Akkiir, Nim and Tetsuo tried to overcome Uphir to no avail. For her part, Uphir tried to just get away from them. I tried to stop them from fighting, thinking we could reason our way out of the situation. As this encounter moved into the children’s bedchamber and then once again back out into the hall, Tetsuo had begun attacking the bones in the room trying to destroy them, thereby hopefully to release Uphir from Roses control. The idea came upon us that perhaps if we gave the bones a proper burial, it might release the spirits to their proper afterlife.
So, Tetsuo and Janlynn wrapped the remains in separate bedsheets, and snuck past the tense arguing that was going on in the hallway to head outside and bury the children with the proper rituals of Lathander, the Morning Lord. At one point during the confrontation in the Attic hallway, Uphir pushed Akkiir violently into the wall and he collapsed in a fit of crying and tears! At first this seemed like a ploy of Akkiir’s to manipulate the spirit of Rose in some way, but it turned out to be much more serious.
We learned that Akkiir had become possessed by Thorn! Now the situation was becoming rapidly more dangerous for all involved. As we were praying that Tetsuo and Janlynn would be successful, Uphir became agitated and demanded to know where they got off to. She demanded that we look throughout the house for them and finally encountered the two coming in the front door from outside in the main hall. We took a short rest before continuing – with Akkiir and Uphir recommending taking a full long rest.
Our suspicion was that the longer these spirits were in our friends, the harder it would be to get rid of them. We tried to lure Uphir and Akkiir outside to see what effect that would have, but they strongly refused. We decided to head back upstairs to the attic and take the secret door down to the basement and our two possessed friends reluctantly agreed.
Checking the large storage room filled with old furniture and all manner of ancient junk covered in dusty, rotting sheets, a body was found in a large chest. Our investigation revealed that this was the body of the Nursemaid, hidden in this chest by her murderer or murderers. The secret door to the basement was in the corner of this room, right where we would expect it to be.
The rickety, wooden, tight spiral staircase wound down into darkness. Our troupe took a collective deep breath and then squeezed ourselves into the narrow confines of the descending stairwell, wiping old cob webs out of our faces as we went. A great many skittering insects fled from the light and heat of the torches. Trying to be stealthy was a tricky business as the ancient wooden stairs creaked and groaned under our weight. Janlynn and I stayed several steps behind the mighty frame of Uphir just to be safe.
Eventually the bottom was reached after what felt like two-hundred feet of descent. The stairs opened into a crypt area where large engraved capstones closed off the interment niches. One of these capstones was lying beside an open crypt with a small coffin inside. The name engraved upon the stone was Walter Durst. Beside this one there were the closed tombs of Rose and Thorn. Opening those niches revealed empty child-sized coffins inside. There was another un-named closed tomb here as well.
We suddenly knew what we needed to do. We ascended and retrieved the bones of Rose and Thorn as well as the remains of the Nursemaid and the strange stone effigy of Walter. Bringing them down to the crypts, we properly interred each of them in their proper places and gave them proper rights from Janlynn and Nim. As soon as Rose and Thorn were in their tombs they left the bodies of Uphir and Akkiir and as their souls left they whispered a raspy “Thank You” upon the stifling air of the crypts.
Exploring a bit further we came upon the closed tombs of Elizabeth and Gustav Durst. Needing to know if their bodies and spirits lay to rest, Elizabeth’s tomb was opened and as Janlynn opened the coffin to see that nothing was inside a huge swarm of insects overcame her, almost bearing her to the ground. Janlynn suffered vicious injury from these vile insects and all who could, helped get them off her even as one rushed to close and seal the tombs once again.
We decided that we had succeeded in helping our friends escape the control of restless spirits so we would take a long rest before continuing to explore. Nim was particularly satisfied and genuinely moved that he could keep his promise to Rose and Thorn. This was important to my halfling friend and I could feel his emotions as I looked into his watery eyes. This is truly a creature who cares deeply about those in need, whether living or tortured spirit. This is a friend that I hope I will never disappoint or let down. He is an example for all of us to try to emulate.