Note to self: I should really go back and edit these before I post them, because there's some weird syntax that creeps in when I'm roleplaying and taking notes...
Leira and Tavros are on their way to join the party. As we pass the front of the house, we notice a lit window; naturally Leira and Tavros stop to stare in. Leira makes us invisible and we look.
It's a mess; lots of clothing, especially dresses, scattered around. There are three well-worn but bound texts lying on the table.
Leira proceeds to them. The first is about a beautiful servant girl who is taken from her life of drudgery by a handsome noble who sweeps her away and debauches her thoroughly. The other two texts are similar: beautiful girl is swept away by rich, dashing noble; smut ensues.
Leira regretfully decides not to steal any of them, and searches the room instead. There really isn't anything in here; it's probably Alice's room. Leira stops to listen, then jumps back out the window.
At Leira's suggestion, Tavros tears off a tree branch and throws it at the window. It smashes the shutters open, revealin Beatrix -- Kaz's wife -- hunched over a chunk of meat which she's chewing on. She gestures and mutters something in a way that's clearly casting a spell. Then she spends a few second looking around, and seems to focus on us. Then she reaches out and touches Tavros. She tries to do something -- possibly teleport, but Tavros tears loose from the effect and we flee (still invisible) into the party.
Our arrival results in pants-wetting terror for Tug, but Marshall manages to calm him down and Lug takes him off to put him to bed.
Marshall starts looking around for anybody with a key ring. Alice has one that seems to have a bunch of keys on it; Brom and Joseph each have a single key.
Brom comes and sits beside Tavros, and confirms that Brom thinks Katarina is a golddigger, and neither she nor Beatrix eat much of the ordinary food. Tavros keeps speculations about hag covens to himself.
Joseph and Alice are getting closer to hooking up.
Leira goes ahead and has a drink. Alexej: "In my land, is bad luck to pour your own drink." He pours her some shots.
She's very excited, and starts trying to convince Alexej to go shot for shot with her. Alexej, unfortunately, has switched to beer.
Joseph and Alice are pretty much wrapped up in each other at this point. Brom rolls his eyes. "Those two. They're indefatiguable."
Brom, meanwhile, tries to switch Alexej's beer for more liquor.. but Alexej notices and reclaims his beer. "Now, you must do the shot!"
Leira and Brom both drink a toast with Alexej, "To sausage!" Brom has some that he made himself, and he and Alexej head out to eat sausage. Josef and Alice head out the door.
Marshall: "So I think we have an in if we can get ahold of that keychain of hers."
Tavros looks at him: "AM I the only one sober here?"
Marshall: "No, I am also."
Tavros is strangely reassured.
Brom is disappointed in Josef; he knows he's no good for Alice. He wishes Ayleth would buy better materials, but admits that the house would fall apart without her. Still, he's saving up to help Josef open his restaurant someday.
Brom: "Problem is, Alice and Joseph are the only two young ones here, and they can't keep their hands off each other."
He leads Alexej into the kitchen, and cuts some sausages for Alexej.
Alexej: "Tell me what kind of sausage this is!"
Brom: "Boar, but with fancy seasonings."
Alexej: "I think you should make sausage restaurant!"
Brom: "Naw, I like it here."
Alexej: "Is it hard to focus on food with all the action happening around here?"
Brom: "It is kind of strange. You're the first visitors we've had in about a month."
Alexej: "We found book in room, would like to return it. Do you know what happened to them?"
Brom: "No, but if it's the rogue's diary I'll bet it's pretty spicy. Just mind your business and stay out of trouble, it'll all work out."
The door to the kitchen opens and Ayleth comes in. "Are they at it again?"
Brom: "What can I say? They get drunk and they do their thing."
Ayleth shakes her head and leaves again.
Meanwhile, Leira and Tavros and Marshall; Leira has decided that the thing to do is dance on the table. Tug looks out from the back door and he just... stares... at her. He closes the door again.
Marshall and Tavros consider strategies. Tavros tries to convince Leira to drink a glass of water by telling her it's unflavored beer.
After a few minutes, we head back towards the house. Leira can hear suspicious thumping sounds through the open window up ahead. Leira is learning many important things about adult life. When she recovers, she makes Marshall invisible. He casts Silence on himself, and peeks in the window to locate the ring of key (not a euphemism). He goes into the house and looks under the door. His silence effect is now muffling them, so he tries to scoop the keys out from under the door.
Marshall asks Leira to use Mage Hand; then he returns to the door. Leira makes herself invisible and positions herself at the window; when they go silent, she Mage Hands the keys over to Marshall.
We go inside (eventually) and Marshall starts trying keys on the game room door; when he finds one that fits, he moves on. Tavros has kept an arm on Marshall and follows him around the house to the door to the demon sauna.
Alexej stumbles out of the kitchen, relieves himself on one of the columns in the foyer, and then follows the sound of Leira's singing since she's invisible. He wanders into the dining room by mistake, stumbles around, and then heads towards the guest room and runs into Invisible Leira.
Alexej: "I must go to sleep, I hurt." He continues on, and runs into Marshall and Tavros; Tavros taps Marshall on the shoulder, and then steers Alexej back to the guest room and puts him to bed.
Tavros returns to Marshall, and they climb out a window to avoid detection. Interestingly, there's a light coming from one of the windows, and Tavros and Marshall go over there to look into a very well-appointed room. They then slip into the kitchen, and consider whether to start murdering now with the element of surprise, or wait for our friends to sober up and start murdering as a team.
Beatrix, meanwhile, has crept into the guest room and awakened Alexej, suggesting that he was sneaking around; then she suggests that he kiss her, and he does; and again...
He's getting negative levels from this.
Leira, meanwhile, is passed out on the bunk overhead.
Beatrix kisses him one last time. He finally manages to shake of her evil charms, and she disappears; leaving Alexej with four negative levels.
Tavros and Marshall decide to smite evil. We head for Beatrix's room. Ayleth interrupts us, but we let her go back to sleep and find a key that lets us in.
Marshall steps inside and consecrates the room. Then we search it.
The stone table has human bones in a crevice under the cover. Under the bed we find...
Scroll of hypnotism 25 GP.
Wand of Magic Missile, 30 charges, level 1
We leave and close the door behind us, deciding to head for the east wing and start trimming down the number of evil outsiders around. We start going through the keys looking for one that will get us into the Game Room.
"Who goes there?" asks a voice. "You need an invitation to enter the game room." Tavros seriously considers kicking the door in, but Marshall unlocks the door. We have interrupted a bunch of clearly-inhuman *things* playing poker.
"I'm sorry," says Marshall, "we forgot our invitation, but here..." He casts Banishment.
One demon vanishes in the process of trying to scrape his money off the table; two others disappear it. The fourth one remains.
"Ne-Jung means no harm! Don't banish Ne-jung back to the castle. "
Marshall: "So, friend, tell us what we need to know and I won't send you back to the castle. And these winnings? As far as I'm concerned, they're yours."
Ne-Jung explains that Kaz doesn't know they're here, though his father did. ...But, he's lying. Okay, he tries to tell us about wine in the servants' shack. We don't care.
The master and katarina are not their rooms. This time, he isn't lying... but he doesn't know where they are. Master Kaz lets them stay here. Beatrix, however, is "very nasty". What are the things in the sauna? Dretches. They're very dumb.
How is Ne-Jung planning to get back home? "To the abyss? Noone can travel between planes from here. I came from the castle."
Tavros: "Is Katarina human?"
Ne-Jung: "I get in big trouble if I answer that."
Tavros: "Good to know."
Ne-Jung: "So, a secret instead. The secret is in the fourth coffin."
We cross to the guest room. Alexej is lying on the bed, and he looks terrible. Not only is his skin turning black, but he's got lipstick all over his face.
Marshall moves to check him out.
Alexej: "I need you to find me hair of dog. I dream of woman kissing me, and I feel terrible."
Marshall casts Restoration, restoring him to health.
We catch everybody up on the current situation, and Marshall puts his armor back on. Marshall casts Light on his shield, and we Death Ward ourselves, and then we head out for the cemetary. We've given up on subtlety; Alexej and Leira are still drunk, and Leira is singing.
The cemetery is fairly dilapidated, and also unhallowed. (Formally. By magic.) With Tavros leading the way, we are unafraid. There are a lot of graves here, but they seem to servants and coattail relatives. There's a stone sarcophagus at the far end; this one is unmarked, and a bit cleaner than it should be. It looks as if it's been opened recently.
With a bit of effort, we get the lid off; there's a staircase leading down into a spooky crypt. We are, at least, out of the rain at last. There are shrines down here, and it looks like we've found the main family. Ahead, the passage opens up with stone pillars with wrought-iron fences between them; there's a gate to the north and another to the south.
Marshall alerts us to critters to both the north and the south; he moves up to flank Tavros.
Slightly ahead, a creature slams itself against the fence and snarls at us; another hits the fence farther down, and a third hits the south gate, which give a little.
Alexej moves forward and Tavros moves up with him, observing several large undead (or possibly flesh golems of some sort -- whatever they are, they are no simple zombies) to both the north and the south. Marshall moves up with them, and Turns Undead. Leira turns invisible.
The creatures are undeterred. The one in the middle throws itself at the gate, and nearly breaks through; Alexej and Tavros move forward to block the gate. Leira moves up a bit, sees the horrible undead beasties, panics, and drops a fireball behind the fence.
It catches two of them in a massive burst of flames, but they're not nearly as damaged as we might hope.
Marshall once again attempts to turn, but his faith is not strong enough for this. The one in front of the gate bursts through, and Tavros and Marshall cut at them as they come through. Two of them pound on Tavros, damaging him and leaving him dazed.
Alexej steps back and trips one of them, then slashes it a lot. It does *not* finish him, but he's damaged.
Tavros is dazed, and the giant undead from the north side wanders closer. Leira drops a Sphere of Cold on Tavros, which he's immune to; unfortunately, these undead are too.
Marshall tries to turn them again, and again fails.
The undead continue their attack, but only one of them hits Tavros this time. Still, he's stunned again; he's basically their punching bag until these things are destroyed.
Alexej trips another one and slashes it up with his guisarme.
The giant thing from the north reaches over the gate and grabs Alexej from behind, pulling him back against the gate.
Leira unleashes some scorching rays, and finishes one of the undead that are pounding on Tavros.
Marshall is fed up with all this, and casts Mass Cure Light Wounds. Which, at Marshall's cleric level, as actually fairly devastating -- plus it heals us while damaging the undead.
The undead attack Tavros again, but only one of them hits him; unfortunately, that's enough to daze him.
Alexej tries to escape his grapple and fails; the horrible giant undead starts crushing his throat. Leira tries more scorching rays, but misses.
Marshall steps over to the thing that's crushing Alexej's throat, and casts Heal on it. It doesn't kill the thing -- it can't -- but it does a huge amount of damage.
The undead attack Tavros again, damaging and dazing him; Alexej pries the fingers back from his throat. Leira lets loose with a burst of Scorching Rays, and this time manages a sort of drunken hyper-focus: she finishes the big one, and adds more damage to the other two.
Marshall steps back and uses a quickened Divine Favor, then tags the lesser undead with his silvered elfbane scythe.
The remaining undead misses Tavros, and Alexej tries to trip it but fails. Tavros, finally able to move, reaches over and lays on hands for everything he's worth, essentially healing the undead thing to injure it; Leira follows up with Scorching Ray, damaging it further. Marshall moves in and attacks it with his scythe, hitting it twice.
It tries to attack Tavros, but misses; Alexej slashes with his guisarme, and finishes it.