Jaym is dead.
It happened so fast. We were exploring the attic when suddenly a spectral young woman materialized and let out a blood curdling scream. I felt dread down to the core of my being and my companions seemed affected as well. Normally sturdy Olaf could barely move while the mysterious Jaym was gripped by a sudden fear and fled into a nearby broom closet.
The spirit seemed little affected by weapons, though I noted with some satisfaction that whatever eldritch energies I inherited along with my new body seemed very effective at dispelling the spirit. Banishing it back to the afterlife, we turned our attention to the closet, where, to our horror, we saw one of the brooms had been animated by some fell enchantment. It had beaten Jaym to a bloody pulp and was sweeping the corpse aside. We destroyed it but were too late to save the poor wanderer. Olaf covered the body with a sheet and we moved on, sobered by the loss. It served as a grim reminder that all of our lives could be snuffed out in an instant in this dark domain.
A black shrouded crib was in the nursery. I dreaded finding the stillborn son of the depraved lord of this manor still wrapped in swaddling within it, but found it empty. Meanwhile, one of the dwarves discovered a secret staircase leading up to the attic. From there we met the ghosts of the children who we met in the streets. They had no memory of meeting us there and seemed bound to the room where they had been locked away to starve by their monstrous parents. I do not know what it is we met outside. Perhaps some memory of the house itself or an illusion created by the faux cultists who met here.
The sight of their remains strewn so pitifully on the floor behind the padlocked door wrenched my heart. When the spirits manifested, little Rose seemed desperate to come with us. She showed us a secret staircase to the basement, or where it was located on her dollhouse which turned out to be a miniature replica of the cursed house where we stood.
She pleaded with us not to leave them alone in the attic and I invited them along. She said she could not come, and then, struck by an idea, moved towards me. I could feel her spirit trying to lodge itself in my body. At first, I was repulsed, but then, moved by pity, I allowed her refuge.
It was a strange sensation, having two souls in one body. I could hear her voice within me, and some of her personality seemed to be seeping into my own. I felt more….Thorn would call it ‘bossy’. I despised being told what to do and immediately took charge. Thorn possessed the elven cleric and together we explored the rest of the attic. I quickly found a corpse that Rose informed me belonged to Sylvia, the nursemaid whose spirit attacked us in the childrens’ room. We then descended to the basement, where we were greeted by an omnipresent chanting that informed me that the cultists were not far.
We quickly found the family crypts and I knew exactly what had to be done. I do not know if it was my idea, or an idea of Rose’s that seeped into my mind, but I had Olaf bring the bodies of the children down to be properly enterred in their final resting places. Once they had been laid to rest in their crypts, I felt a sense of peace and knew that Rose’s spirit was at rest and my body was fully my own again. As fey and alien as it still felt, at least it was mine.
But that was not the end of our horrors, for we were soon attacked by some strange aberration. It had the body of a giant worm but a beaked, tentacled face like an octopus. I learned today that the, call it a blessing if you like, of Verenestra can be extended as a protective light to my allies, and together, we defeated the disgusting creature. Heavily wounded and exhausted, they decided to rest before we explored further.
While they rest, I am resolved to move the bodies of Jaym and the nursemaid Sylvia into the unused crypts, though my new body is hardly strong enough to carry them. Perhaps one of the dwarves or Olaf will assist me. Leaving them unburied only risks more hauntings in a house already plagued by them. When this task is finished and my allies are ready, we will move on and perhaps find the monsters who created this nightmare.