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"Home is where the soul is"

 

Adventure Name: Home Is Where The Soul Is 

Characters: Aescer, Lady Shera, Arya, Qillathe, Quintus, Alark, Seiran, Kobort XP: 3,350 

Quote Bonus: None 

RP Bonus: Quintus (Brian) 

Synopsis: Lady Shera receives a notification that she has been made executor of her Uncle Kelthas Delsemarr's estate (Ravenhill Manor) just outside of Ravens Bluff.  Curious thing is, Lady Shera has no known relatives in the Vast.  Regardless, the Fellowship accepts the invitation out of curiosity. A little digging before the party leaves turns up some interesting information.  Lord Delsemarr is rumored to be some sort of maniacal Necromancer and most people have left any lands he claimed dominion over. They also found and talked with a former housekeeper, insane presumably from something she experienced while in the employ of Kelthas. 

While the lands around Ravenhill Manor are empty of sentient life, there is nothing too obvious that there is something amiss.  The party is greeted at the door by the Lord's Major Domo, Kherzon, a hunchbacked half-orc with foul manners and is brought in and introduced to Sir Manuel de Garan and Ivanior. It is learned that Manuel is the necromancer's  nephew and Ivanior's purpose is somewhat undefined, although the party believes he is a professional killer. 

Things begin to get strange soon after the party settles into the parlor. The sound of a woman crying is heard from the upstairs and no one but the Fellowship seems to want to acknowledge it.  Ivanior picks up his violin and plays in attempt to cover the haunting sound.  Before any investigation can take place the group is herded into the dining area for an exquisite if somewhat uncomfortable dinner.  Once again the crying is heard, which is denied by the residents of the manse.  The party wishes to investigate, but Kherzon insists that the will be read first. The reading of the will placed some enchantments on a few individual, with Qillathe running away in terror and Lady Shera being drawn to the second floor library and the crystal sitting upon the desk.  It is apparent that there is something significant about it, and that it is magical.  While handling the crystal ball to do some further study of it, Aescer's soul is switched with the old Necromancer's.  The Necromancer isn't dead, his body (which the characters viewed) was simply placed in a casket with a ring of paralysis to both make the ploy look reasonable, and to keep the switched character out of the way.

The possessed Aescer attempted to lead the party into an ambush by leading a few of them upstairs to the attic where the former Lady of the house's body had been reanimated as a flesh golem.  While Quintus and Kobort dealt with the construct, Kelthas returned to the parlor where he unleashed the spell Circle of Death on the party which fortunately (or unfortunately) caught only Arya in its wake, killing the young Ranger instantly.  Ivanior and Kherzon took up arms against the Fellowship at this point, and things looked bleak. In the end, Kherzon was killed, Ivanior fled the scene pursued by Alark for quite a distance, and Aescer was incapacitated long enough for the change to be reversed.  The destruction of the golem by Quintus and Kobort released the ghost of Audrey who remained trapped on the Prime Material through her attachment to her reanimated corpse. The Fellowship recovered a few items of value and several bags of gold, but during the ruckus had lost track of the will.  Not wanting to have to go through a lengthy process of proving ownership, nor really wanting to be reminded of this horrible place, Shera decided to turn uncontested ownership over to young Lord de Garan.