#009: Death to All Cultists
The party fought on against the undead abomination. Denan and Artur fought it toe to toe and eventually slew the creature—Denan striking the final blow. With Horsa’s return to the party, the heroes took stock. Hell’en used her powers to heal Luther and Colzo—who had both nearly died of fright at the sight of the ghost.
Although Horsa has not seen the creature the group’s lurid descriptions of its appearance and abilities led the intelligent, well-read wizard to identify the ghost as a banshee—a powerful evil undead spirit.
While his companions prepared themselves, Artur advanced once again into the fane. There was no respite for the characters, however, because three cultists boiled forth from the northern long corridor to slay the interlopers. The three were themselves swiftly slain. Horsa investigating the passage from which the cultists had emerged discovered a gruesome thing: a 20-foot-tall column of bleached, grinning skulls. A spiral staircase bracketed the foul column and disappeared deeper into the earth. Wisely, Horsa pulled back to the rest of the party and explained what he had discovered.
Meanwhile, Hell’en checked the three remaining imprisoned folk. Two were dead, but the third yet lived and—miracle of miracles—the third man was none other than Jalmari (the person they had come here to rescue). The party rejoiced, and quickly (after a short argument) conveyed Jalmari to the surface. There, Colzo despatched the watchmen back to Low Gate with news of events thus far.
Returning to the caves under the Scythe, the party continued their investigations. Quickly, they found several rooms: a dark fane-- which to Silvertongue felt wrong in some way and which he dared not enter--a storage room and a charnel house of horrors. Blood and viscera surrounded four headless corpses swirled on the floor. Luther investigated the charnel house and found tracks suggesting humans and gone into and come out of a narrow passageway leading yet deeper underground. Meanwhile, the rest of the party searched the store room and quickly came to the conclusion the room was used to keep the possessions of the sacrifices killed in the shrine…