We have spent several days now exploring Schloss Caromarc, expecting to find Count Caromarc. All that we have found so far have been hostile creatures and disappointment. We were met at the gate by trollhounds and trolls who had beaten in the front gate, and with some effort, we took the tower. Upon further investigation, the trolls had locked two of their own outside of the tower on the bridge side, where they were trapped between a flesh golem, a hard place, and certain untimely death at the bottom of a waterfall. We spent the night in that tower, bathing in all of the horrific stench of trolls. On a side note… There was a poor soul who I presume to be one of the count’s guards that was left dismembered in the tower. He was given a proper burial outside in the evening before we took our sleep for the night.
The next day, we met the Flesh Golem Guard Hound at the door to the manor. Frankly, it did not seem to like our presence, and attacked us. After a short battle, I successfully pushed the hound off the bridge, and by effect, over the falls. It was then that we were faced with the nigh impossible task of entering the building through a locked door. Through some ingenuity, Syrian managed his way in through a window, but nearly lost his life before unlocking the door for the rest of us to enter. The mechanical beast that wounded Syrian now lay before us in the lobby of the manor, and as we entered, a magical trap summoned an air elemental behind us on the bridge. It was a lengthy battle, but we prevailed. It was then that we decided to head back to the tower of rotten stench to rest again before pressing on.
Damn the luck, though, as we discovered that the rest of the manor was empty, save for a few warm beds, some food, some fine wine, and a distinct lack of troll-stench. I did claim a bottle of the count’s fine wine as a prize for my efforts, though.
It took some time to search the house, but alas we did not find a means to continue further into the next building. So we used Syrian’s infinitely useful rope of climbing to scale up to the roof, and over to the other side where there was yet another bridge waiting for us. The next building held an… unpleasant surprise… We opened the door to find a nest of rust monsters had taken residence there. One of them attempted to eat my blade, my most valuable inheritance from my father, and I felt as though it were trying to eat a part of my own body. I knew instantly that it must die and die quickly as hatred flared within my mind. I could hear something in the back of my mind, chanting “Kill it! Kill it! Kill it NOW!” We dispatched them quickly, but it was admittedly, a frightening event.
From there we pressed on across a shaky rope bridge, only to be met with another magical trap. This time an Erinyes was summoned to stop us, and proved to be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, Julia was able to strike a critical blow to the devil’s wing and arm, sealing its fate for the rest of us.
The next building was uneventful at first, but we eventually wandered into a room filled with sarcophagi, one of which had preserved a rather odd-looking individual who now travels with us. By observation of his actions, I can safely say that he is an arcanist, but I see no spellbook or spell components on his person, which leads me to believe that he is a sorcerer. Nevertheless, the man looks lanky and rotten, with a half-mad glint in his eyes. I do not trust him. It was in that same room that we were attacked by a mummy and two mimics that were quickly dispatched. What came next was substantially more difficult.
It is no secret that my favored tactic in combat is to use magic to grow to giant size and enhance my strength. I would imagine it a terrible sight to behold for most ignorant folk in the world. The creature that emerged from the basement below us was easily as tall as I, despite my enlarged stature. It had no face, but instead had several smaller flying constructs, homunculi, guiding it. It was a short fight, but a tough one nonetheless.
Afterward, we found ourselves traversing a narrow trail along the jagged cliffs toward the next structure, a set of four towers. The interior of this small complex was flooded, with the water being about 3 feet deep. Hardly an obstacle for a giant among men, so I took the lead, only to open an underwater pit filled with massive swarms of parasites. The parasites were quick in their work, latching on where ever they could and draining me of my lifeblood. In mere seconds I was weaker, dizzy and about to pass out from loss of blood. I barely managed to stumble away and out of the water, collapsing behind the rest of the group nearly dead. I do not often pray to Nethys, for I understand that he does not often meddle in the affairs of an individual, but in that moment, I prayed. I prayed that Nethys would not take me, for there is so much more that I must accomplish. In my near-dead delirium, the others killed the leeches, and apparently a group of undead that were waiting in a second trap. Basilla got me back up on my feet so that we could retreat back to a safe place to rest. Today has been a hell of a day.