Last week on the Monday game...
Without so much as two copper pieces to rub together, the adventuring party - having met on the ferry to the Isle of Druss - decide that the first thing they should do is stop by port town and find a bounty board, that they might make some money.
Forced to choose between finding a lost cat (reward: 1sp) and stopping some unspecified trouble at a nearby village (reward: 5gp), the party opts for the latter and begins chasing down the person who posted the bounty in the first place: a certain Sir Ban Oremaul, consummate hunter and representative of the local Merchant's Guild.
After a little trouble with the house guard at the entrance, they get an audience with the knight and learn that the village in question is about three days away from the port and is owned by Sir Oremaul himself. About five days ago, Sir Oremaul received a letter from the village's priest about some trouble in the crypt, but the priest was somewhat vague about the nature of the trouble. However, being a man of the world, the knight understands that there are only so many types of "trouble" that one can find in the crypt. In exchange for doubling the reward money, he asks the party to take great care to not disturb the remains of his family in the lower crypt. They agree, and the five intrepid adventurers set off for the village on a caravan provided by the Merchant's Guild.
The three days pass without incident, and the caravan drops them off outside the village in the middle of the night. "Never seen this place so quiet before," the driver tells them right before leaving. "You folks be careful." Rhys offers to scout the place out by himself first, but the party decide to split up instead, each investigating one house each.
This proved to be a fatal mistake. Within moments of them stepping into the village, they start hearing the distinctive sound of claws on stone and animalistic snuffling, grunting noises. Looking out of the windows, they see a terrifying sight: a pack of four ghouls, running on all fours towards them, their distended tongues slick with blood and gore.
The ensuing fight proves difficult, and Luna and Myxis - both separated from the rest of the party - fall in the battle in moments. Although Bruenor, Rhys and Mukah manage to slay the rest of the ghouls, it proved too late for the two of them, and Bruenor suggests that they bring their fallen comrades into the temple, where their bodies may at least be properly consecrated.
A gruesome sight awaited them in the temple. Scattered all over the place, in small family units of twos and threes, were the corpses of the peasant farmers that made up the vast majority of the village. Gore splattered the once pristine walls of the temple, and the stink of blood and offal hangs in the air of this holy place dedicated to Cimayi, goddess of life.
Trying their best to hold in their dinner, the party search around the temple and eventually find a trapdoor that leads to a series of crypts. Dragging the dead bodies of their comrades with them, the remaining three adventurers explore the crypt and, beneath a statue of Krubivax - in his aspect as the Keeper of the Threshold and the Watcher of the Dead - find three Raise Dead scrolls: votive offerings, left behind by a previous priest or wealthy devotee.
The cleric wastes no time in using two of the scrolls to bring his dead friends back to life, and although the spell was powerful enough for them to be dragged kicking and screaming back to life, the harrowing experience left its scars on the soul and psyche of half-elf and gnome respectively.
The upper floor of the crypt appears to be quiet, but if Sir Oremaul was correct, there was yet another floor to this crypt. Myxis senses a great power emanating from the lower floor, and the adventurers cautiously head down... where they find the animated remains of the Oremaul family. Keeping in mind Sir Oremaul's commands, Bruenor prays for Sanctuary on himself and, using his shield, shoves the ghouls out of the way, opening a path for Myxis and Rhys to investigate the arcane contraption located in the corner of the crypt.
As the two of them rush in to try and disable the device, a ghouls wipes at Myxis with its claws and paralyses the gnome, forcing her to stop in her tracks. Using what strength remained to her, she screams at Rhys to go ahead and disable the device himself, and after a moment's hesitation, the rogue obeys. With slavering ghouls just a few feet away, Rhys does not have the time to study the runes and sigils carefully etched on the device. Instead, he simply reaches into the claws of the machine... and rips the arcane focus out of the box.
Like puppets with their strings cut, the ghouls all around them suddenly fall to the ground as the contraption, its main power source removed, fizzles to a sputtering halt. Rhys looks at the rest of his party and, with a weak grin, tosses the arcane focus - a greenstone wand holding a large elongated ruby that is, in Rhys' professional opinion, worth at least 2000gp - at Myxis.