Continuing the exploration of the castle, looking for clues as to the fate of Princess Argenta, the adventurers ascended the secret passage into the upper levels, into the living areas. One of the first areas discovered was the alchemist’s lab. While rummaging around through the lab was fruitful in that it yielded some treasures as well as some Soul Gems, it also was the home to a rather lethal golem that attacked once the treasures were disturbed. Glaedwin Longclef got the worst of it but the rest of the heroes managed to defeat it and move on.
Progressing through the castle, a variety of more statues of residents were discovered but in the outer chamber of the court wizard, two unlikely people were encountered – a pair of women calling themselves Candella and Duchess. The pair claimed to be ladies-in-waiting to Princess Argenta but there was something about their stories which simply did not add up, such as their dress, their ability to handle themselves in a fight, as well as their lack of hard data about the rest of the castle. However, before they two could be deeply questioned, they checked in on the wizard’s bedroom, discovering that there was, in fact, a demon present, or more specifically, a Hezrou, posing as the sleeping wizard. The demon was a formidable enemy, as they soon discovered, as the creature quickly took out several party members, including the group’s wizard, Dracovel Kilvesh. However, the quick thinking of Suriveth Varune and Saerid Turquise (not to mention their powerful magic) dispatched the disgusting creature.
After dealing with the demon and dispatching it back to whatever abyss it came from, they did find some unique treasures (a Twilight Amulet, Gloves of the Rogue, and a Mark of Pestilence), including some Soul Gems. However, they decided to investigate the treasures more deeply later.
Continuing with the northern section of the castle, they found the chapel that was currently being desecrated by a unit of hobgoblins and bugbears. The battle was fierce but under Sir Bellivin’s leadership, they manged to defeat the foul creatures, even though several of the heroes were rendered unconscious. Shortly after this, they again asked Candella and Duchess the best way to get to the audience chamber and again the two women seemed to balk. Nevertheless, they continued with their investigation.