Graveyard World

Espis Chapter 7: Escape from Cragmaw Castle

After a brief discussion, the party decides that the dangers that lurk behind the curtain are too dangerous to deal with directly, so Varyk leads Kharl and Urllexin around the long way, intimidating his way through a banquet hall overseen by a goblin chef with a power complex.

The group reunites in a small corridor with a barred exit that leads to the outside of the castle. Unbarring the exit, Urllexin and Lorna split away bring the cart around for a quick exit, while the others go deeper into the castle.

After swiftly dealing to the hobgoblin guards, Dakarai and Kharl hide in the shadows while Varyk comes face to face with King Grol and his guest; the “Black Spider.” Grol believes that Varyk is in league with the Spider and leads him in. The Spider is not fooled, but allows the scene to unfold.

Varyk identifies the Spider as his one time employer Zyn Coborel, and Kyuss warns Varyk against acting rashly, as something about the situation is off.

Grol reveals that he has been working with Zyn in return for the enchanted mace “Lightbringer.” When Zyn asks for more manpower to help him excavate the Spellforge, Grol becomes angry, revealing that he has already gone above and beyond his part of the deal, capturing Gundren (who Varyk identifies as an unconscious heap in the corner) and obtaining his map.

After toying with Varyk for a moment, Zyn suddenly flips the table and begins to make a move at Varyk. In that instant, Dakarai and Kharl leap out of hiding and launch a surprise attack against Grol and his wolf, who had been sleeping at the fire.

Surprised, Zyn takes Gundren hostage and drags him to the window, knife to his throat. Kharl uses a spell Gundren, reviving him and then closes the distance on Zyn. Gundren uses this opportunity to escape from Zyn’s grip, crawling on his hands and knees away from the fight.

Zyn’s throat deforms and swells in an entirely alien way, and the drow spits acid onto the fleeing Gundren, badly burning the dwarf and leaving him twitching and writhing on the floor. Kharl hits Zyn with his mace in retaliation, and is surprised when the hammer merely sinks into his body – the drows flesh is like tar.

While Dakarai single handedly handles Grol and his wolf, Varyk and Kharl close in on Zyn, dousing him with fire and finally killing him with a blast of holy energy. In death, Zyn’s body melts almost completely – Kyuss appears to Varyk and informs him sagely that if that was a real guy, you would have expected to see bones in there.

Stabilising Gundren and recovering the map from beneath Grol’s filthy mattress, the party leaves the castle via their escape route, towards the waiting Lorna and Urllexin, who lead them away from the castle and through the checkpoint at the outer wall, the grounds now peppered with dead goblins.

The party makes their way back to the hideaway overlooking the castle, and hunkers down to wait out the storm.



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