Session 49 – Bridge of the Tortured Visage

The heroes advance down the hidden tunnel, which remains straight and featureless. After several hours, their path opens up to exit the sheer face of a giant obsidian cliff. Across an unfathomable gulf, a wide bridge of floating stones leads to an similar opening two hundred feet away.

Fearing a trap, the party tests the firmness of the stones, the strength of the wind, the composition of the cliff face, the quality of the air, and the presence of traps (no) or magic (yes, very). Peren advances a short way onto the bridge without issue, so the rest of the group follows behind cautiously.

As they approach the center of the bridge, several magical flames appear, flickering softly over empty areas at the edges of the bridge. Some of the party also begins catching brief glances of a white, ghostly face hovering at either end of the crossing. When Peren crosses the halfway point, rows of ghostly figures appear across the width of the bridge – one at either end, trapping the heroes between them.

The ghosts move forward in their lines, driving any who resist back with terrifying screams or lashing tentacles of mist. The PCs are pushed back to the center of the bridge, between four of the magical flames before the ghosts cease their advance and stare at the party. Any attempt to move past the is met with powerful attacks which fling the attacker away. Ionoa attempts to Fey Step past them, but finds herself seemingly snared within one of the misty forms until she escapes back to the center of the bridge.

After some observation, the party notices that these ghosts all seem to be the same woman, and that her mouth is sewn shut, as they have seen with the various Eaters they have fought before. Peren steps within one of the magical flames and, while to himself unharmed, appears to burn to death in a spectacular fashion – reduced to bones and ash within seconds.

Eventually four of the party step into the flames, leaving Ionoa standing alone, the subject of the spirits’ pleading gaze. They appear to be attempting to speak, but are hindered by their roughly sealed mouths. Several tense minutes pass before Ramor, mostly in passing, utters an apology, at which those forms nearest him immediately disappear.

The party remembers the only words they ever heard an Eater speak, so long ago at the beginning of their adventure – “I’m sorry.” Each of them in turn speaks those same words to the ghosts here, and one by one they fade away. With the last one gone, the flames also wink out, leaving the party alone on the bridge.

Not wanting to tempt fate or invite further visitation, they advance quickly across and into the entryway at the far end.