[Campaign Journal] Session XVI – Into the Castle: Quest for the Spell of Stone-to-Flesh

Day 25 – Castle Xyntillan

The Party:
Astaire, wizard
Bandit, rabbitling adventurer
Jamila, loving mother, mysterious archer
Lou Normand, mad scientist
Tugtar ‘the Bringer’

Longo, squirreling-at-arms
Ysambeau, laborer
Wagner, laborer

(missing) Hofstetter, light foot soldier, sharpshooter
(missing) Frei, light foot soldier, short sword

The first week of Warmshade

Gilbert Malevol and his merry men have entered the castle, searching for the party. In the serjeant’s room, the party douses their light and stays quiet. Astaire casts clairvoyance and peers through the walls. In the darkness, he sees Gilbert Malevol and his “merry men” arrive down an adjacent hall by torchlight, opening doors and looking for the party. Astaire ceases the spell and as the torchlight appears underneath the door of the serjeant’s room and the shadow of boots step before the threshold, Astaire casts hold portal on the door.

Merry Man: It’s stuck.
Gilbert: Hmpf, let me try!

But the door doesn’t open and Gilbert wanders off deeper into the castle to find the miscreant party.
Heading out after the coast is clear, the party avoids the singing in the mess hall and explores several rooms of a barracks, the last of which was crawling with tiny spiders. An obliquely shaped empty room save for a floursack caught their attention for a while. Then the party returns back to a dumbwaiter they walked by earlier, and wheeling ysambeau and longo up, see a caveman statue opposite, a bathroom door to the east, and a hallway to the west. The party wheels themselves up two at a time and open the bathroom door- to Aristide Malévol, Patrician! Emanating a supernatural menace, he casts Geas over the entire group, which only Lou fails; this cheers up Aristide quite a bit, because he needs a few ingredients he’s left lying about the castle for a special ritual he’s going to perform. Without leaving details, he walks off into the darkness.

Lou: He’s a swell guy! Hope I can help him out.

As Aristide departs, magic swirls around the castle, whether it is from Aristide or a dweomer inside the castle, who can say – but the dumbwaiter the party ascended through moments ago has now become the bathroom that Aristide departed, and the bathroom they were in has become a bedroom! Adjusting to their surroundings in the bedroom, Tugtar hears a weeping behind a dressing screen and hits it with his hammer, knocking over a chained casket behind it, which does nothing to help the sobbing from the casket. Astaire finds and loots a dressing room behind a blue cloth draping the room’s walls. Bandit takes a mirror. A puzzle box is found, and Astaire investigates with it before handing it off to Lou, who investigates it but is also unable to solve the puzzle. Then Jamila also investigates it, and like the others, can’t solve it, but by this point wheezing skeletons have made their way into the bedroom, attacking Longo! Longo’s shield is sundered against the bony claws, and another skeleton luches towards Tugtar. Jamila fires with some arrows and Astaire leaps to the bedroom door, shuts it, and stands against the door. The trapped three skeletons are taken down quickly. When the hall is clear, the party then begins exploring the second floor, wandering down some halls. Astaire opens a door into a room with lit candelabras in the corners and a wooden chest in the center of the room. Stepping in, Astaire is blessed with protection from good and is then questioned by a disembodied voice.

Disembodied voice: What is the purpose of thy affront?
Astaire: We’re just exploring?
Disembodied voice: Mwahahaha!

Astaire opens the chest, it flies open, the doors slams shut, and the candles go out. Everyone runs out of the room and Astaire almost does too, but then heads back and finds a false bottom in the chest- 3,000 gold coin in paper rolls, a hammer, and seven stakes! Moving on into another hall, Bandit leads the way and heads into a ruined bedroom where an invisible figure sleeps in the bed. Bandits sneaks over to the beat-up weapon cabinet against the wall and inspects the wares beyond the broken glass. A suite of different weapons collected over the years is displayed. A longsword catches Bandit’s eye, and but lifting it out of the case caused some noise, and the sleeping figure awoke, shouting “Attention!” The weapons clattered in the cabinet and everyone’s weapons leap to attention. Bandit held onto their sword, and Lou jumps to the fore with his shovel, smacking the invisible figure in the bed. They disappear and all the weapons fall inert again. The lampbearers Wagner and Ysambeau pick out some kris daggers from the pile, and underneath the fallen pile of weapons in the cabinet, Bandit finds a wood box with six military medals inside. Astairs pins a few on the inside of his robe.

Astaire: “If anyone asks, tell them we won!”

Moving on, the party finds the object of their quest: a library! Everyone takes to the shelves and starts a pile of books on the floor they think look promising for finding information on un-petrifying Adelaide, but the books seem to be mostly romances, adventure yarns, and travelogues. Tugtar paws through an overlooked section on musical scores and finds an insane symphony from Ludwig von Schreck and bundled with it, a spellbook of irresistible dance! Bandit finds hardly anything of interest, and the party questions the quality of book subjects in the library.
The party decides to try the second floor of the library, and heads into a room full of hunchbacked scribes chained to their desks, writing feverishly. The scribes are writing the most offensive stuff they can think of. One of the scribes asks Lou for some good material.

Lou: I’ll tell you the MOST offensive joke I know in exchange for writing me a stone-to-flesh spell. Promise?
Scribe: Yeah, I promise.
Lou: *explicit duck sex joke*
Scribe: Oh ho ho ho! that’s really bad. exactly what i want. thanks!
Lou: My spell?
Scribe: Oh yeah. I lied! how’s THAT for offensive?

To which Lou responded by bashing the scribe’s head in. A few scribes are horrified and drop their quills. One is inspired and begins writing with renewed energy.
Meanwhile outside the scribe room in the library, the other party members see a wraith floating down the hallway! Astaire recognizes the wraith as the wasted form of Merlerik Malévol, founder, from his history book on the Malévols. Longo goes to tip a bookcase at the wraith but isn’t quite able to tip it and so retreats. Astaire tries out Tugtar’s new-found spell on the wraith, whos fails and is irrestibably drawn into a dancing a quadrille. The party runs away from the wraith, who attempts to follow while dancing.

Astaire: This spellbook I found is great!
Jamila: That’s TUGTAR’S spellbook, Astaire.

Heading away from the dancing wraith and the scribes, they head north into another room. The party steps into a room with the warm light of a evening in late summer streaming in through the castle murderholes. On plinths against the wall are various busts of the Malévol family. Aristide’s skeletal grin is here, another has a sword through their head, and yet another’s eyes sparkle like gems…

What new members of the family are depicted in these busts?? What secrets do they hold??

Session Xp (2) 200 xp

Risks Taken
Lou kills a scribe 50 xp
Astaire casts irrestible dance on a wraith 100 xp

XP Gained:
Astaire = 300 xp
Bandit = 200 xp
Jamila = 200 xp
Lou = 250 xp
Tugtar = 200 xp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *