant Crocodiles also had a tail attack that could topple a thick tree.
They were nothing you hadn’t seen before though and you eventually took care of all of the threats waiting on the outside of Holk House. Schyld and Jikar both noted that they needed to take a short rest to bind the wounds that they received fighting those crocodiles. You decided that the roof was the best place for you all to recover. Since Sigurd, Mirrin and Tiny didn’t need to recover from the fight they took their time scouting the other parts of the compound, It looked like the tower was some sort of dormitories and the pile of rubble in the opposite corner was the ruins of a stable. Schyld also noticed that the ground under the water was littered with skeleton and desiccating bodies, most of which clutched weapons in their hands. He also immediately recalled that this was the exact scene that he envisioned when entering the monolithic circle.
Is this some sort of divination? Was Bahamut granting him a vision of the perils to come?
When Jikar and Schyld had the wounds bound and felt recovered you decided to start checking on each of the individual parts of the compound starting with the ruins of the stable. Before you could get to that though Jikar had the brilliant idea of trying to cut his way into Holk House. He took one mighty swing with his enormous axe and struck the roof. As soon as the wood splintered an acrid, putrid smell started pouring from the small hole he cut. It may be the worst smell you’ve ever smelled…and that’s even taking into account the smells Tiny can produce after a big meal of mutton…
Picture this…you 5 have been travelling through the Mere, the biggest swamp on this continent full of muck, bogs, rotten corpses, and peat that smells like a septic system. Your noses have become thoroughly immune to terrible smells over the last month. Your nose was not ready for the putrid stench emanating from that hole that Jikar chopped.
Realizing that the stables looked even more enticing now Jikar and Schyld jumped into the water to see what they could find in the ruins. After moving a few timbers and realizing the stones and remaining timbers could tumble down trapping them in a watery grave Jikar and Schyld were only able to recover 2 amulets. Once back on the surface you all noted that the amulets had a symbol of Eldath emblazoned on them. These are the types of artifacts that Sir Justin wanted you to recover.
You found much of the same inside the ruins of the dormitory. One more amulet of Eldath that you could potentially return to Sir Justin.
The Bell Tower is where things got interesting. Mirrin and Tiny noticed that something was up with the bell inside the tower but they were just far enough to not make out any details. Sigurd, taking initiative, dove into the water and swam down to the submerged entrance. He was able to go through the door, which was in shambles, and swim about halfway up the tower. Once he was back on the surface of the water he was able to walk up a spiraling wooden staircase inside the tower to the bell. Slowly walking circles around the bell the bell with intense study, with some light granted by Tiny, Sigurd noted that the base of the bell was covered in runes and glyphs of conjuration. Sigurd also mentioned that he thinks ringing the bell could potentially empower conjuration spells that get cast. With one final circle around the bell to make sure he didn’t miss anything Sigurd made his way back to the party.
Now it was time to make your way into Holk House. You checked your equipment and assembled in front of one of the two entrances that were not submerged. This is where we will pick up the session.