After defeating Abyssal Helios, the group searched the bone factory to clues to Professor Smith’s whereabouts. They noticed forges consuming dead bodies, soulsteel pillars, but no professors. They did find a diary belonging to Helios that named Smith a fool for not yet realizing the power of necrotech and lamenting that many of the bodies had to be sent elsewhere.
While the group continued searching, a dreadful sound befell them. The ringing of bells again.
Up on the surface, the bells had less of an effect than when they were in the tunnels, but unfortunately Larsika was afflicted. Trevan quickly pinned her by applying his sais to pressure points and Storm disarmed her bow. Kunai stood ready with a brick ready to knock her out if the formidable archer broke free and recovered her bow.
For what seemed like an eternity, but was actually half an hour, the sound of bells subsided. But then the group was attacked by a group of ghosts and their human thralls.
The ghosts blinded half the group and cast an immobilizing net, so the group was stuck without easy avenue for escape. Kunai turned invisible to prevent himself from being an easy target. Roberts, avoiding both the net and blindness, began cutting his way to the side to attack the ghosts from a hidden angle. Storm and Trevan set up a defensive perimeter to guard Larsika, the only member immediately able to attack the ghosts with her holy arrows.
The defense was definitely needed. The ghosts, recognizing Larsika as their only immediate threat, attempted to surround her with 8 thralls, which both Storm and Trevan valiantly fended off. After their attack, Storm’s retaliation knocked many of them unconscious, and the ones that were unfortunate to stray near Kunai’s invisible location also met a swift end.
Roberts, finally making his way to the ghosts, swings over with his whip and swings down his blade, which the lead ghost just barely manages to block. Larsika slings a few more holy bolts and the ghosts decide to retreat.
Storm recognizes a troubling fact from the fight—the ghosts did not seem disturbed by his true sunlight anima and the shadowlands did not seem to be any less oppressive. Suspecting that somehow an Abyssal manse or something of similar effect was nearby, he urged the group to leave the area, lest they be stuck in a place where essence recovery was not possible.
The group decides that it was time to disable the bells, though at great cost to the city. They travel back to where the drill was left, to discover that the arena entrance had been collapsed. Luckily, Storm demonstrated both the power of his six arms and knowledge of earthwork and quickly assembles a tunnel.
They return to the Wood manse to discover that while damaged, it was still intact. Storm shows the group how to attune themselves to the manse for enhanced mote recovery, then deciphers the workings of the drill that was left there.
While Trevan proved a slow student in learning how to operate the drill, Kunai did not and drills to the ocean in order to flood the tunnels. As the tunnels begin to flood, he uses the water stone Misena gave the group to summon her, thus escaping from drowning himself.