The group sets out from the campsite. Ziggy is groggy from a night of strange dreams of massive chitonous shapes moving amongst a blighted landscape of onionskin blobs and wet fleshy organ meat moving within. Disturbing, to say the least. When he awakens, a whispering voice echoes within his brain. It’s Erethu Tsaggothua again. But this time, there’s no compulsion to follow. It’s annoying, more than anything, but it does happen to grow louder the further the group moves down the road.
Ziggy spies the noose from the encounter with the banshee and discovers that it has fallen on an ancient stump where a small box is buried. Within the box is some parchment, dissolved by age, and a silver dagger, along with three gemstones.
The road grows more crowded with vegetation. Gareth sees plenty of signs that Fallon has been this way, and aside from a strange group of mice that watch the companions as they venture further, nothing happens.
Eventually, they reach an ancient stone marker nearly retaken by vines. A side road leads up a mountain, and the group finds an abandoned village. A small flock of blackbirds watch the companions from a crumbled hearthstone.
The whispering in Ziggy’s head grows louder, and there’s another sound from further up the mountain pass: the unmistakable clinking of a pickaxe.
When they find Fallon, he’s knee-deep in a hole, muttering to himself about something called “Ru’mo”. He startles when he sees the group, recognizing them from when they slayed the gibbering mouther, but when he learns that Ziggy is also “awakened” and can hear Tsathoggua, he begins to see them as allies.
There’s a massive doorway set into the mountain, below the symbol of the Order of Rrakkma. Fallon can’t get in, so he’s digging.
When Eddie moves close to the door, he feels his father’s signet ring grow warm and begin vibrating. He tells the rest of the group, and Fallon grows angry. “You? You are holding Kar’tho and don’t even know it? Kar’tho does not belong to you!”
“It was my father’s. It is mine by right,” responds Eddie.
“Your father stole it,” Fallon snarls. “It is not yours. It is no ones. You can’t even see it. Not really.” He pauses and looks down at his bleeding, blistered hands, whimpering almost to himself. “I’m… so confused. What am I even doing here?”
Ziggy calms Fallon down, convincing him that they’re all in this together, and Eddie approaches the door. There is a metal medallion and a small spike and channel, almost identical to the other blood gates that the party has encountered. But when Eddie tries it, it does nothing.
Only when he places his ring against the door does it respond, by trembling. He closes his eyes, channels his power into the ring, through it, into the door. He feels something crack within the door’s magic, something important, something that is irreparable. Something cracks within Eddie, too, and he falls to his knees. The door slides open, broken.
Inside, three undead guardians prepare for this invasion of their vault. “You should turn away,” come the wights’ hitching gravelly voices. “You know not what lies within!”
The companions ready their weapons…