“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 ghoul whispers the final verse.” – excerpt from previous.
Fanning out, Cassandra and Julian slip into the shadows unnoticed. Their caution is for naught, however, as one of the warriors smacks his head on a stalactite. The creature looks up and battle is joined.
Azo, Kraag and the others charge towards the ghoul, but it is unnaturally quick and responds with an attempt to command one of the party. The warrior resists the spell and crashes into the enemy. The fight is quick and brutal. While the monster is strong and resistant to injury, the group single out its weakness – the Rod tucked into a belt of matted hair. The elf, Watcher, is foiled in his acrobatic attempt to snatch the Rod, but the templar redeems his former clumsiness by slicing the belt from the ghoul’s waist.
The Rod clatters to the floor and Kraag levels a mighty blow at it. Time stands still for a heart-beat as the axe connects, then it shatters. Shards of stone explode outwards, piercing the ghoul’s flesh. The creature vanishes in a swirl of oily black smoke and silence descends on the chamber.
With the enemy defeated, the party scavenges what they can and departs the charnel house. Emerging into dawn’s light, the group find that the village’s curse was broken. The fog was gone, the buildings now a jumble of overgrown debris.
They are free, for now, of their shackles and the haunting. But many questions remain unanswered. Where are they? How did they get here? What were they doing on the ship? In some cases, who am I?