After returning to Sandpoint, the adventurers learned of another murder – this time at Scarnetti’s sawmill. While investigating the scene of Banny Harker and Katrine Vender’s grisly demise, the team discovered that the attacker was undead and using an ancient Thassilonian ritual for unknown reasons. Banny appeared to be the target, whereas Katrine appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Next, the party went to the abandoned barn south of town where the first murders occurred. After Maggie magically spoke to a pack of wolves, she learned that a sliver knife with an embossed foxglove was overlooked by the Sheriff’s men.
The next morning, the adventurers went to Sandpoint’s cathedral to interview the lone survivor of the barn murders. Within they found Grayst Sevilla in the throws of ghoul fever. He ranted about his hunger and returning to his master. The party agreed to let him escape and lead them to his creator.
Grayst caused brief pandemonium in town as he raced through on all fours, but the adventurers prevented any townsfolk injuries. Grayst rushed through the surrounding woods fueled by inhuman endurance. Kayleb and Albi were left behind, but they returned to town for Kayleb’s pony and continued the chase.
Grayst led the group to a ramshackle mansion along the Lost Coast, Foxglove manor. Grayst broke through a window and entered the house. Maggie picked the lock expertly, and the party entered the fungus shrouded halls. The entrance foyer contained numerous tattered and rotting animal trophies, including a large manticore.
The next room was a decaying parlor with a sagging grand piano. Grayst was still lingering in the room and was quickly dispatched. Afterward, Malcanthet was overcome with hallucination of dancing with Foxglove’s wife, Iesha. Iesha’s face bloated as though being strangled by unseen hands. Mal shook away the disturbing vision without ill effect. She advocated for leaving and trying to burn the haunted mansion down.
The group decided to continue investigating. An adjacent washroom contained a basin with a large, disease-ridden rat. Mal ended its suffering with a crackling arrow. Albi and Kayleb showed up and joined the exploration.
The next room was a formal dining room with a huge stained-glass bay window overlooking the coast. Albi identified the disturbing images as components of necromantic spells. Kayleb’s cat, Mordaki, whispered in the witch’s mind, “Parts of dark spells yes, but a more ominous recipe these make. Within the cauldron brews the draught of eternal unlife of a liche.”
A small sitting room near the back of the manor showed queer footfalls in the dust and Maggie reported a worried woman’s voice who spake, “Lorey my sweet. What does your father do down there so late in the night?”
The last room on this floor was a mouldering library. Albi cried at the loss of so many books. The others noticed a brilliant red and gold Varisian scarf and a heavy stone bookend on the ground. The scarf shuddered and flew around Malcanthet’s face. She had another hallucination of Aldern Foxglove storming in on Iesha and cursing her unfaithfulness. Aldern brained the young man seated in the nearby chair and grabbed Iesha’s throat. She wrapped the scarf around his eyes and nearly escaped but his grip was too strong. The vision ended as the scarf fell lifelessly to the ground. Maggie scooped it up, recognizing its value, and Mal again encouraged the group to leave this haunted place.
The heroes decided to continue investigating until they found the source of the evil that permeated the manor. Returning to the entrance hall, Albi found an especially thick patch of fungus. While collecting samples, he suddenly heard a zap behind him. Turning, he saw Kassandra level a wand at him as a lighting bolt surged into him. Albi’s perspective spun and he realized she was attacking the fungus and that he was the fungus. As the vision cleared, the room smelled of ozone and Albi’s ears and whiskers smoked from a painfully real lighting burns. Kayleb magically healed the worst of Albi’s injuries.
Next, they headed upstairs. The first room was a child’s bedroom. This time Ragnok suffered a vision from the eyes of Lorey, a Chelish girl. She (he?) saw her frantic mother whose face was covered with a growing blight. Ragnok was then convinced that it was his face afflicted and began clawing furrows in his own flesh. The vision receded but left Ragnok terribly injured.
Maggie declared the upstairs washroom unstable and prone to collapse. The room was otherwise avoided.
The master bedroom was completely destroyed. The bed was torn apart, walls gouged, tapestries shredded, and furniture sundered. The one exception was a fine portrait of Iesha turned backward against the wall. Once turned, Ito was overcome with a suicidal compulsion; he saw himself as Aldern Foxglove, having just murdered Iesha, his wife, in a fit of jealousy and almost plunged a dagger (actually a broken dowel) into his chest. As his vision cleared Aldern (Ito?) tossed the weapon aside and decided to turn to the Brothers of the Seven for help.
Next, the adventurers found a relatively well preserved study. Shelves were lined with books on travel and various cultures (particularly Shoanti tribes), and rolls of maps filled a barrel. A decorative scroll case contained two magical scrolls, and a valuable painting of a auroch bullfight, titled “Throwdown in Swynetown”, hung on one wall. Hanging from the ceiling was a magical pullcord with a preserved simian head at the base. The heroes chose to leave it alone…much to Maggie’s dismay.
The last room on this floor was the gallery of Foxglove’s family. The room was thick with mildew and mold. The portraits helped clarify the people in the hallucinations. Vorel Foxglove, Aldern’s grandfather, was the patriarch. The portraits of his wife and daughter, Kassandra and Lorey, hung nearby. Aldern’s mother and father are pictured (but did not feature in the visions). Aldern and Iesha are also pictured. While investigating the room, it grows warm and moist, just before each of the portraits suddenly transforms to show the cause of subject’s death. Aldern’s portrait becomes a gray-green skinned cadaver with an elongated jaw and sharp canine teeth. Kassandra and Lorey died of a patchy rash and Iesha from strangulation. Vorel’s portrait becomes encrusted with mold and fungus before exploding in a blast of spores that envelop everyone. There are no obvious immediate ill effects.
The heroes recover from the scene and continue exploring upward to the attic. Most rooms are storerooms with generous water damage and even some gaps in the sagging roof. The last room is locked with a heavy padlock. Maggie hears crying within and picks the lock.
(This is a deviation from our session. I want to replay the events of this room somewhat.) Inside, the room reeked of putrescence, worse than any other room. Numerous tables, chairs and other furniture were covered with dusty, white sheets. The only uncovered furniture was a tall dressing mirror, its back toward the door. As the adventurers entered, they saw the source of the sobbing. A ghostly version of Iesha sat staring into the mirror, tears rolling down her face with wet drips on the floor that vanished after seconds. Behind her laid a human-sized corpse wrapped in a sheet brown-stained sheet.
Iesha moaned, “I loved him. No. I love him. Why do I still love him? Why didn’t I see him for the monster he is? How could he do this to me. Why was I so stupid? So stupid. I hate myself…I hate you. I hate you. I hate you,” she said to her reflection.
When Malcanthet entered the room, Iesha glanced her direction and flashed with rage, “You! You are the one he loves now. You are the one he loves more than me. This is your fault. I hate you whore!” She seems to turn inward again, “No. It’s my fault – not yours. I hate him. He did this to me. No. I let him do this to me. It’s my fault. I hate myself. I hate myself.”
Malcanthet protested, “What do you mean my fault? I didn’t know he was married. When I found out, I came to your house in Magnimar to know the truth and you were there just days ago. When did this happen to you? When?”
Iesha’s sobs subsided, “Free me from this prison. Destroy the mirror. And I will have my revenge. Aldern will be destroyed!”