While the rest of the gang finishes their affairs in Lepidstadt and Hergstag, Variel had struck out for Schloss Caromarc on his own in hopes of warning the Beast about the mob preparing to give chase. Loosing his tracks in the Dapplemere Swamp, Variel pressed on to the old Count of Vieland’s residence, reaching the foothills bellow. Finding the Beast’s tracks again, he notes the Beast had veered off for some reason, and rather than go up to the fortress on his own, he chooses to camp out beneath the waterfall that races bellow the peculiar collection of fortress and manse and interconected bridgeand wait for the rest of the Harrowstone Heroes.
Meanwhile, after giving the bodies of the four lost children of Hergstag to the Cathedral of Pharasma, Nisca treats everyone (including their new friend Daemienten, who somehow had transformed into a nondescript Varisian girl on their way back to the city) to a fancy dinner. The following day she buys another wagon and the Heroes of Harrowstone consolidate (along with all their new friends) into the Bleakwall Traders caravan, setting out for Schloss Caromarc by mid-morning.
After a brief side-trip to Morast so Narsius can fetch the Manticore bones he’d asked them to boil the flesh off of, and so they could return the preserved head of the Morast swamper they’d found in the Chymics Works, they press on. Just outside of Morast though, they pause again so Narsius can animate his new collection of giant monstrous skeletons – much to the horror of the two Acolytes that had joined Nisca’s entourage. When he refuses to stop his practice of black necromancy and return to Lepidstadt to face Pharasmam justice, they apologize to Nisca and take their leave from the company, vowing that the Church has now witnessed Narsius’ unrepentant criminality, and that Parasma’s retribution will not be long in coming. Except for the bitter cold of the day, the rest of the journey proves uneventful, and they rejoin Variel at the foot of the waterfalls bellow Schloss Caromarc by nightfall.
Leaving the rest of the company to pitch camp, Nisca, Kendra, Shala, Narsius & Variel head up to inform the Count of their arrival and ask for hospitality, but are quite shocked to discover Trollhounds guarding the gates. As the two beasts charge them, their barking and howling raises an alarm, and shortly three Trolls stand amongst the crenelated towers of the gatehouse, chucking rocks or taking shots with a massive crossbow. After a fierce struggle, where Ursus manages to huff up the hill to lend a hand, the Heroes of Harrowstone manage to kill the Trolls and their horrible dogs, securing the gatehouse.
Amongst the refuse within the Gatehouse they find several sacks of treasure, as well as the troll’s slaves, a trio of increasingly happy Goblins the Trolls had enslaved. Though language proves to be quite a barrier, the Goblin’s use of disturbing noises and gestures manage to get their point across, and they warn their may be other Trolls about. Shala and Kendra get into a spat over a magic staff that the Trolls had found being used by the Trolls as a meat-rack, until Nisca has to forcibly take possession of it until such a time as their competing claims can be resolved. Returning to their base-camp, Nisca finds that the three little lunatics seem to have decided she’s their new “boss,” as they proceed to favor following her around over fleeing for the hills (much to the concern or amusement of everyone else).