Fionn, Asteron, Crescent, Awayn, and Nala return to the Haunted Island to explore the basement of the Wizard’s Tower. Nala shows the others Marrow’s Journal which details his experiments as well as a few other items of interest.
The party set fourth in the wagon with the boat on board. After scaling the cliff surrounding the island, they come across a scene of carnage on the ground floor – apparently the fallout of the last battle has not been cleaned up, no doubt due to Marrow’s own death. The group carefully trigger the trap and lower themselves into the basement.
Asteron and Crescent toss the body of a lizardman recovered from the floor above towards the strange, derranged beast, which from Marrow’s diary entries they believe to be a hydra-headed hybrid golem. He tosses it aside, uninterested. The party charged, eying the disintegrating stapel holding the beast chained to the far wall. After a very tough fight, in which Awayn is nearly done in, the creature was felled. On the wall, underneath the staple is a junk collection containing:
1. +2 Robe of Eyes
2. +1 Amulet of Health
In addition a pair of Everburning Torches are collected from scones just outside the room, down the corridor to the south.
Following the passage beyond, the party find a guard chamber with mundane weapons and rotten food. The other direction is a chamber with a terrified caged hafling who seems half mad. He thinks the party members are hallucinations. Awayn unlocks the door. He identifies himself as Sam – known to his friends as Nugget.
In the adjacent cell, a pair of maggot infested zombies rise. Pounding through the cell door, the party meets the foul creatures; upon destruction, they revert to writhing maggot swarms. Sam screams in terror at the sight of the horrid rot grubs, and it is apparent that he has been fending them off for a considerable time. After the last grubs were defeated, the poor halfling deals the greasy corpses a few final blows.
A dead half-orc sits in a nearby cage, his skull marked with suture marks. The rot grub zombies – a dwarf and human – and the hapless half-orc aturn out to be Sam’s adventuring companions, all captured several days ago by Marrow. Apparently, whatever experiment – brain transplant? – was conducted on the poor half-orc turned out to be terminal.
The doorway beyond the dungeon leads to a massive, brass-bound door. Still smarting from the combat with the golem and the zombies, the group elect to return to Sunhaven before pressing on any further. They take a very grateful Sam ack to town with them.