…to the dead boss’s bedroom…
…the halfling climbed. Scouting the way up the tower, Sam found an empty floor which appeared to have been used as a mess hall. Further up, he found a well-guarded hallway.
Well-guarded in the sense that the Dark Creepers guarding the hallways saw the sneaking hobbit as soon as he peered into the gloom.
As he ran downstairs, he caught his first glimpse of the Lady Saharel, Oracle of Spellgard. He asked her his question: “How do I get rid of the curse of lycanthropy, which turns me into a wererat every full moon?” The oracle told him the curse was on his clan, The Dardanos. She told him he had already freed himself of the curse by foreswearing his clan.
The Dark Creepers did not seem to be following him, so Sam continued his conversation with the ghostly lady. She told him that she was in great peril.
When he got back downstairs, Sam told the rest what he had discovered. Once they crowded up the stairs to get at the Dark Creepers, a Dark Stalker (thought to be a lieutenant or captain of the defeated Thoran) emerged from a room protected by one of runic locks. The Dark Stalker enveloped most of the level in darkness. With Jerath (the only member of the party with darkvision) temporarily out of the action, the darkness proved to be a formidable problem for the rest.
Storm Johnson was able to tank, despite the darkness, but he eventually went down. Kane stepped up to tank, but was unable to stop the brave seeker from going down as well. He then cowered in the lighted end of one of the corridors, while brave hobbit became the tank of last resort.
Fortunately, this reversal of roles was all it took to eliminate the last of the Dark Creepers. But it looks like the drow bard (Jerath) may be tasked to adding at least one new verse to the traditional “Who’s the Paladin?” ditty.