Eleasias 24: It’s been a full tenday since the party’s success at Wave Echo Cave. The group has enjoyed a well deserved rest at Phandalin, where they live in the basement dungeon of the old Tresendar manor. The adventurers (Daggy, Dame Corlinn, Therenden, Vi, Salazar and Selsior) have now been joined by Fred, the floating skull, and the Nothic that once guarded the Tresendar caves for the Redbrands (now named Ginger. Fred and Ginger, GET IT???).
Looking around, their current headquarters look a bit worse for the wear. Some remodeling is obviously in order… particularly if they want to base there their incipient, professional adventuring career!
After days of inactivity, the group is aching to get back in action; particularly Salazar, who wishes to visit his hometown of Thundertree and deal with the dragon rumoured to have occupied it, and Therenden, who wants to go back to Cragmaw Castle and reconsecrate the shrine to Oghma that the goblins defiled.
Finally, one bright sunny morning the adventurers leave town to deal with these loose ends, starting with the shrine in Cragmaw Castle. They enter the Neverwinter Wood from the south and make their way through the forest until they reach the structure…
Eleasias 26: As the sun begins to rise over the treetops, the group cautiously enters the castle through the same secret entrance they used the last time. They find the whole area eerily silent; a greenish mist hangs over the air, and the corpses they left in their wake still lay untouched and rotting in the floor. Are all the Cragmaw goblins dead?
More disturbingly, they find fresher corpses, who didn’t perish at their hand the last time. The bodies show no signs of violence, but they are bloated and pustulent, with eating utensils at close hand. Were they poisoned?
The group soon finds an old chapel inside the castle, dedicated to the deities Oghma, Mystra, Lathander and Tymora. And in it, the only living being they’ve met this far — an evil priestess who’s chanting the name of their evil god Maglubiyet over the defiled altar of Oghma!
The party attacks and wounds the priestess gravely, but she seems unfaced. “I’ll be with you… as soon as I finish the summoning”, she says. Therenden wastes no time and finishes her off, but before she dies she grins and whispers: “I… lied.”
When the priestess expires, her mysterious chants stopped, the ever-present mist seems to coalesce into green tendrils that penetrate the nearby goblin and hobgoblin corpses — causing them to reanimate! They jerk back into life and rush to attack the party. Daggy cannot use her Turn Undead ability against them… what are they?
The group manages to defeat their enemies, who fall to the ground, dead… a second time. Wanting to find the source of this unholy corruption, they press forward.