After rising and gearing up, the party walk across the fort’s square to a small abode with a rune etched on its door. Thelan answers the door, invites them in and begins to question the party as to what they found in the fortress. They are cagey at first, but open up once he explains that he was once an adventuring wizard, now retired. They recount their recent adventures in the fortress. He seems very interested by their finding of the lab of Mordoch the Mage. He asks if they still have the Mage’s journal, to which they reply they do not. He offers them 100 gps to go and retrieve the book. When they tell him about the sheep-headed riddle creature he seems incredulous before determining that they in fact encountered a Curseling. He tells them it is a creature of fairy tale nightmares, a lesser demon who enters the world through the shadows of those who died while not touching the ground (particularly the hanged). Thelan seems rattled by this information and not as interested in the journal. In fact, he tells them he plans to leave Morgansfort in two days for good. If they do not return with the journal by then, he will be gone. He begins to start packing his belongings as if in a panic.
A knock sounds on the door. Baronet Halden Rathwynn accompanied with a small squad of guards are in search of the party and heard from Lorynn they were at Thelan’s. The party follows Halden to the inner keep of the fort where he brings them up to his rooms. There they meet Bailiff Tomandy who, along with the Baronet, questions them about what they’ve found at the fortress. They recount their adventures, including the nightmares and the haunted nature of the fortress. They mention Grelda, but neither man seems to know who she is. It’s the mention of the presence of goblins and kobolds that gets their attention. They seem annoyed that the party let one of the goblins go. Halden and the Bailiff wrap up the interview, thank them for the information, pay them each 15 gps, and tell them to leave the fortress to the garrison of Morgansfort. Mel asks what they plan to do about the island fortress. They calmly explain that they plan to route the fortress out completely the following day, burn the entire grounds, and seal off the dungeons below forever. They ignore the party’s warnings and send them off.
The party regroups and decides to head to the fortress one last time to retrieve Mordoch’s journal for Thelan. On the way to get their gear Mel stops into the noon service at Chapel of St. Queril where a packed congregation listens to the ceremony being given by Father Thelbain. A brazier of incensed offering fills the chapel with scented mist. Mel recognizes the scent as an herbal healing agent and the ceremony itself as a spell of calming and forgetfulness (Remove Fear) being cast over the residents of the fort en masse. She rejoins the group who head out.
The see Grelda outside her house again, working in her garden. They approach her, tell her they know her to be a witch, and warn of the Baronet and Bailiff’s plan to burn the island down the next day. Grelda is nonplussed, but doesn’t seem to be frightened of the soldiers. She tells the party is the sister of Maien Brai, the herbalist, and aunt to her daughter, Jyni. She has come to the area to try to convince them to return east with her to their homeland. She mentions that Jyni has shown great facility in the art and promises to become a great witch. She bades them goodbye and begins to hustle herself to prepare for the next few days.
The party row across the river and portage the boat in the weeds on the hill. They enter the fortress and find a group of five small children dancing and genuflecting in the stone arcade both to the fountain’s statue and the altar atop the mini-ziggurat. Pater is the only party member who realizes that these children are in fact Kobolds wearing something leathery on their faces. He tells the others, breaking the spell. Creeping closer it becomes apparent that the kobolds are wearing skin masks of small humans, likely children. Nyphus and Mel attack from the front while Pater and Renic skirt around the columnade and attack with surprise from the side. They kill all five and take the horrid masks for consecration later.
They enter the dungeon. In the antechamber of the first room chains rattle and Ghazold appears out of the shadows. He smiles evilly at the party and ascends again to his ceiling perch becoming invisible. The party move around to the side of the room avoiding the middle under Ghazold. They head around the pit trap outside the dead Stirges’ room down the stairs to the west. They move past the bulk of the dead centipedal worm creature which seems to have pieces of it removed. They enter the dining hall which is still heavy with the musk of the dead apes. They continue eastward into Mordoch’s lab and retrieve the journal. They leave the room intending to return to the fort as soon as possible and deliver the book to Thelan before he skips town.