A melee erupts at the servant’s entrance. Alarmed and in the line of fire, Seris dances back off the deck, at which point Krac and Bahram step forward to fill the gap. A startled Erin Habe flees the hallway and disappears while the two orderlies attempt to strong arm the intruders out of the building.
They easily dispatch the two orderlies and spill into the building, searching for Erin. Seris tries the basement door, but it’s locked, so she busies herself with unlocking it. Unsatisfied with waiting, Krac charges upstairs and proceeds to kick down the door into the holding cells. As he begins kicking at the door, two men inside begin hollering and whining.
Lor questions, “Are any of you Grayst?” They answer no. They introduce themselves as Wald and Blind Sedge. Krac smashes down the door shortly thereafter, and as they step in, they see the towering Wald to the right, and the scraggly Blind Sedge on the left.
After a brief pause and a strangely pointless conversation, they proceed upstairs.
On the third floor, they find three rooms of note. In the first locked room, a creature frantically paces back and forth behind an iron door. They leave it unmolested for the time being and move to the largest room. Inside, they find two fairly large operating tables, and a cabinet filled with supplies. Lor identifies it as a quantity that exceeds the norm for treating patients, and guesses something more nefarious occurs in that room.
Not interested in sticking around, they exit the room and head further down the hall. Lor pauses at the last door in the hallway.
“Are you Grayst?” She asks in earnest. The voice beyond the door twitches into action.
Seris unlocks the door, and Lor is left staring down at the wasting frame of Grayst Sevilla. He peers up at Lor, and exclaims:
“He said. He said you would visit me. His Lordship. The one that unmade me said so. He has a place for you. A precious place. I’m so jealous. He has a message for you. Me made me remember it. I hope I haven’t forgotten. The master wouldn’t approve if I forgot. Let me see…let…me…see…”
Grayst pauses, staring at Lor with glowing eyes and a distended jaw. Then he slowly slithers off the floor and rises, speaking with sudden clarity.
“He said that if you came to his Misgivings, that if you joined his Pack, he would end his harvest in your honor.”
Without warning, he charges. As the melee erupts in the small hallway, Lor struggles to extricate herself, and Grayst manages to smash her in the nose before succumbing to his wounds.
Slightly perturbed, the group returns down the hallway to gauge the occupant of the barred holding cell. After Seris unlocks the door, they open it to find a deranged wererat scrabbling back and forth inside. He leaps to attack, but Krac scares him into submission. He agrees to answer their questions, but seems preoccupied with any shiny sword to come into his view. Pidget Tergelson, as he introduces himself, has been residing at the Sanatorium for as long as he can remember. He explains that Erin conducts experiments upon him, but seems less interested in conversation, and more interested with Seris’ brandished dagger.
Uninterested in further conversation or conflict, they shut the door and lock him back inside.
They head back downstairs.
Between the second and first floors, the group is accosted by a lone zombie in the stairwell. The lone zombie quickly turns to two, three, and then a fourth, as they pour upstairs. As they fight their way down the stairs, it quickly becomes apparent that some force is directing the zombies. A necromancer appears at the base of the stairs, and launches a stinking cloud into the room above. Its nauseating vapors quickly claim the breakfasts of Lor, Bahram, and Krac, who proceed to empty their stomachs for several precious seconds.
Rickben and Seris mobilize on an offensive, with Seris tumbling down to the floor below to avoid attacks. The necromancer levels further spells at her, and blinds her with an incantation and a wave of his hand. Suddenly disoriented, she tumbles away and vanishes, struggling to stay out of sight.
Meanwhile, the rest of her group upstairs struggles to stay standing from the waves of nausea. The cloud continues to obscure their sight, and the zombies emerge from the foggy bank to renew their assault on the group. The wizard and Erin patiently await the group’s arrival at the base of the stairs.
As the nausea wears off, and the group returns down the stairs, Bahram is the first down, and receives the full force of another blinding spell. He blinks his eyes, suddenly unable to see, and struggles down the stairs to join the fray. The sadistic man cackles, and Rickben, Krac, and Lor race down the stairs to confront the wizard. They find him leveling spell after spell at the group, a seemingly endless barrage of necromantic magic.
Erin flees the group, and finds himself in the foyer with a blind Seris. She flails at him with her daggers, and he responds with a sound strike of his dagger, at which point Seris falls unconscious.
In the next room, they quickly surround the wizard, so he retreats out the front door and quaffs a healing potion, at which point he surrenders. Unsatisfied with surrender, Krac attempts to strike the man down anyway. Rickben flanks him, and deals the final blow. They’re quick to stabilize him and confine him to one of the cells upstairs.
After coming to, Lor and Seris stand nearby attempting to question him. He introduces himself as Caizarlu, and before he has much time to react, Krac begins explaining the reasons why he needs to cooperate, and the man reluctantly agrees. Their first demand is the release of his blinding spell, so he complies. Seris and Bahram’s eyesight both return.
He explains that he’s an investor, and he managed to meet the perfect marriage of convenience in Erin’s facility—patients to experiment on in a remote location, and a relatively low financial risk.
Enraged at the man’s calculating coldness, and infuriated by his vile curiosities, Seris steps forward and slits his throat before he can speak any further.
Solemnly, they depart down to the basement after contemplating resting for the night, and find that he’s been stashing bodies for experimentation. They’ve been preserved with magic, but the intent is still fairly clearp—as Lor indicates, the area is best equipped for necromantic experiments. Inside the lair, they find a map indicating a rise in the frequency of “ghoul activity” in the Sandpoint Hinterlands. He indicates a particular rise of sightings around the southern farmlands and along Foxglove River.
His research also further revealed a fascination with tracing a ghoul’s lineage back through several “generations” of ghoul attacks, but the biggest indication seemed to be that a “ghoulish source” has risen to prominence within the region.
They collect what treasure they can find and quickly depart back to Sandpoint to inform Sheriff Hemlock and continue their pursuit of the perpetrator of the string of murders.
The list of spoils:
Erin’s life savings: 41 gp
Wand of Gentle Repose (17 charges)
Wand of False Life (29 charges)
Wand of Identify (15 charges)
Acid Arrow, Blindness/Deafness, Cause Fear, Chill Touch, Command Undead, Displacement, False Life, Gentle Repose, Ghoul Touch, Halt Undead, Identify, Mage Armor, Magic Missle, Mirror Image, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Stinking Cloud, Vampiric Touch