Proteus pours a cure light wounds potion into the mouth of the strange gold-dragon-blooded horse. Lunjun, hearing the battle has ended and knowing he requires Proteus’ blood to leave, returns while feeling like he should re-evaluated his life due to the Charm spell he had been slammed with. Lenny disappears again as though she had never been there.
The chatelaine of the castle approaches and as he does so Proteus’ bardic memory springs to the fore and he identifies the history of this noble family. The island was, at first, the stronghold for a linch champion of Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant of Ustalav, who was said to have a portal to the Shadow Plane beneath the tunnel-riddled depths of an old volcano. When the Shining Crusade passed through here, the champion was slain – but not before the volcanic mountain top exploded with an unholy pillar of fire. The explosion, at least, collapsed most of the tunnels and made it more difficult for the wandering undead to spill out of the tunnels – more difficult but by no means impossible.
100 years ago the island was re-settled by the second son of Baron Vichny, Eddard Vichny, who seemed to undergo such a change in behaviour that people wondered if he were possessed or replaced by a doppelganger. He took a small village worth of individuals and a dozen mages who were bent by his will, some said to be quite powerful that he kept in line with artefacts, who were forced to forge from the caldera a road, a moat, and a castle. The effort is said to have slain several of the mages or perhaps he killed them later to keep his secrets buried.
Over the generations, his sons were said to also be cruel and debauched, though the line between regular debauchery and assumptions that you are evil is quite slight in Ustalav so it’s hard for Proteus to be sure which way that swings. It does appear that the bloodline grew less evil over the years and the castle has become all but unknown in recent decades.
So with this in mind, Proteus apologises to the chatelaine and explains that they are willing to heal the castle’s Lord Wilhelm (which the chatelaine dismisses out of hand) and that they are here to seek Lhye’s mother. The chatelaine demands to know why they brought a devil here, as one had followed them invisibly, of the type likely to report back to the other devils. That devil has already left, doubtless to seek reinforcements.
They explained that they were in a rush because they had a prophecy that Lavender Lil will die tonight. The chatelaine states that perhaps it’s because they’ve led devils here. He explains that Lil has married a woman, the champion of the castle, who has ridden out to examine the seals to the underdark but would return soon as she would have heard the gong. They are provided with a clockwork horse to pull them in a cart as none of them can ride and they follow another dirt road past the castle which starts to wind down into the ground.
Soon they hear the thunder of hooves approaching and Lhye levitates up to see their approach. A woman with coal black skin and platinum blonde hair (they immediately OOCly think Drow) rides towards them on a white horse with smoking black eyes. She leads six archers with dual short swords at their hip and six alchemists all in the castle colours. There’s also about fifteen mages of eclectic races / ethnicities upon largely ghostly horses.
The champion reigns in and Lhye calls out to his mother. Lhye, being a suspicious Riddleport sort and not imagining her son as a likely caster, calls out for someone to bring him down with a Sleep spell. One of the mages attempts a Sleep spell but fails at it. It’s not until the Champion convinces Lhye to allow her to cuff him with dispellation handcuffs do they believe him. The Champion, who is quite hot, then convinces the group to leave via a back way upon a small cutter-style boat as the devils will attack the castle and it’s important to get them away. Apparently Lil has a Protection against Scrying / Detection amulet which will help her.
Once they’re in the boat there’s a bit of an argument about whether to stay and fight or leave. Proteus has his blood lust up. Lhye figures it’s best to fight with the castle’s troops at his back. Lunjun knows he’s out of spells. Archer thinks retreat is wisest. It’s only when Lhye figures out that devils are immune to fire / electricity and his enchantments (well, mostly, as they’re not ‘people’), that he gives in and decides they should leave.
They head out toward the River Kingdoms.