The seaweed monster struck. Missing, Dennan it pummelled poor Horsa. So vicious and powerful was the blow that Horsa collapsed into the boat.
The heroes leapt into action, to save their companion. Dennan and Artur hewed at the thing while Colzo and Luther blasted it from range. (Before attacking, Artur had pulled Horsa back from the frontline and here Hell'en revived the battered wizard.) This proved timely as Dennan was dragged into the seaweed monster itself! By now, the thing was weakening and Dennan managed to pull himself free from its cloying, crushing embrace. Moments later the monster was destroyed--hacked apart by a vengeful party.
Exhausted and slightly stunned by the ferocity of the weed-creature's assault, the party rested briefly before investigating the statue. Horsa discovered the statue was unknowably old, and that at some point in the past it had been altered to depict a troglodyte–albeit a troglodyte without a tail. What that meant–or if it had an significance, none could say.
With seemingly nothing else to learn, the party backtracked to the area where they had slain the smugglers. Biding Laina sail outside Gloamhold and await their signal the heroes dragged the two rowboats up the stairs (as an emergency backup) and began their explorations.
The party discovered a series of essentially empty chambers. However, one passageway–which ended in a blank wall–proved somewhat different. This was the strange corridor, the smugglers had mentioned. Extensive investigations reveal the end wall to actually be an old, dust-encrusted sail stretched over the opening. Covered in mould and grit it seemed like a rock wall at first glance.
Brave Artur, eventually pulled the "curtain" aside to reveal an irregular-shaped chamber. A rowboat on its side was wedged across the entranceway. Artur pushed it back and heard a grinding sound as the boat pushed over unseen obstacles on the floor.
Almost immediately, an unearthly chill filled the room and a violent force shoved him back. Artur was strong, though, and resisted the push. Hell'en using her grave sight saw a spectral figure of a lean-faced old man–hate blazing in his eyes–hovering in the air in front of the paladin. She cried a warning, and Artur blindly struck with his blade. Imbuing the strike with his holy might, the paladin destroyed the spectral enemy–a poltergeist–with one blow!
After recovering some minor treasure, the party moved on. To the north, near disaster struck once again for poor Horsa. While investigating a patch of suspiciously wet wall, the wizard discovered it was actually a grey ooze. Doused in acid, and badly hurt, the wizard was in dire straits before the party came to his aid. Quickly the ooze was slain.
Now the party decided to rest. They did so uneventfully, and afterwards Horsa took the time to use his powers to detect magic on the areas the party had already investigated. This revealed no magic, but the perceptive wizard did detect a small hidden niche in a slender pillar. Within, lay the stone statuette of a many-stepped ziggurat.
Meanwhile, back at the broken span crossing over the Murkwater Luther commanded his magic rope to snake across to the other side. Once it was secured on both sides he crawled across to assess the lay of the land.
A single passageway led way from the river. Three-quarters of the way down the passageway a suspicious slit pierced the ceiling from wall to wall. Cautious, the ranger awaited the arrival of his companions...