In which our adventurers discover an undead spectre, fire elementals, Brindol’s castillion, and twin hobgoblins in a dining hall.
- The party confronts a raving spectre, who attempts to persuade the party to give him secrets in return for the remaining hostages. When his entreaties are rebuffed, he summons skeletons to attack the party.
- Continuing the search through Rivenroar, the party destroys two fire elementals and rescues the Castellian of the Hall of Valor from Brindol, Sertanian, who evidently hates all goblinoids, including the party’s three adoptees.
- The party retraces its steps, and encounters a group led by twin hobgoblins. The party dispatches the confused hobgoblins and takes a hobgoblin warcaster for some much needed questioning.
“That tapestry… it’s moving…” Aikkiphelios was disturbed to see the eyes of the princely figure following the party. He shivered, and hoped his fellows would think it the unnatural cold of the chamber-room. He called out, “Show yourself! We mean no harm!”
And behold, the spectre hovered out of the tapestry, a withered approximation of a man, human, with strips of flesh hanging languidly from his exposed arms, one bony right hand paired with the withered fleshy left. His clothing implied regality, if not nobility, but was dirty and tattered, where it could be seen.
“Hello, hello, who are you, You?” he pointed a bony finger at the party.
The party stood coy, waiting for more information about the nature of the being in front of them. Brus began to doubt the wisdom of taking this path which the hobgoblins, fierce as they were, obviously took pains to avoid. “Are you here to help us? Do you know where the townsfolk of Brindol are?”
The spectre looked at them quizzically. “Manners, decorum must be observed, OB-serv-v-ved! Who are you? I know why you are here, who are you, You?”
The half-orc Happy leered questioningly at the spectre, crouching into a balanced stance. “Who are you?” the retort.
The spectre, visibly amused (or exasperated?) replied, “Who am I? I am not the rude, RUDE one here, you guests knocking unannounced, seeking things, I know what, but who are you is not known! I am Lord Dread, and I offer you an exchange, travelers, a bargain! A deal!”
Aikkiphelios strode forward warily. “What bargain do you offer?”
“Easy, simple, an exchange! Five secrets, just five! You give me the secrets, true secrets, and I will guarantee you will leave this place with six of the captives you seek! It is within my power, PO-wer!”
“A secret, eh…” grumbled Greydan. “I have a secret for you… I wear women’s underwear!”
All heads turned, jaws gaping, including the hideously unhinged jaw of the spectre. It quickly regained its composure. “You LIE to me, a prince of secrets, and expect a bargain! This is not how to play this game. I offer you again, a secret, and you will leave here with six! Six of the townspeople you seek.”
The adventurers quickly conferred as the spectre regarded them with impatience.
“How many people are we here to save?”
“Seven, I think.”
“What’s this talk about six? That can’t be good”
“There’s a trick here somewhere.”
“I’m bored. I want to leave.”
All eyes turned toward Happy as he turned to leave. Gazing at the spectre, he said, “You’re boring. I’m a’leave now.”
As Happy turned his back and walked away, Lord Dread seemed to begin to simmer with anger. Both his hands pulled into taut fists.
“You may not le-AVE, leave! We are not done with our BUSINESS!” he shrieked. He gesticulated wildly, as the forms of hobgoblin skeletons took shape, surrounding the party.