05 Mudlarking and Fasttalking
((Anders, Christer, Erik, Henrik))
Climbing over the mostly rotten floor towards an enticing chest Reomar fell through, landing in the midden underneath it with a resounding 'ploop', disappearing under the surface as emerging tentacles pulled him under. A fierce fight against the Otyugh residing in the midden followed, which disturbed the spectres residing in the boarded up third floor that they joined the fight. After the monsters were dispatched, the muck-covered monk was volunteered to search through the midden, and found - along with a substantial amount of money - a platinum-intarsied obsidian Scimitar of Speed with the power to glow brightly at command and making loud sounds reminiscent an avalanche of rocks when striking - which he promptly appropriated, giving up Arcturia's Skin to Whoa.
After searching the remainder of the castle they found a note about a portal in the dungeon below, along with the command word for it, and headed belowstairs. There they soon disturbed and fought a number of Myconids residing under a layer of thick mud. During that fight the groups cleric, Sister Gareale, who had been with them since Phandelver was killed.Beyond that was an underground lake teeming with giant toads that apparently didn't see them as prey as they let the group by. On approaching a mist-filled room they encountered a small number of dragoncult guards and their guard drakes, who switched sides after the human cultists were killed. In their sleeping chamber - apparently an old shrine to various evil gods - they found a prisoner of theirs, a female Surtr cleric named Navarra who readily agreed to follow the group, provided they go after the Cult of the Dragon. The woman could not remember much of her past life - other than that she had once killed a tyrant of her home lands, wherever those lands were - most likely due to the gruesome head injury that had staved in part of her skull. While the wound itself is healed, the inward bulge in her skull is quite large and obvious.
With her along they headed through the gate and successfully hid in the woods near the hunting lodge they saw upon passing through the gate.
Early the following morning they had come up with a plan to masquerade as cultists bringing a chest of treasure, and knocked on the kitchen entrance. The kitchen staff were at first quite incredulous, but could not resist Nergals gift of the gab, so the group was soon escorted to Talis. Once there Nergal and Talis realized that Talis was actually his long-lost childhood friend, and Talis was delighted that an old friend had been sent to help her with her plan to rise to a higher position in the cult by making something bad happen to that idiot Rezmir. Everyone happily agreed that as fellow cultists of her faction, they would not have a problem with using the passwords and signs she provided to enter the castle and make sure that an 'accident' happened to Rezmir so that Talis could take his place.
After stocking up a bit on supplies from the hunting lodge they walked to the nearby village Parnast where the castle was currently parked, and they entered the castle, which was obviously in the last preparations for taking off...