In the foyer of the Skarwall, we find a truly odd battlefield – ancient corpses of humans and orcs dead in a hard-fought battle. The butchery painted the walls with blood, now dried and flaked, but the corpses were subject to a spell that ignored the centuries – perfectly fresh as if they were newly killed. No necromancy acted on the corpses, a strange occurrence in this place, and we realized why when a grotesque composed of corpses formed and attacked us. This horrible thing lasted several minutes in combat before dissolution into several animated several corpses, which all continued the attack. Fortunately, they were somewhat more fragile – although the wounds they caused were grievous. We dispatched them with some difficulty, and then we continued on.
Shortly thereafter, we had an encounter which frightened even Harrow’s Justice into a pause. A figure formed of black mist arose and pronounced that we could not take Serithel. This frightening remnant wore a holy symbol of Aroden and magnificent armor, and it seemed nothing loath to attack us if we simply stood mute before it. And too, it mentioned Serithel – the sword that we are there to get – the only thing that will kill Casavon.
The spirit that we encountered was furious at being trapped in this place and at the Skarwall’s betrayal, presumably that which led to the orcs successfully invading it. We mollified the spirit with pleas for the necessity of our mission to kill Casovan and our sincere desire to effect his release if we were capable to do so.
Fortune was with us – the spirit left us without a fight, generously granting his armor in aid of our mission. It was magnificent artifact armor, and the party had some difficulty in determining who should wear it. With its flexibility, anyone in the party could use its assistance.
In the kitchens, Maia, Mattea, and Arith are suddenly crispy! The rest of us, having seen nothing that occurred to make them so, hurry with them out of the room. After a brief interlude to ensure the party members are back to healthy, we continue the exploration. As before, we have rooms and rooms of nothing at all – either threatening or helpful.
Finally, we arrive in the courtyard at the heart of the Skarwall. There is a a crumbling well, with an entrance to the donjon, gargoyles on the wall, as well as a door to the East. This door seems oddly ajar, as if left open in a hurry. We choose to explore the Eastward door, although Lachellis kept a wary eye on the well and the door to the donjon. Only…
A dragon! A black dragon emerged from the East gate toward which we were heading Maia got a couple of amazing attacks on the dragon, stunning him with her amazing archery skills. As we entered the combat, the dragon was joined by two gargoyles. No – four! Four gargoyles!
Maia dispatched one of the gargoyles most handily, and survived a stunning attack that left the rest of us briefly helpless. Unfortunately, this allowed the dragon to concentrate his power on Maia. He stunned her and damaged her, allowing a remaining gargoyle to harm her.