The horrible thing coming down the corridor is a nasty burning skeleton with a large ax. While the others begin to engage, I shout out options on which of the criminals it might be. I think it could be either the choppy one, the ax-y one or the one who cuts people open. Well, at least I’m sure it’s not the one who sings or the preachy one.
Anyway, the main thing is to kill it before it kills us and to avoid what promises to be its explosive death throes. These conflicting desires result in an uncoordinated attack. Olegg doesn’t help much by being cut down “Burny” as I’ve started to call him. But eventually we prevail, singed with victory.
We see that there are several hallways to explore, one of which is blocked by a portcullis, which I bet is the one we absolutely need to go down, but no one puts any money on it.
So we look to the other corridors and another horrible creature with an ax appears and now we think this is the Lopper. The Professor seems pretty sure, and I don’t want to encourage him to talk about it any more. But his does anyway.
Fortunately, he uses his crazy, screaming voice that I can’t understand. This is incredibly effective. Combined with Olegg’s glowy, spiritual dagger of Pharasma, the Lopper is defeated.
Next we find a room with several skulls on a table and everybody starts getting these awful headaches. We start smashing the skulls and even Butter Knives can help. Belor, however, keeps shooting rays around like a blind something that throws something else, but that can’t hit anything. Like, a, um, blind goblin skirmisher with rickets? Whatever, I suppose it keeps him happy between when he kills things with his ax. Regardless, these mashed skulls spell the end of the Mosswood Maurader, and the headaches cease.
After that, we enter a torture chamber where I’m forced by evil spirits to go inside an iron maiden, and nobody helps me out! That was totally rude, and I would still be angry if they hadn’t discovered the body of the dead Warden. While his body isn’t that useful, his badge is, and we need to get that back to V.
I also find a secret door, which will lead us behind the portcullis, but the hallway has something squishy and awful in the way, and I notify the others by running away in terror.
So, I was right about the portcullis: we can’t get to the final bad guy! We go and ask V for help, but she says we must push on. I agree, despite everyone else complaining about being tired. I cajole the party into continuing, showing leadership.We decide to break through the portcullis. Butter Knives bends some bars and even that hulk Belor can squeeze through to the chamber beyond. The main feature is a watery hole where the Splatter Man undoubtedly is hiding. But we have our hands full because we need to wipe off these horrible bloody letters on the walls. Seriously, they had to go!
While we’re doing this important task, the Professor goes and jumps into the water! That’s just crazy, but that’s how he gets when the screaming guy takes over. Anyway, when we finish up with the letters, the rest of us join in around the watery hole.
Let me tell you, that was not pleasant. The Splatter Man has summoned some ants to block us at the top, and its just the Professor and then me and Olegg, too, down in the water. “Harder than fighting a ghost underwater” ought to be a saying for things that are difficult and scary.
But it looks like we’re making progress until the Splatter Man reaches out and just snuffs out the Professor. Just like that. I wanted to scream something to help, but I couldn’t because I was underwater.
I’m not sure what happened after that. Olegg and the others did something to knock out the Splatter Man, but I didn’t help. All I could think about was the Professor dying. There was a brief little moment as it happened, a tiny second. I saw the shiny, screamy part of him, that thing that showed up when he was scared or angry, and that likely made him jump in the water. It sort of pulled away from him and floated up, disappearing. It was angry, but not otherwise distressed.
But then the Professor’s face seemed to come back to normal: that normal guy who liked his books, and talked too much, and was really silly around Kendra. That guy was back for a final moment. And he was confused, and then scared, and then he was dead.
There was a lot of stuff that happened after that: Vesoriana was able to use the badge to purge the evil from Harrowstone; the town discovered that the jerk who accosted us at the graveyard was doing the bloody writing on the monument…the “village is saved” sort of stuff. Some powerful dude showed up to make things right here while we were in Harrowstone.
I just wanted to rest. People keep telling me that they keep telling me that my memory is terrible. I hope they’re right, but I wanted a better opinion. So I went to go see Old River and tell him how the Professor had died. He was sad with me, but he convinced me that I’d feel better in the morning. I believe him, and I’m sure some sleep will do me good.
But I still wish I hadn’t seen that happen.