Library of Howling

18.Lick Your Wounds and Get Some More

The party, performing one last search of the area of the large angel fight, discovers a fierce-looking hilt nearby. Adding that to the loot bag Ox carries, they decide to retire back to the palace to allow everyone to heal up so that one last exploration effort can be made the next day before they are forced to return to Charm for more food. They do notice a grand-looking entrance near them to some sort of coliseum area, but do not want to continue on having taken such a beating from the demon in the candle stick which Bill captured.

Upon returning to the palace, the party grabs some benches from inside and starts a large fire outside the palace which Moon can use to try and heal some of Marble’s wounds from the morning’s adventure.

Sacking out in the recently found guest wing of the palace, the party splits up in different directions. While Red and Ox do some light sparring and Marble crawls into the nearest bed to lick his wounds, Bill goes off on his own to get a second look at some places in the palace. The day lingers on and finally watches are set, and everyone crashes out for good for the night.

The next day, Bill and Moon both report having strange dreams about fire which prevented them from sleeping soundly. The group finds this odd, but with no basis for worry and no fires in sight, they formulate a plan for the final day’s scouting of the city. First, they will visit the nearby dock yard, then what appears to be a temple area, and finally they will scour the merchant’s area for any loot to add to the impressive loot bag which Ox carries.

The boat yard contains a few boats in disrepair and various dock equipment. Barrels of tar as well as barrels of some sort of alcohol are found. Searching the buildings reveals a log of ship names and a pipe owned by the harbor master, but little else. In the water sits a large war vessel which appears to still be floating, but with the dock in such a poor state, none of the party are willing to risk falling into the filthy-looking water to venture over to the boat. The only other point of interest is a sloop in good condition in drydock. The party decides this may be serviceable and leaves Moon and Thin Boots to try to discover the secrets of operating a crane to maybe get the sloop into the water.

Continuing on, the rest of the party makes it way into the temple area. Most of the temples are destroyed, apparently by some gigantic blast stemming from near the gates of the temple area. Making their way from building to building, the group finally enters an intact structure. A small foyer leads to a larger bench-filled room with a large statue of an angry-looking, hairy fellow on top of a blood-stained altar.

Filing past the statue, a small hallway reveals three closed doors on the right. Marble tries to open the first door, but finds it locked. He tries to pick the door and after feeling around decides the door isn’t locked, but for some reason he still cannot open it. Red approaches the door and is able to open it with no problems, revealing a small room. Marble tries the same door and is now able to open it. Marble repeats the same process for all three doors but can open none of them while the rest of the party can open any of the doors at will. At this point, Marble appears to be turning pale and sweating heavily, so the party decides to evacuate the temple immediately.

While the group moves out, Marble walks past the statue of the angry fellow and suddenly freezes in place. Red mist pours out of him and into the statue. Bill, who had been leading the way out, turns around and charges back in to the room just in time to see the statue come to life as Marble staggers away from it moving towards the exit. The newly-animated statue yells “I’m back!” and turns to cast a spell on Marble.

Bill charges the beastman, but can’t get there before Tormented Tooth finishes its spell, possessing the body of Marble whose eyes have turned a glowing red. Tormented Tooth issues orders to Marble about a stone, and Marble immediately turns and heads towards the door. Red hits Marble with a quick rooting spell to slow him down. Most of the party jumps to block Marble’s way out while Bill and Red confront the Tormented Tooth. Red fires a large rock into his shoulder and manages to crush it, while Bill stabs into Tormented Tooth’s face with Motrisvaul, gashing him deeply. Tormented Tooth manages to get off one spell aimed again at Marble, causing him to scream as power bursts forth from him forming into two distinct areas. They then coalesce into whirlwind-like creatures who charge into the party members. One moves in on Bill who manages to dodge away from it while another grabs the Bard and throws him across the room.

Tormented Tooth uses the distraction to teleport away from Bill to the rear of the room where he hits Red with the same power spell he used on Marble, causing him to be encased in a suit of incredibly-hardened rock. Just before the spell takes effect, Red puts another rock into Tormented Tooth, shaking him. Ox has moved up by this point and is bear-hugging Marble to make sure he cannot run out of the building. Everyone else has turned on Tormented Tooth.

Thirsty tries to put an arrow into him, but it bounces off of his thick skin. Bill charges Tormented Tooth and manages to hit him, but for no apparent damage. At this point, Tormented Tooth turns and hits Bill with the magic burst, but Bill’s out of control magic apparently has no effect on the party at all. Afraid that his demise is at hand, Tormented Tooth teleports out of the room entirely just as Red manages to break free from the suit of rock. Red runs outside followed by Bill, but are unable to locate him until Bill uses his sensing spells and discovers him inside and up. Returning inside, they see Tormented Tooth as he teleports a final time and exit the building to see him run away.

As Ox moves to get away from one of the whirlwinds still in the room, Marble struggles free and makes a run for the door, eyes still glowing red. Thirsty clotheslines him in the head with the butt end of his staff, finally knocking Marble out and apparently breaking the possession. Everyone left in the chapel grabs Marble and drags him outside away from the whirlwinds while Bill runs back in, grabs Marble’s dropped bow, and runs deeper into the chapel to investigate, depending on his speed and agility to keep him safe from the whirlwinds and also to draw them away from chasing the party outside who are dealing with Marble.

Kicking open doors and doing quick searches, Bill manages to discover a pendant with an angry-headed man on it in one room, while a destroyed library reveals a torn up but still partially intact book which he also grabs. Finding a staircase going down, he pulls out the glowing candle stick with the demon inside to light his way and heads down. The room below is a burial chamber with skulls in alcoves around the room. A single tomb dominates the center of the room with the statue of a man sitting on top of it. Digging around for a few minutes, Bill discovers a hidden door which contains a Scepter with wolves and the head of an angry man on it, as well as a locked chest. Using Motrisvaul to open the chest, he discovers a piece of cloth, scroll, and golden pendant matching the other he found inside. He puts the pendant on trying to see any effect, but notices none.

Returning to the chapel entrance, he finds the group with a still knocked out Marble. Bill takes Red, Ox, and Thirsty down into the basement and they manage to open the coffin but find only a body inside. They return back to the top and decide to go back to the boat yard and make further plans there once reunited with Moon and Thin Boots.

At the boat yard, they tell their tale, and Marble manages to wake up and shows himself to be back in control of his body. The party decides that, even though Moon managed to gain a little working knowledge of the crane, the boat will have to wait for another trip to fully fix. The party exits the boatyard and heads back into the temple area, moving towards the largest of the buildings still left standing…