The makeshift team of Morgan Detto, Shaden, and Ohlm has proven quite effective. They managed to dispatch the undead fiends of the East Ferris Cemetary with ease, but the real difficulty came in discussing the ramifications of their actions afterwards. It’s hard to say whether he was amused or annoyed by their quarrel, but Shaden remained mostly quiet during the argument between Ohlm and Morgan Detto, and boy, was it an argument.
For Ohlm believed that they should leave the fortunes of the dead be rather than loot their rotting corpses, whereas Mr. Detto believed the wealth of ghosts need not go wasted. Charity, the cleric suggested, would be the most noble course to take with their findings. He suggested that they locate the nearest orphanage and make a donation at once. Not to be outdone, Ohlm made sure to fill their coffers. The orphanage matron was very appreciative of their contributions and offered them thanks as well as a smooth elixir.
Their selfless act caught the attention of a local inn-keeper who offered them a free night’s stay on the condition that they return again should they enjoy their rest. They were hesitant to accept the offer, questioning the intentions of the man. Perhaps they felt selflessness a trait exclusive to their good nature.
The next day saw a return to the East Ferris Fairgrounds and a visit to Samwell, the owner of the cemetary. He was all too happy to pay them what he could and thanked them for making his graveyard safe once again. It was then that Morgan pulled out the book they found in the hidden tomb beneath the mausoleum. Samwell did not know what to make of it, but alluded to the previous owner of the cemetary, a man named Corrigan, who might know more about it.
Proof that eavesdropping has not gone out of style, the halfling Ephraim approached as though he were summoned and made mention of the book they spoke of. He reminded them of his employer’s request to see to the matter of an indestructible estate of which many enter but none return. If the group is willing to resolve this issue for the Vidal Agricultural Guild, Ephraim would be more than happy to recommend a translator to help them understand the text they recovered from the graveyard.
They approached the estate cautiously, only to be intercepted by a man calling himself Detective Kaseius. He claimed to work for the Lyons Council and explained he was investigating this estate for illegal magical obfuscation of time. Without the proper sanctions to enter the home as a government official, Kaseius would need to rely on the group to bring him evidence of wrongdoing. The Detective has promised a worthwhile reward if they comply.
The group entered the home to find… nothing. At least, nothing of any real interest. There was a dusty fireplace, mismatched wallpaper, creaky wooden floorboards, and not much else. However, in the courtyard of the property, the group stumbled upon a well with what appeared to be a bright light deep underwater. There was a little hesitance on the part of Shaden and Morgan to enter the well, but the fearless Ohlm wasted little time and dove in headfirst.
Immediately, a strong current brought him into a large pool within an underground structure. A wounded horse ran to the corner of the room, startled by his presence. His partners arrived almost instantly and together they tried to calm down the horse. Unfortunately, inexperience with handling animals was a detriment to the group, who only managed to cause it greater distress. They sensed the horse growing defensive and hostile.
Shaden attempted to mount her but the horse would have none of it. She wrestled him off and Shaden fell to the side. Frustrated, he threw a solid punch at her and it landed square in the face. The horse fell to the ground and Shaden took her saddle for his troubles. It was then that Morgan, the cleric with a keen eye, noticed some of the tiles on the floor contained small circular holes for spears to spring out of. What’s more, the door on the south side of the room had a small peep hole carved into it.
They hurried to the door and peered through but saw nothing. They entered what appeared to be the study and found it in disarray. The bookshelves were stripped bare while the floor was lined with torn pages and empty book jackets. Upon the desk they found the jacket for the Diary of Percival Price but all of the pages had seemingly been ripped out. Behind the desk, a fire roared without firewood. Morgan wondered if he might be able to pass through the flames but upon closer inspection decided it might not be in his best interests to die in a fire.
They ventured forth from the study, past the pool they had arrived in and the horse they had knocked unconscious, only to find the door on the north side of the room accompanied by text scribbled on the wall.
It read: “Abandon hope, all ye who enter. Just kidding. This is the gallery of Percival Price. If you are here to revel in the scope of my genius, welcome. If you are here by accident, I am dreadfully sorry. The entrance you have used only works one-way, and the exit, well, you’ll have to find it. It’s like searching for beauty or meaning in a piece of artwork – you really have to come to it on your own. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time. Good luck. -Percival Price.”
What lied beyond the door was a stunning collection of paintings and tapestries hung throughout a gallery of sorts. They had little time to take it all in, as they noticed two pairs of wet footprints in the room leading toward what appeared to be a supply closet. Inside, an elf cowered behind a stack of paint barrels. They demanded he reveal himself and he reluctantly exited his hiding place. The elf revealed himself to be Carric, an old elf who has been stuck down there for more than 140 years. He had no idea how to escape the godforsaken place, but he offered them a fragment of a diary he thought might help. It was written by Percival Price, the man who created the entire facility. He wrote of his intention to create a studio where he could create works of art without time restraints or responsibility. He documented his attempts to conjure creatures, beginning with a beautiful horse he named Freedom. This would be the horse Shaden punched in the face…
There were more details to the diary entry but there were also more pressing matters at the time. Carric told them he was sent to find a way to deactivate the estate’s protection spell for the Vidal Agricultural Guild before offering the group a drink from his Cask of Liquid Gold. Morgan obliged, but the others, in no mood to drink, turned him down.
With this revelation it became apparent to the party that time moved at a different pace inside this lair than it did outside. They would need more sufficient evidence to prove their findings to Detective Kaseius, but at least now they knew what they were dealing with. If Carric came down with the original party the Agricultural Guild had employed just two weeks before Shaden, Ohlm and Morgan were tasked with entering the house, it’s possible one day in the “real world” was 3,560 where they were now. It could literally be decades before anyone followed them in to see what had become of them.
With a renewed sense of urgency, the group turned to progress through this magical basement of sorts. However, only a few steps were taken before the creature responsible for the other set of fresh tracks revealed itself. The tiny dragon uncloaked and let out a terrible screeching yell. The group readied themselves to mutilate the annoying beast, until they heard a louder, far more terrible roar from an adjacent room.
A set of double doors burst open when a rage drake came barreling through. Enraged and thirsty for blood, the party became alert and planned for the worst. Carric, inspired by intimidating words from Morgan, readied his blades and took aim at the tiny dragon. However, the combination of aging and drunkenness was a bit more than he could handle. He swung at the beast many times but never hit it once. The tiny dragon pierced his armor with its poisoned tail and weakened an already unimpressive Carric.
Morgan, Ohlm and Shaden managed to slay the angered drake, but not before it rushed the old elf and took his head from his shoulders. The drake’s lifeless body phased through the floor and disappeared, not leaving so much as a drop of blood behind. Seeing its larger counterpart destroyed, the tiny dragon attempted to flee, but the party would have none of it and killed the tiny dragon outright.
Not one to let good ale go to waste, Morgan Detto grabbed the Cask of Liquid Gold and they decided to press onward. The next room was a chamber of prayer. A sacred circle on the ground and an altar with blue tapestries surrounding it composed a shrine to Corellon, the god of artistry. A holy symbol rested upon the altar, until Morgan thought to remove it and add it to his collection of souvenirs. This did not sit well with the Angel of Valor entrusted to protect it, and he appeared ready to dispose of the intruders within seconds.
The Angel gave them a taste of divine lightning, fighting with unwaivering mercilessness, until they managed to subdue and force it back into the holy symbol its life force had emerged from. While Shaden and Ohlm shook their heads at his foolhardiness, Morgan Detto contemplated the implications of such power and wondered what might happen if he attempted to harness and summon the Angel for his own benefit. Bruised, battered, tired, and with nothing but time to spare, the group decided to rest before leaving this room. As they lay waiting to fall asleep, their minds could not help but question what abominations await them in the next rooms, what would become of Freedom, and if they would ever be free themselves. But for now: rest.