While the ghouls were hungry, rapacious and without a sense of fear or pain, the adventurers proved doughty combatants. In short order, the ghouls were slain, and the characters were triumphant.
A search of the graveyard turned up little except a dirty belt decorated with bones and a serrated dagger with a black gemstone in the pommel. The party took both—the foul belt being carefully wrapped in a blanket—before deciding to rest in preparation for their assault on the monastery.
While they rested, Ozloc counted gravestones. The canny warlock worried the ghoul threat was not ended. After a worrying few minutes among the weeds and brambles, the half-elf counted over 30 graves; all of them showed signs of being disturbed. It seemed highly likely more ghouls lurked in the vicinity.
However, surprisingly, ghouls were not the party’s next problem. As they completed their lunch, a giant humanoid clutching a massive club in one hand, and dragging a dead deer with the other, blundered into their temporary camp. The creature—an ogre—was wildly aggressive and leapt to the attack. Although it was outnumbered, it almost killed Balasar with one mighty blow. Weight of numbers proved too much, however, and it was swiftly slain.
It was now the heroes realised that resting in a disturbed graveyard close to an abandoned monastery about which hung many fell rumours might not be the best idea in the world. Thus, the party gathered their gear and pushed onwards.
Half an hour later, they stood at the crumbling outer wall of the old monastery. Saeldur had warned his fellows the track leading here was well-used. The clever half-elf had detected many footsteps ranging from goblin up to ogre-sized.
The heroes lurked in the trees while the elf scouted around the ruin. He returned after about an hour to report signs of much humanoid activity in the environs but no actual enemies.
The monastery was a big place. A crumbling wall surrounded the whole area, which was laid out in a roughly rectangular shape. A squat building to the northeast seemed to be the main structure. In addition, a small building to the south, a ruined colonnade of pillars leading to an ivy-cloaked mausoleum and a teardrop-shaped lake of dark, stagnant water also seemed worthy of investigation.
Deciding to deal with the lesser structures first, the party crept south through the overgrown grounds. The party—led by Harald and Gromm—quickly investigated the building and discovered it to be an abandoned barracks of sorts. With this building quickly searched and cleared, the heroes turned their attention to the stagnant lake and crumbling mausoleum…