Previously, on Phoenix Rising…
… Then the castle front door slammed open. And it slammed right into Zerak. He found himself staring at one of the Troxes from outside. So he did what he would normally do – he cast black tentacles in front of the doors and proceeded to capture not one but three Troxes and began hitting them with other spells as well .…
The battle raged on for several more rounds, first finishing in the central chamber where Zola and Asphodel were. Zola quickly made her way back into the entrance corridor to help the rest of the party battle the two remaining Troxes while Asphodel decided to start looking around. Still be in a rage condition, she moved down the western corridor and opened all the doors to reveal nothing but empty barracks rooms, six in all.
Meanwhile the rest of the party battled the Troxes, who had been throwing spears in with pretty decent accuracy at Zerak and Jobi. Blackwell finally finished off the last remain bowman off in the western alcove while Zerak, Jobi, Kel, and Zola finally brought down the Troxes. Then they made their way into the chamber where Asphodel was.
Once they were all back together, Asphodel went down the eastern hallway and found the kitchen, storage room, and the common mess hall, which turned out to be in complete shambles. Someone had dug up all the tiles and uncovered an ancient spiral stairway leading down into the earth. The group decided to close the door and come back to this later, opting to finish exploring and clearing out the above ground levels first.
They made their way into the next open area which appears to have been some sort of armory. There was a ceremonial set of plate armor standing against the wall in the middle of the room. It was flanked by a pair of stairs going up to the next level. The rest of the room contained weapons racks and other armor mannequins but no weapons or armor was to be found anywhere within the room.
So our heroes made their way up the stairs – they split into two groups and ascended each stairwell at the same time. The room above revealed itself to be a large semi-circular library with books lining the outer walls from floor to near the ceiling ten feet above. Also there were two large bookcases running between the staircases that also ran from floor to ceiling. Just as Asphodel and Zola reached the top of the stairs and started to look around, the group was ambushed by the half a dozen fighters that were at the back of the room. The fighters let loose with a barrage of arrows aimed at Asphodel, Zola, Kel and Zerak (Blackwell and Jobi were the last to come up the stairs and were not visible to target at the time). Several arrows struck true and wounded some of our heroes before they had time to react.
The battle was pretty fierce – the fighters were pretty good marksmen and quite a few arrows hit their marks. Zerak kept getting hit so he used a spell that turned his flesh into swarms of wasps and attacked several of the enemy. Jobi and Kel were using healing magicks almost as much as offensive spells. Zola dispatched a couple of the fighters and just as the battle seemed to be heading in their direction, Asphodel lost control of herself and flew into a rage. The rest of the group realized what was happening and began to disengage by heading back downstairs until Asphodel could calm down after the battle. Jobi and Zerak decided to stay near to attempt to help her calm down. Kel and Blackwell retreated to the lower level only to be surprised by a wizard and a cleric who had come from outside of the castle in pursuit of the intruders. They yelled out and Zola soon was in a position to go back down and lend help against the new enemies. Meanwhile, the rest of the fighters in the library were sent on to the other side and Asphodel then advanced on Jobi and Zerak.
Both Jobi and Zerak tried talking to Asphodel to help give her a chance to regain control of herself, and after a few moments it worked. Then the three made their way down the stairs to join in the new fray. Zola removed Asphodel’s fatigue as she went passing by to join in the fight. The wizard and cleric were so far the strongest resistance they had encountered at the castle. But eventually these two fell as well and the group found themselves free of enemies for the first time in this castle. They hurriedly healed themselves, hoping to be able to finish before any more combatants showed up.
Tune in next week where we may find out what really inhabits this castle …