Yesterday’s session was looking a bit doubtful. Our new barbarian couldn’t make it, and it seemed we’d be missing our bard, too.

However, at almost the last moment, Grace was able to get on, using an old laptop. That was a pleasant surprise. And our new mage, Sevia Longbow, managed to get on, too.

The only thing is, right now Stony’s feeling a bit outnumbered, being the only male character in the party (despite three of the women being run by guys, hah). That may change next week.

Anyway, we picked up where the last session ended, in the room with the Flesh Golem that thought Kit was its master. We decided it might be safer not to take it with us, just in case we happened to run into the real one.

We also figured it would be a good idea to find that “bad book” and destroy it as soon as possible. While we were discussing this, the golem mentioned there was an intruder in the place.

The intruder turned out to be Sevia (no real surprise, of course). Naturally she was bombarded with questions as to who she was and why she was there. Her familiar, a pseudo-dragon, also caused some comment.

Stony kept a close eye on her; he’s not feeling kindly or trustful towards wizards these days. I suspect it will be quite some time (if ever) before he considers her “okay”.

Sevia told us she’d been sent here by the same guy who had sent us originally. Apparently he thought we needed some extra help. Hmmf! That didn’t set well with us. Stony wondered if maybe the sheriff sent adventurers to the tower to get rid of them.

In the meantime, Kit was keeping the golem in check; it seemed eager to bash Sevia, for some reason. In any case, it looked like we had a new party member.

She needed to renew spells, so we camped out before moving on, leaving the unhappy golem to “keep an eye on things”. The next room was empty, but down a side passage, several shadow skeletons were lurking.

Stony went wading right into them, as usual. This was a tough bunch, and he took some damage during the fracas. Fortunately, most of the skeletons were concentrating on him, and no one else was injured.

After turning up a few miscellaneous items, the party moved into a room that turned out to be the “master’s” bedroom, and his corpse was on the floor. Just as well “Fleshy” wasn’t with us, I think.

Stony spied a book on the floor and picked it up. As soon as he touched it, a mage wraith appeared, probably the ghost of the dead wizard, and it wasn’t happy.

So we had another fight on our hands, and it wasn’t easy, despite there being only one opponent. The wraith could, at least, be damaged, but it had a negative energy attack that weakened several in the party.

After the fight, Kira healed up the wounded, and was able to restore Stony’s strength. That was the only restoration spell she had, though, so the others would have to go on slightly under strength.

Then we took a little time out to read the journal, which only confirmed our determination to destroy the “bad book”, which was actually titled “The Tome Of Secrets” (there are some things we’re not meant to know, etc.).

Then, at last, we found our way into the room where the false “master”, some sort of wraith, was waiting for us. Behind it was the Tome. Stony went right for it.

Of course, there were some zombies in the way, which made targeting the book difficult. Kira, however, took those out with a turn undead, which, happily, destroyed them. Unhappily, the wraith was calling up more friends, including a ghoul. The battle was confusing; so much so, that Sevia inadvertantly hit her familiar with a magic missile (ouch).

Stony was taking damage from the wraith while he tried to maneuver towards the book. Finally, he bashed the ghoul (luckily, this was a weak one) and had a clear shot at the tome.

Unfortunately, the tome had a clear shot at him. Every time the book took damage, it retaliated with negative energy attacks, and they were nasty (especially when you fail your saving throw).

Grace managed to get over there and began pounding on the book, as well. The rest were poking at the wraith, but doing no damage.

Stony was in bad shape, between hits from the book and assorted zombies and the wraith (the joys of being in the front line!). He had to take time out for a healing potion, especially as his red bar – which I noticed just in time – was rather low.

Kit somehow managed to get over and started whacking on the tome, as well. Finally, Stony gave it a mighty bash and destroyed it. This was odd, by way. The hit was a critical success, and I’m wondering how that could be possible on non-living object. But hey, I’m not complaining!!

Then, sorry to say, we had quite a few rounds of stupidity. I was expecting that, with the book destroyed, either the wraith would disappear or we’d be able to damage it. Nope.

It just hung on there, round after round, while people were hitting it with spells and weapons, doing nothing at all. This was such a waste of time and effort. I mean, okay, a couple rounds and it’s gone, that I could understand. But this just went on too long.

At last, though, it was gone, and so was its power (meaning, no more undead anywhere, including the unkillable zombies outside). While the party caught its breath and began poking around for goodies, we heard cries from another room.

Following up, we found what was left of the Longshadow villagers in a cell. Kit defused a trap and picked the lock on the gate. As people crowded up, Stony caught sight of a familiar face in the back…Nel!

At last we had found him. The rest of the party pushed through, completely ignoring all the villagers. Heh. Well, they were in good shape, and poor Nel wasn’t, being near dead.

We got him on his feet, but he looked dazed. Apparently he’d been brought here through the shadow realm, and somehow that had affected his mind. He could move, but that was about all. Everyone was terribly depressed by that. Poor Kit was especially distressed.

The margrave figured that it was safe for them to return on their own, so the villagers took off. We were wondering about the golem, and found it was still active.

Kit was thinking of having it come with us, but the golem wasn’t able to leave the tower. As it went off to clean up the mess, we all hurried out quickly before it came back. Poor Fleshy, all alone in the tower, waiting for Kit to return. Sad, in a way.

Bringing Nel with us, we returned to the town and the sheriff. Kira talked to the innkeeper and got Nel a room. Then we told Aron what had happened in Longshadow. He was quite amazed, but glad that there were at least some survivors.

The sheriff was a much more honorable man than the mayor of Kinnisfrae; he handed out the reward – 200 gp each – with no quibbling. He even handed out a share for Nel, since he’d been damaged on the mission.

So that’s where we are now. What can we do for Nel, if anything? How are we going to pick up Matreus’ trail? Is our new party member reliable? For the possible answers, tune in next time, sports fans!