Having recovered, the group sets sail to Castille, to a small port town called Kalivinyard. From there, they follow the rutter for four days before spotting any land. Being a large, plateaued island, and hoping Marco knows his navigation well enough, they decide this must be their destination. Also, there is a decent sized castle sticking out of the side, and someone remembered the name of the campaign.
But how to reach the keep? At an impressive two hundred yards above sea level, climbing straight up did not seem like the best option. Instead, a row boat was sent off to search a cave found around another side of the island where a set of stairs were found, carved out of the island itself. The stairs lead to the surface of the island, but no sign of any passage to the keep that intrigued the party. Everyone then split up to search, but all that could be found were long caved-in dig sites, or at least that’s what they appeared to be. With not enough rope, our heroes decide to brave the cliff face and climbed the 50 yards down to the upper most window of the derelict construct. The climb was rough for Cloe and Yuri, both of whom fell on their way down. Thankfully, Xavier was able to grab Cloe from his window perch before she fell to her death, but Yuri had no help and was assumed to be lost, though no tears were shed.
Now inside, and guided by the glowing necklaces gifted to them by the Knight, our group begins to explore. The first room they come across is home to a dead man with his sword and keys still on him. The sword looks to be pure iron, an expensive choice, and the two blacksmiths agree without adding carbon the iron would be much more prone to chipping or breaking. They take it anyway and use the keys to open the next door, putting them in front of several closed jail cells. Something moves. A man, or what may have been a man, slowly stands and turns to face our heroes. His skin is pale and leathery, and his fingers long and sharp. His moan sends shivers down spines and he lashes out through the cell bars. Wanting nothing to do with such an abomination, our heroes would leave but a goshawk who flew into the keep with them dives into the cell and attempts to grab at a golden chalice in the back of the creature’s prison.
The creature does not like this and bats the bird against the stone wall. The group decides this evil must die, not in the name of the Lord but for the promise of treasure! Ren fires arrow after arrow, and despite attacking a man-sized creature only a few feet away as it’s trapped in a small cell, can’t seem to connect. Must be the poor lighting. Xavier uses the pure iron sword and manages to separate the creature from one of it’s hands in a clean stroke. The monstrosity reacts with intense pain and wailing, falling back into the cell and curling up into a ball. The goshawk, after making some strange faces and dropping some feces in a corner, somehow transforms into their comrade Yuri and tosses lantern oil on the poor, defenseless monster. Not being fazed by the impossibility of shape shifting, Xavier sets torch to the fluid and the group watches the tormented creature burn in a slow and painful death. Yuri snatches the chalice as his prize and together they search the rest of the building.
Room by room, the party searches for anything of value, the castle shaking around them. A brush, a comb, a few bits of jewelry, an ivory scroll case and more, they take whatever isn’t decaying and wonder how long this place has been abandoned. Once again the crowbar comes in handy to pry open a set of double doors that seem barred from the other side. Once open, a wave of foul odor washes over the group causing Ren to vomit. The group steps into a ballroom littered with corpses. Somewhere around twenty skeletons, bits of rotten meat still resting on their bones. With no other exits from the grand room, it seems these people barred themselves in, but why? What would make them stay here to die? Unable to answer these questions, the group moves on.
They next come across what must be Carlos Felisci’s laboratory. Tubes with unlabeled chemicals give an acrid stench to the air. While some of the group examine the dead man sitting at the large oak desk near the back of the room, Yuri looks over a large glass globe with clockwork innards. It seems all of Theah is represented in gold sheets spanning around the globe, the clear glass representing the seas. However he turns the sphere, the lands seem to stay in the same place. Enamored by the object, he gently slips it into his backpack. The corpse behind the desk seems to be that of Felisci himself, wearing his signet ring (which Chloe pockets). After rifling through the drawers, it seems the only paperwork not gone to dust is a leather-bound book, perhaps a diary, though examining causes some of the pages to fall apart. Not able to read Vodacce, they take this for translation from Marco.
A few more rooms and some more valuables later, the group descend to the basement. The scarab brooch, which Xavier found earlier, vibrates as they reach the bottom of the stairs. Hearing movement, they open the door only to find Rochelle and Heinrich sorting through some items in a large sack. They turn as the group enters but our heroes are already upon them! A scuffle, some blood drawn, and Ren still hasn’t hit anything with his arrows. With no orders from Rochelle, Heinrich hurls one of Yuri’s throwing axes at a pulley system which drops the floor out from the center. Rochelle curses as she and Heinrich immediately fall. Chloe is fast enough to grab the sack of goods before it too falls. Looking down, Rochelle and Heinrich have literally disappeared in a puff of smoke. Xavier’s brooch begins vibrating again, although this time it’s not stopping. The castle shakes as well, perhaps jostled by the large stone trap door suddenly swinging open after who knows how many dormant years, and the crew decides their only way out is down. They leap, hoping to survive, and when they hit the water they discover this area around the island was dug out, probably to allow ships under the keep to hoist goods up or down. Marco is already near by in the rowboat and helps everyone aboard where they can dry off, check their booty, and return to their ship.