The Helltreaders

dream dream dream

The party, having defeated the blighter druid in the prior session, determines that this druid has been a blighter for much longer than the tales of madness from the Druid circle in the Enduring Forest have existed. So she was therefore not specifically linked to the druid circle in Silvanus’ grove. The party finds 2,000gp in valuables among the monsters.
The party finds a trapdoor that was once covered by a statue (the statue was apparently smashed to allow it to be opened). A magical rune trap is discovered on the door, which Isaac unsuccessfully attempts to disarm. The trap is sprung and people take lightening damage.
The party descends into the trap-door passage and discovers a staircase that, although old, looks to have been used only once. In the dust of the passage Voronwe can make out a single set of footprints leading out, and he determines that whomever it was passed through over a year ago.
The party finds what looks to be the living quarters of the caretakers of the chanters (discovered later). In this room the party finds the corpses of 4 human females.
The next chamber has four chairs facing an altar with some sort of phrase written in an arcane language above the altar. Around the room are stone tablets that address the basic pronunciation and somatic elements that the party determines accompany the arcane phrase, together comprising some form of ritual chanting. The party determines that children born here were taught how to perform the chant before being brought to the chanting chamber (found later)
The next room is a kitchen. In the ceiling of which is a hole blocked by stone. This hole was used to lower food and supplies to the people sealed in this complex.
This chamber is filled with corpses whom all appear to have been killed by something within their skulls exploding outwards. The corpses look to have been rotting here for less than a year. The arcane phrase you saw in the classroom is written in a continuous border all along the walls, and the stone floor is dotted with the grooves of human feet that have been stepping on the same spots for centuries. Near each corpse are a sleeping mat and a crude chamber pot. There are tiny holes in the ceiling that were made to allow the sounds of the chant to reach the chamber above this one. Every corpse in this complex appears to have been from a very narrow gene pool, based on the fact that they all have similar features.
In the room to the west the party discovers a deep pit filled with bones. Brood explores but finds nothing except that the bones go very deep. The party determines form all this that people were sealed in this complex to perform a multi-generational ritual. From the time they could comprehend, they learned the chant. When they were ready (around mid-adolescence) they graduated to the chanting room where they spent the rest of their lives. They performed the chant, pausing only to eat and sleep, until they died or were too feeble to continue the chant and then disposed of in the bone room.
The party explores the upper chamber and discovers a bedroom that looks like it has only been in use for the last 30 years (based on the contemporary works in on the bookshelf). There is also a statue of an old man that the party determines to be of Blakkan Sevelda, the patriarch of the Sevelda clan who saw the Seveldas elevated to noble status (and who built this castle). The party discovers a fragment of the Shalathi mirror, as well as Ezren’s skull. Ezren’s skull has runes written all over it that the party determined served to allow the skull to be used as a conduit for magical power at the conclusion of the multi-generational chant performed in the chamber below.
Vesemir probably was brought here while very young and was thereafter raised in this room, all the while being somehow affected by the ritual being performed in the chamber below. This would explain the lack of records on him. As the castle was built 1,000 years ago, the party can conclude that the chant has been going on for that long. That it was performed by multiple generations of people on a continual basis over all that time explains how the Seveldas managed to cast a spell powerful enough to allow Vesemir to enter the godly realm (if you recall from the first session, the chosen of Erathis and Garagos stated that the time required to cast such a spell would be measured in lifetimes).
As the party is pondering all this, all goes black and they suddenly find themselves in what they determine to be a Dreamscape; an imagined landscape existing in Vesemir’s mind that the players have been trapped in. There Vesemir mocks and questions the party, though mostly for the entertainment value, as he does not view them as any kind of threat. When the party is able to identify him by name, he is somewhat stunned. Vesemir relates to the party that he senses that the Deep Shadows are trying unsuccessfully to catch up to the party. Vesemir tells the party he is manipulating their dreams to lead the Deep Shadows to lathering, where they will seal the only entrance to the underground complex and trap the party here forever. As this is a dreamscape the party learns that seconds and minutes are hours and days in reality.
Vesemir decides to be sporting and constructs a fantastic landscape that he will only allow the players to escape from if they defeat the creatures he has populated the dreamscape with. In the ensuing combat, the party realizes that the Dreamscape is unstable and successfully forces Vesemir’s consciousness to reveal itself. When the party attacks this projection of Vesemir’s mind, the result is so jarring that the dreamscape crumbles and the party finds themselves back in Lothering, quite well rested. In the distance, however, the party can hear the sound of stone on stone as the Deep Shadows attempt to push the statue over the trapdoor…



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