Mandraivus the Fallen
The Harrows were faced with a strange wraith-like creature before them as the dark shadowy figure advanced. Jathan charged forward looking for a chance to get a quick strike in as he swung his dagger through the spirit. The blade passed through the monster but its magical properties allowed it to damage the incorporeal entity. The creature shrieked in pain as it retaliated with its own attack. The monster’s hand penetrated into Jathan’s body as it clutched onto his very life force and drained him off it. The life force seemed to help sustain the monster as the half-elf was looking quite weak and emaciated after the attack.
Meanwhile, a number of the group was struggling with the aftermath of the haunt that drove them mad. Xandak was confused as he thought he heard something near him and swung wildly, his greataxe hitting the stone wall with such force it drove it backwards and caused him to cut his own shoulder. Even Rey’la was lost as she injured herself trying to draw her own bow. Laori got into position as Asyra charged forward to let her spiked chain deliver a hit into the monster. Barilut followed up with his own attack as the flail swung through to damage the enemy. Bauble had also succumbed to the madness as the elemental swung wildly and connected with a heavy impact to Laori’s back, causing her to stumble forward a bit in pain.
“This confusion is causing trouble. I need to fix this.” Philo said as he reached into his robes and pulled out a wand. He raised his hand and let the wand of Magic Circle against Evil ring out, shrouding over himself, Sial, Bauble, Rey’la, and Xandak. The magical effect would protect them from evil magic and helped Bauble and Rey’la shake off the confusion effects. Unfortunately, Xandak couldn’t fight it off as the confusion still held on him. “I will handle him.” Sial said as he backed up and used a Dispel Magic to wash the Confusion off.
With everyone back in the right mind they could now focus on dealing with the monster. Jathan let two more quick strikes against the creature before jumping back to get some distance between himself and it as he was feeling quite weak after the last attack of the creature. The shadowy monster looked at the group before it’s eyes locked onto Barilut. The creature seemed to focus its anger towards the dwarf as it suddenly flew through the wall and vanished. Moments later it re-emerged from the wall right next to Barilut as it assaulted him. The spectral hand touched the dwarf as it drained the paladin of some of his energy.
The rest of the Harrows took this chance to surround the shadowy wraith on all sides as they attacked it from all angles. Even Bauble tried to hit it but his attacks were futile as they swiped through the incorporeal creature with no effect. However, it seemed that no matter who hit the monster its gaze was fixated on Barilut as it once again sapped some of his life. Philo prepared to blast the monster with an acid dart but it seemed quite nimble as it avoided the magical attack. This quick little dodge left it open to Jathan as the rogue stabbed the dagger into the wraith and pulled it up through the incorporeal form until it sliced the head in half, causing the monster to dissipate and vanish.
With the monster defeated, the group of adventurers had a moment to patch up their wounds and investigate the set of armor on the skeleton. The armor had a series of designs on it that Phil recalled seeing as being from Lastwall, a region that was tasked with keeping the Whispering Tyrant in his eternal slumber. The armor itself turned out to be a suit of Celestial Armor and they decided to let Xandak wear it so he could better fight on the frontlines.
The Harrows moved onward, deciding to check one of the many doorways that led out from this room. They discovered a corridor that ran along one of the rooms with a number of arrow slits and dead bodies scattered throughout. It appeared to be a defense corridor and they took caution in case any of the bodies weren’t truly dead but it seemed the hall was safe. Moving past they discovered a stairwell that led up to the second floor but decided to check out the rest of the first floor before heading upstairs.
They walked into another room that had arrow slits that looked outward from the castle, but that wasn’t the main point of attraction in this room. On the wall was a message scribbled in blood in a strange language with a dead orc’s body laying below it dressed in hide armor and a battleaxe.
“I can understand this.” Xandak said as he moved up to look at it. “It’s Orcish. It says “Beware of Ukwar””.
“Who is Ukwar?” Jathan said, curious what that meant. They all looked at each other and no one knew that name so they chose to press on and see what else this portion of the castle contained. They found a series of doors and began to explore them one by one.
The first room seemed to be a small bedroom that had been ransacked and destroyed. Jathan rummaged through the rubble and found a golden locket with an inscription to “Lashton” in it. He pocketed it in case it would prove to be useful and moved on to the next room. This room was similar but less destroyed. The desk was damp and covered with rotten scrolls as Barilut moved over to try and read them but sadly they were damaged beyond any use.
When they tried to leave though, Barilut was suddenly grasped with a sensation that Castle Scarwall wasn’t well supplied for the impending attack. He had failed Kazavon in his duties and had to do something about it. For a brief moment he had the urge to run up to the top of the gatehouse parapets and hurl himself off the castle so he wouldn’t have to suffer the wrath of Kazavon. When the dwarf shook his head, the sensation was gone and confused him a bit. However, he strangely had an understanding of the gatehouse and knew that the stairs they had previously found led up to the second floor of the gatehouse and that the structure was symmetrical.
This left one final room for them to explore. They opened the door and saw a similar bedroom to the last two except this one wasn’t unoccupied. A figure dressed in armor and a sword sat on the bed muttering to himself as he begged forgiveness from Kazavon. When the figure saw the intruder, he jumped from the bed as he brandished his sword. “I will not fail you again Master Kazavon!”
The first thing the Harrows noticed about this enemy was that he was undead but quite intelligent. The second was that his weapon seemed to pulsate this green aura and they quickly discovered the effect of that as he swung his sword at Barilut and delivered a strong slice into his armor. The blade seemed to also burn the armor with acid as the dwarf was caught off guard by how strong he was. As Barilut looked at the monster he realized he had heard about such a entity.
This was a Graveknight, an undead knight with immense power comparable to liches. The knight’s power originated from his armor and as long as the armor remained the creature would never be fully dead. Barilut responded with his own flail attack as Jathan came in with a quick stab finding an opening in the armor. The rest of the party made their way towards the small room to try and corner the graveknight in there.
The graveknight took a step back as he suddenly unleashed a burst of green energy from his blade that engulfed half the party. The acidic blast scalded the walls as it burned those that couldn’t get out of the way in time. Jathan quickly ducked behind the wall near the door to avoid the blast as he was already quite weak. Xandak had enough of this undead knight as he screamed out and swung his axe wildly, filled with rage. He let two shots connect, chipping parts of the armor with his weapon as Barilut and Asyra attacked from the other side.
The graveknight known as Knurlott was beginning to show signs of weakening as the assault from the Harrows was relentless. He swung his greatsword again, letting the blade dig deep into the half-orc as Xandak’s knees buckled a bit at the hit. However, this gave the opening needed as Asyra ran behind the knight and wrapped her spiked chain around its neck. She pulled it tighter and tighter until the chain sliced through the neck and beheaded the monster, causing its body to collapse to the ground dead.
Even though the graveknight was defeated they weren’t out of it just yet. Barilut struck the armor a few times with his flail to try and destroy it but remembered that it would take much more than that to get rid of it. Philo took this time to summon a Lillend Azata, a monster with the torso of a woman and the lower half like a serpent. He used it to help heal the group up while Rey’la also worked on patching up many of their wounds.
Once all their wounds had been taken care of the adventurers knew that they were feeling quite spent and needed to get some rest. They moved to one of the other bedrooms to try and set up a place to rest for the evening. Philo tried to use his Rope Trick spell as the rope emerged to take them to their extradimensional space to rest. However, when he tried to climb the rope and enter he failed as he couldn’t enter the magical space. The wizard thought for a moment, trying to figure out what could be happening as he tried to dimensional travel and saw it didn’t work either.
“Well I have some bad news.” Philo said to the group. “It seems something in this castle is prohibiting dimensional travel. That may make things…complicated.” The group was cautious as they prepared to rest for the evening and continue their journey in Scarwall the next day.