Six men and a girl awaken on a stony beach. There has been a shipwreck and they appear to be the only survivors, although none have any memory of how they came to be here – or even who they are.
The group, realising that the tide is rising, arm themselves from the wreckage and ascend the cliffs. A slick and treacherous trail is cut into the stone and the party manage to arrive at the top without serious incident. The only sign that they might not be alone are bloody smears on the steps of the trail.
Upon reaching the top, the group of strangers find themselves in a fog shrouded cliff-top village. Sound is muffled and distorted by the fog and visibility is limited to no more than a few metres. A dog barks twice and a baby cries somewhere in the village, although both sounds stop as the last survivor – a Carathan man named Kraag – reaches the summit.
Although unnerved by the ominous silence and the strange fog, the group makes their way into the village. Snippets of conversation are heard, although the village appears to be recently deserted. There are warm hearths and even unspoiled food present in one of the huts. Approaching the largest building in the village – a single story longhouse – the group is surrounded by whispering voices. The voices stop when the party takes refuge in the longhouse, which appears to have been a lodge or tavern of some kind.
With rest, the survivors are able to regain some of their memories and focus their minds. They set about removing the slave shackles they each have at wrist and ankle, and attempting to fathom the mystery of the village. Determining that there is a haunting at work, they steel themselves and head back outside, where things start to get even stranger.
The disembodied voice of a small girl recites a verse from an ancient nursery rhyme, but before the group can attempt to discern its relevance they are assaulted by strange creatures from the mist. The faceless monstrosities attack without a sound or warning. While most of the group prepares to defend themselves, the one named Julian Black is unmanned and flees.
The fight is short, with only minor injuries sustained, but Julian is cornered like a rat by three of the creatures. Luckily for him the assailants vanish into the mist as suddenly as they appeared. Taking a short moment to catch their breath, bandage wounds and take stock, the party discovers that one of their number has also vanished without a trace.
Working their way through the village, they soon discover a trail on the far side, and more bloody tracks. Following these signs uphill through the fog brings the group to an ancient and ruined beacon tower. Odd and ancient statues line the path to the headland on which the tower sits, and the fog shows no signs of abating. Once again the voice of a little girl can be heard singing another verse of the rhyme, and the group takes it as a sign that they are getting closer to the heart of the village’s mystery.
Inside the tower are more signs of bodies being moved – this time underground to a cellar beneath the ruin. The party descends into the earth where they find a tunnel extending back towards the village. It isn’t long before they are visited, once more, by the girl and her rhyme. The tunnel is partially collapsed, forcing the party to carefully negotiate a rock fall. Despite the clumsiness of Kraag, the obstacle is negotiated without major incident and the group press on, further into the dark earth.
The girl issues the penultimate verse of the rhyme shortly before the party find the body of a fisherman. Scratched into the dirt near the corpse’s outstretched hand are the words “Break it. Free us”. Soon after, the tunnel opens up into a natural cathedral – turned into a charnel house by its occupant – a monstrous ghoul. As the party attempts to stealthily enter the chamber for a confrontation the ghouls whispers the final verse.
The ghosts ate one, when they were done,
Four were in the tower.
Four were in the tower, to seek the Rod of Power.
Dragged through the mud, they drank his blood.
Three left in the tower.
Three left in the tower, to steal the Rod of Power.
With hearts like stones, they broke his bones.
Two stood in the tower.
Two stood in the tower, and found the Rod of Power.
Hit in the head, till he lay dead.
One has the Rod of Power.
One sits in the tower, with the Rod of Power.
On darkest deeds, and souls he feeds,
the One sits in the Tower.