Clearing Castle Caldwell Part 2
Date: 3-4 Numont 1000
General Location: Threshold, Karameikos
After an evening’s, rest a smaller cadre of the adventurers returned to Castle Caldwell on 3 Numont 1000. Lily (The Elven Rogue), Cale (The Human Warlock), and Brutus (The Gnomish Druid) headed back to the Castle on their own to try and finish clearing it out of uninvited guests.
They arrived to find quite a mess in some of the rooms that had yet to be explored. In one room, an unlocked chest was found… and opening it revealed it to be trapped! Luckily the trap was not deadly, and the chest was built in a way that the trap could be reset. The party decided to return later to collect the chest, and not let it weigh them down.
In what was once the pantry of this keep, the stench of a dead and decaying goblin filled the air. Fully opening up the room, they see the goblin laying on the floor with a grotesquely swollen arm, and Lily happened to notice the coils of a snake among the burlap sacks of old and soiled food before they disturbed its nest by poking around the room. Brutus used his Druidic bond to nature to begin speaking with the serpent. After coming to an understanding about the snake’s desires, he was able to successfully convince it that better meals could be had in the surrounding forest area than in the pantry… he got the snake to follow him, and just before it lost patience and was about to attack, it spotted a plump squirrel in the trees along the edge of the surrounding forest and it took off to make its home among the trees and shrubs (and chubby, nearby wildlife). The circle of life continues!
Back inside, a small Halfling Bard ran in out of nowhere to join a skirmish in which the party was involved.* After the short fight, he introduced himself as “Dis the Hobbit”, and revealed that he was a Bard who was just out looking for adventures and stories to add to his repertoire. After deciding to allow him to tag along for the time being, the party opened the door to another room that was housing a Ghost! The frightening and dangerous apparition promptly took possession of Brutus and began using his body to attack his fellow party members. Cale, feeling torn about what must be done, let fly with a magical blast of force against the small gnome while shouting “Forgive me, Brutus!”
The bolt knocked the gnome clean off of his feat and slammed him hard against the back wall of the room, leaving him unconscious. Unable to control an unconscious being, the ghost was forced out of his body and began viciously attacking the party. The battle was tense but the party was able to dissipate the life-force of the ghost, and with an unearthly scream it dissipated into the ether.
The rest of the castle was in similarly poor repair but otherwise unoccupied, except for some minor amounts of coin and two rooms. One of the rooms contained a statue that they determined to be magical but only able to be activated by those who follow the way of Order and Law, and the other room that was unable to be opened despite any effort the party made. While not having any visible locking mechanism, the door to the room would not budge. Fists and weapons used to bash at it slid off the door as if not able to strike it, magical blasts had not the slightest of effects. It was completely locked, and by means unknown to the party.
Deciding to see what information they may be able to find about the castle, statue, and magically locked room the party made their way back to the Shady Dragon Inn, and the next day took a field trip to Threshold’s local library. Due to the seemingly long-abandoned status of the castle, there were some local folklore references to it used as a setting for warnings to children who may wander off into the dangerous wilderness, but at this point no factual or useful information could be readily found about the keep. The party felt it would be best to share what they have learned thus far with the rest of the party, and return to the castle later in full force…
* This part is subject to future revision (I have to check my notes to make sure this is accurate, I’m writing this long after the fact and w/o reference materials.)