The party recovered some their faculties on the boat and then went back and woke the sleeping charter captain.
Fizban used his charm ring to make the captain conveniently forget how he fell asleep. The captain was quite chatty and very interested in their tale of Old Solomon. They got the sense that Old Solomon was quite a legendary terror with an infamous reputation for ruining the travels of seafarers in the North Sea.
The captain then asked if they would go see what happened to his three passengers as he had expected their return by this time.
Although they were quite uncomfortable from the bitter cold, the party agreed to go and investigate.
The castle appeared to be abandoned. There was no barrier to entry and the lower floor of was largely empty with no visible indicators of the lost explorers. The temperature was so frigid that the group was taking serious cold damage just by walking around…
Eventually they entered a room with many decaying frozen heads and bodies impaled on large pikes and a glowing orb on a pedestal in the center of the room.
Greedy Praetor immediately rushed and grabbed the orb. This action caused the frozen corpses to animate and a battle to ensue! When a few of the corpse monsters fell, Praetor was able to reanimate them again using the orb only this time they fought for the group! This magical orb was an incredibly powerful tool.
The party took more damage but were able to win the battle with the help of the orb.
In the same room, Slade found a hidden door which revealed some stairs that lead up to a second level.
Sadly, they forgot to search for traps and triggered a massive rockslide that damaged the whole group. The ruckus alerted the barbarians that were occupying the top floor and a group of them immediately ran down to engage the group in more combat.
Our party was still recuperating from their orca damage, the animated corpses, and the bitter cold so this fight was rather ill timed. Venn, Dyme and Slade were all dropped but were fortunate enough to survive permanent death checks.
The barbarians (noticeably all female) were finally dispatched.. And the party felt some warmth coming from the top of the stairs where they triggered the rockslide. Should they flee or head up the stairs and try and find some warmth?
Afraid of further cold damage, they chose warmth and headed upstairs where they found a small empty room to hide, revive their fallen teammates, and get some sleep.
The upper floor was still occupied with barbarian females though and they had to do plenty more fighting to clear the floor. Eventually they fought the leader, a fierce female warrior with a disturbing hatred for anyone of the male gender. She was tough, but they killed her.
They found the female explorer tied up in a room, her male companions lay slaughtered beside her.
Slade untied her and she felt an immediate romantic connection to him.
Together the party fled the castle and returned to the docked boat. There wasn’t enough room for everyone especially with Praetor’s increased mass.
Praetor used his last polymorph scroll to transform into a pterodactlyl that could fly alongside the boat.
The captain was left at the dock, shaking his fist at the party as they headed back in the direction of Edgetown.