Last session we found the secret rooms beneath the library, and started exploring them in search for the musician Erich Zahn. There were several strange undead creatures down here, but we got lucky and managed to deal with them relatively easily. We also suddenly realise that something has been staring us in the face for the last few sessions and feel a bit stupid for not having recognised the reference to an HP Lovecraft story before.
Ray took a closer look at the altar, and saw that as well as a rapier, there was a ring, a necklace and a finely decorated bag. Unable to help himself, he telekineticly reached out to grab the bag. As soon as it was lifted off the altar, the statue of Hastur parted it’s robes and revealed a symbol – the sight of which struck Erasmus and Sheena with intense pain. However, it seemed to just wash past Ray without affecting him.
Inside the bag were a hundred platinum pieces. The ring was white gold, studded with diamonds, with “to Ovonda you will forever hold my heart” inscribed on it. Ovonda was one of the guests we saw upstairs. There was also a yellow diamond necklace, and the rapier.
The rapier seemed odd, so we decided to leave it alone, but Sheena finally succumbed to temptation and rushed forward to grab it. Ray tried to stop her, and I gave it a telekinetic ‘kick’ to knock it away. Eventually though Erasmus picked it up to take a further look at, and handed it to Sheena to put in her bag of holding.
Just outside the chapel, we spotted a concealed doorbell on a concealed door in the northern wall. Catiana popped her head through the door to see a small room with lots of doors around it, and a small pit in the middle. Standing over the pit and looking down was some type of spectre. We decided to leave it alone and explore the rest of the place first.
To the south, there was a portcullis, which again Catiana was able to walk through. There was a similar room as before, surrounded by doors but with no hole in the floor. There was a second room joined to this, and from that there came an awful stench. Unbothered b by the stench was a large humanoid, its bodies consisting of rolls of fat and several eyes.
It surprisingly quickly ran at Catiana, who fled back through the portcullis and past Erasmus who was standing on the other side. It hit a switch and opened the portcullis, then reached forward and placed its palm on Erasmus’ chest, causing him to start to quiver.
I recognised it as a Hyakume, which could suck out people’s souls and memories using its eyes. So I tried to blind it, but failed. Instead, Erasmus put it to sleep and Gregor killed it.
Searching through its possessions, we found a small notebook, in which it had recorded having taken the memories of Erich Zann. Now that the Hyakume was dead, there wasn’t an easy way to restore the musician’s memories without high level spells. Fortunately, between us, Erasmus and myself happen to have those spells.
Beyond, was a maze of twisting turning passages, where were a tight squeeze to get through. Gregor and Ray scouted ahead, eventually coming across a sealed door with no hinges which was decorated with profane images of some goddess being attacked by demonic, bat winged vampires. Through the door walked a cloud of translucent humanoid spirits which seemed to whirl around a ghostly desiccated corpse – a Nemhain. They fled back to us using dimension door, but the Nemhain was able to simply walk through the maze unhindered by the walls.
She attacked Catiana, who was the worst target since she could fight back and follow her. Even as the Nemhain slipped into the wall, Catiana followed and punched her into submission. She was dragged out of the walls, and Gregor was able to finish her with some holy arrows. Unlike other undead, Nemhains can regenerate, and even once killed by holy weapons she will still come back after a few days unless we can find the unholy item she is bound to.
Cataina went looking for the item, coming across a sarcophagus in which was a small box. Smashing it open, she expected to find the item in question but instead found a small white violin.
Player’s Notes: It was around this point that a couple of us remembered The Music of Erich Zahn, a short story by Lovecraft. At least one of us really should have picked up on this earlier.
We explored the rest of the maze, finding an alchemy lab but no sign of the musician. At this point we realised that Zahn was probably being the concealed door we found near the entrance, so we headed back in that direction.
Erasmus was really keen to burn down the wooden statue of Hastur, in case it was the item that the Nemhain was bound to, but we managed to convince him that filling the small rooms with smoke and fire was probably not a good thing to do until we were ready to leave. The commotion attracted the spectre from behind the door, who came out to see what was happening.
Ray immediately thought to ask where we could find Erich Zahn, and the spectre mentioned that he was in the oubliette being tortured. A good start to the conversation, but it then decided that we really shouldn’t be here. It tried to possess Sheena, and vanished from sight as it took over her mind.
Not wishing to have to fight Sheena, I quickly put a Protection from Evil on her, which kicked the spectre out of her body, right next to Catiana who put it to rest with a couple of fatal blows from her still enchanted fists.
We walk into the room and look down into the pit, where we see a screaming and injured Erich Zahn.