Lost in the Mists

Life #32 - Ghoulbusters

The next morning we set out for Tranquility. We left early, so as to avoid the Horseman again, if possible. After a few hours of walking along the road we saw a small town on the side of the road. It was surrounded by a tall black iron fence. Atop the fence were the holy symbols for dozens of gods. I spied one of Pelor and that was comforting sight, it had been so long since I’ve seen one outside my own personal belongings.

We were able to enter the town without incident, and the few townsfolk we spoke with initially were happy to hear that we planned to rid them of the Horseman’s blight. They also told us that the large graveyard just north of the town was full of many of the Horseman’s victims.

We began to investigate the town’s connection to the Horseman, and try to learn if it was indeed the Tranquility from the stories we had heard in Havensguard. As it turns out, this was the same Tranquility, but the more we learned, the more confused we became. The horrible events that included the Horseman’s death and the town of Tranquility being trapped in Ravenloft only occurred ten years earlier by the reckoning of the townsfolk, but their written records told a different story. We found harvest records going back 40 years to when the Horseman’s death would have occurred.

More investigation revealed that the current mayor of Tranquility was also the mayor at the time. His name is Eli van Hessen. After the Horseman initially saved the town from disaster, they wanted to elect him as the new mayor, but then he quickly became corrupt. Or so the story goes.

We went to the mayor’s estate to try and learn more from him directly. His property is surrounded by another small fence and is watched by guards. We were able to arrange to meet him and he came out to greet us at the gate. He spoke of his daughter, the same one who had been attacked by the Horseman so many years before, and told us she was quite ill. The mayor was definitely not old enough for 40 years to have passed since the first incidents with the Horseman. When I asked him about the written records he tried to pass it off as the scribe’s error. He was uninterested in discussing that particular topic further.

Goodman was eventually able to convince the mayor to let him try and cure the girl. Goodman was escorted inside the house and we waited for him by the gate. We weren’t able to learn anything useful from the remaining guards while Goodman treated the girl.

Less than half an hour later Goodman returned. Whatever curative he used on the girl had worked, it seemed. As a show of gratitude, the mayor invited us all to dinner the following night. It was clear that we were not going to learn anything more from him. Goodman gave us some curious details about the inside of the estate, but we are still grasping to understand the situation.

As we slept that night, we heard a scream from the road. The Horseman had taken another life. The following morning we interrupted some townsfolk who were going to bury the victim and offered to do it ourselves. We were going to explore the graveyard anyway. We took the girl’s body and went to the fenced off graveyard north of the town. The groundskeeper came out of his small shack to speak to us when we arrived. He was able to give us rough directions to the grave of the Horseman. We buried the girl and then continued to the grave.

We found the Horseman’s grave without too much difficulty, considering it was unmarked. We exhumed his corpse and found that the head was missing. That would make putting his spirit to rest much more difficult. From the abnormal placement of the ribs, it also looked like his heart had been taken as well. We would need to find both his head and his heart to put him to rest.

We were still standing there around the grave when a pack of ghouls suddenly sprang out around us. Some manner of golem made of the graveyard’s soil also rose up to attack us. While the ghouls were vicious, and the golem was trying to pummel us, we were able to destroy them. We tried to follow the path of the ghouls and came to a large mausoleum.

We descended the stairs in the mausoleum and came to a large hall full of zombies and ghouls. There was a wight ruling over them who called himself the White Reeve. He spoke to us at length telling us that we would serve in his undead army. We took to that idea as well as you would expect and sprang into action.



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