The characters, after a brutal fight with the Griffons, dispatch one and watch as the other takes the eggs and retreats into the mountains, heavily wounded. Continuing on the path to the keep, they find a place where a magic circle of containment had been laid down around the keep long ago. The recent earthquake seemed to disrupt the circle, breaking the enchantment by cracking the rock it was carved into. Near the border of the circle Thea recognized a message in the secret language of Druids, warning of extreme danger within and that none should break the circle and enter.
The party immediately entered the grounds of the keep after reading this message, Fimble and his porters in tow, and searched the courtyard and grounds, now largely overgrown. From the outside it was apparent that most of the keep was suffering, with the roof partially collapsed in places. Eventually, the party broke open the front door, and within found a horrible gibbering mouther, a pulsating, animated pile of flesh covered in a horrific array of mouths, each endlessly babbling gibberish that seemed barely comprehensible. Dispatching the horror, the party searched the reception chamber, finding the remains of a journal. Most of it was unreadable, but the final entries were legible. They are reproduced at the end of this entry.
As they finished reading the entry, in which they discovered that this was the family keep of House Craighe, a minor noble line, Lord Craighe himself burst into the room, his face dried and rotted and his eyes glowing with hate, having risen after his death as a Wight, his servants (a small group of zombies) behind him, and "welcomed the party" to his home by attacking them…
Siebellus came again today. This man insists he can penetrate the storm that destroyed my family fortunes and restore the name of Craighe to its rightful place. I am skeptical but his proof is compelling. There is little left in the coffers but if he can deliver it will have been well worth it. Our fortunes are lost anyway, there is nothing left to lose on his mad scheme.
Midwinter + 13
Siebellus has the gold and he spends it like salt at a feast. The first deliveries came today. If he is mad or playing me for a fool he will pay with his life.
Does magic always smell this foul? The experiment began today. The lights and colors were fascinating to watch. Mina was especially amused by the way they seemed to dance. Sometimes I fear my bride is a bit simple. I’m glad that the Craighe blood flows so strongly in young Colin. It’s a shame Meri takes so much after her mother. When the time comes I’ll be lucky to break even unless I can convince the blasted tiefling that a union is in both our best interests, even though his boy is a boor and a lout. Though if this mad scheme bears fruit he’ll be lucky to lick my boots, much less touch the hand of my daughter.
Another servant gone missing. I suppose it’s the smell. Disloyal, lazy wretches. I pay them as well as they could expect, considering no other house would tolerate them. Siebellus had another breakthrough today, we heard voices coming through the opening, though I couldn’t make them out. He seemed very excited. To think, after 200 years we may finally be reunited with the Capitol and real civilization! If only the smell would clear out, it never seems to clear away now. The sooner this scheme is complete the happier I’ll be. The coffers are almost dry, and this smell like damp ass and ogres begins to offend even the self control of a Lord Craighe.
I don’t understand what that useless slip of a woman was thinking! To let a girl of such dim lights and spoiled disposition near so delicate an experiment! Well now she’s learned the price of her petty indulgence, which I made doubly sure of. It’s a travesty that in this age a man should still have to pull the cane off the wall and educate his wife, especially when she struggles to bear even one child who is worth a damn and lets the other one stumble to her doom. She’ll not soon forget this lesson, and the nurse says the marks should never be visible in public. A good reminder I sketched into her poisoned belly. Perhaps it is time for a new Lady Craighe, once this business is concluded.
Success, and none too soon! I saw it with my own eyes! My dark mood, brought on by the events of the last few days, finally lifts! How could it not when seeing the golden domes of the Capitol with my own eyes? And I swear I heard the laughter of Lords and Ladies coming through the mists of the opening! My legacy is secure, I will stand out among all the Lords Craighe as the one who finally brought our family the wealth and finery it was always destined for.
Let it be known that on Midwinter +42 once again the noble line of Craighe is betrayed by those it holds closest. I, Allis Lord Craighe, stand betrayed by the hand of my own family. My own wife and that filthy forest witch sank the blade deep, my boy stolen from my arms. Siebellus suceeeded, but not at what was agreed, and whatever dark door he opened may never close. I welcome death on my own terms, this fire in my blood will not take me. With all my hate I curse you all to know my suffering, may all the dark Gods who scratch at the walls of reality mark this and inflict only misery and suffering on you all, if the unnatural things which came through don’t tear your souls from your bodies first. If you are reading this, you are already doomed, and I spit from beyond the grave in your face. Run, if you can, so that you may die tired.