What Lies Beneath Bone Hill

The Troupe made it to the center of Bone Hill Castle and defeated the mage, Telvar, who was leading the hobgoblins. Though they may have thwarted an attack on Restenford, Telvar’s journal has revealed that a mysterious entity known only as “The Wraith” is giving the orders.

12 Flamerule 1368

Telvar is dead, so the threat to Restenford is probably gone. But until we know who this “Wraith” is, we can’t be sure that the nearby town will be safe for long. Are these really the troubles Pelltar talked about? How could he possibly know of the Wraith?

Viconia leads us out of Telvar’s chambers, where we encounter reinforcements that must have been called. After seeing its dead friends and realising it is no match for us, it tries to escape.

Unfortunately for the hobgoblin, it can’t run fast enough. It doesn’t carry any loot of interest, excepting an iol gem that could fetch a good price back in Restenford.

There were several other locked doors in the castle, so we return to them to see if the keep key will open those doors as well. The first door clicks open and reveals stairs that take us to the roof of the building, and another garrison of hobgoblins.

We get to work, though Xan complains that it isn’t worth the effort.

Though they don’t take much effort to cut down.

These hobgoblins have a few scrolls in their belt pouches. One is a Mage Armor scroll, which Xan copies into his spell book.

Another allows a mage to shock their opponents with a touch. Rose attempts to copy this scroll, but fails.

They also carry another scroll of Find Familiar, which I put into my scroll pouch.

There was another door along this outer corridor that was also locked, so we follow it around to try the key. We are unhindered by hobgoblins by now – any that aren’t dead will likely have fled the castle. The six of us somehow taking on an army.

It’s the middle of the night now so it seems appropriate that we find another bedroom behind the door. This one is almost as well-decorated as Telvar’s.

It’s a nice bedroom, but there isn’t anything useful here, so we make our way through the alcove on the other side. Here we find a room with three statues. It seems ceremonial, but is in disarray, with broken pieces of stone and wood dotted around.

The statue on the right wears a ring that Viconia removes. We can’t tell what magical properties it has.

The statue in the middle holds three potions in its belt. One Potion of Regeneration, which Viconia takes.

The other two are Potions of Master Thievery which were clearly meant for Mur’Neth.

The statue on the left holds a small pouch containing 5 lynx eye gems.

Outside, past a spinning wheel, we find a spiral staircase leading down. We already explored the floor below and found nowhere these could lead. They must go even deeper. Below the castle. We descend into the darkness.

13 Flamerule 1368

We find ourselves in a room with tables and chairs on one side, with some empty bottles scattered around them. This was likely a place for the occupants to socialise. Various weapons and shields are scattered around, as well as several crates, chests, and barrels. Cat immediately notices that one of the chests is trapped.

Both Mur’Neth and cat take a look at the trap. Neither of them can figure out how to disarm it. Mur’Neth drinks one of their Potions of Master Thievery to see if it can improve their chances.

With the effects of the potion, it is able to disable the trap and unlock the chest.

To be safe, Viconia opens the chest and finds an amulet inside that may have some enchantments.

She also finds Arrows of Fire, and some enchanted bolts, bullets, and darts. We pack these into our quivers and ammo pouches.

In a crate across the room we also find some more Arrows of Fire, and some Darts of Wounding.

There are also some arrows that we have seen before, but we still don’t know what they do when they hit an opponent.

Among the discarded weapons we find an enchanted bow that is still intact. Xan’s is already comfortable with his bow so we store it in the Bag of Holding.

There is only one door leading out of here. It opens into what was once a wine cellar, but it now holds implements of torture, as well as a ghoul covered by a couple of skeleton archers.

We take aim as Viconia charges. Rose destroys one of the skeletons with a lucky strike to its skull.

The others fall just as quickly. They weren’t really a threat, but they do show that what I feared may be hiding down here: another necromancer mad with power.

The skeletons carry more Arrows of Fire, which Xan takes for his quiver. The ghoul was wearing a rainbow obsidian necklace, likely a memory of the life it had before undeath.

We find a couple of Potions of Healing still in good condition among the dusty, broken bottles of the wine racks.

There is another room leading us deeper into this cellar. More skeletons wait for us among wine presses, rotting fruit, and storage crates. One of them strikes Cat with an arrow.

Two of them fall to our blows, but Viconia is struck in the back by a flanking skeleton.

We finish off the other two skeletons and I rush over to heal Viconia with Corellon’s blessings. Hopefully he doesn’t mind me helping a Drow.

Searching the skeletons we find some Arrows of Ice, Arrows of Fire, as well as a couple of arrows we can’t identify.

The various crates and chests around this room contain a lot of equipment. Alongside a zircon gem and a couple of Scrolls of Protection from Undead, we find some enchanted studded leather armour.

We also find some more enchanted bullets for Fabio and I, as well as a few Scrolls of Lesser Restoration. I’ve heard about these scrolls – they can counter the life draining effects of undead creatures like vampires. I had been fearing a necromancer may be down here beneath the castle. Could The Wraith be something worse? Could it literally be an actual wraith?

Another crate contains some throwing axes, enchanted darts, and a scroll that can protect against low level magic.

There is also an Amulet of Protection in here. Rose tries it on and it fits well.

There are three exits out of here, one door to the north, and two to the south. The doors to the south are a couple of corridors carved out of the rock. The corridors are lined with small, barren rooms with iron bars for doors. This was once a prison.

One of the prison cells has a broken wall leading into a larger tunnel that looks like it may have been made by a large tunnelling creature rather than a humanoid. We follow it down and find it guarded by a giant.

This is too big a fight for us. We retreat down the tunnel into the cell, and it throws a rock at us. It hits and crushes him. The force of the dust and splintered stones hurts the rest of us and knocks me unconscious.

Dust fills my lungs as I lay there and I feel my soul slip away. Only darkness remains and there is something. Is that… Corellon?

The image fades and I feel like I’m opening my eyes for the first time today. I find myself outside the cell, still alive, uninjured.

Another vision. I tell the others we have to be careful. We should prepare. I reach into the Bag of Holding and pull out Gellana’s Curse Removal Soap. We have a lot of equipment we haven’t tried. We still have enough of this soap to try our newfound equipment without risk.

Xan puts on the Cloak first. He says he feels more protected while wearing it.

Viconia tries on the Studded Leather, and the new Amulet and Ring.

Fabio tries on the other Studded Leather. We need to break out the soap for this one.

Mur’Neth takes the other Leather Armour. It says it feels comfortable to wear.

I tell the others that there is a fire giant waiting for us and we need to prepare. We come up with a plan. Viconia will charge and distract the giant so it doesn’t throw any boulders. The rest of us can then pepper it with arrows, bolts, and bullets from behind. Xan switches to his Arrows of Ice, since fire giants will probably just eat his Arrows of Fire.

Before Viconia charges, she drinks a Potion of Invisibility, a Potion of Speed, a Potion of Regeneration, and a Potion of Cloud Giant Strength. She enters the large tunnel and attacks the fire giant, cutting a huge wound in its leg. It hits her with its large axe, but she is able to use a Potion of Extra Healing to stay in the fight.

We enter the cell while it is distracted and start our assault as planned.

Viconia keeps the giant’s attention as bullets and arrows make a pincushion of its back. Eventually the damage is too great for such a large creature. It falls and… vanishes?

It was an illusion this whole time? There must be some powerful magic at play here. Only masters of the Weave can generate illusions this powerful.

The boulders weren’t an illusion, and are difficult to carry even with Viconia’s Cloud Giant strength.

The illusory giant must have been placed here to guard something. We follow the tunnel through and it leads us to a tighter cave structure. For some reason it reminds me of ankhegs.

We want to explore the rest of the castle’s dungeon before we leave, so we go back and check the rest of the cells. One of them has a recently deceased body inside.

We return to the winemwaking room and go through the door to the north. Behind it is a broken shrine and a ghostly image that talks as we approach. This must be the Wraith that Telvar wrote about.

Viconia: Sorry to disappoint you but we are not your “food”.

Wraith: No matter, your warm blood will do just fine. Attack!

Before Viconia can approach the Wraith, Fabio hurls his enchanted bullet true and destroys the incorporeal creature.

The ghouls that the Wraith may have intended to feed us to put up a tougher fight. Cat is badly hurt and paralysed by a ghoul’s touch.

We kill the last two ghouls before they can eat my familiar. Viconia asks Shar to bring Cat back to full health.

Viconia says that the ghouls have various body parts and bones that could collect a good price for the right buyer, so she harvests their bodies as she loots the jewellery from their rotting corpses.

Mur’Neth finds a locked compartment in the plinth at the back of the room. Their Potion of Master Thievery has run out by now but it still manages to break into the compartment. Inside they find over 2000 coins, a bloodstone, a bloodstone necklace and a moonbar gem. It passes me a Scroll of Feeblemind that it also finds inside.

There is nothing else left here. No clues to the Wraith’s motivations or why it wanted to invade Restenford. We won the fight, but it feels empty. Ah! I’ve been talking with Xan too much.

Perhaps the caves the fire giant was guarding may have more answers for us. At least we can take solace in the fact that we thwarted whatever invasion the Wraith had been puppeteering.

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