Chapter 5 – Rescue

Trapped in the darkness of the room, the party knows that they have been betrayed. Vile hissing comes from the opposite end of the room and three pairs of glowing red eyes appear. A protracted battle in the dark occurs, and the creatures are wounding the party badly.

Meran finally lights a torch, and the creatures are revealed to be similar to the spider they encountered in the woods the day before, but much smaller. They recoil from the light and the party advances, killing all of them.

Searching for an exit to the room, Elowisyl crawls into the space where the spiders were being kept. He sees vile droppings and some bones, but little else. Above him he sees light and calls the rest of the party to come into the crawlspace.

Everyone is able to climb up towards the light, which exits onto the second floor of the castle on the outside wall. Near the front of the castle they can see two guards standing watch, and also nearby there is a window that they could crawl through. Meran peers through the window and sees three nobles and three brigands. They are all drinking wine and one of the brigands is regaling them all with a story.

The party decides to dispose of the guards, and Elowisyl and Galandil use Galandil’s staff to clothesline them off of the wall. The guards fall down 40 feet to their deaths.

The rest of the party sneaks to where the guards were standing watch, and enters a small guard room. There are two guards playing cards in here; they are taken by surprise and easily dispatched.

Elowisyl locks the door and moves down the spiral staircase in this room. Downstairs is a guard’s quarters room with several beds. There are no people in here. He comes back upstairs and leads the party to the third floor.

The room in the third floor looks like it used to be a guest room, but it now has two jail cells. In front of the cells are two guards, and the party attacks and kills them. Inside the cell on the right is Erillas, and he is chained to the wall. His breathing is labored and he appears to have large burns on his chest. In the next cell is the Elf Guild’s head cleric, Orunn. He is also chained, blinded and gagged, and appers to be unconscious.

Moving to try and pick the locks, the party realizes that there are no locks on these cells, only a metal plate with a dragon embossed on it. Erillas tells them that they are sealed in here by some magical means, and they must retrieve his sword, Steelslayer, to cut through the bars. He also explains that Duke Perius used some sort of magic to paralyze them and then tortured them in the cellar of the castle. Also in the cellar, he says, are many Terrors that they had performed autopsies and strange surgeries on.

The party tells him that they will release him, and continues up to the fourth floor. They reach a large hall, and see several guards and a guard captain in this room. They move to attack and kill them swiftly, except for one guard, who they question briefly. He tells them that Duke Perius is probably in his chambers or in the Spire Room, which is reached by a spiral staircase in his chambers.

The door to the duke’s chambers is kicked in and two guard captains are seen inside. They are killed after a brief battle and Elowisyl immediately rushes upstairs to confront the Duke.

As he reaches the top of the stairs, he sees the Duke standing in front of a huge metal structure — some sort of gate. Between the pillars of the gate can be seen a strange mottling of colors like clouds, and two yellow glowing eyes. The duke is speaking towards the gate and says “I’m not sure what to do. Please Master, instruct me.” The yellow eyes from the gate fix on Elowisyl.

Elowisyl rushes the duke without hesitation and impales him with his sword from behind. As the duke falls and dies, the gate closes. Elowisyl takes the duke’s gold jewelry and returns downstairs to the duke’s room.

There are three trunks in the duke’s room, and after some trial and error they are opened. One contains a wealth of gold, another all of Erillas and Orunn’s equipment, and a third contains a hand axe and two golden necklaces that appear to be magical.

Taking Erillas’ sword, the party begins to go back downstairs to free him. As they leave the duke’s room, however, they hear voices and see the three nobles and three brigands ascending the staircase from the dining hall on the second floor.

The head brigand, a tall man with a moustache and a foppish hat, sees Neith’s rapier and challenges her to a duel. She asks him who challenges her, and he tells her that his name is Sir Diego de Lunagalia. They begin to fight and it is apparent that his skill outstrips hers by quite a bit.

The other brigands look nervous and pull their swords out, preparing to defend themselves from the party. Meran nocks an arrow in case things get out of hand.

Sir Diego seems to be toying with her at first, scoring several small fencing slash hits and parrying her attacks. Neith manages to wound him quite badly, however, and he begins to fight in earnest. After only a few short seconds, they are both bloodied but Sir Diego is much more the worse for wear. He takes a step back and salutes Neith before collapsing in a pool of his own blood.

Neith retrieves the man’s rapier and finds that it is magical in nature. It can apparently do tremendous damage, but it is difficult to wield.