Urgog joins Eldon and Zed in the prison. Zed is watching as Eldon is trying to push the deteriorated wall down to allow entry into the ritual chamber where the chanting is emanating from. Will Urgog assist Eldon is breaking this wall down?
Dust and debris fall onto the floor as Urgog strikes the wall. Pieces of the rotten wood that was constructed this wall crumble away. Urgog can see that not enough damage has been afflicted to the wall to allow passage into the ritual chamber and that it may take another hit or two.
With more might, Urgog aggressively smashes the wall and it crumbles into dust. The wall allows passage into the ritual chamber now, where apparitions can be seen hovering around the altar in the middle of the body of water. The hovering ghosts continue to chant "He is the Ancient, He is the Land!" over and over. What will the party do now?
Eldon just nods "To be honest..." he sighs looking around "From everything I've seen it's a cult dedicated to Strahd. I remember stories teachers would tell me to pass on their wisdom - individuals building statues and finding a powerful being to worship in place of one of the gods. It makes sense, though I feel we still need to be careful the ghost children may honestly have been warning us of something valid." he says as he continues to think to ensure that this makes sense or if there may be something more here.
Eldon can deduce the cultists of Durst Manor worshiped Strahd, but doesn't know much else. Once the wall is smashed, all four members step through the wall to enter the ritual chamber. The chanting stops as you peer into this forty-foot-square room. The smooth masonry walls provide excellent acoustics. Featureless stone pillars support the ceiling, and a breach in the west wall leads to a dark cave heaped with refuse. Murky water covers most of the floor. Stairs lead up to dry stone ledges that hug the walls. In the middle of the room, more stairs rise to form an octagonal dais that also rises above the water. Rusty chains with shackles dangle from the ceiling directly above a stone altar mounted on the dais. The altar is carved with hideous depictions of grasping ghouls and is stained with dry blood.
Urgog can see that the murky water looks approximately knee-height, and remains on the platform. He moves to the left to where the portcullis is. Urgog is able to see a wooden wheel off to the side of the portcullis.
Zed trudges through the 2-foot deep water and steps onto the altar in the center of the chamber. Zed notices the apparitions floating above him, are encircling the altar. Zed's arrival causes the chanting to come to a halt. The apparitions look down upon Zed, and their ghostly bodies begin to flicker, as if they were disappearing. Zed is able to spot a podium that has dried blood and a rusty blade. The chanting rises once more as the thirteen dark apparitions appear on the ledges overlooking the room once more. Each one resembles a black-robed figure holding a torch, but the torch’s fire is black and seems to draw light into it. Where you’d expect to see faces are voids.
“One must die!” they chant, over and over. “One must die! One must die!”
The experience the party has endured from their time in Durst Manor and parting through their basement, they know the cultists used this altar to make sacrifices in the name of Strahd. Everyone except for Urgog, realizes these apparitions are demanding the party to make a sacrifice. Urgog is confused to what the apparitions means by "One must die!"
(OOC): Urgog's the only one with a passive Insight below 12, that's why he doesn't realize what's happening.
Urgog looks back and forth from the apparitions and moves off the ledge and into the water. He looks towards Zedd at the alter, then at the other party members. He shifts uneasily, gripping the warhammer tightly.
Urgog's reach allows him to actually swing the hammer through the body of the apparition. However, despite his effort, Urgog sees his hammer passes through the apparition as if it were just a cloud of gas. It doesn't affect the apparition whatsoever.