We continued exploring the attic. There were more bedrooms. And one large room stashed with furniture covered with white sheets. There was a big chest filled with more sheets in a corner. Someone noticed dried blood stains and started to take it out. Wrapped in it the body of the maid was found, we could recognize the clothes from the ghost that attacked us downstairs. Dunston told us she was violently killed by knife stabs, no wonder her spirit was restless, right Aatu?
Urgoth opened the secret door with the staircase leading to the basement. We took an hour rest to prepare for fighting the monster in the basement. That was the moment I felt my druidish powers grow, coming even more in contact with the beast spirits and gaining the ability to take their shape and call forth a helpful beast spirit. So yes Aatu, that is what you noticed.
After we walked down the long spiral staircase downstairs we arrived in a dark, humid basements. It had a weird smell and we heard the soft sound of chanting. The monster! It could be behind every corner! I was scared, oh so scared. And I felt myself squeezing the stuffed animal Thorndyke gave me, while shivers went through my spine.
We all started to carefully explore the basement. Well, all except Urgoth, he was in a hurry and started to run around, searching the monster. We found 2 small crypt rooms containing stone coffins. One was empty, the other had the name on it of a Durst which we didn't hear before. Next we found a room with some sort of straw beds and further there was a room with a well. Around it more small bedrooms. Each bedroom had a chest which Thorndyke easily opened. He was looting gems and all kind of trinkets.
Then we found a room with a table and lot of bones on the floor. It had a dark corner and when Dunston checked it some monster started to attack us! And no Aatu, never saw something like that before, it wasn't natural for sure. Luckily we could quickly get it down and it stopped moving. But we all knew that this wasn't the real monster. We explored more and found 4 more small crypts. One for father Durst, one for mother Durst, one for Thorn and one for Rose.
We decided that we needed to get the children's bones from upstairs and lay them to rest here. Maybe Thorn would then get his rest and leave me. First they wanted me to go alone, but I would never go back there alone! What if I would encounter the monster! And I also wasn't looking forward to Rose also possessing me. In the end 4 of us went upstairs. We entered the children's room and didn't see Rose. So we quickly grabbed all the bones and took them to the basement. I carried my own bones, uhm, Thorn's bones. I carefully placed them in the stone coffin. Then we closed it and Dunston held a small funeral ceremony. It was nice and a tear rolled down my cheek. I noticed Thorn's spirit leaving me. I felt relieved and was scared no longer, all my courage came back! We buried Rose next and after that all felt some shivering going through the house. We all felt inspired to slay the monster!
After further exploring and found stairs going down. It was clear that was where the chanting sounds were coming from!
The Lower Basement
Urgoth was ready to storm down the stairs, but I proposed to let me do some scouting first. I expected that a spider would be the best beast shape for this environment. And yes Aatu, I learn a lot from your and your old master. I knew druids could do this, but now I can do it myself it's really amazing! So I quickly shifted into spider form and went downstairs. I took some time getting used to the 8 eyes spiders have, but I managed and followed the chanting sound. I crawled through a portcullis that was half in the water and came in a dark room with an alter in the middle. Part of the room was filled with water. Then suddenly the chanting stopped. Why would it stop when all that happened was a spider entering the room?
I noticed light coming from the previous room and heard familiar voices. The stopping of the chanting triggered the rest of my party to continue downstairs. I followed them in my spider form and then Thorndyke noticed me. He waved and I waved back. Since he still wasn't convinced I tried to write Hello with a spider web. In the meanwhile Urgoth opened the portcullis. We entered the room with the altar. When Iolas came close to the altar suddenly the chanting started again, even louder than first. Shady figures had appeared around the room. They had a black torch that adsorbed light. They completely ignored us and were requesting a sacrifice!
Thorndyke put the hand he had found on the altar. In the meanwhile Dunston blessed it. It seems to have angered the chanters, they disappear and something awakened in a cave next to the room. We left the altar room, myself still as a spider. We noticed that something was following us. Best described as a living pile of bones, rotting plants and branches. No Aatu, I wouldn't call that natural. In the next room Dunston decided to stand guard and the fight started. I transformed back to my normal form. When the pile got close the smell was terrible and fear came into some of us. We hit it with everything we got. Dunston fell down but I quickly got him on his feet again with some spiritual spell. In the end we defeated the pile and it stopped moving.
Then the whole basement started to shake. Dirt started to fall from the ceiling.
Escape the House!
We took the shortest route to the stairs and quickly went up. There we were surprised by a lot of smoke. All fireplaces were burning and I couldn't turn them off with some Druidcraft. This wasn't a normal fire! When we opened the door to the floor below there were slashing blades blocking the way. Some smart people could see a pattern, and we all tried to jump passed it one by one.
The next floors where the same, more smoke from burning fire places. I created some wind to blow away the smoke a little. This helped and without too much problems we came downstairs. More blades! Again the pattern was the same, but I missed my timing a little and got hit. We continue wounded and in the end we all came outside alive!
When we looked back we saw the house crumbling to dust. I guess the house and everything in it finally got rest now.