The day began early with Chad wandering into the gathering hall where the few available members were gathered. He surveyed the group with disappointment and then held aloft the fancy paper with its golden writing and wax seal offering it to whoever wanted it. The group formed: Nicholas the aged alchemist, Sophie the comedic bard, Her younger disapproving sister Valla the shaman and Bergman the black-lunged investigator, sadly their brawn for the mission. They took the request and found it was a call from Lady Abigail Aruthella of the house of coins – nobles known for having a lot of wealth. They hurried along to meet with the lady and arrived at an estate that left them in awe. Greeted by doormen, escorted by house guards and waited on by servants, it was quite the reception. When the portly lady arrived dripping in finery they managed to repulse her in every way. It was as if these uncouth vagabonds had crawled from the sewers to assault her refined sensibility. Only Valla had the presence to present a respectable image. Her sister, Sophie, flashed the lady, while Bergman coughed on her hand, leaving a bit of his bloody spittle. Nicholas was equally inappropriate then made a scene about using the bathroom and later popped-a-squat in the bushes out front because she denied him. They managed to gather enough information and a map to proceed on the mission but didn’t bother with much in the way of information gathering. They had a map and a direction, find the black and gold book … oh, wait was it black and silver? Well, we’ll find it …
The trip to the precipice was easy enough with the help of purchased carriage rides. The guards at the gates got a hearty laugh when the party stopped to ask what they knew of the area before entering, the fools! Bergman turned out to be an excellent guide once they entered the district. Good thing since that brawn position was a bit sketchy. But, Sophie was sure to keep them entertained with her non-stop string of bad jokes succeeding at further embarrassing her judging sister. Bergman always laughed though, because she is hot! Nicholas picked his teeth and sang a few off key ditties and everyone made their way without incident.
Upon arrival at the half dilapidated mansion, they found a hooded and robed figure standing at the entrance with its back to them. Several of them tried calling out to the mysterious stranger but got no answer. Bergman, being the trusting sort, readied his crossbow and took a shot at them, missing terribly. Yep, good thing he was a great guide! It was Sophie that finally tapped the figure on the shoulder getting a response as the young woman jerked to face them. She was apparently deaf, which made Bergman trust her even less … how did she get here alone? Nicholas enjoyed engaging the young woman with pen and paper and soon learned she was led here by her dreams, a servant of the gods going by the name of Dawn. The old alchemist was all for bringing her along with them. They had a brief argument about what to do with Dawn, but she heard none of that and simply fell into line behind them as they entered the mansion. Bergman cautiously searched their path as they followed the map straight to the stairs and down to the library without pausing for so much as a peek in any other direction. He was sure to check for traps and test the floors though. They reached the grand library and began searching for the book among piles of scrolls and tomes. During their search they uncovered several scrolls and books on the waterways, gods, noble houses and one about the Aruthella household. Nicholas even found a heavy tome about rituals and ceremonies. But it was Sophie who found the the book they sought. She picked it up and began to skim the first pages of the black and silver bound, skull marked book. It was magical and forced her to read the arcane words inscribed there, words that finished a dark ceremony begun over a decade past. A ghost, the man who owned the book in life, Abigail’s uncle and a necromancer of great power killed in the earthquake appeared and began to laugh as his ceremony was finally completed. The ground shook as a cold wave of energy blasted through everyone. The book flew away as the Ceremony of Awakening was completed and the ghost vanished. Everyone looked about unsure what had happened. They spotted a shadow darting about the room, alive! Nicholas threw a torch at it, singing the creature. It struck him back twice, draining the old man’s feeble strength to nothingness. He crumbled to the floor under the weight of his own clothing. It darted at Bergman depleting his strength next. There went their brawn. The others did what they could with Valla and Dawn calling upon divine power to create stones for them to throw at it. They were enchanted to be deadly against the undead. Eventually they destroyed the thing but not before something else began to pound at the barred door to the library. Dawn never heard the pounding and actually backed up to the doorway before Bergman raced over to hold it secure. The others ran for the second exit with Sophie in the lead. The bard heard more pounding at that door. The doors began to shatter under the beating they received and a ghoul wedged itself into the first portal while skeletons and zombies busted through the other entry. Sophie’s grease spells kept them slipping and falling and actually saved their hides while the others used magical stones supplied by Valla and Dawn to destroy the shambling bodies. Although many of the stones missed their mark and went bouncing around the chamber, lost under piles of rubble and parchment. Nicholas’ bombs came in handy too, blowing the bodies apart in masses, until he accidentally dropped one in front of his feet and burned himself. The undead continued to pour towards the chamber, summoned by the Ceremony of Awakening Sophie had completed. The level below the library was a catacomb filled with the burial sites of the long lived Aruthella line. The party continued to try and push their way out of the library and made it into the hallway they entered from, but it was a slow and losing process. At one point Sophie was paralyzed by a ghoul and Bergman found himself shredded by skeletal claws as did Valla, while Dawn felt the solid blow of a Zombie. They had toyed with an idea Nicholas suggested earlier but abandoned it quickly as the undead surrounded them. Now they were trapped in the hallway so the idea seemed their best bet. The book of ceremonies the old man had found earlier was the focus. They dug through the pages scanning for any sign of the Ceremony of Awakening. They found it! Nicholas began the undoing of the ceremony aided by whoever was not being shredded by the masses of undead surrounding them. Valla, Dawn and Sophie all added their bits of arcane knowledge to the process to help the man complete the ceremony. They each paused as they were attacked. Bergman fought on steadily with his weakened strength. The deaf girl destroyed multiple skeletons with her club, giving them breathing room to aid the alchemist. When Nicholas committed to the process he gave it his all and raced through the words to undo what had been done. At an astounding speed born of pure adrenaline and fear, they completed the process and reversed the magic of the ceremony. It came none too soon as those fending off the undead were all but drained of life. The undead collapsed around them as the false life left the corpses. Not wanting to waste any time or take any chances they ran from the old Aruthella estate and hurried through the Precipice eager to be free of this place before darkness set in. They took the book, which was not a diary as they were led to believe but a powerful spell book of necromancy to their guild to be studied. The higher ranking members thanked them for their foresight but had them deliver the item to Lady Abigail and complete the mission. Dawn was invited to join The Guild with her newfound abilities and everyone was paid for their efforts plus a nice sum of cash from the sale of the other tomes they uncovered in the library. They are unsure if there were any lasting effects of the magic, but they did make a hasty copy of the ceremony and it’s undoing before selling that book – just in case.
Bergman, Sophie, Nicholas, Valla and Dawn each earned ???xp