Yash reads the floating script easily, and tells Liam and Zeek that it says “Those who read these words: BEWARE. Only death waits for [you / ”/characters/kelron" class=“wiki-content-link”>Kelron / Waver / Mournrysn]."
Memories flood back, and Kelron, Waver, and Mournrysn shake off the strange feeling that had come over them. They’re on the hunt for vampires, and they’re in the cave system below an infested keep. They make their way through the caves and enter the keep’s dungeon. In the dungeon, the trio hear rats skittering in the cells. Kelron burns his hand reaching for a torch, and Mournrysn creates a ring of fire around them. Rats fling themselves against the flames before backing away… though they all stare at Mournrysn. Waver lets off an explosive fireball and crisps about half the surviving rats (as well as an imprisoned human thrall). The rats scatter after that.
While Waver investigates the thrall’s corpse, Kelron notices a skeleton chained up in a cell. Chained to the ceiling… and still skeleton-shaped. He smashes the pelvis with his warhammer, destroying the bottom half of the skeleton. The skeleton scolds the paladin.
Morunrysn approaches and starts talking to the skeleton, who names himself Lord Yaric the Great. Mournrysn plucks the skull off and carries it around as Yaric asks about events in the world since his death. Kelron realizes Yaric is not an animated skeleton, but a shade using his bones as a focal point of spiritual energy. Yaric offers a bounty of twenty silver to whomever purges the most vampires from his keep. Liam comes to his sense and starts talking with Waver and Mournrysn, explaining the situation as he sees it before Kelron reasserts himself.
Mournrysn falls into a trapdoor pit, with spikes on the bottom and grease on the walls. Kelron runs to help but ends up falling into the pit on top of the Fomorian. Mournrysn dispels the magical grease on the pit and lets Kelron carry him out. The three of them walk through the keep, guided by Yaric’s directions. At the top of the keep, they encounter a thick steel door blocking off the throne room. Waver burns through the lock and the door swings open to reveal a vampire sitting on a throne. Around him, seven beautiful women lay sleeping on the floor. Waver immediately hits the vampire with a bolt of fire. It burns his clothes away, but the vampire is untouched. He laughs and commands Kelron to stop in his tracks. He stands up and approaches Mournrysn, introducing himself as Duke Halfhearst. The Duke explains calmly that the three adventurers are trespassing in his duchy, but he is willing to parlay with them. Mournrysn shakes the Duke’s hand, withering his arm. The Duke takes a significant chomp out of Mournrysn’s throat.
Kelron takes the opportunity to Turn the vampire, and Duke Halfhearst retreats back to the throne, weakened. Waver tries another bolt of fire, this one passing through the shield the Duke had raised. It immolates the vampire completely. The women wake up, and the adventurers loot the throne room. Waver heals Mournrysn.
Each one loots 500 gold pieces and one precious gem, and they find a jeweled crown with an enchantment of bravery placed on it, worth about 300,000 gold. They take the girls back to Winterhaven and recuperate. They spend a few days in town before setting out to collect Yaric’s bounty at the Sylvan Bank.