Lanterns in the Mist

Darkness Falls

The dark mirror forms anew, and the party is trapped inside

Monday, June 9th, 758, Karpad, Ustalav

Grewen is covered in slime from the Tenebris. Kendra looks around, and says that she believes that the demiplane is about to come apart since the Tenebris has been destroyed. The shadows of the walls are drifting up as the demiplane dissolves. Kendra believes that they have only a short time to heal Grewen and find their way out. Abner is impatient, and stalks out of the room. Dragos attempts to use his ethereal empathy to discern more about the situation, but doesn’t discover anything particularly useful. Gregore tells them that Grewen is regaining consciousness. Grewen slowly comes to as Amelia licks his face. He grabs her harness and slowly stands. Gregore helps Grewen out of his armor and holds his equipment.

Abner pokes his head back in the “courtyard”, rudely addressing them, and Kendra returns his rudeness in kind. Abner seems mollifed by Kendra’s approach. Grewen uses his glaive to help walk. The walls continue to turn to shadow and drip upward in rivulets of shadow. Dragos suddenly realizes that his father’s spectral form is absent. At that moment, Kendra and Katarzyna suddenly hear a child’s scream, and they dart out of the room. Dragos and Grewen follow them.

In the hallway, they see a door across from them. They had come from the left passage, and the passage continues to the right. They open the door and find various equipment that’s been broken and turned into makeshift homes for pony-sized creatures. Katarzyna calls out, and a vicious doglike creature steps out of the shadows. Grewen recognizes the shadow mastiff as an Unseelie creature. It immediately pounces on Grewen, wounding him seriously. Katarzyna steps into the room, and discovers that the floor is not a solid surface, and falls into the floor, which has a quicksand-like consistency. Luckily, she regains her equilibrium before she falls below the surface. Abner also steps into the room and also loses his balance. Gregore also steps into the room, and Kendra and Dragos start tying ropes to help people out of the room. Dragos then jumps into the room, springing to attack the shadow mastiff, but doesn’t hit. He manages to land in the quickshadow floor without incident. The shadow mastiff then howls. Abner and Gregore are panicked, and Abner drops the mirror shard. Abner quickly bolts out of the room. Kendra dives into the room to rescue the shard. She grabs the shard, but starts flailing in the quicksand shadows and goes under. Gregore drops his mace and bolts out of the door. Grewen manages to surface. Katarzyna manages to help Kendra out of the murky shadows. Kendra stabs the mastiff, scoring a serious hit. Amelia tries to keep the dog away from Kendra, but the mastiff bites her anyway. Katarzyna manages to touch the mastiff with her Grave Touch attack. Kendra continues to try and stab the mastiff, wounding it again, and Grewen wounds it with his dagger as well. Katarzyna stumbles and falls under the surface of the quicksand shadows. Grewen instructs Amelia to help Katarzyna out of the shadow. Kendra lets go of the rope, and stabs and shoots at the mastiff, but missed both times. The mastiff then turns to attack Grewen again, but misses. It immediately attacks again, this time hitting Grewen. Katarzyna begins to drown. Amelia tries to grab Katarzyna, but fails. Dragos finally destroys the mastiff. Kendra manages to grab Katarzyna’s hand, and pulls her out of the quicksand shadow. Grewen notices a hint of color, a glint of brass. He dives back in the room to retrieve the object. It turns out to be a wand. There is also a chain made of gold. There is a dessicated hand attached to the hand, and it appears to be part of the amulet. Katarzyna knows that it is a hand of the mage. Silvio tells Kendra where Abner and Gregore had gotten off to. They make their way back. Abner’s throat is swollen and irritated.

Gregore tells them that he heard the child again, from upstairs, so they follow him to where he thinks he heard the sound. They go back the way they had come, and make their way to fine dining room. It is beautifully set and inviting, and Katarzyna immediately thinks it is a trap. There is ornate bone flatware and china cabinets with fine dishes on display. The floor appears to be starting to turn into quicksand. Gregore urges them toward a locked door, and Abner unlocks the door after Katarzyna “intimidates” him. The door dissipates. The room is dark beyond dark, but it appears very bright to Katarzyna’s eyes, so bright she has to remove her glasses. As they enter the dark hallway, the dining room starts to slide into the quicksand. They make their way up the stairs, with Katarzyna guiding them. There is a hallway off to the left, in a room where normal vision returns. The door is substantial as Dragos opens it. It is what appears to be a comfortable apartment on the Material Plane. There is a corpse on the bed. Kendra uses her crystal skull to determine that the corpse isn’t animate. Katarzyna goes in and they inspect the corpse together. Grewen sees Amelia reacting to something under the bed. He leans down and sees a small doll under the bed. Kendra pulls the doll out, and it appears to be a doll you would give a Caliban child. They move on down the hallway. They hear “Hello” come from the hallway. There is what looks to be a young boy, a Caliban half-breed. He gives his name as Sorin. Kendra notes that the boy, being the son of Iozif Boroi, would have a claim to the Barony of Karpad. Sorin says that he “killed” his mother, that she died in childbirth. His mother’s name was Liza. Sorin says that he is usually taken care of by Minnar. Minnar is the neice of Nicosor. Minnar is the daughter of Adamin, a brother of Nicosor. Sorin takes Katarzyna by the hand to the library. He tells them that Henric Boroi has become a vengeful spirit, and makes noises that hurt people. Gregore has them halt for a moment. He uses his healing wand on Grewen.

A female figure, seemingly made of shadow, and a man of similar apperance approach. They are Minnar and Adamin, and they are of the shae race. They introduce themselves. They address Sorin, who says that they are his friends. Adamin notices that Katarzyna is a Caliban. Katarzyna mentions that the prison is dissolving. Adamin tells Minnar that she shouldn’t get caught up in Nicosor’s business. They are speaking with Adamin and Minnar, when a booming voice says “Do we have guests?”

The realm appears to dissolve, and they all fall a short distance. They find themselves downstairs, before the mirror, as it starts to spiderweb. Katarzyna helps Minnar up. Katarzyna hears the voice of Ebjinnia Boroi. The room is full of Caliban. Ellanuta, the Caliban who was consumed with continuing the rebellion, is present. A pool of smoke starts to form in a corner of the room, and Nicosor appears. He calls out for Stepan. Adamin and Minnar move to protect Sorin from the Caliban. Ellanuta and Trakkas move to attack “the humans”, Dragos and Grewen. A new shae enters the room, and three noncombatant Caliban flee the room. Abner grabs his throat, as black ichor spills from his throat. As Grewen moves to Abner, he notices that the wound on his throat is slightly different than what they had seen with other victims of tallow throat. Dragos runs out of the room, leaving Katarzyna alone to defend against Trakkas and Ellanuta. Trakkas attacks Katarzyna. Ellanuta shoots a spell at Amelia. Katarzyna uses her Grave Touch on Trakkas, as Grewen attacks Ellanuta. Gregore helps Abner up. Amelia continues to attack Ellanuta, finally killing her. Trakkas is horrified by the death of Ellanuta.

Dragos runs into the torture room on his way to help Kendra. He notices that the spirit of Ebjinnia Boroi has slain one of the Caliban who tried to escape. Dragos sees that Kendra is injured, and he heals her. Kendra’s gun is smoking. Dragos attacks and decapitates the shae in one stroke.

Down in the mirror room, the fight continues. Grewen rolls in front of Katarzyna, and tells Trakkas to desist, and he does so. Katarzyna notices that Sorin is missing, and when she calls out to Minnar, she is distracted and is hurt by the Caliban attacker. Minnar says her brother Corys is loyal to Nicosor, and might harm Sorin. They all run out of the room through the torture chamber to where Dragos has slain Corys. They see the unconscious form of Sorin, and Minnar and Adamin take care of him. They hear a scream, and Katarzyna bolts toward the sound, hoping to get to Anya in time. Abner, Grewen, and Gregore immediately follow.

As Katarzyna enters the courtyard, she sees the dead body of Stepan impaled on the statue in the fountain, and the dying form of Anya. Anya tells them that her child has been taken by Nicosor, so Katarzyna flies madly through the house and they hear Minnar talking with Nicosor. Minnar is trying to talk Nicosor down, and he tosses the child at the wall. Gregore immediately goes to aid the baby. Nicosor immediately attacks, and hits Grewen with a massive hit. Abner moves in on Nicosor with the mirror blade. He hits, but the mirror blade doesn’t seem to do anything special. Kendra shoots at Nicosor with a silver bullet, wounding him severely. Nicosor threatens Minnar and Adamin, and Adamin tells Nicosor that he shouldn’t have threatened Minnar. Katarzyna notices that Gregore and Minnar are leaving with the baby and Sorin. Grewen attacks Nicosor again, and he gets a solid, but not spectacular hit. Nicosor attacks Grewen and Dragos, and misses Grewen twice, and hits Dragos once, and again when Dragos tries to cast a spell. Katarzyna moves up behind Nicosor, using oil of magic weapon on her quarterstaff to harry him, trying to help Grewen and Dragos in the fight. Adamin also attacks Nicosor. Abner moves in on Nicosor too. They all crowd him and attack Nicosor with everything they have. It’s a highly pitched battle. Adamin manages to disarm Nicosor’s short sword arm. Nicosor immediately dispatches Adamin though. Finally, Grewen strikes true, and Nicosor falls. Dragos goes to help Adamin, and Katarzyna pours a potion down his throat. Adamin is incredulous at the kindness they’ve shown. Katarzyna goes to find Anya. She and Laurenzio move her to the salon.

Dragos and Grewen sort through the items left by Nicosor and Corys. There is a scroll tube [scroll is magic, Daylight spell, claimed by Kendra], a hand crossbow [claimed by Grewen], a longsword [magic, claimed by Adamin for Minnar], a short sword [magic, claimed by Grewen], 12 silver bolts, a set of bracers [magic, bracers of armor, claimed by Abner], some nice studded leather [magic, claimed by Dragos], black with dark silver studs. There are also potions [deep blue, powerful curative; 2 light blue, curative; green, removes disease] and a wand [magic, Restoration, claimed by Gregore], and of course, his mask [claimed by Adamin]. Corys’ remains had a falchion and a mask [claimed by Dragos, which he plans to use as a piece of his armor].

Gavril arrives with the dogs, and Gregore returns with the baby. Abner is also present. They also see Minnar, Adamin and Sorin. Eventually everyone gets together, and Gregore brings the baby back to Anya. Gavril and Laurenzio are staring at Sorin, and Katarzyna starts to explain who Sorin is. Laurenzio gives Anya a potion. Anya wakes, and hugs her baby close. Katarzyna tells Anya that Stepan is deceased. Katarzyna starts to tell her about the situation inside the mirror. She also tells her that Sorin is the rightful heir to the Barony, being the son of Iozif Boroi. Laurenzio ushers everyone out of the room, so Anya can recover and take care of her baby. Katarzyna goes to talk with Minnar. Dragos is also present. Minnar takes Sorin away while Adamin answers their questions. He tells them that Iozif Boroi had a Caliban lover inside the prison, and when she passed away giving birth to Sorin, he became despondent, and ultimately died of the cold. Minnar took pity on Sorin, and raised him as her own.

They spend the rest of the day and night at the estate. They recuperate a bit and they all exchange information about the current situation in Karpad. Dragos and Grewen give Adamin the items they had gotten from Nicosor. He offers to split the items a few days later when they talk about it. The results of that discussion is in parentheses above, in the description of items.

Tuesday, June 10th, 758, Karpad, Ustalav

In the morning, Gregore heals everyone. Abner’s throat is still raw. He apologizes to Katarzyna for his behavior while he was sick, and they hug. The rest of the day passes relatively uneventfully, though there is much activity.

Wednesday, June 11th, 758, Karpad, Ustalav

They recover Gregore’s magic mace, and they also find the spellbook of Nicosor’s long-deceased consort: the spells inside include Black Tentacles, Enervation, Fear, Phantasmal Killer, Shadow Conjuration, Shadow Evocation. There is a folio called the Atlas of the Black Shores. When Katarzyna opens the tome, it’s a map of the enitre world of Ravenloft, which blows her and Dragos’ mind. The book also gives some vague information. There’s also a book on dragons. It’s called In Search Of Lost Dragons. There are amazing illustrations in it. The calendar seems to be unusual, in that it references advanced lands. It also mentions a land called ‘Scotland’, and Katarzyna asks Dragos about it. They talk about the various domains of Ravenloft and he doesn’t recognize the name of Scotland. Katarzyna speculates that the name may be an older name of one of the domains.

They are staying at the Boroi villa. Dragos notices that the blood from Stepan’s death resulted in permanent stains on the fountain in the courtyard. The townsfolk are well-disposed toward the group, since they had cured the tallow throat epidemic. Dragos talks with Kendra and Gregore about the situation, looking for answers. Gregore and Dragos go to the temple of Zon Kuthon to speak with Vachlan. He moves with obvious discomfort. They look at the fountain together, and Vachlan says that the “blessing of Zon Kuthon” is upon the villa. He says that it shows that the house has been cleansed of Stepan’s treachery. Gregore is clearly not enthused by the conversation, but he remains silent. Vachlan drinks the water from the fountain, but appears to suffer no ill effect.

Katarzyna, Grewen, Gavril, Minnar and Sorin go for a long walk through the woods, and Katarzyna enthusiastically shows them all the new things in the real world. Minnar is amazed at all the colors she sees. Minnar had apparently never seen color before. Sorin is amazed at the flavor of an apple, never having tasted such things before.

Katarzyna talks with Anya. She is clearly grieving. Katarzyna can tell that she is highly conflicted. Anya clearly blames them somewhat for the events of the mirror, and clearly harbors a lot of resentment toward them because of the death of Stepan and the arrival of Sorin to contest her son’s claim to the barony.

People from the surrounding area start to arrive. One of those people is Cedres, a large man, weatherbeaten, clearly a farmer. He is the leader of the pig farmers in the area. He is a surly, rude man.

They also see a lot more of Vachlan, a priest from the temple of Zon Kuthon, who is staying in the villa.

Many of the Caliban servants of the estate have returned to the Boroi villa, including the head housekeeper Renda. Renda is taciturn and terse with the group, but not rude.

Katarzyna talks with Minnar and Sorin in the evening. Dragos, Grewen, Gregore, Kendra and Abner are also present. Abner is distracted, lost in thought. Adamin is also present. Adamin and Minnar have decided to serve Sorin. Dragos recognizes that there is some royalty in Sorin. Sorin says that the lineage of the Boroi family has been tarnished for generations. He says that as the rightful heir, he wants to bring Caliban, shae and humans together as a viable community. He seems very wise, beyond his years. Katarzyna asks what they think should happen with Anya and her son. He says that after they’ve finished grieving, they’ll broach the subject of succession. In the course of the conversation, Sorin suggests that Katarzyna stay in Karpad and marry him. The conversation becomes rather awkward at that point. Grewen slinks out of the room.

Out in front of the villa, Grewen smokes a bit, then he smells Walkgren Thornstag approach. He’s an outdoorsy type who Grewen knows from the lodge. He is a very smelly man, and a friend of the Grey Fox (a legend of the woods). Walkgren offers Grewen some tobacco for his pipe. They talk about the werecreatures of the forest and other local concerns. Walkgren says that he is at Karpad to make sure that the natural spaces are protected from too much trade.

Dragos starts talking about the book. Minnar takes Sorin to bed, and Adamin also leaves. Dragos comes out to fetch Grewen. Back inside, they discuss the situation in Karpad. They decide not to interfere unless the safety of either child/heir is threatened. Gregore leaves, followed by Kendra and Abner, who leave together to talk privately. Grewen goes back out on the porch, and Dragos continues to leaf through the book. Katarzyna heads up to bed.

Dragos is joined by Leandra, an attractive blonde woman with green eyes. She’s from another town in the region, Courtand. She drinks wine with Dragos, and they flirt a bit.

When Katarzyna goes up to bed, she notices a crack in her mattress. She decides to go look for Kendra, and instead runs into Grewen. She tells Grewen about the crack in the mattress, and tells him she can’t find Kendra. They decide to go up to Kendra’s room, so Amelia can catch her scent, but the run into Dragos on the way. They talk about the crack in the mattress, and run into Kendra and Abner in the hallway. Dragos goes to look for Gregore, and wakes him up. They talk about the cracks, inspect the mattress and servant’s quarter’s table. Katarzyna goes through the house looking for other cracks, but doesn’t find any.

In the middle of the night, Dragos is lying awake when he hears a thunderous cracking sound. In the dark, he hears a spiderweb crack, and in a few seconds the house collapses.

Katarzyna awakes in pain, and sees that her room is completely collapsed. Dragos calls out, and he and Katarzyna gather themselves and look for the others. Gregore, Abner and Kendra all regroup, as Grewen joins them. Leandra and Cedres also join them. Abner goes to check on Anya and the baby. A girl stumbles into view covered in blood, she’s one of the servants. She dies before Gregore or Dragos can help her. They continue to look for other survivors, and Dragos walks into Vachlan’s room to discover him extricating himself from under a ceiling beam, wearing a garment that is self-injuring, clearly a vestment of Zon Kuthon. Dragos partially heals Vachlan of his injury from the collapse. Dragos gives Vachlan his robe. Vachlan grabs his tools and goes to help. He tells them that Anya and the boy are at the temple of Zon Kuthon, presumably safe from the collapse of the building.

The continue looking for people who need help. Gregore heals Katarzyna. They see that the bottom floor is completely destroyed and buried under the bulk of the second floor. Katarzyna goes looking for a window that leads out of the house, and finds one in Dragos’ room. It leads outside, but they find themselves inside a cavern, rather than the grounds of the villa. It is unnaturally dark, and therefore unnaturally bright to Katarzyna. There is a fine mist clinging to the ground, and Grewen notices that there are creatures hanging from the ceiling of the cavern. Dragos notices Walkgren Thornstag in the cave with them. He waves Walkgren over. They regroup, and determine that Vachlan, Leandra, Cedres, Abner, Kendra, and Gregore are all accounted for. Walkgren heads toward Dragos, and suddenly Dragos notices a stalactite creatures head toward them. Dragos and Katarzyna are enveloped in magical darkness. The creatures, darkmantles, attack. Walkgren and Dragos dispatch one. The continue to fight, killing them all. There is the baying of a shadow mastiff, which Katarzyna and Grewen hear, but Dragos doesn’t. Gregore heals the combatants. He then leaves to get his armor on. Dragos starts to put on his armor too, but puts his mithril shirt on Leandra. Katarzyna hears Laurenzio calling out from the hallway, and she rushes out to help him. She asks about other survivors he might have seen on his way.

As they are discussing what to do next, they see the shadow mastiff at the end of the hallway. Katarzyna helps pull Laurenzio away from the fight, and Cedres backs away with them. Gregore, Dragos and Grewen advance forward. The mastiff charges at Dragos. As it collides with Dragos, it dissipates into mist. When Dragos whirls around, the mastiff has disappeared. The hear cracking in Gregore’s room. Abner, Grewen, Gregore and Dragos go into the room. It is mostly intact in there. They don’t see anything out of the ordinary. Inside the room, they just see some shattered sections of roof. Abner boost Dragos so he can go up to check out the roof. Dragos climbs up into the rafters to improve his view.

They systematically search the remainder of the ruined floor of the villa. Walkgren’s room was mostly crushed. Leandra’s room is mostly intact. There is a section of exterior wall collapsed in Cedres’ room. Standing amid the rubble is a shadow mastiff. Dragos runs in to attack the shadow mastiff. Grewen and Abner attack it, and Katarzyna launches a magic missile at it. The mastiff howls, but none of the combatants are affected by the fear effect. The combat continues, and it tries to use a sleep effect on Katarzyna, but fails. Katarzyna blinds it, and Grewen finishes it off. Gregore helps Dragos extricate himself from the rubble.

Grewen goes out to the hallway, and looks for Amelia. He notices that Amelia, Laurenzio, Cedres and Walkgren are all gone. Kendra is talking with Leandra and Vachlan, urging them to remain in the hallway. Katarzyna goes into the hallway, and notices that people are missing, so she heads down the hallway, she sends Pearl to look for them also, but Pearl’s vision isn’t as good as Katarzyna’s. Katarzyna goes looking for the missing people and for any other survivors. She uses Spider Climb to aid in her movement. They hear a human male scream coming from somewhere outside the villa. Grewen heads outside from Cedres’ room, stepping over the corpse of the mastiff. Abner is out in the cavern, lighting a torch. Abner and Grewen run into Cedres, who is yelling for help. Dragos leaves the villa through the hole in his own room. Dragos finds Amelia coming back to the villa. Amelia sets off toward Grewen. Dragos follows her and they meet up with Grewen, Abner and they all head to where they think Cedres is. Silvio comes out of the building too. At the corner of the building, they see tunnels leading away from the main cavern. Katarzyna talks with Kendra, then heads out to help Grewen, Abner, and Dragos look for Cedres down the cave. The take the left/north fork of a hallway at the intersection. following it northeast, until they come to a cave on the left/west. There is the sound of sobbing coming from that direaction. As Grewen enters, he sees Cedres, in a room with veins of natural garnet. The others move into the room. Katarzyna talks with Cedres. She tells Dragos to tend to Cedres’ wounds, and he does so, reluctantly. Abner and Grewen are trying to dislodge garnet. Katarzyna sees a creature in the room, and yells out for the others to run out of the room. Grewen, for some reason, tries to talk to the creature. The creature walks toward Abner. It appears to be fixated on Grewen’s sword. It grabs for Grewen’s sword, and Abner attacks it. Grewen attacks it. The creature attacks Grewen and Abner. Katarzyna tries to lead Cedres away from the fight, she gets turned around at first, then manages to lead Cedres back to the main cavern. The creature does a lot of damage to the party, but Abner finally kills it. Katarzyna returns to where the others were fighting the creature, bringing Gregore back to garnet room. Grewen, Abner and Dragos are heading out of the cavern as Katarzyna and Gregore are heading back. Walkgren and Laurenzio are missing. Grewen realizes that his sword is missing. He and Gregore return to the garnet room to find the sword. Gregore tells Grewen that there are three caverns that lead out of the cavern. Gregore tells them that Kendra thinks that the mirror is recreating itself. She’s trying to think of a way to destroy the new heart. The book that Stepan used to capture the shadows may be involved. Grewen tells Gregore that before the event happened, he saw a crack in the house, and put his finger in the crack, and it seemed to trigger the event. Gregore tells Dragos not to share the information with Cedres. Gregore heals Grewen and Dragos a bit, and they return to the main group. Kendra and Katarzyna join them, and it is decided that a group will go to investigate a moaning that Gregore had heard. Gregore, Katarzyna, Grewen and Dragos will investigate the noise.

The set off toward the northwest corridor. As they’re getting ready, Cedres starts to talk smack, and Dragos is so peeved he even speaks curtly toward Leandra. They are leaving just as Vachlan is intoning prayers to Zon Kuthon.

They travel a fair distance down the corridor, and come up to the carcass of Laurenzio, whose corpse was being eaten by shadow rats. Katarzyna is horrified by the death of someone she knew. They continue northwest. This chamber is filled with offal and rat burrows. They then wend their way through the caves, and come back to Laurenzio’s body. They backtrack and take a south corridor, then to another corridor that leads west-north-west and east-south-east. They come to what appears to be a portal that leads to a dark lake. They see movement on the other side of the portal. Grewen extinquishes his light. Gregore hears that the creatures are speaking goblin, and he knows that goblins in Ravenleft are much more dangerous than goblins from primes, so they run out. At one point, Katarzyna turns around and casts Web in the tunnel, trapping three of the four goblins. One manages to wriggle free of the web and advances toward Katarzyna and Dragos. In the cavern, Gregore and Grewen turn around head back to the fray, along with Amelia, and attack the goblin. They kill one goblin, then another breaks free, and they kill it. The web spell lasts for 40 minutes. When Katarzyna tells Kendra about the area beyond the portal, she says it sounds like Ossumbra. Grewen knows that Ossumbra is a place of shadow and dark fey.

They set up an ambush for the webbed goblins. Katarzyna lies in wait for the goblin as he breaks free of the web. Kendra gives Katarzyna her gun to fire. Katarzyna sees the goblins break free of the web, then she runs back down the tunnel to the others. The goblins pour through, there are three of them. Kendra, Katarzyna and Dragos manage to get off a few shots as they advance. Dragos kills the first one, Grewen kills the second. The third is dispatched in short order. Dragos goes to look for Leandra.

Abner finishes off the goblins, stabbing them in the throat. Katarzyna gives Kendra’s gun back to her, Kendra reloads it, and hands it back to Katarzyna. Grewen, Gregore, Kendra and Katarzyna finish exploring the cave complex to the north-northwest, where the portal to Ossumbra is. Katarzyna tries to scout ahead, but she’s not great at stealth. They encounter the body of Laurenzio again, and Grewen tells them to go left. Kendra and Katarzyna are to remain at the intersection in the cave complex where the “loop” converges, while Gregore and Grewen investigate the loop. Grewen finds an unexplored passage as he’s traversing the loop.

Katarzyna and Kendra are standing in the dark, waiting for Grewen and Gregore. In the dark, Katarzyna sees an image of a wolf, and it entreats Katarzyna to join him and “show the others their superiority”. It derides Kendra, who can’t see it, dismissing her as a “petty sleuth”. Katarzyna rebuffs the wolf, and Kendra hears her speaking to it. Kendra becomes panicked, and shoots her gun, hitting the creature with a grievous wound to the jaw. As Grewen and Gregore rush toward the sound, the wolf transforms into a blue goblinoid form, with blood all over its face, then the creature vanishes.

Kendra is rattled, telling the others that she had been unable to breathe while Katarzyna spoke with the creature. Katarzyna tells the others about the vision of the wolf. Amelia is growling, as if the wolf is still present. An outline forms on the ceiling of the cavern, followed by a brief crackle of energy, and what appears to be another cavern above within the confines of the outline. As quickly as it formed, it dissipates. Kendra tells Katarzyna that the spell was a Dimension Door. Kendra also mentions that it is something that has a relatively short range. Kendra thinks the goblinoid was the leader of the other goblins. It is a markedly different type of goblin than the others, more akin to the type of goblin that Grewen is familiar with from his home.

They decide to head back to the unexplored path in the “loop” area. After a long stretch of tunnel, it branches northeast and southwest. They take the northeast passage first, after Grewen links with Amelia. They encounter a humanoid corpse, wearing robes decorated with runes. Kendra uses her skull to investigate the corpse. Katarzyna investigates the corpse, it is wearing a pouch of spell components. Katarzyna grabs a few of the items, as well as a ring on the finger. Katarzyna expertly removes the finger from the corpse to retrieve the ring, dissecting the distended flesh away from the proximal phalanx with a series of neat cuts. She also grabs a wand out of the corpse’s other hand. Katarzyna and Kendra can’t immediately figure out the properties of the items, so they continue east. The tunnel ends at a collapsed area. They retrace their steps back to the Y intersection and head southwest. It leads to a small chamber. It appears to be filled with mushrooms and other organisms. The mushrooms are mostly harmless, though some have hallucinogenic properties if prepared properly, according to Grewen.

They return to the original Y intersection where Kendra and Katarzyna had encountered the Wolf Goblin, and take the east-southestern passage. They proceed with extreme caution, since Amelia had scented something this direction. Grewen smells the unmistakable odor of raw meat, and bones litter the floor. Amelia is confused by the scents, but she’s not on her guard. There are dead dire rats and the bones of something humanoid in the chamber. Kendra notices tracks on the floor of the cave. She shows the tracks to Grewen. Kendra thinks it might be the lair of the shadow mastiff. Katarzyna thinks the shadow mastiff came in from Ossumbra.

They decide to cautiously approach the portal to Ossumbra. The chamber is as they remember, but this time it is dark, as they had extinguished their torches before approaching. They see the city, the dark lake, and Katarzyna asks Kendra to review the scene for more clues. Kendra steps through the portal, much to everyone’s consternation. Katarzyna steps through also. Kendra says that the city of Ossumbra is another place entirely, outside of the area that was indicated on the map of the world. Off to one side, Kendra and Katarzyna see a campfire with two figures. Amelia goes through the veil. Gregore reluctantly steps through the portal. Then Grewen cautiously steps through also. Katarzyna suggests getting closer to the campfire to get a better look, so Grewen stealthily makes his way forward. As he treks toward the campfire, Kendra takes samples of tree sap and other substances for later study.

Grewen sees that there are goblyns around the fire. There are more goblyn sleeping areas than goblyns present. He withdraws from the scene, and quietly returns to the cave portal to let the others know about the goblyns.

Katarzyna has an odd feeling, but can’t place it. It doesn’t feel like the influence of the Wolf Goblin. Katarzyna notices that Gregore and Kendra are also bothered by something. Gregore tells them that he is no longer sensing his connection to Ezra. The overall feeling of fear and dread that is a pervasive aspect of the world they know is not present in Ossumbra either, though none of them can quite articulate the precise nature of the feeling. Grewen explains the aspect of the feywild as best he can to Kendra and Katarzyna, and that Ossumbra is rife with dark fey.

They decide to go back through the veil, and Gregore breathes heavily and kneels, saying a prayer to Ezra. Kendra studies the edges of the portal, and says it might collapse at some point. They return to Dragos, Abner and the others. Gregore and Grewen take Laurenzio’s body back with them. Dragos and Abner are with the others when they get back, and Gregore takes the body of Laurenzio back to Laurenzio’s room in the shattered house. Grewen goes with him. They cover his body with a blanket, and Grewen says a prayer over the body, then Vachlan says a prayer to Zon Kuthon on Laurenzio’s behalf.

Katarzyna and Dragos join Grewen inside the destroyed house to look for Leandra. She is not in her room, and Grewen tries to find something that would have her scent for Amelia to track from. They find her nightgown, and Grewen gives it to Amelia to get the scent. They head out and start to try and track Leandra.

Katarzyna and Grewen return to where they had been, and Katarzyna sees Kendra studying the wall of the cavern. Kendra says it looks different from when they came in, it seems more solid. She suspects that the new mirror realm is gaining in strength and solidity. Katarzyna, Kendra and Grewen talk about what to do next, and Gregore joins them. They talk at length about their options, and even suggest leaving the mirror realm through the portal to Ossumbra in order to escape thousands of years of imprisonment in the demiplane of the dark mirror. Gregore says he will not leave for the relative “safety” of Ossumbra under any circumstances, because his connection to Ezra is severed in that land. He would prefer imprisonment in the dark mirror to that. Dragos joins them and they continue to weigh their options. Grewen suggests that they follow the northeast passage.

Dragos and Katarzyna lead the party, since they can see in the dark. 30 feet into the cave, there is an east/forward passage and a right/south passage. The south passage splits to southeast and southwest. Dragos gives Katarzyna chalk to mark their passage, since her darkness vision is more acute than his own. Katarzyna marks an arrow on the wall pointing back to the main cavern. Grewen and Katarzyna decide to go to the southwest passage. Dragos says that an elf or a female human had passed through the south passage. He can’t determine whether the person went southeast or southwest. The southeast passage leads to a pretty large empty cave. It appears to have nothing in it, but Dragos and Katarzyna walk through it anyway. Katarzyna tells Dragos that it’s unlikely that the newly formed dark mirror will have secret doors. They take the southwest fork, and there is an empty alcove on the right. The main tunnel turns southeast, so they continue. The path continues and turns east, after widening out a bit. They come to another Y intersection, heading east and northeast. Katarzyna marks an arrow back the way they came, captioning it “To Main Cavern”, then they continue east. Ten feet east, they come to another fork, going east and southeast. They mark the wall again. The southeast passage leads to a cold room. Shadow seems to come out of the walls. The room contains some dried bones and chitin. Dragos searches the room for anything conclusive about the area. Dragos and Grewen notice that there is something in the room. They are beset by shadow creatures, like the ones that had erupted from the guard suffering from tallow throat. Grewen throws the Light coin onto the floor and draws his weapons, and Dragos moves to attack as well. Katarzyna tries to Turn them, but it has no effect. Gregore Pulses and damages the shadows. The shadows attack Gregore, and Grewen and Dragos attack them as they flee. The fight continues. Kendra lands a hit on one of them. One of the shadows is destroyed. Dragos takes strength damage from the shadows. Finally, Grewen takes out the second one. Gregore restores Dragos’ strength damage.

They go back to the east passage, Katarzyna checks the chalk marks as they pass. Grewen hears sobbing, and sends Gregore up ahead. Gregore finds Leandra in the chamber beyond, and brings her out. She is very glad to see Dragos. She had been bitten on the hand by dire rats, and Gregore tends to her injury. There is a doorway on the north side of the cavern, the tunnel leads northwest. Katarzyna makes a chalk mark to indicate the way back to the main cavern. Grewen tells Amelia to protect Leandra for the duration. The tunnel gradually turns west, then it opens into a larger room. There is a three-foot tall stalagmite in the center of the chamber. There is a skull atop the flat top of the stalagmite, and an aura of unease permeates the room. Katarzyna notes that the skull doesn’t register as magic. She tells Kendra to use her skull and register if there is any spectral activity in the room. They move into the room.

When the light falls onto the skull, smoke seems to fall out of it. Katarzyna comes into the room. The skull starts to rise out of the stalagmite. The creature has a fear effect, and Gregore, Leandra, and Amelia are all affected. Grewen, Kendra, Katarzyna and Dragos stand their ground. Grewen swings at it, but it brushes past him and rushes southwest in pursuit of the others. They all rush out of the room in pursuit, trying not to lose sight of each other in the twisting passages. Grewen tells the others that the stalagmite seems “corrupted”. Dragos sprints, and comes to an east-west corridor. He pauses, so that he can get his bearings, and is joined by Katarzyna. They go west and come to another junction. The west is a room, north is a tunnel, so they go north. Kendra and Grewen are behind them just out of sight, and Grewen sees a chalk mark that indicates that it leads back to the main cavern. Katarzyna hears a male sobbing coming from the southeasterly direction, so she heads toward the sound. Dragos stops to listen, and hears something beyond Katarzyna.

Katarzyna comes up to Gregore, who is sobbing. Dragos joins them, followed by Grewen and Kendra. They reassure Gregore, then move back into the hallway. Gregore can’t make his way out, so Kendra and Grewen stay with him as Katarzyna and Dragos rush out to find the undead creature. Katarzyna and Grewen notice something strange about Gregore, they notice that he doesn’t seem like his true self. They sense the faint stench of carrion and the tracks of a skeletal creature. Grewen draws down on the imposter, and it attacks. Grewen lands two solid hits on it. Kendra shoots it, and it falls. Katarzyna and Dragos return to see the aftermath. The report of the pistol deafens Kendra briefly. They destroy the remains.

They go off in search of Gregore, Leandra and Amelia. Grewen links with Amelia. He sees that she is in the main cavern with Gregore. They return to the main chamber where the others have all congregated. Amelia is happy to see Grewen. Dragos tells Gregore about the creature impersonating him. Abner gives them food. Cedres berates them for pausing to eat. Katarzyna upbraids Cedres a bit, then they prepare to leave. Kendra gives Walkgren the pistol that Katarzyna had carried, to signal them if they get into trouble. Grewen leaves Amelia with them as well. Abner accompanies Gregore, Grewen, Dragos, Kendra and Katarzyna.

They return to the cave complex. They take the northeast passage. About 25-30 feet, they come to a fork in the tunnel. They go straight ahead, east. The tunnel turns northeast, then east, and then there’s a short vestibule. There is an empty room beyond, and a passageway heading east. It continues east, then southeast, then opens into a much larger cavern. Kendra and Dragos think the cavern looks familiar. It is devoid of organic matter. It reminds them of the area underneath Harrowstone Prison in Ravengro, where an ooze had been active. Katarzyna reminds them that oozes have an acid attack.

Dragos and Katarzyna scout ahead in the darkness, Katarzyna holding her quarterstaff to check for ooze. Kendra unpacks her crossbow from her backpack. She shoots her crossbow at the far end of the corridor. Kendra surmised that the ooze would stop the crossbow bolt if it were present. There is a tunnel leading away west-northwest. They continue on.

Katarzyna runs right into the ooze because apparently she had just taken her stupid pills. Dragos tries to pull her out of the ooze. Katarzyna starts to feel numb, and her body is unresponsive, she is paralyzed. The others fight the ooze, which has a shadowy quality to it. Abner gets two solid hits immediately, as Gregore grabs for Katarzyna, pulling her out of the fray. Kendra shoots it with her crossbow. The creature is easy to hit, and they do a lot of damage to it. Gregore drags Katarzyna to the back of the cavern. Abner lands a couple of solid hits, and the ooze falls apart. The shadow essence seems to be causing it to disintegrate more quickly.

Kendra tends to Katarzyna, cleaning her off and helping her change into a spare set of Kendra’s clothes. Gregore cleans the damaged clothes, and Katarzyna stows them away to be repaired. They continue west and slightly north.

They come to a dead end. There is a shallow pool of dark water. Dragos pokes his sword into the water, it’s fairly deep. Grewen casts Light on a coin, and Dragos throws it into the murky water. Dragos notes that the water has the same properties of the fountain. Katarzyna pokes her quarterstaff into the water, and her staff comes out slightly corroded. Grewen speculates that the water has the same properties as the ooze. Grewen inspects the water. It is tainted with the essence of shadow and the ooze. Kendra puts her finger in the water. It numbs her finger. Kendra and Dragos pause to have a swig of brandy from the flask.

They go back to the main cavern. Leandra calls out to them from the mouth of the cave. They briefly describe what they found, then go to the third cavern.

They go down to the caves, and head east, and come to a four-way intersection. There is a north/left passage, a forward/east passage, and a south/right passage. They take the north passage first, to verify that they cleared the entire area earlier. It branches to the northeast and the northwest. They head northeast, and come to the garnet room. They see the body of the xorn, but it has turned to stone.

They go back to the crossroads. They take the east passage next. The tunnel almost immediately turns south, then east, then northeast. Then in opens up north-ish or east-ish. They take the north-ish fork first. It immediately opens to a cavern, then the tunnel heads north and east until it opens into a larger room. They notice a low fog on the ground. They are immediately on their guard. Grewen thinks this might be the source of the Mists. Katarzyna and Dragos see a pulsating egg-like structure at the center of the cavern. Dragos tells the others that he thinks they found the heart of shadow. They move into the room. The room is eerie, and the light seems to be swallowed up by the murk. Gregore intones a prayer to Ezra. Kendra kisses Grewen on the top of his head, delivering a spell to grant a clarity of mind to him. Dragos casts spells on himself in preparation for the battle.

While the others are otherwise occupied, Katarzyna approaches the egg, which starts to open. Katarzyna sees a form inside the egg, and hits it with her Grave Touch ability. The form inside the egg erupts as Katarzyna touches it, its screams alert them all to its presence. The form rises out of the egg and faces Katarzyna. Abner tosses the shard to Grewen, and he drops his short sword to pick it up. The creature attacks Katarzyna. Surprisingly, it doesn’t harm her much. Kendra calls out to the group, letting them know that it’s not undead, but rather a demon. Katarzyna tries to hit it with another Grave Touch, bolstered by the Warden’s badge, but it doesn’t appear to affect the demon. Gregore Blesses them all, bolstering their prowess in combat. Grewen rolls up on it and hits it with the shard and his dagger. The creature casts a spell, and a smoky, shadow-filled version of a lightning bolt emanates from his hand, doing minimal damage to Grewen but almost knocking Katarzyna unconscious. Kendra quickly runs up and heals Katarzyna, and Gregore casts Bull’s Strength on Grewen. Dragos attacks the demon, and the demon attacks Grewen. Katarzyna casts Magic Weapon on her quarterstaff. Katarzyna notices that as Grewen lands palpable hits on the demon, cracks appear in the cave system. Grewen lands a solid hit, and the cavern starts to crack and shatter. The demon breaks apart, and turns into a pile of glass shards. There is a quicksilver-like material with smoke rising from it among the shards. As the cavern complex cracks and splinters around them, they all run toward the main chamber, to be back with the others, Abner picking up Grewen and carrying him. There are a few harrowing moments, but they arrive at the house without further incident and huddle with the others. Abner grabs Kendra and Katarzyna, so they won’t be separated if the mirror disintigrates.

There is a strange sensation, and they suddenly find themselves in the basement level of the manor, as a thick fog is dissipating. The dark mirror sits in the corner of the room where it had always been, broken, with shards of glass all around.

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