The party and Banning readied themselves to enter Cressa’s room. Banning slowly cracks the door open and pushes it wide. As Loki gets a glimpse into the room he suddenly has what he feels is a mushroom beer flashback. Rather than the boat he feels as if he is on dry land and it seems to be daylight.
Banning and Loki sneak into the cabin, Banning gestures questioningly towards the chest at the foot of Cressa’s bed. The others nod, confirming that is where the magic field originated. Banning tries to open the chest but has no success, Alv sneaks in to help with the lock but has little more luck.
As the Captain and Alv keep trying with the lock the rest of the party, still at the door, use their preternatural senses to scrutinise the room. Teine checks whether the boxes lock is magical, it appears not to be. Lyssia checks the box and Cressa, and sees them both still radiating an aura of evil.
Alv finally manages to unlock the box , inside he finds a black sack. Loki reaches in and pulls out the sack, he gives it a good shake and the contents rattle loudly. Loki opens the mouth of the sack, a blade suddenly thrusts out of the opening slashing across Loki’s cheek. Assuming the worst Lyssia raises her scimitar and moves in beside Loki ready to strike if the thing in the sack emerges again. Loki reaches into the sack and tries to grab the sword but can’t get a grip on it. Moving into the room Ellarane notices a stream of bones tumbling out of a rip in the sack, the bones begin assembling themselves into a set of skeletal limbs and the cabin door slams shut behind the eidolon trapping Teine and Aesha on the other side. Forgetting about the contents of the bag Loki decides to go to the source of the problem an leaps forward beside the bed to decapitate Cressa. The orc’s axe cuts deeply into the bed sending up a spray of feathers, but between the covers and pillows it is hard to tell if he has managed to hit the young necromancer.
Lyssia tries to break apart the growing skeletal form but has no luck getting a solid contact with it only managing to get herself entangled by the sack. The skeletal limbs are dragging out some armour from the sack. Suddenly from behind Lyssia a blade flashes out and scrapes along her armour. The blade is wielded by Cressa’s companion, Lord Stacker, looking even more pale and sickly than before.
Outside the cabin Aesha and Teine are doing their best to break down the door, and not doing too bad a job of it.
In front of Loki the sheets, cover, pillows and curtains are all caught in a whirl of air and Cressa appears to vanish. Lyssia, not wishing to kill Lord Stacker, strikes at her opponent with the flat of her blade catching him a solid blow to his head. Having turned her back on the partially reformed skeleton Lysia fails to evade a stab from its shortsword and takes a deep wound in her side.
Loki and Ellarane both charged at the growing skeleton and lay into it. Teine and Aesha finally manage to batter the door down enough that they can see into the room. Having been plunged into darkness when the door close Banning has been trying to find some source of light and finally manages to get a match to a candle attached to the wall, producing a guttering glimmer that grows in strength. As she continues to belabour Stacker around the head with the flat of her blade Lyssia tries to talk him back to reason, reminding him of how they used to be comrades and of how she was using her healing power on him just the day before.
Aesha manages to wriggle through the opening they have bashed in the door. Now she can see Banning moves to help Lyssia in subduing Lord Stacker. The skeleton finally finishes assembling itself, the jaws gape open and a dry croaking voice gasps out ‘Lord … Protector!’ and pulls another sword from within the sack. Loki looks slightly surprised at this, ’You’ve heard of me?’ The skull’s eyes blaze red for a second and the skeleton plunges one of its blades into the orc’s chest. Loki manages to get in a blow of his own but the wound proves too much and he collapses to the floor. Seeing Loki fall Alv dashes forward and stabs at the decayed remnants of Gann, Quadraturin’s erstwhile Lord Protector. The little goblin’s blade seems to catch some vital vertebra in the skeleton’s structure as the bones fall apart into a heap on the floor when he cuts it out of alignment.
Seeing Loki fall Lyssia rushes over, ignoring the possibility of attack from Lord Stacker. Luckily for the Paladin Stacker is both dazed and confused, Lyssia’s words having reached some remnant of his own will struggling inside his cursed body, the noble makes no move to attack her. Lyssia kneels down and places her hands upon the fallen orc’s chest, with a gasp Loki’s eyes fly open and he begins to sit up. Lyssia calls back to Banning, encouraging the Captain to sudbue Stacker rather than kill him. Having extricated herself from the door Aesha rushes at the nobleman and knocks him out with a swing of her staff.
Just as things seem to be going the parties way Cressa drops from the ceiling and lands on top of Ellarane, the little girl buries her face in the Eidolon’s neck. At the same moment rats come swarming in all the doors and windows, and from any crevice large enough to allow them in. Soon the floor of the room is heaving in a roiling carpet of rats.
Loki jumps on to the box, out of the swarm of rats, and attacks Cressa. Teine has managed to get the door open enough that he can make it into the room and he unleashes a roiling sheet of flame upon the rats. Both Aesha and Lyssia follow Loki’s example, jumping up on to the bed to avoid the rat covered floor. Blood welling around her mouth Cressa bites deeply into Ellarane’s neck again. Loki swings his axe at the girl tearing a ragged wound in her side, but no blood comes out of the gash.
Teine makes his way toward a table to the side of the cabin, laying a trail of flame across the rats as he goes. Banning and Alv seem to have had too much and are both heading out of the door. Aesha dismisses Ellarane so the beast can escape Cressa’s vampiric embrace. The girl manages to land on her feet, gore or ichor still dripping from her mouth.
As if inspired by Teine’s example Cressa hops back of the box and unleashes a wave of flame across those on the bed. Lyssia manages to evade the worst of it but Loki bears most of the brunt of the attack, around them the curatins and coverings of the bed smoulder and burn. The orc staggers forward swing at Cressa once more and, missing, collapses to the floor again succumbing to his wounds. Lyssia steps across Loki’s prone form and levels a hefty slash of her scimitar at the young girl’s throat, as with Loki’s blow there is no blood from the resultant gaping wound.
Cressa tries to leap upon Lyssia but instead misses the paladin and passes by her to land on the flaming bed. Suddenly Lord Stacker, having succumbed to the waves of rats, dies and with an unholy groan, his body imbued with dark energies, stands up once more directly in front of Teine.
Loki is taken back to his vision, now he can make out it is a white sandy beach he is standing on. Around him are other members of the ship’s crew all of them looking rather confused.
Cressa leaps at Lyssia again, this time managing to latch onto the paladin and bury her fang like teeth in her neck. Aesha gets a hold on the girl and partially pulls her away; trying, but failing, to throw her back onto the flaming bed.
Loki can make out some of what the people on the beach are saying, they are wondering where the ship has gone. Over the sea he can see dark storm clouds gathering.
In the cabin the zombified Lord Stacker is trying unsuccessfully to hit the young sorceror. Alv, rethinking his retreat, decides to try and call on some reinforcements, he cries out ‘Everything is awful forever’. Goblins appear, as if by magic, from various shadowy nooks and crannies of the ship’s superstructure. Alv leads the horde of goblins back towards the cabin. The goblins crash through what remained of the door, their appearance causing the rats to vanish away as quickly as they had appeared. The mass of goblins then suddenly parts as their hexer walks to the front.
The leader of the goblin cult and Cressa lock eyes across the room and the hexer lowers the cursing stick. She points it not at Cressa but rather at Loki’s inert form.
On the beach Loki hears a goblin voice thundering out of the darkened skies, ‘The Avatar has come!’ Back in the cabin Loki stands back up and hefts his axe before swinging it at Cressa.
The smoke and flames on the bed seem to have overcome Aesha who has fallen unconscious. Alv tries to bring the halfling round but possibly only fans some of the smouldering flames licking her clothes. Teine finally manages to incapacitate Lord Stacker’s animated corpse with his dagger. Lyssia makes a lunge at Cressa and the girl responds trying to punch the paladin, but neither of them connects. Teine moves over to Aesha and manages to drag her from the burning bed and stabilise her condition.
Cressa lashes out at Lyssia again and this time manages to knock the paladin out with an unnaturally powerful blow. Seeing an opening Loki moves in swinging his axe once again, but he still can’t kill the girl. Teine continues ministering to the injured, this time stabilising Lyssia.
Loki can feel his mind disintegrating and his personality slipping away, his face starts to crumble and seems to fall in on itself leaving only a dark gaping void lit only by distant glimmering stars. As Cressa draws a dagger to deliver a coup de grace to Aesha, one last vestige of Loki’s consciousness reasserts itself and he buries his axe in her back, finally killing the young witch before his mind vanishes completely.
The battle done the goblins depart without a word, followed by their new avatar of misfortune who moves as if out of phase with reality in discontinuous jumps where he seems to disappear and suddenly reappear yards further down the hall.
As the others begin to recuperate Teine organises some crewmen to find a small jolly boat, Cressa’s decapitated body and her head are placed in the boat. The boat, filled with firewood is set alight and left to drift off on the ocean. ‘The White Mare’ sails off to the west with dark lowering, forbidding clouds following in its wake.