There was a bit of difficulty deciding what to do…
After getting back to the dead king’s private altar to Mentari, the group finds Captain Grig beginning to wake up from a nap that began under mysterious circumstances. As the group was previously heading toward the secret entrance to the castle dungeon, Captain Grig simply fell into a peaceful sleep that suddenly just happened. So, they left him in the private altar room as they proceeded to find the Welandar secret library.
Captain Grig awakens refreshed as the group enters the altar room from the secret trap door in the back. They spend a bit of time explaining to Grig what they found out in the library. This convinces Grig that he needs to officially commission the Hounds of Braiton to sort this mess out and hopefully save the kingdom in the process. He also believes in the story he was told about Mentari’s Secret. He believes they have been chosen to try and restore the pact. Grig will be key to providing the latitude and authority the group needs to seek out the illegitimate heir and restore the Welandar royal line.
As they exit the altar room into the private living area, Grig turns to say something to the group behind him. He never completes a sentence, though, as a sword penetrates his torso from behind and exits the front through his uniform. A once royal guard, now turned to a dark zombie, is standing behind Grig. It was not seen by Grig and took advantage of the situation to strike at the distracted captain.
The group springs into action. Bran, Theren, and Fang go after the dark zombie as it withdraws its sword from Grig’s chest. Hilly rushes to Grig’s side. Using her knowledge of medicine and her divine healing abilities, she begins trying to save the captain of the royal guard from certain death.
Two more dark zombies – again former royal guards – join the fray in the private living area. It is obvious that the release of the dark energy from the disruption of Erebus’ ritual set off the tainted badges they had been given by the same evil bastard. It is possible that all of the soldiers and royal guards given these badges by Erebus under the guise of Lord Subere’k have been turned.
While Hilly saves Captain Grig, Theren and company make quick but bloody work of the three dark zombies. In short order, the zombies are destroyed and the door to the living area is closed and blockaded. The group needs a little time to figure out their next move.
Hilly uses her skills and abilities to good effect. Captain Grig will live, and he can move under his own power. He will, however, be ineffective in a fight. Grig will need to be protected as they try to find a way out of the castle and, most likely, off Royal Island.
The group and Grig discuss their options. They ask Grig how many of those badges he has seen on royal guards and other soldiers. His response is not what the group wants to hear, though. He claims that Subere’k/Erebus was giving them to those that were loyal to him, and that was a pretty stout number.
The group realizes at this point that getting out of the castle will be quite a fight since, according to Grig, there were at least 2 dozen royal guards on duty at the time the group interrupted Erebus. They also wonder how far the dark energy blast propagated. Did it get outside the castle, cover Royal Island? Did it get to the rest of the city? Further?
Then Grig mentions that he once was told by King Borus that there was a “back way” out of the castle with easy access to the river. Grig had never been shown, and simply trusted that the king had it as a means of escape if the worst of scenarios should ever take place.
The group remembers a hallway that they never went down during their search for the secret library. They wonder if the door at the end of that hallway leads to that secret escape route.
There is considerable debate about which way to take since they have no way of knowing what the secret route has to offer in terms of easy escape versus more enemies.
Finally, they decide it is best to take the secret route since they know, at the very least, they would have to fight around 2 dozen dark zombies in the castle alone. Being a bit bloodied and battered, they do not feel they are in any shape to chance taking on that many enemies especially with the added task of protecting Grig.
The group, along with the injured Captain Grig, heads back to the dungeon and the secret passages where they found the Welandar library. When they get down there, they find the creatures – strange looking Krell that have been changed somehow by dark energy – in the unopened dungeon cells very animated and looking to escape captivity and go after the group.
Careful not to antagonize these odd Krell further, the group makes their way to the secret door that leads to where they found the library. Grig is surprised that he never found this hidden door.
They make their way to the door they did not explore before. Looking through the small window, they see a natural bridge of rock that spans a small underground channel of the river. On the other side of that bridge is a cave that likely leads to the bank of the main channel of the Welandar River.
The key they found in Erebus’ quarters comes in handy. It fits the lock of this door. As they unlock the door, they notice movement in the cave across the bridge. A creature that looks a lot like the strangely modified Krell comes out from behind a large stalagmite. It is followed by… a very much changed Kogan. The talisman they had been told about must have “modified” the Krell war captain.
The group locks the door and opts to retreat to the former ritual chamber to gather their thoughts and rest as much as they will be allowed before Kogan, who beckoned them from across the bridge, decides to attack. He knew somehow the group was there. He has been waiting…
Tune in next time 😉
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Type to you later…