The party prepared to open the ancient, iron-bound door before them. Horsa—suddenly worried cultists were creeping up on them from behind—doubled back to check the party's rear while Luther bent to the task of picking the door's lock.
The young ranger quickly ascertained there were no mechanical traps on the door and—even though he was still tired from his night's surveillance—managed to quickly pick the lock. As he did so a sinister cold began to form in the door's vicinity. Much of the party pulled back, but Artur—protected by Darlen—strode forward, kicked the door open and move down the corridor beyond.
Seconds later, a faint translucence redolent with the chill of the grave emerged from the lock. Quickly, the thing formed into a spectral nude elven woman. In life, the elf had been undeniably comely. Now her head was naught but a grinning skull from which undulated and writhed her long, twisted hair.
The ghost's appearance terrified the party. Unreasonable fear swept over all the heroes. Seemingly killed by fright Colzo (the brave), Hell'en and Luther collapsed. For the survivors, things seemed grim. None of the heroes could advance on the creature, which also meant they couldn't move to their friends’ aid. Artur—bolstered by his god—was the first to throw off his terror. Meanwhile, in desperation, Grand Silvertongue hurled a powerful spell at the ghost, which wracked it with pain and forced it to retreat (momentarily).
As Artur battled the thing in single combat—using his divinity to deal it two terrible blows—Grand Silvertongue and Denan now free of the terror that had consumed them dragged Colzo and Luther back up the passage. Here, they discovered their friends lingered at death's very door. Energetic attempts to save the two were successful, Meanwhile back at the door, Artur fought on against the spectral elf. Realising, his companion Hell'en was also at death's door he used his divine power to return her to the land of living. As the priestess shook off her brush with death, she cursed the ghost. At that moment, Denan—having thrown off his unreasoned fear of the spectral elf—returned to the fray, giving Hell'en and Artur (who was by now grievously wounded) precious moments to fortify themselves for the battle's climax...