Following our encounter with the two giants, we found ourselves greeted by a pair of great, winged beasts in a nearby room. Though they were caged, I knew their presence to be foul, but we all decided that we should hear the offer they wished to present. The arrangement was simple; their freedom for the treasure they guarded, a treasure apparently spurned by one Volstis of the Minespin Mountains after it had been offered by Grenzeldek as a kind of dowry.
Cautiously, and alert for any betrayal this time, we released the beasts Elynnar identified as a male and female manticore, quickly killing them when they attempted to turn on us. It was clear they particularly wished to feast on Thorsten’s human flesh, but we saw fit not to grant them the opportunity.
With the beasts dead, we ascended the tower above them, finding that a sobbing Grenzeldek awaited at the top, guarded by a pair of dire wolves. Seeing our chance to end the giant’s life, we burst in, taking quite a beating from both Grenzeldek and her wolves, but finally slaying the miserable woman where she stood. A great aura of sadness clung to the air, however, and we eventually found the source of it behind a cordoned-off alcove. The culprit was what appeared to be a human skull, its presence still filling our hearts with dread and sorrow even as Thorsten tucked it away in his pack. More happily, we discovered with the help of Umlo and Ingrahild that we now possessed both halves of a sort of geode map to the tomb of the great dwarf, Nargrim, their ancestor, having found the final piece in Grenzeldek’s spoils. However, we still had work to do in Redlake Fort.
From there, we pressed on toward the chapel to seek the spirit of Fabian Blix. The pair of ogrekin atop the bell tower overhead gave us little trouble, as we were able to kill them before they could sound the alarm, and we headed inside the chapel. In contrast to Grenzeldek’s chambers, the chapel seemed to exude an aura of peace and tranquility, and we were soon able to make contact with the unfortunate Fabian.
He told us his sad story of betrayal and instituted cannibalism under siege by the fortress’s former steward, and that the only way for us to bring peace to his soul was to burn his killer’s remains at the chapel’s altar. Producing the skull on a hunch, we learned that this was part of what we sought, though the rest of the man’s remains lay elsewhere. After an unsettling communion by Droja with the skull, we thought we had a hunch of where to begin our search; back in a room where we heard a dark chanting.
We rested that night in the chapel, awakening the next morning to find that Kargukk was making his move against the giants, seeming to have learned of Grenzeldek’s demise, and, departing the chapel, we thought to use the confusion to reach the chanting chamber. On the way, Droja slipped while attempting a climb, and I saw fit to let her fall, rather than breaking my vow of cleanliness, as she oozes the stench of undeath. She was relatively unhurt by the fall, but I can tell that resentment has been seeded within her. How this will manifest remains to be seen.
Still, unchallenged by any foe, Leetsa and myself pressed on for the chanting chamber, finding that a small band of ogrekin lay in our path. It seems that, even with our enemy distracted, it will not be easy to remain undetected in this awful place…