The storm rages on over the forest. A moment passes, and then another. Lightning once again flashes across the quarry, illuminating the floating – and now much closer – form of a pale, ghostly woman. She lets out a skin-crawling moan, and our heroes, unnerved, start to back away from the edge of the quarry. They retreat into the forest, but the ghost is catching p quickly.
The party decides to make a stand in the forest. Noname takes the front line, while Fith adopts a beast form, ready to spring an ambush.
As the figure draws into the clearing, Fith gets a close look at her and is filled with dread and rage. It is no other than Symphonia, the once alluring and joyful water nymph, now literally disfigured. Her translucent visage is horrifying to behold, the flesh oozing and falling off her face. No trace of her old personality remains. With Fith still stunned, Noname goes on the attack. His Onyx blade strikes true, but the consequence is devastating. She lets out a blood-curling wail that strikes directly into Noname’s heart. He clutches his chest and collapses. Fith and Lisbeth attempt to counter-attack, but their weapons pass right through her ethereal form. Cid’s ray of frost seems to do nothing.
Zeno, with some quick thinking draws forth the crystal sphere Mercure gave him.
Her eyes transfixed on Zeno, she makes a bee-line for him and the orb, which has started to pulse. Zeno reaches out and touches Symphonia with the orb – a flush of pure sunlight radiates out, illuminating the clearing.
When their eyes adjust, the heroes can see that Symphonia’s form has become solid. Fith and Lisbeth make quick work of the banshee, and she collapses at their feet, letting out one last fading moan.
Saddened by the loss of a friend, our heroes hope to take a moment of rest, but this is not to be. Not less than ten minutes later, Fith starts to hear voices in the forest. Some quick scouting reveals a black robe and a red robe wandering through the woods, attempting to pick up Symphonia’s path. (Hard to track incorporeal beings!)
The party sets up a neat ambush, and the black cloak is killed before he know what’s happening. The red robed fanatic is captured alive, but proves resistant to questioning and quickly joins his friend.
While the storm rages on, the party attempts to take a short break. Zeno sings songs of brighter days as Noname attempts to get over his scare from the Banshee. Before long, he’s fully back on his feet, fully determined to rescue his long suffering clansmen. The party pushes back out into the storm.
They approach the quarry from the south, disguised in the garb of the Mercatores Mortuis. A squat tower looms over the quarry, but nobody is keeping watch at the moment. They walk right into the upper floor of the tower and take the red robes there by surprise. One of the three manages to flee down a ladder. Noname and Zeno chase him down and out through a door onto a lower terrace of the quarry. Fith, in bear form, leaps down, trapping the hapless red robe between them.
The party starts to feel relief from their easy kill, when a massive weight falls onto, Fith knocking the wind out of even his mighty bear form. Sharp stone talons dig into his hide, but Fith manages to get the better of the encounter with the animated gargoyle. In desperation, the gargoyle snatches Lisbeth, and attempts to fly off and sound the alarm. A quick sword swipe from Noname clips its wing, and the monster spins into the tower, bursting apart on impact. Only some quick acrobatics on Lisbeth’s part allow her to avoid being buried in a pile of rubble.
As the storm starts to abate, the party decides to press on down into the quarry. Cid and Zeno lead the way, while Noname lags behind, hauling a keg of beer he found in the tower. In their haste, our heroes decide to take the main path down into the quarry, which turns to misfortune when a pair of dwarven wights spot them coming from the opposite direction.
A nasty brawl breaks out, as the group is starting to feel worn down by the continuous fighting. Its rendered especially dangerous as the udnead dwarves are resistant to Cid’s rays of frost. One of the wights starts to tear apart Fith’s bear form, but Lisbeth stabs enough holes in it to take it down in turn. The other wight, which had been hanging back to snipe, decides to run for it, jumping down a terrace, landing just above the enclosure where the dwarven prisoners are being held. Fortunately, Cid’s rays do manage to slow it down enough that the rest of the party can catch up. Zeno swats the escaping wight into the holding pen. The wight is quickly grabbed by the dwarven prisoners, who hold it down long enough for Fith to run in and tear it apart.
As Noname descends into the pen, the true nature of Abner’s work confronts him. The dwarves have been decimated : naked, starving, left to freeze in an open pit exposed to the elements, chained together hand and foot, sentenced to be worked to death quarrying stone. But the three score prisoners soon go quiet upon noticing the upright free dwarf in their midst. Though their bodies are broken, their spirits are still strong, and Noname sees the light of hope rekindled in their eyes.