9th day, 2nd ride, April, 1372 DR
We woke up in the Crippled Griffon inn in the quaint village of Cold Springs to the sight of a thick blanket of snow on the ground. While this is quite normal for Damara, it was quite shocking for most others.
Roland and I were the first ones downstairs. The innkeeper only had oatmeal for us to eat, but we convinced him to let Roland cook our own breakfast, paying him a silver piece for the use of his kitchen and the ingredients. Roland made the most delicious sweet toast I have ever tasted. Roland convinced Ebon his share of the costs for the food was one silver piece, which he later gave to me. “Hoar be praised!” Thieving the thief! Ha!
While riding towards Bloodstone, Roland startled me with his sudden magical attack on a deer. We’re well stocked now, but the shock knocked ten years off my life!
When we arrived at Bloodstone, we found a ruin of a large, four-tower fortress. We also noticed that the tracks of wildlife had diminished considerably. The towers were mostly collapsed, but we could make out that they had stairs going down into the hill underneath the keep. A sudden pressing feeling descended upon all of us when we approached the inner keep. It was obvious that this ground was descecrated somehow, which filled me with a sense of dread and foreboding. It reminded me of Vaasa and I was immediately assailed by the feeling of death and dying at the whim of that winged beast. I lost my breakfast.
We had no luck finding an entrance down in the keep, but we found a cave behind the keep, about fifty paces away. We explored it and found it lead to an entrance to the basement of Bloodstone. Inside we found several revenants, which put up quite a fight and scared some of us half to death, literally. I started to regain my confidence and was reminded of why I was still here; I have lived through this and managed to make it to this point. I have more experience now than I did then, and I have Abaddon to protect me and help me endure. There is no reason why twentyfive years of living and fighting in Damara and Vaasa wouldn’t undo me and an incursion into an old keep would.
Finding several magical items that the others immediately pilfered, I was once again reminded of Dialan’s tomb. I can’t help but think we should let these items rest, but the others were eager to take them along. Magical items are rare, but there’s always a story behind as to why you find them in the basement of a haunted keep and it’s hardly ever a pleasant one.
We found a ritual chamber with a sacraficial altar in the middle of a semi-circle of fifteen ornate wooden thrones. One for every vampire lord. Iron sigils were embedded into the wood and we decided to pry loose three of them and take them along. We had to go back inside to gether another one when the first one crumbled in the sunlight when we emerged, so we wrapped the others in cloth.
We rode back to Cold Springs and took loggings at the Crippled Griffon, where I’m now writing this while sipping a cup of warm honeybrew mead. Tomorrow we ride back to Dagger Falls.